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Tomorrow night Milan play a crucial Champions League tie away against French side Auxerre. A win could ensure Milan’s progress to the next round, whilst a loss or even a draw could put the club’s qualification for the next round at risk.

For Max Allegri and his revitalised Milan side, everything is rosy red on the domestic front. For two weeks now the Rossoneri have occupied top spot and last weekend extended their lead after beating Fiorentina at home thanks to another Zlatan Ibrahimovic winner.

But things have not gone according to plan in the Champions League. A win in the opening round against Auxerre was followed by an uninspiring draw in Holland to Ajax. After a humiliating loss at the Bernabeu against Mourinho’s Real Madrid the Rossoneri almost snatched a tremendous victory in the return leg though could only come away with a point.

As a result the Rossoneri have much work to do to qualify for the next round but qualify they must.

Milan’s much publicised financial difficulties in recent seasons have affected the team’s performances on the pitch and results. The club has not won a trophy since 2007. The financial rewards of progressing to the latter stages of the Champions League are, therefore, a source of potential revenue the club simply cannot afford to go without.

To be more specific about the potential sums of money that can be earned from progressing to the latter stages, here is a rough idea. By just qualifying for the next round, Milan can potentially earn about 30 million Euros with progression to the quarter finals yielding an estimated 5 million Euros extra. Winners are estimated to bring in around 40 million Euros, though even the most optimistic supporter will have little hopes this season that Milan can end up with this amount.

The point is that it is crucial for Milan to prolong their Champions League campaign as long as possible. But it is not just for purely financial reasons either. The added experience of knockout football for some of Milan’s lesser experienced players is another major benefit, albeit immeasurabl.

Given Milan’s lack of squad depth, pushing on the Champions League will threaten their Scudetto challenge. Of this there is no doubting. As much as it would be nice to ensure that the Rossoneri supersede their rivals Inter in the race for the Scudetto, there is a financial reality here that must take priority. Pragmatism is what is needed.

Though, given how things have unfolded so far in Serie A, even if Milan do continue to battle on two fronts, the likes of Inter, Roma and Lazio still look long bets to win the title, or even be in with a chance come the latter stages of the season. Perhaps the biggest threat to Milan is Juventus who have at least more depth relative to the competition (apart from Inter when half the team is not injured) and are a side that is continually improving.

A couple of signings in the January transfer window could eliminate any such concerns for Milan. However, this seems unlikely as much as it would be desirable.

Max Allegri is perhaps content to focus on Serie A. Indeed, playing a full strength team without resting key players the Saturday before a crucial match does give the indication that this is exactly what he is doing. He is not unwise to think like this, for it is a long shot for Milan to win the Champions League this season given the strength of the competition but the Serie A, on current accounts, looks very achievable.

But Milan is a club that’s reputation has been built on its European success. For this reason amongst others aforementioned, no matter the situation it is a club that should always be pushing for continental success. A push on it must.

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One Response so far.

  1. Walker says:

    all is well will the victory over Ajax nice result and… a clean sheet for the keeper.

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