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Berlusconi's Wallet

While everyone is still busy hemming and hawing over Mr. X, it is time we take a good look at the fines levied at Silvio and Fininvest. For those who don't believe this is a problem, I think it may be a little worse than imagined. Fininvest is a shell for a conglomerate of Italian companies whose 38 shares are owned by other companies, mostly controlled by none other than Silvio Berlusconi himself or his family. A pyramid scheme if I have ever seen one, and one the main reason the conflict of interest rumors surrounding Berlusconi and his Italian Presidency have never gone away. Within this giant mess lies our beloved AC Milan and if the parent Corp, all tying back to Berlu, is fined 798 Million Dollars than the whole torrid web of companies suffers.

Now the fine will most likely be appealed and reduced, but 790 million dollars is no small chunk of change. If it is reduced to around 500 million dollars it is still an exorbitant sum of money that will trickle down into all Berlusconi's business affairs, most notably AC Milan. Now none of us expected lavish spending and signings this summer, and the fact that we got some help with Taiwo, Mexes, El Shaarawy, and Paloschi is a great market as it stands. But the hunt for Mr. X is most likely dead in the water with news of this fine. I can't imagine it smart or prudent for Berlu to sink any more money into AC Milan as it would reflect poorly on share holders as well as business partners. This fine pretty much closes Milan's market, maybe for good measure, as the team was 60M Euros in debt at the end of last season despite the management's fiscal frugality and attempts to balance the budget.

Now it isn't all doom and gloom, and for those who have followed Silvio through his years of tanning and botox will know all to well that he is the "Teflon Don" when it comes to this type of stuff. He always comes out A-OK and so does AC Milan, one way or another, and while I am sure the luck will run out someday, I have a feeling today isn't the day. So before we start calling for shares of the Club to be sold to Middle Eastern or Russian Oil tycoons, let's take a deep breath and remember that becoming Man City or Chelsea isn't exactly the best course of action for AC Milan. Just look at the inability to sell a player like Tevez because they can't get their player values right!?

In the end though Milan will survive, and while Allegri and Fester have already come out and said Milan are a complete squad. We all can agree that if you aren't improving you are merely spinning your wheels, and while I admit for once I am in the the optimistic group I can see us making a strong push to retain the title, but a CL run is a bit more of a challenge though not impossible as I have seen teams do better with less on their squad. Only time will tell if my optimism for this roster will be rewarded!