Silvio Berlusconi has blamed not Yonghong Li, but Marco Fassone and Massimiliano Mirabelli for Milan’s failure. “I thought he’d hire real professionals.”
The brief spell under the Chinese businessman was disastrous, because he failed to keep up with loan repayments and the club was effectively repossessed by US hedge fund Elliott Management.
“We could not continue with the expenses of running a football club that the introduction of oil barons had elevated to exaggerated levels,” Berlusconi told Sky Sport Italia of his sale after 30 years in charge.
“We were simply forced to sell. Between the various people we heard from, Yonghong Li was the one who stepped forward in the most decisive fashion.
“However, we thought he would rely on a different group of directors and that he’d hire some real football professionals who could take care of the team. That did not happen.
“He had a lot of problems on the business side and it went like this. Now there is a hedge fund that is forward-thinking and wants to bring Milan back to being protagonists in Italy and Europe, that way they can sell the club on to someone reliable.”