It's all going wrong for Ivan Gazidis at AC Milan

Things aren't going so well for Arsenal's former chief executuve

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Ivan Gazidis attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Ivan Gazidis attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

AC Milan lost 5-0 to Atalanta on Sunday with Ivan Gazidis overseeing the club’s joint-heaviest defeat in Serie A and that’s not all that’s gone wrong for him since he jumped Arsenal’s ship for more money.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 23: Ivan Gazidis attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
MILAN, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 23: Ivan Gazidis attends The Best FIFA Football Awards 2019 at the Teatro Alla Scala on September 23, 2019 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

It’s an extensive history, that of AC Milan.

They are a Behemoth of a club with a trophy list longer than most others in world football.

When they poached Ivan Gazidis from Arsenal, many of their fans seemed delighted, for some reason.

Of course, Gazidis isn’t directly responsible for what happens on the pitch any more than Raul Sanllehi is at Arsenal, but since Gazidis left Arsenal to double his wages in Italy while working for his mate, Paul Singer, it’s not gone so well on or off it for the 55-year-old.

“It’s been a fantastic year which has been crowned by today’s performance,” said Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini after the game. His opposite number Stefano Pioli said, “We approached the match in the wrong way and you just can’t afford to do that against this team.

“This cannot be the real Milan. Today’s performance was seriously insufficient. I expected a reaction from us in the second half but it didn’t come, in fact we were even worse.”

Sound familiar?

BERGAMO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 16: Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis looks on before the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on February 16, 2019 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
BERGAMO, ITALY – FEBRUARY 16: Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis looks on before the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on February 16, 2019 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Could it be that there is just something about Gazidis himself that infects clubs with mediocrity?

AC Milan are currently 10th in Serie A during Gazidis’s first full season with the club.

They have won just three games from 10 since new manager, Pioli, was hired in October after Gennaro Gattuso resigned (before being sacked) and the first replacement Gazidis employed, Marco Giampaolo, was sacked after seven games.

Pioli’s appointment was met with fury from a section of Milan fans, who were expecting Luciano Spalletti to take over before a last-minute change of heart at board level.

That also sounds familiar too, huh?

Arsenal’s finances demand we ask: What did Ivan Gazidis do?

Ivan Gazidis and AC Milan – A timeline

BERGAMO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) AC Milan Sporting Strategy & Development Director Paolo Maldini, AC Milan Club Sporting Director Leonardo De Araujo and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis look on before the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on February 16, 2019 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
BERGAMO, ITALY – FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) AC Milan Sporting Strategy & Development Director Paolo Maldini, AC Milan Club Sporting Director Leonardo De Araujo and Chief Executive Officer Ivan Gazidis look on before the Serie A match between Atalanta BC and AC Milan at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia on February 16, 2019 in Bergamo, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

13 July 2018 – First report emerges claiming AC Milan have approached Ivan Gazidis.

17 July 2018AC Milan hierarchy fly to London.

AC Milan’s previous 5-0 Serie A defeat came in 1998 against Roma. They have only lost by more than five goals once – 6-0 to Ajax in the second leg of the UEFA Super Cup final in 1974

26 July 2018 – Milan still expect Gazidis to join despite Arsenal issuing a statement saying he won’t be leaving and is ‘fully committed to taking Arsenal forward’.

28 July 2018Bloomberg confirm Gazidis will join AC Milan although initial start date is given as 1 September.

1 August 2018 – Gazidis tells Arsenal board about AC Milan offer.

18 August 2018AC Milan confirm final Gazidis decision will be made within the ‘next few weeks’.

22 August 2018 – Gazidis’s delay in making a decision is said to be causing ’embarrassment’ in Milan.

28 August 2018 – Italian media report Gazidis will earn €4m-a-year in Milan.

13 September 2018Gazidis finally makes a decision.

18 September 2018Gazidis finally announces he is leaving Arsenal for AC Milan after relentless speculation and denials.

18 September 2018Arsenal appoint a head of football and managing director in place of the departing Gazidis

1 December 2018 – Gazidis begins his new role as chief executive with AC Milan, owned by Elliott Management, a hedge fund run by his friend, Paul Singer. He doubles his wages.

8 April 2019Gazidis leaving Arsenal starts to make more sense

19 June 2019Marco Giampaolo is hired on a two-year contract after he terminates his contract with Sampdoria.

4 August 2019AC Milan pay Empoli £14.4m for for former Arsenal youngster, Ismael Bennancer, who Gazidis had sold to Empoli for £900k. Arsenal earn an additional £435k.

8 October 2019Marco Giampaolo is fired.

9 October 2019Stefano Pioli is hired and AC Milan win one of their first six games.

22 December 2019 – AC Milan lose 5-0 at Atalanta

Ivan Gazidis time in charge as chief executive of AC Milan at time of writing – 387 days.