Inter chief executive Giuseppe ‘Beppe’ Marotta has reflected on the past season, looked ahead to the future and discussed the COVID-19 pandemic among other topics in his speech at this afternoon’s annual Inter shareholders meeting.

“The season that ended on August 21 was undoubtedly the most difficult season in the world of sport. Only the two world wars had had such shocking effects,” he began.

“Serie A being suspended by a government decree is a unique event in the history of Italy and unprecedented in football.

“The 2019/20 season for Inter has sanctioned the principle of a new path. From the beginning the clear goal we had set ourselves was to consolidate the sporting project that the owners had outlined with far-sightedness and competence creating a model on solid foundations that will allow us to return to winning over time through a path of continuous and gradual growth.

“We entrusted the management of the team to Antonio Conte, one of the best coaches in the world, who immediately shaped the group in terms of mentality, in the sense of belonging and guaranteed quality of performance and continuity of results.

He then spoke on the impact of the season being postponed and how Inter came out the other side of it and finished the season by having one of the best seasons the club have had in recent history.

“The season had to come to a dramatic halt for over three months. The lockdown represented an immense difficulty for the clubs, even more so for ours, engaged in a path of construction and growth that has been interrupted.

“With courage, self-denial and a spirit of sacrifice we resumed our journey which ended with finishing second place in the league with 82 points, the most points since 2009/10, the year of the treble, with the best defence in the league and the second best attack.”

Inter also ended up going all the way to the final of the Europa League when the 2019/20 football season was resumed across the continent and Marotta spoke on this journey.

“Even though our journey in Europe has been exciting, we have given all Inter fans a month of great emotions by bringing Inter back to a European Cup final after ten years.

“We are creating a long-term project around Antonio Conte, with whom we have seen the sporting results and values.”

Marotta then went on to speak about the several young players at Inter who are performing well and transfer market strategy.

“We have valued our young talents, I am thinking of Lautaro Martinez, Barella, Bastoni.  Inter have become even more attractive for world class players.

“Careful and prudent financial management was the basis of the team’s signing policy for the current season. It was a consequence of the general economic context of contraction and of an anomalous transfer window in terms of timing and duration. The majority of the big European clubs operated in the same way.”

Marotta then went on to speak more about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and warned that without changes being made the current system in place risks failing.

“In a scenario of great uncertainty, still in the midst of the pandemic and the painful limitations that the emergency imposes, the 2020/21 season has restarted.

“We know perfectly well that this will also be an anomalous season from an economic and sporting point of view all over the world due to the health emergency the watchword is austerity.

“The issue of football sustainability, already widely emerged in the pre-Covid era, is crucial in an unprecedented phase of crisis. The reduction in the cost of labour is a necessary step, to which all components must be followed with a sense of responsibility and realism.

“Without real downsizing, this system risks failure. Equal attention must be paid to correctly recognise the great importance that football plays in the ranking of the Nation’s industries in terms of contribution to tax revenues, favouring a certain mechanism of reference for taxation.

“Helping the sustainability of the football system without incurring simple demagoguery indirectly means providing enormous benefits to the country system.”

The former Juventus executive then spoke on how the players at all clubs, not just Inter’s, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted them.

“The state of mind of great concern of the players for their own health and that of their families; the cases of contagion that involve sudden unavailability, create a great psychological and physical difficulty that inevitably affects the preparation and the random outcome of the matches.

“We are asking for an enormous sacrifice from the athletes, who are often also called up for avoidable commitments with their national teams and subjected to unnatural and obsessive rhythms, and to the technical and organisational structures that have had to adapt to an unprecedented emergency situation.”

In conclusion Marotta discussed the club’s project and what the goals of the club are.

“Inter have started a project with the aim of always being competitive until the end of all the competition in which they participate.

“The union of intentions between owners, management and coach is the basis for facing together all the inevitable difficulties of a path that we are sure will bring results.

“The constant growth of results season after season is our goal to consistently reach high levels. I would like to thank all of you shareholders who support us for your great passion and love for Inter. With the best of hope we will be able to hug everyone together at San Siro.”