AC Milan takeover: President Silvio Berlusconi confirms £430m sale to Chinese consortium

 
Joe Hall
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AC Milan v SS Lazio - Serie A
Berlusconi has been president of AC Milan since 1986 (Source: Getty)

Italian giants AC Milan have been sold to an unnamed Chinese consortium, club president Silvio Berlusconi has confirmed.

The seven time European champions have been the subject of months of speculation linking them with a takeover from China, with e-commerce firm Alibaba, Italian entrepreneur Robin Li and industrialist He Xiangjian named as potential suitors.

Berlusconi's holding company Fininvest will receive around €500m (£427m) for 80 per cent of the club, according to reports in Italy.

"I gave up Milan to a group that can bring them back to prominence in Italy, in Europe and in the world," Berlusconi told the press after being released from hospital where he had undergone heart surgery.

"I demanded that they provide at least €400m to be spent on the [transfer] market over the next two years. They are an important group, with an involvement of the [Chinese] state."

Read more: AC Milan unveil plans for Arsenal-inspired £240m stadium

Despite being one of the most successful clubs in Italian and European history, AC Milan have struggled in recent seasons — not winning the title in five years — as Fininvest has withdrawn significant financial support following costly legal battles including a €560m in damages to a rival.

With Milan not in European competition and thus not hamstrung by Uefa's financial fair play rules this season, it is believed the club's new ownership will invest heavily in order to challenge Juventus — who have won five consecutive league titles — and city rivals Inter Milan who recently sold a 70 per cent controlling stake for £590m to Chinese firm Suning Commerce Group.

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