Six weeks have passed since we were given the surprising news that Marco Fassone was to leave his role as director general at Inter, and in the meantime there has been little explanation from either side of just why such a decision was made. This week, however, the man himself has appeared on Italian television and broken his silence on the matter.
The talk amongst the papers has been that Chief Executive Officer Michael Bolingbroke was the man who sealed Fassone's fate, with Erick Thohir wishing to reorganise the management structure of the club in favour of the man he personally brought to Inter - and indeed, that is effectively what Fassone himself suggested was behind his departure.
"It's a question to direct at President Thohir," he told SportItalia, as reported by FCInter1908.it. "I was rather disappointed, but I believe the antagonism that had been created between myself and Bolingbroke led him to make some choices in favour of his own man [Fassone was, of course, appointed well before Thohir's arrival at Inter]."
In addition to discussing his departure, Fassone also gave his thoughts on Inter's current financial situation, with various news outlets suggesting that Champions League qualification is absolutely essential to the club's economic stability going forward. "Inter need to get back into the Champions League for a question of image, but if they were to fail to do so they would need to take certain measures to recoup some of the investments that have been made. There are no serious risks on the economic front, but something would need to be done." Pretty ambiguous then.
As far as Roberto Mancini is concerned, Fassone was complimentary: "I have a great relationship with him, and I think his decision to return to Inter depended partly on the presence of myself and Piero Ausilio, with whom he's always got on with extremely well. He was very disappointed the day I left, surprised and saddened by the decision. Had it been up to him we would have remained as we were." On the coach's desire to bring Yaya Toure to San Siro last summer, he had this to say: "He was never that close to joining, even if the player seemed convinced by our project. The economic conditions imposed by Manchester City were just too high."
There were many deals that did take place during the summer however, both in and out, and Fassone gave his thoughts on some of those:
- On Geoffrey Kondogbia: "Mancini was decisive for his choice, because we couldn't put as much money on the table as other clubs. The fact that he was able to talk to the player and explain his vision was crucial."
- On Xherdan Shaqiri: "Like Lukas Podolski, he was an opportunity the mercato offered us. After a few games and a couple of months it became clear he wasn't the ideal player for the manager, and in the summer we included him on the list of transferable players."
- On Mateo Kovacic: "He's a player of real talent and prospect, Moratti did very well to buy him at an intelligent price. At the start of the summer we had to identify two or three players that we were willing to sacrifice [of which he was one]; we would have liked to keep hold of him, but we were unable to sell other players first and in the end we were forced to sell. I still believe however that it was good deal economically for us."