Silvio Berlusconi bids AC Milan fans farewell, predicts good times ahead
Ahead of the imminent sale of AC Milan to a Chinese consortium, current owner Silvio Berlusconi took to Facebook to bid farewell to the club and the fans while predicting good times ahead in Serie A and Europe.
Berlusconi, 79, bought a majority stake in AC Milan in 1986, saving the club from bankruptcy and overseeing a 30-year run in which they won five European Cups and 28 trophies.
The team have had a fall from grace in recent years, leading Berlusconi to agree to sell his 93.93 percent stake to Sino-Europe Sports Investment Management Changxing, who have pledged to invest €350 million in the team over the next three seasons.
Berlusconi wrote: "Thirty years ago I bought Milan as an act of love. I'm selling for an act of even greater love: I'm entrusting the team to a group which has the necessary resources and the will to invest to bring Milan back to competing with the big international clubs.
"Naturally, I'm moved and saddened, but also calm in my belief that I have once again acted for the good of Milan, and I'll continue to be their most ardent fan.
"These 30 years will remain in my heart, with great memories which can't be equalled. I was privileged to lead the team I love until it became the most successful club in the world."
During Berlusconi's time as ower, Milan won eight Serie A titles and had domestic and international greats like Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta, Marco van Basten, Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka call the San Siro home.
And the former Italian prime minister thanked everyone he crossed paths with through the years and pledged to continue to support the team from the stands alongside Rossoneri fans.
"Memories and thanks go to the great players, coaches and directors who have succeeded here," Berlusconi continued. "Many of them will go down in football legend, having helped to write extraordinary victories in Italy, Europe and worldwide.
"Above all though, I'll never forget the participation and the affection of the fans: the passion of millions of people for the Rossoneri colours was instrumental in making this special team unlike any other, stronger than any other, stronger than injustice, stronger than bad luck.
"I'll be in the stands with them to cheer, and perhaps to suffer, but I'm sure we'll soon be celebrating great new Milan successes together, honouring our great tradition.
"A big hug -- and a Rossonero one -- to each of you."
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