In as unique battle player and club Gianna Rivera disproved the old maxim that no player is bigger than the club when he won a personal battle with the management of AC Milan and took over the club.
LV Milan street scenes and cathedral (3 shots)
CU INTERIOR AC Milan boardroom with trophies and photographs of European champion team at Wembley in 1963 (3 shots)
CU Newspaper headlines criticising Rivera (5 shots)
CU Rivera at training with Rivera
LV & SV Team training with Rivera
SV & CU Rivera demonstrating ball control (4 shots)
GV PAN DOWN Scoreboard "Milan O Spartak O" TO Game in progress under floodlights
TV Rivera initiates attack but attack fails
TV Rivera passes into area but defender tackles Milan forward
TV Rivera pass but forward shoots over bar from close in
LV Fire in stands
TV Rivera gains possession but passes straight to opposition
TV Rivera beaten by defender
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In as unique battle player and club Gianna Rivera disproved the old maxim that no player is bigger than the club when he won a personal battle with the management of AC Milan and took over the club.
But there has been no immediate revival of fortune for AC Milan whose supporters have high standards of success and Rivera is now finding himself with usual problems of managers who do not bring expected success.
The immediate cause of the row which led to Rivera eventually becoming President of AC Milan's council of administration was a casual remark by club President Albino Buticchi. He said that Milan might be prepared to sell Rivera to another club, something that for years had been unthinkable -- Rivera, an extremely skilful and famous international player, is one of the local prides of Milan.
Rivera started in Italian first division football in 1959 at the early age of 15. The following year he transferred to AC Milan where he has been ever since. When at one stage during his argument with the management he announced his resignation he told a reporter the possibility of a transfer to another side would be a betrayal to the Milan fans.
Rivera responded to Signor Buticchi's remark about selling him by failing to turn up for training for two days, then arriving unexpectedly at a board meeting and obtaining a vote of confidence.
Signor Buticchi then offered to sell his majority stake in the club and Rivera quickly formed a syndicated which he said was prepared to buy the shares and install himself as President. The board at first unanimously rejected Signor Buticchi's offer to resign but Rivera's syndicated later gained control and on Friday (5 December) by a majority of 49,743 votes to 101 with 2,210 abstentions the shareholders formally elected Rivera's council of administration.
AC Milan were the first Italian side to win the European club championship in 1963. In 1967-68 Milan again won the League championship taking the European title and the Intercontinental title the following year. Milan finished second in the league in 1971 and 1973 but last year they were seventh and this year they are also not near the top.
So Rivera is far from achieving his dream of leading his side to success as player manager. Ac Milan are doing no worse under him this season but they are a side whose supporters are used to being at the top and anything less soon brings dissatisfaction.
Newspapers and fans have been criticising Rivera' performances for the club. He has missed the last few games through injury but already many people are wondering whether Rivera is going to have the courage to drop himself for poor form, if his play does not improve. Clear he is going to find it hard to be top both on and off the field.
SYNOPSIS: The city of Milan in northern Italy where the soccer supporters are amongst the most fanatical in the world. And it is here that in a unique confrontation between player and club the local pride Gianna Rivera has disproved the old soccer maxim that no single player is bigger than the club. Rivera has won his local battle with the management of AC Milan and taken over the club.
But soccer is a fickle world. Already newspapers and fans are beginning about an immediate revival in the fortunes of mighty AC Milan, who, twelve years ago, were the first Italian side to win the European cup.
Rivera is a brilliant internationally famous players, who has played for AC Milan for fifteen years. The row which led to him eventually becoming President of the club's council of administration began when club President Albino Buticchi said Milan might be prepared to sell Rivera to another club -- something for years had appeared unthinkable.
Rivera responded to Signor Buticchi's remark about selling him by failing to turn up for training for two days. Then he arrived unexpectedly at a board meeting and obtained a vote of confidence. Signor Buticchi offered to sell his majority stake and Rivera quickly formed a syndicate which he said was willing to buy the shares and install himself as President. The board at first rejected Signor Buticchi's resignation but Rivera's syndicated gained control this season and last Friday the shareholders formally elected Rivera.
AC Milan here playing Spartak in the European club competition have familiar problem. They can't score enough goals. Rivera at thirty-one is still a fine player, still popular with the Milan crowd. He still makes plenty of scoring chances for his team mates as these excerpts from the game show-but perhaps some of the edge of his own goal scoring ability has become blunted. His critics are less kind. Rivera was injured shortly after this game. He has missed a few matches and his critics want to know if he is going to have the courage to drop himself if his form hasn't improved on return.
Ac Milan finished seventh last season. They are doing no worse under Rivera this season but their supporters are used to being at the top and if things don't get better Rivera cannot get away with occasional mistakes like this. Rivera is clearly going to find it hard to succeed both on and off the field.