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Inter Milan’s owners Suning Group immediately halt operations at their Chinese football clubs

Inter Milan’s owners Suning Group immediately halt operations at their Chinese football clubs – including champions Jiangsu FC – due to financial woes but insist they ARE committed to the Italian giants

  • Suning Group announced Jiangsu FC will stop operations with immediate effect 
  • The company is one of China’s largest retailers but is facing a financial dilemma 
  • Suning will now focus on core businesses – leaving Inter Milan’s future uncertain 
  • Milan have been forced to reiterate Suning’s financial commitment to the club 

Inter Milan’s owners Suning Group have halted operations at its Chinese football clubs due to financial jeopardy – in a bombshell move which plunges the future of the Serie A giants into uncertainty.

An announcement from the company stated all of the clubs in its stable, including the recently-crowned champions Jiangsu FC, would ‘cease operations from today’.

Suning is one of China’s largest retailers and also owns Milan – but now plans to focus on core businesses, which leaves its non-retail assets at risk.

Inter Milan's owners Suning Group have halted all operations at their Chinese football clubs

Inter Milan’s owners Suning Group have halted all operations at their Chinese football clubs

A post on Jiangsu’s official WeChat account expressed hope of new backers or that a ‘company of insight’ would be willing to consult on the team’s future.

Such assets include Jiangsu FC, who won the Chinese Super League title in November for the first time with a playoff win over Guangzhou Evergrande.

That victory was the pinnacle of a run by a once cashed-up club previously coached by ex-England manager Fabio Capello, and which in the summer of 2019 attempted to sign Gareth Bale from Real Madrid.

Jiangsu FC ceased trading just months after their title glory with Suning in financial jeopardy

Jiangsu FC ceased trading just months after their title glory with Suning in financial jeopardy

Jiangsu FC ceased trading just months after their title glory with Suning in financial jeopardy

The squad that clinched the title and a place in this year’s Asian Champions League featured Brazilian winger Alex Teixeira, who chose to make a 50 million euro (£43m) switch to Jiangsu in 2016 over interest from Liverpool.

When Teixeira refused to sign a new contract at the end of last season and with coach Cosmin Olaroiu reported to be unlikely to return to the club, questions started to be asked of Jiangsu’s financial future.

Should Jiangsu fail to find new owners soon, their absence could cause further upheaval in the Asian Champions League ahead of the start of the continental competition in April.

Football in China is currently gripped in crisis due to its financial dilemma. 

Suning Group, founded by Zhang Jindong (second from left) also own Serie A club Inter Milan

Suning Group, founded by Zhang Jindong (second from left) also own Serie A club Inter Milan

Suning Group, founded by Zhang Jindong (second from left) also own Serie A club Inter Milan

Tianjin Tigers were reportedly facing dissolution over money worries and Tianjin Tianhai folded last May after failing to attract new investment. 

Milan, meanwhile, have been forced to reiterate Suning’s financial commitment to the club in a statement designed to reassure supporters.

‘As part of ongoing capital structure and liquidity management, the business and our ownership are in talks to provide a range of solutions in this respect,’ the club said.

‘While Suning have confirmed their commitment to financially support the club with or without additional external support, it is also sensible and prudent to look outside.

Milan have reassured supporters that Suning have re-iterated their commitment to the club

Milan have reassured supporters that Suning have re-iterated their commitment to the club

Milan have reassured supporters that Suning have re-iterated their commitment to the club 

‘With that in mind, Suning appointed key advisers in Asia to work with them to find suitable partners, be that with an injection of equity capital or otherwise.

‘Talks with key potential partners in this respect remain ongoing.’

Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Suning’s decision to sell off 20-25 per cent of its shares in Suning.com underlines the company’s jeopardy.

The sale of the shares is expected to be completed within the next few days – although Suning are said to be keen to avoid offloading Milan for now.

Suning's problems may affect the amount Manchester United are still owed for Romelu Lukaku

Suning's problems may affect the amount Manchester United are still owed for Romelu Lukaku

Suning’s problems may affect the amount Manchester United are still owed for Romelu Lukaku

Instead, Suning have been touted to look for a short-term loan which may allow them to recover their position while still retaining control at the San Siro.

The decision to liquidate Jiangsu FC also has a knock-on effect on Manchester United due to the club still being owed millions in transfer fees.

Around £47m is still set to be collected by United, with a substantial amount of that in relation to Romelu Lukaku’s move to Milan in August 2019. 


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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