Chicago Cubs owners in talks to purchase AC Milan

Tom Ricketts

The Ricketts family that owns the Chicago Cubs says it is negotiating to purchase the debt-ridden AC Milan soccer team.

The Milan office of the Edelman public relations firm, which has been hired to represent the Ricketts, says the entire family is interested in Milan for "a medium- to long-period investment" and wants to create "a strong bond with the city."

The interest comes as seven-time European champion Milan faces UEFA sanctions over a breach of financial fair play regulations.

Milan last year spent more than 200 million euros (then nearly $250 million) on new players amid questions over the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for $800 million in April 2017.

Serie A team Milan took a loan from U.S. private equity fund Elliott worth more than 300 million euros that club chairman Li Yonghong has struggled to pay back.

Milan qualified for the Europa League next season but risks being excluded as part of the possible sanctions.

The Ricketts family acquired a majority interest in the Cubs in 2009 and the team won the 2016 World Series under its guidance.

The Gazzetta dello Sport reports Saturday that there is also another American party - which it did not name - interested in purchasing Milan.

Thomas DiBenedetto, a partner in the Fenway Sports Group, which controls the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool, headed the group that took control of Roma in 2011. All-Star catcher Mike Piazza bought control of third-tier Reggiana in 2016.
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