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Forbes: Inter are the 18th Most Valuable Club in the World

The club’s value dropped by 4% in 2016 — Inter are now the fourth most valuable in Italy.

FC Internazionale v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

At this point, Inter fans everywhere are just waiting for the worst kept secret in football to be confirmed.

As Will outlined on Sunday, the club are ready to appoint Luciano Spalletti as their new head coach, but it hasn’t officially happened just yet. The latest reports suggest that Spalletti is in China meeting with Suning, and will be introduced on either Friday or Monday. We will, of course, provide in-depth coverage of Spalletti’s hiring once it’s made official.

While we wait, now seems like a good time to discuss news of a different ilk. This week, Forbes released its annual “Business of Soccer” rankings, which estimate the value of the world’s biggest clubs based on revenue from television deals, sponsorships, commercial and match-day income, and ownership wealth.

According to the American business outlet, Inter Milan are currently the 18th most lucrative club in the world, with an estimated value of $537 million. Unfortunately, that’s down 4 percent from the previous year.

Inter rank fourth out of the five Italian clubs in Forbes’ top 20 list. Juventus came in 9th with a value of over $1.25 billion, city rivals AC Milan are 13th, AS Roma finished just above Inter in 17th, and Napoli rounded out the list in 20th.

At first glance this may seem disappointing, but there’s more to understand than just the rankings alone.

Inter have been without Champions League football for a while now, which is certainly a very well paying* competition. Missing out on Champions League TV and match-day revenue for an extended period of time can negatively impact a club’s finances.

*Author’s note: If you’re interested in learning more about how Champions League revenue works, this video is fantastic.

Competing in Serie A also doesn’t do Inter many favors when compared to non-Italian rivals, especially those from England. The Premier League’s domestic and international television deals combine to bring in over $4.55 billion annually for the league, whereas Serie A’s deals bring in just $1.26 billion. That’s a significant difference, and the reason why you’ll find clubs like West Ham United and Leicester City on the list. The good news is that Serie A’s television deal is up for renegotiation at the end of next season. While it will never match that of the Premier League, a new TV deal will only be beneficial for all Italian clubs.

Another factor to consider is that Inter do not own their stadium. As Baraka outlined way back in 2015, Inter and AC Milan pay the Milan city council (to a combined tune of €9 million annually) to lease the stadium each season. This arraignment also forces the clubs to share a portion of their match-day revenue with the city.

With all of these factors in mind, it shouldn’t be a big deal to see Inter fall in the rankings a bit. With new Suning owners, and subsequent sponsorships, Inter’s revenue will undoubtedly increase in the coming years. Once new TV deals kick-in, and the club return to the Champions League, things will truly be looking up.

Events on the pitch may not be the best right now, but financially speaking, the Nerazzurri are in a very strong position. Inter are once again among Europe’s fiscal elite.