Champions League more important than Serie A - AC Milan president

By Sports Desk September 14, 2018

Doing well in the Champions League is more important than winning Serie A for AC Milan, according to club president Paolo Scaroni. 

Milan have not featured in Europe's elite competition since the 2013-14 campaign, when they only made it as far as the round of 16, bowing out to Atletico Madrid.

Last season they returned to European football when playing in the Europa League – as they will this term – but were eliminated by Arsenal in the last 16.

Milan's struggles in Europe have certainly not been a consequence of domestic success, given they most recently finished in the top three back in 2012-13.

Although fans will surely be eager to see the club win their first league title since 2010-11, Scaroni seemingly values making an impact in the Champions League higher.

"On the sporting level, we won't play in the Champions League this year, even though I think that's where Milan should be," Scaroni told Corriere della Sera.

"I have the idea that, as football has evolved, the Scudetto has become less important. For Milan it would be better to be – and do well – in the Champions League."

Milan have also fallen behind many of their rivals at home and abroad in terms of finances.

That situation annoys Scaroni, who compared Milan to Manchester United, claiming they should at least be on a similar level financially because the Rossoneri have won more than the Premier League club, though in reality the Red Devils have claimed 45 trophies to the Italian side's 43.

"I would like to say that Italy has had problems in many areas in recent years, I do not understand what happened," Scaroni said.

"For 15 years, Milan has not increased revenues. In 2003 we made €200million, in the meantime other clubs have tripled them.

"When I read that Manchester United gets €800m I feel bad, because we have won more than them, and we have an extraordinary basis for success with 400m fans in the world."

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    Gennaro Gattuso was buoyed by AC Milan's second-half display against Empoli, as the Rossoneri made light work of the Serie A strugglers on Friday.

    Milan were frustrated in the first half at San Siro, but two goals in as many minutes set them up for a dominant second-half display.

    The in-form Krzysztof Piatek got the opener – his seventh goal for Milan in all competitions – with Franck Kessie putting Empoli out of sight before Samu Castillejo capped an impressive display with a crisp finish.

    With their unbeaten run now extending to eight league matches, Milan are just a point behind third-placed Inter, and Gattuso believes his side have finally settled into a system that suits them.

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    "I was the first to take the blame, it was primarily my fault. I can't promise anything to anyone. 

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    Gattuso's focus will now switch to Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg against Lazio, but despite the quick turnaround, Milan's coach insisted he will not make changes to appease his back-up brigade. 

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