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Inter Milan financial statements come under fire

Financial newspaper claims Nerazzurri should not be registered in Serie A.

FC Internazionale v Pescara Calcio - Serie A
Internazionale President Erick Thohir greets the fans before the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Pescara Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 28, 2017 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

An Italian financial newspaper recently examined Inter Milan’s financial accounts and came to the conclusion that “one wonders how the Nerazzurri can be admitted to the Serie A championship.”

The team suggested the conclusions drawn in the newspaper were “both incorrect and misleading as well as harmful to the image of the club.”

FC Internazionale v ACF Fiorentina -Serie A
Internazionale Milano Technical Director Walter Sabatini looks on before the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and ACF Fiorentina at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on August 20, 2017 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Gianni Dragoni of Il Sole 24 Ore examined the team’s accounts and reported consolidated negative net equity of €83.41 million up to June 30, 2017, a €29 million increase over the previous 12-month period.

The numbers mean the club is not injecting enough shareholder cash to cover the club’s losses over the last several years.

The team reported a net loss of Є24.6 million, which is an improvement over the €63.1 million loss reported for fiscal 2016. The club’s total debt was reported at €637.56 million, up €150 million from the previous year.

Inter Milan management was quick to refute the article in a statement on its website. The team states it “would like to make it clear that its consolidated financial statements contain comprehensive data and information as required by the Italian Civil Code and legal and regulatory provisions relating to the financial statements of football clubs.”

According to the report, Inter’s shareholder loans were €221 million, bank debt was €208 million and player purchases accounted for debt of €112.5 million.

Suning Group, majority owners of Inter Milan, granted shareholder loans of nearly €300 million, closing out in August 2017. The team reported a capital increase of €142 million, but that goes for debts and interest payments.

“The club believes it to be of primary importance that laws and regulations on financial statements are adhered to and will take all necessary legal actions to defend itself and its image in order to once again confirm that the financial information contained in the financial statement, explanatory notes and management report is transparent and truthful,” the club said.

The bottom line, at least according to the report, Inter Milan is still well below being able to pay its debts, with most of those debts being incurred before Suning and Erick Thohir took ownership of the team.

The club is obligated to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules which includes if the team qualifies for the Champions League, the value of the team cannot be more than the value of the last Inter team that qualified. Most of the players who took part in the 2016/16 Champions League run – like Gary Medel, Cristian Ansaldi, Jeison Murillo and Ever Banega – are no longer on the squad.

Of note, neither the FIGC nor Lega Serie A apply Financial Fair Play rules to teams, but clubs must still validate their finances to take part in the following season.

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