Rocco Commisso spoke to Sky Sport Italia about his attempts to purchase Milan, but “I can’t say I’m still confident. Maybe flip a coin…”
The man who immigrated to America from Calabria as a child went on to become one of the Forbes 500 richest people in the country and his negotiations to buy at least 70 per cent of the club shares from Yonghong Li have hit massive problems.
“What’s been reported is factual. I’ve worked on this for a long time and we were very close to signing an understanding that would’ve permitted the team to go forwards with new ownership,” Commisso told Sky Sport Italia.
“I can’t say that (I’m confident I can still buy Milan). I don’t control. I don’t control the results, I don’t control the negotiations, I’m talking to people who may be talking to other people also.
“I’m always in the game until it goes someplace else, largely because by now everyone has figured it out that of the people who have been mentioned, I am the only Italian, the only Italian immigrant, I have the money, I have the history, I played soccer for a long time and I understand the game.
“I know I was a Juventino many years ago, but Juventus don’t need my money and it’d be nice from my perspective to give back, as I did here with Columbia and the Cosmos, to give back what soccer gave me all those years.
“I would hope that given my actions and my love of Italy, as I was born in Italy, I can bring to the table the American expertise that I have. I started with nothing, built a huge company and would like to give back some of what I learned in my 68 years.”
The main problem now is that Yonghong Li missed a deadline to pay back €32m, so hedge fund Elliott Management have begun the process of repossessing his assets.
“We really don’t know what route Mr Li or Mr Singer with the Elliott fund, we don’t know how it will end up. Until someone tells me different, as of today, Mr Li still owns Milan. It has to go through the court systems, but Mr Li is still the owner of Milan.
“We don’t know. First of all we have to find out who is negotiating for Mr Li. I don’t know Mr Singer personally, but my financial advisors know of them and they know me.”
Commisso was asked what the odds were of him buying Milan.
“Maybe flip a coin… I don’t make promises, everyone knows me, I never made a promise I couldn’t deliver on. Rocco makes promises only when he can deliver on them.
“I have to do a lot of work. I’m not going in thinking I know more than anyone else who has been with the team for a long time, but I’m a quick learner.
“What I like is the guy named Gattuso there, as 50 years ago I was like Gattuso. I wasn’t as good as him, he was a much better player and was in the national team, but I was tough. And he’s Calabrese too!”
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Football Italia staff