Who is Yonghong Li and AC Milan's new Chinese owners?

Han Li Yonghong Li Marco Fassone Milan
The Rossoneri were purchased for €740 million on Thursday, but how was the deal financed and who will be on the club's new-look board?

A new era has started at AC Milan after the club were purchased by new Chinese owners on Thursday, bringing to an end protracted negotiations surrounding the sale of the club.

Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, led by Yonghong Li, finally completed their purchase of a 99.9 per cent stake in Milan after seeing a closure on an agreement persistently pushed back.

However, the deal is now signed and sealed after previous holding company Fininvest confirmed the news, ending Silvio Berlusconi's 31-year ownership of the club.

But just who is Yonghong Li and how has he financed the deal? And who will now be on Milan's board? Goal has taken a look...


Li was born in China in 1969 and reportedly owns assets worth €500 million, according to financial newspaper Il sole-24 ore .

He owns shares in several companies in his homeland, especially in the packaging sector and phosphate mines.

Han Li Milan

The businessman's main focus, though, is in real estate, owning 28 per cent of "New China Building", the 48-floor development in Guangzhou.

However, Li doesn't feature in Forbes' list of the 400 richest men in China, while Silvio Berlusconi was the 13th richest sports owner in the world with assets worth a reported €7 billion.


In order to finance the takeover, Li received support from US hedge fund Elliot.

Elliot handed over nearly half of the sum needed to take over Milan - some €300m - which must be paid back by October 2018.

However, that sum of money came with an 11 per cent interest rate, meaning an additional €30-35m - as well as a €15m arrangement fee - will reportedly need to be paid back to Elliot.

It is believed that Li will greatly struggle to repay the money through Milan revenue alone, with the club reportedly losing between €70-80m per year. Milan lost €180m between 2014 and 2015.

Milan chairman Silvio Berlusconi 20122016

Milan's 2016 figures are yet to be published, though it is possible the club have lost around €250m in the last three years.

Such losses mean Milan are having to work carefully with UEFA in accordance with Financial Fair Play rules, with the San Siro club looking to receive an exception if they prove they have a solid and reliable plan for the next three to five years.

It some quarters, it is believed Milan could actually benefit from avoiding qualifying for Europe next season as they would then avoid transfer limitations, though the club are currently sixth in Serie A and in the mix for a Europa League spot.


It is not just the chairman position which has changed at Milan following Li's takeover, with several other members joining the boardroom as a result.

Marco Fassone will now act as the club's CEO, while Han Li, Lu Bo, Xu Renshuo, Marco Patuano and Roberto Cappelli have been brought in.

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Paolo Scaroni - the former CEO of ENI, the biggest Italian energy company - has also arrived as part of the new-look setup upstairs.

Montella Milan Serie A

Regarding manager Vincenzo Montella, who has already said he hopes to continue in his current position, Fassone stated: "We'll have a significant budget for the next transfer window, Montella has our full endorsement."