Chinese businessman Yonghong Li, who owns the top-tier Italian soccer club AC Milan, has declared himself bankrupt, according to Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
The newspaper reports that Li will have his assets auctioned off on Chinese online shopping site Taobao. Reports also claim that Li was already insolvent by the time he took over full control of the team last April.
The Chinese businessman completed the purchase of the seven-time European champions for £628million in the summer.
The former owner Silvio Berlusconi sold the club in April 2017 to Li for $926 million after putting it on sale for some time prior.
According to the reports Li, who was unable to arrange the amount, used a high-interest loan from venture capital fund Elliott Management, $419.3m in offshore funds and just $123.3m of his own money to carry out the purchase.
Li’s holding company Shenzhen Jie Ande owns 11.39% in the packaging unit that was ordered to be sold in February 2017, prior to Milan’s purchase later in April. The decision was held up by the appeal process.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission has also announced that they have opened an investigation into Shenzhen Jie Ande after the company failed to disclose Li’s bankruptcy for several months.
Earlier, The New York Times and Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore had both run investigations into Li’s financial mismanagement and concluded that the businessman lacked funds.
During the club’s ownership transfer, various media reports have claimed that the deal lacked transparency with many questioning where the vast amount of money was coming from.