Football: Bee Taechaubol confirms AC Milan deal, but slams Italian media

MILAN (AFP) - Thai businessman Bee Taechaubol said a deal that could see him purchase 48% of AC Milan would be completed within "two months" but hit out at a series of "fabrications and suppositions" in the Italian media.

Bee, known as 'Mr Bee' in the Italian media, signed an eight-week period of exclusivity to negotiate the sale of Milan with club owner and president Silvio Berlusconi last week.

Under any deal, Berlusconi would retain 52 per cent of the club while Bee, the executive director of a southeast Asian private equity group, would hold 48 per cent after paying an estimated 480 million euros (S$724 million) for his stake, said a statement.

Reports have since made several claims concerning Bee's intentions at the club, which, along with city rivals Inter Milan, failed to qualify for European competition next year.

Some alleged Bee was against the club hiring Sampdoria coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, a former Inter Milan and Lazio player, as a replacement for current handler Filippo Inzaghi.

Bee denied he had commented on issues that are "in the hands of president Berlusconi and his staff" and also hit out at Victor Pablo Dana, who La Gazzetta dello Sport said played a role "perfectioning Bee's project with him" and "making contact with (Berlusconi's company) Fininvest".

But in a reportedly official statement on, Bee said the deal, after months of negotiations, would finally go through after "two months of hard work".

He added that it was "a success for president Berlusconi and Milan, whose brand, thanks to my entry into the club, can consolidate its position on the Asian market.

"The next two months will be dedicated to working on the deal, and we will make no comment. This is a time for work, not talking."

If the deal is confirmed, it could provide a huge shot in the arm to a club that has slipped spectacularly since Berlusconi sold a number of top stars at the same time as a number of ageing players left the club in the summer of 2012.

The seven-time European champions finished in mid-table last season to miss even Europe's second tier competition, the Europa League, and fans have shown their discontent on several occasions lately.

Milan's shared San Siro ground holds 80,000 spectators but is regularly less than a third-full, and even less when smaller opposition are in town.

Two months ago fans brandished massive banners reading 'Game Over' and 'Insert Coin & #SaveACMilan' in a virtually empty stadium to protest the club's difficulties this season.

It remains to be seen how the club's influential hardline 'ultras' react to Bee's arrival.

The Thai, meanwhile, could become wary of an Italian media which he claims has been less economical with the facts.

He added: "In certain media I'm still seeing journalistic fabrications and suppositions in that are totally wide of the mark.

"Some of these reports are attributing to me intentions that run contrary to my real objectives. I also deny giving my opinion on questions concerning the market, and sporting and technical issues, all of which are in the hands of president Berlusconi and his staff." He added: "I would like to make clear that Pablo Dana, interviewed today in La Repubblica, does not represent me and has no right to speak on my behalf.

"I would like to reiterate what we already know from our joint statement with Fininvest, that Milan remains under the control of President Silvio Berlusconi."

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.