AC Milan, Chicago Fire, Clubs, Italian Serie A, Story

AC Milan.

The owners of the Chicago Cubs are interested in taking over AC Milan, whose present ownership was cast into further doubt on Friday.

The Ricketts family, who bought one of America’s more valuable baseball teams in 2009, released a statement saying they wanted to buy a controlling stake in the Serie A club, whose ownership has faced uncertainty in recent months.

“The Ricketts family brought a championship to the Chicago Cubs through long-term investment and being great stewards of the team … They would bring this same approach to AC Milan,” the family said in a statement.

Chinese businessman Li Yonghong purchased Milan from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last year, but a string of questions about his finances have since followed.

The Ricketts family’s statement comes as multiple reports in Italy on Friday reported that Li missed a €32 million payment on the loan he used to purchase the team, which will allow investment firm Elliott Management to control the club.

Under Li, Milan committed over €200 million to new signings last summer with the expectation that they would lead the club back into the UEFA Champions League next season, but they finished sixth in the Italian league this past season, failing to qualify for the financial windfall that comes with UCL participation.

The Ricketts family took a first foray into soccer in May, buying a Chicago expansion team that will play in the second-division USL.

The Cubs, valued at $2.9 billion by Forbes, had not won a championship in over a century before Ricketts took over in 2009. They won the World Series seven years later.

Milan, which Forbes values at $612 million, have won Serie A 18 times, but only once since 2004. They’ve also been crowned European champions seven times, winning the Champions League in 2003 and 2007.

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