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'It was embarrassing': The wheels are coming off AC Milan as they suffer another humiliating setback

Gennaro Gattuso’s side fell to a 3-0 loss to relegation-threatened Hellas Verona.

Image: Antonio Calanni

THE SEASON STARTED with so much promise. An expensive outlay on players, including Leonardo Bonucci, keeping hold of superb young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and the fans still basking in the afterglow of a takeover by new Chinese owners and all the possibilities that brought with it.

But AC Milan’s season is in danger of combusting.

Off-field, there’s chaos. The new owners are seeking Uefa’s assistance in waiving Financial Fair Play obligations because there’s so much debt. But the European governing body isn’t interested.

“The situation will be assessed again in early 2018,” Uefa said.

AC Milan will continue to be subject to the ongoing monitoring process. There are still uncertainties in relation to the financial guarantees provided by the main shareholder.”

So, there are now substantial doubts surrounding the club’s financial future.

Added to that, Milan have struggled on the pitch.

Vincenzo Montella, a highly-regarded coach, oversaw a decent start but the team performed poorly in big games. There were losses to Roma, Inter, Juve and Napoli in quick succession and after a scoreless draw with Torino in late-November, Montella was sacked.

Italy Soccer Serie A Source: Filippo Venezia

But, things haven’t exactly gone smoothly since Gennarro Gattuso arrived as boss. There was an embarrassing 2-2 draw with Benevento – a team who had failed to pick up a single point in the league beforehand – in his first game in charge.

The new signings haven’t gelled and, adding to distraction, Donnarumma has been involved in another widely-documented controversy involving the Milan ultras.

Today, another humiliating setback.

Donnarumma was beaten three times as Milan suffered a defeat to Hellas Verona, the same side they’d eased past in the Coppa Italia midweek and a team that had been sitting second-from-bottom in the Serie A table.

“It was embarrassing, we have to look forward,” Gattuso said afterwards.

“It’d be easier to say that off the field issues affected us, but the players are receiving their wages on time, the club has made its presence felt, there are no locker room issues. We have to work out why we play well and look ready to score, but after the first hiccup we don’t react, or if we do react, it’s in a chaotic fashion with no organisation. I don’t like this.”

As a result, Milan now slip to eighth.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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