Wanda Group interested in full Atlético takeover

Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin could become club's majority shareholder

Wanda purchased a 20% stake in Atlético last year

Wanda purchased a 20% stake in Atlético last year

Dalian Wanda have been shareholders of Atlético Madrid for nearly two years now, and according to sources at OKDiario, the Chinese corporation have aspirations to own 100% of the rojiblancos.

Wanda Group CEO Wang Jianlin, the richest man in China, currently owns 20% of the club after buying in in January 2015. However, this appears to not be enough and he has expressed desire to obtain 100% over the next five years.

Wang has already renamed the club’s training ground under his company’s name. Furthermore, a football academy has been opened in his native China using the Atlético branding.

Atlético currently has a medley of owners. 52% is owned by Miguel Ángel Gil, son of the infamous Jesús Gil. The Gil family then also own a further 3%.

Enrique Cerezo, currently Atlético’s president holds a further 20%, with the remaining shares owned by a variety of minor shareholders.

The Wang family, with its enormous wealth, also comes with some scandals. Dorothy Wang, Jianlin’s daughter, featured on an American TV reality show flaunting her wealth on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Jianlin himself has become a fervent anti-Disney orator, criticising the company in a number of interviews.

Lastly, there have also been rumours that the group has been in talks with Silvio Berlusconi over the acquisition of AC Milan. Who knows, maybe Jianlin was impressed by the San Siro stadium in May?

Although the rumour of Dalian Wanda’s desire for total control of Atlético may be pure hearsay, it may be worth noting that the company is powerful, ambitious and not afraid of setting their own course.

How do these rumours make you feel? Would you welcome further investment from the group?


  • Kris

    Nahh. fuck that.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    This is the first time I hear about Dorothy Wang, but I’m very sure she is NOT Jianlin’s daughter, he has only one child, a son, Wang Sicong, who is living in China like his father.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Why ?!

  • Kris

    Wish we were fully socio-owned so we don’t have to deal with dickhead businessmen looking only for profit, but then again there are so many problems with being owned by fans too. I don’t know man if he truly invests in the club, looking to make it a bigger brand in world football, then I welcome it. Look at Valencia though, they didn’t need to sell the players they did, but they let them go for big money. Maybe Valencia can afford to sell stars, but we can’t anymore. But then again, Valencia kind of seem to have a better team on paper now than they did last season.

  • ToHaJu

    Born: January 27, 1988 (age 28), Beverly Hills, California, United States
    Nationality: American
    Education: University of Southern California
    Parents: Vivine Wang, Roger Wang
    TV shows: Rich Kids of Beverly Hills
    Siblings: Janice Wang

  • Dircil

    Fuck Chinese investors, it will not be a beneficial deal for other atletico’s stakeholders. The current structure of ownership of Atletico is not good but at least it is somewhat diversified. It is so much risky for a club to be owned by a single shareholder and the lesson to learn is Parma

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Yeah, I just read that in her wikipedia page, her father is Roger Wang, not Wang Jianlin .
    But Wikipedia is not a reliable source, but Forbes & Foreign Policy are, very much, and according to them, Jainlin has only one child, a son called Sicong .

    I actually just read all that after reading this article, and it was very easy .
    And it would have been very easy for Nick too, who should have had some respect to the readers of this website and checked his information .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    You can’t compare Wang to Lim, Kris, there are big differences between them, starting with the 26 billion, the difference between their net worth .

    Lim is a motherfucker mercenary who has hijacked a giant and historical European football club just to make money out of it, like Stan Kroenke and others .
    From day one I knew that Lim will destroy Valencia, because Meneds was the one who brought him, like he brought Rybolovlev to Monaco, and I was relieved that Lim didn’t buy Atleti, he tried to .
    How many times I talked here about Mendes’s total control over those two clubs, he is using his giant agency to help his two friends and himself to make a lot of money . And that is their only concern .

    Wang, however, is well-known, respected, very ambitious and very successful businessman, he is now number 18th on Forbes world’s billionaires, and it’s not just money he is after, he is after influence too, for him, and for his country, China, they have been trying for the last two decades or so to -let me put in a simple way- take control of the world through economy, especially energy, media and sport .
    You can’t get much influence when you are a president of a loser club, a selling club, on the other hand, look at the influence/corruption of Real Madrid’s president Florentino Perez, who is nothing in the world of business compared to Wang .

    In any case, Wang or any other owner would never be as bad as Gil family .
    Those thieves took control of Atleti in 1987 when we had only 2 La Liga titles less than Barca (8 to 10) and only one European title less than them, and neither of us has a CL title, now look where Atleti are and where Barca are .

    I still have some doubts though, mainly about my fear of changing our identity, I have seen what some other foreign owners have done or tried to do, but again, Wang is not Assem Allam or Vincent Tan .

    Most of the people who are afraid of Wang having full takeover of Atleti know very little about the man, like Nick .

    Read, people .

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Why did you pick Parma and ignore Chelsea, Man City & PSG ?!!

  • Yaakov

    Multiple shareholders is better than one or two. I don’t know the Jianglins but we don’t need another Jesus Gil.

  • Nick Lawley

    Hi Ahmad,
    Please accept my apologies for the above. It certainly was not my intention to missinform. I am not a full time writer for AtléticoFans.com and simply wanted quickly to write something to create a discussion over the potential Wanda Group takeover of our club. Whilst researching I read about Dorothy and thought it would make an interesting aside. I gave it little importance and so did not double check the information. This was clearly wrong. I hope you can accept my apology and understand my embarrassment.
    Nick

  • Dircil

    There are many cases similar to Parma which I don’t know. The point is it is better to have diversified investors which will reduce the risk of being bankrupt. Regarding Chelsea, Mancity, etc. time will tell if i’m right or not.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Admitting your mistake and apologizing for it is a great virtue .

    Actually, some of the regular writers of this website don’t have that virtue, they didn’t take it very well when I corrected their mistakes, although I wasn’t so harsh with them like I was with you (sorry about that), I just pointed out the mistakes .
    The same thing goes to their twitter account, once they replied to me after pointing out a mistake: “do you enjoy that ?!”

    So, your apology means a lot to me my friend .

  • Aldrin JJ

    Chill

  • Mrtn

    Chelsea, ManCity & PSG are really good examples of why this shouldn’t happen to Atletico.

    These clubs are toys for some rich men, they take it this way and not like their other businesses, they put money in these clubs and make huge losses. As long as they are fully committed to their toys, the story looks fine. But as soon as they will have financial problems, or find another toy to play with, this system (and mainly the Clubs themselves) will collapse.
    Also, you should look at the way they run these clubs: apart from the loss they take almost every season (maybe Chelsea could produce 1 or 2 financially positive seasons since Abramovich took over, but I really doubt that), they also take incredible amount of debts in different forms. Look how they handle FFP for example: PSG are missing 190 M revenue for being at 0? Let’s sign a sponsorship deal with the owners company for 200 M!
    Chelsea, ManCity & PSG spend all the money on Earth for years now, still, they do not have a marketing value anything close to ManUtd, Liverpool, Bayern, Juve, Real, Barca… obviously they don’t make revenues like these traditional big clubs, still they spend much more.
    This whole system is a huge bubble, the money spent in this sport is irrealistic. Premier League clubs spent 1,4 Billion euros this summer… 2 times more than LaLiga… no matter they didn’t win shit for years, no matter how bad their clubs play in the league or international cups, you will still read that Premier League is the best, and next year they will spend even more, of course. They got all the money, all the media power so you better believe what they tell you…
    They converted this beautiful sport to their business playground, that’s why football is dying in every aspect. That’s why the real fans of these Clubs are banned or simply cannot afford to attend matches. 100 Euros for PSV-Atletico btw…
    The end is near, though…
    Vamos Atleti!!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    You have some good points, the bubble (although some other clubs, members-owned clubs like Madrid & Barca are also responsible for creating it), the club being a toy for the owner, changing their colors, their crest and even their name, and the worst and most dangerous of all : losing money and increasing the debt then leaving the club .

    Let me concentrate on that last point :
    We have seen some examples of that, but almost all of them were small clubs, that’s why Dircil couldn’t give any more examples other than Parma .
    (They were a big club for a short period of time, but even then they didn’t win a single league title) .
    But for big clubs this never happened, still waiting to see if Man City’s and PSG’s bubbles are going to burst or not, but I think not, they are starting to make profit, unlike you said, not as big as Madrid, Barca or Bayern, but come on, you can’t compare any club to those three . Of course the profit is very small and not regular, and the debt is still big, but even Barca & Madrid have huge debt, the system is corrupted, FIFA & UEFA are corrupted, Financial Fair Play is bullshit, it doesn’t apply to the “big clubs”, but that’s not a billionaire owner’s problem, that’s a problem for all kinds of club ownership .

    You used my examples against single and foreign owners, now let me use your examples to their favor, Man Utd & Liverpool are both owned by American billionaires, Arsenal too, and all are making big profit every season, and doing well -to different degrees- on sporting level, Man Utd are on the right way to return to what they used to be, Arsenal haven’t win the league since 2004, but they have qualified to UCL group stage for 19 times in a row .
    And I think it will be the same for Madrid, Barca, Bayern & Juve if someday they were purchased by a foreign or a national billionaire, they are just too big to see the fate of Parma and others .
    By the way, Parma was purchased in the 90s by a diary company that went bankrupt, so I’m not sure if it’s a valid example here .

    As I said in my previous comment : owners are not the same, you can’t compare Wang to Lim, now let me add that clubs are also not the same, you can’t compare Man Utd to Fulham, who were relegated in the same season their ownership went from Mohamed Al-Fayed to Shahid Khan .
    Man Utd is a huge club, with a fan base in tens of millions around the world, that’s why they signed a deal with Adidas for almost a billion euros, and another with Chevrolet for 600 M euros .
    This will always be a big club under any kind of ownership .
    While clubs like Fulham, Hull City, Cardiff City, and even Leicester City will always be small clubs under any kind of ownership . Leicester City did win the EPL, but under very special circumstances, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool & Man City all made a horrible season, and all sacked their managers during or at the end of the season, while Arsenal were Arsenal, cheap Wenger only signed a GK at the summer !
    Now let’s see if Leicester will finish in top 4, and you will never be a big team without the Champions League .

    Then there are the clubs in between, not so big but not small either, like Atleti, like Valencia, like PSG, like Man City .
    The success or failure of those clubs under a single rich owner depend on many factors, like :

    1- How rich is the owner : Peter Lim’s net worth is 2.6 billion, Mansour already spent that much on Man City .

    2- How tough is the national league : PSG are competing with themselves in France and they secure CL football -with all its money- every single season, not just that, but because Ligue 1 has only 3 spots at UCL, and sometimes the 3rd team fail to qualify to group stage, that helps the other two to get more money from the market pool, in 2014 we reached the final but PSG who were knocked out from the quarter finals made more money .
    While the idiot Qatari Sheikh who bought Malaga didn’t realize that he has to clinch one of the 4 CL spots while competing against Madrid, Barca, Atleti, Valencia, Sevilla, Villarreal, and in some seasons Athletic .
    They were doomed to failure .

    3- What kind of person is that owner, a businessman who doesn’t care about football or even doesn’t know football and only seeks profit, or someone with easy money, an Arab prince who stole the oil fortune of his people, or a Russian oligarch with close and corrupted relationship with Putin who is after fame and glory and only searching for trophies, or a descent businessman who seeks both profit and sporting success .

    To wrap this up, my point is : single ownership is not all good and is not all bad, just like other types of ownership .
    Besides, as I said before, Cerezo & Gil (the son and the father) are not the best club owners in the world, I don’t think Wang will relegate us, or lead us to a 14-years trophyless streak or to half a billion in debt like they did .

  • Usavicente Calderon

    So I have two thoughts on this.

    First, I think Spaniards like a fellow countryman, owning the team. Atleti are known as “Blue Collar” fans. We are the working class. If that is really important to the fan base, then that should be considered here. Maybe we continue being a team that will be between 3rd and 5th in La Liga. But we as fans don’t care (to a point) because we are loyal. I am not Spanish, but I like this idea of a home grown team from the Top down.
    Second, do we want to be considered a Giant among teams? If we want that and we want to always contend for first place in La Liga and UCL. Then maybe looking at a top 20 billionaire is the better strategy. Image if we didn’t have money problems? We can buy the $100,000,000 players. Keep the Griezmann and Costa players of the world on our field.
    Now, we are going to a new stadium next year. That might be a good time for the change of ownership to occur. A new stadium, a new era.