Marco Fassone on “Radio anch’io sport”

MILAN – Managing director Marco Fassone was interviewed on Radio Rai Uno as part of the programme “Radio Anch’io Sport”.

Read what he had to say, here on

Yesterday at the San Siro, FC Internazionale paid tribute to Il Grande Torino, who actually played their last match against the Nerazzurri:

“I’m pleased it’s been highlighted, we decided to hold a tribute to Il Grande Torino – whose memory hasn’t exactly been respected in recent weeks – to coincide with the club’s 106th birthday. We enjoyed creating this nice atmosphere, which thankfully culminated in a good performance on the pitch.”

An Inter fan wrote in with this question via email: what do Inter need to do to bridge the gap that separates them from Juve? At what stage is the Inter project currently at? What can you tell us about Zanetti’s future?

“It’d be wrong to talk about ‘work in progress’. The president has said it many times, we’re in a transitional year, we’re coming to the end of a wonderful cycle, we have some terrific players, who have won everything, out of contract in the summer and we’re weighing up their situations with the coach and the sporting director. It’s reasonable to think that the 2014/15 season could be the start of a trophy-laden period like 2006-2010 was. We’re in the phase that almost every club goes through when they peak, when you have to freshen up the side, take United this season for example or Juventus who began the run they’re on now 2-3 years ago.

“Over the last few months the president has shown that he doesn’t have that entirely “American” approach where someone comes in and just makes wholesale changes. He’s had a softer approach, shall we say, but a very determined one nonetheless. He will still need a few months to change certain ways in which the club is run. As for Zanetti, the president has met him on several occasions and the other day he assured him that there will be a place for him in the Inter family should he want one. Now he wants him focused and useful to the team, even though he’s not currently starting, so he can help us to secure a European spot in the last 11 games. This is something the president really wants to achieve, but the gradual revolution he has enacted has begun to produce results and will continue to do so over the coming months.”

Cambiasso was one of Inter’s best players yesterday…

“Everyone agreed on Cuchu’s performance yesterday. When he’s fit, he’s a crucial player in that position, an unbelievably intelligent player, who reads the game so well, has wonderful positional sense and there’s no point saying any more about such a quality performer.”

Looking ahead, what is Inter’s strategy? Spend cautiously or look to sign top players?

“The president envisages a very balanced side, in fact he’s often spoken about a team with an average age of around 26. He wants experienced players alongside young ones, so they can pass on their know-how. Therefore I believe the changes we’ll need to make for next season will vary from bringing in established stars like Vidic – whose signing we announced a few days ago – to great young prospects who will have the chance to learn from them by quickly settling into Mazzarri’s system and tactical vision.”

We get the feeling Inter fans expected a bit more from Mazzarri…

“I don’t know if the fans expected more from Mazzarri or the team, but from what I saw from his time at Napoli, he’s an excellent coach. He’s one of the best I’ve worked with, who puts across all of his tactical knowledge to his players. We’re in particularly tricky period, and you know how difficult it is to manage changes to the club’s structure even for the players, who have to adapt to changes to how things used to be run. The other team in Milan are going through something similar, and if you look at our results you will see a drop in form in November, December and January and in the early stages after there were some changes to the club’s structure. I think Mazzarri has given his all and continues to do so, he has the club’s full backing.”

Greater Milan is thinking big for Expo, while it seems the two clubs’ enthusiasm is waning however…

“It’s all about investing well. As you all know, the area that has the biggest impact on the club’s finances is the players’ wage bill, and trying to gradually cut that. These two factors determine whether the club’s finances are in order or not, so it’s a case of managing this well. We’ll face a big test this summer, as we aim to strike the right balance between necessary investment and the club’s financial health. Inter has a quantity of debt that needs to be gradually reduced, the club has made significant financial losses in recent years and we can no longer afford to do so as Financial Fair Play will come down hard on us. I think we’re on the right track, and have done a great deal in the last two years to reduce wages, which was very important. Now we’re trying to decrease our running costs, something else which is very important. It’s not that we don’t have any money, we’re merely trying to spend it well without making mistakes. That way we can we make up ground as quickly as possible on the teams that are beating all before them at this moment in time. We are well aware that we don’t have all the time we want to do so, that the prestige of Inter and our fans’ expectations demand that we go back to challenging as quickly as possible.”

Mazzarri has said that at this time of big changes, everyone is under evaluation: is he one of the examiners or is he being examined? How does Thohir plan to bring through young Italian players?

“Mazzarri is a sure thing, he’s one of the foundations upon which we can rebuild the club. He’s the go-to man when it comes to issues on the pitch, every time the president comes to Milan he speaks to Walter about the squad, assessing players currently at the club and looking at the future. The number of Italian players in the squad? Our name, ‘Internazionale’ tells you all you need to know about our mission, to welcome players from all four corners of the globe. Having said that, we mustn’t forget that if we get back into Europe, as we hope to, there are important UEFA regulations that must be complied with, including having at least four homegrown players in the 25-man squad list. Clearly, the players that have come through the youth system here are more than likely Italian. If for nothing else other than for the rules, we need to adapt to incorporate a high percentage of Italians in our squad.”