GdS: ‘Earthquake at Casa Milan’ – the accusations, the big question and the defences

By Oliver Fisher -

Yesterday the Financial Police showed up at the headquarters of AC Milan to search for documents as part of an investigation into the sale of the club.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) write how there was an ‘earthquake at Casa Milan’ last night as the authorities arrived at the offices of the Rossoneri. The Milan Public Prosecutor’s Office notified the warrant information to four suspects.

Those four are: Giorgio Furlani, current CEO of Milan; Ivan Gazidis, CEO of the Devil from 2018 to 2022; Daniela Italia and Jean Marc McLean, an expression of Elliott on the board of directors of Project Redblack, the Luxembourg company used at the time (2017) of the loan to Yonghong Li and subsequently holder of the club’s shares, at least until the sale to RedBird.

The Milanese magistrates believe the sale was ‘nebulous and not very transparent’, so much so that it is hypothesised that, for all intents and purposes, ‘the Elliott fund currently retains substantial control of Milan’.

The accusations

What, in particular, would Furlani and Gazidis be accused of? The charge is to be found in article 2638 of the civil code, which refers to the obstacle to the functions of the public supervisory authorities. In this specific case, the Football Federation.

As managing directors, again according to the accusation, the two ‘exposed material facts that were not true and in any case concealed with fraudulent means, in whole or in part, facts that they should have communicated, concerning the relative economic, patrimonial and financial situation to the ownership structure of the club’.

In practice, in the official communications to the FIGC, signed first by Gazidis and then by Furlani, complete and truthful information on the ownership of Milan was not provided.

They allegedly committed for example that at the top of the corporate structures that would control the club there would be no RedBird or Gerry Cardinale, but the company Rb Fc Holding Genpar Llc, based at the same address – in Delaware (USA) – as King George Investments Llc and Genio Investments, majority shareholders in Elliott’s share of Project Redblack.

The big question

However, regarding this fact, Casa Milan points out that the same address refers to a gigantic hub of different companies (three thousand companies), obviously not all of which refer to the Elliott galaxy.

The underlying question always remains the same: who really owns Milan? For the Milan Prosecutor’s Office, the answer rather than RedBird still seems to be Elliott, also due to the nature of the sale through the so-called ‘vendor loan’ (the loan from the seller himself) which ‘guarantees to this latter investment fund the ownership of part of society’.

Precisely from a complaint on the sale of Milan, presented in September 2022 by Blue Skye, the investigators began to put the sale from Elliott to RedBird under the magnifying glass.

Blue Skye are the Luxembourg company that in 2017, together with Elliott, had conceived the financial operation to grant the loan to Li, subsequently securing AC Milan as a pledge through Project RedBlack.

At the time of the sale to RedBird, Blue Skye were ousted as a minority shareholder of Project Redblack, without a unanimous resolution of all the members of the board of directors.

Hence the complaint, which the Milan Prosecutor’s Office followed up with the ongoing investigation, with the search of Casa Milan and the inspection of the devices (telephones, PCs) and premises (offices, residence) available to Furlani and Gazidis.

The action of the police, as underlined in the decree itself, was particularly rapid, as there were ‘particular reasons of urgency due to the possibility that the things which were the object of the crime or pertinent to them, could be dispersed also in relation to a possible cancellation activity of the same’.

The defences

Naturally, responses from both Milan and the Elliott fund also arrived yesterday. We start with Milan.

“With regard to the search that took place today in its headquarters, the Ac Milan company is third and unrelated to the ongoing proceedings relating to the acquisition of the same, completed in August 2022.”

Furlani’s defence will, however, focus on the absolute transparency and correctness of the information provided to the FIGC (even in the case, indicated in the decree, in which reference is made to an unannounced sale of the club in May 2022, when in reality it had only been signed a preliminary sale contract).

Yesterday evening an Elliott spokesperson clarified: “We take note of the news reporting investigations concerning the current and former CEO of Milan in relation to the accusation that the club ‘still belongs to Elliott and that this has been hidden from the Football Federation’.

“This accusation is false. AC Milan was sold to RedBird on August 31, 2022. As of that date, Elliott no longer has any shareholding or control over AC Milan.”


Tags AC Milan


  1. ‘in the official communications to the FIGC, signed first by Gazidis and then by Furlani, complete and truthful information on the ownership of Milan was not provided’
    Well that’s a pickle, isn’t it. I also thought the press release sent out yesterday by Milan gave too much info in regards to the ownership. I would have steered clear of that unless there’s absolute certainty as it can be used to incriminate (again very odd from their PR people). But I assume their lawyers would have vetted 🤷‍♂️. Elliott could technically still own a part of Milan via the vendor loan, an issue we’ve discussed here about. If they’re completely not a part of the club why the need to have their members sit on the board for decision making of the club. Then the club will have to prove/show that that’s ppl who sit on Milan’s board just happen to also be Elliot’s. It doesn’t make sense. And probably harder to prove.

    1. Furlani the CEO is Elliott’s guy not RedBird. That’s already loud enough to show there’s something fishy in all of this.

  2. I understand very little of this. I think I will just decide to wait and see what happens instead of try to understand. I just hope it won’t impact us in the sporting area of things.

  3. The sale was not 100% transparent, it was not an “outright” sale. if it was an outright sale, Redbird would not need a “sellers loan”, and Elliot would not have anyone calling the shots on the board. Everything thing paints the process in unfavorable light. Maybe thats why the stories of Arabs investing in Milan has been floating around for some time.

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