Fly Emirates owner set to invest in 25% stake in Milan and work on bringing the Portuguese superstar at the San Siro…
It is a well-known affair that Milan are not exactly flushed with funds at the moment. In fact, funds are quite scarce. After the exodus of so many club legends in the past few weeks, the Milan squad has become rather thin also. New players are needed and quality ones too in order to for the team to remain compeitive. But, this requires money which is not readily available and all this points to a rather uncertain future.
Yet, reports emerging this week that Fly Emirates Chairman, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, could be set to increase his company’s share in the club. His interest to do so could not have come at a more pivotal moment in time as this could mean that money may become more readily available. Maybe the future is not so uncertain after all.
Fly Emirates signed a deal with Milan in February of 2010 to become the club’s new shirt sponsor. The four-year deal is worth some €60 million. However, their Dubai-based company is now looking to invest even more in the club.
Reports in Italy by various media outlets including Silvio Berlusconi’s own Mediaset, claim that Al Maktoum is looking to increase his company’s share in the Italian club to 25%, which would require an investment of €200 million. He would also like in return to have one of his company’s representatives given a place on the board of directors.
This is not the first time that Al Maktoum has been reportedly interested in increasing his investment in the Italian club. Eighteen months ago there was talk that he wanted to buy 35% of Milan for an amount of €500 million.
The deal, if it really was on at all, never took place. But, with Milan’s precarious financial situation one suspects that Berlusconi will pay more attention to such offers now. Berlusconi, it was reported, was to hold a meeting with Al Maktoum on Friday this week to discuss the potential sale of some of club’s shares. The meeting, however, has been postponed until later next week.
The deal, if it comes to fruition, could also see Milan buy the San Siro outright. Currently, they only rent it from the local council – as do Inter – in a contract that runs through to 2016. But, they are interested in owning it in bid to increase the club’s revenue in the future. While the Nerazzurri look to construct their own new stadium elsewhere, Milan will try and buy the stadium and the surrounding area from the council. They have attempted to do so before, but, a lack of financial means saw them fail. However, if Fly Emirates do increase their investment in the club then it may become a real possibility that, finally, Milan will soon have its own stadium.
In a week where infighting between the Galliani and Berlusconi contingent has reportedly divided the club, the prospect of Al Maktoum – who is worth some €16 million – expanding his ties with the club has brought much hope. Not only could it see the San Siro becoming exclusively owned by Milan, but, it could pave the way for new investments in the team. Inevitably, Cristiano Ronaldo – a favourite of Berlusconi – has been linked with the club following these reports, however, it remains pure speculation at this time. But, at least we can start to dream again.