AC Milan - Paolo Maldini

Paolo Maldini, who returned to AC Milan as sporting strategy and development director in the summer, has said he is not surprised that the club recorded a €126 million operating loss for 2017-18.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported the figures from Milan’s accounts, revealed on Friday and due to be approved at their Annual General Meeting later this month.

The figures showed that expenses had risen 22.3 percent during the first and only full year of ownership by Chinese businessman Li Yonghong.

Li relinquished control in the summer when he failed to meet a deadline for the repayment of a loan, with the Elliott Group taking charge of a club whose operating loss has grown by €53 million from the final year of Silvio Berlusconi’s reign.

Milan committed more than €200 million to signing new players last summer although some of that is not reflected on the current balance sheet, with some payments postponed to future years.

“I’m not the right person to ask about this, but certainly what’s emerged from the balance sheet is not a surprise,” Maldini told reporters.

Milan missed out on Champions League qualification last season and also faced exclusion from the Europa League after UEFA imposed sanctions for breaching financial fair play rules.

However, the sanctions were overturned on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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