It’s official. The Massimo Moratti era at Inter is over as Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir has taken over stewardship of the club after buying a 70% majority share in the club for between €250 and €300m.
A statement on the Inter web site read:
“Today F.C. Internazionale Milano S.p.A. (“Inter”) and its majority shareholder Internazionale Holding S.r.l., wholly controlled by Massimo Moratti, have signed a binding agreement whereby International Sports Capital (“ISC”), a company indirectly owned by Erick Thohir, Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo, three prominent Indonesian businessmen, will become the controlling shareholder of Inter with a 70 per cent stake by means of a dedicated capital increase.”
“Erick Thohir, Rosan Roeslani, Handy Soetedjo and the Moratti Family will work together to ensure a winning future and make the Club even more competitive in Italy, Europe and the rest of the world, in line with the philosophy of the Club since its inception in 1908 when its founders decided to call themselves “brothers of the world.”
Moratti spoke to reporters at the entrance to his offices on Tuesday after the deal had finally been sealed saying:
“I’m satisfied. It has taken a long time, but I think it’s balanced and done well. Let’s wait until the official announcement is made. It’s always sad when things change, but I don’t really think I’ll have to get used to a different rhythm in my life.
“Obviously on the one hand there is the love of all this, while on the other hand, there’s the satisfaction and relief that I’ve placed the club in good hands. I’m certain of this because they are very good people, also in terms of their character.”
It’s a day of mixed emotions for Inter fans. Under Moratti’s control, Inter won 25 trophies including five consecutive Serie A titles culminating in a league, cup and Champions League Treble in 2010. But it has been clear in the last 18 months that Moratti no longer has the deep pockets needed to compete with the top clubs in Europe.
This is a big move for Serie A, as for the first time in post-war Italy, one of the Italy’s big three clubs is owned by a foreigner
Football is no longer a parochial sport. It is global and the globalisation of Inter can now begin with the takeover. Thohir, who also owns D.C. United and is a part owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, and his business partners not expected to pump fresh funds into the club, and also improve its global appeal.
So expect to see more of Inter touring the USA in the next couple of years.