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Berlusconi leaves helm of AC Milan
Updated: 2004-12-29 15:28

Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi has stepped down as chairman of the AC Milan soccer club after over 18 years at the helm, the AC club announced on Tuesday.

Italian president Silvio Berlusconi, seen here at an AC Milan game in May 2004, has resigned as president of the reigning Serie A champions. [AFP]
Berlusconi's departure, after 18 years in the job, was in compliance with recent antitrust legislation which forbids government figures from holding office or performing any executive role in private business.

The premier, a lifelong fan of Milan, will remain the club's owner.

The chairmanship of the club, the reigning Italian champions and currently second in Serie A, could now pass to Berlusconi's son Piersilvio, according to reports in the financial press on Tuesday.

But Mediaset, the Berlusconi-owned television company where Berlusconi junior is vice president, denied the rumors as soon as the news of the premier's decision was announced.

Although Berlusconi's resignation marked the end of an era, most observers said little would change at Milan because for many years it has been effectively run by vice chairman Adriano Galliani.

"I don't think much will change," said Milan defender Alessandro Nesta when questioned by reporters Tuesday evening. "I don't know the details but I think Berlusconi will always be this club's biggest fan in every sense."

Berlusconi took over at AC Milan club in 1986 and subsequently saw it win seven Italian championships, four European Cups and a host of other trophies.

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