With the takeover of Inter Milan by D.C. United’s part owner Erick Thohir it was only a matter of time before the two clubs announced some sort of “strategic partnership” between the two clubs. What struck me reading the press release was how benign this partnership is.
Here is the official release:
D.C. United and F.C. Internazionale Milano announced a collaborative agreement to form a strategic partnership. This partnership, which will include the sharing of team, organizational and competitive best practices, will be subject to relevant rules and regulations of the appropriate governing bodies.
In making this announcement, Angelomario Moratti, Vice President of F.C. Internazionale Milano said, “We see this as a positive relationship for Inter. We appreciate the cooperative opportunity and look forward to working with D.C. United now and in the future.”
Jason Levien, Managing General Partner of D.C. United said, “We are thankful for the opportunity to work collaboratively with Inter. We believe this relationship will prove a significant benefit to DC United’s growth and long-term achievement.”
What in the world does “sharing of team, organizational and competitive best practices, will be subject to relevant rules and regulations of the appropriate governing bodies” mean? Does it mean that D.C. United manager Ben Olsen and his staff will be heading to Milan to learn from Inter’s Walter Mazzarri? Or that Inter, who have one of the best academy programs in Europe, will be helping United improve their academy?
Thohir wants to turn Inter into a global brand by expanding its presence in Asia and the USA. It makes sense that his two soccer/football properties would create some sort of partnership. I expect to see some of Inter’s young talent come to MLS on loan to Inter and maybe an announcement that either club could spend part of their preseason training together. There are a lot of opportunities, but the blandness of this “strategic partnership” leaves me wondering if we will actually see something useful come from it? Or is this announcement like the “special relationship” between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid?