As recently as the 2011–12 season Spezia Calcio were playing in Serie C. The were a club on paper going nowhere fast but the period ahead would see the club establish itself as a consistent contender for promotion to Serie A.
The key to progress was international financial investment, first via an Australian businessman and currently through an American real estate ownership model.
Fast forward 10 years from the depths of Serie C and Spezia won a play off against Frosinone during the coronavirus era. Last season (2021-22) the club finished a respectable 16th.
This season is following a similar pattern to the two previous Serie A campaigns. But with only 2 wins after 13 games the club are dangerously close to the drop zone. Things would be tough at the San Siro in an unforgiving arena and the club from Liguria would be reliant on the son of an AC Milan legend for goals.
Stadio San Siro Giuseppe Meazza
Saturday 5th November 2022
Italian Serie A – Matchday 13
Visiting the San Siro for many years meant a trip on either an ageing tram from the city or a long walk from the M2 Lotto metro station. Work on the construction of a new San Siro metro station ended in April 2015 with the opening of the new San Siro station.
The area where the San Siro is located is a diverse one with the San Siro both sacred and key to the area if some distance from the more familiar architectural sites of Milan. The district is a product of the 20th century with a huge amount of housing blocks as well as the Milanese Hippodrome.
In August 2022 AC Milan were fully acquired by Red Bird Capital an American investment company founded by Goldman Sachs. The company is said to be worth up to $6 billion.
The new Milan stadium that will replace the iconic San Siro with construction costs of up to €800m. It is likely to be nicknamed ‘The Cathedral’ and will be built adjacent to the existing stadium which will be demolished. For those who revel in the splendour of the San Siro the announcement that one of the famous towers would remain softened the blow of it going.
However, it now appears nothing of the current San Siro – even tower 11 – will remain after 2026 with a fresh start for the home of football in Milan at least if the plans are to be believed.
The desire to create a new green urban space on the site of the old San Siro, it would appear, has vetoed the potential of any iconic concrete tower remaining. This would, accordingly, sweep away any reminder of the Italia 90.
Given that the stadium will be shared by either half of the Milan divide both Internazionale and AC Milan estimate an increase in fan revenues of €120million per season. The ground will have a far higher capacity than the Juventus Stadium but will be built on same principles – with adjoining retail outlets and a shared museum.
AC Milan overcame Spezia 2-1 in this Saturday evening encounter and the role of the San Siro should not be underestimated.
The last minute winner from Frenchman Olivier Giroud gave Milan a deserved win in a match that Milan struggled to control.
The talking point was the multiple VAR calls which infuriated the home fans. The referee took his time to make calls confusing both players and supporters alike. The worst of the calls was the decision to rule out the spectacular strike by Tomori thanks to an earlier attacking passage of play foul.
One other big talking point was Maldini getting on the scoresheet.
AC Milan were stung by Daniel Maldini the son of Paulo Maldini who managed to score for his loan club at the San Siro. His refusal to celebrate the strike spoke volumes for his loyalties and family history but the Spezia fans high up in the San Siro enjoyed the moment.
The chase to keep up with the impressive Napoli continues although on this evidence it’s hard to see AC Milan ending up as champions again. The Scudetto may well end up back at the San Siro come the season end but its the other half of Milan whom may have the biggest say.
AC MILAN: Tătăruşanu; Kalulu, Gabbia, Tomori, Hernández; Bennacer, Krunić; Messias, Díaz, Leão; Origi. Subs: Jungdal, Mirante; Ballo-Touré, Kjær, Thiaw; Adli, Bakayoko, Pobega, Tonali, Vranckx; De Ketelaere, Giroud, Rebić (4-2-3-1):
SPEZIA (3-5-2): Drągowski; Ampadu, Kiwior, Caldara; Holm, Ekdal, Bourabia, Agudelo, Amian; Maldini, Nzola. Subs: Zoet, Zovko; Ferrer, Hristov; Beck, Ellertsson, Nguiamba, Reca, Sala, Sher; Sanca, Strelec, Verde. (3-5-2)
Referee: Michael Fabbri, Ravenna