Inter chief executive Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Marotta joined Inter manager Antonio Conte at a press conference this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s Serie A season opener for Inter and discussed a range of topics and he started by giving out thanks.
“I thank everyone for participating in this meeting which marks the beginning of an anomalous season. Our thoughts go to the health workers who have made this pandemic less difficult, which has affected all business activities and endangered the health of families,” he told the gathered media.
“This pandemic has left a dramatic mark and today we are here talking about football, a sport that has got up thanks to all.
“The season is anomalous because it starts immediately after the previous one, so I thank the coaching staff and the players for their commitment.
“Football is the element that dispenses lightness, making the current climate less difficult. The hope is that Inter can give emotions to all of us and to the fans.”
Marotta was then asked to give an assessment of the transfer market business that Inter have carried out thus far and whether further activity on the incoming front should be expected.
“I can say that the club’s task is to set up an ever stronger team, respecting the financial equilibrium, based on the objectives.
“The pandemic, which we talked about earlier, has not only brought suffering but also created problems in the industrial value of football clubs. We need careful management of costs and revenues.
“The clubs have had less revenue for the reasons you know, it is normal that no European team has invested so much in transfers and we are acting in this way too.
“We will adopt a team strengthening policy, which has slowed down for a moment but we will try to seize opportunities. There will be no large investments because it is not easy for shareholders to maintain the balance.”
Marotta then reflected on the 2019/20 season and discussed the objectives that are in place for the coming season.
“Last year we did an extraordinary job, the great credit goes to Conte. We knew his competence, he has many positive characteristics and what matters most is the great work culture he has.
“It was an extraordinary ride and there was a growth in all components. I must also say that the concept of credibility finds us aligned in a unity of purpose. We want the best for Inter and to be close to the coach in times of need.
“I was pleased that Conte in recent days has evaluated the grassy surface at Pinetina, this shows his dedication, love for one’s work and belonging.
“The declared objectives are the usual ones. We want to try to participate in the Champions League by finishing among the top four in Italy, then participate with decorum in Europe and other competitions.
“This is a fact that crowns a season that must bring certificates of merit to the technical area. All together, in a single intent, we must continue to follow this path.”
Marotta was then asked if fans can be calm about any tension that will arise between Conte and the club.
“Antonio first mentioned the concept of credibility which is synonymous with seriousness, which in Inter will never fail.
“The confrontation with Conte and the management was done with the aim of improving ourselves. I hope that this can be verified this season because it would mean that there is love and the will to grow.
“These meetings are hard and they are part of the dynamics of the game, we are used to these things. Each time we have had positive results after these situations, I would be surprised if I had to find a different Conte.
“I respect him for what he has shown over the years. We have been working together for five years, there is no dualism.
“We work for Inter and to bring home important results. Last year must be considered as positive, both in terms of results and for growth. This year there will be moments of tension, otherwise it would mean that relaxation takes over. You need adrenaline to make Inter grow.”
Marotta was then quizzed on the respective futures of Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan, who are now back at the club, a year on from being judged as out of the project.
“Last year there was a need to impose a guideline at the base of everything and Conte and I did it without fear. In the press conference a year ago we explained those intentions, this year things have changed and improved.
“It is normal that now there are no particular cases, so we are not in the situation of a year ago. Today the squad is big, it still has to suffer the dynamics of the market, and certainly some players ask to be transferred. We are in a moment of comparison, what matters are the key concepts that guide us.”
Next Marotta was asked if there are any concerns there with regard to Inter currently having an extra large squad.
“It is an anomalous season, I am referring to the fact that this year there will be a scheduled compressed into 10 months. The five substitutes a game rule will continue and last year it happened that Conte did not have midfielders available on the bench.
“The squad must be big because the injuries are physiological, which leads us to set up a large group. Personally, I believe that even the bench can play a priority role compared to past seasons. This is why in this sense we too are more careful.”
Marotta was then asked what Inter’s position is as far as reopening of the stadiums in Italy is concerned, with there currently a limit of 1000 fans allowed to attend matches.
“The guideline dictated by the club is that of the others, we are facing a decline in revenues. The estimate provided by FIFA says that there will be a lack of €4 billion in revenues worldwide.
“This will affect the clubs and leagues. Every Italian club has a budget that has not been respected because revenues, including stadium revenues, have fallen and then there are disputes with some broadcasters.
“The great goal is to safeguard sustainability, while respecting costs and revenues. Today we have certain costs and uncertain revenues, we have to work in that sense being cost-conscious. The owners are determined to meet their commitments by being close to the team and the club.
“Suning has made investments in the past and will do it again, it’s not a real slowdown but a moment of emergency. We need a sense of responsibility from the management.”
He then spoke briefly on the COVID-19 pandemic.
“COVID-19? It’s a pandemic that has not yet been eradicated, we see it in France, Germany and England. There is no atmosphere at games due to not having people at the stadium. People need football and vice versa, but it doesn’t depend on us. Instead, it depends on the citizens and their sense of responsibility.”
In conclusion he was asked about the ongoing media speculation regarding the futures of Andrea Ranocchia and Milan Skriniar and whether the rumours circulating are true.
“I will not enter into the analysis of the players’ roles, I will limit myself to saying that everything happens after a meeting with Conte and Ausilio.
“We have clear concepts, having a large squad means preventing the inconveniences of the course. Now it is premature to analyse these things. We will do it at the end of the transfer window. All choices will be targeted.”