There have been questions about the financial stability of the Chinese-led consortium that purchased the club from Silvio Berlusconi for 740 million euros ($918mn) last April, spending more than 200 million euros on new players in the summer.The seven-time European champions have a massive loan for repayment and are in trouble with Financial Fair Play restrictions, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) given the mandate to refinance debts.AC Milan are working to refinance more than 300 million euros in high-interest loans from US hedge fund Elliott Management. If the club is not able to refinance by next October the US hedge fund will seize control of the club.But limited information on the source of Chinese owner Li Yonghong’s wealth is proving a barrier to refinancing with the 48-year-old businessman last month dismissing reports he was insolvent when he purchased the club. Milan, Italy | AFP | AC Milan’s superb recent run faces a stiff test against Arsenal in the Europa League last-16 first leg in Italy on Thursday amid a backdrop of murky finances which are threatening one of Italy’s most successful clubs.Former AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has turned around the fortunes of the struggling former European power on the pitch, with his side unbeaten in 13 games, and back within reach of Champions League qualification.But behind the scenes European football’s governing body UEFA have voiced concerns over the club’s complicated financial situation under their new Chinese owners. The club are also in the firing line with UEFA.European football’s governing body in December rejected AC Milan’s offer of a voluntary agreement to restructure finances, stating “there are still uncertainties in relation to the refinancing of the loans to be paid back in October 2018 and the financial guarantees provided by the main shareholder”.UEFA will assess Milan’s finances again in the coming months with possible punishments including limits on transfer spending, player salaries, and squad sizes for UEFA competitions. – Europa League boost –In the meantime a board meeting will be called to approve a capital increase to get the club through to the end of the season making the revenue generated by their Europa League run of increased importance.“I’m very optimistic about any potential refinancing of the club’s debt,” said Marco Fassone, AC Milan’s managing director as the club announced losses for the first half of the season to December 31, 2017 were down to 22.3 million euros from 39.4 million for the same period in 2016.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2
In this Oct. 9, 2011, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward (86) is upended by Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin and lands in the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh. Ward will compete in the Ironman World Championships triathlon this weekend, the kind of challenge he says made his NFL career look like child’s play. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) by Will GravesAP Sports WriterPITTSBURGH (AP) — Hines Ward spent 14 years in the NFL, catching 1,000 passes and earning a reputation as one of the most physical wide receivers in NFL history.And none of it prepared him for what the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout and “Dancing With the Stars” champion calls the most difficult challenge of his life: the Ironman Triathlon. “I didn’t know what I was signing up for,” Ward says with a laugh.And if he had known, there’s no telling he would have gone through with it. Yet on Saturday, less than a year after agreeing to tackle one of the most physically demanding competitions on the planet, Ward will line up with thousands of other athletes trying to navigate a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and full 26.2-mile marathon at the Ironman World Championships.Not bad for a guy who says he couldn’t run more than a mile before he began training. And swimming? Forget about it. Sure he lives in Georgia, but swimming in the Pacific Ocean is a little different than hanging out at the pool.The 37-year-old Ward took on the Ironman as part of a promotional campaign for the health benefits of chocolate milk. There is no greater meaning, he insists, though if people want to glean one from it, he’s fine with that too.“Maybe you can look at it like somebody has taken themselves in a whole new direction,” Ward said.One that, for once, Ward knows he will not master. His only goal is to beat the van that picks up the stragglers, a marked departure from the competitiveness that was a vital part of his career.“In football, you’re always trying to get points, you’re always looking at the scoreboard,” Ward said. “There’s none of that in the Ironman.”Working out at least three hours a day, six days a week has allowed Ward to get into what he calls “the best shape of my life.” He’s slimmed down to 193 pounds and can hop out of bed and run for an hour like it’s no big deal. The demands this weekend will be considerably more taxing, but he’s prepared.Just don’t think he’s considering an NFL comeback. There’s no time and really, there’s no interest.“I don’t want any part of the football world,” Ward said.
Submitted by Top Rung Brewing CompanyFirefighters Jason Stoltz (left) and Casey Sobel (right) opened Top Rung Brewing in Lacey.On June 20, Top Rung Brewing was awarded a Gold medal for our My Dog Scout Stout in the American Stout category of the Washington Beer Awards. My Dog Scout Stout is one of the breweries three original brews that the brewery opened with in April of 2014. Top Rung Brewing is very honored and humbled to receive this award.This is the first medal that Top Rung has received and the first year to participate in the competition. The My Dog Scout Stout is named after head brewer Jason Stoltz black lab, Scout. This beer was designed and developed by Top Rung co-founders Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol.Top Rung Brewing is a 10 barrel production brewery with tasting room at the brewery. Top Rung Brewing is a destination for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their beverage and view a production brewery facility. Our tasting room is family friendly and while we will only offer snacks, we partner with local food vendors and food trucks as well as allow patrons to bring in their own food of their choice or have it delivered. Top Rung Brewing: bringing quality craft beer to Lacey. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0