Saturday June 6 2015
Mr Bee: 'I only wanted Milan'

Bee Taechaubol reveals he “could’ve bought three Premier League clubs, but never wanted anything other than Milan.”

The Thai businessman finally agreed terms to buy out 48 per cent of the club from Silvio Berlusconi, who will remain President and majority shareholder, for a reported €500m.

“It is not the end of the Berlusconi era,” assured Mr Bee to La Repubblica.

“Berlusconi is the man who made Milan great and will always remain tied to the club. It’s not true that he is no longer interested in the team. The troubled negotiation process proves the exact opposite.

“Milan have a fundamentally Italian soul and are a brand of Italian excellence. This must not change. It would be absurd to have a sky box full of Asian directors, as the club would lose its identity.

“The motto is not to change, but to add. Internationalise. The directors must be Italian. I don’t want to be the President, as I am an investor.

“Nobody must touch central figures like Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi. Galliani did a great job, even when he didn’t have a great budget.”

Sinisa Mihajlovic is on the verge of signing on as Milan Coach, but does he fit the bill?

“Milan cannot afford to wait any longer. We need someone capable of winning straight away.

“This club must get back on to the top of the world. In an era of 30 years full of success, the current dip is only natural.

“Financial problems can be overcome, but planning is essential. Without that, the money loses effectiveness quickly.”

It had seemed as if the deal was ready to collapse completely when Berlusconi made disparaging comments about Mr Bee, but Taechaubol suggests it was never an issue.

“Our first meeting was in his Arcore villa on December 10, then again in January and March. We got on straight away.

“We agreed on the expansion in Asia, as Milan is synonymous with Italian football in the world, yet can improve its market share. Let’s take Manchester United as an example – in South-East Asia the expansion of the brand is at its peak. Milan is not there yet.

“I think in a few weeks we will conclude the negotiations. While coming here a fan asked me, why Milan? My reply was because they are the best.

“I could’ve bought three Premier League clubs, but I never wanted anything other than Milan. I’d like to bring the side back to glory, winning Serie A and the Champions League.”

Taechaubol has already left Italy and flown out to Dubai on Friday night.