MILAN - President Massimo Moratti spoke to the journalists who were waiting for him after Inter's board meeting this evening.
Did anything important emerge from today's board meeting?
"No, it was just about last year's budget, the difference between last year's budget and this year's. Then we chatted about how the team is doing, our recent signings and the rest, which I think is satisfactory. That's all there was to it."
Do you expect there to be any meetings or developments regarding Thohir over the weekend?
"No, it wasn't my last board meeting if that's what you want to know. I say that because I've heard that, as well as [Inter v Genoa] being my last match, this is also supposed to be my last board meeting. It isn't."
What else can you tell us to help everyone understand what's going on?
"I think you lot have explained enough already on TV and in the papers - sometimes things I don't even know myself. People can understand what they want. The truth is that negotiations are in progress and it could end in lots of different ways because when you come to the key points in a negotiation certain sensitivities come into play and anything can happen. Having said that, I must admit there's mutual respect and even liking between us. That allows you to go about it all in an amicable manner, but there are still important points to be decided and if they don't get decided everything will stay as it was before."
People are a little surprised because your name and your family's name seemed to be inseparable from the city of Milan, and certainly from this club. How do you feel?
"Apart from of the fact that nothing is inseparable, as far as Inter is concerned I may very well carry on in some way or other because I see it more as an agreement between two people who want to plan and build something interesting on something that already exists, but which could be developed better. I really don't see it as something that excludes one or the other person, but which gives two people the possibility to enter the club as if I were 'new', as if I entered the club and could see everything that can be done to improve it even more."
Marco Tronchetti Provera said that you really have the fans' best interests at heart and want guarantees for them, that you want to ensure continuity for the fans.
"All the way through these negotiations, the only thing that is really important to me, regardless of the benefits I might get out of it personally, and I don't see many, is that Inter is protected and given the opportunity to truly develop. That's what interests me more than anything, because otherwise I wouldn't have remained as president for the last 15 years or resisted as I have."
And since Thohir wouldn't be a fan as well as the president, you would like some sort of guarantee that he's not going to drop it all at some point?
"For a start, I've just said that this sort of club might see us together, but I should also say that being a fan grows on you when you start becoming responsible because you want things to go well, you start understanding what the people and the fans want of you, you start feeling a sense of duty to the club. So I don't think Thohir will have the least bit of difficulty in developing a passion for Inter."
The two thirds issue?
“Stuff I read in the papers. Two thirds, one third, it's all a load of bull, if I may say that, because we're not looking at it that way but we are trying to work out how to deal with it."
The shares issue comes afterwards then?
"The shares issue hasn't been decided yet."
So the news is that, should the deal go through, Moratti and Thohir could peacefully coexist, sharing the tasks in a stronger and more relaxed Inter, as you’re saying?
"That’s what we’re attempting, looking to see if there’s also a friendly relationship between the two groups. And that’s because I put Inter at the centre, meaning that I’m not looking to give preference to one group or the other. For me, first and foremost, it’s like the birth of a child. You’re not thinking about the mother or the father; you’re thinking about the child. About what you need to do so that it’s better off. This is what we’re trying to figure out in these situations."
What about a timeframe for how this situation will progress?
"I don’t know. We’ve continued to make the timeframe by postponing things by a month, then another month, then another."
So is there no particular urgency over this? When you were in America you said, 'We can’t grow old over this deal.' But it also seems you're not in a hurry either.
"It’s not a question of haste. It's the events themselves that determine whether or not you need to hurry them. And even if you are in a hurry, these things require their own time. I think that's what it comes down to most of all: even if you want to close the deal – to remove the doubts in your minds too – each thing requires its own timeframe, so there are no dates involved."
Speaking of being in a hurry, the transfer window closes in a few days and you said it was discussed during the board meeting. Do you expect any news on that front?
"I don’t think so. We spoke about what’s been done already, which we feel is in line with what we thought we needed to do. It was done well, and naturally with a different approach to the one we were able to take in previous years. Yes, for economic reasons, but also because of UEFA and the fact that we may have underestimated them. There are certain parameters we must stay within. We believe we’ve made some sound decisions. Could something big take place within the final days? It could happen, but so far it hasn’t."
To help us understand a bit better, could we say that Thohir and his group will be more focused on the commercial aspect, while the Moratti family will be more focused on the sporting end of things?
"No, things aren’t divided like that. Far from it. I don’t want to see someone who takes over a football team and shows interest only in the commercial side, or who’s interested only in the sporting aspect. I myself wouldn’t like to only follow the sporting side without knowing anything about the economics of it. No, it’s really about sharing what can be the future. I gave you the example of having a child, and I really couldn't give you another right now. It’s not one person looking only after his health while the other tends to something else. No, each person takes an interest in all aspects, tries to make sure that everything is beneficial to his growth and is aware of what is beneficial and what isn't."
Could Leonardo become part of this project?
"I’m pleased to know that Leonardo cares about Inter. It’s true that I like Leonardo and regard him highly. And at the same time it’s also the case that we haven’t had any kind of meeting or chat about this. Nothing at all."
Could Pereira move to Porto?
"That’s really a question for Branca. I'm waiting myself to see what they’re going to do."
How about your opinion on what’s taking place at the Lega Calcio? I saw the joint statement of some clubs, including yours, regarding television rights.
"That’s a position taken in order to obtain more clarity and take advantage of better opportunities. It’s normal. I don’t think there’s anything revolutionary there. What is a shame is that so many clubs can be kept outside of the Lega’s running of things, including Inter, Juventus and so on. But there’s mutual respect there that allows you to move forward just the same while also having slightly differing opinions."
What are your thoughts on the Genoa match? Better than expected, would you say?
"The result was a positive one, and that in itself is good. It was a cautious first half engineered by someone who certainly didn’t want to start out by letting in a goal - Mazzarri, I mean. In the second half it seemed to me that, even with the new players and such, it was clear that Inter have some serious potential and the young players can inject even more pace. That doesn’t take away from the fact that I find a balance of youth and experience to be the best thing, but that’s for the coach to decide."
There’s been a change. Is it possible to see Mazzarri’s hand in it so soon?
"Yes. Mazzarri takes a painstaking approach to his work, and he certainly does it with a strong sense of responsibility, so we're starting to see the results."