Regardless of what happens in Athens, many people feel that AC Milan should never have been allowed to enter this year's Champions League, given the direct involvement of team executives in Serie's widespread match-fixing scandal last season. In fact, as Frank Dunne of the Guardian points out, Milan wouldn't have played in the competition this season under new UEFA rules, amended in January. UEFA was reluctant to admit Milan into the Champions League at all, but because its statutes were unclear, the organization relented after Milan chairman Silvio Berlusconi threatened to sue.
Now, Italian clubs are again complaining that Milan was dealt a soft blow compared to others, despite having played a substantial part in the Calciopoli scandal. And they have a point, says Dunne. Referee caretaker Leonardo Meani used to inform Coach Carlo Ancelotti of Milan's match officials well ahead of games even though officials were supposed to be chosen through a random draw. Worse, Meani also operated a network of so-called "on-side" Milan-friendly linesmen he got assigned to their matches. And yet here sit the Rossoneri, now one game away from Champions League glory, while Juventus had to toil the year away in Serie B. Not fair? Probably.