Home / Soccer News / Paddy Agnew’s Notes from Italy: Berlusconi facing questions about Milan sale

Paddy Agnew’s Notes from Italy: Berlusconi facing questions about Milan sale

Former proprietor and PM is again within the public eye amid allegations of cash laundering associated with Chinese deal

It was once identical to the outdated days. With an Italian General Election lower than two months away, Silvio Berlusconi on Sunday took to the air waves to stipulate his Forza Italia birthday celebration programme in view of the March fourth vote.

As so frequently up to now, the 81-year-old, 3 times former Italian Prime Minister didn’t restrict his electoral gross sales pitch to the political problems with the day. Not unusually, Mr. Berlusconi discovered himself having to reply to questions about his former soccer membership, AC Milan, bought to Chinese entrepreneur, Li Yonghong, for €740 million euro final April.

The level is that final Saturday, Turin day-to-day La Stampa initiated a livid polemic by means of reporting that AC Milan are recently being investigated (in Italy) for imaginable cash laundering in the case of the sale of the membership final spring. The information file was once nearly in an instant denied by means of senior Milan public prosecutor, Francesco Greco, who stated that, “at the moment”, there was once no such enquiry ongoing in his administrative center.

Mr. Berlusconi’s very long time defence legal professional, Niccolò Ghedini, argued that Fake News was once getting used in opposition to his consumer within the context of a decent electoral contest. Even if Mr. Berlusconi himself isn’t operating in those elections, for the reason that he’s recently banned from public administrative center following a 2013 conviction for tax fraud, his Forza Italia birthday celebration maximum indubitably is a big participant on this contest.

What is extra, the newest opinion polls recommend that Forza Italia may just go back an 18% plus vote, which means that the birthday celebration (or quite its chief) may just turn into a key determine within the aftermath of a vote that turns out most likely to provide us with a hung parliament.

Hence, Mr. Berlusconi is out at the marketing campaign path: “Every time we have elections and it looks like I am going be a winner, they invent all manner of things. This time, it’s a really big one that has already been stood down by the Milan Public Prosecutor’s office…” Mr. Berlusconi advised “Domenica Live” presenter Barbara D’Urso all through a Sunday chat programme on his personal Canale five channel.

“Do you really think it is possible that if someone had funds overseas, he would try to bring them back into the country via a business deal that had generated millions of pages of newspaper coverage and hours of TV news reports?”

Mr. Berlusconi went directly to reassure Milan lovers that he had left the membership within the protected arms of an entrepreneur who, up to now, “has kept his side of the bargain”, making all of the required bills, even forking out €240 million on final summer time’s switch marketplace. Despite Mr. Berlusconi’s reassurances, on the other hand, UEFA proceed to watch the membership’s complicated, general scenario. Remember final month, UEFA rejected Milan’s software for a “voluntary agreement” throughout the context in their Financial Fair Play rules. In specific, UEFA showed that it had doubts over Milan’s talent to pay off a €300m mortgage to US hedge fund Elliott Management by means of subsequent October.

Ironically, after a depressing autumn which noticed them drop right down to 11th position in Serie A, Milan had a excellent Christmas/New Year. Firstly, they eradicated town competitors Inter from the Italian Cup while, secondly, they defeated Crotone 1-Zero to win their first Serie A recreation of the New Year. New trainer Gennaro Gattuso will without doubt hope that, after this present 10 day, mid-winter smash, he can construct at the regained membership morale when Milan line out away to Cagliari subsequent Sunday night time.

Intriguingly, subsequent weekend’s programme kicks off with league leaders Napoli away to the present large killers, Atalanta, a facet which over the Christmas duration beat each AC Milan and AS Roma in away Serie A video games, in addition to getting rid of Napoli from the Italian Cup. Are they in line for a repeat efficiency in opposition to the league leaders?

The different remarkable recreation comes on Sunday night time when off form Inter play host to a doubtlessly much more off form Roma. Inter took handiest two attracts from their final 3 video games (overwhelmed by means of Sassuolo), while Roma did even worse, shedding two and drawing one (overwhelmed by means of Juventus and Atalanta). All of this might recommend that, in so doing, each groups have already waved good-bye to any title-winning pretensions and that on the San Siro on Sunday night time they’re going to be taking part in for the ones Threerd and fourth position Serie A finishes that imply Champions League qualification. In the respective cases, on the other hand, this has turn into an overly “delicate” recreation.

As for the champions, Juventus, they’re at house to Genoa. Even if Genoa have been considered one of handiest 4 facets to overcome Juventus in Serie A final season, successful Three-1 at house in November 2016, it is rather arduous to look them selecting up issues in Juve’s Allianz Stadium subsequent Monday night time. Currently six issues transparent of the relegation zone, Genoa have already had a metamorphosis of trainer this season, changing Croat Ivan Juric with Davide Ballardini final November.

Given that 2d positioned Juventus are only one level in the back of Napoli, they’re going to be poised and able to level the “sorpasso”, have been Napoli to both draw or lose away to Atalanta. Genoa may well be in for a depressing night time subsequent Monday.

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