AC Milan is as passé as its owner’s bunga-bunga parties.
Kings of Europe as recently as 2007, Milan hasn’t lifted the Serie A title (or any other trophy) since 2011 and is currently languishing in 11th place in the league standings, hanging out in mid-table mediocrity with the likes of also-rans Torino, plucky underdogs Inter Milan and Sassuolo (until 2013 we were convinced this was a kind of spicy Italian sausage rather than a soccer club).
Given its decline, and since human-tangerine hybrid Silvio Berlusconi has been in charge since 1986, you’d think Milan would be ripe for a takeover. Thai tycoon Bee Taechaubol seems to agree. He’s reported to have offered a billion Euros ($1.1 billion) for a controlling stake in the club. City rival Inter is already owned by a south-east Asian magnate following its 2013 acquisition by Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir.
Considering how stale things have gotten under the former Italian prime minister’s watch, partly as a result of cost-cutting, partly because the optics are bad if Berlusconi spends big outside an election year, Milan fans might feel a different owner would give the club new hope of returning to its former glories. Or at least, just returning to European competition. And a billion Euros? Seems like a more than fair price for a club that is looking to build a new stadium in order to increase its revenues.
But it’s not going to happen, it seems: on Monday, Berlusconi’s holding company said it wasn’t interested in selling.