Before, and after, his takeover of AC Milan, Yonghong Li has been the target of reports scrutinising his cashflow. There is plenty of evidence (which could certainly be dismissed as simple speculation and situational evidence) that points at Li not ‘quite’ being who is says he is. For the truth of the matter, we must simply go on the mans word - or until anything of note is actually revealed.
Recent reports from two Italian publications La Stampa and Il Secolo XIX reported that Silvio Berlusconi’s sale of the club was possibly fraudulent, and that money was laundered through the sale of the club to Li’s RSIL group.
The following is Li’s statement on the Milan website:
“The articles recently published by the Italian newspapers ‘La Stampa’ and ‘Il Secolo XIX’, and then resumed by many other media, relating to an alleged money laundering investigation against the Fininvest group (which was later denied by the Public Prosecutor’s Office) require me to make clarifications as party involved. AC Milan purchase process has always been carried out with the utmost transparency, compliance with regulations and correctness, with the support and advice of international financial and legal advisors. All procedures were followed in full compliance with the laws and practices in force. All financial institutions, sports organizations and authorities involved received the documentation, either required or requested, to assess and approve both the “closing” process and the qualifications of the new Property now managing the Team. What I have read these days absolutely does not reflect the reality of facts. Therefore, while considering the Group that I chair, AC Milan S.p.A., and myself as injured party of this unfortunate and unacceptable media campaign based on speculations and misleading information, we reserve the right to take all necessary legal actions to protect at best the image, the reputation and the financial solidity of AC Milan and of the reference group”.
It’s good that Li has come out swinging, however he must realise that there is cause for concern within the Milan fanbase about his legitimacy after some of his ‘assets’ were revealed to, well, not exist.
What’s more, the basis of the media’s accusations is off the back of a police report which has indicated that the sale of Milan contains ‘suspicious operations’.
The truth will out, but once more concerns are being raised about Milan’s ownership. All we can do is wait.