Inter Milan’s owners Suning Group have halted operations at its Chinese football clubs due to financial jeopardy – in a bombshell move which plunges the future of the Serie A giants into uncertainty.
An announcement from the company last week announced that the Chinese Super League champions would no longer be in existence:
“Due to the overlapping of various uncontrollable elements, we have to announce with great regret that Jiangsu will cease operation of teams at all levels while continuing to seek, in a wider scope, interested parties for the future development of the club,” Suning announced on Weibo.
Suning’s owner Zhang Jindong claimed last week the company would “cut down our business irrelevant to retail business without hesitation”, which has sent alarm bells ringing not only in Italy but around Europe also.
Inter have tried to dampen the impact of those headlines by reiterating Suning’s financial commitment to the club in a statement designed to reassure supporters.
‘As part of ongoing capital structure and liquidity management, the business and our ownership are in talks to provide a range of solutions in this respect,’ the club said.
‘While Suning have confirmed their commitment to financially support the club with or without additional external support, it is also sensible and prudent to look outside
‘With that in mind, Suning appointed key advisers in Asia to work with them to find suitable partners, be that with an injection of equity capital or otherwise.
‘Talks with key potential partners in this respect remain ongoing.’
Gazzetta dello Sport claimed that Suning’s decision to sell off 20-25 per cent of its shares in Suning.com underlines the company’s financial problems.
The sale of the shares is expected to be completed within the next few days, although Suning are said to be keen to avoid offloading Inter for now.
Inter players have not been paid, and there is a knock-on effect here as Inter owes over €200m in transfer fees to other clubs around Europe. .
Just over €50m is still set to be collected by Manchester United, in relation to Romelu Lukaku’s move to Milan in August 2019, but smaller clubs like Cagliari (€26.4m), Sassualo (€21.2m) and Genoa (€10.4m) are all owned substantial amounts in transfer fees by Inter.