The Curva Sud have released an official statement suggesting that AC Milan are purposely trying to miss out on the preliminary stages of the Europa League next season.
The Rossoneri have picked up just one win in their last nine Serie A games, which in turn has seen them drop below Sassuolo into seventh place.
That wouldn’t be enough for them to qualify for the Europa League next season, with sixth place offering a qualifying route, although a win in the Coppa Italia final against Juventus on May 21 would see them feature in the competition with a direct route to the group stage.
A section of Milan supporters have now produced a controversial theory regarding their recent poor run of form, and it centres around the fact that the club has chosen participation in a lucrative summer pre-season tournament over the preliminary rounds of the Europa League.
“On Wednesday July 27, 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago,” the statement begins, as noted by Pianeta Milan.
“A normal friendly, a game like so many they play in the summer with a lot of tickets already on sale. However, a look at the calendar for the Europa League shows that the team that finishes sixth in Serie A, the spot that we are “chasing”, would be involved in the preliminary round on that very date.
“Is that a gross error on the part of our club that is in disarray? Or we can assume that the club has already decided to deliberately lose sixth place in favour of going on tour in the US?
“To us it seems clear that the second option is widely supported by the ridiculous results against teams lower than us in both squad and prestige.
“If the possibility of termination linked to the preliminary rounds does exist, there would be more revenue gained from playing a trophy for sponsors than playing against low-calibre teams in the Europa League.
“Our only lifeline is the final of the Coppa Italia, we’ve arrived in the final after many years, but the final was only the minimum goal given the path we had.
“The plan is to get to the Europa League only through the Coppa Italia, and if not renounce European competition for another year to make room for profitable but useless summer trophies.
“This is about the worst thing that can happen in football and in the history of Milan, as well as being a blatant mockery of the fans, because lets not forget that even people who attend a dirty theatre pay for a ticket.”
The statement goes on to slam the club hierarchy if there is in fact truth behind their theory, and they have once again called for the removal of vice-president Adriano Galliani, as well as for owner Silvio Berlusconi to sell.
Given their struggles on the pitch in recent years, the level of tension and frustration has been growing in the stands at the San Siro for some time, but this is evidently taking things to new extremes if in fact this is more than a mere coincidence.
Having sacked Sinisa Mihajlovic last month and replaced him with Cristian Brocchi, the Italian giants are expected to make another coaching change in the summer amid on-going speculation of a takeover from a group from China.
With so much uncertainty at every level, it remains to be seen what changes are made this summer. Losing sixth place could be a ploy, but it certainly would be a controversial one even though it’s difficult to imagine the players showing such unprofessionalism in being involved in such a plan.