Milan director plays down talk of Silvio Berlusconi exit
LONDON (REUTERS) - Silvio Berlusconi remains committed to his AC Milan soccer team, one of the club's directors said on Thursday, playing down speculation that the former Italian prime minister was ready to sell up.
The billionaire businessman has owned Milan since 1986 and they have been European champions five times under his leadership. Their success helped to make Berlusconi a familiar face in Italy and burnish his image as he moved into politics in the 1990s.
However, the club's fortunes have dimmed in the past couple of seasons. At the same time, Mr Berlusconi, 76, has been distracted by political and legal problems, losing office and facing accusations he slept with an underage prostitute.
There has been speculation that he was ready to sell the club or at least part of his stake, with chocolate company owner Michele Ferrero the latest businessman to be tipped as a possible buyer.