Serie A Inter Milan President Massimo Moratti "has reached an agreement" for Indonesian businessman Erick Thohir to "take a majority shareholding" in the club, according to the London GUARDIAN. Moratti said, "Everything has been signed. Satisfied? Yes, this has been a long time, but eventually we have gotten there." Moratti, who has been president and owner of the club since '95, is "believed to be signing over a majority share" of 70% of the club, reportedly worth almost £300M ($479M), to Thohir. The Indonesian is also part owner of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers and MLS DC United. It is unclear whether Moratti "will remain president." Moratti: "That I don't know" (GUARDIAN, 10/15). In London, Sanderson & Aglionby reported the "long-trailed deal" sees Thohir and Indonesian businessmen Rosan Roeslani and Handy Soetedjo take over at Inter Milan. Moratti said that he and his family "would continue as minority investors, but made no mention of whether he would remain" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/15). FOOTBALL ITALIA reported Thohir "claimed that he hopes this deal has a 'holy blessing.'" Thohir: "In Indonesia we are celebrating Idul Adha at the moment. I hope this deal has received a blessing on this holy day" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 10/15). For an official press release, click here. The EFE reported that Moratti's team "had not been successful in a recent period highlighted by a decade ('95-05) without a major championship and a long list of bad decisions." Moratti will "remain involved with the club, but in an uncertain capacity." With Thohir "purchasing 70% of the club, Moratti retains 28.3% of the remaining shares, while 1.6% belong to the Pirelli group and .1% belongs to the club members." Thohir is "hoping to exploit the Inter brand globally, beginning in Indonesia, where there are an estimate of 11 million Inter fans" (EFE, 10/15).
In a vote by team members a year ago, La Liga side Athletic Bilbao President Josu Urrutia "received favorable responses from 465 voters, compared to just 77 negative votes," according to Jon Zubieta of MUNDO DEPORTIVO. After presenting this year's budget, "459 voters indicated approval of Urrutia, while 77 gave negative responses." Urrutia addressed "the team's finances for 40 minutes" and said that the club's debt has been reduced from €34M-€17M ($46M-$23M). Urrutia said, "It is a perfectly acceptable debt, but this does not mean that we have to launch campaigns on the fly." Urrutia added, "We have a very solid balance. The prospects are attractive." Urrutia was "pleased that of Athletic's 199 players on its various teams, 175 are from the local province of Biscay" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 10/15).
Former Scottish League 1 Rangers Dir Paul Murray has called for Rangers CEO Craig Mather to step down in the wake of Monday's Court of Session ruling, "which saw the club annual general meeting postponed," according to the SCOTSMAN. Murray believes that Mather's position "is now untenable," along with that of Finance Dir Brian Stockbridge. As "the power struggle for control of the League 1 club took its fresh twist," Murray revealed after the court hearing that he had recently rejected an offer from Mather of a seat on the board because he refused to "ditch" allies such as Jim McColl. Murray, along with Scott Murdoch, Alex Wilson and Malcolm Murray, "will now do battle with the current board at the rescheduled AGM with shareholders deciding on who should be in charge at the club" (SCOTSMAN, 10/15). In Glasgow, Garry McConnachie wrote Murray hailed a "stunning victory" against the Gers board at the Court of Session. The shareholders' showdown "is now expected to go ahead some time in November." Murray, who confirmed that he turned down a seat on the board on Friday, believes Mather and Stockbridge must "consider their positions" before the rearranged meeting (DAILY RECORD, 10/15).