A messy Milan divorce played out in public

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Silvio Berlusconi has always been big on loyalty, and as long as someone is willing to show their commitment to the AC Milan cause then there will always be a place at the table for them.

Carlo Ancelotti has certainly gorged himself on the fat of the land over the years - both as a player and, for the last eight terms, as coach.

So it came as a surprise that dear old Silvio – who, love him or loathe him, is something of a sentimentalist when it comes to his club – should unceremoniously show Carlo the door with a size eight firmly planted up his ample derriere.

But then, what if his coach wasn't demonstrating the requisite devotion?

Someone who is running the country should know a thing a two about what is going on around him. And apparently the MP was none too pleased to find out  his trainer had been in meetings with Chelsea officials during a flying visit to the sleepy backwater of Vicenza at the start of the week.

"Nervous? Me? Nah..."

What loyalty then from his No.1, who at various times over the last few seasons could easily have been sacked?

If Ancelotti is still humming and hawing over whether to leave for pastures blue, why not then make that decision a lot easier by laying the blame for Milan’s failure to land the league title on the coach’s broad shoulders?

Piqued that the team had failed to beat Juventus on Sunday evening after Inter had drawn earlier in the day, Berlusconi was quoted by La Repubblica newspaper as saying “If we lose the title, it’s Ancelotti’s fault”.

It’s a line the leader has trotted out before, when he blamed Dino Zoff for Italy’s failure to bring home the Euro 2000 crown.

And he has past form with Ancelotti: back in 2004 he sent an open letter to his coach reminding him that if he did not field two attackers then he may as well stay at home.

This was followed a year later with the famous “I have been picking the team for the last 18 years” quote, which was followed by another attack on Ancelotti’s failure to follow the Milan mandate of always playing “attacking football.”

This season the jibes have become more and more personal, from “the coach is incapable of getting the team to control matches” to the latest, and probably ultimate, assault.

From here there seems little way back into the inner circle for Ancelotti; even the usually reliable spin doctor Adriano Galliani couldn't come up with any damage limitation.

For such a media-savvy operator he certainly left himself open to accusations of not doing his job by claiming he couldn't comment because he hadn't read said paper on the day in question.

Happier times for Carlo, Silvio and Adriano

After all the good times, it looks like it is all set to end in tears, but they are likely to be shed in private for the time being.

Revenge is a dish best served cold, as they say, so expect Ancelotti to come knocking with the Russian millions this summer for Ricky Kaka and Andrea Pirlo.

---------------------------------------------- More to read...

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