'We had to accept with weeping hearts' - Berlusconi admits that AC Milan sold Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic because of Financial Fair Play

The controversial politician has made it clear that the introduction of new rules by Uefa forced the Serie A giants to part company with their star men this summer
Silvio Berlusconi has reiterated that AC Milan did not want to sell Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Paris Saint-Germain, but explained that they saw no other option because of the incoming Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

The Brazilian defender and enigmatic forward left the Rossoneri for the Ligue 1 giants after lengthy negotiations, and the Milan president has stressed that the duo were sold for financial reasons.

"It was impossible for us to turn down Paris Saint-Germain's offer. It has saved us a lot of money in transfers and wages, meaning our finances are secure for many years to come," Berlusconi stated to Milan Channel.

"We did not want to sell Thiago Silva or Ibrahimovic and turned down the first offer. We then thought about the Financial Fair Play, which would not have allowed the deal to go through next year, so we had to accept it with weeping hearts.

"The clubs that continue to spend a lot have owners who are outside the European system, the very rich from the Arab world or the Russian Federation. They will have to be part of the Financial Fair Play from next year, so they are investing more this year."

FFP was introduced by Uefa in 2009 to prevent clubs from spending more than they earn and therefore getting into money trouble further down the line.

Teams will, in theory, not be able to enter European competitions if they do not have level football-related expenditure figures over a three-year period leading up to the 2014-15 season.