With eighteen league titles, three Champions League crowns, seven Coppa Italia wins and five Supercoppa Italia trophies, very few clubs are as decorated as Inter Milan. Currently, they lie 9th on the league table, closer in points to Crotone in 20th place than to league leaders Juventus.
It is amazing that how far, and how fast Inter Milan have fallen since their record-breaking treble season in 2010. Since then, they have finished 2nd, 6th, 9th, 5th, 8th and 4th in the Serie A. The manager’s office at the club has now become a revolving door of some sorts, with 9 managerial changes in 6 years.
The uncertainty at Inter Milan runs throughout the club. CEO Michael Bolingbroke in the past week stepped down from his position lending credence to rumours that he was unhappy at the dismissal of immediate past manager Frank de Boer. Meaning the club have lost their manager and CEO at the early stages of this season.
Even club captain and leading scorer Mauro Icardi has been caught in the drama surrounding the club, with quotes in his book challenging the “ultras” at the club following an incident that happened in the defeat at Sassuolo in February 2015.
Inter Milan haven’t mixed it with the big boys in the Champions League since the 2011/12 season. They qualified for the less fancied Europa League in the 2012/13, 14/15 and 16/17 seasons while not featuring in Europe altogether in 13/14 and 15/16.
To add to what is already an embarrassing situation, the 2010 European Champions, currently sit bottom of their Europa League group containing European lightweights like Southampton, Sparta Praga and Hapoel Be’er Sheva.
The decline of Italian football has had its direct impact on all the clubs in Italy. Only Juventus have managed to stay relevant in European football. Italian football has lost in glamour, which has translated into declined sponsorships and reduced revenues.
The vision of newly departed CEO Michael Bolingbroke was to reduce Inter Milan’s debt within three years and make it profitable. But Inter’s debt at the end of the 2015 financial year stood at €74 million.
Internazionale’s financial situation is so dire that they couldn’t register some of their star players for the Europa League. The likes of Gabriel Barbosa, Joao Mario, Geoffrey Kondogbia and Stefan Jovetic had to be left out because the club failed to comply with Financial Fair Play rules.
One of the biggest reasons Inter Milan fell apart so soon after the 2010 treble was that they tore the team apart too early. Any team will find it difficult to replace the likes Wesley Sneijder, Samuel Eto’o, Thiago Motta and Javier Zanetti, without very deep pockets.
Following the departure of the players named above, many of the players with big reputations and huge wages that have been contracted by Inter have failed to deliver. The likes of Lukas Podolski, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Felipe Melo have all flopped to various degrees.
After what turned out to be a very busy summer, the club was supposed to compete at the very top this season. The likes of Joao Mario, Gabriel Barbosa, Antonio Candreva and Stevan Jovetic were recruited to help Inter Milan secure Champions League football.
With 5 wins in their opening 12 league games, Inter Milan are already 8 points off the Champions League places. Frank de Boer had a good squad at his disposal, but couldn’t find a way to get them to produce results on a consistent basis.
Stefano Pioli has been appointed as the new manager, and he will be expected to propel Inter Milan up the table. He will have to hit the ground running, as his first game in charge is the fiercely.
If the new manager can find a working system to accommodate his quality players, the Serie A might find out that 26 games are enough for reawakening a sleeping giant.