It appears that the Yonghong Li era at AC Milan might be coming to a close.
Multiple reports are stating that Li missed a payment of €32 million that was due today, effectively meaning that Elliott management are now set to take over ownership at the club.
Breaking: Multiple reports Yonghong Li has failed to pay €32m to increase capital, so Elliott Management effectively ready to take over #ACMilan https://t.co/WskjuC4see #SerieA #FFP pic.twitter.com/czUBoWckUO— footballitalia (@footballitalia) June 22, 2018
Elliott Management will now have to provide the money to keep the club operating, and Li has until 10 July to repay the loan, but the likelihood of that happening is very, very slim & if Li cannot come up with the €32 million today, it’s going to be impossible for him to come up with the €380 million that is owed to Elliott Management in October.
There has been speculation that Elliott Management has already been making arrangements to take over the club and find a new owner. Stephen Ross, owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, was rumored to be interested back in May.
Tom Ricketts’ family are quoted in Italy as confirming the desire to become a “controlling stakeholder” in #ACMilan. https://t.co/kyV9Qeqvjx pic.twitter.com/DjoIhUnZbK— footballitalia (@footballitalia) June 22, 2018
Another name emerged today as a possible owner for Milan. Tom Ricketts, another American, is reportedly interested in taking a “controlling interest” in the club. Ricketts, along with his family, are already the owners of the Chicago Cubs in America’s Major League Baseball.
The Cubs recently won a championship after over a 100 years without a title. The Ricketts family has poured money into the historic franchise, increasing its value and profile in the United States and abroad.
For an owner with a track record such as the Ricketts family to be interested in Milan would be a good thing for the club. Despite not having any obvious ties to Milan or Italy, the Rickett family would still be a more stable owner than the Yonghong Li or any of the Chinese owners that seem to be currently in trouble across European Football, with owners such as Dr. Tony Xia also having trouble meeting financial obligations at Aston Villa.
The Rickett family have also been willing to spend in order to secure a winning team, something that is vital for a club like Milan that needs to spend money, and spend it well, in order to restore the club to its historic heights in both Italy and in European competition.
Will this deal go through? Lots of names have been mentioned in relation to Milan recently, with a number of high-profile American sports team owners rumored to be interested. In the short term at least, it appears that the Li days are almost certainly coming to an end and it also appears that Elliott Management is looking to “flip” the club to another investor or owner and not operate the club itself, which is also a relief.
Hopefully the ownership situation will resolve itself soon as the club still awaits whatever punishment that UEFA will dole out for the club’s violation of FFP, after the club’s settlement offer was rejected last month.