AC Milan fires executive Boban after rogue interview

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The rebuild of AC Milan continues after chief football executive Zvonimir Boban after the Croatian gave an interview Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport in which he criticized both the new owner Elliott and current CEO Ivan Gazidis.

Elliott, an American-based hedge fund, took over AC Milan in 2018 after Li Yonghong defaulted on a hefty loan payment. Boban decided to go after ownership’s communication across club leadership, saying in his interview, “It needs to be precise in terms of the budget and goals. We don’t know what our margins are.”

He also went after former Arsenal and current Milan chief Gazidis for his pursuit of Ralf Rangnick as coach for next season, saying, “It’s disrespectful and not the Milan style.” Boban left his position as a FIFA executive to join AC Milan less than a calendar year ago, but the club confirmed on Saturday it had terminated his contract “with immediate effect.”

“We thank Zvone for his efforts over the past nine months and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Gazidis said. “We must now turn our attention to football and the important games to come. (Coach) Stefano Pioli and his staff are doing an exceptional job growing the performances of the team every week and will have our full support as they continue this work, in what is a difficult time for the country.”

AC Milan voluntarily withdrew from the Europa League this season to avoid Financial Fair Play penalties. The club currently sits seventh in the Serie A table 12 points back of the Champions League places. They host Genoa at the San Siro on Sunday, scheduled to take place in front of an empty stadium after the league banned fans indefinitely over fears of coronavirus.