Milan owner Li Yonghong finds himself under more scrutiny as it is reported that he is not a mining proprietor, amidst a history of business disputes.
The New York Times claims Li told Milan that “his holdings included phosphate mining operations”, yet Chinese records show that the mines are owned by investment company Guangdong Lion Asset Management, which has “involved a number of people with similar family names over the past two years.”
One court proceeding would suggest Li has a relationship with Guangdong Lion, although it is not clear what kind, while the company’s listed offices “were in disarray” back in August as “computers were missing hard drives and maggots were festered in a trash can.”
It comes despite Milan’s insistence that his control of the mines had been “verified by lawyers and banks” involved in his purchase of the club earlier in the year.
Furthermore, the business would have changed hands four times since last year, with no money being involved in two of those exchanges.
NY Times also cites Chinese records that “show a series of disputes and run-ins between Mr. Li and Chinese regulators”, while his father and brother were sentenced to prison for illegal business practices, which saw Li “investigated but not accused of wrongdoing.”
The report concludes with the publication describing Milan “debt-laden and unprofitable” and having doubts over Li’s wealth “in helping the club address its troubles”, referencing the €300m loan from Elliott Management, which needed to be repaid by October next year.