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Desailly: Suning takeover brings much-needed interest to Serie A

Reporter: Dan Williams 丨 CCTV.com

06-15-2016 16:12 BJT

The spending spree by Chinese companies has drawn much attention in Europe, and former AC Milan defender Marcel Desailly believes the recent takeover of Inter Milan by China's Suning Holdings Group will benefit Italian Football. The Frenchman says the deal will bring much-needed interest to the Serie A, the Inter deal could be just the tip of the iceberg as Chinese companies may have their eyes on more European clubs.

Inter Milan – winners of 30 domestic trophies and three European Cups. But in recent times, the side has struggled… Both on the pitch and in the boardroom. The latter of those issues now looks set to change after the Chinese retail giant Suning purchased a controlling stake in the club.

"I think it is very very interesting indeed. Because Italian football at club level financially has struggled. You have to go back a long way really to see the great days of the Italian clubs in the Champions League. And obviously, Inter see this as a way to do it. You’ve got to have the money to compete with the clubs from Spain and the English Premier League," said Keir Radnedge world soccer magazine.

The Inter Milan deal is just the latest investment by a Chinese company in a European club – coming weeks after Tony Jiantong Xia purchased English club Aston Villa.

"Although the focus for many football fans is here in France, the attention will soon shift back towards the domestic leagues. And for the likes of Inter Milan and Aston Villa will no doubt already be working on ways to make the most on their new marketing opportunities," said Dan Williams Paris.

Former AC Milan defender Marcel Desailly believes the Inter deal will breath new life into the Italian game.

"Yes, it is very good because they shift a great interest into Europe so there are billions. So suddenly it brings business for the broadcast. Suddenly there will be an interest for the Italian league which is a bit poor in the level of the interest when you compare to English Premier League so suddenly you boost the interest. When you boost the interest, you boost the interest with the sponsors," said Marcel Desailly Former AC Milan & France defender.

That sentiment is echoed by the former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel… who played for a season at Aston Villa. He’s excited at the potential of his former club following the recent takeover.

"With Aston Villa for instance, it is a great buy. Because Aston Villa is the only really, really big club left with the potential of breaking into the top six in England. So to get that for sixty million pounds, that is a very good investment. And I wish them very good luck," said Peter Schmeichel former Aston Villa goalkeeper.

Football in China has become big business. President Xi has made the sport a key focus and priority. That makes it highly likely that the investment by Chinese companies into European football will continue for some time yet.

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