Soccer-Moratti reign ends as Inter name Thohir as chairman

Reuters

MILAN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Inter Milan said on Friday Indonesian business tycoon Erick Thohir had been appointed as new chairman of the Serie A club, bringing an end to the reign of former owner Massimo Moratti.

In a statement Inter said its shareholders had named a new slimmer eight-member board of directors headed by Thohir, adding that Moratti had been appointed honorary chairman.

In October Moratti signed a deal to sell a 70 percent stake in the Italian soccer club to the International Sports Capital consortium owned by Thohir and his two Indonesian partners Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo.

Moratti, whose family controls Italian oil refiner Saras , has been in charge of Inter since 1995.

Inter gave no financial details of the transaction but said International Sports Capital had carried out a capital increase to take over the club.

During a press conference Thohir and Moratti refused to say how much the capital increase was.

Some Italian newspapers have said it could be around 100 million euros ($135 million) but Inter management declined to comment.

"To compete with other clubs and tackle all the new regulations coming in it is important for us to make sure the club will be stronger. We need to be healthy economically and financially to compete internationally," Thohir said.

Inter, which has debts of around 300 million euros, have fallen on hard times since their 2010 trophy treble, which included a Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich.

They finished just ninth in Serie A last season to miss out on a lucrative Champions League place. ($1 = 0.7430 euros) (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, editing by Justin Palmer)

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