Atletico Madrid Sell 20% of Club Shares to Chinese Businessman Wang Jianlin

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2015

Wanda Chairman Wang Jianlin attends a signing ceremony to mark Dalian Wanda Group's expansion into UK businesses during an event held in Beijing, China, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Chinese property and cinema conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group says it is buying British yacht maker Sunseeker and will develop an upmarket London hotel, expanding into the luxury market as part of the latest foray abroad by a major Chinese firm. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Ng Han Guan/Associated Press

Atletico Madrid have confirmed Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group, now owns 20 percent of the club's shares.

The Spanish side's website posted an in-depth look at the agreement, which aims to increase Atletico's brand recognition across the globe. Wang stated:

Wanda’s investment in Atletico de Madrid is another step in our efforts to build a comprehensive entertainment portfolio for our domestic and international clients. We are delighted with the possibility of contributing to the growth of Atletico de Madrid with its solid fan base and a brand that is rapidly expanding internationally.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 30:  A Club Atletico de Madrid supporter arrives at the Vicente Calderon stadiun for the start of La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and RC Deportivo La Coruna on November 30, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  An RC Deportivo La
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Wanda's funds will allow Atletico to "significantly shore up its balance sheet," perhaps leading to further investment in players down the line. The entertainment company's agreement will yield approximately €45 million, according to the official report.

Atletico chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin and president Enrique Cerezo will continue to make the major decisions, but Wang now has a chance to influence the club's path. According to AS, "people that he trusts will work closely with the club's administrators."

Gil is looking to the future, saying, "this is a major step for the club in its efforts to build a leading global brand that will provide the financial resources to remain competitive in Europe and provide riveting experiences for our fans," per Atletico's release.

MADRID, SPAIN - DECEMBER 14:  Head coach Diego Pablo Simeone of Atletico de Madrid sits on the bench prior to start the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Villarreal CF at Vicente Calderon Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.  (Ph
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Supporters may hope this agreement will aid the club's ability to maintain its top players. Stars such as Sergio Aguero, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa have left the Vicente Calderon in recent years, forcing Atletico to continually find top-class talent in order to compete with neighbours Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Diego Simeone led the Rojiblancos to La Liga success last season, missing out on Champions League victory with a 4-1 loss to Real in the final. The club has a reputation for playing hard-working, creative football, a style that no doubt attracted Wang to make his move.


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