Milan owner turns down Commisso offer even with time ticking
Li Yonghong, the president and co-owner of Italian soccer giants AC Milan, has rejected the chance of a quick sale to Rocco Commisso, chief executive of Mediacom, the US cable television company, even though he is in a race against time to keep control of the club.
Li values Milan at around €700 million ($818 million), and, according to sources in USA, the bid from Commisso (pictured) comes in at around €500 million, including debt.
Li risks losing control of the club to his creditor, US investment fund Elliott, unless he pays €32 million by 6 July.
Commisso, owner of North American soccer's New York Cosmos, has offered to buy 70 per cent of Milan from Li.
There has also been interest from the Ricketts family, owner of Major League Baseball's Chicago Cubs.
A consortium led by Li acquired Milan from Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, in April of last year, but the takeover has proved controversial, with reports of investigations by financial regulators in China and Italy, and, despite a large outlay on new players, Milan failed to qualify for the Uefa Champions League in the 2017-18 season.
To make matters worse, Uefa, European soccer's governing body, has banned Milan from next season's second-tier Europa League because of their uncertain finances. The club has vowed to appeal against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.