AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini has rejected an offer to be technical director of the Serie A club, he said on Facebook on Tuesday.
The 48-year-old said he would have had to share the role with Massimiliano Mirabelli, who has been appointed sporting director, but has yet to take up the role.
“Milan has always been a matter of heart and passion for me” Maldini posted on Facebook.
“My history, my father’s history and my children prove it. No one can take this bond with the Rossoneri colours away from us.
“It would have been much easier to go along with the excitement of the offer and say ‘yes’, diving headlong into this new adventure without considering the potential consequences .
“I’d like to clarify certain matters to the Milan fans and the media, which gathered and reported news that the key issue was the financial aspect, forgetting that I and my family have always felt a sense of belonging to Milan.
“I was offered the role of Technical Director, before that a sporting director would be hired with the faith of the CEO. Then, according to the organisational chart that was presented to me, I would discuss any project, purchase, or sale of a player with my sporting director.
“My specific question was what would happen if we disagreed, and [CEO Marco] Fassone told me he would decide.
“I told him I didn’t think that was the basis for a winning team. I’ve been part of teams which have made football history, and I know that to achieve results there has to be great synergy between all the corporate bodies and major investors, in addition to well-defined roles.
“The last few seasons where Milan have had joint-CEOs should have been a lesson.”
In August, a group of Chinese investors agreed to buy the club for €740m (£675m), including 220 million euros of debt.
The club’s prospective new owners, Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing, said in a statement:
‘We regret the decision of Paolo Maldini regarding our proposal, because we firmly believe that soon he will realise how much our project for AC Milan is a winning one.’
Maldini, a former defender, said that he would have been held responsible for the club’s performance on the pitch in the eyes of the supporters, the press, and the shareholders but could have been excluded from executive decisions.
‘I can’t accept it (the job), I need to respect the values that have accompanied me for all my life, I need to respect the many supporters who in these years have identified with me because of passion, willingness and commitment.’
Maldini came through the youth system at Milan and joined the first team in 1985, following in the footsteps of his father, former Italy coach Cesare Maldini. The one-club man stayed loyal to the Serie A outfit until he retired in 2009 at the age of 41.
The former Italy international helped the club win seven Serie A titles and five Champions Leagues.