Given the horrendous troubles Inter are experiencing on the pitch in 2016, this week was perhaps the ideal time for the club to provide some good news from off the pitch, and that is exactly what Erick Thohir and co. have done.
As an official statement reads on Inter's website, the club are close to reaching an agreement with Pirelli over what they describe as a "5-year, long-term relationship regarding their shirt sponsorship deal. The financial agreements," it continues, "include a fixed component and a variable one based on the team's sporting performance." In other words, Inter will receive a set amount of money - thought to be around €9m, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport (who have been known to be wrong before) - with a series of bonuses to follow, should the team perform well enough to earn them. Er, good luck with that...
The rest of the statement reflects on the longevity of this deal, which began in 1990, before also making what I think we can describe as a very pointed reference towards the expanding Chinese market that Erick Thohir wishes to break into: "The Pirelli brand has been on the Nerazzurri's shirt for a record-breaking 20 years and the preliminary arrangements, once finalised, would potentially extend this to 25 years, making it one of the longest shirt sponsorship agreements in football among major European clubs. This long-standing relationship is based on trust and the close relationship that Internazionale and Pirelli have built over the many years of their successful partnership and which has enabled the strengthening of both brands in Italy and abroad, in particular in such important markets as China."
Anything to distract us from our inexorable slide down the league table.