It looks like AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has finally decided to pul the trigger that will see him sell a majority stake in the Italian giants to Chinese investors.
According to AskaNews, Berlusconi has said in private meetings that “the sale of 75 per cent of Milan is a done deal”, with only a few months needed to iron out the details.
The news agency reports that the deal would be worth around €1 billion, with Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara retaining her role as CEO.
If those numbers are correct, and Milan is valued at €1 billion, then this is a fantastic sales job Silvio Berlusconi. Based on 2014 numbers, the clubs owners (Fininvest and the Berlusconi family) needed a sales price of above €617.74 million. This valuation blows that threshold out of the water.
So why are Chinese investors looking to spend so much money on a team that had €249.7m in revenue last season, will not be in Europe again next season?
Two reasons. One of that AskaNews believes that the Chinese government is playing a large role in the operation, in order to promote football in the country, with the long-term aim of making the national team a major world power. Milan are said to be the most popular team in China, so the acquisition of the club would be viewed as an important step along this road.
Two is that Milan have already announced plans to move out of the antiquated San Siro and into a new stadium in the Portello area of the city in time for the start of the 2018-19 season. Last season Milan generated just €24.9m in match day revenue, compared to Juventus, who own their own stadium, and generated €41m.
Milan’s city rivals Inter were sold to a far east group in 2014, and with Serie A struggling to compete with the other big leagues financially, it is interesting that Asian money is flowing into Serie A, as they obviously feel there is a lot of economic upside as far as revenues are concerned with Italian clubs.