Inter’s financial situation is so dire that they have failed to make payments related to the shared stadium project with AC Milan, a report claims.
Milan and Inter officially launched their plans to build a new home together back in 2019 and they seemed to make a lot of ground, eventually choosing the Populous studio’s ‘Cathedral’ design. Then, a series of bureaucratic hitches slowed everything down.
Since Milan were sold to RedBird Capital it seems they have decided to build a new stadium on their own rather than continuing on the shared path with Inter, and the New York Times highlights just how bad their financial situation is.
They remark that there have been times where ‘cash has been in such short supply’ for the Nerazzurri that the club ‘has not been up-to-date on its share of the payments for the architects and designers working on the stadium it is intending to build, together with AC Milan’.
They speak of a ‘rolling financial crisis for several years’ for Suning, who in 2021 accepted a $1.36bn bailout – financed in part by local government – to help with spiralling debts. Their Chinese Super League team Jiangsu Suning dissolved months after it secured the title.
Steven Zhang, the 32-year-old son of Suning’s founder who serves as Inter’s president, was held liable for $255 million of debt and defaulted bonds in a Hong Kong court.
The sales of Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi helped to raise cash but the situation kept worsening and Suning secured a $294m loan from Oaktree Capital – a California-based asset management firm – to help with running costs.
Now, their main shirt sponsor DigitalBits – a cryptocurrency firm – failed to make scheduled payments on its $80m agreement. Paramount+ will have their logo on Inter’s shirts for the final on Saturday night in a last-minute $4.5m deal, but there is still a lot of money missing.
Repayment of the loan to Oaktree is due next May, and with interest payments it stands at around $375m. The revenue from Inter’s run in the Champions League will help but ‘another fire sale of talent’ is expected too.
If the club cannot repay the loan, Suning will automatically cede control of the club to Oaktree. Several parties have expressed an interest in buying the club but knowing their financial situation, nobody will come close to the $1.2bn asking price, not coincidentally the exact amount Milan were sold for.