Milan owner Li slams 'fake news' over financial woes

Li Yonghong hopes his assurances will "calm down the environment" around AC Milan after reports he was close to financial ruin.

Published : Feb 21, 2018 21:01 IST

AC Milan president owner Li Yonghong has dismissed reports of him being on the brink of bankruptcy as "fake news".

Li's Rossoneri Sport Investment group completed a €740million takeover of Milan in April last year and bankrolled an extensive squad overhaul during the close season, which included moves for the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Hakan Calhanoglu, Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic.

Amid mounting speculation over the Chinese entrepreneur's financial situation, Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reported Li was having to auction off assets in his homeland to settle debts.

In a statement on Milan's official website, Li said Milan and his family had been "severely damaged" by the claims.

"Some media have irresponsibly reported fake news that has damaged the club, my companies, my family and myself," the statement read.

"From the day I bought AC Milan, I have faced difficulties and have been under unprecedented pressure. Following these reports and irresponsible news reports, I would like to calm down the environment around the club and the team.

"We do not understand the purpose of these allegations but they have now reached the point where the club is severely damaged by them and so are my companies and my family.

"I want therefore to take the opportunity to explain - hoping this will be the last time - that the situation concerning my assets is safe and sound and that both the club and my companies are steadily working.

"I, therefore, hope that no credit is given to the latest news that isn't true and that attention can be focused on what we all care about - the management of and the improvements of the team, and that we all keep supporting coach Rino Gattuso."

Milan lie seventh in Serie A and hold a 3-0 lead after the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie against Ludogorets.

Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella as head coach in November and his team are currently on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, winning six.


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