President Massimo Moratti explains why he decided to sell part of Inter to Indonesian magnate Erick Thohir. “I am worried about the future of the club.”
The negotiations with the Indonesian businessman are a very advanced stage, though it’s still not clear what percentage of the club he is going to sell.
“Ernesto Pellegrini is right when he said you have to love a club. I know something about that...” Moratti told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Nostalgia is by definition behind you. I decided to look to the future. People keep talking about debts, but that is the wrong perspective. Inter have similar debts to other big clubs and I am not worried about those, as I could easily continue covering it myself.
“The real problem is revenue. Those are the resources necessary for development. I am worried about the future of the club. That’s all apart from the expansion of the brand on the international market, which also has to be done.
“For years Italian football – and I take my share of the blame here – won on the field in Europe, but played entirely on home turf in financial terms. And we lost.
“Clubs were built entirely on TV rights and transfers. Those are necessary too, but today we’re incapable of forming a system with modern stadiums and formats that can attract planetary interest. Building the brand abroad is a long, difficult and expensive process with very strong competition.
“For example, the introduction of an Asian club is fundamental to bring home that marketplace. It forces you to change your managerial habits and opens up international resources. It makes you more international than winning the Treble.”
Inter have struggled since securing the Champions League, Scudetto and Coppa Italia in 2010, including plummeting revenue.
“It was an immense joy and an equally immense wasted opportunity,” confessed Moratti.
“You see, Inter are like a daughter, a beautiful girl with extraordinary abilities, so you give her everything she wants to make her happy. But the time comes when it’s opportune to send her to college. Discipline and education are fundamental for her growth. It’s the only way she’ll learn to walk on her own two feet.
“Inter enormously sliced into the wage bill and infrastructure costs, but this is pointless if the revenue also shrinks. This isn’t an issue of survival for Inter, but rather development and strong innovation. Inter are worth so much more than what their revenue suggests and have to make the most of the brand internationally if the club wants a future in line with its tradition.
“Believe me, I am acting in the interests of the fans. Inter will be managed in a modern and international way. If needed, I will remain to give my contribution, but please let’s not make me into a myth. Presidents as symbols can become a blockage at some point...”