The official name of AC Milan is actually Associazione Calcio Milan and it was founded in 1899. Except for two seasons, the professional club has played in the top football division of Italy, aka Serie A, since 1929. AC Milan was founded as the Milan Football and Cricket Club by two English expatriates: Alfred Edwards and Herbert Kilpin.
Football quickly became the dominating sport and the team won three Scudettos between 1901 and 1907. For the following four decades, AC Milan was not very successful. Finally, AC Milan won its next title thanks to a trio of Swedish players in 1951. Afterwards, the Italian team won 7 Scudettos, 2 European Cups, 2 European Cup Winner's Cups and 4 Coppa Italia during the next 20 years.
The 1980s were dark years for AC Milan. A match-fixing scandal in 1980 demoted the team to the 2nd division. Back to Serie A in 1981, they were relegated again in 1982. By 1986, they returned to the top league, but were very close to bankruptcy. Fortunately, Silvio Berlusconi took over that year and remained club owner until 2017.
Afterwards, AC Milan experienced great success. The club dominated the 1990s with 5 Serie A titles, 3 Supercopa Italiana and 1 UEFA Champions League Cup, among others. Since 2000, it has won six domestic titles, 4 UEFA titles and the FIFA Club World Cup (2007).
So much success would have been impossible without outstanding players. Some that have marked the history of AC Milan are: Nils Liedholm, Gunnar Gren, Gianni Rivera, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Marco Simone, Massimo Ambrosini, Marcel Desailly, Dejan Savićević, Zvonimir Boban, Filippo Inzaghi, George Weah, Andrea Pirlo, Clarence Seedorf, Kaká, Alessandro Nesta and Andriy Shevchenko.
Let's not forget Gunnar Nordhal who scored the most goals (211) for AC Milan. Another player, Paolo Maldini, participated in the most games (902) and to honour him, the number 3 shirt is no longer worn. The same applies to the number 6 shirt, in deference to Franco Baresi who played for Milan from 1978 to 1997.
The current economic situation at AC Milan is not very positive. Although the team itself is valued at 740 million euros (2017) according to Forbes, the club has a debt of 73%. The annual revenue was 215 million euros for the same year and the operating income was actually minus 45 million euros.
The team had already reported losses of 89 million euros in 2015. In 2016, the financial statement closed with 75 million euros in the red. This is probably why Sino-Europe Sports Investments postponed the purchase of the team at the time.
Various fan groups support AC Milan: The Brigade Rossonere, the Commandos Tigre, Gruppo Barbour, etc. When they cheer for their club, they do so in the Curva Sud (South Curve) of the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium. AC Milan has traditionally been supported by the working class of the city, whereas the fans Inter, its arch rival, come from the middle-class.
Back in 2010, a study reported that Milan was one of the most supported teams in Europe with about 18.4 million fans. At the moment, more than 24 million fans follow AC Milan on Facebook and there are around 6.5 million followers on Twitter.
Fans can watch AC Milan play its home games at San Siro which is also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. The club shares this stadium with the rival team Internazionale and it is the largest in Italy. The total capacity of the stadium built in 1926 is 80,018 seats. Before 1926, the home grounds of AC Milan was the Campo di Viale Lombardia.
The design of the San Siro stadium is based on an English model and it is specially made for football matches, so the stands are close to the pitch. It is not a multi-purpose stadium. Berlusconi's plans to build a new stadium were stopped in 2015.