Prosecutors investigate Milan sale

AFP
Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into the sale of AC Milan to Chinese businessman Li Yonghong following claims of suspect financial dealings.
AFP

ITALIAN prosecutors have opened an investigation into the sale of AC Milan to Chinese businessman Li Yonghong following claims of suspect financial dealings, according to reports on Wednesday.

It follows three “reports of suspicious transactions” transmitted in recent months by the Bank of Italy financial information unit to the Guardia di Finanza — the Italian police force that deals with financial crimes — Gazzetta dello Sport daily reported.

Milan deputy prosecutor Fabio De Pasquale, in charge of ‘International Affairs-Transnational Financial Crimes’, has opened a specific type of file that is without either criminal offense or suspects. The file contains information relating to last year’s sale as reported to the Guardia di Finanza.

Milan was sold in April last year by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to a Chinese-led consortium for 740 million euros (US$913 million) with the use of offshore funds. Since then, there have been questions about the financial stability of the consortium that subsequently went on a 200-million euro summer spending spree on new players.

The seven-time European champion has taken a massive loan to manage repayments and is in trouble with European football’s governing body UEFA over Financial Fair Play restrictions.

Should it qualify for European competition at the end of the season, Milan could be barred from taking part.


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