AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has put the blame for finishing the season empty-handed squarely on the shoulders of coach Carlo Ancelotti.
The comments made on Tuesday will add to speculation that Ancelotti will leave the club in the summer, having been strongly linked with the coach's job at Chelsea.
Milan sits seven points behind leader Inter after failing to mount any challenge to its cross-city rivals. The team also limped out of the UEFA Cup, losing to Werder Bremen in the last 32. "We lost the title because of Ancelotti," he told La Repubblica newspaper. "On many occasions we did not use the right tactics. We have so many good dribblers and should have based our football on this asset, but we did the opposite."
It is not the first time that Berlusconi and Ancelotti have clashed over tactics. Early in his time at the club, the coach also came under fire for his use of one striker, rather than two. Milan vice president Adriano Galliani meanwhile distanced himself from Berlusconi's views, asking to wait till the end of the season before discussing Ancelotti's future.
"As a rule, I never comment on the declarations of president Berlusconi and I don't comment on what is reported by newspapers that I have not read," he told the club's Web site. "I've said and I will repeat that I won't be speaking about these things before May 31. At the very least I won't be speaking until we are certain we have qualified for the Champions League."