Football: Inter Milan won't splash the cash, says Indonesian owner Erick Thohir

Inter Milan president Erick Thohir (above) said his priority will be putting the Italian football giants back on a sound financial footing and not splashing the cash on top drawer players, according to reports on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013. -- FILE PHOT
Inter Milan president Erick Thohir (above) said his priority will be putting the Italian football giants back on a sound financial footing and not splashing the cash on top drawer players, according to reports on Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

MILAN (AFP) - Inter Milan president Erick Thohir said his priority will be putting the Italian football giants back on a sound financial footing and not splashing the cash on top drawer players, according to reports on Wednesday.

Thohir, who recently acquired a 70 per cent majority stake in the Nerazzurri from former owner Massimo Moratti, was elected president of the Serie A club two weeks ago.

Fans are hoping his investment will lead to a move away from the San Siro ground Inter share with bitter rivals AC Milan to a new, purpose-built arena.

Having finished ninth in the league last season under former coach Andrea Stramaccioni, there are also hopes Thohir will attract big-name players to the club.

However, the 43-year-old Indonesian businessman, who has already invested in Major League Soccer club DC United and the Philadelphia 76ers National Basketball Association team, indicated that fans may have to be patient.

"If you ask me if I'm going to buy new players, my answer is always the same," Thohir told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday.

"Our decisions will be taken together, but with one eye on the budget.

"There would be no unilateral decision on my part, that's what's different from the past.

"We will buy players, but we're going to be careful with our spending. Our objective is financial restructuring, creating a club which is in sound financial health, as agreed with Moratti."

One player reportedly on Thohir's radar is Radja Nainggolan, a Belgian international of Indonesian heritage who currently plays with Serie A strugglers Cagliari.

The eventual purchase of Nainggolan could theoretically boost Thohir's wish to open up new markets and fan bases in Asia, where Inter already have thousands of followers.

Thohir admitted Nainggolan had caught his eye: "It's true... but only if there's agreement between myself, the managers and the technical staff."

But a new stadium could be further in the future.

"One day, we will have our own new stadium, but at this point, we can't say if we're going to build one," added Thohir.

However the Inter chief, who says he has no wish to follow AC Milan owner Sivio Berlusconi into the political arena, insists he is taking the "big responsibility" of leading the Serie A giants seriously.

"I have a big responsibility because I'm the first foreign president of the club. And I'm not just representing myself, what I do reflects on all of Indonesia," he added.

"But I don't feel pressure and I'm not afraid. I have a big task here but that only makes me want to show how hard the Indonesian people can work.

"A lot of people have claimed I would like to be a candidate in the Indonesian election in 2014 or 2018, but it's not true.

"Right now, I'm the president of Inter, I don't want to be like Berlusconi - I am not interested in politics, it bores me.

"I want to focus on developing Inter financially and in terms of business, and I think we can succeed."