Chinese cash is changing the rules of the world's biggest sport. As Eve Johnson reports, buyers from the mainland have shelled out around three billion DOLLARS since last December snapping up Europe's soccer royalty
Chinese cash is changing the rules of the world's biggest sport. Buyers from the mainland shelling out around three billion dollars since last December alone...snapping up Europe's soccer royalty The latest - a 740 million euro (or 825 million dollar) deal to buy Italy's AC Milan. The buyers - unknown... and untested. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM JOURDAN, REUTERS COLUMNIST, SAYING: "The force driving behind the AC Milan deal is pure and simple cold, hard cash. This is a club that is one of the most storied and celebrated clubs in Europe and in the world. It won the Italian league 18 times, it's used to being in the top of the game, and being able to afford and attract the top players. Now recently its hit upon hard times, it was on lowly 7th position last year, it failed to qualify for the Champions League, and it's been struggling with a huge amount of debt. So what the Chinese buyers bring is an injection of cash." The deal includes a hundred-million-Euro loan (that's nearly 112 million dollars) to bring in new players... hopefully getting AC Milan back on top. Clubs from England's Aston Villa to France's OGC Nice...also snapped up by Chinese buyers new to the game.... including an electronics chain and a company that makes MSG. All helping push a national agenda. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM JOURDAN, REUTERS COLUMNIST, SAYING: "Behind this there is an open and public rhetoric here in China that the country wants to become a global, super power and President Xi Jingping himself has been has been out, has been taking selfies with footballers, has been openly saying that he wants China to potentially be able to host and one day win the World Cup." While Beijing chases its soccer dreams... Industry insiders - and the buyers themselves -- say there's another, simpler goal as well: Scoring a nice, fat return on investment.