Sino-Europe’s general director Han Li: “Everything is on track, we’ll do our best to create a stronger team, we aim to bring to the club the best and most qualified workers, San Siro…”

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Casa Milan on May 19, 2014 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Han Li of Sino-Europe Sports has given an interview to La Gazzetta dello Sport and while he didn’t provide the most direct answers to some of the questions, he assured that ‘the investors have been confirmed, everything is perfectly on track and the funds are coming as planned’.

The Italian, American and Chinese media seem to have some doubts about the Chinese group Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing Co. Ltd who next month will complete the purchase of 99.93% of Milan from Silvio Berlusconi and his holding company Fininvest.

But despite of the rumours, both Fininvest and Sino-Europe Sports (“SES”) keep insisting that everything is fine. Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport’s delegate to China, Marco Iaria, the executive and general director of the Chinese group, Han Li, answered some of the more interesting questions.

“Why our group has decided to buy this club? Milan are one of the best teams in the world, with a history of glory and success,” Li said. “Milan fans are in every corner of the globe, above all in China.

“The first football matches broadcast in China were of Serie A in the 80s, and it was Milan who thrilled the viewers. We have several generations who grew up with Milan, and I’m one of them. I’m grateful that Berlusconi has entrusted us with the task of taking the legendary Milan back to the top.

Silvio Berlusconi with Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li (right)
Silvio Berlusconi with Han Li (left) and Yonghong Li (right)

“What is our plan to relaunch Milan? We’ll begin by forming a solid board, we’ll do our best in the winter and summer transfer windows to create a stronger team. Meanwhile, we’ll focus on business development around the world, especially in China. We would like to expand our international influence in various fields, through our contacts and strategic partners. At the same time, we’re building a bridge between the club and Chinese market, by integrating global strategic resources.

“If we have collected all the money that is needed for the ‘closing’? The investors have been confirmed, everything is perfectly on track. The funds are coming as planned. If it’s true that some of the money for the closing will come from bank loan and that each shareholder of Sino-Europe Sports will have a maximum of 15% of Milan? The names of the investors will be revealed after the closing.

“It’s specified in the agreements. The Chairman of Sino-Europe Sports [and also, according to the agreements, the main sponsor], Yonghong Li, isn’t well-known? China is very big, and there are too many people to know all the investors in various fields. Mr. Li has always maintained a low profile.

Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images
Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

“If the Chinese government is involved in the acquisition of Milan? Among the investors is Haixa Capital, Sino-Europe Sports and some big groups and Chinese institutions. It’s said that the deal with Milan is just a financial transaction aimed to make profits, also from a future IPO, without a sporting base? The negotiation is based on the passion and the love we have for the club, that’s why we called the holding company ‘Rossoneri Sport’. We want the club to belong to all the fans and this is a central aspect of the transaction. After the closing we will do everything to improve the club. It’s premature to consider a listing on the Stock Market. Our primary purpose is to put the team on the right track.

“My personal experience in football? I think the most important element for most businesses is the team of managers and our philosophy has always been to leave the job to the professionals and to the people with the experience. Our task is only of shareholders with no relation to the management.

“We’ll appoint Marco Fassone as the CEO and General Director after the closing; he worked for four big clubs in Italy, he is a great professional who is experienced and reliable. I think Fassone will lead Milan to success. In addition, we aim to bring to the club the best and most qualified workers; we are working closely with Fassone to ensure we have the strongest team of managers possible.

STR/AFP/Getty Images
STR/AFP/Getty Images

“If it’s true that I worked for Wanda Group? I never worked there and my professional background is mainly in the field of financial assets and the sector of M&A [mergers and acquisitions]. If I’d be happy if a legend came back to working for Milan? I’ve been a Milan since I was little, I know a lot of the songs from the stadium. Like a Milanista, I deeply love this club and this team.

“Of course the club’s doors are open for all the legends and people who share our passion and are willing to co-operate with us and the directors to bring the team to the top [Maldini could be talked into returning]. How important it is for us to keep the tradition and the know-how Italians in the club? It’s very important, we have a lot of respect for the history and culture of Milan and of Italy.

We believe that you can’t succeed if you ignore the local culture and traditions. Milan have a strong tradition behind it and you can’t replace it. The team was a symbol of passion, glory and success. With Fassone we believe that we’ve made the right choice and that he’ll be able to increase Milan’s glory.

Milan fans in China on July 25, 2015 (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Milan fans in China on July 25, 2015 (JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)

“If I can confirm that Sino-Europe Sports will spend a total of €150 million in the January and summer transfer markets [as the media suggests] and if there’s any player we’d like in particular to bring to Milan? We will add strong players in the positions in which they are needed but the final decision will be up to the managers who have our utmost trust and we will support their decisions.

“If we will stay at San Siro or build a new stadium? We hope to offer fans the best possible experience during a Matchday. We will listen carefully to the fans and we’ll talk to the managers in order to decide whether to renew San Siro or build a new stadium. As a top club, we will continue to make every effort to give both the players and the fans the best possible experience at the stadium.

“The rumours from Bloomberg and Caixin about fake bank documents we sent to Fininvest about the financial backing of the consortium? It’s not true, as we already made clear in a press release.”

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rossoneriboi

There is a saying that where ever there is smoke there is fire…why has there always been issues with this take over? I tried to follow that of Inter and I can’t remember hearing anything about fake documents and all that has characterized ours. We need some clarity and closure on this issue. Forza Milan

milanist

plz vote for giogio from this
linkhttp://www.tuttosport.com/sondaggi/calcio/2016/09/29-15876453/vota_il_golden_boy_2016_scegli_il_tuo_preferito/

Dwayne Kanas

I just can’t wait until all of this is behind us so we can finally look forward to strengthening our team on the pitch!

paul

This is true milan will be sold no matter the long negotiation.
Don’t compare us with inter because our buyer’s are co-operative while inter is one man business so accurate decision must be take.

Jibola

Enemies of progress in media are doing everything to ensure the take over crashes but the Chinese have proven them wrong by paying th first EUR100 Million which most of them earlier believed would not be paid. They want to know the deep down details of the deal which the Chinese and Finnivest are not disclosing and for this reason, they are digging out and writing all forms of rubbish about the sale. Milan is at next level and am sure they are scared already, we are Milan and we know why we dropped to this level and we also… Read more »

Mathijs Savicevic

Time will proof this takeover is true or false.

If it is true, I believe these men have the good intentions with Milan.

Will

This has to be the worst interview that I’ve ever read. After reading this I’m having doubts about the Chinese and the investment. The guy is unable to answer anything specifically and just beats around the bush on a lot of the issues/questions. The Chinese better be doing some good work now and they better do good work in the future with the club and all it’s finances and management. They better not make me wish Berlusconi was still in charge.

Eighteen99

Please, don’t be an enemy of progress.

Milan10

November comes slow