Interspac president Carlo Cottarelli has expressed his dream that Inter could adopt a similar ownership structure to that of Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
The Nerazzurri’s owners Suning are known to be seeking fresh investment into the club to help resolve Inter’s current economic difficulties, having posted a loss of €102 million at the end of the previous financial year.
Interspac, a group of famous and rich Inter fans, have recently been linked with entering the club as minority shareholders and in an interview with Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, Cottarelli – an economist who acted as Italy’s interim Prime Minister in 2018 – outlined how things could work.
“Our dream is to bring the model of widespread ownership, which has done so much good for Bayern,” Cottarelli remarked.
Asked whether there had been any recent contact between Interspac and Suning of late, he responded: “Not recently.
“A couple of years ago we spoke with Steven Zhang, but there was no interest.
“Now things may have changed.
“We have been described as VIP fans, but that is unfair.
“The spirit of this consortium is anything but VIP.”
Cottarelli proceeded to outline the project that Interspac have in mind if they were to end up getting involved at Inter.
“We would bring in many tens of thousands of passionate members into Inter, with a widespread and popular shareholding structure, as is the case in Germany, where a law prevents excessive concentration in club ownership.
“In the Bundesliga, widespread shareholding has created a strong fan identity, clubs’ accounts are in better shape than elsewhere and there is a commercial return.
“If I had a role in the club as a fan, I would more willingly go to the stadium and buy shirts and merchandise.”
Next he spoke on who would be the president of this sort of Inter.
“An Inter fan, who loves the team and knows at least one historical team by heart.
“If not that of the Grande Inter, those of Giovanni Trapattoni or Jose Mourinho.
“At Bayern the president is Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a beautiful figure chosen by the shareholders who are made up of some small shareholders, then the three big groups Adidas, Allianz and Audi.”
Cottarelli then went on to discuss the possibility of former Inter president and owner Massimo Moratti being involved and stressed what really matters.
“It would be wonderful.
“As an Inter fan I am grateful to Moratti, and it is nice that he defined our project as romantic, but what counts, more than the individuals, is the structure.
“In addition to us 16 members, we think we can involve a hundred famous Inter fans, I don’t want to mention the names, which could promote the collection of memberships to a wide audience.
“I think there may be great interest.
“Bayern has 160,000 members.”
In conclusion, Cottarelli was asked if Interspac would be willing to work as minority shareholders under either Suning or an investment fund and also explained how he would aim to run the club.
“We are willing to do our part in any way we can,” he assured.
“Zhang Jindong did a great job, he invested and brought Inter back to being the great club I supported as a child.
“How would I run the club? I would aim to increase revenue, and only then would I think about reducing spending.
“The Premier League’s business model has proved that the first thing, for a league and for a club, is to sell well.
“Then, of course, if you consider that Lionel Messi has earned €555 million since 2017 to date, you ask yourself some questions about the sustainability of the system.”