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 As Written by Diavolo

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Diavolo
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PostSubject: As Written by Diavolo   Tue 3 Jul 2012 - 2:20

The Euro 2012 tournament has come to an end and for many countries, this is seen as a much wanted shift of focus back to club football. In the case of my club, this shift has neither excited me or upset me. I am considerably neutral about all of this. I take into consideration that every summer, save the one in which we went on to win the scudetto of the accompanying season, Milan goes through the same thing:

1.) Big star is rumoured to go for an obnoxious amount of money
2.) Said star suffers an internal battle between greed and loyalty
3.) Said star either leaves, feeding the fans some sort of sappy lie about always loving them like a guy not wanting to tell his girlfriend that he's found someone sexier and wilder or they sign a new contract to quell the masses.

This is nothing new and yet the media latches onto it each time. However, neither the media nor the player are the villain here. Now, I know I've ripped Kaka a new hole and in the situation, I had a right to. We had a player who spent most of his last two seasons on a medical table asking for a raise as an ultimatum, or else he'd leave. A man who told the masses himself that he was staying at Milan and then left in the same day can only expect such from a season ticket holder as myself. But that aside, the real villain here is actually the owner of the club himself, Mr. Silvio Berlusconi.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for Silvio. He took Milan from the brink of destruction and turned us back into the world club we are; however, he is also the biggest media whore of an owner I've ever seen. Mr. Berlusconi likes to paint himself a hero. If you haven't noticed this, look at both the Pato and Thiago Silva sagas. Both players were made to look as if they were leaving. Then suddenly, Silvio "convinces" them to stay. But it isn't that way, is it? Silvio sanctions these proposed transfers to rile up the fans. This is a distraction tactic. Now, if you're an Italian, you're familiar with furbizia, which is guile, cunning, trickiness. Berlusconi uses his own brand of it to shift focus away from the fact that we're not regularly signing world stars as we used to and focuses on star player. Then once the masses are all riled up, he negates said transfer and glory be! He's a hero and everyone adores him...

That is, everyone that doesn't have two eyes, two ears, and a high functioning brain. Those of us who are not fooled by this act have called for two things. Mind you, this is how desperate we are as tifosi as most of us would rather not have foreign intervention:

a.) Hand over the club to Barbara - Barbara Berlusconi, the daughter of Silvio, is an ambitious thinker. Even at the risk of displeasing her father, she speaks out against him to the media. Unlike her brothers, she would like to keep the club within the family and is set to be the future president. Barbara has been behind some of our most contributory transfers and is already talking of moving us to a new stadium if the San Siro is not bought out by the club itself. She understands that we need to spend money. Trying to function as a big club on a mid-level club mindset will get us nowhere. Her youth and ambition also means she wants to prove herself. Not just as a president, but as a woman in the game. She is a welcome change in the hearts of many Milanisti, myself included. We are all behind her taking the reins.

b.) Sell a portion of the club to the Arabs that were interested - Anyone that knows me knows that I'm not particularly keen on the way Manchester City do business or foreigners having a say in our club, but at this point in football, we will sink fast without investment. I, for one, am tired of Silvio Berlusconi's claims that the club needs to be financially responsible and set an example in this economy. As someone not of rich means, I can say that a.) little to none of us care about that and b.) our club actually winning would bring a smile to our faces and make our lives a little less mundane.

Montolivo is a start, but would he have been brought in if not a freebie? Aquilani was a good addition to Milan. Prior to his injury, he looked dangerous in his appearances. It is sad that Milan would not pay the peanuts for him and even went as far as to barely use him come second half of the season. A mistake that may have cost us the scudetto in matches that were lost due to lack of creativity.

Silvio needs to realise that discovering a new Kaka or finding another Nocerino will not come easy. Buying/loaning a bunch of cheap players from clubs like Chievo or worse also will not help our chances. We need to be looking to not only churn out good youngsters, but buying good ones and using them. We need to be looking to other top level clubs or highly hailed prospects.

There are a slew of players out there that Milan could've bought Silvio Berlusconi weren't being such a cheapskate. I can only hope Barbara Berlusconi takes over soon or gets the message all the fans have been shouting through her father's head. Otherwise, Milan will slip right back into being a side who is slightly above average, but not enough to be a world force.
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Diavolo
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PostSubject: Re: As Written by Diavolo   Tue 10 Jul 2012 - 19:03

Can We Trust UEFA?

With recent news of tv footage manipulation on the part of UEFA during the Italy v Germany match, many have started to question the legitimacy of the European FA itself. I, for one, have questioned this for years at this point.

If you don't know what happened, a German woman was shown crying right after Mario Balotelli scored. There was still half an hour left in the match, so for many, this was a strange reaction. The woman then came out and confessed she had been crying because she was moved by the national anthem. Local broadcasters then came forward and said UEFA had manipulated the footage.

The manufacturing of emotion is really no big deal. How many reality television shows do this? Many, if not all. But are they the governing body of what is arguably the world's best football confederation? Do they have a reputation of integrity, respect, and legitimacy to protect? No, but UEFA does.

I found UEFA to be a little suspicious when I noticed that in the same year we sold Kaka to Real Madrid, we suddenly have to play them in Champions League. Once is a coincidence, twice in consecutive years is suspicious. Each year, it was billed as former Milan start versus his old club. Was this a ploy to add drama to the event, thus bringing in more revenue? I think so. Some could say it was just a two-time coincidence that we were in their group for consecutive years.

We haggle Ibrahimovic from Barcelona and what do you know? We play them in Champions League. This is billed as Ibra vs Guardiola, the coach that didn't want him. Again, manufactured drama for the sake of bringing in revenue.

However, we must look deeper than headlines to a darker possibility. Imagine if what we thought was live was actually manufactured by UEFA. Champions League draws, for example, are done live. However, do we know for sure that this is live? Do we know for sure that they don't know who is going to face who? With the way football is going, I would not be surprised if UEFA want to ensure certain teams get through and bring in the top money, rather than newcomers coming in and taking on a not so great team in the final by virtue of the big teams having already eliminated each other and a bit a of luck.

If they wanted to truly be for the "integrity of competition," then surely there would be no seeding? It would all be random groups and whoever you got was who you got. So what if we had a group that was Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern. At least we would know that it was chance that they met, not the possibility that this was all fixed to appeal to the business part of the sport. Contrary to what he may say, we all know Platini is a businessman first and foremost these days and wants to keep the big teams on top (and yes, I include mine in that).

So can you trust UEFA? I know I certainly don't.
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