Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis recorded a video message assuring “clubs are not just companies that play football, they have a role in the community. We will be remembered for how we behave” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gazidis is taking an increasingly central role in the running of the club, after director Zvonimir Boban was sacked for publicly criticising the CEO, claiming he had “gone behind our backs” to contact coach Ralf Rangnick.
“Our club’s biggest priority is very simple: the health and safety of our players, staff, fans and our community as a whole,” said Gazidis in a rare statement read out in Italian.
“We also have a duty to look to the future of our great club, to ensure we overcome this crisis in a healthy and strong way. And we will do so on solid foundations. We are actively engaging at the highest levels with the sporting authorities, both national and international, to handle football through this emergency.
“Football is a source of joy, which is very important, and we will do our part in rebuilding hope and joy, the pride and solidarity, when we overcome this terrible moment.
“Clubs are not just companies that play football, they have a role in the community and represent values without which football would be nothing.
“We will be remembered for how we behave in these days. We want you to feel that AC Milan is beside you, we want to make you proud.”
Lombardy is the epicentre of the pandemic in Italy, but the tone and wording of this statement seemed more in line with the recent controversy in England over Liverpool furloughing their non-playing staff.
Instead, the Italian clubs have focused on helping those in need by raising funds for medical supplies, using their infrastructure to organise and deliver food or medicine to people in the lockdown areas.
Milan’s owners, represented by the Singer family, donated $100,000 to the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.
Il messaggio di Ivan Gazidis ai rossoneri
Il Club non si ferma e fa della distanza una forza per essere più vicino a chi lotta contro il Covid-19 e a tutti i nostri tifosihttps://t.co/3qXVw5ajaa#SempreMilanpic.twitter.com/cXDWsDghAk
— AC Milan (@acmilan)April 5, 2020
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