Friday July 18 2014
Thohir: We have to be realistic

Erick Thohir has reiterated faith in Financial Fair Play and explained that Inter need time in order to catch Europe’s elite.

The Indonesian has spoken this week on a number of issues including UEFA’s initiative and, on from excerpts being released yesterday, the full interview with the Inter owner has come out today. 

“Of course I am very favourable towards FFP, because in this way the club will be healthier and more responsible,” Thohir has explained to Top Skor.

“It often happened that a President has abandoned a club for us, having run it as a hobby. Sanctions will be down to UEFA - it is up to them and nobody else. I know the controversy about the fines [for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain] that are too modest for some, but I remain convinced of the goodness of the project of Michel Platini.

“Is the process an opportunity for Inter? After closing the books this July, we can say that the situation has improved over the past year.

“And next year we should have even more certainty in this regard. Then, it is right that UEFA carry out their own checks.”

It was put to Thohir that the best way for the club to proceed may be to invest in developing players through its academy.

“Sure, but we must also understand that Inter is not a club that has a mission to develop young players.

“In addition, it must be said that not all the kids then increase in their sale value. This is not to say that Inter is not a club for young people, but you need the right balance between youth and experience.

“For example, years ago, leaving Inter were products of the youth academy in exchange for big players coming in. The certain condition is that we must respect FFP.

“To be sure of this it is necessary that Inter excel on and off the field. If we do not raise revenue, then it becomes difficult to be competitive. So, the main thing is to increase revenue.

“Take the example of Real Madrid - the Spanish club has a turnover of around €518m, while Inter have dropped to €169m. Today Inter are even behind clubs such as Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

“Important has been the confirmation of Walter Mazzarri. Then, it is clear that whilst we would sign a big player, we also have to be realistic.

“Also because it must be said that Serie A no longer has the same appeal as a few years ago. But the potential is there to return to the top of Europe.”

One area of potential increased revenue is improving San Siro or building a new stadium.

“I am convinced that it is better to have a ground of 40,000-50,000 that is always full, than a half-empty one of 80,000.

“The Italian government, in this sense, seems very collaborative to me. But I must say that the whole environment here is very open to new ideas.

“There are also plans to reduce the number of teams participating in Serie A, to increase its competitiveness.

“As Massimo Moratti has said, the first objective is to put in place the finances and the business for two-three years.

“From the fourth year we can do assessments and will better understand if we want to renovate the Giuseppe Meazza or build a new ground.”

Thohir was asked of Inter fans’ hopes this summer for a big name signing.

“As I have said, now there is a need for understanding from the fans because we are in a period of transition.

“We have to be realistic and look at how clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United have developed. You have to give me time.”