Fascinating piece in La Gazzetta dello Sport that Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has inserted a “fans’ safeguard clause” into his agreement to sell the majority share in the club to D.C. United owner Erick Thohir.
As the deal currently stands, the Indonesian trio of Erick Thohir, Roslan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo own 70% of Inter. The Moratti family will own 28.3%, Pirelli will keep its 1.6% and the small shareholders will maintain 0.1%.
The negotiations were long and protracted and Moratti is said to have insisted and got the buyback clause written into the deal. According to the report, Moratti will have the option to buy back the club at a reduced price and the end of the 2014/15 season if Thohir and his partners have not made the investments promised to keep the club at the top level.
The report does not say what that amount is that the new owners have to spend, expect that the investment is to keep Inter “at the top level”. Hopefully the official contract has more specific language in it than that!
With Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations is it much more difficult for new owners to come in and heavily invest in the squad like PSG, Monaco and Manchester City’s owners have done. So despite the clause, I don’t expect to see Inter spending hundreds of millions of Euros in the next three transfer windows as they don’t have the cash flow to support that kind of spending. That being said, fans will view the upcoming transfer window as the first opportunity for Thohir to splash the cash and I expect Inter to make a couple of significant signings.
One area that Thohir can freely invest money and stay within Uefa’s FFP regulations is investment in the infrastructure of the club. In Inter’s case that means a new stadium, which is on the drawing board and expected to be completed in 2018