No Champions league, no problem: Inter chief
Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has played down the prospect of missing out on Champions League riches and believes the struggling Serie A giants should strive to flourish on their reputation as a global brand.
Thohir: Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has played down the prospect of missing out on Champions League riches and believes the struggling Serie A giants should strive to flourish on their reputation as a global brand.
Roberto Mancini`s side were stunned by a last-gasp Torino winner at the San Siro on Sunday which, if Napoli win at home to Genoa on Monday, will see Inter trail 10 points behind the third and last qualifying place for the Champions League.
But Thohir, who took control of the Serie A giants in November 2013, has eased the pressure on Mancini by playing down the impact of failing to qualify for next season`s competition.
The Indonesian tycoon indicated he would be happy with qualification for the Europa League and said he would be relying on Inter`s brand to continue bringing in revenue for the club.
"Without the Champions League, we can achieve revenue of EUR180m - EUR200m," Thohir was quoted as saying on www.inter.it.
"If we qualified for the Champions League, that would obviously increase but it wouldnt be a problem for Inter if we didn`t qualify.
"However, given that we`re a leading brand in football and have a huge fan base, we have to aim high. It`s not Inter if we finish in ninth or tenth position. Our target is the Champions League or the Europa League."
In the wake of Mancini`s appointment last November, Thohir made several appointments in a bid to optimise the club`s financial and marketing clout.
Thohir believes Inter, like some of the giants of European football, should not have to rely on potential annual revenues of 50m euros from the Champions Legaue.
"For big clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United, EUR50m is only 10% of their total revenue, so there should be no problem if they don`t qualify for the Champions League,"Thohir said.
Inter face Scottish champions Celtic over two legs in the last 32 of the Europa League next month.
Although Inter have won only two of their last six league games, Thohir believes Mancini can steer them past Celtic and, he hopes, on towards victory in this year`s final.
"The Europa League is a tough competition, but we want to get as far as possible," he said.
"We hope to become the champions. In order to be the best, we have to give our best."
The ultimate objective, however, remains re-establishing Inter -- Italy`s last Champions League winners, in 2010 -- as one of the top sides in Europe.
"Signing Roberto Mancini is part of that objective because he has a lot of experience and we want to compete in the Champions League with him," said Thohir.