Commisso: “I want to close this affair but we’re not there, I’m not in control of the result, Gattuso? I like him a lot”

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Rocco B. Commisso speaks on stage at the 32nd Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner Hosted By TV One at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Walter Kaitz)
Rocco B. Commisso speaks on stage at the 32nd Annual Walter Kaitz Foundation Fundraising Dinner Hosted By TV One at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Walter Kaitz)

Rocco Commisso talked to Gazzetta.it about the negotiations with Milan as he remains hopeful that he can take over.

There are many conflicting reports about the ownership situation at Milan and it’s not entirely clear what’s going on.

But what’s known is that President Yonghong Li failed to reimburse Elliott for the €32m capital increase they paid in his place. With Elliott seemingly ready to take over the club, there are suggestions that Li is talks with a secret investor and hopes to conclude things by tomorrow (Monday) in order to save himself from losing everything. But in the meantime American billionaire Rocco Commisso, who for weeks negotiated with Li and his people, still has hopes that he can become the new Rossoneri owner.

“I have heard that I could be the only Italian emigrant owner in Serie A,” Commisso told the online version of La Gazzetta dello Sport. “If this ever happens, I want Italian football to succeed and not see the national team out of the World Cup. I have to be careful with what I say, because most of this negotiation is private. I want to close this affair, but we are not there yet. We were very close to signing a preliminary contract. Am I confident? I’m not in control of the result.

Yonghong Li and Han Li during a Milan event in Guangzhou, China, on the 16th of July, 2017. (@acmilan.com)
Yonghong Li and Han Li during a Milan event in Guangzhou, China, on the 16th of July, 2017. (@acmilan.com)

“I can say that among all the parties that have been mentioned [Commisso, the Rickets, Stephen Ross, etc.], I’m the only Italian, the only emigrant, I have money, I played football, I know the sport well. I was a Juventino, but Juventus are doing very well, and they don’t need me. It would be nice, like I did at Columbia University, to make a nice contribution to the movement: to bring my experience as an American businessman. As we all know, I started from nothing, I studied and created a big company.

“If it’s all more complicated [after Yonghong Li failed to pay back the €32m to Elliott]? We don’t know what path Mr. Li will take with Mr. Singer [the owner of Elliott]. It’s difficult to predict how things will conclude. Until someone tells me otherwise, I think that Milan is still in the hands of Li. It will probably have to go before a court, but right now he is the owner.

“If I will deal with him? I don’t know, we must first understand who he’s dealing with. I don’t know Paul Singer, but my advisers [Goldman Sachs] do, and he knows who I am. However, I do not make any promises. I never make a promise that I cannot maintain.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Fassone, Gennaro Gattuso, Leonardo Bonucci and Yonghong Li during a meeting with Italy President Sergio Mattarella in Rome on May 8, 2018. (@acmilan.com)
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Marco Fassone, Gennaro Gattuso, Leonardo Bonucci and Yonghong Li during a meeting with Italy President Sergio Mattarella in Rome on May 8, 2018. (@acmilan.com)

“First thing I would do as the owner of Milan? I will have to put in a lot of work. I won’t arrive in Italy thinking I already know everything or more than other people who have spent a long time there. I need to study, but I am someone who learns quickly.

“Gattuso? I like him a lot. When I played on the pitch for Columbia I was like him. Well, I definitely wasn’t as good, but I was very physical, and we are also both Calabrian.”

35 COMMENTS

  1. MUNTARI AND ESSIEN. WE MEET AGAIN. HAHAHAHAHA

    Milan dream team= 4-3-1-2 with LORD BONERA AS OUR CAPTAIN

    Dollarumma$$$
    Mesbah-Bonera-Zapata-Borini
    Poli-Essien-MUNTARI
    Birsa
    Matri-Kalinic

     
    • Mesbah as left back and Borini right. Switch Zapata for Zaccardo and Kalinic for Torres, that’s a winning team.

      Serious note: We Milan Fans have a reason to be cynical and disappointed, our road has been long and painful and is still not finished. But in the end we are still a big club and at the first sign of a (possible) sale many serious and rich names come up. I think we have also been too harsh for the current selection after just one year, we saw some glimpses of what Calhanoglu is truly capable of the last months. He is not the only one, Bonucci, Romagnoli, Rodriguez, Calabria, Calhanoglu and Suso are not bad players, at least not as bad as some people here want them to be. We miss something in midfield and a experienced, proven striker. Halilovic might be the creative midfielder we’ve missed but we’ll have to wait and see what will happen. With the current squad we are strong enough to compete for the first 4 spots. After last year expectations will be low and thus the pressure for the players. I will keep supporting Milan and buy myself a nice new Puma shirt with Calhanoglu on my back.
      Forza Milan!

       
  2. My questions is y didn’t this guys come out to buy the club from Belu last year OR was Belu only interested in selling to unknown ppl. Milan has a rich history and can still attract big names as evidenced by bonucci and other transfers last yr. Pls Li sell or make a clean pathway for this respected club. With good leaders we can still change this horror movie we are experiencing now. My wish is a new owner with liquid cash. Enough of this embarrassment

     
    • Maybe because they couldn’t get the club as cheap as they might be able to get it now or simply because they did not get on with Belu? Let’s hope we get a potent ownership and a pro management team instead of these gamblers and muppets that we currently have.

       
  3. “I am a Juventino”……. then fck off!!! Milan should be reign only by people who have Milan DNA.

    “I am a businessman”……. Oh that’s great. Another smug who wants to buy and sell a club. No, you only manage Milan with of course a good financial plan but Milan is emotions, history, tradition and life!!! Nit a mean of business. So yeah, again, fck off!!!

    I prefer the Rickett family. They have plans for over the next few decades. To bring a structure to this club so it can grow bit by bit to sustain long lasting success.

     
    • Him being a Juventino and a business man is not a problem at all. There are many successful club owners who were supporters of other clubs. And being a great business man is a must for running a well-run, self-funding football club. The age of sugar daddies spending money on football for the sake of it are behind us.

       
      • But i dont feel good about this, juventus is our rival, not just another club. Imagine the conflict of interest whenever juve wants one of our star e.g romagnoli, what would he do? If it were me id sell that kid in a heartbeat, why? Cause im in love with juve. Business is business, but fandom is illogical (thn again we all are illogical, look at our milan, its pathetic, but we still loves them :)) . I also prefer the rickett, i prefer being handled by someone whos not our rival fans.

         
  4. I don’t know who the best candidate is to takeover as I cannot see the future and don’t know enough about all of them or even who they all are.

    But when was the last time Li actually had an interview and talked about milan or the fans or anything? Does Li even speak English (or did he learn any talian) to communicate directly to our management and/players or dies he have translators? Whatever happens, Li leaving is a step in the right direction nonetheless.

    Maybe I’m just desperate, but looking from the outside without too many specific details, Commisso looks like a good candidate and massive improvement over Li.

    He speaks Italian and English so he can develop an actual relationship with management and players (and speak to other teams’ management and develop relationships). He knows and loves the sport, he knows the country and the league. He is transparent (so far) and not afraid of the media. And as he said, he started with nothing and built something great. And another potential plus with me being bias as an American, is that he owns an American television company and has connections that could bring more exposure to the sport, the league, and the team in America.

    The BPL is the only league that casual fans in America follow as it is the only league here that is broadcasted on the major television channels free of subscriptions. I’m not sure where it is like in other countries but I am paying monthly for Serie a, La Liga, and ligue un. The casual fans don’t see have access to those leagues without paying.

    In the end, I know Commisso most likely won’t own milan but I am just praying that someone who actually knows football and business takes over. For example, the rickets family owns a baseball team. How similar is running a baseball team to a football team? I’m not sure, but I do know American sports function quite differently than football. Would they prioritize the cubs over milan? And what the hell do the rickets know about football/milan? I’m not sure. Anyway, I hope things are cleared up soon.

     
  5. Good, so hopefully now the Chinese gambler (he took the club with high interest loans, planning to list it again on the Chinese stock exchange and increase the club’s value so he makes money out of it) and fassobelli (who put the club in UEFA’s hands for penalties running it through the ground, spending over the top money the club didn’t have and lying all of us and blaming the 14-17 period for the UEFA penalties) are on their way out from the club. Would be great if now we can have serious and stable ownership and a pro management team!! Forza Milan!!

     
  6. It looks more and more obvious that the Berlusconi deal was fraudulent.

    €750m was not the amount paid to buy Milan, i believe its lower (probably around€400-500m) and the deal was used to launder money (padded with say €200-250m).

    We wonder why Milan struggle to get a reputable buyer then but i think its obvious now. The question is…. Which buyer was ready to do such deal and only a faceless and unpopular business man like Li could do it. All these recent interested buyers wouldnt have bought it under such conditions.

    Why did all the funds used to complete the deal came through Luxembourg (safe haven) banks? No single one of those transaction was traceable to any source till tomorrow despite all efforts by the media to dig it out. That is because they were hidding something obviously.

    Why is Li always avoiding the media? Fassone recently confirmed this last week during the Question and Answer session with the fans and admitted that it affects the club image. Commisso was ready to fly to Nyon before the panel last week if the deal had gone through. Li never considers this and he’s the one who lets UEFA suspects him.

    Why didnt Li accept Commisso’s offer last week if truly defaulting on Elliot repayment would run him at loss? Li isn’t stupid to invest €1bn in one year and lose all his money because of €35m.

    Li leaves so much questions to be asked and this has badly affected Milan. I hope and pray this bad period ends soon so we can fly again.

     
  7. At this point, everything is up in the air, but one thing seems to be clear: The ‘stupid’ YongHongLi era at Milan is over – Theoffside.com.
    The great AC Milan as we all know was dead by a lot of managing faults in the past, and there is a long road to its rebirth.
    God save us and our loving club!

     
  8. He says ‘I was a juventino’. Berlusconi was an inter fanbefore purchasing and the Chinese treat it just as a failed business. So Ya, I want commisso more and more with the route we’re going. This guy loves the italian league and the sport and apparently he was donating 500million to a semi-professional league in the US so I’m confident he will give milan stability. Not Sking the guy to spend millions on players but to give them stability and not have to worry about selling our best players every year and form a strong team with him J think we can achieve that

     
  9. Update:

    So called “mister X” appears to be Monaco owner, Russian oligarch Rybolovlev, they are reportedly in advanced negotiations for him to take over Milan and leave Li with minority shares and Milan China

    Elliott can decline this proposition of Mr. Li, since the deadline was on Friday

     
  10. I hope they decline the Russian guy. Why would I want the owner of milan to also be the owner of Monaco? Sole owner like commisso who is dedicated to making the team great again and loves the sport and league

     
  11. Rybolovlev already owns AS Monaco, which could cause a problem with UEFA as there are certain rules regarding owning more than one club, especially if both compete in European competition

    Tragicomedy at its finest. I hope for Commisso to take over at the end

     
  12. I hope he takes over. Dont care that he’s a Juventino, he’s showing promise, and most of all, he is a SERIOUS person. Enough with the jokesters. Commiso seems very promising. Li never showed any promise except for being a piggy bank. Need someone like this guy. Hope it’s not just another scripted story of another telenovela we’re getting so used to every mercato.

     
  13. As I see it we can only profit from Juventus recent Ronaldo transfer. Serie A is looking more alive and have actuall football stars. That can attract different sheiks, russian mobster and american investors who can invest in some huge new project like reborn Milan.
    That’s why there is a talk that Milan has more than 5 potential buyers and they are all waiting for Elliot’s green light to start bidding war. I just hope it’s true because we deserved to finally have stable owners who invest in the club year in, year out.

     
  14. The sooner that Chinese fraud is out of the picture the better. Completely unsustainable to take loans out to buy the club and then either have no plans or unrealistic plans to increase revenue. No wonder UEFA told us to do one.

    Been in charge over a year and still no firm plans going forward with regards to either a new stadium or anything which will help us close the gap to Juventus. His foundations were built on sand.

     
  15. Update:

    Li could not close the deal with Rybolovlev in time, therefore Elliott will start to reposses Milan assets

    Hope Fassone and Mirabelli will follow Li

     
  16. Newsnow 24h.com: Elliot takes over ACM, Chinese must quit, and current boss of directors will be removed! It means all Interistas will be kicked out as soon as posible, hoho!

     
  17. As of now Elliott owns Milan and according to reports there getting rid of the entire board of directors
    Theres something very strange going on here why did Li not sell the club and at least get some of his money and credibility back? Now he’s lost everything (not that i pity him)

     
    • That is why I was pretty confident Li would have initially sold to Commisso with his time running short and he had no real other choice.

      Maybe he is just stubborn and did not want to submit. But now he is a well known joke and he deserves it

       
    • Very strange indeed.

      Now, Elliot wants to install Gandini instead of Fassone. Gattuso and Mirabelli also have to make place for apparently Conte.

      Like the Gandini move, dislike Conte move

       
      • But what is it Mathijs? I can’t put my finger on it
        Why didnt he sell? It just makes no sense and how come theres very little media attention surrounding the whole saga
        Imagine it was Manchester United or some other big European club it would be major international news
        I can find fuck all information online about what’s going on and its driving me nuts, why hasn’t Li said something
        Is he just a pawn like “Coach Seedorf” said and a puppet for Berlusconi?
        How could someone who just bought a club like Milan all of a sudden not even have the money to run the day to day expenses associated with it and how come the relivent authorities in Italy didn’t know this when he was allowed buy it in the first place

         
        • Valid questions my friend, but I don’t have the answers. I think we will have to wait.

          Certainly something is really fishy.

          I can’t imagine that an accountant would give his go ahead to a guy who has no money or can’t proof he has money. Only fishy accountants would grant that. And you don’t sell Milan to a broke folder of eggrolls. Oops, that was racism whahahahahahahahaha

          So yes I have the same questions here. Hopefully Elliott does us something good. Apparently they want to sell Millan again after the transfer window.

           
  18. When Elliott do sell my main is commisso and the last is the Monaco owner. Ricketts family I wouldn’t mind too but commisso’s passion for serie a and football makes me think he wants to bring this glorious club back as quick as possible. Rybolovlev already has Monaco and why would i want him to take over milan too. Plus his background is shady.

     
  19. Li is no joke, he is either a joker or a pawn in this whole game. Knowing Berlusconi, he would hardly sell up easily, i see this whole thing as a planned work even though i cant explain it, i only hope Milan wouldnt get into more trouble when the truth starts coming out eventually. Li wouldnt be such a fool to not sell up when he has the chance except that he didnt have the power to make that decision. Li has been the face of the real owner(Berlusconi my major suspect) and so Li would only do whatever he is told. Berlusconi must have a way of profitting more from Elliotts sale eventually one way or the other while ensuring that his tracts remains covered. If Li had decided to sell, its Possible Berlusconi would have been exposed from exchange of documents or something.
    I have absolutely no facts attached, just my thoughts/hypothesis. I may be completely wrong. I just hope milan falls in the right hands eventually asap so we can move on in the right direction.
    Also, If Atletico wants Kalinic, then he has to be really good. Lets face the fact here, Kalinic, A.Silva arent the problems here, our midfield is. Get better technically gifted midfielders and our attack is okay as it is. Dont be surprised if Kalinic leaves and starts banging in goals in another team. A.Silva, Suso, Mussachio must not be sold please.

     

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