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Chinese retail giant Suning purchases 68.55 % of football brand

Reporter: Mike Fox 丨 CCTV.com

06-07-2016 15:54 BJT

Continuing with football we head to Nanjing where yesterday Chinese retail giant Suning announced their purchase of a controling stake in Italian club Inter Milan.

The move is yet another sign of China attempting to make its mark on global football and with Nerazzurri struggling in Serie A last season, they hope the good times will come back to the blue half of Milan. 

Purchasing a 68.55% stake in Inter Milan, Zhang Jindong and the Suning Holdings Group are now offically the majority owners of one of the most popular Italian football teams in China.
The Chinese conglomerate has now made its mark on football in both the east and the west following the summer acquisition of Jiangsu Sainty who are now Jiangsu Suning.

"Since we launched our football investment plan, we have been keeping our eyes on the top European clubs. We met Mr. Thohir by accident and during a casual conversation, he offered us the chance to cooperate. This opportunity exactly was what we had been searching for," said Sun Weimin, Suning vice president.

After finishing fourth in the league last campaign, Inter are hoping to climb to back to the top of European football where, not long ago, then boss Jose Mourinho led them to lift the Champions League in 2008.

A string of poor finishes would follow as the club slide into financial trouble to the tune of 230 million Euros in the red, which will be wiped by their new owners.

"We are always searching for good opportunities like this. We started expanding our international markets during the global financial crisis of 2008. Inter is not at their peak right now which is what gave us the chance to acquire such a top European club," Sun also said.

The ceremony concluded with Zhang and Thohir crossing arms to drink champagne in a traditional Chinese wedding rite.

But just like any marriage, the honeymoon period has just begun and only time will tell if this union proves fruitful. 

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