AC Milan is reportedly close to securing a site to develop a new 42,000-seat stadium, while fellow Serie A football club Parma has announced it has secured a new owner.
Gazzetta dello Sport said Milan’s former trade fair grounds, located less than a mile from the club’s current San Siro stadium, has been identified as a suitable site. The Italian newspaper added that an offer has been made to the site’s current owners, Fondazione Fiera Milano, with a favourable response expected.
Fondazione Fiera Milano is expected to announce the identity of its preferred bidder on January 15 and, if Milan’s bid is chosen, work could begin in 2016 with the new stadium completed by 2020. AC Milan, along with city rival Inter, has played in the 80,000-capacity San Siro since 1926 but both clubs have been exploring the potential of developing a new home for some time now.
Gazzetta added that a new 42,000-seat stadium would be designed for a more intimate atmosphere, modelled on the approach taken by Juventus for its new home that opened in 2011. The newspaper added that Emirates is expected to back the project by assuming naming rights to the new stadium.
The Dubai-based airline this month signed a five-year extension to its shirt sponsorship deal with Milan, with the new contract reportedly including a significant price increase. Milan’s current deal with Emirates was due to expire at the end of the 2014-15 season and is said to be worth €11.7m ($14.6m) per season, plus bonuses. The contract has been extended through the 2019-20 season in an agreement said to be worth €85m, rising to €100m dependent on performance clauses.
In other news, Serie A’s bottom team Parma has been sold although the new owner will only be confirmed next week, the club said on Thursday. “Parma FC announce that today an agreement was reached to sell the majority shares of controlling party Eventi Sportivi S.p.A, which will be handed over to the new buyers… on December 16,” the club said in a statement.
An Italian Football Federation (FIGC) tribunal this week deducted one point from Parma and issued punishments to club officials for breaking financial rules. President Tommaso Ghirardi and managing director Pietro Leonardi were banned for two months, as well as fined €5,000 each.
The news came with Parma in the midst of takeover speculation linking the club with a Russian/Cypriot conglomerate. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Lazio, Leonardi told Italian media outlets that talks over a deal reportedly worth €7-8m had accelerated.