owner Steven Zhang has 24 hours to save the club

owner Steven Zhang has 24 hours to save the club
owner Steven Zhang has 24 hours to save the club

Here is a very strange paradox. While Inter has been a hit on Italian and European pitches for two years, behind the scenes of the Lombard club is very fragile. The Coppa-Supercoppa double with the Champions League final last season and the new Scudetto won this year were not enough to calm the fire spreading in the internal offices. The writing of Foot Mercato already told you last summer about the numerous international lawsuits and the enormous debts contracted by the Chinese president and owner, Steven Zhang, who owns nearly 70% of Inter via the company Suning Holdings Group since June 2016. More than two years ago, rumors of a sale had already emerged despite specific denials from Zhang and a sale price was even set at 1.2 billion at the time. To pay off the debts, Steven Zhang, who does not want to lose the presidency and ownership of the club, had unsuccessfully turned to other investment funds, as we revealed to you exclusively. But now the situation is much more critical and time is not at all in favor of Steven Zhang who could lose everything in the next 24 hours…

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“As we approach the end of this fantastic season, I would like to address speculation about the financial stability of our Club. The years 2020 and 2021 have been unforgettable for our generation, as the global pandemic has profoundly changed many aspects of our lives. To continue supporting Inter, after having already invested more than a billion in the Club, we opened the credit line with Oaktree, with the aim of continuing the winning project that we started in 2016. Since then, my management and I are committed to building success on the ground while maintaining rigorous financial discipline”, wrote the Chinese leader in a letter addressed to internalist supporters at the start of the weekend. But on the eve of the big final gong, the internal situation remains very alarming for Inter Milan which must find urgent solutions to avoid serious economic, financial and legal consequences.

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More than 400 million in debt!

Ongoing situation at Inter to unravel the future of the club. By Tuesday – deadline set for Monday May 20, a public holiday in Luxembourg – Steven Zhang must return 380 million euros, including interest, to prevent Oaktree from seizing the company’s shares promised in 2021 for the loan to Suning. In recent days, an agreement between President Nerazzurri and another fund, Pimco, seemed imminent for a new loan of around 430 million that would repay the loan and extend the Zhang era deadline until 2027. But Everything didn’t go as planned: “In the months leading up to the expiration date of the financing facility with Oaktree, we made every effort to find an amicable solution with our partner, including providing multiple opportunities for Oaktree to obtain a financial return complete and immediate. Unfortunately, our efforts thus far have been exacerbated by legal threats and a lack of meaningful involvement from Oaktree. All of this has been very frustrating and disappointing, but this behavior now creates a risky situation for the Club which could seriously jeopardize its stability., declared the Chinese leader. The only positive news concerns sports management. Whether the future is written with or without Steven Zhang, Inter will continue to rely on the same management which, in recent years, has guaranteed the club’s competitiveness at the highest levels. Giuseppe Marotta, Piero Ausilio and Dario Baccin recently renewed their leases until 2027 and their position is stronger than ever, regardless of who will lead the club in the near future.

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Indeed, according to information from Il Sole 24 Ore, the most likely scenario for Inter is currently the following. Due to the sudden withdrawal of Pimco, Oaktree will assert its rights, take ownership and launch the sale at the best price to obtain a capital gain when the contract expires on May 20. The Nerazzurri’s Chinese president has indicated that the date could also be postponed by a few days, probably with an exemption that Oaktree would have to grant anyway. An attempt that looks like a last resort to take more time and look for new funds, which he however failed to find during all the months he had available. Zhang’s intention has always been to stay in the saddle, keep Inter and only sell them when faced with the right offer, but time is running out and obligations can no longer be postponed. : “On behalf of Inter and as president, I want to reassure hundreds of millions of fans around the world that we will do everything possible to protect our colors, our founding values ​​and our stability. We are committed to working towards a peaceful resolution with Oaktree and continuing our success for our beloved Inter. Forza Inter Always», concluded Steven Zhang. In any case, the next few hours could be decisive in Inter’s sporting project. See you tomorrow to find out the outcome of this new affair which has shaken Italian football for several months.

Pub. THE 05/19/2024 6:00 p.m.
Update 05/19/2024 6:42 p.m.

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