Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani says his club might be prepared to leave their famous San Siro home and build a new a ground in the city.
“Our stadium is among the least worst in Italy, the pitch is magnificent, you have a good view from the stands, the majority of fans don’t get wet if it rains and it is easy to get to.
“But the first level was built in 1926 and sharing with Inter Milan isn’t easy. Inter’s directors have different ideas to us and so maybe it is time to think of two new stadiums for the city of Milan,” Galliani said in an interview with the daily Corriere della Sera.
Milan, formed in 1899, played at five different stadiums before moving to the San Siro in 1926, where they were joined by Inter in 1947. Inter used to play at the Arena, in the centre of the city.
The San Siro, which has an 80,000 capacity, was transformed – along with several other grounds – for the 1990 World Cup finals.
Galliani said it had been a mistake to redevelop old grounds and that the momney should have been spent on purpose-built football stadia.
“The error of ‘Italia 90’ was developing existing stadiums or building new ones with athletic tracks. That was how we lost a historic opportunity,” he said.
Attendances in Italy this season are down by 20 percent and Galliani says the state of the stadia are partly responsible.
“All the club presidents agree with my view that the fall is without doubt related to stadiums that are obsolete and not designed for football,” he said.
“You can’t see much of the game, you have a bad view and if it rains you get soaked, as happened to 5,000 Livorno fans at Florence on Sunday who will have caught colds after watching the match in the pouring rain. We can’t go on like this,” he said.
“The way forward is to build new stadiums because the majority of the current ones are neither savable or able to be restructured,” added Galliani who singled out German club Schalke 04’s AufSchalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen.
“The Germans told me that they sell an average of 30,000 litres of beer for each game. In our stadiums you can’t even get a cup of water,” he said.
“It’s obvious that as long as the stadiums are like this people will prefer to watch the game on television rather than go to the match,” he added.