China Railways is famed for creating a railway from Beijing to Tibet, for its high speed rail links across China, and for a massive accident last year, so what’s the next step? Owning Inter Milan.
As unlikely as that seems, news broke yesterday that China Railway Construction Corp. has purchased a 15% stake in the famed Italian club from the Moratti family, a deal that could be worth in excess of $611 million. The company would also be involved in helping the club build a new stadium in Milan, according to those involved in the deal. Inter Milan is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, international sports teams in China and it isn’t surprising a Chinese company would want to be involved with the club.
But is the company in fact China Railways? Just as news was breaking that they had made the purchase, the company issued a denial that it was involved in the deal, shocked by the rumors the company, which has never been involved in sport in China, asked why a railway company would be purchasing a soccer club.
It should come as no surprise that the Hong Kong based QSL Sports is rumored to be part of the deal. QSL sports, and its founder Kenneth Huang, have long been involved in wacky sports rumors, many of which have never panned out, including the purchase of the NBA’s Cleveland Caveliers and, most famously, an attempted purchase of Liverpool FC.
What’s the reality? Inter’s site announced the deal, only saying that a “group of Chinese investors” would become the club’s second largest stockholders. It didn’t say anything about China Railways being the investors, but did mention that China Railway 15th Bureau Group Co. would work jointly with the club to build a new stadium.
For the time being, it looks like Huang has finally achieved his goal of being involved in the purchase of a major, international team, but who exactly his partners are and what the actual situation is will take time to figure out, though will have more for you as we get it.
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