AC Milan began pre-season training at their Milanello base just outside the city on Monday with jeers rather than cheers ringing in their ears.

A group of about 300 of the club's ultras -- the most hardcore supporters -- gathered outside the training base to vent their fury at the club's officials.

The supporters are angry that star player and 2007 world player of the year Kaka was sold to Real Madrid while no big name signings have arrived, despite the club banking 67 million euros over the sale of the Brazilian.

Fans let off bangers and smoke bombs while chanting against the club's bosses.

But vice-president Adriano Galliani hit back against the fans by claiming they should be happy about what the club have already won.

"No-one else has won as many titles as Milan in Europe or the world," he said at Milan's first press conference of the new season, during which he also unveiled Massimo Ambrosini as the club's new captain.

"It's normal that some people protest because in life it's allowed. Season tickets are down by only 20 percent with respect to last year so that shows that 80 percent of fans are right behind the club."

Galliani was referring to Milan's record 18 internationally recognised titles but among those there are five European Supercups and three now-defunct Intercontinental Cups.

It means that eight of Milan's world record international trophy haul were won in one-off matches against single opponents, whilst they have also won the Club World Cup once, beating just two teams to earn that honour.

Those successes have still not appeased fans who feel they should have won more than a single Champions League crown (plus Club World Cup and European Supercup) in the last five years.

"No compromise: think first about Milan and then your own interests," read one banner alluding to the fact that Milan's president Silvio Berlusconi, the Italy Prime Minister, has spent little on the team in recent seasons.

Milan finished third in Serie A last season, 10 points behind city rivals and champions Inter Milan.

But since then they have sold their best player, lost talisman Paolo Maldini to retirement and seen former England captain David Beckham return to Los Angeles following the end of his loan spell.

And yet no recognisable signings have been made in return.

Milan have not won the title since 2004 and last season were oft criticised for being over the hill.

And yet while all their thirty plus players remain, 27-year-old Kaka, in his prime, has been sold.

But Galliani remained defiant.

"Milan are not breaking up. This is a period of renewal, we want to be more careful with the balance sheet and steer towards youth," he said.