Paddy Agnew on this piece seems to be at Berlusconi and the way he could possibly be about to purchase SS Monza.
Paddy Agnew’s Notes From Italy: Berlusconi To Purchase Serie-C Membership Monza?
There are those that have likened this comeback to Ulysses returning to his residence on the Ionian island of Ithaca. Extra prosaically, we might recommend that one of many best duo acts in Italian soccer, particularly media tycoon and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his trusted aide Adriano Galliani, the boys who made AC Milan nice, are about to return.
Media stories recommend that Berlusconi, once more aided by Galliani, is about to purchase a 95% shareholding in Serie C (Italy’s three half Third Division) membership, SS Monza 1912, higher recognized merely as Monza. Inevitably, quite a lot of questions immediate themselves in regards to the buy of a membership which, primarily based near the town of Milan, sits proper in a historic heartland of Berlusconi, centre-right help.
Firstly, simply 18 months after promoting AC Milan to Chinese language entrepreneur, Li Yonghong, for €740 million, why does 81-year-old Mr. Berlusconi need again into soccer? For soccer or for politics? The truth that, within the meantime, the US Hedge Fund Elliot has taken over AC Milan from the mysterious Mr. Yonghong after the latter didn’t make a $32 million greenback compensation in July solely provides to the intrigue. In an interview with every day “Corriere Della Sera”, Mr. Galliani outlined the soccer background to the transfer:
“Speaking collectively (with Mr. Berlusconi) about this and that, not lengthy after we had bought Milan and we have been lacking (an energetic involvement in) soccer, we got here up with the thought of shopping for one other membership”.
Monza, says Galliani, was an apparent selection. It has at all times had a particular hyperlink with Milan, at one level within the ’90s serving as a satellite tv for pc membership for Milan. Essential Milan gamers, equivalent to goalkeeper Cristiano Abbiati, began their skilled careers with Monza. Mr. Galliani added:
“In these final months, Berlusconi has declined quite a lot of potential membership purchases which were supplied to him, simply as I’ve declined quite a lot of membership appointments. President Berlusconi lives simply three kilometres up the highway from the Brianteo (Monza residence floor), I used to be born and grew up in Monza and I began my skilled profession there. We really feel like Ulysses coming again to Ithaca…
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Galliani factors out that he labored at Monza soccer membership from 1975 to 1985, primarily within the position of vice-president and sport director (answerable for switch market exercise), including:
“No one ever asks themselves why, when he purchased AC Milan in 1986, Mr. Berlusconi made me the membership’s mangaging director. The job wasn’t given to me as a divine proper however moderately due to my CV, particularly my document at Monza…”
So then, is that this only a footballing transfer, with no political strings hooked up? Within the case of Mr. Berlusconi, that is onerous to imagine. Ever since he formally entered politics in 1994 with a well-known tv handle by which he spoke of taking “to the pitch” of political life, Mr. Berlusconi has systematically interwoven the picture of the profitable soccer entrepreneur with that of the pragmatic politician who can get issues achieved.
Nonetheless an essential political participant on the nationwide scene, Mr. Berlusconi could nicely really feel that his imput right into a membership from the heartland of centre-right help will earn credibility and votes for each his personal Forza Italia occasion and for that of his main ally, the (as soon as Northern) League, which is presently powersharing in authorities with the 5 Star Protest Motion.
However a 2013 5 yr ban on him holding public workplace (due to a tax evasion conviction), Mr. Berlusconi has remained a key participant, even when his Forza Italia occasion has seen its vote drop from a one time excessive of 29.four% in 2001 to 14.four % in final March’s common election. By the way, in those self same March elections, 74-year-old Mr. Galliani was elected to a Senate seat for Forza Italia.
If Messers Berlusconi and Galliani might rework the previous AC Milan magic and take Monza from Serie C into Serie A for the primary time in its 106 yr previous historical past, then they may make not simply Monza followers but in addition Forza Italia and League voters very pleased.
In soccer phrases, there may be at all times, too, the thought that Monza might as soon as once more function a nursery membership for AC Milan. Regardless that, he has no official hyperlink along with his previous membership, Mr. Berlusconi is believed to take pleasure in good relations with the present homeowners, Elliot Hedge Fund.
Sarcastically, Mr. Berlusconi will likely be shopping for Monza from Nicola Colombo, son of Felice Colombo, who was President of AC Milan from 1987 to 1980 when the membership was relegated to Serie B for its half within the so-called TotoNero betting scandal. Probably, they’ll hope that that historic co-incidence doesn’t augur in poor health for his or her newest journey into soccer.
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