AC Milan is not for sale, team vice-president Adriano Galliani assured fans on Thursday.
The storied soccer club's owner and president -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi -- was rumored to be jettisoning the team to raise cash for a fine he was ordered to pay earlier this month.
On July 9, Italian courts ruled that Fininvest, billionaire Berlusconi's holding company, had to pay a media company 560 million euros ($795 million) immediately. The order came from a ruling that Berlusconi's 1990 acquisition of the Mondadori publishing company from Compagnie Industriali Riunite was aided by corruption and bribery.
The investment company must make its payment by July 26. Galliani insists that the AC Milan team will not be sold any time soon.
Fininvest, who are the parent company of Milan, have spoken clearly. Berlusconi has the same passion that he always had, he said at a conference in Milan.
He is the soul of Milan and the fans can relax, as he will be for a long time to come.
Some speculate that the Fininvest fine will affect the club's transfers and trades next season. Galliani also shot down the claims.
Berlusconi, then a media mogul and entrepreneur, bought the team in 1986. He has invested much of his own money into the team, acquiring the best players in the world.
The team won the 2010-2011 Serie A title behind the force of international greats like Zlatan Ibrahimovi?, Gianluca Zambrotta, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alexandre Pato. They play in the famous San Siro stadium, which is also home to their perennial rivals Inter Milan.