Berlusconi’s AC Milan bail-out, but who are the men behind the Chinese money?

Silvio Berlusconi_-_AC_Milan_30_March

November 17 – As this weekend’s Milan derby approaches with both clubs now in the hands of Chinese investors, officials are questioning the authenticity of one of the deals.

China’s national team boss Marcello Lippi has told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper that the identity of AC Milan’s new owners needs to be clarified.

During the summer, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi agreed to sell the Serie A club to China’s Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing, which is backed by Haixia Capital and entrepreneur Yonghong Li, for €740 million.

The full make-up of the consortium was not disclosed though the deal is due to be completed in early December, with the full list of investors expected to be released.

Both Milan clubs play at the San Siro but while Inter was majority acquired by China’s high-profile Suning Corporation earlier this year,  Lippi said not enough is known about AC Milan’s investors.

Lippi, a former Inter boss, was quoted as saying:  “Honestly I don’t know who they are. I’ve tried to ask some executives, but nobody could tell me who new AC Milan owners are.”

His views were supported by David Gentili, a politician from the centre-left Democratic Party who heads the Milan city council anti-Mafia commission. He told reporters that the council had a duty to ask about the identities of the club’s “effective owners” since it owned the San Siro where both clubs pay rent.

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