Monza owner Silvio Berlusconi said he has promised his players a "busload" of prostitutes if they win one of their upcoming clashes with Serie A's leading lights, including his old club AC Milan.
Speaking at a Christmas dinner on Tuesday night in front of sponsors and a players' delegation, the former Italian prime minister joked that he wanted to give his players "extra encouragement" ahead of the second half of the Serie A season which begins on January 4.
Monza face Juventus -- in both league and cup -- and Inter Milan next month as they restart their first ever season in Italy's top flight, with the visit of champions Milan coming in mid-February.
"I told them that coming up we have Juventus, Milan, etc. and that if they manage to beat one of those great teams I'll send a busload of hookers to the dressing room," Berlusconi said in a speech which was greeted with laughter and later posted on social media.
Monza declined to comment on Berlusconi's speech when contacted by AFP.
The 86-year-old tycoon was recently elected as a senator in the Italian parliament and is a partner in the coalition government led by far-right prime minister Giorgia Meloni.
Berlusconi, however, is still associated in Italy and abroad with "Rubygate", a series of libertine parties he organised with young women, some of whom were minors.
He was acquitted of underage prostitution charges but remains on trial for witness tampering in that case.
Berlusconi bought Monza in 2018 for a reported three millions euros ($3.4 million) with the club in the third tier.
The previous year he had sold Milan, who during his 31-year ownership became one of the titans of European football, for 740 million euros.
Monza sit 14th in Serie A after 15 games, nine points above the relegation, ahead of their first match of 2023 at Fiorentina.
© Agence France-Presse
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