Gerry Cardinale has spoken about how owning AC Milan has given him a level of stress that is unlike anything that he has experienced before in his many ventures.
Indeed, the word Cardinale associated with the first two years of his experience at the helm of Milan was ‘stress’ Interviewed by GQ (via Radio Rossonera) for a special on the purchase of sports teams in general, the number one of RedBird outlined what it is really like.
In addition to Milan, Cardinale spoke about what the future of investment funds and private equity funds could be in sports.
Below, the interview conducted before, during and after the Champions League match between Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in November last year.
Less than two years after the acquisition of AC Milan, the American businessman revealed how he is finding the experience of owning a European football team, Italian obviously in this case.
“It stresses me out, to be honest with you, in a way that I’ve never experienced before. My thing was always to look at sport as any other industry. You could be manufacturing widgets in Omaha or you could be owning the Giants in New York City. It should be the same,” he said.
“It’s stressful to own things in general, it’s stressful to put this kind of money to work, it’s stressful to be a fiduciary for third-party capital. I now have a new level of stress I’ve not experienced before. It bothers me.”
Shortly before the chat with Cardinale, the journalist who did the interview told Cardinale that he had met Alfredo, the owner of a house in Milan (which the journalist was renting).
He is a fanatic of the Rossoneri with a house full of memories and memories including DVDs and old pages of the La Gazzetta dello Sport. This is why Cardinale nicknamed his stress ‘Alfredo’.
Cardinale hypothesised a future not only for sport, but for the world of investments regarding the role of private equity funds.
“There is no analytical rigour in the evaluations of a sports team: they are worth what one is willing to pay. Will Jeff Bezos buy an NFL team? Probably.
“He could buy the entire League if he wanted… If the guys from Silicon Valley don’t do it first. The next step up in terms of paying capacity is hedge funds, private equity funds – my world, all the finance and investment and Wall Street people.
“A risky system? It’s the right question to ask. We are talking about a flow that will not stop: once capitalism gets involved, there is no way to moderate it.
“We are moving towards the corporate ownership model. It’s an arms race, and it will continue to be. Capitalism will find its way into the cracks.”