When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

LA STAMPA

Pity The Poor Millionaires Of Inter Milan

The COVID-19 economic crisis has pushed the top Italian club to ask for tax payments to be deferred. It needs to pay coach Antonio Conte's salary of 1 million euros ... per month!

Arturo Vidal (FC Inter) during FC Internazionale vs Parma Calcio 1913, Italian soccer Serie A match in Milan
Arturo Vidal (FC Inter) during FC Internazionale vs Parma Calcio 1913, Italian soccer Serie A match in Milan
Mattia Feltri

-Essay-

MILAN — Dramatic news reaches us in the newsroom: Another 550 people have died from the coronavirus in one day in Italy; desperate appeals resound from hospital ICUs; thousands of people are homeless; and at the Inter Milan soccer club, they don't know how to pay their salaries.

This last bit of news plunges onto our desks like a knockout blow: Beppe Marotta, managing director of the storied Italian club, says that the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus is ruthless, and now the cost of labor is higher than Inter's incoming revenue. His cry of pain is directed to the Italian government. Mr. Marotta is asking for tax payments to be deferred or he won't be able to pay his coach, Antonio Conte, his net wage of 1 million euros — per month!

Some situations have begun to resemble the line outside the local food bank. Striker Romelu Lukaku makes a net 7.5 million euros per year. Same goes for playmaker Christian Eriksen, who isn't even on the starting 11 and might be the highest paid back-up in the northern hemisphere. Striker Alexis Sanchez earns 7 million euros; Arturo Vidal 6.5 million; and defender Achraf Hakimi, just signed over from Real Madrid for 40 million euros, can count on some 416,000 euros per month but might struggle to make ends meet after the third week of the month.

No one wants to be in Conte's shoes.

These champions already pay half of the income tax paid by ordinary Italians — according to a law designed to attract foreign sportsmen to Italy — but it still isn't enough to avert the looming tragedy.

Clearly, no one wants to be in Conte's shoes — not the Inter coach Antonio, but Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte — as he faces the piercing dilemma: write off the tax payments of these poor millionaires, or use them to cure the elderly in intensive care? Ah, cruel decision!

Except, of course, if there's a third option: Mr. Lukaku and the others could cut their meager wages by a fraction to avoid their employers' bankruptcy and future-proof their careers. And if the sacrifice is unsustainable, these strong young men could always train to become nurses in Italian hospitals.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Dottoré!

Sowing The Seeds Of Paranoia

"They must be dumping garbage — good, it makes for good fertilizer!"

"Slowly, we were the only ones left"

Mariateresa Fichele

"Dottoré, I know a lot of flags, and let me tell you why. I grew up in the province of Caserta, and — like everybody in those days — my parents owned a piece of land, and they would take me with them to farm it.

I remember there were other kids in the fields around us. But then, slowly, we were the only ones left because everybody was selling the land, making a lot of money off of it too.

Papà wouldn't listen to reason and he kept the land. But in the meantime, instead of farmers, trucks began to arrive. Many many trucks, unloading thousands of barrels and burying them into the ground.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ