Serie A champion Inter Milan facing a nervous wait as deadline looms for loan repayment

AP , Tuesday 21 May 2024

Just two days after celebrating its Serie A title win, Inter Milan and its fans face a nervous wait to see what will happen with the club.

Inter Milan
Inter Milan s Argentine forward #10 Lautaro Martinez lifts the trophy in front of fans during the trophy ceremony for the Italian Champions following the Italian Serie A football match between Inter Milan and Lazio in Milan, on May 19, 2024. Inter celebrates his 20th Scudetto. AFP

Club owner Suning and Inter president Steven Zhang could lose control of the Nerazzurri on Tuesday if they fail to repay a debt of nearly 400 million euros ($434 million) to American investment fund Oaktree.

That sum stems from a loan — and interest — taken out three years ago, shortly after Inter won its last league title.

Unless it is repaid by 1700 local time (1500 GMT) Oaktree could take over the Serie A champion.

Zhang has tried to extend the deadline for the loan repayment and come up with alternative solutions with Oaktree but without success.

“I can only guarantee that the club is very solid,” Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta said on Sunday, amid a party atmosphere at San Siro as Inter was presented with its 20th league title.

“Whatever decision the Zhang family takes, it will be for the good of the club that they love.”

If — as expected — the deadline is not met, Oaktree will complete the acquisition of Inter in the next few days although it is unclear whether the American fund will keep the club long term or look for a buyer.

In 2018, Milan was taken over by American fund Elliott Management after previous owner Li Yonghong missed the deadline to repay part of a loan.

Elliott had been expected to sell the club, with a number of parties reportedly interested, but it kept hold of it for five years before selling to RedBird Capital Partners last year, shortly after Milan won the Serie A title.

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