Original article at https://www.bausciacafe.com/editoriale/perche-non-volete-i-miei-soldi/
As all clubs, Inter is going through a financial crisis because of the COVID pandemic. Whilst some clubs feel the problems of the pandemic less, Inter was hit hard due to the timing of the pandemic which came when the club was putting in the next gear financially. The revenues were booming, the club was growing quickly, players and coaches signed were all on a very high level both money and quality-wise, stadium income with a mix between season pass holders and ticket sales was booming, hospitality lounges sold greatly.
With the pandemic, all that was gone and Inter found themselves very much empty-handed at a time where liquidity is critical.
Something that Inter didn’t lose during the pandemic is their fans, however, it seems that the pandemic has made Inter lose all possibilities to take help from their fans in this financially tough situation that they are in now. As an Inter fan, I understand that the pandemic means a club in Inter’s situation means sacrifices, however, I have no understanding as of how the fans haven’t been called upon helping the club financially.
As a season pass holder, I got the possibility to either accept a refund of my money for the games I couldn’t see or choose a voucher that I’d be eligible to use in the future whenever season passes were sold again. I chose the voucher because my financial situation allows me to do so without any problem. I don’t expect someone who lost their job due to COVID to spend money on Inter, I don’t expect someone who’s just become a parent to do so either, honestly, I don’t expect anyone who can’t contribute to a football team at this critical time of our lives to do anything, everyone has their reason to use their money in the way they want, however, I’m far from the only person who has been lucky enough to keep my job, whilst saving money from not being able to visit restaurants and not being able to travel.
Living in Stockholm travelling to Milan to watch Inter comes with a cost, flights, hotels, wine and dine to see Inter comes at an average of 500 euro’s per month for me, add my partner to that and the amount is doubled, with over a year of not travelling to watch football, there’s quite a lot of money saved for someone like me who didn’t have their work situation altered. If I think about some fans that would spend money to go on all away trips during a season in Europe and Italy, I see a possibility that many Inter fans around the world are saving money that they would’ve spent on Inter otherwise.
The difference from before the pandemic? Inter hasn’t given fans any possibility to contribute financially during the pandemic.
In Sweden, clubs have found multiple ways in order to get their fans to renew season passes even without the possibility to go to the stadium. Why? Because the clubs needed all help they could get to survive, pay wages and even transfers. Fans have been offered possibilities to extend their season pass and to choose the price they’d like to pay to extend it. With the possibility to extend and depending on what price you choose to pay, there have been different wards within the renewal. Streaming service plans, signed match shirts, merchandise, you name it. Some Premier League clubs have done the same as well with great results.
The feeling from me is that Inter is sleeping or not exploring the possibilities enough.
At a moment of this where players(?) have to be sold just to add liquidity, Inter season pass holders and fans all over the world have been left without any possibility to help the club financially when the club most needs it.
I know people who travelled 24 hours from Indonesia to watch Inter spending thousands of Euro. I know fans who do 12-24 hour roundtrips to watch their team and come back before they have to go to work the day after without a minute of sleep. I know many Inter fans who’d financially contribute to their team on a monthly base, or even sign a new season pass even though they can’t go to the stadium. I know Inter fans would love to be able to contribute by signing virtual tickets for the big games or virtual season passes, signing a virtual ticket could give a small possibility to win a signed shirt or something like that back. I’m confident the season pass holders and the fans all over the world would be open to help the club. This even though season pass holders haven’t been minimally considered to enter the stadium the few times it has been open for 1000 persons.
I don’t believe that Inter will be able to keep their biggest stars if fans are given the possibility to contribute, I don’t think that it’s even up to fans to resolve this situation, but I do think the fans can help and my question to Inter is: Why don’t you want my money?
Ps. I know Inter offers Inter club and Inter membership but the amount for that is a one-off 20-65 euro’s and comes with some costs, season passes cost between 200-2000+ euro’s per season and with a monthly contribution of 10 euro’s a month from the millions of fans worldwide, maybe some difference could’ve been made.