By 90Min
January 17, 2018

AC Milan owner Li Yonghong has moved to reject all accusations of suspected money laundering over his takeover of the Italian club.

Reports in the Italian press on Tuesday had alleged that former owner Silvio Berlusconi had been caught up in a fraud case relating to payments made by Mr Li after he completed his £650m takeover of I Rossoneri in April 2017.

In a wordy statement published on the club's official site on Wednesday, Mr Li explained that the allegations 'did not reflect the reality of facts' as he sought to defend his and his company's name against the speculation.

Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Li's statement read: "The articles recently published by the Italian newspapers 'La Stampa' and 'Il Secolo XIX', and then resumed by many other media, relating to an alleged money laundering investigation against the Fininvest group (which was later denied by the Public Prosecutor's Office) require me to make clarifications as party involved. 

"AC Milan's purchase process has always been carried out with the utmost transparency, compliance with regulations and correctness, with the support and advice of international financial and legal advisors. All procedures were followed in full compliance with the laws and practices in force. 

"All financial institutions, sports organizations and authorities involved received the documentation, either required or requested, to assess and approve both the 'closing' process and the qualifications of the new Property now managing the Team. 

(You may also be interested in Milan Takeover Being Investigated Over Suspected Fraud Involving Former Owner Berlusconi)

"What I have read these days absolutely does not reflect the reality of facts. Therefore, while considering the Group that I chair, AC Milan S.p.A., and myself as injured party of this unfortunate and unacceptable media campaign based on speculations and misleading information, we reserve the right to take all necessary legal actions to protect at best the image, the reputation and the financial solidity of AC Milan and of the reference group."

The Italian tax office has received a 12-page document relating to a €300m payment made to Berlusconi via a series of countries with 'tax haven' statuses after Li's acquisition of Milan.

No charges have been brought against Li or the 81-year-old as the Italian authorities continue to run a fine-toothed comb over all of the transactions.

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