Erik Thohir certainly won't be welcomed around one area of London for a little while after his recent comments.
In recent years Italian football has become one of the last bastions in the stand against multi-millionaire.billionaire foreign ownership. As teams such as Chelsea and Manchester City in England; Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain in France; Malaga in Spain - Italy and Germany have remained largely untainted.
But the success of Roma, now owned by American investors has shown that sometimes you have to keep up with the trend, or risk being left behind - and now Inter Milan find themselves owned by Indonesia businessman Erik Thohir.
Thohir, who made his millions in the automotive business and investment banking, is also part owner of DC United in the MLS, Persib Bandung of Indonesia and the Philadelphia 76ers in NBA, so he does know a thing or two about owning football clubs.
Inter Milan have since been linked with several big name targets, all talk rejected by the man himself - who seems ready to follow the AS Roma model of buying smart to achieve sustainable steady success, rather than shaky rapid growth.
But what has caught my eye about the man in question is apparent comments he made during a visit to Surabaya in his homeland, as reported in Italian paper Gazetta dello Sport, where he seemed to have an unwarranted and unprovoked jab at West Ham United for some reason.
When explaining his decision to make a move for a team in Italy he had this to say:
"There is in the Spanish league only two big names, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Premier League dominated by clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool and from a financial perspective.. the big clubs are still healthy. If I buy a club that has neither a big name nor a glorious past, well I draw the short straw. What shall I do with West Ham? We are talking about a well-known club [Inter Milan] with a great history in Europe and the world."
Harsh on The Hammers don’t you think. Sure this is a team whose better years are behind them, but they have won the FA Cup on three occasions, the Cup Winners’ Cup once and of course, are one of the only club teams who claim to have ‘won the FIFA World Cup’ - with many of their stars pivotal in England’s 1966 triumph.
Inter may well be a more illustrious team, but picking on West Ham might not be fair.
It is times like these, that for all their flaws, West Ham fans should feel lucky that they have owners like David Gold and Sullivan.
At least they have more respect for the club then say a foreign investor like Erik Thohir, or a pair of Icelanders called Eggert Magnússon and Björgólfur Guðmundsson.
What do you make of Thohir’s comments?
image: © batrax