Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla feels that the joke that Inter President Steven Zhang made about asking for five euros to fund the team’s transfer market activities in January was hardly tasteful.

Writing in his column for Italian news outlet SportItalia, Pedulla criticizes the Nerazzurri President for the joke, and also suggests that if the club are unable to extend defender Milan Skriniar’s contract, directors Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio cannot be blamed.

At Inter’s Christmas party, President Zhang spoke, joking that guests should leave a few euros by the door whilst leaving.

Whilst the President’s remark was obviously intended sarcastically, the financial problems that he was alluding to are very real.

In Pedulla’s view, there was no need for Zhang to take such a flippant attitude towards the fact that the Nerazzurri are struggling to sign or even keep hold of players due to their financial situation.

“Inter are always Inter,” he writes, “I’ll spell it out for anyone who doesn’t understand.”

“Among these individuals, you can probably include Steven Zhang, who made a joke about Piero Ausilio needing €5 contributions from partygoers to fund the winter transfer window.”

“Saying that this was in bad taste would be putting it mildly, it’s a joke that simply shouldn’t have been made.”

“Nobody is trying to get on their high horse, but trying to remind the young Zhang that Inter are still Inter,” he writes.

“It’s not that anyone thinks that he’s forgotten the Nerazzurri story, on the contrary he could probably recite it by heart,” Pedulla suggests of Zhang.

“And for this very reason he should have avoided that joke, these things shouldn’t be joked about.”

Pedulla writes that “Last summer he decided that €50 million was not enough to sell Milan Skriniar to Paris Saint-Germain, but meanwhile every Nerazzurri fan spent the entire transfer window biting their nails.”

“Then in September, there’s the new offer, which is supposedly the highest they can go, of around €6 million net per season, hardly reaching €10 million.”

“Now, we hope that Zhang can get the defender’s signature within a few weeks, as a failure to do so would be virtually indefensible.”

“And no one could blame Marotta or Ausilio,” Pedulla writes of the possible failure to extend Skriniar’s contract, “for reasons that even a two-year-old could understand – directors, perhaps disguised financial managers, can hardly spend money that isn’t there.”

“It’s ultimately the owners who must bear the brunt of this, and not complaint.”

“Inter are Inter,” Pedulla stresses, “how can they have any continuity if the squad keeps getting picked apart and reassembled?”