Inter Milan Corporate CEO Alessandro Antonello identifies the new stadium project as the club’s most important objective.
The club held its annual shareholders meetings on Thursday. The assembly featured a remote speech from club president Steven Zhang.
Sporting CEO Giuseppe Marotta also delivered a speech. But while the latter focused on footballing matters, Antonello touched down on different topics, mainly financial. He explains how the club managed to reduce its losses on the balance sheet.
“As you know, the purpose of this event is to approve the financial year which ended on 30 June 2023, which included a further significant decrease in terms of losses, achieved thanks to a consistent increase in revenue in our core business along with further decreases to our production costs,” said the 58-year-old in his speech as published by the club’s official website.
“Thanks to the efforts of every area of the business and with the majority shareholder supporting the club’s ambitions, we continue to pursue our aim of creating a winning formula between competitiveness on the pitch at the highest level, the essence of our core business, allied to economic and financial sustainability.
“Last season highlighted how these two aspects, what occurs on the pitch and what goes on off it, are inextricably linked and how they both contribute to the healthy development of our sport.”
Alessandro Antonello Recognized The Challenges Facing Italian & European Football
On another note, Antonello highlights the challenges facing Italian football in particular, and the European game in general.
“Amid slow economic recovery in the entire sector after years of restrictions brought on by the pandemic, the situation therefore remains difficult.
“European football is becoming increasingly polarised, with the Premier League increasingly far ahead of the other main European leagues in terms of financial value.
“The English clubs’ financial superiority appears set to continue, as evidenced by the latest round of television rights, which saw the Premier League further increase its overall broadcast revenue.
“Conversely, the other domestic leagues have encountered issues when negotiating new contracts with broadcasters.
“As you know, this week Serie A finalized the TV rights for 2024-2029, licensing the league to two domestic broadcasters, Sky and DAZN, for a similar amount to the previous cycle, ensuring stability in the domestic game for the coming years.
“It is therefore naturally important that we continue to participate and make progress in international competition.
“Thanks in part to the advent of new formats both from UEFA in terms of the Champions League and FIFA with the Club World Cup, the proceeds distributed to member clubs and tournament participants are constantly on the increase and constitute a vital asset.
“In recent months a new player has entered the fray which is having a direct impact on the entire game: the Saudi Pro League is essentially a new, significant competitor that European leagues will have to keep an eye on.”
Antonello then confirmed that the club registered a loss of 85.4 million euros in the last financial year.
“In the 2022/23 financial year, the group generated revenue of €425.5 million with a loss of €85.4 million, down €55 million on the €140.1 million loss recorded in the 2021/22 season.
“This result was achieved thanks to two factors, namely:
“Increasing revenue by around €60 million not including player trading, due in large part to matchday income and greater broadcast revenue – both of which thanks to the club’s progress in several competitions.
“Containing operating costs, which decreased from €528 million to €465.5 million. Specifically, our transfer dealings in the summer of 2022 allowed us to bring down the overall wage bill.
“As for our Settlement Agreement with UEFA, while our financial results for the 2022/23 balance sheet still need to be assessed by the relevant UEFA committee, the club believes it has respected the parameters established in the agreement and rules out the prospect of economic or sporting sanctions relative to the previous season.”
Inter Milan Corporate CEO Provided Updates On New Stadium Project
Moreover, the Corporate CEO dwelled on the importance of the club’s new stadium plans. He offers updates on both the San Siro and Rozzano projects.
Antonello insists that the club can ill-afford to wait any longer for the authorities to resolve the bureaucratic knots that have been hampering the club’s plans to modernize the San Siro Stadium.
“The most important project for the mid-to-long term future of our club is building a new stadium owned by Inter.
“First of all, an update on the status of the new San Siro project. Beginning four years ago with the submission of the ‘Technical and economic feasibility study to redevelop the San Siro area’.
“This was subject to numerous updates to meet the conditions imposed by the administration, the project is currently on standby, while we wait for further official action from the Municipality of Milan that would provide the club with guarantees as to the direction to take.
“We are pleased to hear of their willingness to listen to the clubs’ views, and the city council’s decision to appeal to the administrative regional court regarding the historical restrictions on San Siro – a move which has been backed by minister for sport Andrea Abodi.
“Despite that, after more than four years of waiting, we need to have clear guarantees over the exact timeframe and some clarification over the possibility of a referendum.
“With regards to the comments about the prospect of refurbishing San Siro should only one of the two clubs stay, Inter’s position is that the club is open to building a new stadium in the district along with the repurposing of San Siro in respect of the possible restriction the authorities might place on the ground.
“However, we believe it is inconceivable to refurbish the current facility with the aim of keeping it as a stadium, as we have stressed several times in recent years.
“We have worked hard over the last few years to remain in San Siro with a project to regenerate the entire neighborhood but time is currently the crucial factor. And our current focus is on plans to build a new stadium in the Rozzano neighborhood.
“With regards to the project in Rozzano, for which the club has already signed an exclusive agreement with Infrafin valid until April 2024, the latest developments with the local administration are that on 5 October the Rozzano town council approved an amendment to the local land-use plan to include the new stadium.
“Now we are waiting for the amendment to be formally approved, while we are already in discussions with the administration to identify their needs, particularly with regards to accessibility. The next target would be to purchase the area that we already have first refusal on.
“We plan to submit our plans by April 2024, so that we can receive the green light within 18 months, break ground, and have the stadium ready in time for the 2028/29 season.
“What you are looking at is a prospectus of what we are working on with the firm Populous, the same that devised the concept of the “Cattedrale”.
“The area would see the creation of a 70,000-seat stadium, studied to provide the utmost comfort and the greatest possible excitement for the fans, as well as being accessible to all.
“Outside the stadium there would be a very safe area that could be used 365 days a year, featuring a sports village and facilities for supporters and anyone visiting the area, as well as the park surrounding it.
“The stadium area would also include buildings the club could use and specific facilities for fans like a museum and club store.
“Building a new club-owned stadium is an essential asset to bridge the gap between us and the leading European clubs.
“Inter’s stadium revenue is currently less than half that of the top European sides. Our club needs a new, modern, accessible, sustainable stadium that guarantees a high-level stadium experience.”