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Roma's chance to bounce back

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Adriano Galliani confirms AC Milan exit

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani has announced that he is to resign after over a quarter of a century at the club.

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In an announcement to Italy's ANSA news agency, Galliani said he will be tendering his resignation "in the next few days" and that he will leave the club "whether we reach an agreement on a pay-off settlement or not."

Galliani -- whose position has been in doubt ever since board member Barbara Berlusconi spoke to her father and club president Silvio Berlusconi about restructuring of the club -- has already delivered a parting shot before officially leaving the club he has served since 1986.

"I've suffered grave damage to my person," Galliani said. "This is not the way to deal with a generation change. It should be done with elegance. I will be resigning with just cause in the coming days, or maybe I will wait until after the Champions League game with Ajax [on Dec. 11]."

Galliani has been one of the figureheads of Milan for almost three decades. Along with Berlusconi, he has presided over five Champions League triumphs and eight Serie A titles.

However, he has been made partly responsible for the club's current woes. The Rossoneri are now in their worst league position at this stage of a season since 1981, with the club closer to the relegation zone than a place in Europe next season.

That has caused some consternation at board level with Barbara Berlusconi recently declaring her intention of overhauling the club hastening Galliani's exit.

In spite of support from current Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti, who delivered two of those Champions League trophies and said Milan would not be the same without Galliani, it appears the Serie A club's recent move to new headquarters was only the first step towards a revolution. Galliani's departure is the second.

Nevertheless, he says he will leave with his head held high having delivered success to the club that prides itself on having won more trophies than any other in the world.

"It's been said that Milan spend their money badly and we don't have a scouting network like Roma and Fiorentina," Galliani is quoted as saying by the Gazzetta dello Sport. "Well, Roma only qualified for the Champions League once in the past five years while Fiorentina didn't make it once.

"Milan have not made a loss in the past two years while other clubs have mountains of debt. Last year, all of our youth teams made it to the final four. Big presidents from abroad are all calling me, asking me what is going on because they cannot understand it.

"I went to Madrid this summer to sign Kaka without any appointment and they threw open the doors to the offices of Real for me. When I went to Barcelona in August 2010 to sign [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, president [Sandro] Rosell cut short his family holidays on purpose to greet me."

Despite the sense of bitterness at his exit, Galliani insists he will continue to support the club, whatever his future.

"Stepping down before the Ajax game seemed too hostile an act towards the team, who I will support for the rest of my life," said the 69-year-old. "My affection for the president Berlusconi is unchanged and unchangeable."

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