Erick Thohir, Inter Milan president, released an interview for goal.com Indonesia in which he talked about the Nerazzurri's new coach as well as the future of the club and its financial situation. Thohir was very clear about these topics and we will report his thoughts here for all the fans who are trying to understand what he is planning to do to bring Inter Milan back to international prestige.
No Champions league next year?
No problem. The Nerazzurri president is not worried about this possibility. Financially, this is barely important for him, because the club is the 10th strongest brand of the world, with an yearly income of €180-200 million and the qualification to the Champions League would "only" add €20-30 million. Clearly, he said, ending the season as 9th or 10th team of the Serie A is not fitting for a strong club as Inter is. So there will be disappointment if Inter don't hit the target, but it won't be a disgrace at all, according to Thohir.
About Mancini and his job so far with the team
Thohir has been very clear on Mancini's position: he has a three and a half years contract and no mysterious clauses, as had been rumored, so he has a mid-long term commitment with the team and there aren't real concerns from Thohir's point of view. The president said that they chose Mancini because he shared the club's vision regarding the future of Inter Milan, even though he decidedly not an "Engligh-type manager." All investments will be proposed and decided together, because of the Financial Fair Play.
"With Mazzarri a change was necessary: he was a hard worker and he gave all for the team, but the situation was stagnant and the fans started to put too much pressure on him. Things weren't going well. Mancini knows well Inter Milan and the Serie A, but he has also coached internationally, so he has an expert and universal vision. That's why we chose him."
The winter transfer market and the importance of having young talent
Internazionale's president spoke about the acquisition of Xerdan Shaqiri, saying that it was hard beating the competition of great clubs like Liverpool. The Swiss is an important add to the roster because the team was looking for wings, but he is also very young so with Icardi and Kovacic he will be the core of the future of the club. Thohir has a clear view of how he wants his team to be composed: he wants to bring players from the Primavera to the first team (like Bonazzoli) adding young and talented player but also supported by player with great experience. That's why before the acquisition of Shaqiri, Inter completed a deal to acquire German international Lukas Podolski, who has played for several different clubs in several countries, is a World Cup winner, and has a lot to teach to his younger teammates.
There is still time for other moves until February 2 (end of the winter transfer market) and we already made some important deals with great advance. It's different from last year when we acquired D'Ambrosio and Hernanes in the last days. Anyway on one hand we have to respect the Financial Fair Play's limitation, on the other we must follow the rules that will limit the maximum number of players at 25, and we currently have 28. We must be prepared. We will look around to see if there will be other opportunities, but I don't want to add details; it will be a matter of opportunities and we will do everything to be prepared and maybe find those players we need to complete the roster.
Inter Milan's financial side
Even though there is a lot of speculation about the financial situation of the club, Thohir clearly stated that Inter are following the Financial Fair Play rules, which limit club spending to the amount which is equivalent to their income, avoiding the possibility of bankrupts for apparently healthy clubs.
Thohir then spoke about the interest of the club in signing a new important sponsorship contract as PSG and Manchester United have done recently. In order to do so he has expressed that he desires to bring aboard some of United's best directors and even former Apple employees to work for the club. Having money from sponsors is really important so the club won't have to rely only on their results on the field to generate income. Getting results is still important, however, as good players obviously much more likely to play for a club that is playing the Champions League than for one who is not.