Sunday November 17 2013
Thohir: 'Inter follow US model'

Erick Thohir is confident Inter will be back at the top by 2016 and he’ll revamp the organisation on the American model.

The new President was a guest on Italian TV show ‘Che tempo che fa’ this evening and gave a better idea of what his plans are for the club.

“There are a lot of rumours on players, but what we’ll do with Inter is to construct a system. I don’t think it’s possible to make decisions on players by myself, as it means discussing it with the Coach and directors.

“We want to form a team that can make the fans happy and it’s very important to see a team playing good football.

“I met the squad with the Coach and meeting these superstars I’d seen on TV was surprising for me too. I had to let them know as President that the team would be supported and in every game they had to give their best. If you play with heart, you will win any game.

“I always believe that if you want to make it in life, you must always work with others, have a clear objective and work hard,” continued the Indonesian investor.

“I see these qualities in Walter Mazzarri and I thank Massimo Moratti for having chosen him. For the next two to three years we have things set out, then in 2016 the Champions League Final will be in Milan, so Inter must get prepared. I don’t know if we’ll win it, but with targeted work we can be back in the Champions League soon.”

Many expect Thohir to come in with a huge transfer war chest, but he insists there are other ways of forming a modern club.

“In England three or four clubs have entered into American hands, like Manchester United. I know the States well because I love basketball and there I realised how Americans make sport into an industry. They play the long game, know how to expand and become stronger.

“If Inter don’t follow that model, they won’t be competitive in future. The first thing is to be strong, then the fans must see entertaining matches. If you don’t have a good business plan, then investment will never be remunerative. It is fundamental to create this system to support the team.”

It is also a big change from Moratti’s family-oriented approach to the club, where he ploughed millions into the squad.

“The first time I saw Moratti was five or six months ago. I told him I wasn’t there to replace him, but to create a team spirit that would support Inter. I’d never have been able to do what he did in 18 years and working together we’ll become stronger.

“In future only 10 teams will be remembered and I want Inter to be one of them. How long before the first Scudetto win? We’ll let God decide that.”

Thohir also assured his love for Inter was not something that sprung up overnight.

“When we were kids, we wanted to play in Serie A, which was one of the greatest things football could offer to the world. My friends and I became big Inter fans in the 1980s, the years of the Germans like Lothar Matthaus, Andreas Brehme and Jurgen Klinsmann.

“Now there is competition from the Premier League or Bundesliga, but I am convinced Serie A can again be the best League in the world if everyone wants to make it better.”

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