Salvatore Ferragamo creative director Paul Andrews: ‘I’m totally changing everything’

It was a brave choice on the part of Lemmi given that Andrew had never before designed ready-to-wear, let alone men’s clothing. “For me, design is …

There’s always a moment during men’s fashion month – the merry-go-round of shows and presentations in London, Milan, Florence and Paris – when the accumulated buyers and members of the press collectively pause and feel thankful to be doing the jobs that they do. Some seasons, it might be the unveiling of an extraordinary shoe (remember when the furry Princetown slippers first flopped down the Gucci runway in January 2015? Ye gods!); others, it might be as simple as a fantastic brand-hosted meal (even the most uninspiring round of menswear shows can be lifted by a plate of pasta al telefono from Milanese bistro Bice); and sometimes, if we’re really lucky, it might be an amazing show, an entire collection so zeitgeist-defining and fresh in perspective that it takes the breath away.

For the AW20 season show, that moment came at 11am on Sunday 12 January within the monastic surrounds of Milan’s Rotonda Della Besana. Paul Andrew, the nascent British creative director of Salvatore Ferragamo, mounted his second men’s-focused outing for the brand. Buyers nodded in silent approval – eyebrows raised and mouths turned down – as the bobby pin-thin models walked past, while influencers Instagrammed feverishly about the looks they most loved. Even this magazine’s inscrutable Editor-In-Chief, Dylan Jones, was effusive in his praise. “That was great,” he whispered in my ear as the show’s thumping soundtrack died away. “We should write about him.”

© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com

An ultra-modern paean to all things leather, Andrew’s AW20 collection was a hard-edged collection with a soft, supple heart. Slick napa trousers in burnt caramel rubbed hems with tonal, heavy-gauge sweaters, while black leather T-shirts were teamed with trousers cut from the same fabric. Other highlights included a leather one-piece that had a sexed-up sewage worker vibe about it (below) and an oversized nana cardigan made from the finest cashmere. These were clothes imbued with a certain Italian elegance, yes, but also a new sense of modernity never before seen on the Ferragamo runway. What’s more, Andrew managed to dextrously walk the line between Ferragamo’s leather-working tradition and his own, considerably more contemporary vision. No small feat, given that Ferragamo has, over the past four decades or so, established itself as something of a high-luxury all-rounder.

Indeed, type “#Ferragamo” into the search function on Instagram and take a scroll through the 12.4 million posts that pop up. A high-colour mishmash of luxury pool sliders, OOTDs, Nigerian shoe resellers and Chinese influencers wearing the brand’s classic Gancini belts, it’s a convenient way to get an insight into the extraordinarily wide bandwidth with which the 93-year-old Florentine label operates.

Compare said algorithmic gathering with that of, say, #BottegaVeneta, which simmers to the surface countless moody-hued shots of the brand’s now iconic woven Cassette bag and girls in clompy shoes. Or, indeed, take a look at #Gucci, which instantly made my phone screen look like a pixelated G-G monogram rainbow. By contrast, Ferragamo’s product range is as wide as its customer base and that is as much a blessing for Andrew as it is a curse.

‘I’m totally changing everything: when we show, how we show, how much we show. It all has to change’

“Everyone from 18 to 80 is buying Ferragamo,” Andrew tells me when we meet over Zoom in the middle of the UK’s Covid-19-induced lockdown. Andrew is in his flat in Florence and his springy blond hair (which is clearly longer than he would like it to be) is brushed as flat as the vowels in his transatlantic burr. He also seems relaxed – or as relaxed as one can hope to be when being -interrogated over video call with an infernal international delay. “You’ve got super-conservative old ladies buying their Vara Bow shoes and then you’ve got young African-American hip-hop guys buying the Gancini belts,” he says. “And then you’ve got all that’s in between.”

Appointed as creative director of the entire Ferragamo brand – which comprises womenswear, menswear, accessories, shoes and, of course, belts – in early 2019, 41-year-old Andrew’s ascent into fashion’s upper echelons has been as smooth as it’s been speedy. Raised in the Home Counties by his upholsterer-to-royalty father and technology executive mother, Andrew’s childhood was an average, if creatively infused, one. “Growing up in Berkshire in the 1980s I was always begging my parents to take me into London to watch the amazing skyscrapers going up in Canary Wharf,” he tells me. “Afterwards, I’d go home and draw them in super graphic detail.

© Photo: Alessandro Lucioni / Gorunway.com

“Everyone thought I was going to be an architect, but I remember an architect friend of my mum’s came over and she told me that it can be decades before you see anything you’ve designed come to fruition – and sometimes never at all. That depressed me so much that I fell into fashion,” he says, laughing. “I started buying fashion magazines and plastering the images all over my wall, much to the chagrin of my parents, and footwear just seemed like an interesting combination of those two interests. The way you think about and construct footwear is much the same as you’d think about designing a building.”

Naturally, Andrew went on to study fashion and footwear design at the Berkshire College Of Art And Design (now Reading College), where his graduate collection caught the attention of buyer and consultant Yasmin Sewell, who introduced him to the design team at Alexander McQueen. An apprenticeship at the British label ensued (“Though this was in the 1990s, when there was no cash, so at some point my dad said I had to get a job that actually paid money!”), but it was really a subsequent trip to the States that sealed Andrew’s fate. “American Vogue ran a story and invited me to come to meet some designers who’d asked Anna [Wintour] about me,” he says.

‘Men’s collections are about archetypes: soldiers, surfers, bikers…’

What followed were stints working in the shoe and accessories departments of arch-American super-brands Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. It was in 2012, however, the year that Andrew founded his eponymous footwear label, in New York, that his star really entered the ascendant. “I did women’s shoes first and then I launched men’s a couple of years later,” he says quickly, brushing over his achievements – from what I can gauge of Andrew through the low-res medium of Zoom, he seems unassuming, shy almost. “And then I won the 2014 CFDA [Council Of Fashion Designers Of America] award for my work.”

And what work, minimal yet sculptural. At his own brand, Andrew specialised in grown-up stiletto boots, low-key kitten heel mules and architecturally infused pumps for women, while for the guys the look was as chunky as it was serviceable. I bought a pair of Andrew’s glossy oxblood leather loafers with two-inch platform soles around five years ago (they give just the right amount of edge to a classic black suit) and I still wear them to this day.

It was two years after his CFDA win, in 2016, that Ferragamo came knocking. “I went to Florence and met the family and the executive committee,” he tells me. “And I decided to join as creative director of women’s shoes.” A pause. “It wasn’t until a year ago that I took the hard but necessary decision to pause my own brand, because the stress of managing two companies was really too much.” Galling though Andrew’s sacrifice undoubtedly must have been, it’s easy to see why the Ferragamo family chose the designer to helm the most important pillar of its brand (a brand that currently boasts 654 stores in more than 90 countries). The similarities between Andrew and its late patriarch, founder Salvatore Ferragamo, are difficult to ignore.

Born in 1898 in the southern Italian village of Bonito, Ferragamo – the eleventh of 14 children – cut his teeth as a teenage footwear apprentice in Naples before moving to America to hone his craft. In 1927 Ferragamo returned to Italy and founded his eponymous footwear company in Florence. It was during this period that the young designer started producing the soaringly innovative architectural shoes with which the brand made its name in the middle of the 20th century. Ferragamo’s focus was on comfort as much as design (“Elegance and comfort are not incompatible and whoever maintains the contrary simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” he famously once said) and his shoes became icons of on-foot innovation at the time.

‘You’ll never see me do massive sneakers with “Ferragamo” on the side. It seems lazy’

Scallop-shaped boots made of antelope leather were finished with horned uppers and platform wedges came complete with towering rainbow soles. These were shoes that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the McQueen catwalks of the mid-2000s – or, for that matter, lining the shelves of a Paul Andrew store in 2014. “What Ferragamo did in the first half of the century was really beyond avant-garde,” Andrew tells me. “In the years after he died, the company became more of a powerhouse, more of a conservative heritage brand, and part of what I’m trying to do is find the balance” – he pauses, looking down – “introducing the ‘fashion’ side of things while maintaining classicism.”

In 2017, Andrew was promoted to director of the entire womenswear division at Ferragamo, where his capacious duster coats crafted from syrupy leathers and simple architectural shirts quickly caught the hawkish eyes and sizeable bank accounts of the coiffed European elite. But our story really begins at the moment early last year when Andrew was appointed to his current role and menswear entered his repertoire.

“Paul is the natural creative leader of the Salvatore Ferragamo house as we enter a new phase of evolution and growth,” said Ferragamo’s chief executive officer, Micaela Le Divelec Lemmi, at the time. It was a brave choice on the part of Lemmi given that Andrew had never before designed ready-to-wear, let alone men’s clothing. “For me, design is design,” says Andrew, when I probe. “The reason they made me the creative director of Ferragamo women in the first place was because I had such a clear vision of what that woman should look like and it wasn’t related to the shoes I was designing and that we were actually selling,” he continues. “In the conversations I was having with my menswear design director, Guillaume [Meilland], I realised we had a vision for the new Ferragamo man and how to bring the brand forward. We are a shoes and accessories brand, but I have grand ambitions to change that. Why should we not have more success in ready-to-wear? It’s already starting to happen: we’ve had great responses from our retail partners and it’s already expanding in volume into the stores.”

Andrew mounted his first menswear collection (SS20) for the brand in Florence – during the Pitti Uomo menswear fair – on a sticky June day last year. Shown as part of the womenswear collection it was a crisp-edged capsule of utilitarian cargo pants and flak vests in sotto voce hues. Clean and approachable, with a similar kind of soft luxury to Hermès and Bottega Veneta, the collection, which also featured lambskin trousers (as one would expect from a leather goods brand) aplenty, set a cautiously optimistic tone.

It was his aforementioned AW20 offering, however, that really caught the world’s attention. And it’s about this collection, which has hit stores now, that Andrew is his most effusive: “I think the ambition of the company is to build on the strength of our shoes and accessories and to keep that going, but they could also see that we were already doing very expensive fashion shows so why not turn that into a commercial endeavour rather than just a showcase for the shoes and bags?” Andrew questions. “My idea is to bring in a guy who isn’t just a Wall Street business dude buying a briefcase and a conservative pair of shoes. I also want to bring in a younger fashion client who’s going to be the future of Ferragamo.”

‘The family is engaged and very open about what is happening today in fashion’

There’s an art to visualising the man for whom one is designing clothes, to getting under the skin of who he is and what he wants, and it’s an art that, if mastered, can make a fashion company an awful lot of money very quickly indeed. Alessandro Michele took Gucci from low-billions bit player to global superbrand in a few short years by peddling endless colourful confections for his own magpie-esque man, while Kim Jones at Dior has got the showy-yet-chic profile of his male customer down pat. Who, I wonder, will Andrew’s uomo ideale turn out to be? “When you think about a women’s collection, it tends to be more about a period of time – like it’s going to be more 1960s silhouettes or more 1970s shapes. But with men’s it’s never really about that,” he tells me. “It’s all about archetypes for guys. So for this season I set out my masculine archetypes: the soldier, the surfer, the racing car driver, the sailor, the biker and the businessman. And when you look at the sartorial codes of those characters, that’s kind of what you get with the Fall/Winter 2020 collection. It’s like he’s wearing a surfer’s pant with a businessman’s coat or a biker’s overall with a soldier’s jacket. When you know those are the references, you see them come out in the collection.”

It’s a clever move. Where women are often more likely to buy wholesale into new trends and concepts early on – sophisticated in their ability to pick out what they like and ignore what they don’t – men, traditionally speaking at least, tend to be less willing to deviate from what they know. There’s a reason, after all, that the military aesthetic comes back around in menswear pretty much every season and it’s the same reason you’ll never attend an Autumn/Winter fashion week in Milan and not see at least five versions of a peacoat. Men love things that function and it’s an added bonus if they look good too.

What’s more, it’s a trick that will make the great coats, overalls and double-breasted suits that punctuated Andrew’s second solo menswear show seem all the more desirable to the real men buying those briefcases and conservative shoes in Ferragamo’s stores.

Ferragamo is, by any definition, a fashion megalith. On 31 December 2019 the company registered an annual turnover of £1.23 billion. With much of this income being the result of Ferragamo’s extraordinarily wide customer base, how does Andrew plan to strike the balance, I wonder. “It’s not easy,” he says with a smile, dragging his fingers through his hair. “The collection has to be constructed with all these different consumer groups in mind and you can’t lean too far one way or the other in case you alienate certain people, but I think we’ve done a good job of balancing the classic with the contemporary. There’s space for products that are going to relate to a fashion consumer more like us,” he adds, gesticulating in my direction down the barrel of the lens.

Does that mean Andrew, like every other fashion designer in the world right now, will be producing a chunky dad sneaker for Ferragamo? “I’m definitely not into the idea of sportswear at Ferragamo. I don’t think it’s a reference that works for the house. You’re never going to see me do hoodies and sweatpants and massive sneakers with ‘Ferragamo’ on the side,” he says, suddenly serious (or at least I think he’s being serious; it might just be my screen glitching). “It just seems lazy and inappropriate for a brand with this sort of heritage and history. So, for me, it’s more about twisting the classics. And I’ve been more inspired by workwear – that’s come more into the collection.”

‘My concept now is to do less but better, to produce pieces that stand the test of time’

It’s no secret that being the creative director of a major fashion company is a stressful business. Whispers of mental fragility and feuds circulate the upper echelons of fashion’s creative elite like smoke around the papal chimney. The problems are often only heightened when the brand for which said creative director works is still owned and controlled by the family who founded it. British designer Jonathan Saunders struggled as chief creative officer of Diane Von Furstenberg, where the namesake designer was still very much involved, leaving in 2017 after just a few seasons; Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent famously feuded when the former was appointed creative director of the latter’s eponymous brand. How, I ask Andrew, is he finding working for a company where key members of the namesake family are still so present.

His answer, when it comes, is as measured as the positioning of knick-knacks on the midcentury shelf framed behind his head. “The family is very involved,” he says with a wry smile. “There are several members of the family that are still involved that were part of creating the Ferragamo business at the very beginning. Mr Ferruccio Ferragamo, who is the president of the company, Salvatore’s son, he’s the one responsible for building it into a billion-dollar business, with his mother,” says Andrew, slowly. “They’re very engaged and it’s great to have their feedback and insight because they built this company.” He pauses. “But they did bring me on as the creative director and one has to inform them about what is happening today in fashion. They’re very open about that and there’s a really great back-and-forth.”

Zoom has just informed me that Andrew and I are almost at the end of our time together, but given that we’re in the process of entering the worst global recession in anyone’s lifetime and that fashion has taken a particularly hard hit during the pandemic – with production stalled and show systems irreparably disrupted – I’m eager to hear how Andrew thinks his industry and, more specifically, Ferragamo’s role within it will shift once things return to normal, whatever that normal may be.

“I’m not at liberty to speak about it much yet, but I’m totally changing everything: when we show, how we show, how much we show. It all has to change,” Andrew tumbles. “The way we worked before was crippling. It was broken. We worked every hour God sent, but for what?” He shrugs. “My concept now, which is totally backed up by the executive team, is to do less but better. Our place in the landscape is to continue producing pieces of a really high quality and level of craftsmanship and things that will stand the test of time.”

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A different AC Milan

In order to finalize the deal, American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation provided Li with a loan of €303M (€180M to complete the payment …

Since the last decade, the story of AC Milan has been frustrating. The once-mighty force in club football showed signs of decay and as time progressed, their pathetic state only hurt the fans, who became fans of club football back in the late 80s. It was the Rossoneri of Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, and Rijkaard, which unleashed a new era in the history of Rossoneri.

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Milan became the favourites of many and it was that generation in the 90s, who supported Milan passionately and whenever they took the field, they believed, the Rossoneri would not let them down.

Big guns like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Juventus, Inter, or other European Giant Killers were tamed by the spirited display of boys from San Siro.

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But all of a sudden there was a hiccup – an ugly transition showed up and Milan were trapped in that for a long time.

But it seems that a different wind is blowing in Milan right now.

The glorious past

On February 20, 1986, entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi, who owns Fininvest and Mediaset, acquired the club and saved it from bankruptcy after investing vast amounts of money, appointing rising manager Arrigo Sacchi at the helm of the Rossoneri and signing Dutch internationals Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, and Frank Rijkaard.

The Dutch trio added an attacking impetus to the team and complimented the club’s Italian internationals Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta, and Roberto Donadoni. Under Sacchi, Milan won its first Scudetto in nine years in the 1987–88 season.

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The following year, the club won its first European Cup in two decades, beating Romanian club Steaua București 4–0 in the final. Milan retained their title with a 1–0 win over Benfica a year later and was the last team to win back-to-back European Cups until Real Madrid’s win in 2017.

The Milan team of 1989–90, nicknamed the “Immortals” in the Italian media, has been voted the best club side of all time in a global poll of experts conducted by World Soccer magazine.

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After Sacchi left Milan in 1991, he was replaced by the club’s former player Fabio Capello whose team won three consecutive Serie A titles between 1992 and 1994, a spell which included a 58-match unbeaten run in Serie A (which earned the team the label “the Invincibles”), and back-to-back UEFA Champions League final appearances in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

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A year after losing 1–0 to Marseille in the 1993 Champions League final, Capello’s team reached its peak in one of Milan’s most memorable matches of all time, the famous 4–0 win over Barcelona in the 1994 Champions League final.

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Capello’s side went on to win the 1995–96 league title before he left to manage Real Madrid in 1996.

In 1998–99, after a two-year period of decline, Milan lifted its 16th championship in the club’s centenary season.

Milan captain Paolo Maldini lifting the European Cup after they won the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League.

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Milan’s next period of success came under another former player, Carlo Ancelotti. After his appointment in November 2001, Ancelotti took Milan to the 2003 Champions League final, where they defeated Juventus on penalties to win the club’s sixth European Cup.

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The team then won the Scudetto in 2003–04 before reaching the 2005 Champions League final, where they were beaten by Liverpool on penalties despite leading 3–0 at half-time. Two years later, the two teams met again in the 2007 Champions League final, with Milan winning 2–1 to lift the title for the seventh time.

The team then won its first FIFA Club World Cup in December 2007.

The lean-patch

In 2009, after becoming Milan’s second longest-serving manager with 420 matches overseen, Ancelotti left the club to take over as manager at Chelsea.

During this period, the club was involved in the Calciopoli scandal, where five teams were accused of fixing matches by selecting favourable referees.

A police inquiry excluded any involvement of Milan managers, but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) unilaterally decided that it had sufficient evidence to charge Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani. As a result, Milan was initially punished with a 15-point deduction and was banned from the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League. An appeal saw that penalty reduced to eight points, which allowed the club to retain its Champions League participation.

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Following the aftermath of Calciopoli, local rivals Internazionale dominated Serie A, winning four Scudetti.

However, with the help a strong squad boasting players such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Alexandre Pato joining many of the veterans of the club’s mid-decade European successes, Milan recaptured the Scudetto in the 2010–11 Serie A season, their first since the 2003–04 season, and 18th overall.

Then the decline started

They failed to qualify for European competitions for a few years.

Fininvest, the holding company of the club also signed a preliminary agreement with Bee Taechaubol to sell a 48% stake of the club for €480 million in 2015, after a net loss of €91.3 million in 2014 financial year and subsequent financial contribution from Fininvest.

However, the deal collapsed.

On August 5, 2016, a new preliminary agreement was signed with a Chinese investment management company Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. in which Fininvest sold 99.93% stake of Milan for about €520 million, plus the refurbishment of the club financial debt of €220 million.

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On 13 April 2017, the deal was completed and Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux became the new direct parent company of the club.

In order to finalize the deal, American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation provided Li with a loan of €303M (€180M to complete the payment to Fininvest and €123M issued directly to the club).

Young Li. Image Courtesy: Goal
Young Li. Image Courtesy: Goal

On July 10, 2018, Li failed to keep up with his loan repayment plan, neglecting to deposit a €32-million installment on time in order to refinance the €303-million loan debt owed to the American hedge fund. As a result, In July 2018, chairman Li Yonghong’s investment vehicle Rossoneri Champion Inv. Lux. was removed as the shareholder of Rossoneri Sport Inv. Lux., the direct parent company of the club, making the investment vehicle majority controlled by Elliott Management Corporation the sole shareholder of Rossoneri Sport Inv. Lux.

Milan qualified for the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage as the sixth-placed team of the 2017–18 Serie A, but were originally banned by UEFA from European competition due to violations of Financial Fair Play regulations for failure to break-even.[46] Milan appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and was overturned on July 20, 2018.

On June 28, 2019, Milan was excluded from the Europa League for violating Financial Fair Play regulations for the years 2014–2017 and 2015–2018.

Chopping and changing of managers – Stefano Pioli arrives

Gennaro Gattuso left AC Milan after serving a brief period without enough success. Still, Milan invested faith in Gattuso, but on May 20, 2019, he departed Milan by mutual consent. Marco Giampaolo replaced him and left soon.

Buongiorno!

There is no doubt Paolo Maldini is the technical director and Frederic Massara is the sporting director for next season.

Confirmed 👍 https://t.co/slcl21GFhFpic.twitter.com/3ij6M3vTCE

— 👍SS (@semo33x) July 23, 2020

Stefano Pioli was appointed as the manager with fewer expectations.

Meanwhile, the past greats like Paolo Maldini came back to fix things.

But the desired results were not coming.

The Milan think-tank brought back Zlatan Ibrahimovic from MLS on December 27, 2019, five days after the humiliating defeat against Atalanta by 5-0.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joins AC Milan till end of season.

Good deal? 🤫 pic.twitter.com/kPVSNlGlB8

— NairaBET (@NairaBET) December 27, 2019

The day the transfer was announced, the Rossoneri sat 11th in Serie A and had scored the fifth-fewest goals in the league, with 16. Krzysztof Piatek, who would go on to join Hertha Berlin in January, and defender Theo Hernandez were their top scorers in Italy’s top tier with four goals each.

Change of wind?

The COVID-19 Panemic halted Football in Europe and resumed.

Neither Juventus nor Inter nor Napoli nor AS Roma showed signs of improvement, but to the astonishment of everyone and those fans of late 80s, the Rossoneri displayed brilliantly, which included a lot of fighting spirit and hunger to win matches.

The team, which was humiliated by Atalanta last year, halted their progress last night and it indicated, a different wind is blowing in Milan.

Only Atalanta and Juventus have claimed more points in 2020 than AC Milan as they are trying hard to revive the glory days of the past.

I00Bra! 💯 @Ibra_official 🔴⚫🔝#SempreMilanpic.twitter.com/hl0GvWWp36

— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 17, 2020

Ibrahimovic’s signing has proven a masterstroke, but it’s not just all about Zlatan.

The new signings from last summer are beginning to reap the rewards of a natural winner of the 38-year-old’s ilk in the squad as they begin to click in Italy.

Without a doubt, Zlatan is the top-rated player of Milan according to WhoScored, but in a game, where the efforts of a just an individual are not enough to reach the desired place, it requires the efforts of others as well.

– Donnarumma

– Hakan Calhanoglu

– Theo Hernandez

– Leao

– Franck Kessie

– Ismael Bennacer

These 6 players have been brilliant after the break. Zlatan and Pioli have been an inspiration, but it is hard to undermine the efforts of these guys. #ForzaMilanpic.twitter.com/SO3jJeNUy7

— cricketsoccer (@cricketsoccer) July 22, 2020

The likes of Theo Hernandez, Franck Kessie, Ante Rebic, Leao, Ismael Bennacer, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Donnarumma played a key role in Milan’s revolution after the break.

The Algerian Bennacer’s versatility in the midfield as a holding-midfielder, playmaker, and central-attacking customer helped Milan to mobilize their stagnant midfield. According to WhoScored, a success rate of 80.2% is the sixth-best of the 148 players to have attempted 25 or more dribbles in Serie A this term.

Ismaël Bennacer in Serie A this season:

✅28 games

✅1 goal

✅64 passes per 90

✅88% pass accuracy

✅2.6 tackles won per 90

✅2 interceptions per 90

✅1 key pass per 90

✅2.8 successful dribbles per 90

Great stats, great season. Heart & brain of AC Milan’s midfield. 🔴⚫️🇩🇿 pic.twitter.com/l1YqHL99ed

— Football Talent Scout – Jacek Kulig (@FTalentScout) July 21, 2020

On the other hand, Ivory Coast’s Kessie adds fule to the work of Bennacer with his brilliant ability to breakthrough and exploit the spaces.

Salvo 8 minutos (cambios vs Lecce y Lazio con el partido sentenciado), Franck Kessié ha jugado TODOS los minutos posibles tras el parón. Y ahí sigue, montado sobre una Vespa en cada encuentro.

Mastodóntico ✊🏿 pic.twitter.com/0KcIORyEEx

— Irati Prat (@IratiPrat1) July 24, 2020

Ante Rebic, a loan capture from Eintracht Frankfurt last summer, has been making the most of his chance to consolidate a regular starting spot, particularly in 2020. As WhoScored says, all 11 league goals he has scored this season have come this calendar year; only Cristiano Ronaldo (20) and Ciro Immobile (13) have scored more than the Croat in Serie A this year.

📊Opta Paolo: In 2020, and excluding penalties, only Erling Håland(13 goals) and Robert Lewandowski(12 goals) have scored more goals than Ante Rebić (11 goals) in the top 5 leagues. 👏 pic.twitter.com/i716amMDwK

— TeamMilanAC (@TeamMilanAC) July 18, 2020

His inclusion in the AC Milan XI has a positive impact on the side, too, with their goals scored per game record rising from 1.23 to 2.17 when he features from the off.

Simon Kjaer, who joined on loan at the turn of the year and has formed a solid partnership with Alessio Romagoli, has played a key role in a defence that has shipped just 19 league goals this year; only Fiorentina (17) have conceded fewer in 2020.

AC Milan’s attack since the restart has been on 🔥 pic.twitter.com/H4xb4Fogpm

— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) July 22, 2020

The total shots conceded per game have come down from 12.4 to 10.8.

Pioli has concentrated more on defensive solidity.

WhoScored says, before last night’s match against Atalanta, In attack, the number of key passes per game for AC Milan has risen from 11.8 to 13.5, which has also resulted in an increase of shots per game, from 14.7 to 18.1.

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However, with a negligible increase in possession, from 54.7% to 55.7%, coupled with the number of times possession has been won in the midfield third rising from 22.8 to 27.3, that in itself the highest in Serie A this year, shows they are winning the ball with greater regularity and moving it to the more creative players quicker, who in turn are able to present the forwards with the chances to go for goal.

All these factors have made Zlatan and Rebic look better up-front.

All together 🔛🔴⚫#SempreMilanpic.twitter.com/yh2xz6RD3O

— AC Milan (@acmilan) July 23, 2020

WhoScored says, using the 4-2-3-1 formation more frequently, there is a solid midfield base in Bennacer and Kessie. There is less pressure on Hernandez to provide the width down the left, which while he does well, means that AC Milan have more creative options aside from the Frenchman to call upon. And with Ibrahimovic spearheading the charge with aplomb, those associated with AC Milan will be delighted to see that their investments are finally reaping rewards.

Pioli has been doing a great job so far and the rumor of Ralf Rangnick joining this summer has dried up. He has developed a dynamic combination with Zlatan and these two are giving the Milna fans a lot of hope. The hope of a New Dawn.

Bernard Arnault Reportedly Back In To Buy AC Milan from Elliott Management by December

Elliott Management Corporation are reportedly in talks to sell #ACMilan to Bernard Arnault for €960m, with Max Allegri lined up as their new Coach …

French billionaire expected to buy Milan by end of year. Here’s what we know from the reports:

After recent reports rubbishing the interest of Bernard Arnault in purchasing AC Milan from Elliott Management, today we have Repubblica claiming that a sale could be completed by the end of the year. There are claims that fee has dropped from an initial 1.2 billion to about 960 million in the negotiations phase.

Elliott Management Corporation are reportedly in talks to sell #ACMilan to Bernard Arnault for €960m, with Max Allegri lined up as their new Coach https://t.co/tKkikz90fE#SerieApic.twitter.com/lWCBFfGrsh

— footballitalia (@footballitalia) September 28, 2019

Elliott are looking to cash in on the club and returning Milan to relative financial stability following the default by former President Li Yonghong. Bernard Arnault is the owner of LVMH, a luxury goods conglomerate, that owns companies such as Louis Vuitton, Hennessy, Moet & Chandon, Givenchy, Hublot and TAG Heuer among others.


AC Milan v Jucentus FC - Berlusconi Trophy
Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Interestingly, the reports claim that the new owners would want to bring back former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri who is on a sabbatical following his stint at Juventus where he picked up 5 consecutive Scudetti. Allegri was in charge of Milan the last time they won a Serie A title and have declined since his departure. The Italian manager is also being courted by PSG and Manchester United following his record breaking performances at Juventus.

Milan present sole UEFA case

This would allow new owners Elliott Management Corporation to present their plans for the future, financial restructuring and make clear they were …

Milan and UEFA are waiting for the CAS verdict before ruling on FFP violations so that the two different cases can be combined into one.

The Rossoneri had originally been excluded from the Europa League last spring due to Financial Fair Play violations regarding the 2015, 2016 and 2017 years.

Their appeal to the CAS in Lausanne caused that to be suspended and they were able to play, albeit eliminated in the group stage, before the verdict in December 2018.

The CAS decided the UEFA punishment was too severe and it was scaled down to the requirement Milan break even – without the €30m leeway – by 2021.

This is practically impossible to achieve, so Milan lodged another appeal to the CAS in April 2019 and that is still pending. In fact, there isn’t even a date for the hearing yet.

UEFA were meant to rule today on not the 2015, 2016 and 2017 years, but the period from 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Since the original case, Milan’s finances have, if anything, reached an even worse state and losses of approximately €126m were registered in 2018, while another €80m will be lost by June 2019 unless there are some radical changes.

The plan could well be therefore to wait until the initial verdict has come through from the Court of Arbitration for Sport and then negotiate with UEFA to combine the two into one big case.

This would allow new owners Elliott Management Corporation to present their plans for the future, financial restructuring and make clear they were inheriting a disastrous situation left by the two previous administrations, Silvio Berlusconi and Yonghong Li.

Elliott only took over Milan because Yonghong Li defaulted on the repayment of loans he had taken out with them to purchase the club.

Meanwhile, Roma and Torino wait anxiously for news, because if Milan were to be excluded from Europe, they’d automatically bump up the standings and Toro enter the tournament at the preliminary round.

If the delays continue, though, then they might not get the go-ahead until the last minute.

AC Milan face potential Champions League ban after latest FFP breach

They had claimed their financial situation would improve under the ownership of American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, after they …
8:37 AM ET

  • ESPN

AC Milan’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League have been thrown into doubt after they were referred to the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) for allegedly breaching financial fair play (FFP) regulations for a second successive term.

Milan are fourth in Serie A, and close to returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2014, but could now face a ban from European competition.

They had claimed their financial situation would improve under the ownership of American hedge fund Elliott Management Corporation, after they assumed control of the club from former owner Li Yonghong last summer.

UEFA initially gave Milan a two-year ban from European competition for breaking FFP rules last summer but they successfully appealed against that sanction with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“The UEFA Club Financial Control Body investigatory chamber has today communicated its decision to refer the case of AC Milan to the CFC adjudicatory chamber as the club has failed to comply with the break-even requirement during the monitoring period assessed in the current season and covering the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons,” a UEFA statement read.

“UEFA will be making no further comments on the matter until a decision has been reached by the CFCB adjudicatory chamber in this case. This referral is not related to the decision that was made by the CFCB adjudicatory in December 2018 and was covering the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.”

Under FFP regulations, clubs are not allowed to make losses of more than £26 million over three seasons, a cap Milan were accused of breaching between 2015-17 when they spent £200m on transfers. However, this referral is in relation to the three-year period between 2016-18.

The Rossoneri, who appointed former Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis as CEO in December, were fined in January following the €35m signing of Paqueta.

“After the signing of Paqueta, a letter arrived from UEFA where we were asked about any similar investments — along with a fine,” sporting director Leonardo said in December.