Wednesday July 30 2014
Thohir: Champions League? Not yet

Erick Thohir is encouraged by the directors he now has in place at Inter, but refuses to move beyond Europa League qualification as a season objective.

The Nerazzurri’s new structure under their owner has been taking shape of late and Monday saw a first official meeting between most of the elements now brought into place, such as Javier Zanetti as Vice-President and most recently Dan Chard as Director of Global Partnerships.

“I have always believed that we need a strong team, on and off the field,” Thohir has explained to the Gazzetta dello Sport today.

“With the directors who were already in place and were doing very well, we have added people like Michael Bolingbroke, Claire Lewis, Dan Chard and Luca Innocenti. They have been chosen not because they are my friends, but for their success in their careers.

“If then I am asked that I am happy, I will say yes, but it is too early to draw conclusions. We will see the first results in a matter of a few months. In football there are no certainties, we will have to work hard, give our best.

“There may be other additions to the staff, but sometimes you develop further even with those already in the group - Piero Ausilio is the most striking example.

“Monday’s meeting was a major one. Partly because some directors had not yet met the others. We have laid the foundations for a three-year project in which I want everyone to feel involved, knowing what everyone else is doing.

“We are very clear in terms of objectives and of things to improve.”

One intriguing aspect was Massimo Moratti’s absence from this week’s meeting.

“He said it was important that the new leaders to first meet each other. We will see him at the board of directors at the end of August.

“[He and Angelomario Moratti] are great people. They did not want to appear, but they have kept up to date on everything.

“Moratti is really important, but now I have to respect his position. He now prefers not to interfere in my decisions. But he is always there as demonstrated by the fact that when someone attacks, he is ready to fight back, to take a stand.

“He was the leader of this club for 18 years. Then, it is true that sometimes there are differences, but the important thing is to confront everything. Often from the clashes emerge winning solutions for the club. If you argue for something, it means you care.”

Thohir was asked if discussions on transfer market activity were also held and if a season objective can be determined, perhaps including a top-three finish.

“No, I am updated daily by Ausilio on the market, which is still long. Also, we cannot set a goal for next season that is different to the Europa League.

“So, not the Champions League? Not until the market is closed and we can see what we do in the first official match. It is needless to make proclamations now, although we will try in every way. We have big ambitions.

“Closing the gap to the top isn’t easy? To create a strong team you need not only strong players together. Much depends on how the group will fight together.

“Look at the examples of Costa Rica and also of my DC United, who were last last season and are top this one. Then, it is clear that you need an ace. If in January we had not signed Hernanes then perhaps we would not have made the Europa League.

“Are Juventus weaker without Conte? They remain one of the favourites. But every club has its own strategy. We want a strong but balanced squad. In age and in the various roles. Holding players that are redundant would do no-one any good.

“Can Inter buy before they sell? We have the liquidity to move, but we need to balance the budget. Certainly we cannot just buy.”

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