How can Inter change their dire financial situation?
Why is Massimo Moratti looking to sell our star players? Well it all boils down to money, with the FFPR’s fast approaching Moratti is looking for the best way to cut the club’s huge debts, it is reported that in the last three years Moratti, who is not only the major shareholder/ President of Inter but also the C.E.O of Saras S.p.A oil company, has injected 100 million Euros to cover the losses that the club is making. So how is one of the world’s elite clubs that is worth an estimated 441 million Euros and has increased it’s revenues by 28.3 million Euros (14%) to nearly 225 million Euros losing money? In this article I will look in to the financial situation compared to some of the other big European clubs and discuss how I think Moratti plans on combatting the debt problem.
Despite winning every competition they entered in the 2009/10 Inter are still 9th in the football money league (published in Feb 2011), though they have closed the gap with liverpool who hold the 8th position to less than a million euros. The good news is that Juventus dropped to 10th place from 8th but annoyingly our cross city rivals AC Milan jumped from 10th place to 7th. The success in the 2009/10 treble generated a match day revenue of 38.6 million Euros which is a massive 37% increase on the season before, this is the highest of all the Italian clubs but only the 12th highest across all the clubs. Our match day revenues only account for 17 % of our total revenue unlike the likes of Barcelona at 25% and Manchester United who are at a huge 35% so it is clear that for Inter to climb the positions in the money league they need to increase the matchday revenues, this isn’t so easy though as unlike other European clubs we do not own our stadium so the future for Inter’s growth has to include taking a leaf out of Juventus’ book and building our own stadium so we can take the maximum percentage of the ticket sales not only for match days but it could also be used for other events including music concerts which would in the future bring further funds for the club. There have been rumors of Moratti looking in to our own stadium for a while but some people seem to think this would be far too costly for us, personally i think it would be much more costly if we don’t build one, besides Juve’s new one cost just 100 million Euros so it’s isn’t as expensive as some people think it would be, in terms of the FFPRs this can be used to offset expenditure too so it’d work to our advantage for the new rules too.
In the treble winning season Inter’s broadcasting revenue was increased by 19% on the figures from 2008/09 mainly due to the clubs success in the Champions league which earned them an extra 48.8 million Euros compared to 28.3 million of the season before. The total broadcasting revenues of was a huge 137.9 million which made up 62% of the total revenue and was the 4th largest only bettered by Barcelona, Real Madrid and AC Milan. This huge income will have been significantly reduced in the following season due to not being as successful on the pitch and also because the Serie A broadcasting rights returned to collective sales meaning that it was paid as one pot to be split between the clubs involved, the main reason for this is the reduced appeal of the Serie A across the world so the only way this can be increased will be a combined effort from all the Italian clubs to do everything they can to improve the perception of Italian football across the globe which was seriously damaged during the Calciopoli scandal. I think that this problem is being addressed by all the Serie A clubs as you can see from the calibre of players being signed this summer, though one big set back will be the transfers of Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o out of Italy but I will address this a little later.
The 3rd type of income is commercial which includes sponsorship and merchandising, in the 2009/10 season this dropped 8% due to a reduction in sponsorship from both Nike and other general club sponsors though this reduction was partially offset by an increase in the shirt sponsorship we received from Pirelli. For the 2009/10 season Inter’s commercial revenue which counted for the remaining 21% of total revenues was a pitiful 14th amongst the money league. This may have improved slightly in the following season after the treble win but it emphasises that Inter need to work on their worldwide appeal as a club, one thing that has always surprised me as long as i’ve been an Inter fan is how hard it is to find their merchandise in English sports shops, obviously they have all the EPL merchandise as well as that from other big European clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan and even Juventus but it is very rare to find anything to do with Inter, which as an Interisti is extremely frustrating even at the start of last season after winning the treble I could not find an Inter shirt anywhere! So for me this is one obvious area that needs work by Inter’s commercial department. As seen by the support for Inter when they arrived in Beijing for the Supercup our profile in China has been growing a great deal and Nagatomo joining the Nerazzurri ranks has meant that Inter has become a big talking point in Japan, as Yuto is a huge star for the Japanese, both these asian countries are huge and can potentially bring in a massive increase in revenues. On the sponsorship side of things the clubs has started to take steps this summer by signing a sponsorship deal from Suissegas. When we eventually build our own ground it will also open the option of getting a sponsorship deal for the naming rights of the stadium in the same way that both Arsenal and Manchester City have.
So back to the stories of the moment and why Moratti is even considering sell our star players Sneijder and Eto’o, this is our only real option to fall in line with the FFPRs in the short term and as these two are our most valuble players it is them that must be sacrificed to lower our debt levels, as Moratti has done in previous years with Balotelli’s move to Man City last season and Ibrahimovic’s move to Barcelona the season before. According to reports the figures offered for them are 35 million for Sneijder and 3o million for Eto’o which immediately adds 65 million to our bank balance but also will save us millions in the wages we won’t have to pay. Unfortunately though for Inter though these will be the last big money players we’ve got to balance the books against so now is the time to start implementing other ways of bringing in increased revenues. As I said earlier losing these two to other leagues will be a blow to Serie A but it is essential to securing the financial future of Inter. Certain other website’s that are largely biased towards Juventus (naming no names) are claiming that selling Eto’o and Sneijder will signal the downfall of the Nerazzurri but I don’t think this is the case at all as even without them two we still have a squad of very good players and some excellent youngsters in our ranks, there are rumors that Carlos Tevez may be joining but I don’t think his high transfer fee and wages would do anything to help our situation at all, though I do think we could do with a couple more signings maybe Rossi and Hazard would be fantastic choices and would fit in well with the squad and tactics and more importantly both together would be cheaper and more useful for Inter than Tevez on his own.
What ever happens with Inter in the next couple of seasons I have faith that Moratti and the Inter management team have got a plan to ensure the financial stability of our club and in my opinion if that means we have to lower our expectations in European competitions for a couple of years then that has to be the way because in the long run I truly believe that if we can get on top of the finances before the FFPRs come in to effect it will put us in a stronger position to challenge on all fronts again in the future.