Breaking Down How a Foreign Owner Would Affect AC Milan

Matteo BonettiContributor IApril 26, 2014


Even though the Berlusconi family vehemently denied reports that they were selling Milan, rumors have been circulating, as noted by Peter Hanson of, that a move could be made if the right offer came around.

In February 1986, Silvio Berlusconi purchased the club and saved them from imminent bankruptcy. Not many could have guessed just how successful his club would become.

Adriano Galliani shares a moment with his son and Barbara Berlusconi.
Adriano Galliani shares a moment with his son and Barbara Berlusconi.Roberto Serra/Getty Images

In the years following, the Rossoneri would go on to become one of the most successful teams in the history of football, winning three Champions League titles under the likes of Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello.

The club became the second-most successful club in European competition during the past few decades, and it was all because of the "champagne football" that Berlusconi sought to bring.

Times have vastly changed since the days when Milan could field two world-class XIs. Now, the club has tried to balance the books and create an economically stable club that tries to exploit free transfer signings and hopefully build up from their youth system.

Milan haven't won a major title since 2011, when Massimiliano Allegri's men hoisted the Scudetto trophy at the end of the season for finishing first in the Serie A standings.

Now, the club has an awkward mix of aging veterans in their twilight and role players who would be better suited to a relegation-threatened side.

Long gone are the days of seeing a wealth of superstars at Milan.
Long gone are the days of seeing a wealth of superstars at Milan.New Press/Getty Images

That being said, Milan still has a few valuable assets across the board, and a few summer transfer arrivals could give them the chance to fight to get back into a European place next season.

A few days ago, Italian media claimed that a foreign investor had offered upwards of €500 million for control of the club, a story that was later denied.

Billionaire Peter Lim from Singapore seemed to be the front-runner, while another Chinese investor known as Zong Qinghou was also eyeing a potential takeover.

There's no doubt that a monetary influx from overseas would dramatically help a club that has been reeling in recent seasons.


Milan presidents since 1980Years in charge
Gaetano Morazzoni1980 - 1982
Giuseppe Farina1982 - 1986
Rosario Lo Verde1986
Silvio Berlusconi1986 - Present


For a club that hadn't sacked a coach in around a decade, they got rid of the maligned Massimiliano Allegri in January for a familiar newcomer—Clarence Seedorf.

The lack of stability and confusion about direction of the club has led to constant speculation if the only way forward is a new set of ideals and also a bit of financial help from a lending hand.

Adding to the mayhem, Silvio Berlusconi has become scrutinized by the media because of his laundry list of pending cases and other mishaps, which have taken his focus away from football.

There's no doubt that these types of problems have added to the decline, as his son and daughter have taken on a larger role in the organization, both in marketing and sales.

Silvio Berlusconi has a myriad of accusations and several pending cases against him.
Silvio Berlusconi has a myriad of accusations and several pending cases against him.Luca Bruno

The Singaporean tycoon Lim is perhaps Milan's best chance of rekindling their past glory, but the club would undoubtedly lose a bit of their allure if the Berlusconi family decides to step down.

A foreign owner with no ties to the club or country would view it more as a business model than as a fan, and this could hurt the club as much as it could aid them.

The most important thing a foreign investor could bring is a new stadium, as a privately financed stadium is the way forward for Italian teams. Juventus just built their own state-of-the-art dome, while Roma and Udinese have plans of bringing privately owned futuristic stadiums to their own clubs.

By owning their own place, teams can collect more of the revenue as opposed to renting a public facility from the city. It's an archaic facet of the game still very much stuck within the politics of the country, and it's time for Italy to move forward in this regard as it will only improve the league.

In the end, a foreign investor would bring the type of cash influx that we've seen throughout Europe with various takeovers of teams such as Manchester City, Paris St. Germain and Monaco, but a certain amount of mystique around the club would be lost.

Perhaps this is a problem only the most fervent of fans will feel, but the notion of "selling out" is one that rings true and would dilute the amount of characters seen in Serie A that make the league so colorful. 

However, the benefits of finally seeing the club return to glory days are needed, as the organization clearly cannot spend like they used to.