A fund of investors from the Middle East and Asia are apparently keen to table a $25 billion investment to buy an expanded version of FIFA’s Club World Cup in addition to the rights to a proposed global league for teams.
Such an agreement would be unprecedented as FIFA has never sold control of its events to the highest bidder, and never to an investment fund. It is no secret that FIFA have long coveted a worldwide club competition that would be as popular as the Champions League – UEFA will collect c.$15 billion during the current four year cycle. The FIFA World Cup is responsible for the vast majority of the $5.5 billion revenue they have generated in the same time period
That such an offer is being created or considered indicates the universal realisation between rights holders and investors on the still untapped commercial potential for football, the world’s most popular sport. It also illustrates the global sport market’s state of flux, with so much unrealised or accounted for commercial potential through digital channels as traditional business models continue to evolve.
Selling the competitions to a third party would represent a complete overhaul in FIFA’s business model, but evolution is essential right now and with FIFA’s current club competition only worth c.$100 million this might represent a good opportunity to cash in.