Suning have been Inter’s owners for the past six years, with today marking the sixth anniversary of their purchase of the club in the summer of 2016.
Today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport look back on the past six years of the Chinese company’s running of the Nerazzurri, a period which has encompassed growth and success on the pitch, but also financial difficulties and uncertainty.
Suning took over the Nerazzurri from Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir, and there were some early bumps in the road as they worked to change the direction of the club, especially as Thohir initially stayed on as President.
The summer of 2016 saw the appointment of Frank de Boer as head coach from Ajax, a short-lived and unsuccessful tenure, and several signings that largely did not make a positive impact on the pitch.
In Suning’s second summer in charge, they started to find their feet, and also became less reliant on major international agents such as Kia Joorabchian and Stellar Group to make signings.
The arrival of Luciano Spalletti as head coach from Roma and the signing of players such as Milan Skriniar, Matias Vecino, Borja Valero, and Joao Cancelo on loan, and a return to the Champions League via a top four finish in Serie A.
After another season of mixed fortunes but largely encouraging signs under Spalletti, the Nerazzurri appointed Antonio Conte in the summer of 2019, who followed Beppe Marotta after the CEO joined from Juventus.
This marked the real upswing in the Nerazzurri’s fortunes, as the club narrowly finished second in Serie A and reached a Europa League final in Conte’s first campaign in charge before winning the Scudetto in his second.
Last summer saw Conte depart along with the big name sales of Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku, forced by serious debt and liquidity problems as financial uncertainty became a major theme at the club following the economic issues provoked by the pandemic.
Nevertheless, the arrival of Simone Inzaghi as head coach from Lazio and more shrewd business by Marotta allowed the team’s level not to drop, as they narrowly missed out on the Scudetto to AC Milan and won both the Supercoppa Italiana and the Coppa Italia.
Now, the Nerazzurri look set for another similar summer, although they will be hoping for less upheaval and no surprises like last time around.
Suning are going into their seventh year in charge at Inter, and while there are major financial reasons for worry and doubt, they will look at the work they’ve done on the pitch and hope that it can be kept up in the same direction.