Imagine my surprise when my newsfeed went into overdrive today with the news that Inter President Erick Thohir was going to invest €200m in the club. Was the Nerazzurri going on a massive summer spending that would make them title contenders next season? The answer unfortunately was a lot less glamorous.
When Erick Thohir and his fellow Indonesian businessmen bought 70% of Inter last year for a reported €250m. The announcement on Thursday was that Thohir was refinancing about €200m used to buy the club, presumably at a lower interest rate via Goldman Sachs.
It is unclear from the reports whether the debt is owned by the club, like the Glazers did at Manchester United, or whether the debt is owned by Thohir and his partners. Hopefully it is the latter not the former.
Buried in the wire reports was the news that Thohir is now talking to bankers in order to get funds to finance the Nerazzurri’s summer transfer window, with the owner reportedly looking to secure between €30-40m for signings.
That is a statement that throws up all sorts of red flags to me. If Inter as a club cannot generate enough money from either operations or by selling players in order to buy news ones this summer, how will they ever manage to meet Uefa’s Financial Fair Play Rules? Also, if Thohir is looking to borrow money to buy players this season, does that mean he is not willing to/or is unable to, fund the transfer purchases himself?