Press conference following this morning’s shareholders meeting

October 19, 2015 16:46
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Following the shareholders’ meeting this morning, Inter president Erick Thohir and his fellow Inter directors gathered for a press conference at the Hotel Gallia in Milan.

Mr Thohir began by commenting on the statement released by Massimo Moratti yesterday:

“Basically we do not intend to change the set up we have at the moment. Things have gone well so far, we’re pleased and we’re very respectful of this relationship. We want to carry on working in the interests of the club.”

The results of the 2015 financial year:

“I work in media and I know that certain bits of news will attract more attention than others, but ultimately the figures are what matter. I don’t want to go off rumours and there has been speculation about Etihad as well. We’re always trying to do the best for our club.”

Next up to take the floor was corporate director Michael Williamson:

“The club has seen some good results this year. There are positive trends relating to the transfer market and the amortisation of players’ contracts. All of this has contributed to the level of net losses you can read in our financial statement. As for new sponsors, negotiations with Pirelli are still going ahead, they are our historic partner and we want to continue working together. Negotiating with other parties is a part of this process for the interests of shareholders. Nevertheless, we are at an advanced stage in talks with Pirelli.”

Mr Thohir also added a few words on Financial Fair Play:

“We are genuinely convinced that we’re conforming to the requests. The world of football is changing and we’re working hard to go along with it as well.”

Mr Williamson then went into more detail on this issue:

“As for the current period, we’ve set out a budget for the €30 million payment which is in line with the sanctions. We’re working hard to find more sponsorship in Asia. Our matchday income has increased, setting a new benchmark in the Milan Derby before we broke that record yesterday evening against Juventus.”

The Inter president also answered a question on transfers:

“Will we be active in January as we were in the summer? I believe we have built a good squad and our objective for this year is to get back into the Champions League, so far we’re on track to achieve this aim. We played well yesterday evening, the results have been good and we’re picking up points every week. We’re pleased with our current squad and the work Roberto Mancini is doing. Of course, there are always going to be comings and goings in January, that’s the nature of this sport. However, we’ll only buy if it’s in the interests of the club. We’ve agreed with Mr Mancini that we shouldn’t bring new players in just for the sake of it.”

Sporting director Piero Ausilio added his thoughts on the transfer market as well:

“It would be a mistake if we were forced to buy and sell players at the same rate as in the summer. We think we’ve built a good squad, complete in every department. Perhaps we’ve even got too many players in some positions and in January we might let a few guys go so they can get more playing time. In any case, we’re Inter and we always keep up to date with European and global football, so we’re ready to grab the opportunity that might help us to improve the team still further. However, we are convinced that this group is excellent just as it is. They just need to grow together as a team. They haven’t had long working together. Things don’t happen out of nothing in football and you need time to allow the guys to develop. With the work Mr Mancini is doing, the team will be where it should be in January and perhaps it won’t be necessary to step in with new additions.”

Mr Thohir then took the floor again:

“We believe in the project and in the players we currently have. Yesterday we put in an incredible first half display, even if we didn’t score a goal. We have our objectives and we are all aligned with them. Mr Mancini, the team, the management… we all support the project. We have faith in the team, we’re Inter and we want to compete on all levels.”

The focus then turned to Infront:

“Our partnership with them is transparent on every level. We have many other partners, both in Italy and in Asia and the United States, and our relations are always very transparent. At the moment we can’t comment on the Infront situation because the authorities are carrying out investigations. Transparency is one of Inter’s fundamental values and that’s why we have held the shareholders’ meeting today to share figures and strategies.”

CEO Michael Bolingbroke was then asked whether Marco Fassone would be replaced be a new director:

“We appreciated Mr Fassone’s quality, but for now we don’t need to bring someone in to fill the same role. However, the dynamics of a football club change from day to day, so we’ll evaluate that in the future.”

Mr Thohir then spoke about the club’s stadium plans:

“The Champions League final is being held at San Siro this year and both us and AC Milan will benefit from the chance to carry out restructuring work. The Meazza is the temple of football and must be able to compete to become one of the best stadiums in the world. Therefore, it’s important to reinvest in San Siro and that’s what has happened in recent months.”

Will Inter invest alongside AC Milan?

“We respect the partnership and are waiting to hear their plans according to the timescales set. We are ready and we only need to know whether we will be acting alone or together.”

The club’s prospects for growth:

“As a club we need to grow, not just from a revenue perspective but also in sporting terms. At the same time, it’s fundamental that Serie A as a whole significantly improves its revenue situation. We’re behind other leagues and if we don’t all pull in the same direction it will be hard for us to have a future. Inter has worked very hard on a project it believes in. AC Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Roma are moving in the same direction, but it’s a worry if the majority of our clubs aren’t in a good financial state.”

On the subject of Ricardo Alvarez’s contentious move to Sunderland:

“We’re sure we’re in the right.”

Sporting director Piero Ausilio also commented on the issue:

“Everything is very clear and well written in the contract. Our rights will be fully protected and respected. The conditions were very simple and dictated a loan deal with an obligation to buy permanently if Sunderland remained in the Premier League, with no appearance related clause. A FIFA judgement will arrive soon and that will prove us right.”

Finally vice president Javier Zanetti also said a few words:

“We’re a competitive team and we’re demonstrating that. It’s going to be a very balanced league this year, right until the end. We showed what we’re capable of yesterday in a big match. That said, it’s too early to talk, we can still get a lot better. Our objective is to be in the mix until the end of the season and fight to finish in the top three. Everything is in place for us to achieve that.”





By Editorial Staff


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