Italian journalist and economic and sports law expert Marco Bellinazzo says Inter’s latest financial statistics are part of the club’s recovery process, according to an Italian media report.
Speaking during an interview with FCInternewsMarco Bellinazzo has responded to comments made by Inter CEO Alessandro Antonello who explained why Inter’s losses reached €245.6m last season.
“It’s part of the club’s recovery process. In 2021, all possible expenses occurred, in addition to those defined as extraordinary items, that is, exits that will never be repeated, such as the resolutions of the contracts of Conte, Nainggolan and João Mario .
“This, added to the savings and capital gains realized with the sales of Hakimi and Lukaku, which will be accounted for in the 2022 budget since they were realized after July 1, will lead to a deficit more than halved.
“With the additional goal, taking into account the principle of sustainability and rising income, a balanced budget could arrive in one or two seasons.”
Marco Bellinazzo has been told that the idea of cutting costs, for fans, is like selling the team’s current best players.
He pointed out that the loan taken from Oaktree was made by Suning rather than the club, so the team is not burdened with it.
“That’s one of the options. The goal is to balance revenues and costs. If you can increase revenues, you don’t necessarily have to reduce costs. Compared to last year, there has more box office revenue and sponsorships, more Champions League money.
“All of this will affect balance sheets and make the need for sales less compelling. This stems from various factors, including the immediate one related to cash flow, i.e. the so-called liquidity.
“Last year the income from the stadium was gone and money was needed for running expenses, a problem solved thanks to the loan with Oaktree. It must be remembered that this does not weigh on the debts of Inter, because it is supported by Suning as a corporation.
This is a key point because if Suning is unable to repay the loan to Oaktree, the club will be sold rather than being forced to repay the loan.
“The money with interest will have to be repaid within two years, although technically Suning could also ask for a temporary rescheduling of the loan. That’s how it works, but I don’t see any signs leading to the worst case scenario, the worst seems to be behind us.
“However, the fans should be reminded that it would not be Inter’s problem, but Suning’s. Oaktree is a kind of insurance policy. The damage would be for Suning, who have invested heavily in Inter. , but not for the Nerazzurri, who would change hands.
Inter are one of several teams in talks with UEFA over the evolution of Financial Fair Play rules. Marco Bellinazzo tried to make sense of the changes.
“The old financial fair play will be reshaped, with a new model that will be implemented from 2024. During this transition period, each club will enter into agreements to respect certain parameters. The old model already provided that no more than 70% of income could be spent on salaries.
“New rules will be introduced, such as one that will not exceed 70% of income considering the amount of the cost of the rose, which means not only salaries but also commissions for agents and depreciation.
“With 100 million euros in turnover, the costs cannot exceed 70 million euros. Probably from next year this rule will be introduced, starting from 90%. This solution, unlike the previous settlement agreement, will not be punitive in nature but will support the path to sustainability for clubs affected by the pandemic.
Inter and AC Milan are looking to improve their finances with a new, more lucrative stadium.
Marco Bellinazzo explains that it can be very important for teams in the modern game to have a lucrative stadium but it is not fundamental.
“It’s not fundamental, but more and more, otherwise Inter and Milan cannot make a qualitative leap. In recent years, the two Milanese have earned between 40 and 60 million in total. The rivals get double , if not triple or even quadruple on average.
“Barcelona with the new stadium, for which 1.5 billion in debt has been allocated, which will be partly covered by the new sponsor Spotify, is aiming for 200 million in revenue per season. San Siro, beyond the emblematic beauty, such it is today, cannot guarantee services allowing such revenues.
“The same goes for its restructuring, given the expenses. It is clear that new ground is needed, so alternative solutions even just outside Milan are suitable, provided that the site is opened as soon as possible, in six to nine months.
“The growth of post-pandemic sporting activity must be harnessed. We are already late, the bureaucratic process should have been completed in 24 months, while we are still in the public debate.