It's a historic moment for Inter Milan.
Suning Commerce Group officially announced the acquisition of Inter Milan's majority stake, with International Sports Capital (the Indonesian consortium led by Erick Thohir) becoming the only minority shareholder in the club. The retail giant bought 68.5% of Inter's stakes for €270M. Internazionale Holding will no longer be a shareholder in the club, resulting in Moratti leaving Inter 21 years after becoming President of the club.
Erick Thohir, despite not being a majority shareholder anymore, will retain his role as Inter President and Zhang Jindong (Suning President) stated that Suning group will continue to support Thohir's business strategy started three years ago to make Inter stronger on and off the pitch. There will be some changes in the management as Jindong plans to add a few Chinese elements to the team without exactly explaining what he meant with these words.
From this day forward, as we add our Chinese elements to the team, and the team takes root in the largest football fan market, Internazionale Milano will be presented with greater opportunities than ever before
The announcement was made during a very choreographic and spectacular event in which Suning showed the present of Inter without forgetting about the glorious past of this once successful club. During the presentation, the Pazza Inter Amala anthem was played several times accompanied by very nostalgic videos and images of the many legends that wore the black and blue shirt: Simeone, Ronaldo, Zanetti (who attended the event) were among the players mentioned this morning. The long reminiscence wasn't just a casual or required act, it was an intentional choice by Zhan Jindong to underline his plan of restoring Inter to the top of European football. He said:
Suning will inject a steady stream of capital investment in Inter Milan, which will help it attract more talented players worldwide to once again win glory with strong backing
He also explained why they chose to invest specifically in Inter instead of AC Milan or other Italian and European clubs.
Serie A was the first European league to be shown live on TV in China in the 1980s, at a time when Italian clubs were dominant in Europe. Hence, Chinese people of that generation have a strong predisposition towards Italian football, especially AC and Inter who were strong at the time.
As such, there is a significant potential Chinese fan base for Italian football, and the people we now see making investment decisions on behalf of Chinese corporations are those who are part of this lineage.
The fact that Inter was the first European team to visit China 38 years, making them the club with the biggest fanbase in the country surely played a big role.
You can watch the full press conference here.