By June 18th, a Financial Fair Play committee will decide whether Yonghong Li and AC Milan have violated any laws and regulations as well as what the consequence of said actions would be. Now, Li paying part of the €303 million in debt wouldn’t actually stop the hearing from taking place, however, it would potentially help assuage any potential fallout for the club.
Sadly, today’s actions certainly won’t help.
The first payment of €10m was due today, with another €30m expected by June 15th, in order to keep control in Li’s hands. However, according to a technical error cited by Li, the funds will not be made available today, but could be there tomorrow.
That’s right. A business savvy entrepreneur with vast years of experience in the rugged and cutthroat sales landscape summed up the missed deadline with the phrase, “technical error”.
I’m no world class business man. In fact, I’m not even very good at managing my own finances (thanks wife)! However, I know if I send my friend Dave $30 for beers on Chase Quickpay, or Venmo, he gets it pretty quickly. Hell, even if he tries to deposit the transfer immediately into his account, the funds show up as pending. So perhaps this boils down to ignorance, but knowing the significance and the impact this will have on Milan’s future as a big club, how does this happen?
In the end, regardless if Li made those payments or not, the hearing will take place. The payments negotiated for his holding company, Rossoneri Luxembourg, were really there to stave off the Elliot Management group, as well as to show a semblance of responsibility. His failure to comply, speaks volumes for his intentions as well as his
ability failure to oversee a large footballing body.
Li was in Italy this weekend and did not meet with Gennaro Gattuso or footballing director Massimiliano Mirabelli. So what was he doing you might ask? Rumors have been circulating Li has found a private investor, a silent partner, to help subsidize his Milan ventures. Essentially he might have found a new credit card, to pay off his old credit card. However, any potential plan or deal he might have made will not be ready to present by the 18th of June, and even if it were, it would probably not change much.
Yonghong Li has to go, we can all agree to that I’m sure. What happens next to AC Milan is anyone’s guess. Out of European competition, fined €100 million, forced to sell players, and finish mid table for the next five years? Or, the Elliot Management group comes on board, makes us profitable (by redundancies), and sells us off to someone else? Or perhaps, nothing transpires.
At the end of the day, there is no good outcome from a fan’s perspective. Just a cautionary tale for teams who have their eye on the global, elite footballing prize.