Marco Fassone welcomed Nerazzurri fans to Pinzolo in a long interview with Inter Channel's Roberto Scarpini. Inter's chief executive touched on a range of topics, from the summer training camp to Walter Mazzarri, the club and its plans, and the gap separating Italian football from other countries. He also thanked all the Nerazzurri fans for their unerring support.
Here we are in Pinzolo again, a marriage that seems to get better as the years pass in terms of the organisation and the relations between Inter and Trentino.
"Yes, it certainly seems that way. I've known the managers in charge of the Trentino region for ages and every year they do everything possible to facilitate our work here from a logistic and administrative point of view. Earlier today I took a look at how things have been organised this year and I can see a noticeable step forward compared to last year. We're really grateful to everyone involved. There's no reason whatsoever why we shouldn't be able to train in the best way possible over the next two weeks."
Walter Mazzarri appears to have boosted enthusiasm and he's someone you know already having worked with him at
"That's great to hear. Yes, I've known the coach for quite a while and we had some great years together in
The club's work to build a new Inter on a management level is starting to bear fruit. You said it would be a long road and take a lot of work. Are you happy so far?
"We're starting to see some results but I must admit that I'm not entirely happy. I'm self-critical of my own first season at Inter. This is a fascinating club but it has its complexities. I'm sure that if we take on board what happened last year we can achieve great things this year both on the field and at club level."
How can we reach the same level of management that we see at Spanish and English clubs? Here we're talking less about Inter specifically and more about the overall international context.
"I hate to admit it but objectively speaking we are behind the others. As a country we have a dated system. The infrastructure is inadequate because it hasn't been developed since the 1990 World Cup. Very little has been done in the last few decades. The financial model which the big clubs have been following can't be the best one if it relies on the money from broadcasting rights. All too often I read that containing costs means weakening the team. But it should be the opposite: trying to level things out by increasing income and remaining competitive or even improving and having no grey years ahead but the possibility to build on a successful model. You see some exceptional clubs where they've obtained superb results on the field while having an excellent financial situation too. That's where we need to be."
Despite the general economic crisis, season tickets have been selling well. Is that a positive to take looking at the general Italian situation or is your job about looking to international markets?
"There are successful models. We keep an eye on what's happening abroad but you always have to bear in mind what's going on in our own country and with our own finances. I think the president and his family are very careful in that respect so that they can ensure fan numbers remain high in the future too. I think there are lots of small signs that show how much desire there is to build an even stronger bond with a group of special fans such as Inter's."
Mr Fassone, will you promise to come on Inter Channel more often to talk to us about Inter in a wider sense? It would reassure the fans.
"I certainly will. And I want to thank the fans for the support they've always given this club. For someone like myself who's been around lots of different clubs it was a lovely surprise to see that even when the team was struggling the fans' support never waned. I hope you all enjoy Pinzolo."