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.
“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.
“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.”