It’s the only thing that could begin to distract from the Derby. A Derby with both teams separated by only two points. Both clubs aiming for a Europa League spot. Inter have more quality players, but Milan have better form and more heart. A game that could be one of the biggest of the year, and yet two days ahead of it, we are talking about something else. The only thing that is bigger than the Derby is the closing of the sale of the club.
|Cartoon artist @Valerio Marini on the takeover|
Everything finally seems to be in place. First Han Li arrived in Milano. Then Yonghong Li. Then the current Milan Board of Directors met and signed their resignations, which will become effective when ratified on Friday. Next up, the remaining money is expected to arrive today from Rossoneri Sports Lux. There will be a lot of paperwork and meetings today and tomorrow. Everything expected to be ratified for the takeover at the shareholder’s meeting on Friday.
That means Silvio will no longer be in power. It is widely speculated that he will not accept the Honorary President title, which reports said would also make him Vice Chairman to Yonghong Li in the new organizational structure.
It also means that Galliani is out, and he is likely to try to run for President of Serie A, which is currently vacant. Barbara Berlusconi will also be out, and I can only hope she takes her business skills and good sense somewhere where Daddy can’t undermine everything she does.
|An all Chinese San Siro?|
With the Berlusconi Era finally ending, what is next? Well Yonghong Li will own the club, and likely be President, although there is some speculation that title may be given to Paolo Scaroni. The Board of Directors is expected to consist of four Chinese members and four Italians. We have long known, of course, that Fassone will be CEO and Mirabelli is going to be the Sporting Director.
Additionally, it is being reported that members representing the Elliot fund will have some type of power on the Board for the 18 month duration of Yonghong Li’s loan. It is expected that they will have to approve Milan’s business plan and may be granted the power to approve player purchases, etc. If that is the case, it means our transfer markets will still be very complicated and player transfers will be very complicated.
|Marini's interpretation of the next Derby of the San Siro|
Not that any of this was ever not going to be complicated, with an owner on the other side of the world who has no experience in football at all, let alone Serie A. But here we are, for better or for worse. At least we won’t have to see the constant reports about closing/not closing anymore. I have no idea what the Italian media are going to talk about now, but I’m sure they’ll find something. I hear Berlusconi’s dog has a website.
Now bring on the Derby… I’m craving some serious snake blood…
This post inspired by the music of Andrea Bocelli’s “Con te Partiro”
Our next match is
il Derby della Madonnina
Inter vs. Milan
Saturday, April 15 • 12:30 CST (6:30am EDT)