Silvio Berlusconi has revealed he may be forced to sell AC Milan if the current economic crisis persists.
Berlusconi, 76, has owned the Rossoneri since 1986, saving them from certain bankruptcy and transforming them into one of Europe's most dominant forces. The former Italian Prime Minister insists he would prefer to keep the club within his family but told ANSA that both rising costs and Italy's prolonged economic issues may mean a need for fresh investment.
Milan could end up in the hands of mega-rich foreign owners as seen at Chelsea, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain - though it is something Berlusconi would like to avoid in an ideal world.
"Foreign money in Milan? Only if I'm forced to do so," he said. "But I want there to be conditions to such a thing. I'd love to keep Milan a family thing.
"I still remember when my father took me to the stadium and I did not have to pay for a ticket because I was so small. Watching football, seeing my heroes, I began to understand what it meant to the people.
"For me, Milan is in my heart. Over the years we've spent more and more money, perhaps too much. But this has allowed Milan to become the most successful team in the world.
"The club is a part of my family. My daughter Barbara is now part of the company, and I'd like to keep it that way.
"However, this does not mean that I'd instantly dismiss the idea of foreign investment. If the economic crisis continues, things may have to change."