Pioli and Massara’s AC Milan futures hang in the balance with Champions League qualification unlikely

The futures of both Stefano Pioli and Frederic Massara are potentially tied to Champions League qualification and with that looking an increasingly difficult task, the end could be coming for both men at AC Milan.

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After last season’s excellent scudetto-winning season for AC Milan, this season has been the polar opposite, with targets set by the board for the squad not being met, and the club’s success so far in Europe being the silver lining.

However, Milan’s chances of a Champions League place for next season look slim after the disappointing first semi-final leg at the San Siro and this weekend’s Serie A result.

This will serve as a great disappointment to Gerry Cardinale, the owner of the club, who recently spoke of the significance of qualifying for the competition and what it meant for the club from a business point of view. This has caused some to speculate about the future of Stefano Pioli as the Milan head coach.

Stefano Pioli. (Photo: AC Milan)

The situation for Pioli at AC Milan

Saturday afternoon’s disappointing loss to relegation-threatened Spezia concluded a terrible week in the Rossoneri’s fight for Champions League football next season and videos emerged at full-time of the squad being addressed by the travelling Milan fans. 

With Milan not capitalising against a weaker opponent, it means Pioli’s side now only has three games left in Serie A to try and secure a fourth-placed finish, currently held by Lazio who are four points ahead with a far greater goal difference.

Milan’s place in the Champions League is pivotal, on both sporting and financial levels, and according to Tuttosport (via SempreMilan), failure to qualify for the competition next season could see Pioli and sporting director Frederic Massara could face the axe.

However, with Massara having another year left on his contract, and Pioli having until the summer of 2025, it creates another unneeded financial burden for the club if decisions were made in favour of the parties separating. 

Is AC Milan’s immediate future brighter without Pioli?

Milan now have just three games left penned into their calendar, with an extra fixture in Istanbul looking unlikely after Tuesday night’s calamitous performance against Inter. This means their remaining Serie A games against Sampdoria, Juventus, and Hellas Verona are of paramount importance. 

Stefano Pioli. (Photo: AC Milan)

The club’s need for investment on the pitch couldn’t have been clearer after this week, and there are several areas that need to be looked at. Therefore, not reaching Europe could prove extremely costly in Milan’s future plans for the squad. 

With Milan now having no option but to pray for other results to go their way, and for themselves to be flawless, it seems like all too much to ask for in a short space of time.

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