Former Inter President Massimo Moratti understands the need for a modern stadium, but cannot conceive of Milan without the San Siro structure.
Both Inter and Milan are eager to build their own arena, which would involve tearing down the iconic Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, but the plans on what to do and when remain extremely hazy.
“It should be sorted out straight away, so it’s only right that all the authorities, but above all the people of Milan, know what the final projects and scenarios are,” Moratti told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.
“I’m not thinking of a referendum or anything, as obviously the clubs have to take on the responsibility of such a large and historic project. However, it is good for the people to know what we are actually talking about.
“Their participation is necessary in this case. The very least they can demand is to know in truth what the clubs have in mind.
“It’s not like Milan and Inter are planning some Christmas present for the fans, nor are they building their own private homes. Having a new stadium is the direction clubs must go in for the modern game, with increased focus on business and revenue. It is probably a necessary and inevitable step.
“However, it would also involve giving up on a piece of everyone’s history, which is San Siro. It’s probably the most loved stadium in Italy.
“There was a period during my Presidency with strong talk of a new stadium. That was when the first Chinese investors were coming in and we all know that a stadium entices those who want to invest. For some, it is a condition of their investment.
“We started talking to Milan about looking after San Siro and modernising it, not tearing it down. I still haven’t got used to the idea of the city of Milan without the Stadio Meazza in it. If I think of a football match, I see it in here, and I feel other Milanese residents have the same vision.
“This is why I say we all have the right to be involved in this process. Transparency can only be helpful. We all have the right to fall in love with the new project and change the course of our dreams.”
Does Moratti believe Milan and Inter can now genuinely work out a joint plan for the future?
“We struggled to get an understanding or a compromise going before, so we never reached a shared solution. However, Milan and Inter seem to be on the same page now and determined to go all the way. They can see the finish line and have made their calculations. I am certain they will construct a stadium.”
Moratti was also asked about the racist abuse directed at Romelu Lukaku from Cagliari ultras, and the even more incredible defence put forward by some Inter fans.
“I hope the new stadium will also banish what we saw last weekend in Cagliari and above all the justification for the incident given by some fans.
“We’ve been talking about these racist chants for years and it seems incredible to me that we still haven’t done anything definitive or strong enough to close that phase forever.”
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