MADRID – After the press conference to present the Corazon Classic Match 2014, Inter president Erick Thohir responded to journalists at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Here are his words:
In 2010 Inter won the Champions League at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, and the president was asked about his desire to see the team in the competition again, perhaps in such a stadium:
"Well the Champions League final will be in Milan in 2016, right? Anyway, I’m keeping focused on our objectives. And today I was amazed by Real Madrid’s infrastructure for their youth team and first team. I think it’s one of the best in the world. But for me the most important focus is on the club, the financial aspects, the strong management and the strong team we’re going to build. Then after three years we’re going to focus on infrastructure. Those are the steps we have to take. It doesn’t mean we don’t want to build a team. We’ve been discussing lots of things in the last few months with coach Mazzarri. I think he’ll be a good coach for us next season. I’m looking for stability. The owners believe in loyalty, they’re not just looking for a quick fix. There has to be a blueprint and everything has to follow a strategy. But at the same time I want results. So it’s more than just a question of loyalty, because it’s no good without the results. Loyalty is very important to me, but so are the results."
When asked if he will discuss players with Florentino Perez:
"No, I don’t think we’ll be discussing these things. The reason I’m here is to meet him for the first time and for Inter Forever. Also, it’s up to the sporting director to deal with signings, not me. It’s important to maintain a good relationship between the clubs. I believe there has to be mutual respect. Not just secret talks and striking a deal with the players without the club knowing. I don’t think that’s right. I’m a businessman and these things have to be based on trust. Not just taking advantage of an opportunity when it arises."
A question regarding the situation and relationship with the banks:
"It’s fine, no problems. In the end we’re building for a long-term project and the bank is very convenient. At the same time we need to build strong management. And of course it’s important that the players perform."
A comment on the rumours surrounding Peter Lim:
"I know Peter Lim very well. He’s a good person but I can’t comment on his investments. I know he had been looking at Liverpool and Valencia. But it’s good for me to have friends like him who own other teams, like Vincent Tan at Cardiff, or Tony Fernandes and Ruben at Queens Park Rangers. It makes for a good network and the clubs become more global. In Major League Soccer, Manchester City are investing in New York, and I also have investments in Washington DC. I think it’s good to see sport become more global and show that everyone loves football."
Finally, a comment on statements from honorary president Massimo Moratti:
"I think what he’s trying to say is right now we have all the people who have worked for the company with passion, and I agree. I support that. At the same time Mr Moratti and I have been discussing things. Obviously we have to build a strong management. That’s why I’ve met Zanetti two or three times to discuss his future, and he’ll be at Inter. But the most important thing right now is the fact that we have four games left. So when people ask me about the infrastructure I tell them now isn’t the time. That’s something we can discuss after we build a strong team and strong management. A good infrastructure is easy to build but not easy to maintain."