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AC Milan owner says Serie A should steer clear of outside investment



LONDON: Italy’s Serie A soccer league should avoid the temptation of handing over some of its business to outside investors in exchange for a short-term cash injection, the owner of champions AC Milan said on Thursday.

Gerry Cardinale, the founder of RedBird Capital, was asked about reports that banks and investment funds were keen to acquire a share of Serie A’s media rights operation.

“I’m not a buyer of that, I’m not a supporter of that,” he told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit.

“Why mortgage your future?,” added the former Goldman Sachs banker. “We can be self-sufficent ourselves.”

Serie A’s key media business has drawn interest from a number of banks and investment funds and its clubs are due to meet later this month to consider their next step.

Germany’s Bundesliga is also pursuing a similar strategy as continental clubs look at ways to close the revenue gap on the English Premier League.

RedBird bought Italian soccer champions AC Milan last August in a €1.2 billion deal that also involved the owners of the New York Yankees baseball team.

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