Berlusconi reiterates family commitment to Milan
15 Apr 2013
AC Milan board member Barbara Berlusconi has maintained that her family has no interest in selling the Serie A giant.
Italy’s former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has controlled the club since 1986 and his tenure had long seen Milan being renowned as one of the financial powerhouses of European football. However, this situation has changed in recent years with club executives repeatedly stating this season that a financially responsible approach is a necessity in the current market. Milan has been the subject of a number of takeover reports in recent months and Silvio Berlusconi in February stated his desire to keep the club in his family, but admitted the situation may change if Italy’s economic crisis continues.
Barbara Berlusconi, who serves as Milan’s director in charge of special projects, has maintained the club will continue to be a key part of the family portfolio. “My father has taught us all something: that AC Milan has a place in our hearts,” she told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper. “The Berlusconi family will never sell the club. Creating partnerships for investment in order to grow is one thing, but selling the club is another. And it won’t happen.”
The summer sales of star players Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain for Eur62 million issued the first real sign of Milan’s new approach. The transfers, allied to a poor start to the new season, upset the club’s fans, but Milan has since recovered to third in Serie A. Barbara Berlusconi states that cost-cutting efforts have helped the club reduce salary spending to 50% of its turnover. She added: “That isn’t only due to the sale of Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic however… This is a club capable of financing itself. (However) It’s wrong to speak of a balanced budget as though it were the number one priority. Football is based on sporting results, and it’s that which give us our worldwide appeal. We want to bring the two things together good management and results on the field, and that’s what we’re doing.”