AC Milan have announced the appointment of Paolo Scaroni as chairman as the club heralded the “dawn of a new era” under new owners Elliott Management.
The American investment company completed a takeover of the club after former owner Li Yonghong failed to repay a €32 million (£28m/$38m) debt.
And the transition was completed on Saturday when a new board was elected at a shareholders’ meeting in Milan.
Marco Fassone has left his role as CEO, with Scaroni taking over as chairman and interim chief executive, while Marco Patuano, Franck Tuil, Giorgio Furlani, Stefano Cocirio, Salvatore Cerchione, Alfredo Craca and Gianluca D’Avanzo also join the board.
Milan were suspended from the Europa League for this season after failing to comply with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, but were reinstated after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) overturned the decision .
The change in ownership played a decisive role in CAS’s decision as Elliott promised to invest €50m into the Serie A side and have targeted a return to the Champions League.
And the new chairman promised the Rossoneri would see progress.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to lead AC Milan’s board of directors, and grateful for the trust and support of my fellow board members,” Scaroni, a former CEO of Italian energy company Eni and glass manufacturer Pilkington in London, said.
“This is a critical moment in the club’s storied history, and we’re all grateful to have a new owner committed to returning AC Milan to its former glory. At the board level, we will do everything possible to put the coach and the players in a position to succeed. There is considerable hard work ahead, and we are eager to build upon today’s momentum.”
Before the change, ousted president Li Yonghong hit back at the new owners after the hedge fund repossessed the holding company he used to buy Milan in 2017.
“First of all, I would like to clarify the following. My purchase of Milan was neither a rash decision or one dictated by a passing infatuation,” he wrote in a letter addressed to fans published in Il Sole 24 .
“It stemmed from my passion for the team and belief in the economic potential of an investment in one of the noblest football teams in the world.
“Until June 30, 2018, I had paid almost €880m for AC Milan, of which only €280m was funded through Elliott, while I personally provided the remaining part.
“I was convinced that Elliott was a trustworthy investor and, above all, a partner to share the duties and honours of a stimulating adventure like the ownership of a team who, throughout their glorious history, have won, among other trophies, seven Champions Leagues and 18 Serie A titles.
“I made a mistake and only discovered it to my great detriment during my tenure. Elliott showed itself from the start to not be the partner I imagined but rather a lender totally disinterested in the complex management of a club of Milan’s standing, despite its control of the team’s board.
“All this happened despite repeated declarations from the fund regarding its alleged support for the club.
“During my time as president, I would like to remind all of you that I have never failed in my commitments and for this, I have proof of over €200m invested by me in the team under my ownership.
“I am ready to fight and I will do it to safeguard my rights and give assurances to the AC Milan shareholders, whom my beloved club deserve.
“Any deliberate and intentional manoeuvres to reduce the value of AC Milan will be prosecuted by law. Thank you for your hospitality and attention.”