Erick Thohir speaks after board meeting

ERICK THOHIR SPEAKS AFTER BOARD MEETING

Read the full transcript of what the Nerazzurri president had to say at the end of the FC Internazionale board meeting this afternoon

On the future of the club and the team
"As I’ve mentioned before, when I arrived here I knew it was important to review the management. And that we do it in the right way. Not because I hear somebody tell me 'This is good' or 'This is not good', but based on performances and results. At the same time we’re doing assessments and reviewing the structure, to see what is good for Inter for the future. So for example, regarding the structure of the club, we’re consolidating the sports all under one roof. So the first team, academy and scouting are all under one roof. It’s now all together under Piero Ausilio. The same thing with the commercial end. Now under Giorgio Ricci, ticketing, sponsorship and other revenue are under the same roof. And then Michael Williamson, the CFO, will be managing the corporate end, which is legal, financial and human resources.

"And of course we’re still looking for people to help the company to compete with other teams around the world. For example, we’re still looking for a chief of media and communications. And we have Marco Fassone as the managing director. We’re going to add more people, but at the same time we’re reviewing people in management, because we want to compete with other teams around the world. I think we had a good board meeting. In the end it’s important to be competitive not only on the business side but also on the sports side, because fans want to see results.

"In the January transfer market the reason we brought in Danilo D'Ambrosio was because we felt we were lacking on the flanks, and needed more than Jonathan and Nagatomo. So we added D'Ambrosio, who was one of the best players available. And you see why we added Hernanes because, as I've said, before we focused on attacking down the left and right and now we have an option in the middle. And then Botta. We were short on forwards. Well, we have Icardi and Milito, but Botta is a good alternative. So we’re comfortable with the team at the moment, but in June we’ll review things and see about competition in bigger roles. I think there's a possibility of transfers in June and we want to add a few players, but at the same time we’ll review the current players.

"Then there’s a change on the board of directors and Grant Ferguson is coming in. Not Alex Ferguson, although he is from Scotland. But we’re adding Ferguson because he has experience in the media, and he’s replacing Mr. Roeslani. He used to be a CFO and CEO in one of the biggest media companies in Southeast Asia. With him on the board of directors we’ll be able to learn about the media business because, as you know, we have a website and Inter Channel. We need to review the strategy. That’s why it’s good to have Ferguson on the board. And I think Michael Williamson will finally be here in Milan in March. It’s been delayed from February, because we can’t just bring him from the USA without finding a replacement for him. We can’t just bring him over and let the other team fall apart. So we’re making progress and looking at the opportunities for transition over the next few years."

On Zanetti's future and rumours of a potential move to Chelsea
"I met with him a couple of months ago. Of course the decision is up to him. We want to review what he has in mind. He is a legend at Inter and we have to respect that. So either he wants to continue playing, or with Inter become somebody. That's the basis of the discussion we're going to have in the next couple of months because the most important thing, as the captain has said, is how the team can be solid in the next couple of months. That's why I keep mentioning that we have to be one team, both in the good and the bad times, not just in the good times we become one team and in the bad times we blame each other. So I think it's very important that we look at things with Mr Zanetti."

On Piero Ausilio
"I've already explained about the three chiefs managing the company. I’m confident Piero Ausilio can help the company. He’s been here a long time and it’s good to give him the opportunity. We’re not replacing Marco Branca’s position because we want to make use of Ausilio working with the board."

On Fredy Guarin
"I met him at La Pinetina after meeting with captain Zanetti and we had a discussion. Sometimes in life you have miscommunications. I think, after talking with him, it’s good to have him focusing on the team. I think we respect that, and I told him that if there are any other issues in the future then, by all means, let’s discuss them. In the end we’re all part of the same family and can discuss these things. And then Hernanes and Guarin playing together is an advantage for Inter. Guarin has more freedom to play his role and I think it can be a good combination for Inter."

On the stadium

"We have three objectives at the moment. One, we want to make the club healthy; two, see the team through a transition; and three, open to new markets. I think we can discuss the new stadium after this year, because we have priorities to focus on in the next few months. But if the stadium issue comes up we can always discuss it, but it’s not top priority. It doesn’t mean we won’t look at things because it is something we need to study."

On spending the night before the game in Milan
"We train a bit late in San Siro. It takes time to travel back to the Pinetina. I think sometimes in life we need a change of rhythm, for fun. This is why, when the media asked me yesterday about putting pressure on the team, I said 'No, let them enjoy themselves'. As long as they perform as well [laughing]. This is why we feel that, by taking them to the hotel, they can be more focused, and at the same time we in the management can review our moves and decide if it's a good move or not. Because in the end we want to give support to the team’s results. This is the most important thing. I believe there can be some good and bad in all decisions, but what it's very important to make decisions, rather than making no decisions. I support the move. So let’s see if it can help the team be more focused for the Cagliari game."

On Vidic
"As you know, we have players whose contracts are coming to an end and we've lost one of our best players in Chivu through injury. We need young players and senior players. And then there is no guarantee: there are some players whose contracts are finishing who might stay on; it depends on  negotiations. So with Vidic I think we would bring some balance to the team because of his strong character – he's the captain of Manchester United. So if the deal goes through - and we have to wait for a couple of days - I think he will be a good addition for the team. At the same time we have lots of young players coming through who will join our future team. We have lots of players we've loaned to other teams so we need to look at their prospects. I think it's a good balance between the senior and the younger players on the team. for Vidic we have to wait before making an announcement, because I don't want to create issues with other clubs – we have to respect relations between clubs. The announcement will be made when the deal is done." 

On renewing contracts
"This is another thing we reviewed in our board meeting, thinking about which players can be our future players. We’re reviewing the contracts for Palacio, Alvarez and Guarin. We want them to be part of the team. But again, these are still negotiations; sometimes these things get done, other times they don’t."

On club strategies
"We look at it like this: all the decisions made at inter right now are dong collectively. When we build a team we also look at the sports strategy, the financial strategy and also at the marketing strategy. So I think if we can have Vidic for Inter I think he it's a good brand for the Asian market. He's well known in Asia. This is why I keep saying that Serie A has to come back because right now the EPL has become number one in Asia. That's why we're looking at these opportunities not only to build a team but also to create value for the club. But we also really hope that Serie A can be the leader for the other clubs lower down to open up to the foreign markets, because at the end of the day it's a competition between leagues, not only between clubs."




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