Mr Bee (remember the name?) has had his say on the situation surrounding AC Milan, the club he was linked with buying.
“The people who are in talks are financial brokers, and the fund manager will become CEO of Milan. With a whole bunch of money from 10 companies in China, that’s just looking at extracting money and making a profit for investors,” Mr Bee explained. “I’d rather see it sold to another Italian than to somebody from overseas.
“There is no point deciding to invest then buying more and more and more players, because that is not sustainable. AC Milan can make money on its own and it can be sustainable.
“The club belongs to President Berlusconi, he dedicated his life to it and made it what it is. He knows what to do and how to do it, and now he will have time to focus on it he can make it a champion again.
“I’m just here to help and add to it, and I know how to do that because I have successful businesses in the industry already.”
Mr Bee’s belief is that the club should not sell a majority stake to Chinese investors.
“In the beginning I did want a majority because I was being backed by some middle-eastern families and that was what they wanted,” he continues.
“However, I came to understand Italian football a lot more and, being Asian, I can’t say I really know the slightest bit about it, but the more time I spend there and the more I’m involved I see that AC Milan is the icon of Italian football and one of the greatest names in world football.
“I explained to the funds that I think it would be arrogant for anyone who is not Italian – especially Asians – to think that we should have the right to own AC Milan.
“Fans might say ‘Oh great, somebody’s coming to invest’, but when you spend money and the club does well, they look up and think ‘Why are there a bunch of Asians sitting up there’. This is an Italian icon, this is an Italian team. I think it would ruin the brand of AC Milan if there’s not an Italian owner.
“We should only be financial investors, and help build the commercial side, but let President Berlusconi still own AC Milan. It’s not my show, and I never intended it to be my show. It became a big media thing, which is not what I want.”
Mr Bee cleared up the situation surrounding the sale of shares in Milan to himself, claiming that finances were not an issue.
“Money is not an issue, there was just a lot of confusion. My first proposal was for a majority but once I understood where [Berlusconi’s] heart is and I had learned more about Italy and football, I realised I should never have believed I had a right to a majority. You can’t walk into Italy as an outsider and think you have a right to buy their icon.
“I’m not pretending I know as much about football as Berlusconi. He has done what he has done and has achieved a lot so he knows what he is doing. But I know what I’m doing in other areas, in the commercial side, and I have the connections and the know-how which can help.”
He also stated that state rules about the country’s schools could provide valuable resource for Milan’s empire in terms of players.
“I was able to do this by leveraging my other football business, Sport Events International (SEI), and on top of that it’s all revenue sharing.
“The Chinese government has made it mandatory for every child in their schools to play football, and to have at least one hour of PE lessons per day starting in August. So I’m sending people into the schools to teach the kids, we signed with the Ministry of Education and we work with the Ministry of Sports covering 400,000 schools.
“I’m starting 1,000 schools in Beijing in August, that’s 2.5 million kids, and the contract I have is for the entirety of China over eight years. Working with the Ministry of Sports, we will hand pick kids and send them to Europe for training.
“SEI’s Football Fives is the biggest amateur competition in the world, across 42 countries with 1.3m registered competitors playing five-a-side football.
“I am serious about football, but I have a lot of different things I can leverage off to help Milan. Potential partners want to access my network in the academies and amateur competition because the reach is very wide.
“I accept that it is up to the president, and that they have an exclusivity right now with this other group, but I am here and ready. We have a long-term vision which can build the club from within. Milan can win because it already has that in its blood. Milan can be the best again.”