What the Berlusconi Situation Means for AC Milan and their Transfer Activity

Matteo BonettiContributor IJuly 5, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 29:  AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi looks on prior to the the Serie A match between AC Milan and US Lecce at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 29, 2010 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Silvio Berlusconi was recently sentenced to seven years in prison after his alleged sex scandal. It would take an Italian lawyer at least 48 hours to fully explain the Italian judicial system, so I won't even bother getting into it too much.

However, this is nothing new. The former Italian prime minister and owner of Milan has been embroidered in legal issues for the past two decades, but has not spent time in jail. 

Berlusconi can appeal the sentence three times, and each appeal can take up to three years to materialize into a formal decision. Long story short, it's very unlikely that Silvio will ever spend one day behind bars.

So, technically, this decision doesn't affect Milan too much. For the past several years, director Adriano Galliani has taken a much more prominent role behind closed doors. He has had an increased say in what goes on in the transfer market, and has been entrusted with Berlusconi's money to make the economic decisions.

The funds behind Milan aren't run so much by an individual entity like Berlusconi as they are by the Berlusconi-owned financial holding company Fininvest, which controls his other activities.

Either way, transfer business at Milan has radically changed since the early 2000s. A decade ago, the team could field two top starting XIs and have inimitable success in every competition.

Now that the club knows they can't compete with some of Europe's most lavish spenders who have been bought out by foreign investors, they've pledged to build through their improving youth sector, which has pumped out some of football's greatest legends.

Also, a player purchase must always be balanced by a sale. If Milan do acquire CSKA midfielder Keisuke Honda, it will be from the sales of either Robinho or Kevin-Prince Boateng. The financial situation at Milan is now a healthy one based on the principle of equilibrium.

Once the details of financial fair play kick into fifth gear, you can be assured that the Rossoneri will be one of the clubs that will stay out of trouble.

For now, don't expect the ongoing Berlusconi saga to have any real effect on Milan's transfer campaign. Business will resume as usual, and fans must be grounded and not expect exorbitant transfers or unrealistic targets.

Fortunately, the youth program has a plethora of talented players waiting to make the jump to the first team. Following in the footsteps of Mattia De Sciglio, expect Bryan Cristante and Andrea Petagna to see some first-team minutes this season.