AC Milan – Asian Suitors Strung Along

The soap opera that is the financial situation at AC Milan played out another episode this week with Silvio Berlusconi the puppet master tugging the strings in front of his Asian suitors like a modern day Mister Geppetto.

With the Thai and Chinese suitors flying in and out of Milan on a weekly rotating basis and each claiming as they leave town to have the deal secured you have to wonder if Berlusconi will ever relinquish total control of his beloved team.

This week the ex Italian premier met with representatives of the Chinese consortium who are in an injury time tussle with Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol to secure a controlling share of the club. Bee had spent all of the previous week in Milan locked in discussions with Berlusconi. True to the script the Thai businessman left Italy on Monday saying he was confident a deal would be done by the end of May.

As Bee Taechaubol headed back to Bangkok Berlusconi was claimed to already be in talks with an agent of the Chinese government who are supporting the interest of the other suitor, beverage tycoon Zong Quinghou.

Sources have said the Chinese proposal would involve an initial purchase of 35% of the club with the inclusion of an immediate capital injection to fund new transfers, something AC Milan are in urgent need of. The Chinese shareholding would then gradually rise to just over 60% over the next three to five years.

Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera reported that Berlusconi apparently has a preference for the Chinese bidders suggesting they possess far more financial might than the Thai consortium.

Stay tuned for the next episode.

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