Steven Zhang, Alessandro Antonello, Giuseppe Marotta | Assemblea Azionisti Inter 2021/2022 | 28 ottobre 2022



Club

Oct 28th 2022

With the 2021/22 financial results having been approved today, President Steven Zhang, CEO Sport Marotta and CEO Corporate Antonello answered journalists' questions


STEVEN ZHANG

What are the plans for the future of the Club? "The objective every season is to improve, both on and off the pitch. The team must always be competitive, and all of our directors are always working in the same direction. Increasing revenues, growing both on and off the field and commercially, too: these are certainly important aspects. We're a Club that also operates away from the stadium: we engage fans and partners even when we're not on the pitch."

Inter are adrift in the table: how much do you believe that the team can recover lost ground in the league? "In football, every season is a story in itself. We've only played eleven league matches; the season is long and it's still open. Everyone at Inter is confident that we can climb the table and fight for the title. We'll do our best, and our players want to compete to win."

Could a renewal of Skriniar's contract be a significant step? Will important investments be made for the Club's benefit? "There are always many rumours, but we've worked to make the team more and more competitive in every transfer window. The expectations on us are always high, and, obviously, we want to keep strong players with us. A club manager needs to understand when it's right or not to accept big offers for players. You need to assess things and understand if you can re-invest in the market. As regards Skriniar, I know he loves our colours, and I'm sure we'll find an agreement to continue on our journey together."

You've reiterated your long-term commitment, but there are rumours that you've got advisors assisting you... "I hear these rumours every year. I've been hearing them for almost seven years, but we've won three trophies and are improving. We're not talking to possible investors; the Club has not agreed anything with any advisors."

Do you have a dream that you'd like to share with the fans? "When I enter the stadium, I'm like all our fans: in a tense state ahead of the game. However, away from the stadium, I'm the President. The Club must be competitive in all respects, and we work for the good of Inter. Winning further trophies is certainly a dream of mine. In Italy, we've already won three and, bearing in mind the glorious history of this Club, need to continue to do so. Winning on the pitch, improving off it: this is why everyone works at Inter. There's positive pressure here that pushes us to fight. I guarantee that we'll never give up and we'll keep fighting."

ALESSANDRO ANTONELLO

There's a real chance that the stadium project will be completed. Could the public debate lead to other demands or changes? Does a plan B exist? "The stadium represents one of the pillars for the future of the Club and is a project we've been working on since 2019. We've listened to the public and all those involved in this project idea. We remain positive, and Mayor Sala is also confident about the public debate. If there isn't a positive response or if demands are made that would alter the original idea, we'll have to think of an alternative that, nevertheless, would see us have a stadium of the highest European standards and which would guarantee resources for the Club."

Has a new shirt sponsor already been identified? "At the moment, there are several interested parties, and we're not focusing on a certain sector. Potential partners need to make the required evaluations. We hope to close this chapter as soon as possible."

What is the situation with AC Milan when it comes to the stadium? "We're working in harmony with AC Milan with respect to the San Siro area. We, too, are ready to deal with any scenario if unexpected events occur."

You spoke about an imminent agreement with Nike: can you provide more information? "Negotiations have been going on for a while, and we've reached the final stages. Our 25-year collaboration with Nike meant that there was a strong foundation to continue together. Compared to the previous contract, our Club will be re-positioned among the most important at European level. We're the only Serie A Club represented by Nike. Both parties are really happy."

GIUSEPPE MAROTTA

Has the strategy for the January transfer window changed as a result of the Club qualifying for the Champions League round of 16? "When Inter take part in a competition, they need to always try to do the best they can, even if strong opponents are involved. We need to compete for the Scudetto, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana. We also want to make our mark in the Champions League. We weren't the favourites in our group but managed to deservedly qualify. The unpredictability of such a tournament can lead to further satisfaction. The January transfer window doesn't always allow you to bring in quality players. We have a well-balanced team with strong players, and it's a group that we'll push forward with until the end of the season. The mix of youth and experience is the right one."

There are many players whose contracts will expire in 2023. "We have eight players whose contracts are expiring, but we're not worried about this. We're dealing with real professionals here. For sports or age-related reasons, different choices may be made, but everyone deserves to stay on after what they've given this team. We'll deal with everything in due course. There are different situations that require different evaluations. We'll make our decisions and be highly responsible in doing so."

In light of the current situation, what is the outlook for the Club in the transfer market? "The President has explained that any offer that comes in needs to be assessed with the long term in mind. The situation in Italian football has changed as we pursue sustainability. Economically speaking, there's less money in Italian football now. In this game, those who spend more don't win more; competence is vital. Inter have made great strides forward off the pitch, in terms of management and across all areas. Surrounding the players is an invisible team that drives the whole Club forward. Inter's project is ambitious: we're aware of the fact that we take part in competitions to achieve the maximum. This is the situation we're in. In January, we'll only act if there's the right fit."

Agents, intermediaries and scouting: what is the transfer market situation in Italy and how do you go about things? "We don't chase players whose wage demands are too high for the Club. I think that every player must have a sense of responsibility, but often we deal with agents or intermediaries who act in their own interests. At Inter, we have a scouting department which does very good work, and this is invaluable."

Since you've been at Inter, you've selected two coaches: Conte and Inzaghi. Could the Coach's contract be extended? "Every decision at Inter is shared with the whole management. Conte did important work, providing a new and winning mentality. Inzaghi has also managed to write a new chapter, winning two trophies. Our winning path continues, and we chose him in 2021 because we knew he had the qualities we were looking for. The facts show that he's doing great things with us. We had some difficulties at the start of the year, but the team pulled together and, also thanks to the coach, we're now on the right track again."


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MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 04:  Players of FC Internazionale line up prior to the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 04, 2023 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Mattia Ozbot - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)

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