Former Inter Milan boss Erick Thohir is shading rivals AC Milan, which are keen on spending their way to success this term.
Inter Milan used to be owned by the Moratti family.
They owned the club from 1955 to 1986 and the second spell from 1995 to 2013.
The then club chief Massimo Moratti spent €1.5 billion of his personal fortune to get high calibre players but his successor Thohir does not feel the same way. Thohir took over in 2013 as leader of Indonesian consortium International Sport Capital HK ltd to acquire majority shares from Internazionale Holdings. Inter became the first club in the Serie A to be sold to Chinese ownership when they agreed a deal with Suning Holdings Group in 2016.
After the Chinese acquired the Nerazzurri, co-tenants at the San Siro Stadium AC Milan were bought by Chinese consortium named Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux this year.
“If you remember, when I came into Inter Milan in 2013, we signed the Financial Fair Play. This year, we have to balance between buying and selling players. Inter are in transition,” Thohir argued.
On the other hand, Milan have spent £160 million this summer in getting ten new players. Thohir claimed that the new investors had no confidence in the past team, hence their “different strategy.”
After the success of 2010 under Jose Mourinho, fans asked for more. However Inter have not qualified for the Champions League since 2013 and recently missed out of the Europa League. On spending in the past, Thohir said:
“It doesn’t mean I didn’t believe in the team. But at that time, many of our players were getting older – Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Walter Samuel, CristianChivu. That’s why we bought players like DaniloD’Ambrosio, Gary Medel, Ivan Perisic and Geoffrey Kondogbia to replace them.”
Thohir remains the club chairman despite the sale to Suning. He says with the increase in revenue from the Chinese market, the club would spend more on top talents but that it would be commensurate with revenue.
“We have to be smart at the transaction table. Spending big money [read: like the noisy neighbours] will not guarantee you the Scudetto. You have to be smart.”