After 15 years in Italian football, working for Inter most recently, Massimo Cosentino became General Manager of FC Sion. We asked how the take-off in Switzerland went.
You worked for Torino, Novara, Sampdoria and then more than six years at Inter Milan. Since July you are General Manager at FC Sion. How have the first six months at the club been?
Massimo Cosentino: The first 6 months were very exciting: it was for me an honour to be appointed as General Manager of the Club of my city, where I was born, where I grew up and where I played as player academy. After 15 years in the Italian Football it is still a big challenge: new regulations, new habits, new life.
You went from a big European club to a medium-sized Swiss club, was it some kind of culture clash?
I’d rather prefer to say that it is simply different; you cannot compare Inter to Sion, but you can compare Novara for example. Once again, it is not better or worse, simply different; here in Switzerland you don’t have the stress level that you may face in Italy.
Did you find your feet at FC Sion right away?
Yes of course, some of my best friends live here and part of my family.
Why did you choose to take this step from the Italian champion to a club that fought against relegation in the past years?
I wanted something different, and I think that the best moment to leave is when you are at the top.
What was your plan, what goals did you have when you went to Sion?
It is very easy: I want to share my former experience.
Have you been able to implement your plans already?
Part of them yes: we brought new ideas in terms of commercials deals (i.e. Sorare), we started to rebuild the organisation, we changed the trainer, we rebuilt our LinkedIn page, we introduced a weekly press meeting with the journalists, we started a cooperation with Ice Hockey clubs…
Is there already a long-term strategy for the club? Or are you maybe working on one?
We started changing the vision of the club. These are our pillars: Pride, Joy, Passion and Abnegation. Said that, we need to form young talented players in order to have the possibility then to sell them; on the commercial side, we need to start thinking differently and try to approach new form of sponsoring and moreover try to “make falling in love” again the new generations.
After six months at your new club, what are the biggest issues and most important tasks you work on?
I prefer to be focused on the future challenges.