July 21, 2018 / 3:07 PM / 2 months ago

AC Milan names new chairman after Elliott takes control

MILAN, July 21 (Reuters) - AC Milan said on Saturday a former oil company boss had been put in charge of the top-ranked Italian soccer club while it searched for a new chief executive, after U.S. fund Elliott took control.

AC Milan said Paolo Scaroni, the longtime CEO of Italian oil group Eni and now deputy chairman of investment bank Rothschild, had been named as executive chairman and would take on interim management of the club.

His appointment was announced as the club named a new board.

CEO Marco Fassone, who was hired last year by the club’s former Chinese owners, has stepped down with immediate effect.

Elliott took over the indebted soccer club after Yonghong Li, who last year had bought AC Milan from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, failed to honour a repayment that was due to the U.S. fund.

AC Milan said the board would meet again shortly to discuss a new business plan and define a strategy to regain Champions League status.

The loss-making club is second only to Real Madrid in the list of winners of Europe’s top club competition, but it has failed to win any major silverware since 2011.

Elliott has committed to a 50 million euro ($59 million)capital injection, prompting the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday to overturn a decision by European soccer body UEFA to ban AC Milan from the next Europa League competition due to its poor finances.

“This is a critical moment in the club’s storied history, and we’re all grateful to have a new owner committed to return AC Milan to its former glory,” Scaroni said in the statement.

$1 = 0.8534 euros Reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Edmund Blair

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