Silvio Berlusconi likes to be in charge, if his attempts to hold on to the Italian premier role is anything to go by. So, it comes as little surprise then that only a few weeks after he resigned as Italy’s prime minister, he announced he will return to the helm of AC Milan, the football team that forms part of his family business empire, alongside publishing house Mondadori and private television network Mediaset.
Yesterday (30 November), when a journalist asked him if he intended to be the president of Milan again, the billionaire tycoon said: “Absolutely yes.”
''I am the president who has won more than any other in the history of football. The second is Santiago Bernabeu [president of Spanish football team Real Madrid between 1943 and 1978], who only won half of my trophies,'' he added.
Berlusconi bought AC Milan in 1986, at a time when the club was risking bankruptcy. The tycoon invested large amount of money to buy first-rate players such as Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Clarence Seedorf.
Under his management, the club won 28 trophies, including seven Serie A Scudetti, the Italian national league title, and five Champions League cups.
After winning the election in 2008, the 75-year-old stepped down as president of AC Milan because of a conflict of interest. But this didn’t end the family’s direct involvement in the team and, in April, Berlusconi’s daughter Barbara was elected member of the team’s board.
Barbara welcomed her father’s return by saying: “Despite my father’s role in politics, the club has stayed at the top of its game. But the motivation and the enthusiasm he can pass on are something else… In football, he has always been able to anticipate the future.”