Football's Magic Money Tree

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Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:57 am

Episode 8 of the Price of Football Podcast - looks into Man City finances after yesterdays news re new investment

https://twitter.com/GuyKilty/status/1199966853919117312" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

if you mussed it - it first appeared here - http://uptheclarets.com/messageboard/vi ... =2&t=43421" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:01 am

More on Man City or CFG really - they are about to take on their 8th team, in India - which I have trailed a few times this year

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -club.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:07 am

I have talked about the ways different owner culture affects the way about they go about their business - usually it involes their approach to the governing rules - this is a little different

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... steel.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

you do get a lot of good pictures of this new facility at Leicester, and again as I have said before if this has cost close to £100m we should never claim Gawthorpe, wonderful and transformational as it has been, is no where near state of the art

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:35 am

Chester Perry wrote:More on Man City or CFG really - they are about to take on their 8th team, in India - which I have trailed a few times this year

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... -club.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
EDIT as ever there is an interesting nugget of information - today's is about David Moyes and the end of his tenure at Man United, and tax investigations at Newcastle amongst others

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:27 pm

So why do CFG continue to grow - this from the Telegraph provides some insight, but no answer and a great overview of CFG itself

Expansion of City Football Group knows no limits — the question is why they bother
Sam Wallace -Chief Football Writer - 28 November 2019 • 7:30am

The next frontier in which Manchester City will plunge the flag will be Mumbai, and its Indian Super League club, currently seventh in a 10-team division, home crowds averaging fewer than 5,000 and about to join the biggest club football operation in the world.

Mumbai City Football Club already have the right football acronym, they even have Peter Reid among their four former managers, as well as another City old boy Nicolas Anelka, and no doubt there will more changes to come.

They are just five years old and there is no tradition too deep-seated that it cannot be tweaked by the new owners City Football Group (CFG), already active in seven clubs in seven countries across five continents and growing larger by the year.

For those sufficiently determined to read the boutique publication that is Ferran Soriano’s 2009 book, Goal: The Ball Doesn’t Go In By Chance – Management Ideas From The World Of Football none of this will come as a surprise. The CFG chief executive sees the world as a place where the “winners” are those “creative enough to come up with new ideas and brave enough to put their ideas into practice” and since selling his vision to his Abu Dhabi bosses, Soriano has certainly pursued his own version of the future.

In February CFG added Sichuan Jiuniu FC to the roster, a third-tier Chinese club, and since then City have become Premier League champions again and their Japanese partners, Yokohama F Marinos, are two wins from their first J-League title in 15 years. New York City won Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. Melbourne City are top of the A-League. Atletico Torque have been promoted to Uruguay's Primera Division. Girona, relegated from Spain’s top flight last season, and Sichaun Jiuniu are not quite so upwardly mobile but then this empire was not built overnight.

The CFG acquisition programme has no direct comparison in world football.

One might point to the Red Bull energy drinks football empire encompassing New York, Leipzig and Salzburg but, in terms of size and scope, CFG is a cut above everyone else, constructed with the energy levels of someone who drinks nothing other than highly-caffeinated fizzy drinks. What has changed this week is that the investment from the US private equity firm Silver Lake suggests that others see the value in it too.

For Soriano, CFG and those there when the Spaniard’s predecessor Garry Cook promised to conquer the world at the start of the Abu Dhabi revolution in 2008, the Silver Lake investment of £389 million for a 10 per cent stake, valuing CFG at £3.73 billion, is vindication. It not only allows CFG to claim that it is the most valuable sports franchise property in the world but also it means that the investment by Sheikh Mansour of around £1.6 billion to acquire and transform Manchester City, and the CFG affiliates, looks like it might pay for itself.

The bigger it grows the bigger the question: why are they doing it? We never see CFG’s majority nominal owner, and so the assumption is that it exists for the glory of a tiny Gulf state and its leaders, to enhance Abu Dhabi’s reputation and, by extension, its global security.

It is easier to explain from a football perspective. As a sporting and financial enterprise, this enormous Abu Dhabi investment project has acquired its partner clubs in different regions for often different reasons. In the US, India, Japan and Australia, the CFG clubs offer opportunities for the size of the Manchester City fan base to be increased at an accelerated rate by contact with a local entity and thus to enhance commercial value. So too in China although the Chinese market is much more complicated, hence the original equity sale of 12 per cent of CFG for £265 million in 2015 to China Media Capital, which has since acted as a partner in the acquisition of Sichuan Jiuniu.

In Uruguay, where Torque cost around an annual £1 million to run, CFG has a foothold in the South American player market and already the Argentine midfielder Valentín Castellanos has made his way from Montevideo to New York City.

In Spain, Girona are a deal with Pep Guardiola’s brother Pere, a co-owner, which brings obvious benefits in cementing the relationship with their manager.

In Japan, Nissan, the co-owners of the F Marinos wanted a part of CFG’s football expertise to revitalise their club, while in India, where there is very little short-term chance of a player being able to make the transition to European football, the relationship is different again.

Staff and players are moved around the group. CFG has always denied that there is any financial fair play benefit to be derived by Manchester City by spreading the wage bill among its satellite clubs. Only non-playing staff wages can be split across the group and that cost is minimal compared to that of playing talent.

Back in Manchester, there is a proposed new arena to be built on the Etihad Stadium site by an operator in which Silver Lake has also invested. CFG will not confirm the size of its Manchester portfolio, estimated in some quarters as greater than £300 million. It feels like the foundations of an empire being laid, something that will be expected to last for years. Its construction began in the final years of the one that preceded it, Manchester United’s era of dominance under Sir Alex Ferguson when it seemed improbable that their often calamitous, resolutely local city neighbours could ever exert a global reach.

Yet here go City, opening another new operation in India. They never had anything like the international fan base of United so they set about creating a network to make it happen by buying clubs that meant something to different people in different countries. They had no allies or connections in the world of football politics and yet on Tuesday night the Uefa President Aleksandar Ceferin was at the Etihad Stadium, a personal guest of CFG chairman Khaldoon Al-Mubarak.

So where does it all end? When Ferguson ruled at Old Trafford and United were the biggest club in the country it felt eternal, as these things always do. It needed a vast jolt of capital, and ambition, to move the dial and now, 11 years on, others are buying into the Abu Dhabi vision of Manchester City, of their affiliate partners and of the future of football. Yet still at the heart of this giant £4 billion entity is Abu Dhabi, the notably absent Sheikh Mansour and the lingering question: why?

1. Manchester City
2018-19 accounts (most recently available) Revenue: £535.2m; Profit: £10.1m
Honours: 4x Premier League, 2x FA Cup, 4x EFL Cup, 3x Community Shield, 1x Women’s Super League, 2x FA Women’s Cup, 3x Women’s League Cup

Since buying City for a reported £150 million in 2008, the Abu Dhabi United Group has spent more than £1.5 billion on the club, nearly all of it on players.

2. Girona FC (44.3 per cent stake)
Revenue: TBC; Profit/loss: TBC
Honours: None

In August 2017, CFG and Girona Football Group bought an equal stake in Girona after they won promotion to La Liga for the first time. Shortly after the purchase, City became engulfed in an extraordinary legal row with the Spanish football league after being accused of trying to “cooking the books” on loan deals between them. CFG categorically denied this.

3. New York City (80 per cent stake)
2017-18 accounts (most recently available) Revenue: £40.4m; Loss: Unknown
Honours: Reached MLS Cup play-offs for first time in 2018.

Formed six years ago by City and the owners of the New York Yankees, New York City is the first Major League Soccer franchise to play in the city. Star signings have included David Villa, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo.

4. Club Athletico Torque (stake unknown)
Revenue: Unknown; Profit/loss: Unknown
Honours: 2x Segunda Division

CFG invested in Uruguayan side Club Atletico Torque in April 2017, giving it a foothold in the lucrative market for South American players. Founded in 2007, Torque were promoted to the Uruguayan Primera Division for the first time in its history within 12 months of the investment.

5. Sichuan Jiuniu
Revenue: Unknown; Profit/loss: Unknown
Honours: None

In February, CFG announced the acquisition of Sichuan Jiuniu in China League 2, together with CFG shareholders China Media Capital Holdings (CMC), through China Sports Capital, and Manchester City partner UBTECH.

6. Yokohama Marinos (19.9 per stake)
Revenue: Unknown; Profit/loss: Unknown
Honours: None

CFG were announced five years ago as a minority stakeholder in one of the founding members of the J-League. The club were founded in 1972 as Nissan Motors FC, and the car giant remains their majority owner.

7. Melbourne City
2017-18 accounts (most recently available): Revenue: £9.5m; Loss: Unknown
Honours: 1x Football Federation Australia Cup, 1x W-League Premiers, 3x W-League Champions.

Formed a decade ago as Melbourne Heart, Melbourne City was rebranded in 2014 after a majority stake was bought by CFG, which acquired 100 per cent of the club the following year.

8. Mumbai City
CFG’s aggressive global expansion plans will extend to the imminent purchase of the Indian Super League side, who will become the eighth club in the group’s stable.

CFG investors

Abu Dhabi United Group (77 per cent stake)
The private equity company owned by Abu Dhabi royal family member Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan bought City for a reported £150m in 2008 and formed CFG six years later. Silver Lake’s purchase of a 10 per cent stake has now made the group the world’s most valuable sports franchise, worth close to £4bn.

China Media Capital Holdings/CITIC Capital (13 per cent stake)
The Chinese consortium bought a $400m (£310.4m) stake in CFG almost four years ago that valued the group at $3bn (£2.3bn). The partnership was announced after China president Xi Jinping visited City during his state visit to Britain. It has already resulted in CFC’s investment in Sichuan Jiuniu.

Silver Lake (10 per cent stake)
The US private equity firm’s £389m purchase of a 10 per cent stake of CFG will be used primarily to fund its expansion plans, including the imminent purchase of Mumbai City.

City Football Group
2017-18 accounts (most recently available)
Revenue: £584.8 million (£500.5m City, New York City £40.4m – up 34.2 per cent, Melbourne City £9.5m, Others £34.4m)
Loss: £44.8m (down from £71.1m). Loss minus City’s £10.4m profit: £55.2m

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:32 pm

Simon Chadwick offers his view on this Man City development in The Conversation

How Manchester City’s owners became the titans of a global sports-entertainment complex
Author - Simon Chadwick - Professor of Sports Enterprise, University of Salford

US private equity firm Silver Lake acquiring a stake in the City Football Group (CFG), owners of English Premier League football team Manchester City, is a stunning development. Based in California, the investor has taken a 10% share in CFG for £380 million, valuing the group at almost £4 billion. Headlines have inevitably hailed the deal as one that makes Manchester City the world’s most valuable football club.

There is no doubt that the east Manchester outfit is a much more valuable asset than it was just over a decade ago. When current owner Sheikh Mansour (a member of the Abu Dhabi royal family) bought Manchester City in 2008, he paid £210 million.

But valuing football clubs is not necessarily a precise science, as the proliferation of valuation rankings demonstrates. At the same time, CFG is not just Manchester City alone. It is a group of clubs and related commercial activities that has been built up across the world.

So to imply that City is the world’s most valuable club is slightly disingenuous. Nevertheless, the punt that Silver Lake has just taken on CFG reveals a great deal about the trajectory its business is on.

The Disney of sport
Nearly 20 years ago the group’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, was vice president and finance director of Spain’s FC Barcelona. During his spell there, Soriano spoke of his vision to build a football club in the image of the Walt Disney empire.

He foresaw the convergence of entertainment and sport in a globalising world. And he also highlighted the role that franchising could play in football, along with the contribution that merchandise could make to club revenues.

Fast forward several years and by 2012 Soriano was in charge at CFG. Released from the political constraints of working for Barcelona (where board members are elected by fans, known as “socios”) and instead underwritten by the petrodollars of Abu Dhabi, the Catalan business leader was given the resources and autonomy to transform the organisation.

Since then, CFG has established franchise clubs around the world, including the US, Australia, Japan, Spain, and Uruguay. Latest news also indicates that CFG are on the verge of acquiring a club in Mumbai, India. No surprise that the city has a sizeable community of football fans, but is also the spiritual home of Bollywood and a focal point for India’s tech sector.

In 2015, CFG’s financial and political fortunes were further boosted as a Chinese investor took a stake in the business. Tellingly, the deal was announced during Chinese president Xi Jinping’s visit to the UK, during which he met then prime minister David Cameron and all manner of football, business and political deals were agreed.

So it was no surprise when, earlier this year, CFG announced plans to establish a Chinese club franchise (in Chengdu). At the same time, Abu Dhabi announced that its state airline Etihad (Manchester City’s shirt and stadium sponsor) would be enhancing its links with Chengdu’s airport. At CFG, football is often the means to an end, not just an end in itself.

No Mickey Mouse pursuit
Many of these deals were overseen by Soriano who, in the midst of it all, was also closely monitoring and responding to technological changes. Notwithstanding his original Disney vision, the nature of the movie, broadcasting and sport industries has changed dramatically over the last decade – meaning that football and entertainment are no longer Mickey Mouse pursuits.

New digital platforms have emerged, streaming has taken hold and content generation has become the fuel adding impetus to a new industrial revolution. Indeed, CFG has already taken advantage of this through, for instance, the development of its Cityzens platform and the club’s involvement in the Amazon TV series All or Nothing.

The investment made by Silver Lake in CFG is a clear acknowledgement that football is a globally compelling product, a superb source of content, and a basis upon which shrewd business people can make a profit. More importantly, as if further evidence was needed, it marks the latest move in a convergence of sport, entertainment and digital technology.

With Ferran Soriano providing his foresight and strategy, and Sheikh Mansour providing the money and politics of a wealthy new state seeking its place in the world, Silver Lake is set to bring entrepreneurial zeal and a strong track record of successful tech investments. This should help CFG, and more specifically the various franchises within the group, to establish a competitive advantage over their football rivals.

As such, CFG is at the apex of what it means to be a 21st century football business – a mixture of money, entertainment, technology and politics. Clubs like Red Bull Salzburg and Leipzig are following their own franchise path, while a growing number of teams across Europe have had fly-on-the-wall documentary series made about them. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid take their digital footprints very seriously, while French champions Paris Saint Germain has a Qatari owner.

It is currently only CFG that brings everything together in one place, however. And it is on this basis that Silver Lake has invested in what was once a football club with historic roots in the working class communities of east Manchester, but is now a global entertainment business catapulted to the top of the football’s valuation charts.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:38 pm

The news of the Investment in Man City had a positive impact on Man United's share value and no doubt all the other big clubs in Europe

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -valuation" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by GodIsADeeJay81 » Thu Nov 28, 2019 1:54 pm

You have to admire how CFG have gone about it.

The old fashioned way was to have a link up deal with a club somewhere, like Utd used to have with Antwerp.
Send their young lads out on loan etc.

Then clubs in the UK just shipped kids in from around the EU to sit in their academy and then sell them on.
With those rules being changed City group can get round them quite easily I'd imagine.

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:20 pm

GodIsADeeJay81 wrote:You have to admire how CFG have gone about it.

The old fashioned way was to have a link up deal with a club somewhere, like Utd used to have with Antwerp.
Send their young lads out on loan etc.

Then clubs in the UK just shipped kids in from around the EU to sit in their academy and then sell them on.
With those rules being changed City group can get round them quite easily I'd imagine.
I actually now think player development and transfer is a minor part of the reasoning behind the operation

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:48 pm

Fan insights have produced the Fan Engagement Index - you can download it from here if you supply your email address

http://faninsights.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:54 am

Brighton have announced their financial results for last season - so much for Tony Bloom no longer having to fund them only lost £21m - I said they has spent a lot - @KieranMaguirre has a quick peek (remember he is a life long Brighton fan)

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 8754443264

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 2794309632

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:57 am

after many failures to appoint a successor to Richard Scudamore from outside the Premier League - the clubs have now decide to permanently appoint the interim Chief Exec, Richard Masters.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... basis.html

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:03 am

The late/no wages woes at Macclesfield continue - the players are planning to boycott their next league game

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50657701

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:05 am

Meanwhile FIFA let's it be known that Agents raked in over £500m globally last season - you can imagine that 3 or 4 earned a very significant share of that pie

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... irst-time/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:07 am

@SwissRamble looks at (last years Europa league qualifying opponents) Aberdeens 2018/19 financial results

https://twitter.com/SwissRamble/status/ ... 1169914881

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:09 am

The repercussions of Sheffield Wednesday's stadium deal could be significant with their Chairman facing the possibility of being banned from the game

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/20 ... -football/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 2:16 am

Stoke City bemoan the fact that they can't spend their way out of the Championship (they looked odds on for relegation not so long ago)

https://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/sport/f ... ay-3596135

if you look at the cash pool of those owners "who are not just willing and able but extremely keen and enthusiastic and want to do everything they possibly can to get this club back into the Premier League" you can understand why

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 4395771905

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:44 pm

Episode 9 of the Price of Football podcast looks at Stadium sales other than in the Championship and the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) amongst other things

https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/p ... 1841993897
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:55 pm

@KieranMaguire takes a deeper look at Brighton's financial results 2018/19 - Tony Bloom has extraordinarily deep and generous pocks for the club - makes Eddie Davies look positively parsimonious

https://twitter.com/KieranMaguire/statu ... 4069509120

The local rag - with the help of Kieran has it's take

https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/180802 ... l-remains/

https://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/180802 ... prem-myth/

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:12 am

Now that Florentino Perez has got a position of influence at FIFA (being the President of the newly formed and FIFA sanctioned World Club Football Association) he has wasted little time in usurping the stratagems of Gianni Agnelli - This from the New York Times

Will Real Madrid Abandon La Liga? Its President Maps a Way Out
Real Madrid’s Florentino Pérez is shepherding a proposal that would reshape European soccer for the benefit of the Continent’s biggest clubs. And he may have the backing to pull it off.
By Tariq Panja - Dec. 5, 2019, 7:36 p.m. ET

Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, recently held talks with officials from some of Europe’s leading soccer clubs, as well as the FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, to outline his vision for the sport. What he is proposing, according to people familiar with the conversations, is nothing less than a groundbreaking power shift in the club game.

One elite competition comprising the world’s richest clubs, untethered from their domestic leagues for a new full-season competition. Domestic leagues stripped of their biggest and most historic brands. And thousands of top-division games rendered far less valuable to everyone from sponsors to broadcasters to, perhaps most important, fans.

With financing in the works and the clout of Real Madrid backing the venture, and with the game’s officials beginning to sketch the framework of the new global soccer calendar that will take effect after 2024, the outlines of a European super league could be closer than before.

At the heart of Pérez’s plan is his long-held desire for Europe’s biggest teams, like his, to break away from their domestic leagues and form an elite European competition that would be played across an entire season, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The current iteration of the plan would see two 20-team divisions, composed almost exclusively of clubs from Europe’s five biggest leagues: England, Spain, France, Germany and Italy. Some clubs have been told that, according to projections, they could expect to double their revenues by leaving their domestic leagues to join. The concept of promotion and relegation — a fixture of world soccer that rewards success and punishes failure — would be retained, but only between the two divisions.

The proposal most likely would meet fierce resistance. At a stroke any such competition would decimate the value of domestic league matches, but by taking the best teams they also could destroy the value of the Champions League, the world’s richest club championship and the financial engine of European soccer’s governing body, UEFA.

Pérez, who as Real Madrid’s president became a founding member of a new global association for international clubs when it was begun last month at FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, declined, through the club, to comment on his proposals. During his visit to Zurich, though, he discussed his ideas with Infantino, who has spent much of the past year pushing his own idea about how to remake club soccer.

Infantino’s vision for club soccer has largely been focused on the creation of a new 24-team Club World Cup that will begin play in 2021, but he also has a broader vision for FIFA, the game’s global governing body, to have a stronger hand in club soccer.

Only last week, for example, he pushed the idea of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a new pan-African league, as a means to increase quality there and also slow the global talent drain to Europe. The FIFA president has also had talks with national associations in Asia about the possibility of creating regional or subregional leagues there, and conversations with President Trump about the quality of soccer in the top United States league.

“One of the FIFA president’s duties is to listen to stakeholders’ perspectives about relevant topics for football,” FIFA said in a statement in response to questions about Infantino’s discussions with Pérez and others about changes to the club game. “FIFA believes that an open and constructive dialogue between different members of the football community is essential to find the right balance and the best solutions for the future of the game.

“FIFA (including the president) has met with football clubs from around the world in order to discuss how to make the new FIFA Club World Cup an outstanding success, in particular, from a sporting point of view.”

Real Madrid, through a spokesman, said that it never comments on private talks and that any news related to its president would be released only through official club channels.

Without Infantino’s patronage, Pérez’s plans would not get very far. The FIFA leader told reporters in November 2018 — when details of a previous attempt at a breakaway league backed by Pérez leaked — that any players who participated in any breakaway competition that had not been sanctioned by FIFA would be barred from their national teams and unable to play in the World Cup.

While the new talks about Pérez’s proposals remain at an exploratory stage, they are taking place as clubs continue to discuss the future of the Champions League. That competition could be rendered meaningless if Pérez’s venture — which is said to include significant moneymaking incentives for a select group of top clubs — were to come to fruition.

A group representing elite clubs from across Europe met in Milan on Nov. 15 to try to formulate a new format after a furious reaction from top domestic leagues, including England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, to a plan promoted by the Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, to create a largely closed European competition in which most of the competitors would retain their spot season after season whatever their performance in domestic league play.

Money is the driving force behind all the restructuring plans, with the biggest clubs believing they could generate more viewership and more sponsor interest, and thus much more revenue, through more frequent elite-level games. But the support of Infantino and FIFA, should they grant it, could shift control of club soccer away from its usual power base in continental federations like UEFA.

Under Infantino, who assumed the FIFA presidency in 2016, FIFA has increasingly looked for ways to increase its influence on (and profit from) club soccer. The current annual version of the Club World Cup — featuring one team from soccer’s six regional bodies and one from the host nation — generates little interest in much of the world. The latest edition kicks off next week in Qatar.

Infantino’s reasoning appears to be that by increasing the standard of club soccer in Africa, Asia and elsewhere, FIFA would create conditions for investors — who have long poured their billions of dollars into European soccer — to see value in doing so around the world.

“The statutory mission of FIFA is to develop football at a worldwide level,” FIFA’s statement said. “This involves formulating plans and competition concepts to bring on club football everywhere.”

It added, “We want the European clubs to further grow, because that is good for world football, but at the same time we want to see clubs from outside Europe to grow as well so that one day they can compete with the European clubs.”

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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:21 am

FIFA appear to have confirmed that Qatar won the right to host the next world cup as a result of Bribery - From the New York Times

Did FIFA Accidentally Confirm a World Cup Bribery Scandal?
Qatar has for years been dogged by accusations that a corrupt vote delivered the 2022 World Cup. Now, world soccer’s governing body may have inadvertently supported those claims.
By Tariq Panja - Dec. 5, 2019, 3:00 a.m. ET


Confirmation of one of the worst scandals in soccer history appears to be sitting in plain sight, published last week on the website of FIFA, the sport’s global governing body.

The admission exists in a couple of lines referencing three notorious former soccer officials, dropped casually into a long decision justifying the lifetime ban of one of them. FIFA cautions that people should not read too much into it.

But it’s there, for the first time, posted publicly in an official FIFA document.

Question: Which officials were to receive money for their votes in connection with the Qatar selection?
Answer: Ricardo Teixeira, Nicolás Leoz and Julio Grondona.

As secrets go, it was not a well-kept one. Many journalists have published the accusation that bribery helped deliver the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Investigations have probed it. The United States Department of Justice built indictments based on it.

But the one organization that would never bring itself to admit that bribes had been paid was FIFA itself. That was why it was jarring this week to see the mention of payments to three former top soccer officials — Brazil’s Teixeira, Paraguay’s Leoz and Argentina’s Grondona — as supporting evidence in a FIFA disciplinary report posted online.

The exchange, a snippet of testimony by a South American media executive in an American courtroom, is part of a 28-page document justifying the lifetime suspension of Teixeira, the former head of Brazil’s soccer federation. But by releasing that report through a new database that FIFA has hailed as its latest step toward “greater transparency,” world soccer’s governing body appears to have — inadvertently — gone further than ever before to confirm there was a scheme to bribe voters in the 2022 World Cup vote.

FIFA denied having done anything of the sort. “The reference to the FIFA World Cup 2022 was made by a third party,” it said in a statement, noting that Teixeira was barred for corrupt acts related to three unrelated tournaments.
“Consequently,” FIFA added, “this is not an implicit confirmation that Mr. Teixeira received bribes for his vote in connection to the appointment of the FIFA World Cup 2022 host.”

The accusation of a rigged vote is not without substantial circumstantial evidence: More than half of the 22 men who cast ballots in the vote for Qatar in late 2010 were later accused of, or charged with, corruption, including Teixeira, Leoz and Grondona. The entire bidding process remains under investigation by Swiss authorities.

Qatar, the tiny but hugely wealthy Gulf state that beat the United States and others to win the hosting vote, continues to strongly deny any misconduct by any member of its victorious bidding team. “We maintain that we conducted our bid ethically and with integrity, strictly adhering to all rules and regulations for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cup bidding process,” Qatar’s World Cup organizing committee said in a statement. It has spent years trying to overcome suspicions over how it achieved its stunning victory. FIFA has spent almost as long trying to avoid discussing them.

In outlining its case against Teixeira — one of the more than 40 individuals and companies named in a sweeping 2015 United States indictment that described corruption at soccer’s highest levels — FIFA detailed his participation in a number of corruption schemes. Included in that, though not directly a part of FIFA’s reasoning for issuing its life ban, was witness testimony from a 2018 trial in New York against three former South American soccer executives. In that case, an Argentine media executive, Alejandro Burzaco, provided evidence against the officials as part of his plea agreement.

While not identifying Burzaco by name, the FIFA document describes his questioning by American prosecutors. In it, he said Teixeira, along with two other South American officials who have since died, Argentina’s Grondona and Paraguay’s Leoz — agreed to vote for Qatar in exchange for $1 million.

When the legal team for Teixeira, who cited ill health for not attending a hearing with FIFA ethics officials, questioned the validity of the testimony because the Brazilian had yet to be successfully prosecuted in court, FIFA pushed back, painstakingly defending the quality of its evidence and the witness as “credible."

FIFA, in its statement, said Teixeira was barred for bribery connected to a number of South American and Brazilian soccer tournaments, and not for any actions related to the vote for the 2022 World Cup. It said it had extensively commented on an investigation by Michael Garcia, a former United States attorney, that had looked into the corruption surrounding the vote. That investigation, however, was hampered by a lack of subpoena power and no power to compel witnesses outside the soccer world to cooperate.

As part of its continuing effort to promote greater transparency, FIFA in October announced the creation of its new legal portal, in which documentation underlying decisions like the one barring Teixeira would be made public for the first time. In doing so, it pulled back the veil on a judicial process that for decades — and to the consternation of those inside FIFA and out — had been cloaked in secrecy.

By detailing the allegations against Teixeira, however, FIFA, even if it did so accidentally, has once again raised new questions about how Qatar secured soccer’s biggest prize.

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Fri Dec 06, 2019 9:37 pm

@AndyhHolt has his say on Tariq Panja's New York Times revelations about Florentino Perez ambitions

https://twitter.com/AndyhHolt/status/12 ... 8332406785

Chester Perry
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Re: Football's Magic Money Tree

Post by Chester Perry » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:51 am

Apparently Real Madrid need to raise an awful lot of money (via outgoing transfers) before their financial year end - the reason - apparently their is a UEFA FFP rule that says clubs cannot net spend more than £100m on transfers a year - I have never heard of it before, but their you go

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/footb ... euros.html

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