Inter are facing more than just sporting pressures to secure a Champions League qualification spot next season, with a failure to see out a successful final few weeks of this term bringing huge financial implications.
As reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri are dependent on maintaining their spot at the top table of European competition in order to keep their current squad intact, as well as to avoid undoing years of planning to challenge for titles.
However, with their form abandoning them in Serie A, Simone Inzaghi‘s side are in danger of a costly collapse that would see them fail to qualify next season.
Champions League progress propping Inter up
Having progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League this year, Inter have brought in around €75 million in prize money and other income from their participation, with this figure set to increase should they overcome Benfica and reach the final four.
President Steven Zhang and directors Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio had budgeted for a run to the latter stages of the Europa League, given Inter were drawn alongside Bayern Munich and Barcelona in the group stage of the Champions League.
This unexpected progression in the top tier of European competition means that it is no longer necessary to sell a star player before June 30 to balance the books, even if the club do decide to cash in on some squad members.
Serie A slump causing concern
However, with Inter hitting a poor run of form and in danger of slipping out of the top four, there are mounting fears that a failure to secure a sixth consecutive season could have catastrophic consequences.
The Nerazzurri had looked comfortable in second place but are feeling the effects of 10 league defeats, leaving them level on points with fifth-placed AS Roma and only two clear of Atalanta in sixth.
Dropping into the Europa League at the start of next season would see the club miss out on tens of millions of euros in revenue, setting them back considerably.
Inter‘s worrying domestic form could have other financial implications, with a lower standing in the table resulting in a smaller cut of the prize money from Serie A at the end of the season.
Finishing in second place would bring in €26.6m, coming third would secure €21.8m, whilst fourth place would see a drop to €16.7m. Meanwhile, the prize money of €12.5m for coming fifth, coupled with the loss of Champions League money, would take Inter back to their revenue to its lowest point since 2018.
Inter’s pivotal two months
Finally, the Nerazzurri could earn income by lifting the Coppa Italia this season, with the winners guaranteed €4.5m in prize money, plus bonuses from sponsors. The cup winners will also be granted a place in the new-look Supercoppa Italiana, with the victors of that competition set for €7m.
With a crucial Champions League tie, a Coppa Italia semi-final clash against bitter rivals Juventus to contend with, and a fight to maintain their status in the top four in the Champions League, April and May could prove critical to Inter.
Indeed, in the worst-case scenario, it is thought that defeat to the Bianconeri and Benfica, coupled with finishing outside of the Champions League spots, could cost the Nerazzurri €100m and undo all the work of the Suning project.