June 5 – The financial crisis that has hit Yonghong Li’s ownership of AC Milan has seen the Chinese owner reportedly in secret emergency meetings in Italy attempting to refinance the club’s debt and potentially bring in new ownership partners.
Li’s $860 million acquisition of AC Milan from the Berlusconi family and Mediaset was a deal that took a long time to complete as Li sought to raise money to invest alongside him.
Li eventually ended up taking all the risk, but it was such a huge acquisition sum that it was only ever likely to cause problems unless the club found immediate success on the pitch and a return to European competition and its financial rewards.
Having subsequently fallen foul of UEFA’s financial fair play investigators and failing to convince them that it is on sound financial foundations, AC Milan is currently waiting for a ruling by the adjudicatory chamber of UEFA financial control unit. Punishment is most likely to be a ban from continental competition.
Li spent $270 million on 10 new players last year. AC Milan finished sixth in the table but more than 30 points behind Serie A winners Juventus. The sixth spot means the club qualifies for the Europa League next season, obviously depending on UEFA’s ruling.
With Li desperate to prove that the club is financially sound, reports are that a new minority (20%) investor has been found. It is understood that UEFA has encouraged him to bring in new investors into the ownership of the club. The new investor is believed to be an individual who is not to be Chinese.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org