Thursday October 24 2013
Moratti: 'Fans are true Inter owners'

Inter President Massimo Moratti said “the fans are the true owners of the club” and reveals he was warned about Paul Ince.

The patron, who still owns 30 per cent of the side, sat down with Inter Channel this evening.

“Football can be seen as a way of showing what is wonderful within you. At times you achieve it, at others you don’t,” said Moratti.

“That means understanding what the fans want, which isn’t just a great player, but many times the symbol of a special club. That has always been here, because we are unique and different. Every fan takes part in the process and feels a little bit like a President.

“The Inter brand has great significance. When I arrived, I was told not to sign any black players to avoid upsetting the ultras, but I bought Ince and he became a hero. The response was fantastic and the Englishman was truly loved here.”

Moratti has had several run-ins with the fans during his time at the helm, but understands their frustration.

“The fans have always been affectionate and understanding with me, so I have no negative memories. When they protested, it was because they were right to complain.

“The fans are the true owners of the club, something we both understood, as they breathe life into a club.

“When I took over, it was both a joy and a responsibility. There were wonderful moments, but it was also a real pain!”

Now Moratti has agreed to sell 70 per cent of Inter to Indonesian investor Erick Thohir.

“Inter have a history and must continue with it, regardless of who is at the helm. We had negotiations with Chinese investors, who wanted to build the stadium, but there was a problem within their ranks and the matter was dropped.

“At the end the Indonesians stepped forward, who were very enthusiastic and with a notable market in their country that can be developed with the Inter brand.

“Being accustomed to a role of responsibility, it is difficult now to find other roles. These gentlemen think I will remain in the club to help them, as they live outside of Italy. They know this is an important step and are therefore treating the matter with delicacy, which is only right.

“When they approached us, I also remembered the affection and enthusiasm of the people when we went on tour in Indonesia. That helped them and us make this decision.”

“I saw Thohir both at the business table and as a friend. He is a happy person, so puts you in a good mood. He is also ambitious, which is good for the club, and he works from morning till night.

“He has a great sense of friendship and works with these associates he has known for 25 years, both very interesting people. This group can give a great deal to Inter. They don’t want to be invasive, nor arrogant, as Thohir wants to understand the fans.

“He doesn’t have 50 years of Inter history behind him, but it doesn’t take long to feel like an Inter President with the suffering this club puts you through!”

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