Fassone breaks silence on Yonghong Li’s ownership, the huge summer window and his sacking

By Oliver Fisher -

Former managing director Marco Fassone has broken his silence on what happened during his time at AC Milan under Yonghong Li’s ownership.

Fassone joined Milan back in 2017 when Yonghong Li bought the club from Silvio Berlusconi, and oversaw a transfer campaign – along with Massimiliano Mirabelli – which saw Milan bring in a number of high-profile players.

Both he and Mirabelli were let go a year later in summer 2018 when Yonghong defaulted on the repayment of loans and Elliott Management seized control of the club after an unsuccessful season.

Mirabelli has previously been outspoken about his time with the Diavolo – such as having an agreement in place to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and the huge fine he gave to Leonardo Bonucci, but now it was Fassone’s turn to speak.

Interviewed by Calciomercato.com, Fassone recalled his experience at Milan.

“Being fired an hour after getting the readmission to the European Cups by TAS (the Court of Arbitration for Sport) was painful. We could have avoided the court. I always avoided it even when I was the one who fired an employee,” he said.

On the Milan project: “It was a three-year project: the first objective was to arrive in the Champions League, with an expensive market. In the second year we should have corrected the errors and in the third year we had to integrate the squad. I believe that in three years we could have achieved important goals.”

On the €200million spent on the market in the summer of 2017: “In hindsight it would have been better to make a few less purchases and give a little more quality.

“I remember, however, that we had a very strong defense with Conti, who then suffered a long injury, Bonucci, Romagnoli and Rodriguez with Donnarumma in the door,” Fassone added.

“With Gattuso we had an excellent second half of the season, an average of third place overall. And I remember that in January we could not sign anyone having spent two hundred million in the summer.”

On why Yonghong Li gave up: “He realized that he could not settle the debt with Elliott. We were in the spring and his search for partners was in vain. Then in July he did not pay an instalment of 32 million and Milan went to Elliott.”

On how his name came to the Chinese entrepreneur: “I only know that one Sunday in August 2016 the phone rang and I was offered a meeting in Milan. My adventure started like this until the closing of the following summer.”

Tags AC Milan Marco Fassone