Serie A

Inter Sell 15% Stake To Chinese Investors And Plan New Stadium

The Moratti family have sold a 15% stake in Inter to the China Railway Construction Corp. (1186) for 75 million euros, in a deal that values the club at 500 million euros.

The transaction would include debt from the 18-time Italian champion. Hong Kong-based QSL Sports Ltd. will also be part of China Railway’s investment group, the people said.

Inter Milan confirmed the sale in a statement on its website late yesterday, saying China Railway Construction Corp. will become the company’s second-biggest shareholder.

As part of the Chinese investment the club also announced that it plans to build a new stadium in Milan hich it expects to be completed by 2017, according to the club’s statement. Inter currently shares the San Siro stadium with city rival AC Milan.

“In the upcoming months the parties will jointly select the potentially suitable locations, define the project team and start the filing process to obtain the required authorizations,” Inter’s statement read.

The new facility will be 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the San Siro on the site of the 2016 Milan Expo. If that location sounds familiar that is because in June we wrote about Inter talking to the city about this space.

The new stadium will seat 60,000 people and Inter will be its only tenants.

Cannot overstate how big a day this is in the history of Inter. Italian football is falling behind the big teams in Europe because they don’t own their own stadiums. This seriously reduces their match day and commercial revenues compared to its rivals.

If Inter plays this right, they can set themselves up to dominate Italian football for the next 10-15 years, because no other Italian team will have the revenue streams that Inter will have.

And with Uefa’s Financial Fair Play rules coming into effect, the clubs that can generate the most revenue from football operations will win.

So I don’t expect the Chinese investment to mean a sudden transfer market splash this month. Instead I expect the money to be used to improve Inter’s balance sheet.

Inter’s summer plans have been to get younger (and cheaper) and I don’t believe that today’s news will change that.