Silvio Berlusconi would stay on as honorary president at AC Milan after selling the club to Chinese investors if he can retain powers impacting the squad.
“I would have to have some abilities to intervene, like yes or no on buying or selling players or on playing formations,” Berlusconi told reporters early Monday following Milan’s 2-2 draw with Inter in the city derby, confirming that the Chinese group offered him the position.
“If I’m assured of that I’ll try to accept even the honorary presidency,” he added.
The closing for the club sale is slated for Dec. 13.
The deal with the Chinese group, which includes the participation of a Chinese state investment fund, values Milan at 740 million euros (about $800 million).
Whether he becomes honorary president or not, it was likely Berlusconi’s final derby as Milan’s owner and the Rossoneri fans paid tribute in their pre-match choreography, unveiling a giant banner with a picture of him and all the trophies won during his tenure.
Berlusconi owns 99.93 percent of the club, which he purchased 30 years ago. The three-time former premier and billionaire businessman has been negotiating for more than a year to sell the seven-time European champions.
Fininvest, Berlusconi’s holding company, is still waiting for the Chinese group to pay the final chunk of 440 million euros ($465 million). The Chinese group – of which all the members have not been named yet – has already provided a 100 million euro ($105 million) deposit.
“We have very precise assurances from the banks that the deal will be closed the 13th,” Berlusconi said. “So we’ll wait until the 13th and see what happens. If it’s not concluded then we’ll see what to do.”
The Milan sale comes after Suning, the Chinese retail giant, took control of 70 percent of Inter in June.
Berlusconi also wants longtime club vice president Adriano Galliani to stay on at Milan, even though Galliani has indicated he would be interested in running for Serie A president.
“I really hope there’s space for him,” Berlusconi said. “I’m going to make that one of the conditions for me accepting the honorary presidency.”