Just behind the joking exterior of Inter President’s remarks about the club’s financial situation at the team Christmas party, there are very real and serious problems.

This is the view in today’s print edition of Rome-based newspaper Corriere dello Sport, via FCInterNews, who argue that Zhang’s joke may have been less of a joke than he let on.

Whilst making his speech at Inter’s Christmas party, President Zhang joked that guests should “leave five euros” while they exit, for Sporting Director Piero Ausilio to use in the transfer market.

The President’s remark was obviously intended as a joke, making light of the fact that the Nerazzurri’s financial situation has become the subject of constant speculation in Italian media.

However, the Corriere argues, there is more than a little bit of truth behind the joke of the President.

Inter continue to pursue ambitious financial goals, as the club aims for a high degree of financial self-sufficiency due to a number of external factors having made investment from owners Suning dry up.

Accordingly, the Corriere suggests, the Nerazzurri are not too far from needing the kind of generosity that Zhang joked about.