Silvio Berlusconi lays out his plans for AC Milan
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has reasserted his authority at the Italian club following fan protests over the club’s hierarchy.
Questions were recently raised over the Italian Prime Minister’s involvement in the daily running of the club with the Italian media suggesting that the 74-year-old’s interest was waning.
It led to protests outside the San Siro from angry fans who were unhappy with the hierarchy at the Serie A club. Berlusconi, however, has quickly dismissed the accusations which claimed veteran politician “did not the club anymore.”
At his first press conference ahead of the new season, the charismatic and often outlandish owner of the Rossoneri made it clear he is very much continuing on in his role as the fulcrum of the seven-time European Cup winners.
He relayed doubts over the future of Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho, spoke of the dismissal of former manager Leonardo and made an obtuse deflection over allegations of a lack of transfer funds.
In recent weeks reports have suggested that Ronaldinho may join David Beckham at LA Galaxy.
“He is the best player of all time,” said Berlusconi. “To be clear, we have agreed that he will stay at Milan until the end of his career.”
Over the years it has been well-documented that Berlusconi holds his own opinions on tactics and he emphasised his preference for two strikers to lead the attack.
“We don’t want to see just one striker up front,” he said. “To win you have to score. To have chances you’ve got to have forwards close to the goal.”
Discussing tactics at the press conference sent a clear message to the club’s newly-appointed manager Massimiliano Allegri. The former Cagliari coach remained largely silent as Berlusconi went about answering the questions.
The owner insisted the current squad was “adequately” strong enough to compete for major honours. New signings Mario Yepes, Marco Amelia and Sokratis Papastathopoulos were all unveiled.
Berusconi then chuckled as he spoke of the large amounts of money he has put into the club. “Crazy figures, a billion! Money spent on a passion!” he said.
“My children might ban me from spending any more.”