Today at the Inter Shareholders’ Meeting approval was given for Suning Holdings Group to acquire a majority stake (68.55%) of Inter Milan. As had been agreed to previously Erick Thohir kept a 31.05% stake in the club while individual shareholders hold on to the last 0.4%. This officially marked the end of the Massimo Moratti era and ushers in a new era that promises more revenue, new opportunities for investment and growth, and hopefully more trophies.
When the announcement was made there were a couple of speeches talking about how promising Inter’s future looks. Some of the more important details from these speeches include the fact that Thohir will remain as president, Javier Zanetti will continue to be vice-president, and Michael Bolingbroke will stay on as Inter CEO. They talked about how Inter plans to work to help develop the sport in China and will have a strong partnership with Jiangsu Suning FC. When the owner of Suning Holdings Group Zhang Jindong spoke, he emphasized that Inter is an Italian club and this will not be a Chinese takeover but rather a partnership. He also mentioned three principles for the management team to prioritize. First, he spoke on the importance of professional and rational management of the club. Second, he reiterated the goals for the upcoming season, to challenge for honors both in Serie A and in the Europa League but that the main priority is a return to the Champions League. Finally, he talked about the club’s youth academy and how he wants to continue to strengthen it with young players both from Italy and abroad.
Some sources have reported that this takeover comes with an immediate €142m investment into the club. While some of it will likely go towards dealing with FFP and the club’s debts, there will undoubtedly be more cash to help with transfers, a topic that was briefly touched on during the meeting today. Erick Thohir talked about the moves being made for Antonio Candreva and Domenico Berardi, while he also brought up the fact that Inter are seriously looking into the purchase of young attacker Gabriel Jesus. He said that they have reached out to the 19 year old, but if he doesn’t want to come (due to Barcelona and Bayern Munich also reportedly interested in him) then the club already has other names in mind to go after.
These are exciting times for Inter fans. Suning Holding Group has arrived with quite a splash, lets hope this is just the start of a wonderful new era.