The Great Wall of China

Delay. Another Delay. More Delays. The only news of the sale of Milan these days is how much longer it is going to be before the deal closes. But why is that? After the €100m  non-refundable deposit was made, along with the agreement to close by the end of the year, I thought for sure it would really happen. Now we face yet another delay, losing out on another mercato. And the only one profiting from this is Fininvest. A profit of another €100m, to be exact. So Berlusconi and Galliani stay in power, holding the club hostage, and they’re getting paid for it, too. Our mercato is going to be strangled by not just two CEOs now, but three CEOs, two Sporting Directors, and a consortium of mysterious people who have yet to be identified. Not to mention that no one is disclosing whether Fininvest will even use any of that cold hard cash to spend in the mercato in the first place. People keep saying that there is a problem getting the money out of China to close the deal, but with a second deposit of €100m, I find that impossible to believe. This deal is being thwarted by the Great Wall of China.

Shrouded in mystery, but endless and uncompromising... just like the Sino Europe Sports deal

The Great Wall of China was originally built as a defensive strategy, to protect the Chinese from attackers. But it later had other purposes, including to help impose taxes and tariffs on goods coming in and out of China. So I figure the wall must be the holdup here, because nothing else makes sense. It is preventing the names of the potential investors to exit China, and must also be blocking the money.

To me, the mystery behind the members of Sino Europe Sports is the most worrying thing. Who is trying to buy Milan? Are they a bunch of Super Villains? A bunch of corporate criminals? Or even worse, a bunch of Interisti who are trying to take down the club? And why can’t we know who they are? It was suggested that the way the Chinese market works, with some of the consortium members likely being partially owned by the Chinese government, announcing their involvement could impact their stock prices positively or negatively, perhaps with devastating effects if the deal didn’t go through. But why are they taking the risk in the first place, then, if it’s such a volatile risk?

"Here's a jersey with your name on it. That will be €200m please"

Most telling is that when Fininvest finally asked for full disclosure of the investors names last week, they skirted that issue with cold, hard cash. They literally are willing to pay another (I assume non-refundable) €100m to keep their identities secret and buy them more time. Not only is that a massive red flag as to who they might be, it tells me that they may not entirely exist just yet. Why would anyone trying to buy a major club to boost their income/image/football power not want people to know who they are? This is not the Year of the Rat, but I certainly smell one.

People have been star struck over the money issue for some time now. And reports continue that getting such a large sum of money past the Great Wall is the current problem preventing the deal from closing. But I don’t buy that. If they can get €200m out of China over the course of a few months, including €100m over the course of less than a week, why can’t they get €470m out over the course of six months? Unless maybe they don’t have the full amount? Or maybe they don’t have all of the investors? Because those are far more likely scenarios than the government not allowing that amount of money to leave. The Suning Group who bought Inter were able to get €270m out of the country in no time. And in fact, hundreds of millions have managed to get past the Great Wall of China to purchase or invest in European football clubs. I simply cannot believe this is the real problem any more.

La Gazzetta dello Sport mapped out just how much Chinese money has made it to Europe for football

We have discussed Silvio’s meddling ways. But why would they drop an additional €100m above and beyond the long-negotiated price if he were the problem with the closing? That makes no sense at all. The overall ineptitude thus far of the Sino Europe Group, including missing out on Maldini, cannot be the problem, either. Because that ineptitude is still in action. Fassone and Mirabelli are still working independently of Milan, scouting players that the current organization is not interested in. Which means we have another transfer window where Fininvest, Berlusconi, Galliani, Fassone, Mirabelli, and our mystery buyers all have to agree on the players and prices before we can make any moves one way or the other. And we saw how well that worked in the summer. Essentially, Sino Europe Sports are now paying €200m to completely hobble Milan’s transfer window as well as the future development and success of the club. Which is ridiculous, because Berlusconi and Galliani were already doing that successfully on their own.

Given all of these facts, the only thing I can believe now is that the deal is being obstructed by the actual Great Wall of China. It is a tangible physical barrier that has protected China for thousands of years. But with the continued failures within this deal, and even the unknowns should it succeed, the question is who is it protecting? Is the Wall protecting China from Milan? Or is the Wall protecting Milan from Sino Europe Sports and China? Certainly the only ones benefitting from this are Fininvest. €200m richer and still ruining… I mean running… the club, they are being blessed by the Great Wall of China.

This post inspired by the music of Jane’s Addiction “Been Caught Stealing”

Our next match is
Roma vs. Milan
Monday, December 12 • 21:00 CET (3pm EST) 

The Great Wall of China The Great Wall of China Reviewed by Elaine on 7:00 AM Rating: 5
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