Rai Sport interview with chief exec Marco Fassone


"I see the right spirit going into a season as important as the one we have ahead"

PINZOLO – FC Internazionale managing director Marco Fassone gave an interview to Rai Sport's Thomas Villa from Inter's training camp in Pinzolo.

Read what the Nerazzurri chief executive had to say on inter.it:

What's the atmosphere like at this training camp?

"Very good I'd say. I'd been to Pinzolo before so I already knew the Trentino region and how good they are at organising first-rate training camps. You only have to look at the other clubs based here to see that. So from a logistical point of view, very good. As for the mood in the camp, the atmosphere and morale within the group, I see the right spirit going into a season as important as the one ahead."

An important season, because as everyone knows Inter are turning the page. A few big names have left, a few others have joined. What does it all mean?

"It means we've taken the experience of last year on board. It means rejuvenating, which doesn't mean revolutionising or downsizing but immediately restoring that sparkle which set Inter apart in the five-year period from 2006 to 2010; making choices that – as the president has said – may be painful but which are made with the aim of putting this team back at the top of the pile where it belongs, not only in Italy but in Europe too."

Perhaps with a little less experience but renewed energy and enthusiasm...

"You have to have the right mix: top players – who bring prestige, experience and class – and youngsters who in many cases have come through a youth academy that has proved it is among the very best in Europe, and new signings. A blend of those three things, which will hopefully be compatible with the club's sporting and financial requirements."

Are these transfers the final effect of a new project? Which direction is Inter moving in?

"No, I think they are the initial effect. For now all you can see are the early signs of a project that on one hand - and this has been the most noticeable aspect in this initial phase - must pay close attention to costs; on the other hand - and I think this a concern not only for Inter but for Italian football in general - we must focus on closing the gap. I think our system has lost ground on the Spanish and German clubs especially in recent years: they've moved some way ahead of us regarding turnover. We must place the emphasis on growth and to grow we need to have a game like the one we had 15 years ago in terms of entertainment, being able to attract fans and being able to ensure that football in Italy is the most beautiful game in the world again. We may have had a few distractions recently but we need to get back to focusing on this other aspect as well."

So how can the gap with those teams – like the two from Manchester and the Spanish clubs – be closed? They have sources of income that don't exist in Italy.

"We all know that in Italy there are three main areas that clubs can exploit to boost their income. One where I think we're generally doing well in Italy is TV rights, which is still the main source of income for all Serie A sides. There are a couple of areas where we can do better. One is stadiums. I don't want to repeat the same old story about Juventus being the only Italian club capable of equipping itself with a modern, state-of-the-art stadium and seeing the benefits both on the pitch - because in the stadium's inaugural season they won the Scudetto - and off the pitch, given the huge financial benefits. The other area is the one generally referred to as marketing, merchandising, licensing, sponsorships. And there I think our German friends can teach us a thing or two."

Are Inter good enough to challenge for the title, given how strong Juventus and AC Milan are?

"Being amongst the top teams in Italy and Europe is part of Inter's history, so I'd say that's a rhetorical question. Of course you can't expect the squad that the coach has on 10 July to necessarily be the same one he will have on 31 August. I think generally all clubs are at that early mid-July stage where the squad is in a state of flux. We'll do everything we can to leave the coach with the best squad possible on 31 August."

So there might be more players to come?

"Some might arrive, some might leave. There are 45 days to go until the end of the transfer market so deals are in progress."

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