Soccer: AC Milan exec Braida leaves club
Scouted Van Basten, Shevchenko31 December, 16:36
Braida, a former Serie B centre-forward who scouted Marco Van Basten and Andriy Shevchenko and played an important part in the arrival of Kakà and Thiago Silva, came to the seven-time European champions at the start of the Berlusconi era in 1986.
The statement did not say whether Braida had resigned, been fired or decided to retire, inevitably fuelling speculation the news was linked to a recently healed feud between club director Barbara Berlusconi and long-term CEO Adriano Galliani over allegedly mistaken transfer dealings and a poor domestic start. Just before Christmas AC Milan's board sealed the end of the rift by upgrading the position of Barbara, daughter of three-time premier and media magnate Berlusconi, so that she became joint chief executive of the Serie A giants.
Barbara Berlusconi, 29, became Milan's managing director in charge of business and administrative matters.
Galliani, the owner's trusted right-hand man, kept the title of managing director and remained in charge of the club's sporting affairs and transfer dealings.
There had been reports Galliani was set to leave the club to make way for Barbara Berlusconi at the helm after she said the club needed to take a new direction following its bad start to the Serie A season.
Milan lost the Milan derby to Inter on December 22 and are currently 13th in Serie A, trailing leaders Juventus by 29 points after 17 games, although they are also the only Italian side to have reached the last 16 of the Champions League.
Silvio Berlusconi, who is fighting against Italy's left-right government at the helm of his resuscitated Forza Italia (Go Italy) party, said on December 19 that he was going to start taking care of Milan's affairs "personally" once again to help revive the team's fortunes.