Gazzetta: Zhang vs. Oaktree – Legal battle looms over Inter’s financial crisis


Inter President Steven Zhang has publicly accused the Californian investment firm Oaktree Capital of sabotaging a refinancing deal with Pimco, setting the stage for an inevitable legal confrontation. Zhang’s accusations, outlined in a carefully worded statement vetted by his legal team, reveal deep-seated frustrations and concerns over the club’s stability.

La Gazzetta dello Sport report that Zhang’s statement accused Oaktree of deploying “legal threats” without meaningful engagement, actions that he claims are now jeopardizing the club’s stability.  Zhang alleged that Oaktree’s behavior has created a risky situation for Inter, potentially undermining the club’s financial health.

The conflict traces back to a €375 million loan, including interest, that Oaktree provided to Suning, Inter’s parent company, in 2021. With the repayment deadline imminent, Oaktree is poised to seize the club’s shares, which were put up as collateral. Despite the tense situation, Oaktree has refrained from responding publicly to Zhang’s accusations and is reportedly waiting for the deadline to enforce their claim.

Addressing the “dear Nerazzurri family,” Zhang emphasized Inter’s historical achievements and the efforts made to secure the club’s financial future. He recounted how the club opened a credit line with Oaktree post-pandemic to continue their successful project initiated in 2016. Zhang stressed that despite numerous attempts to reach an amicable solution, including offering multiple repayment options, Oaktree remained uncooperative.

Zhang’s frustration centers on Oaktree’s alleged refusal to engage meaningfully in resolving the debt. He claims that the refinancing plan with Pimco, which reportedly involved a two-year bond to cover the €380 million owed to Oaktree, was thwarted by Oaktree’s insistence on a 20% cut of the sale price differential. This demand, Zhang argues, derailed a viable solution, putting Inter at risk.

As the deadline approaches, Zhang’s statement hints at a looming legal battle. He questions Oaktree’s ability to manage the club effectively, suggesting that their actions have endangered Inter’s future. Zhang’s message serves as both a plea for a last-minute resolution and a warning of the potential legal repercussions for Oaktree.

Inter’s fate hangs in the balance as the clock ticks down to the repayment deadline. Zhang remains hopeful for a last-minute breakthrough but is prepared for a legal showdown if necessary. His message underscores the stakes involved and places the responsibility for the failed refinancing squarely on Oaktree’s shoulders. Whether this public confrontation will lead to a resolution or further entrench the two parties in a bitter legal dispute remains to be seen.


Serie A obsessive.