Hints that Silvio Berlusconi might be selling AC Milan
At the end of the 2011-2012 Serie A season, many thought that it was time for AC Milan patron, Silvio Berlusconi, to sell the club seeing that the books were in the red by €67.3 million which the ex-Italian Prime Minister covered with his own bank account. With the intention of returning to politics, this may be the best decision for Rossoneri fans, although it must be said that Berlusconi is responsible for creating such a highly competitive side that has shone on all fronts namely Serie A and Champions League.
There are a few hints indicating that a possible sale of the Milanese club is imminent. First, in order to attract big spenders, one of the main factors to look for is that the club is debt- and deficit-free. As mentioned above, Berlusconi has already assured this would not be an issue for any potential buyer.
Next, the club needs to have appeal and AC Milan certainly does not lack anything in this regard. Having won the most championships worldwide, the Diavoli are a prestigious club worthy of respect and honour. Most recently, Forbes Magazine has drawn up a list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world in all domains and has Milan ranked 27th behind other soccer clubs such as Manchester United (first), Real Madrid (second), Barcelona (8th), Arsenal (10th), and Bayern Munich (11th). The Rossoneri are ranked the highest among Italian clubs seeing that it is the only one on the list!
Thirdly, many of the highest earning players last year have been dismissed such as Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Gennaro Gattuso, Mark van Bommel, and most notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva. Robinho is also said to be on the chopping block if need be. As a result, the average age of the squad has decreased and the players remaining have salaries that are more manageable than the ones listed above. This, however, may have a negative impact on buying appeal since there are no big named stars. But this is a problem all over Italy, not just in Milan.
There is no doubt that Serie A is on the downfall and the economic issues in Italy certainly are not helping Italian football to stay alive which, together with the points stated above, renders this a time worthwhile to sell. All the pieces are in place or are at least slowly falling into place for an eventual sale. Problem is, Italians are keen on holding onto what they own and keep it Italian, although AS Roma is now owned by Italian-American, Thomas DiBenedetto. Foreign investment is what the Serie A needs at the moment to bring it up to par with other leagues.
Is it worthwhile for a filthy rich Arab or Russian to invest in Italy for a world renowned club valued at $989 million?
What are your thoughts?
… and that’s the last word.