The owners Major League Baseball (MLB) Team Chicago Cubs have shown interest in taking a controlling stake in Italian Serie A club AC Milan.
The announcement comes after the present ownership of the Italian club has been cast in doubts in the recent months.
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 has purchased AC Milan from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi last year, but a string of questions about his finances have since followed. Berlusconi had owned the club for 31 years.
AC Milan is a subsidiary of Rossoneri Sport Investment Luxembourg since 13 April, 2017, which acquired 99.92973% shares of AC Milan S.0p.A. from Fininvest. Li Yonghong became the new chairman and Marco Fassone was confirmed as CEO.
The Ricketts Family’s statement comes as multiple reports in Italy on Friday suggested that Li missed a €32 million ($37.25m) payment on the loan he used to purchase the team, which will allow investment firm Elliott Management to control the club.
Under Li, AC Milan had 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 the last season, failing to qualify for the financial windfall that comes with UCL participation.
The Ricketts family made the first move into soccer in May when they bought a Chicago expansion team that will play in the second-division United Soccer League (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.
AC 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.