Saturday May 16 2015
Berlusconi: 'My duty to relaunch Milan'

Silvio Berlusconi confirmed he’s in negotiations with Chinese Head of State Xi Jinping, but “if I don’t find investors, it’s up to me to relaunch Milan.”

The situation is increasingly complex, as Berlusconi shook hands with Thai investor Bee Taechaubol and released a statement confirming talks to sell at most 49 per cent of the club, but then appeared to abandon that route altogether.

Instead he spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about his plans for Milan and investment from the Chinese Government.

“At this moment I don’t know how the situation could develop,” confessed Berlusconi. “It is also opportune for me to point something out. I have no desire, intention or need to sell Milan.

“Aside from our rapport created at the time on the political scene, Xi is proving he has great respect for Italian football and for Milan.

“Obviously I am proud of the rapport I created with Xi and it’s no mystery that in China the Milan brand is still a big draw.”

Xi Jinping is the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and the President of the People’s Republic of China, often referred to as the ‘paramount leader.’

“I want to be clear that I am not in the condition to sell the club at all costs. It is also undeniable that when football brought in oil money and influence from Qatar, it became very difficult for a single family to support the economic costs of a club.

“There can be exceptional situations, such as Juventus, who I congratulate for reaching the Champions League Final. However, they are the exception and in the light of difficulties it is my duty to find new resources for Milan.”

In 2014 the Rossoneri ran at a loss of €91m, so how did they fall to this point?

“Unfortunately, for a series of circumstances that I will not analyse here, Milan lost many champions in recent years and on an economic level did not go through a good period.

“If my family cannot resolve the problems on its own, then it will be fundamental to find investors capable of contributing to the relaunch of Milan.

“I seem to have understood, however, that those who are interested in buying Milan set as an essential condition my participation in their adventure.

“Evidently those who want to negotiate buying into Milan tie the brand of the club to my persona. Effectively, it couldn’t be any other way, considering what my family has done for Milan in all these years.

“If Milan do not find buyers, it’s up to me to try and relaunch the club. If we do count on new investors who request the confirmation of my role, then I will contribute with those who arrive to take Milan back to the positions it deserves.”