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Berlusconi eyeing Serie A return after Monza promotion

Silvio Berlusconi is aiming for a return to Italian football’s top table for the first time since selling AC Milan after his new club Monza were promoted to Serie B on Monday.

Monza were one of three clubs moved up to the second tier alongside Vicenza and Reggina following the Italian Football Federation’s decision on Monday to end the regular Serie C season and promote the top team from each of the division’s three groups.

“Monza will build a team ready to aim for the top of Serie B,” local newspaper il Cittadino quoted Berlusconi as saying.

“Promotion (to Serie A) will depend on a range of factors, some of which are unpredictable. However some we know very well and we will try to make the very most of that.”

Berlusconi had previously owned AC Milan for over 30 trophy-laden years in which the team won five European Cups and eight Serie A titles.

He sold the club in 2017 to a consortium led by Chinese businessman Li Yonghong. American fund Elliott took over the following year after Li defaulted on a loan to buy the club.

The 83-year-old media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister then bought Monza for the relative pittance of a reported three millions euros ($3.4 million) and invested heavily in the team.

He also brought in his historic right hand man Adriano Galliani to help guide the team to the top.

As a result they were 16 points clear in their group when the league was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Berlusconi said he “never had a doubt” about Monza being promoted, and added that he didn’t want his outfit to be considered “Milan’s third team”.

The Lombardy club is a stone’s throw from both Milan and Berlusconi’s historic residence in Arcore, the reported scene of wild parties which some guests have alleged descended into orgies.

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