AFP: Inter Milan are one match away from becoming European champions for the fourth time after an unlikely run to Istanbul but their financial troubles provide a stark contrast to mega-rich opponents Manchester City.
A resurgent club on the pitch, Inter exemplify the issues affecting Europe’s grand old clubs as a huge debt threatens a club which won Serie A two years ago and could yet win the Champions League.
Looming over Inter is repayment of a 275 million euro ($294 million) emergency loan, taken out with investment fund Oaktree Capital, with a reported interest rate of 10 percent, by Chinese owners Suning two years ago.
Restrictions on capital being taken out of China and the Covid-19 pandemic were a painful double whammy to Inter and led to the club quickly flogging two stars of the 2021 league title win — Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi — for big money and losing coach Antonio Conte.
The loan needs to be paid back in full in a year’s time or Inter could end up being scooped up by Oaktree in a similar way to how fund Elliott took control of AC Milan from Chinese businessman Li Yonghong in 2018.
Nayeemul Islam khan
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