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SoccerexPro (Print) - ISSN 2056-3604 Issue 5

Issue 5

www.soccerex.com | www.sportspromedia.com

ROMA RISING James Pallotta’s passion play in the Italian capital AFRICA’S CUP OF QUESTIONS

MOYA DODD ON FIFA AND INCLUSION

LIGUE 1 BUILDS FROM THE TOP


FROM THE FIRST WHISTLE TO THE LAST Wembley Stadium is home to the most important games in football, from The FA Community Shield and England’s European Qualifiers to The FA Cup Final. To find out how you can guarantee your place at this year’s biggest sport and entertainment events with Club Wembley, contact Chris Crouch on 0208 795 9521 or Chris.Crouch@wembleystadium.com


INSIDE ISSUE 5 6

EDITOR’S LETTER

8

A WORD FROM THE CEO

10 THE BIG PICTURE - Fifa’s ethical muddle - Soccerex Galleries: The Global Convention, Americas Forum and African Forum

20 AGE OF ROME James Pallotta became president of AS Roma in the spring of 2012 and now, after a hugely promising showing last season, the benefits of his Raptor Group’s ownership are beginning to be felt. But that is just the beginning. Pallotta’s ambition is for the club to become a genuine global power.

28 CUP OF QUESTIONS Faced with the risk of postponement or cancellation as the threat of Ebola loomed, the Confederation of African Football instead stripped the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations from Morocco and gave it to Equitorial Guinea. It is a decision which has only led to a fresh set of queries and concerns.

32 ALL INCLUSIVE In 2013, Moya Dodd became only the second woman appointed to Fifa’s executive committee after her years on the Football Federation Australia board and as vice president of the Asian Football Confedderation. She shares her thoughts on world football’s governing body, the growth of the game in her native Australia, and the cause for greater inclusion in the sport.

38 COMING TO AMERICA Canada will host the Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2015 but it is now more than 20 years since a North or Central American country hosted the main event. Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb believes it is about time that changed. SOCCEREXPRO | 3


42 KITTED OUT Four years on from the bewildering end to a Fifa World Cup race whose ramifications still linger, former England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson has settled back in the kind of role in which he made his reputation. Having led retailer Kitbag from vulnerability to viability, he now aims to make a serious impression on a rapidly evolving sector.

46 FRENCH MARKET French club soccer may not yet have hit the heights of Europe’s other leading leagues but progress is being made, with domestic and international media rights sold in 2014. Ligue 1 director of economic development Mathieu Ficot reflects on the deals done and, he hopes, those still to come.

4 | www.soccerex.com

50 THE STAGE IS SET FOR EUROPE’S EURO In September Uefa confirmed the 13 host cities for its unique, pan-continental Euro 2020. SoccerexPro presents a guide to the venues for the biggest party in European football history.

53 THE UPDATE - The Score: The broadcast picture in 2015 - Continent-by-continent news and insights - Signings: the biggest football investments

70 GUEST COLUMN Robert Barron of Lockton Companies LLP discusses major event insurance in the wake of the relocation of AFCON 2015.


EDITOR’S LETTER

IN THE EVENT

T

here are those who look at football as a series of events. Events you plan, events you plan for, events you must react to when you haven’t seen them coming. Some might see that as reductive but it’s one way of understanding a game  





  It is a way of thinking, too, about matters off the pitch in recent months and the year ahead. Club football will rumble on through 2015 but in international football there are three events that will dominate the year. In June, the Fifa Women’s World Cup will head for Canada while Chile will welcome the Copa AmÊrica. All carefully considered, no doubt, and executed to the letter. Before then, though, we will see an Africa Cup of Nations shifted from Morocco to Equatorial Guinea in the sombre wake of the Ebola crisis. Whether that was the right response to events is up for debate, as discussed elsewhere in this issue. Set-piece tournaments are the most visible landmarks in the changing landscape of this sport. All of Europe          end of this decade, with Uefa Euro 2020

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF David Cushnan EDITOR Eoin Connolly econnolly@sportspromedia.com

in some ways the logical endpoint to an internationalised game. 20 years ago, a Fifa World Cup in the USA stimulated    

  real football nation. Americans now play football, watch it and invest in it. Among them is James Pallotta, the subject of our cover story. Events will play their part next year in how the future of football is settled, or the future of Fifa at least. We now know that Sepp Blatter will bid for one last term as Fifa president. He may yet run unopposed but that does not mean he will run without opposition; it will be a period of debate, disagreement and, possibly, compromise. There are many issues in play but at the core of it all, as it has been for four years now, are the next two World Cups. In particular, Qatar in 2022 – how that tournament was awarded and, as pertinently now, when it will take place. Powerful forces are being brought into confrontation: club football and international football, Uefa and Fifa. It might be classed as a challenge for control of the game but, more than that, it is about control of events. Our partners at Soccerex, if you can

PHOTOGRAPHIC AGENCIES Action Images Press Association MANAGING DIRECTOR Nick Meacham

ART DIRECTOR Daniel Brown CONTRIBUTORS James Emmett, Michael Long, Ian McPherson, Finlay Hutchison

SOCCEREX

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Bobby Hare bhare@sportspromedia.com

HEAD OF SALES Spencer Hidge

BUSINESS OPERATIONS MANAGER YĂŠwandĂŠ ArulĂŠba

6 | www.soccerex.com

MARKETING DIRECTOR David Wright

GENERAL MANAGER Philip Gegan MARKETING EXECUTIVE Jamie Barr

forgive the clunky segue, have no little events expertise of their own. This 

 SoccerexPro brings our collaboration with them to the end of         enjoyed it so far – there is plenty more to come. Over the course of 2015 we hope to keep this publication evolving to better cover all the goings on in the business of football. Until then, I wish you all the very best for the festive period, whatever you have planned.

Eoin Connolly Editor

SoccerexPro magazine is a joint venture between Soccerex and SportsPro Media. SportsPro Media Ltd 5 Prescot Street, London E1 8PA, UK Tel: +44 (0) 207 549 3250 Email: info@sportspromedia.com Web: www.sportspromedia.com (SportsPro Media Ltd is part of the Henley Media Group Ltd www.henleymediagroup.com)

Soccerex Power Road Studios 114 Power Road London W4 5PY UK Tel: +44 (0) 208 742 7100 www.soccerex.com

SoccerexPro (Print) - ISSN 2056-3604 | SoccerexPro (Online) - ISSN 2056-3612 PRINTER: Buxton Press Limited NOTICE: SoccerexPro magazine is published quarterly. Printed in the EU. EDITORIAL COPYRIGHT: The contents of this magazine, both words and statistics, are strictly copyright and the intellectual property of SoccerexPro. Copying or reproduction may only be carried out with written permission of the publishers, which will normally not be withheld on payment of a fee. Article reprints: Most articles published in SoccerexPro magazine are available as reprints by prior arrangement from the publishers. Normal minimum print run for reprints is 400 copies, although larger and smaller runs are possible. Please contact us at: info@sportspromedia.com


Richard Sellers/EMPICS Sport

A WORD FROM THE CEO

A YEAR TO REMEMBER‌

S

uch is the nature of football and its emotions that the game will always have its highs and lows. 2014 saw us say a sad goodbye to two of football’s greats, Eusebio and Sir Tom Finney, who passed away aged 71 and 91 respectively. We have had some fantastic ambassadors at Soccerex over the years but none that we have been more proud to represent our brand than Eusebio and Sir Tom. Eusebio was a true legend of the game and arguably Portugal’s greatest-ever player. Sir Tom Finney’s career spanned 15 years of English football, with 76 caps and 30 goals for his country, and I echo Sir Bobby Charlton’s testament that Finney’s contribution to English football was truly immeasurable. My father was lucky enough to have played alongside Sir Tom and classed him as peerless. We shall sorely miss them both. There have also been some outstanding moments throughout 2014, a year that will be remembered by all in the world of football. Summer saw one of the best Fifa World Cups in recent times. There was an abundance of enthralling, attacking football and some shock results, with spectacular surprise performances from Colombia, Costa Rica and the United States, and a rightful winner in Germany. On a

      

 Europe’s elite competition for the tenth time, capturing La DÊcima in emphatic fashion with a little help from the world’s most expensive footballer, Gareth Bale. We also saw records broken off the pitch with Manchester United’s ₏950 million Adidas kit deal, a partnership that offered       the signing of Angel Di Maria for a British record transfer fee of UK£59 million, one of a number of signings that resulted in 8 | www.soccerex.com

a total of ₏1.07 billion spent on transfers         All in all it has been a year of new beginnings as the international football landscape shifts its focus towards Uefa Euro 2016 in France, the 2018 World Cup in Russia and plans for the multihost Euro 2020 tournament. Some of the world’s biggest clubs have embarked on new journeys with fresh faces at the helm and a summer of glamorous preseason tours across the United States and Asia proved, yet again, that the beautiful game is a truly global one. Lionel Messi recently broke both the all-time La Liga and Uefa Champions League scoring records as his name is rightfully placed alongside PelÊ and Diego Maradona when questioning who might be the greatest player to have ever played the game. Although comparisons between different eras of the game are inevitable, football has come a long way since the post-match pints and rolled-down socks of the 70s and 80s and as a company at the forefront of the industry, we at Soccerex are constantly striving to evolve alongside the game’s ever-changing landscape. In that respect, it has been a year of new beginnings at Soccerex, too, with our inaugural Americas Forum in Barbados,  !"      in Jordan and the Global Convention returning to Manchester. These events bought together leading businesses with rights holders from around the globe and I am tremendously proud that, together with our African Forum, our events in 2014 have delivered over 100 hours of high-level networking for the football industry across four continents. As the year draws to a close, the next 12 months promise to be yet another exciting period for the beautiful game.

With the Africa Cup of Nations set to kick off in Equatorial Guinea as soon as January, the Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada commencing in June and the Copa AmÊrica in Chile beginning in the same month, international football will be on display all over the world, and another

#$%    awaits Europe’s two best sides in Berlin. With such a range of exciting propositions arising throughout the football world, Soccerex will be looking to expand on the success of our 2014 events as we return to Jordan for our Asian Forum in May and to Manchester for the Global Convention in September. We also return to the Americas and Africa – dates and venues to be announced soon. & '   a merry and relaxing Christmas with friends and family, and I hope to see you at one of our Soccerex events soon. A happy and healthy 2015 to one and all.


Whitestone International ADVANCING SPORTING VALUE & REVENUE

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THE BIG PICTURE

FIFA’S ETHICAL MUDDLE

T

he release of a 42-page summary of a report into the conduct of the campaigns to host the 2018 and 2022 Fifa World Cups served only to inflame the controversy around the bidding race. American lawyer Michael Garcia had headed a two-year investigation into the contentious process which led to the award of the two tournaments to Russia and Qatar in December 2010 (1). Garcia’s full report has yet to be released but a précis of its findings was written by Hans-Joachim Eckhart of Fifa’s Ethics Committee. Eckhart’s document outlined little new evidence but was critical of several countries, notably 2022 bidder Australia and 2018 candidate England. Football Association chairman Greg Dyke (2) wrote to Fifa president Sepp Blatter with his reservations about the report. Garcia then sparked a crisis by rejecting Eckhart’s interpretation of his work, reinforcing calls for full publication of the report and intervention from independent law enforcement. Concerns grew that Fifa sponsors would withdraw. Emirates and Sony (3) will not renew deals ending in 2014, albeit for financial reasons. Current and former Fifa officials, including Franz Beckenbauer (4), will be the subject of further investigations.

1

10 | www.soccerex.com

2


3

4

SOCCEREXPRO | 11


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GALLERY

SOCCEREX GLOBAL CONVENTION

F

ootball’s biggest industry event was back in Manchester in September for the first year of a new four-year term.

The Soccerex Global Convention took place across the city from 6th to 10th September, including a festival at the Etihad Campus and three days of talks

Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton

Patrick Vieira of Manchester City and Arsenal

Interpol’s John Abbott

Fifa executive committee members Jim Boyce and Moya Dodd 14 | www.soccerex.com

and exhibits at Manchester Central. The usual mix of heavyweight executives and football legends were in attendance.

United classmates Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt

Mike Summerbee and Ossie Ardiles

Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb


Gianfranco Zola with Ardiles

Manchester City’s Danny Wilson

David Davies talks to England international Casey Stoney

Michael Owen, Hayley McQueen, Bryan Robson

Star striker turned Axis 10 founder Louis Saha

Kile Ozier of Filmmaster

The Hong Kong FA’s Mark Sutcliffe and Sportradar’s Darren Small

Sprint great Michael Johnson

Javier Tebas, president of Spain’s LFP

Fifa president Sepp Blatter made headlines with a pre-recorded interview SOCCEREXPRO | 15


GALLERY

AMERICAS FORUM

T

he Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown was the venue as Barbados welcomed the inaugural

Soccerex Americas Forum on 21st and 22nd October. Presented in partnership with the Barbados Tourism Authority, the event

Former superstars Bryan Robson, John Barnes and Ossie Ardiles

The legends hold court at the networking cafe

16 | www.soccerex.com

Trevor Watkins, Nick Sakiewicz, David Dein and David John-Williams

MLS commissioner Don Garber

Sarah Kate Noftsinger, commissioner of the Elite Clubs National League

brought together over 1,000 delegates for two days of discussions about the future of football across the Caribbean and North America.

Delegates gather for a drink and a chat

Sonia Bien-Aime of Fifa, Concacaf and the Caribbean Football Union


David Davies with Noftsinger and Bien-Aime

Prof David Rosin, John Gallucci, Dr Mauricio Herrera, Dr Ramon Cabreja

Bill Peterson, Daniel Cravo Souza, Jeff Mostyn and Trevor Watkins

Speakers consider ways to get more youngsters turning professional

Robson signs a prize Manchester United shirt

A coffee break with Duncan Revie

Soccerex chairman Tony Martin with Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb

Another panel deep in discussion

David Dein, Oliver McIntosh of SportsMax and Don Garber SOCCEREXPRO | 17


GALLERY

AFRICAN FORUM

T

he Soccerex African Forum returned to South Africa on 4th and 5th November. This time, the Moses Mabhida Stadium in

Durban took on hosting duties. As ever, the forum was the setting for the sharing of invaluable ideas to help further the growth of African football.

The coterie of senior industry figures at the event was led by Danny Jordaan, the president of the South African Football Association.

Former South Africa manager Ted Dumitru

Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie with SAFA’s Danny Jordaan

Brian Moshoeshoe of SuperSport United

Liverpool FC’s Alan Moogan

Ravi Naidoo, Ethekwini Municipality Department for Sport & Recreation

Kabelo Bosilong of Optimize Professional Sports Marketing

18 | www.soccerex.com


Ben Shave of Supporters Direct Europe

Errol Madlala of SAB Miller

Danny Jordaan meets members of the local press

Rohini Naidoo, head of sport in KZN

Durban deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala

Jamie Frank of SuperSport talks social media

Ex-South Africa star Aaron Mokoena

Dr Robin Peterson, chief executive of the SAFA development agency SOCCEREXPRO | 19


AGE OF ROME James Pallotta became president of AS Roma in the spring of 2012 and now, after a hugely promising showing last season, the beneďŹ ts of his Raptor Group’s ownership are beginning to be felt. But that is just the beginning, as Pallotta tells SoccerexPro editor Eoin Connolly over coffee at a London hotel. His ambition is for the club to become a genuine global power.

AS Roma have long been among the grandees of Italy’s Serie A. Set amid the glamour and the ruins of the nation’s capital, the club have a rich history and a healthy rivalry with stadium co-tenants Lazio. That said, there is the sense that the Giallorossi have never reached their potential. With only two Italian titles to their name, and European success limited to an InterCities Fairs Cup win in 1961 and a  

    

they have never joined the global elite. But that is where their current president and majority owner sees them heading. Bostonian James Pallotta made his fortune picking stock, managing the Raptor hedge fund to a peak of US$12 billion before winding it        

  

 ! "   #     %& 

and is sure he has found a winner in Rome, where he has been drawn to the potential of the football club and the allure of the eternal city. Not that this is a purely romantic endeavour. Roma’s fortunes have improved on the pitch, with manager Rudi García leading  &    % 

    

to the Uefa Champions League last season. That progress is being supported by genuine investment in the commercial operation and in a new home: the 52,500-seater Stadio Della Roma, a high-end, multi-purpose ₏300 million venue whose 2017 arrival is being accompanied by even heavier investment in local infrastructure. Pallotta is in London in October, days after what had been Roma’s biggest and most eventful game of the season so far, a 3-2 defeat away to reigning champions Juventus. Played at Juventus Stadium – at this point the only privately owned stadium in Italian club football – it was an encounter which encapsulated the operatic appeal of Serie A, marked by moments of high quality, intensity and controversy. It was an occasion which showed how far Roma have come, and how far they have to go. 20 | www.soccerex.com

You had a big game at the weekend, which was dramatic, but you didn’t prevail. How do you feel the season has started for Roma?

I think very well. I had high expectations last year and I think we met them. We had the most amount of points that the team has ever had. Juve clearly had a great season last year but our goal, for me anyway, was to get in the Champions League. We did that.    

 (   the league and also in the two games we’ve had in the Champions League I thought the team played well – very well – against CSKA Moscow for sure, and then against Manchester City I thought we outplayed them. And we also had six of our starters not playing against Man $)* +     starters weren’t playing. But on the other hand, I think we’re so deep this year with what we’ve brought on that I’m not sure who’s a starter and who’s not, actually, at any one time. It was a little controversial, to say the least, Sunday’s game. But it was exciting for the neutral.

I’m not sure ‘exciting’ is the word, but it     / Do you see Juventus, domestically at least, as being the target? Not just beating them on the ďŹ eld, usurping them as champions, but looking at the things they’ve done off it – having a privately owned stadium, taking greater control of their commercial operation and so on.

!&  /  aspire to be what Juveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been for a long period of time, which is the winner of an awful lot of championships. When you ' <   time for me â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and you look around, in

some ways it reminds me of the Boston Garden for the Celtics. The Celtics have the most amount of championships in  =>!  ? @+  case theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the years that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve won their championships around the stadium and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bunch of them  *      &' aspire to be our own team but win a lot of championships, or compete for them, and be in championships for the next bunch of years. )    &'     done a good job. The new stadium, I like. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not as familiar with what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done on the commercial side of it, although they do have a pretty good international fanbase. On the commercial side, I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got our own ideas. There are obviously teams that have done well like Manchester United and Liverpool and Barcelona and all, but I think our aspiration is really to be Roma. So is there a model at all for Roma? Do you look at anyone across the continent and say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we can do with AS Roma?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;

I think that both across the continent and from US sports, what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re attempting to do since Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been involved with sports, and the management team that we have which has been involved with sports for a long time, we have a lot of access to seeing a lot of other sports teams and what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done. So our goal is more to          seen out there. And in some cases we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that there are great practices, in fact, and then weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll try and hopefully build something good on, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s say, a systems side. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think previously there have been great systems out there in sports. But weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to have the sponsorship side that Man U has, right, and the


Francesco Tottiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AS Roma are a major force in Italian football again but the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s American ownership group are aiming for success on a global scale

fanbase. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d love to see what Liverpool has done, maybe, in Asia. You look what Barcelona has done in some ways in how they translate the social media side of it into merchandise sales. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just looking at a lot of teams and seeing whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done well and why, and can we do it as well somewhere down the road or can we improve upon it? Or is there something we can just do ourselves thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s different? And I think in some areas weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re actually doing things that we think will be very different to some other teams. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see if that translates to what we want. Going back to when you took over the club, what was the opportunity that you saw?

 &'

  ?' around 2007 to 2008 when there was a deal on the table that had fallen apart with the [Sensi] family that I thought was pretty interesting at the time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and then the world came to an end for a while. And in the spring of 2011 I was approached by someone who said there was a group of three and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a fourth to invest in AS Roma. So I

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Clearly, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rome. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got a story; a history. I looked at it as that you could build a global brand.â&#x20AC;? knew from previously about Roma and what it could become. $   & @ history. I looked at it as that you could build a global brand, potentially, with Rome the city. But I went in as a passive investor where the one thing my group was going to work on at some point was really the marketing side as much as anything else because Sean Barror and Mark Pannes, who had worked with me at Raptor, had experience in that for about 20 years and I had experience in sports. But it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as the president at the time. It was in 2012 for a bunch of different

reasons that I ended up moving into being president for the last two years. *     &   ?  &'

X Rome! If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to build a global brand and you have the city of Rome, unbelievably passionate fans â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that in Rome are obviously going to games and are crazy and passionate about it, but the rest of the fans around the world, of which I knew there was a big group, just were never really activated. Was that the primary thing that you saw as not having been done before SOCCEREXPRO | 21


the teams rested on their own laurels. They had it good for so long, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had great teams, and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to keep reinventing yourself. You look at the _ 

X  `{   was kind of in disarray and now you look at whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on in Germany, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stadiums or academies or all of that, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just vastly different. For you as an investor is it a more attractive opportunity when you see something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Graham Fudger

Distressed in some ways?

AS Roma president and majority owner James Pallotta, pictured in London on 7th October

with the club? Was that why it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t reaching its potential?

No, I think there were a whole bunch of things. For whatever reasons. And partly I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s that sports in some areas in Europe, in terms of how they were run, TV deals, marketing, branding, systems internally, transfers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all kinds of different things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t run in many cases as what I would consider to be a business. So when we got in there, that was a real opportunity, across the board, to instil      X     ' @    @ professional management at the top that had real sports experience. The marketing side of it was non-existent, in effect. The   

/     million dollars in merchandise but when you really analysed it, fully allocated, it lost money on merchandising. No stadium â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it was really important for us to get our own stadium. I think the Olympic group and CONI [the Italian National Olympic Committee] does a good job with what we have for the Stadio Olimpico but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 80,000 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s too ^  '   @ doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give you that sense of being right on there for the fans. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not as family     

    everything, as it could be. All kinds of things like that. Hospitality. So having the opportunity to build what we hope to be one of the premier destinations and 22 | www.soccerex.com

stadiums in the country, if not the world, was another big opportunity. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll come on to the stadium again but ďŹ rst I wanted to ask: are some of those other problems more intrinsic to the Italian game or do you ďŹ nd them across the continent?

Look, the Italian league was considered, ten years or so ago, the best league, right? I think that in some cases, maybe, there wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much discipline in spending so some teams have gotten themselves in trouble with larger amounts of debt. Some of that stuff is getting cleaned up. The stadium side of it I know weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll come back to, but Juve is the only one who had a new stadium. There are other teams now talking about it, too. Having those stadiums is really important. I go back to that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think a lot of the clubs were run as real businesses, with discipline. On the TV side of it, they were perfectly happy with the way the contracts were set up domestically, and maybe internationally, and we felt coming in that with the backgrounds that I had and we had in media and entertainment and branding and technology that there was a huge opportunity to take the TV stuff to the next level of where it really should be. I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting there now, both domestically and internationally. I think in some ways, a group of

Well, when you see potential and a pathway to putting something right? Or is it easier to go and put the money in and see everything progressing from there?

No, I actually think the opportunity is that we saw a lot of things that we could improve upon dramatically. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that the last ownership was bad or did anything bad. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that when the daughter [Rosella Sensi] had taken over she loved football, she loved the team, she loved Rome, she probably did as good a job as she thought she was doing for the team, but we just came at it from a different sensibility and saw in each area â&#x20AC;&#x201C; each vertical â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that there was phenomenal upside. ) X'    ' @ ' @   @ @   @

         fans, and including them around the     @  media and what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing in content, and the new TV studios that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve built and the new radio studios weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve built. We just saw a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;soup to nutsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; opportunity to create substantial value. The other thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interesting for you coming in as an investor is that you couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do to the same extent what was done ten years ago, because of Financial Fair Play regulations, which is to invest lots of money directly into the ďŹ rst team. How has that affected your approach?

You know, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re actually really positive on what Uefa is trying to do. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at well over 100 teams and the situations of them. In our case, I think, when we have some meetings with them soon


And for you, regardless of whether or not those regulations existed, would the plan always have been to invest in building up the structure of the club rather than creating a lead product, which would be the team?

Number one, my view, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve said it for two years since taking over, was that anything we wanted to do in terms of aspirations of becoming a global brand and sports team was 100 per cent

 

   <  â&#x20AC;&#x201C; team on the pitch. 100 per cent. So the overriding goal when I took over was for all of us to analyse what we were doing and on the playing side, with [sporting director] Walter Sabatini being the architect of it, in terms of budget, what we need, who weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re selling, everything. We had some great conversations on that and we knew that we had to put a great team on the pitch. Otherwise all the other stuff is just BS. You can talk all day long: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We want to be a global brand. We want Rome to be this. We want that.â&#x20AC;? 24 | www.soccerex.com

Alessandra Tarantino/AP/Press Association Images

theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be pleasantly surprised. In our view, we should be one of the models of how to run a club, because when we took over the club they were not just substantially in

   ? We knew we had to instil more equity into it, but we also knew that within a couple of years we would be running it as a business and would be hopefully at least |? '|     Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gotten to: the       position. So whatever happened in the past, we just donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that should be an issue with us. You should look at what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done in the last couple of years to get from there to here, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to run the team that way. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very

       few teams out there are spending crazy amounts of money and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not relative to what theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting in sponsorship, merchandise and things like that. I think it probably leaves a bad taste or a tough taste for people. But I think what Uefa is doing and some of the conversations weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had with them â&#x20AC;&#x201C; brief, brief conversations in Monaco at the Champions League draw that they wanted to talk to us and others â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we feel pretty good about the presentation that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve put together on Financial Fair Play. I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good.

Pallotta leads Rome mayor Ignazio Marino through the Stadio della Roma designs in March 2014

The plans for Romaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new stadium complex include ample room for high-end shopping and leisure

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just complete crap unless you put a great team out. ^  

  ^   

           which we did, but we ran a parallel path with the team and, now, having a great team allows us to have those conversations with sponsors or to do a tour, maybe, in Asia, or to do all these other things where we wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have had those conversations before if we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a good team. What about the reaction to you coming in as a foreign owner, a foreign investor, to Italian football where itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still relatively new compared to England and a couple of the other leagues? Has there been a cultural adjustment that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to make and that others have had to make to you?

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had to make the

cultural adjustment so much because, although I grew up in Boston, my family is 100 per cent Italian and I grew up in an Italian neighbourhood. So I understand the culture. Has that helped?

Oh, absolutely! Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no question. I understand the culture, and my parents used to go every year or every couple of years, and my sisters â&#x20AC;&#x201C; me not so much because of work but I get the culture. The one thing that was a surprise â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and a pleasant surprise, although daunting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was how passionate the fans are. I mean, it is like, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s passion in some places in football but we are seeing other levels of it. Which is good and bad sometimes, but the good part is that you know that if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re honest with them and you are       theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be there for you all the time. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on. I think


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Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the potential for that project, ďŹ nancially? What can you see it doing for Roma? Where will it take the club?

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Pallotta sees reigning Serie A champions Juventus as a target on the ďŹ eld but insists that the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commercial aspiration â&#x20AC;&#x153;is really to be Romaâ&#x20AC;?

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CUP OF QUESTIONS When Morocco refused to stage the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, unwilling to countenance the threat of an Ebola outbreak, the Confederation of African Football was faced with the risk of postponement or cancellation. Instead it chose a third option, stripping the tournament from Morocco and giving it to Equatorial Guinea. It is a decision which has only led to a fresh set of queries and concerns, as Eoin Connolly discovers.

I

January to 8th February. It would be played in Equatorial Guinea. For breaking the terms of its hosting agreement, the FMRF would be banned from every AFCON until 2021 with Morocco, who  Â&#x2030;

  of the 2015 competition. It was a move which preserved the tournament at the shortest imaginable notice but in providing an answer, CAF had raised a range of new questions. Did CAF take the right option by moving the tournament rather than postponing?

Once Morocco had made it clear it would rather pull out of hosting AFCON 2015 than be held to the existing dates, CAF was left with few good options. As it began the search for a new host, the body made it clear that the implications of cancellation were too grave to 

Â&#x2013;^       consequences for CAF and its marketing

Armando Franca/AP/Press Association Images

t is among the nightmare scenarios for the organisers of a major football tournament. With years of planning already undertaken, and just a few months until kick-off, the host nation withdraws, leaving everything in disarray. That was the reality that confronted the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in November. With the gruesome Ebola virus taking thousands of lives in west Africa, Morocco, hosts of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), refused to stage the competition on the dates scheduled. It would accept a postponement but could not countenance the risk of allowing so many foreign visitors to the country â&#x20AC;&#x201C; some, potentially, from affected areas â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at such a time. After weeks of negotiations with the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF), and then several days of talks with other prospective hosts, CAF acted in emphatic fashion. The tournament would go ahead, as planned, from 17th

African champions Nigeria failed to qualify this time but made a late offer to host the tournament 28 | www.soccerex.com

partners would be too severe to call it Â&#x2014; 

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 member Constant Omari in November. ^ 

      

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    for a rescheduled tournament â&#x20AC;&#x201C; though July 2015 and January 2016 were mooted â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and the legal and logistical headache posed by such a dramatic late change to the international calendar would have been considerable. Politically, CAF had much to lose  &



 insistence that AFCON be run in the interests of African football rather than powerful forces elsewhere, most notably Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional clubs. A move to the European summer, when the conditions in many potential host countries would be unplayable, has long been resisted, as has a switch to a quadrennial tournament cycle. Playing in 2016 would threaten the work already done to get the tournament away from Fifa World Cup years. Add to that its assertion that Ebola

        the tournament to warrant cancellation and CAF had placed itself in a near intractable position. How signiďŹ cant is the threat of Ebola to the tournament?

There can be no overstating the horrors of the Ebola virus or the tragic devastation it has wreaked in the three countries worst affected â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. However, its potential impact on an international event taking place in a country thousands         The original Moroccan organising committee for AFCON 2015 insisted it could cite medical advice from its own


Rebecca Blackwell/AP/Press Association Images

The closing ceremony for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations: any and every plan for the 2015 edition has been hurriedly redrawn after its relocation

health authorities, and those abroad, in support of its refusal to host the competition on the scheduled dates. That it took its decision in the wake of Ebola cases as far away as New York and Spain is telling, and as late as the end of November the head of the UN response mission to west Africa, Tony Banbury, was warning of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;huge riskâ&#x20AC;? that remained of an international outbreak. That said, Ebola is not an airborne virus and containing it is a more easily planned endeavour, where facilities allow, than it is for some other deadly illnesses. Moreover, Guinea is the only  

  Â&#x2030;

   competition. Ironically, they have even 

   Â&#x2030;   since the outbreak began. CAF underlined its stance on the virus in a statement shortly before Moroccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s withdrawal, pointing to a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;health protocolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for Guineaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s games in Casablanca which ( 

? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Almost all of the fans attending the Orange AFCON are residents in Morocco,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; continued the statement, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;and considering the average purchasing power in most African countries, it is unrealistic to expect more than 1,000 supporters from the rest of continent

to attend the AFCON 2015, except for        proximity within the Maghreb region. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Therefore, CAF considers that the current health system in place in Morocco, and whose effectiveness has been proven, is more than able to cope   

?     the Orange AFCON 2015.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Clearly, the FRMF disagreed. Putting together an adequate screening programme in time for the competition would have been a complex task and, though it will host the Fifa Club World Cup in December, Morocco deemed itself unprepared for the challenge. Is Equatorial Guinea the right host?

As soon as South Africa, the continentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most experienced host of major sporting events, had scotched any suggestion that it might step in to rescue AFCON 2015, it became likely that CAF would be forced into an imperfect choice for Moroccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s replacement. With Ghana also refusing to be considered, the list of possible candidates that were both willing and suitable shrank further. Nigeria offered, but Equatorial Guinea co-hosted the competition in 2012, a factor which CAF marketing and TV

director Amr Shaheen believes will be       

  a hasty rearrangement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have lived the whole experience and it is always easier to go somewhere where you are familiar with the challenges and issues you will need to deal with in advance,â&#x20AC;? he says, in correspondence with SoccerexPro in November. On the other hand, the host nation is tiny: an oil-rich state with a population of 600,000. Just four venues will be used, in Ebebiyin, Mongomo, Bata and the capital, Malabo, with only the latter two having been pressed into service in 2012. Moreover, a return in such short order to a dictatorship with a reputation for corruption and human rights abuses has sent out an unsettling message. Human rights lawyer Tutu Alicante, the executive director of activist group EG Justice, spoke strongly against the award in an interview with football website Goal.com in November. He called CAFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision â&#x20AC;&#x153;terrible news for the people of Equatorial Guineaâ&#x20AC;?, one which played into the hands of long-ruling Teodoro Obiangâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s regime and its mastery of â&#x20AC;&#x153;the art of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;bread and circusesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At a moment when Equatorial Guinea desperately needs to move from SOCCEREXPRO | 29


Abraham Caro Marin/AP/Press Association Images

dictatorship to democracy,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and at a moment when we in Equatorial Guinea and beyond should be concerned with political and economic reforms that would transform the riches of our nations into sustainable economic development for all, it is unfortunate to see the CAF and other institutions acting in complicity with the government of Equatorial Guinea to entrench corruption and bad governance.â&#x20AC;? With the host nation also reinstated â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at the expense of the discarded Morocco <  Â&#x2030;         Â&#x2030; +  it is impossible to dismiss the argument that CAF has misjudged its priorities. What have the effects been of moving the tournament at such late notice?

Shaheen reveals that the marketing and television division at CAF â&#x20AC;&#x153;was aware of the changes of location for the tournament since day one and we kept our partners posted with all possible news   | Â&#x2014; it goes without saying that plans across the board â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from accommodation to security to ticketing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have had to be redrawn under extraordinary pressure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our biggest challenge is the time factor as opposed to Morocco,â&#x20AC;? accepts Shaheen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We simply need to achieve what we were planning to do and were mostly in the process of doing over the past two years in the next two months instead. This is a huge challenge but we have the quality, experience and professionalism among our teams to deal with such situations.â&#x20AC;? Even in those areas where it has been possible to transplant existing plans to the new setting, the upheaval has been   Â&#x2013;^    and this is not only limited to the media sector but also to all different platforms of the competition,â&#x20AC;? says Shaheen, â&#x20AC;&#x153;plans that have been made more than a year ago, and some of them were already in the execution process and all of that had to change at the last minute. So we needed to adapt to the new situation instantly and vigorously.â&#x20AC;? Furthermore, Shaheen admits â&#x20AC;&#x153;some activations were fully cancelled due to the time limit and/or change of marketâ&#x20AC;?. He adds: â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that the decision of our former hosts to pull out at such a crucial time caused us a lot of damage.â&#x20AC;? 30 | www.soccerex.com

Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang

What impact will this have on the future of the competition?

The immediate priority for CAF will no doubt be putting on AFCON 2015 as effectively as is possible in such a short space of time. The contracted preparation period is sure to concentrate minds, but it will likely lead to a shortfall in income in the weeks to come. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The tournament is insured by our former hosts with a hefty amount       organising agreement [OAA] that was signed by CAF and our former hosts,â&#x20AC;? says Shaheen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But it is only for the CAF executive committee to decide on such matters and the compensation for damages that would not be limited only to the amount mentioned in the OAA.â&#x20AC;? A report in Moroccoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Le Matin newspaper in mid-November suggested that the FMRF might bear the bulk of   $!"   

'     Â?*Â&#x161;{Â&#x20AC; Nevertheless, Shaheen insists that $!"       crisis. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The least to say that the majority of them were not comfortable with the situation we found ourselves in and the decision of our former hosts to pull out from organising the competition in its original dates,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can imagine the amount of plans that were in place and the investments that they have made before the switch was made. However, they showed anonymous support to our decision to keep the competition

alive and an understanding that CAFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decisions were ultimately made in favour of African football.â&#x20AC;? Nissan went ahead with a deal to              agreement in the week after the switch to Equatorial Guinea. Yet what happens in the longer term will be dependent on the fate of the 2017 edition. Libya withdrew as hosts of that tournament in August,     making it impossible for building work to take place on stadiums and infrastructure. Morocco had offered to step in as it sought a deal with CAF in recent months, but its proposal was decisively rebuffed. Whatever lies ahead, a strong tournament on the pitch would dramatically change the mood in the African game. Football from the continent has a growing global appeal. In an interview with SoccerexPro at the recent Soccerex Americas Forum in Barbados, Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb spoke of his own admiration for African football, fondly recalling a trip to the !"$)= *! {Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x203A; â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you look at African football you see the growth of Nigeria, you look at Ghana who I think are so tremendous as a potential footballing nation,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a big fan of African football and I think the growth of African football has

             Â&#x2014; Webb also gave his approval for the African Championship of Nations, which involves only locally based players rather than those plying their trade abroad, and hinted that it might be an idea Concacaf would borrow in the future. But, without question, AFCON is African footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier showcase and its best hope of commercial development. Just under three years ago, the last  !"$)=   

 in Equatorial Guinea, the tournament inspired one of the most uplifting stories in the history of international football. Outsiders Zambia, 20 years on from a Libreville plane crash that killed the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most talented generation of    

_    African title. It was a fairytale ending to a month that had begun with teams arriving from civil wars in Libya, Tunisia and Mali. A similar outcome this time would be very welcome indeed.


ALL INCLUSIVE In 2013, Moya Dodd became only the second woman appointed to Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive committee after her years on the Football Federation Australia board and as vice president of the Asian Football Conderation. She met Eoin Connolly at the Soccerex Global Convention to share her thoughts on world footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body, the growth of the game in her native Australia, and the cause for greater diversity in the planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most popular sport.

Your proďŹ le in the game has changed quite considerably since you were co-opted on to the Fifa executive committee in 2013. In the broadest sense, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your experience of that been?

I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t spend a lot of time thinking     &    thinking about what it is thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s achievable in the relatively short period of co& 

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  "        people have about our global governing body there are a good many people inside who I enjoy working with to make the     Picking up on that, as an Australian youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re from one of the countries where there was a lot of controversy about the outcomes of the bidding for the next two World Cups. Is 32 | www.soccerex.com

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fifa is a complex body that really is a mirror on the world. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a homogenous creature by any means.â&#x20AC;? there a dissonance between the reputation of Fifa and what Fifa is actually like on the inside? Both in terms of integrity and in terms of what actually can be and is done by the executive committee?

" #        &     & 

  

{Â&#x20AC;Â&#x201C;         " &    '  &    parts of that mosaic every time I make   Â&#x17E;  What was the reaction of some of your colleagues, both within football and in law, when you joined the executive committee?

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 Did you see that as your primary objective when you joined up?

& Â&#x2020;  &' itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to make a contribution outside that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just be seen as the      at this point in time is at still considered       Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m also a member of the Fifa legal


AFC vice president Moya Dodd was co-opted on to the Fifa executive committee in June 2013 SOCCEREXPRO | 33


Dodd, pictured giving Aya Miyama the 2012 AFC Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Player of the Year Award, believes football can set the commercial pace for womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sport



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How much of a role is the commercial world going to play in raising the proďŹ le of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football and enhancing its credibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not just in having sponsors involved, but in raising major leagues in countries like England and Australia and growing the Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup?

Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a very good question because if you back at the last 30 years or so, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football has gone from being illegal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in some places â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to incredible as |    ^    

  ' >&'  | improving competitions and increasing number of competitions, economically, Â&#x2020;

 *& think the next major step is going to be to   

    And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenging because womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football is inevitably compared to menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football, and the structure of the game is such that menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football is this fast-moving juggernaut with enormous amounts of money being

#

& 

   to trying to add a stone to your shoe â&#x20AC;&#x201C; somebodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s running along at a fast pace and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to add a stone to their  &  Â&#x2030;    # structures, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seen     &'       commercial development like an emerging business, like a new product line, and | _   

?                    >    '            >& ' a huge opportunity because women are the buyers of sponsorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; products, women are an important and growing segment of the fanbase, and women often make the decisions as to what sport the kids will play and whether theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to be

      And, importantly, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a generation  _ Â&#x2021;Â&#x;_ Â&#x17E;  will not tolerate or forgive being ignored by commercial organisations who want     &      women will go on to decide whether the date is at the movies or whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at the football on Friday night; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll go on to be mothers who decide what sport the kids play and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be in charge of 80 per cent plus of the household spend, 36 | www.soccerex.com

Western Sydney Wanderers fans welcome their team to the airport after winning this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AFC Champions League: Dodd believes the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth in her homeland is â&#x20AC;&#x153;astonishingâ&#x20AC;?

which car is purchased, which goods   

!      

 Â&#x2021;

 ? 

     

      &  ! ! *  &      we well know, employers know when     _ Â&#x2021;   _ Â&#x17E; '  

    # *&' there is a wave of social change and we need to make sure that football sees it coming and rides it to shore rather than   

  &

   opportunity: to take the game that has captured, shall we say, half the world,  '       Is that going to come hand in hand with the way other womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sport develops or do you think football has an opportunity to really get out ahead?

          &' challenging for all womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team        developed to make a professional league ?  #   a head start because people already love football, people are already familiar with >     &   '  1920s in this part of the world, this is where womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football was making huge  

 |   )   There were 52,000 people, famously, at _  'Â&#x160; %   `Â&#x201C;{Â&#x20AC;&   

year, the biggest crowd in the top league   Â?Â&#x192;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;* just isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t right that people wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t watch      watch womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a    Had the FA not banned womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s `Â&#x201C;{`&'     in a different world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a very different world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; where high-level womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sport would be accepted as an everyday      &    &' opportunity is to get there before other womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sports do because if you get     '     '  

 Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s look at football in Australia. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grown impressively through the A-League and Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s participation in international tournaments; you have the Asian Cup in Australia in January. You work across the FFA, the AFC and Fifa â&#x20AC;&#x201C; what is Australiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place in the world game, particularly since joining the AFC?

&'Â&#x2020;! '

' upon as one of the best things Frank %     ! & opened up not only better competitive opportunities but bigger commercial      &

 the trigger for Australia growing up in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in its perception of itself as in Asia and in footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perception of itself as being a modern global game that makes you a world citizen, rather than being an ethnically divided nonmainstream sport for people who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Â&#x2030;     


To see the perception of football grow from one of ethnic division to one of rich multiculturalism has been one of the great social and demographic developments !   



 & remember as a kid playing football, you '  Â&#x2013;* &  &   >   $   * Â&#x2019;   & Â&#x2019;Â&#x2014;! & |$  '  !



  &       groups, but nonetheless the sheer beauty of the game still attracted and retained many people like me, and now the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really coming out into the sunshine and     ^  commercial developmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been nothing short of astonishing over the last decade !  What sort of a seal will the Asian Cup put on that?

^ !$&' | !  Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming in the same few months as the Cricket World Cup as well. Will that do anything for it?

Well, the difference between football and cricket is that the whole world watches football, and cricket has a limited    >     < &"   ! &' !$       !"$ covers more than half of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population and we will be the centre of attention during the period at which !    

 The cumulative television audience is expected to be between half a billion and a billion, and the major trading nations of Australia in east Asia will all be  <$*Â&#x160;  + The eyes of Asia will be on Australia watching the game that Asia is most  

&  

Michael Garciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fifa ethics report and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if you do.

&       ÂĄ What will the impact of that be on football in Australia? Has the anger passed there about that process? I suppose itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hypothetical but do you think there will be an effect?

*   &      _   +  }Â |+~'   undertaking is one thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s independent from the executive committee members,     &    &!            !|%    @ |%     @ !$@ &'   thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be so much football in   "  probably rightly, takes a back seat to the       But weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to keep talking about football politics. Coming from your legal background and a highly professionalised environment, do you think organisations like Fifa are still making that transition between being amateur club-like organisations to the environment theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re now in, where thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much money and so much at stake?

&'"       How about on a governance level, and not just at Fifa but going down the ladder?

&'     

"    |

  ' 

       itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a business, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also many, many other

Politically, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the effect been of leaving the OFC on your relationships with those countries?

     )   &

     

)   &'  understood why it was important for footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development that we join Asia,        At this point I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in

Corrine Diacre is manager of Clermont Foot 63

!     models have grown up in a very different        &        

&!  our board is independent of the gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ' 

&          ""

! &   

 

^ 



| making thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s underpinned the rapid growth of the game in Australia, because it hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been held back by factional    

  Fifa is operating on a whole different  )    diversity of human and sporting interests       Fundamentally, what are some of the things that Fifa needs to take in mind in order to evolve into the organisation that it needs to be?

 &  

&  '&      >      #  months are to contribute to the better governance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; forward-looking governance â&#x20AC;&#x201C; of the game, and to ensure inclusion,           Is that inclusion in particular something that Fifa can take a lead on or has it really got to come through the grassroots of the game?

When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking about changing 

&' '     " leadership is enormously important in that: itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a global body and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name is '    & " takes a lead on something, many people   

  '   taskforce in Fifa has been focused on setting out principles that are stated from the highest level so that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clear that Fifa is offering guideposts to everyone around the      ^      

 "$   highest body in world football â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the      < &  weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to use that as a springboard for implementation, which of course    >    articulating principles â&#x20AC;&#x201C; setting the

   <     '   SOCCEREXPRO | 37


COMING TO AMERICA Canada will host the Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup in 2015 but it is now more than 20 years since a North or Central American country hosted the main event. Speaking at the Soccerex Americas Forum in Barbados, Concacaf president Jeffrey Webb tells Ian McPherson why it is about time that changed, and how football is faring across the region.

Jeffrey Webb, 50, became president of Concacaf in May 2012 after two decades as president of the Cayman Islands Football Association

How much has Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to stop its rotational system for World Cups affected Concacaf?

Stopping the rotation of the World Cup that was agreed beforehand has obviously affected Concacaf more than any other confederation. When you look at the roadmap of where they were going, I think 2018 or 2022 should have come to Concacaf. When you look since 1994, and you include 2018, Europe will have hosted three world championships, Africa will have hosted one, South America will have hosted one, and Asia will have hosted two. And within that 32-year period up until 2026, Concacaf will have hosted zero. So 38 | www.soccerex.com

  

     

 even more passionate that 2026 should not even be a discussion â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2026 should just be given to our confederation based on the facts that I just highlighted. What was Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s thought process for changing the rotational system and why do you think Concacaf has been overlooked for so long?

Of course I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t on the executive committee at the time when they decided to stop the rotation so I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really speak about that, but I think Fifa decided they wanted to award two World Cups at one time back in â&#x20AC;&#x2122;08 and they awarded it in 2010.

From our standpoint, we believe that the discussion for 2026 has to start and stop with Concacaf. Really, if you look at it, the only other legitimate countries â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that while it would have been 16 years later than we hosted it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; would be in Africa, which hosted it in 2010. But the discussion has to start and stop with Concacaf. If you got 2026, where would you hold it?

We have incredible infrastructure in Concacaf, the United States of course have the best facilities in the entire world, the best stadiums in the world â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no other country on this earth that has the infrastructure and the


Alan Diaz/AP/Press Association Images

sporting facilities that the US has. But while the US has that, Mexico should have a right and an opportunity as well along with Canada. Those would be the three countries that possibly have the necessary infrastructure and could look to hold a world championship. Would you ever adopt the European model for Uefa Euro 2020 and host the event across a number of countries?

" $ 

   that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at for building new markets of course. Next year for the Gold Cup weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be having a game in ^      

 

those are opportunities that we could look to build new markets and new opportunity and more brand awareness for our confederation. But for the World Cup I think the experience that Fifa had in the past with Â&#x2020;'      the standpoint of the local organising committee and expenditure because understand that sometimes, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re duplicating or triplicating between countries, local organising committees have to be set up in each one of those countries and effectively youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re increasing cost and so forth. That would be the negative from  >&

    any one of those countries can host it.

And Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a big supporter of Concacaf receiving four spots at the World Cup rather than 3.5?

Â&#x201E;  "   Â&#x2020; & am completely against half spots: I think either you qualify for a World Cup or you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t qualify for the World Cup! &

     confederation has earned the right to four spots, and I believe our performances on      ' 

 for the last World Cup with three countries [qualifying], weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still getting two countries through to the round of 16. This time we got three teams out of four     `¢*&

    that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve earned it. SOCCEREXPRO | 39


weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve never really had in the past. Aside from the commercial rights, that will provide new opportunities. Who will be attracting those partners?

    }^  ~ bought those commercial rights and are representing the confederation. But we have also our own marketing team headed by Jeremy Meike who has his own team and is doing a tremendous job of positioning Concacaf.

A World Cup in a Concacaf nation could showcase footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth in the region since USA â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;94

Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football is incredibly strong in Concacaf. Why is that?

The foundation for the growth of womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s football in our confederation has to start and end really with the United States and their high school programmes, their college programmes that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve run so successfully. The confederation has the most women football players of any confederation in       ?

 womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s professional league in the US that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping can be sustainable and continue to grow. But really when you look at the rest of the world you say, while weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re champions at senior level â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Olympic champions and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve won more World Cups that anybody else â&#x20AC;&#x201C; really when you dig deeper down and start looking at our record in the under-17 World Cups, under-20 World Cups, you can start to see the world catching up to us. So itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important for us as a confederation to focus on development, focus on grassroots, focus on educating our coaches, because I believe that in life any time you try to maintain something you go down. Our goal must be to shoot for growth and improve upon our records.

Revenue for the Gold Cup for us was     &

  bodes well for the future and it gives a 

   

  you have the commercial aspect and the media right aspect being so regarded in the positive. But a lot of the contracts are now tied up in multi-year agreements, so what are the new areas of focus to generate new revenues?

There are big years for us coming up because we have the Gold Cup in 2015 and we have the Centennial Cup in 2016 which is going to be the biggest tournament for us in the confederation since the 1994 World Cup. But then, of course, we have the 2017 Gold Cup again. For us itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now focusing on our strategic partners in various categories        confederation and, whether that is six or eight strategic partners, that is something that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at that

Under your leadership Concacaf has increased its revenues signiďŹ cantly. How have you achieved that?

The commercial rights have grown and some of our agreements have increased by almost 400 per cent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; our contractual rights for media. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking at injecting and investing more and more in the game. 40 | www.soccerex.com

Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christine Sinclair marks her countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hosting of the 2015 Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup

Changing the subject, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s talk about racism in football. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve recently spoken out in support of the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Rooney Ruleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a directive in the NFL that ensures at least one applicant from an ethnic minority is interviewed for every coaching role. Why is that?

^   

   and speaks to one aspect of it. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be clear, the Rooney Rule doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t guarantee anyone an opportunity or a job, what the Rooney Rule does is open doors for individuals; it will open doors for an owner or CEO or someone making an important decision about hiring the person who will be leading that entity, will sit down and look at other races and will sit down and look at and consider someone from a diverse background. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no guarantee for jobs, all it is is sitting down. It gives you the opportunity to sit down, have coffee, and just talk about football, talk about the game, look that person in the eye and see what his passion is, what his plans are, what the vision will be. What will he do for your company? What will he do for your brand? How will he make your club successful? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all it is. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really just opening doors and providing that opportunity. If you never meet someone, if you never engage that person or have that dialogue, you wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what lies underneath that person, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know his character. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one aspect of it. But then of course you have so many other areas: the lack of diversity in the        boardrooms of FAs and confederations is concerning to us. At the end of the day I guess we just have to understand that diversity is good. Embrace it.


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KITTED OUT Four years on from the bewildering end to a Fifa World Cup race whose ramiďŹ cations still linger, former England 2018 bid chief executive Andy Anson has settled back in the kind of role in which he made his reputation. Having led retailer Kitbag from vulnerability to viability, he tells Eoin Connolly how he aims to make a serious impression on a rapidly evolving sector.

A

ndy Anson is trying to '

   &    '

 SoccerexPro on a September afternoon at the Soccerex Global $     base, the Kitbag chief executive had intended on getting in and out &     colleagues, fellow executives and onetime media adversaries appear around

  ! | 

 man and he has, it seems, been trailing      #?  Still, he chats warmly to each greeter he encounters, displaying some of the qualities that earned him his highest          #   of the England 2018 bid for the Fifa   $&    on an alternate timeline which might have brought him here in a different capacity: this is an event headlined by a virtual appearance by Fifa president Sepp Blatter and graced more tangibly by several members of the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s executive 

Â&#x2021;       that campaign now looks a foolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s errand, a technically strong proposal wounded     ' Chastened by that experience, Anson resolved to return in â&#x20AC;&#x153;a purely commercial roleâ&#x20AC;?, settling back on ground he had trodden more comfortably at Disney, the ATP and         Â?

Â&#x2013;& #    World Cup [bid],â&#x20AC;? he recalls, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and literally  

'& 

'Â&#x160;   &   itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s obviously got a big sports marketing element with some of the biggest sports brands around, close relationships with Nike and Adidas, but it was a business 

  Â&#x2014; 42 | www.soccerex.com

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I look at sports merchandise and I think thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long way to go in terms of creating more innovative products.â&#x20AC;? "

  `Â&#x201C;Â&#x201C;Â&#x201C; Kitbag had started life as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;pure ecommerce providerâ&#x20AC;?, selling sports kit          Through the last decade it moved on to international â&#x20AC;&#x153;white label dealsâ&#x20AC;?, running similar operations on behalf of other     Â&#x2013;!  Â&#x2014;!Â&#x2013;& was always a tight business because you were paying a royalty to the football club and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re buying football kit or rugby kit or whatever it might be, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re quite |   &     < '      â&#x20AC;&#x153;They moved into these multi-channel deals where they not only had ecommerce rights but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also physical retail rights, licensing rights, and in most cases kit deals  !    Â&#x2014; The consequence of that was a spiralling    Â&#x160;  

   {Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x20AC;    "



Â?Â&#x160;¤¼Â&#x203A;Â&#x192;  |#   

> the time Anson arrived in 2011 Findel had already started the turnaround process by 

  

'      â&#x20AC;&#x153;There were quite a few of those deals    

Â&#x2014;   Â&#x2013;^           deals were basically undermining the

rest of the business, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken us the best part of three years to get to an end <         

  <  basically had to either make those deals        â&#x20AC;&#x153;And there are also some of the ecommerce deals which werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t working    

  @ one by one weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve pulled out of certain deals to focus on the deals that make   *   

       #       done, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be a business thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back in      #Â&#x2014; Kitbagâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations have been 

   ^  company is â&#x20AC;&#x153;much more prepared to walk away from a dealâ&#x20AC;? if it could        the approach of â&#x20AC;&#x153;trying to win deals at any costâ&#x20AC;? that had proved so costly  &   

 and awareness reinforced of industry dynamics such as â&#x20AC;&#x153;how fans would react   '  Â&#x2014;^ &^

  

   



     &     

<  Â?Â&#x160; <|'| sellers like Sports Direct, Kitbag also 

 Â&#x2030;   Â&#x2013;  probably could do a lot of straightforward


Andy Anson became Kitbag chief executive in 2011 after spells at Disney, Manchester United, the ATP and the England 2018 bid for the Fifa World Cup

ecommerce deals with smaller businesses,â&#x20AC;? suggests Anson, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very hard to '        you work together with the bigger clubs and the bigger sports organisations then    â&#x20AC;&#x153;But it has to be a partnership because

       <'     people coming in, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going    Â&#x2014; The result of working at the top end is that the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s deals are â&#x20AC;&#x153;getting less and less typicalâ&#x20AC;?, with major teams and          

^            Â  Â&#x160; client base has come from football but Anson has quickly found that the company â&#x20AC;&#x153;can deliver a bit more upsideâ&#x20AC;? for partners in sports which are further behind

   

  â&#x20AC;&#x153;Something like the Tour de France would be a great example of that where we changed their store considerably and made &'     more comprehensive,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and the    

 Â&#x2014; " )  %   joined the Kitbag books, while it also runs retail for Wimbledon and  " )  ! speaking just over a fortnight before the company completes one of its biggest projects of the year, running the on-site and online retail operation for Septemberâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2014 Ryder Cup at _   & #   has been teed up with 18 months of planning but culminates in a concerted,   

    â&#x20AC;&#x153;The shop was built about three weeks

ago,â&#x20AC;? reveals Anson, â&#x20AC;&#x153;our guys have 

   ^        *  now real merchandise on the shelves,       *   Â&#x2014; Preparation and organisation are very ' <       for an event like the Ryder Cup can bring together companies as diverse as Ralph % !  ^ =    Â  ^

  

!   kind of patience that comes through years of retail experience, eliminating jitters in the long lead to a short burst of  !   #      $    are quiet in midweek before a high peak   Â&#x2013;Â&#x2021;        so that people pick up an extra product just before they shop,â&#x20AC;? he says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;where SOCCEREXPRO | 43


Andres Kudacki/AP/ Press Association Images

Yohji Yamamotoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (left) â&#x20AC;&#x153;incredibly innovativeâ&#x20AC;? Real Madrid kit design sets an example that other teams should follow to keep supporters interested in their new releases, according to Anson

you need the volume product like the main football kit, and you learn about the           <         Â&#x2014; &    

 are making longer-term arrangements  

  Â&#x160;      |     like football clubs, moving away from the â&#x20AC;&#x153;scaryâ&#x20AC;? rolling 12-month deals that      !  !    |     â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strange in the world of replica sports kit is the length of time required to produce the product,â&#x20AC;? Anson

#Â&#x2013;Â&#x2021;  

   # *  # weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be placing orders with Nike, Adidas and the other brands for the kits for the 2015/16 season, so you need to be      you need to buy, what the product mix   ' Â&#x2014; Of course, the ideal conditions donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t  #!     Kitbag took over an ecommerce contract  " )Â&#x2030; 

    after a previous supplier withdrew at   Â&#x2013;  

  mid-November and we were live at the   + <   the product range, everything,â&#x20AC;? says !Â&#x2013;^     

  Â&#x2014; The early months, however, were spent attending to the sort of teething problems that would not have existed on   Â&#x2020;      been eliminated, Anson admits that â&#x20AC;&#x153;two   Â&#x2014; 44 | www.soccerex.com

The party line, then, is to avoid rapid    Â&#x2020;    Â&#x2013;&       had to but what you really want to do with supporting big brands like this is do   Â&#x2014;!Â&#x2013;        # ) ' of La DĂŠcima [the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tenth European title earlier this year], planning the product ranges and things like that canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Â&#x2020;   # <  been thought through well in advance       ?'   ?'  Â&#x2013;!   '< '    <  that went, and the subsequent sales

#          way the whole club and Adidas and Kitbag have pulled together has been 

  &

  most exciting thing to be involved with, because on the back of that Adidas have

 &' 

   football kits that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen around for a very long time with the pink kit as the   '   '}Â&#x2021;Â&#x2020;~ Â&#x2021;'  ' 

 &

  Â&#x2014; That third strip is an example of the many ways in which sports retail and    ?      ' " fans might once have slavishly picked up their clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest home jersey but, faced with three new releases from apparel partners each year, many are being more

        Â&#x2013;^  Â&#x2018;

<   ' Â&#x2014;! Â&#x2013;^      

 $     < done in different circumstances in terms  | | <

  how it can be done well and how people can put a lot of effort into design and  ' &      and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all learning about this three kits    &

  Â&#x2014; As the sector progresses, not every organisation will look to a Kitbag to   * '    %  !   %    '  | @  working on a smaller scale, will deign not       Â&#x2013;^  

     in one party having a big warehouse, having the system, having the platform, being able to update the platform all the time,â&#x20AC;? says Anson, who notes the popularity of licensed retail operations in  Â&#x2020; Â?*  Â&#x2013;^ 

     

   '  

< &  job and our job to keep persuading even the clubs who arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t down that road yet that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the best road to go down, which  '

  Â&#x2014; Kitbag aims to take on more clients      <   in tennis and motorsport where it has   

  <   on its Ryder Cup efforts in event & #  geographically, following up on recent advances into US sport, which will demand an upgrade in infrastructure as      â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re shipping an awful lot of product into the States, into Australia, $Â Â&#x160;   !Â&#x2014;! #Â&#x2013;&' 

      ! the ecommerce market evolves and you get next-day delivery being par for the course, then youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to have to have warehousing on the ground in those  ' ^  #   

@ Â&#x2030;   Â&#x2014; On a personal level, Anson seems very    Â&#x160;Â&#x2013;! ' as a job, content-wise, day-to-day, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as &   Â&#x2020;Â&#x2014;  he does not rule out a return to football â&#x20AC;&#x153;in a commercial capacityâ&#x20AC;?, he stresses Â&#x2030;    '  ' '   â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d never have me back, anyway,â&#x20AC;?  


The last word in his own words: Anson on England 2018 â&#x20AC;&#x153;

W

Nations, and just take a risk to go it alone. Say: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You know what, we may not have any representation on the Fifa ExCo for the next eight years, but ultimately weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going get some of our best football people like Ivan Gazidis at Arsenal, like David, whoever it is, get them involved in the world of Fifa and Uefa over time.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And just take that step back so they can take a step forward. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Undoubtedly, some of the people whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been around Fifa for a long time didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like English football and we were always ďŹ ghting against that. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just football, right? You look at England and how England is thought of in the world in a political context â&#x20AC;&#x201C; within Europe, you have the same issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But what I see now is that a lot of leaders of English football clubs, and certainly within the Premier League, are incredibly well regarded and everyone is interested in the experience and knowledge that lies within the

Premier League and the football clubs. And I think if we get the best people from those organisations properly represented within Uefa and Fifa, then we have the chance of being seen not as arrogant old England, but actually as someone whose incredibly helpful in driving Uefa and Fifa forward. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to recognise that. We tried to recognise that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we did away with all the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Coming Homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; stuff â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but ultimately we never won that battle. I think we were still seen as an arrogant nation. Our media doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t helpâ&#x20AC;Ś I mean, it helps because theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to ďŹ nd out whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing their job really well, but equally theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not liked and that goes hand in hand with this perception of arrogance, that we think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re better than everyone else. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot more to do, but I think David [Gill] getting on to the Uefa ExCo is a big step forward.â&#x20AC;?

For now, in any case, he is deep into a region of the industry where            &   

    of the kind of high-end merchandise already common in golf and        will soon begin to â&#x20AC;&#x153;carve outâ&#x20AC;? pieces of their apparel agreements and seek   Â&#x2013;Â >  %  % Â&#x2014;   a different kind of consumer, using products that boast â&#x20AC;&#x153;a much higher marginâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;much higher revenue   Â&#x2014;

Â&#x2013;& ' Â&#x201E; X '       products they can get out into the  '    

 Â&#x2014;  Â&#x2013; &Â&#x201E;     at retail US$7 billion of merchandise in the US alone, and half of that    | 

^  number when you compare it to a   Â&#x2013;*         &'  '&'      &'  way to go in terms of creating more

innovative products for different    Â&#x2014; The upshot of that may be an     Â&#x2013;? Â&#x2014; Anson has observed since leaving   Â?

  !^ Europe chief executive in 2007, with the likes of his former employers developing and diversifying their commercial operations at a rate their less recognised   >  its effects, it is an indication of the ?                â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exciting, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something      Â&#x2014;

Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

e worked hard at trying to make the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;football familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, as everyone refers to it, understand that the success of the Premier League and of football clubs in the UK could bring an awful lot to the table for Fifa and all the countries that are representative of Fifa, because of the commercial success, how efďŹ cient all the stadiums are at managing operations and things like that. So we tried to link what we were doing more to the success of English football in general than to the FA [Football Association] and the way the FA might have been perceived within the world of Fifa. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is no doubt that, within the world of Fifa, there is something about the FA and English football that is perceived as arrogant. Part of that is because of the history of being on the rules-making committee and having this automatic vice presidency, and that really alienated people. And I think things have begun to happen which will get rid of that perception. People like David Gill getting involved in Uefa as someone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clearly a well-respected leader of a great English football club helps say: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;OK, this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about the FA, this is actually about the best of English football being properly represented.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x153;If thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one thing that I would say that English football should do, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pull out of the automatic vice presidency, pull out of the part of the Home

Andy Anson (centre) meets the British press a day after the failure of Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2018 World Cup bid

SOCCEREXPRO | 45


FRENCH MARKET French club soccer may not yet have hit the heights of Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other leading leagues, despite heavy investment in clubs like Paris Saint-Germain, but progress is being made, with domestic and international media rights sold in 2014. Ligue 1 director of economic development Mathieu Ficot, a former staffer at PSG, deputy head of sport at France TĂŠlĂŠvisions and global head of media at SportďŹ ve International, sat down with David Cushnan in September to reďŹ&#x201A;ect on the deals done and, he hopes, those still to come.

How much of a relief was it to secure a sizeable increase in domestic TV rights income earlier this year?

Domestic rights were very important for the French league. We decided to anticipate the launch of this tender because we thought we had the right momentum and also because we thought it was very important to provide our clubs with long-term visibility. To also provide them with some increase [in revenue] was fantastic, but it was also about providing them with visibility. It was very important they would know how much they would get over the course of the next six years 

       transfers, investments. I think we have done it in a good way. &  

     succeeded in keeping our two main players, two main customers. We set the tender in such a way that both of them were able to bid and bid aggressively, and also to have some packages that, in any case, they could use to present a kind of marketing promise to their subscribers. That was very important for the league, in terms of communication on the domestic market. We have kept our main two clients, we reached an increase of 21 per cent and we have provided our clubs with long-term visibility. From all those perspectives, step one is done. You said you anticipated and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;went earlyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; with the tender â&#x20AC;&#x201C; did that in some way give you more control over it, or is the actual process still particularly tense because it is your biggest deal?

In France, it is quite peculiar because we have some legal constraints. We cannot put our rights on the market for a longer period than four years â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in some 46 | www.soccerex.com

other markets thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also the case, but sometimes when I see in the US nine or ten-year deals, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not saying I would do it but it does open doors and gives you alternatives. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t thought that through because it was simply impossible. But it was very important to give some stability to the market, so everybody knows exactly what they have from a TV perspective. Now, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Canal Plus for six years, BeIN for six years, the two remaining seasons plus another fouryear term. That helps us to stabilise the relationship, to not be under pressure or suspicious about what will happen next week, to really get to know each other and work on the brand â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great deal for them because in France, Ligue 1 is one of the main subscriber drivers for pay ^Â&#x2039;&' ?  one day to another, if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have this product you have to rebuild completely your business model or reshape your scheduling. It was a way to give stability to everyone: the networks and our clubs. It seems from the outside as if everything changed for Ligue 1 when BeIN Sports decided to move into the French market. Would that be a fair way to describe it?

Â&#x201E;  ^     

  

  good competition in France. We had a platform ten years ago called TPS [TĂŠlĂŠvision Par Satellite] which was a good competitor to Canal Plus. Then Orange jumped in and tried to acquire content, which was good because then Canal Plus had an opponent. Then when Orange, for strategic reasons, decided to walk away from the league, BeIN jumped into the French market and that, for us, was very, very

fortunate. I have to say that the EPL [Premier League] is very successful â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there is no doubt about that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure they were very happy to have Sky and then Setanta, ESPN and now BT. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not sure that the EPL or Uefa would have been as successful as they have been with just Sky in a monopoly situation. Even if you have a strong product, you need a very competitive [media] landscape. What are BeIN like to work with as a partner?

We are very happy with them in the French market. With the last Fifa World Cup, now they are between two and 2.5 million viewers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in two years that is Â&#x2018;&'    If you try and compare with other markets where a newcomer arrives on the pay-TV landscape and tried to establish itself, whether it was Gol or Eredivisie, the channel in the Netherlands, or Orange in France, nobody has ever reached such a threshold. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really something. It will be interesting to see how they grow and how many viewers they catch with Ligue 1 matches. The other big thing thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happened is the substantial investment, particularly at PSG and Monaco, which has attracted top players. How much of a bonus was that for the league?

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to say that when we launched our tender aiming for long-term visibility, everything was in place. You had Paris Saint-Germain, everyone expected a very strong performance from them in the Uefa Champions League and against Chelsea [in the {Â&#x20AC;`Â?Â&#x;`Â&#x203A;Â&#x2030;   $   *_ ~ ? 


Francois Mori/AP/Press Association Images

The heavy investment in Paris Saint-Germain has sparked international interest in French club football but there is plenty of work still ahead

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they could have made their way to the   ' Everybody expected a very strong PSG, they had amazing players, a longterm investment project. Lens, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still      !Â&#x2018;     Â&#x2018; Mammadov will really inject money or not â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but back then there were really high expectations. You had Uefa Euro 2016 coming along and a lot of clubs which had refreshed their arena and         stadia. There are a lot of pieces that make us very optimistic for the future. Is the major boost to the league of PSG establishing themselves in Europe and contending in the Champions League likely to be reďŹ&#x201A;ected in Ligue 1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international rights revenues?

I think as far as international coverage or interest is concerned, the two main drivers are stars playing in the league and the performances of the clubs in the European competitions, notably the Uefa Champions League.

The Champions League has such an international exposure that when a national team goes through, all the lights are on the team but also their league. The % }{Â&#x20AC;`Â?~ 

>  Munich and Borussia Dortmund was one of the best advertisements ever for the Bundesliga. So Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not surprised that Paris Saint-Germain drive the interest for international broadcasters because of the stars they have there â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you have the two defenders of the Brazilian team [Thiago Silva and David Luiz], you have rising stars, you have Zlatan Ibrahamovic, you have Edinson Cavani, players from all around the world. At Monaco, from that perspective, we are a little bit disappointed that [Radamel] Falcao is in England now, that James RodrĂ­guez left for Real Madrid. It is very important for the league. We have still have some very good French players, although it is true that the best ones play abroad. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your target when it comes to international rights sales, because the Premier League blows everyone

else out of the water? Where do you see Ligue 1 compared to La Liga, the Bundesliga, Serie A?

The EPL is a global product, a global brand and they started working on that `Â&#x201A;  )       from history, Commonwealth, language, the fact that a lot of economic places that are very strong like Hong Kong or Singapore in Asia are very connected to the UK; in Africa, South Africa and Nigeria are Anglophone countries; and the US also. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the combination of working the product itself, the packaging of the product â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they have been very successful because they know how to capture the matches, the sound is brilliant, the magazine shows, the teasers. They were really ahead and from a market perspective they had some assets, for historical reasons. ^   Â&#x201E;    from connections and languages in South America. The Bundesliga started ten years ago and invested a lot of money in packaging their product, knowing the SOCCEREXPRO | 47


Mathieu Ficot has brought a strong mix of club, agency and broadcast experience to his role of director of economic development for Ligue 1

 '   ^ 

   abroad and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worked very well. The French league: we decided to set up a different strategy. We are very late, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s       '  advantages like others, as far as history and language as concerned. You could say that a lot of African players play in France, a lot of African countries speak French, but they are amongst the poorest countries in Africa. You have the interest, but no money and no competition. How do you stimulate your market when you have no money and no competition? We only have Canal Plus Horizons, which is the main client, and they are just ancillary rights. You signed a deal with BeIN Sports covering international rights until 2024 this June. Give us an insight into how that partnership works.

We have set up a different strategy where we have made a long-term partnership with BeIN Sports because they want to promote their BeIN agency in London. They have recruited experienced managers and they really think long-term. When you have visibility, it is not like you are under pressure in terms of return on investment. You can discuss with your partner rights holder and 48 | www.soccerex.com

'        as to whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s money or exposure, because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long-term. We have a deal now until 2024. For me, it was a kind of asset because they have a lot of means in terms of digital and production, so they can help us. We are a league and even if we try and focus on some commercial issues, we are not a media company â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have production units, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have post-production units. BeIN have all that, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s full cooperation. For us, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also about having some more commercial promotion support rather than having a trading partner who takes our rights â&#x20AC;&#x201C; they are an agent. Of course, money counts, but it is not in our culture to invest â&#x201A;Ź10 million per year        digital stuff. We have people in-house whose job is to control the product and work with BeIN staff to develop our product internationally. For the very     



  in China, with CCTV5, last year and our French Super Cup was promoted       => &= we will see how we can escape from a streaming website and put some matches on CCTV5, even if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have the same return on investment.

So BeIN is part-broadcast partner, part-promotional partner and partagent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a close partnership.

&       from broadcasting the league where they operate, of course. You have to be careful in terms of partnership and have the right tools to be able to really count on your partner, to develop the brand. We have a lot of guarantees that even in their own territories they will really do their utmost to promote the league â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all the matches broadcast live â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and on the other territories where they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t operate television services, we will work together because they have people on the ground, they know the market trends. I come from the world of agencies and I know that you really have to know your market and understand it on almost a daily basis. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a role for a league and we have not reached this critical level where we can really control the product and do everything by ourselves, because we have so many other challenges to cope with. We have to prioritise. The other revenue stream is sponsorship â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how is Ligue 1 faring in that area?


Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not as good as I would like, for a lot of reasons. In France, football is a very popular sport but it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a very good image. Rugby, for example, attracts much bigger brands. The rugby league has centralised its sponsorship rights. With our clubs, the clubs hold the sponsorship rights and for a club it is      < it is more local or regional brands. &  < decentralised. The league only has centralised sponsorship for the league cup â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the sponsorship programme there is controlled by the league. We have national sponsors but the league              bigger brands.

BY THE NUMBERS: LIGUE 1 TV DEALS

Can you change that model?

I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impossible. It would be easy to access most of the clubsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inventory, the panels, the jersey â&#x20AC;&#x201C; although maybe not the main sponsor, but on the shorts or shoulder or whatever â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but if you want to discuss that with Paris Saint-Germain or Olympique de Marseille or Olympique Lyonnais, good luck. And if you do not have the best clubs, you cannot attract the best brands. For me, I want to put my energy on one top package, where I will put all the inventory of the league, like the substitution board, some on-screen graphics locally or internationally, a kind of title sponsorship. We could really build something. We will maybe announce before the end of the year an international tender for agencies to help us to sell this big package. Of course, we will not have a value like Barclays and the Premier League and not what BBVA pays La Liga because they really target South America, but between what TIM pays Serie A or what Hermes pays Bundesliga â&#x20AC;&#x201C; between â&#x201A;Ź10 or â&#x201A;Ź15 million per season â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there is an interest for such a package. We will do that. For the rest, we will try and set up commercial support for our clubs. Nationally, we will set up a service for the clubs to help them to improve their best practices for hospitality, ticketing, merchandising and sponsorship. You mentioned the image of football in France. Is that something you, as the league, can hope to change?

I think we have our fans, but they are captive fans â&#x20AC;&#x201C; when you have them they are loyal, faithful, they will follow you. We need to attract new fans, focus on younger people. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s our job. We have tried to, at a club level, invest to attract families or to promote a more festive atmosphere, put in plans against violence. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a long-term [project]. The French national team is also very, very important and with what happened in 2010, we suffered very much. After the World Cup in Brazil, things are getting better and better.

        Studies of a lot of stadiums have been conducted and, for the second phase, we have hired an American company, G2 Strategic, to help us as far as ticketing and hospitality is concerned. They have met all the clubs, they have  



      of all the clubs and they will set up a national plan and local plan for each club in order to put together some concrete recommendations, to help them to improve the user experience in every stadium.

How much, then, is Euro 2016 going to help the league in general, speciďŹ cally given the fact that there will be a generation of new stadiums?

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been your biggest challenge so far and whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the biggest challenge you expect over the next 12 months?

That is the next step and at the

Politics. We are faced with a lot of hindrances. Just from a tax perspective, "           &   so badly and when you compare the   _     to be competitive. You can pull apart a lot of French taxes, everything related to image rights, for example. The clubs pay a lot of money. We have to convince our government,        would be to convince the club presidents of the necessity of the league setting up a club service to support the clubs and be     

BeIN Sportsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; arrival has changed French soccer

SOCCEREXPRO | 49


THE STAGE IS SET FOR EUROPEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EURO In September Uefa conďŹ rmed the 13 host cities for its unique, pan-continental Euro 2020. SoccerexPro presents a guide to the venues for the biggest party in European football history.

I

t was the contingency plan that became the blueprint for a continental celebration. In December 2012, faced with limited or unsuitable interest in staging Uefa Euro 2020, European soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body made a dramatic and unprecedented change ?   The 60th anniversary edition of the tournament would be a â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Euro for Europeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, with the fortunes of 24 national teams played out across 13 major cities instead of one or two host countries. Uefaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s act of expediency was met  '  ' but that has since given way to intrigue and even respect. Although it is set to be a one-off for the European

50 | www.soccerex.com

Championship, there has been speculation ever since about how the model might be repurposed for other sporting events â&#x20AC;&#x201C; not least as hosting and bidding costs continue to escalate. Bids were welcomed from 19 countries,    

`Â&#x201C; *   * '%   

'   {Â&#x20AC;{Â&#x20AC;  announced, Uefa general secretary Gianni &'     grand idea. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a great concept,â&#x20AC;? Infantino said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We always have great parties when the Euros are hosted in one country but now our ambition is to organise a Euros for Europe. We want to inject the virus of football in the whole of Europe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the 13 cities, people will feel the

Euros belongs to them and it gives countries who have never hosted the chance to host. They have the chance to build a new stadium and boost the development of football in their own country.â&#x20AC;? Seven countries will be hosting Euro         one venue that will be familiar to everyone in the sport, not least Uefa. Wembley Stadium, in its original iteration, was the      Â&#x201C;¢ *  | modern, high-cost, 90,000-seater rebirth {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;ÂĽ   $%    Â&#x2030;' {Â&#x20AC;``  2013. It will stage the  and  %  '    an international adventure.


Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany %    '  of the tournament, though rumours continue to swirl that the German Football Association (DFB) will now consider a bid for the entire 2024 event. Built in time to host games at the 2006 Fifa World Cup, the Allianz Arenaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity will be raised ÂĽÂ&#x201A;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC; Â&#x2030;  |   

  

New Zenit Stadium, St Petersburg, Russia Just two years after it hosts matches during the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, Zenit St Petersbergâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new 69,500-capacity    Â&#x2030;  |  

  games at Euro 2020. The US$1.1 billion construction project    '    ' {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;ÂĽ the venue is now due to open in 2016.

Baku National Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan It is almost as if the Azeri government was on a concerted     European. 2012 saw the city host the Eurovision song contest. {Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x201A;

    _ '    new 68,700-capacity national stadium, while Formula Oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s   _   # 

>' {Â&#x20AC;`¢^  Â&#x2030;  |  

    {Â&#x20AC;{Â&#x20AC;

Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy  Â&#x2030;  |  

     {Â&#x20AC;{Â&#x20AC; '    * )  *   A side AS Romaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new Stadio della Roma. Opened in 1937, the Olimpico is the second-oldest building scheduled to host games at the tournament and will undergo another batch of upgrades to be ready in 2020.

Telia Parken, Copenhagen, Denmark ^   Â&#x201E;  '  ^   ' $  

    from the round of 16 during Euro 2020. The venueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s capacity of 38,000 precludes it from applying to host the biggest European club football games, such as the Uefa Champions %        {Â&#x20AC;{Â&#x20AC; 

National Arena, Bucharest, Romania    {Â&#x20AC;`{Â?  %    national stadium will welcome three group games and a round of 16 match at Euro 2020. Opened in September 2011, the 55,600-capacity venue cost â&#x201A;Ź234.5 million to build and is home to the Romanian national football team, as well as club teams Dinamo and Steaua Bucharest.

SOCCEREXPRO | 51


Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, The Netherlands ^ ! ! 



  Â&#x2030;  |   |   =   |

  European Championship with Belgium in 2000. In 2020, the home of Dutch club Ajax will host three group games and a round of 16 match. Capacity will be increased slightly to between 55,000 and 56,000 for the tournament.

Puskas Ferenc Stadium, Budapest, Hungary Hungary had bid to host the European Championships of {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x203A;{Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x192; {Â&#x20AC;`{ {Â&#x20AC;{Â&#x20AC;    ^ '§" *   three group games and a round of 16 match. First opened in 1953, the current stadium will be demolished and replaced with a new 68,000-seat model in time for the tournament.

San MamĂŠs Stadium, Bilbao, Spain Opened in 2013, Bilbaoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 53,289-capacity San MamĂŠs, home of >Â&#x2030; ! >       eye-catching stadiums on the Euro 2020 hosting roster. Three group games and a round of 16 game will be played here. The repeated twisted ETFE elements on the stadiumâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exterior are illuminated at night, creating what the architects describe as a sense of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;energyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;unityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;.

Picture by: Bela Szandelszky/ AP/Press Association Images

Picture by: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland    {Â&#x20AC;`` %    !  *  stage three group games and a round of 16 match at Euro 2020. Opened in 2010, the venue is jointly owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union and the Football Association of Ireland. Despite its ample capacity of 51,700, it is only the secondbiggest stadium in Dublin, behind the GAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 82,000-capacity $ '  '

National Stadium, Brussels, Belgium >       |   {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;   > |

 =     new national stadium will host three group games and a round of 16 match in 2020. Proposals for the design of the venue, which will open in 2018, are still with city authorities, with a decision expected in 2015.

Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland *  Â 

 '  

   ' ' ground following its use as an athletics facility during July 2014â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Commonwealth Games. The 52,000-capacity venue hosted the {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;{Â? $%   Â   

`Â&#x201C;Â&#x20AC;Â? is the oldest stadium to host games at Euro 2020 and will stage 

 #        `¢ 52 | www.soccerex.com


Nikolai Topor-Stanley with the AFC Champions League trophy, which he would go on to lift when his Western Sydney Wanderers became the first Australian team to win Asia’s elite club competition on 2nd November

THE UPDATE NEWS AND DEALS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

SOCCEREX PRO | 53


THE SCORE: THE BROADCAST PICTURE IN 2015 With the biggest television event on the planet, the Fifa World Cup, dominating 2014, plenty of rights holders and broadcasters will have their sights set on further growth in the new year.

E

nglandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Premier League has    

             & {Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x201A;         '       !          

|  '    {Â&#x20AC;`¢Â&#x;`ÂĽ  '   Â?Â&#x160;¤Â?Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x192; 

   

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The 2015 Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup will launch US broadcaster Foxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coverage of Fifa events

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THE ANNUAL REPORT 2014

BIDDING, HOSTING, VENUES & LEGACY Examining the role of sport as a major economic driver for cities, regions and countries. Destinations Report 2014 LEGACY

THE ANNUAL REPORT 2014

12 LESSONS FROM 2012 By James Emmett and Eoin Connolly Originally published September 2013 edition of SportsPro

Over a year on on from the London Olympics and the legacy promises made by the organisers and the bid team are coming under scrutiny. Some of them are tangible today, others may not be gleaned for many years. Effective or not, there are lessons to be heeded but also, as our comprehensive legacy update shows, several conclusions which can already be drawn.

1. Londonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international image was softened and modernised The 2012 Games were never going to be about putting the British capital on the map since itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s already at its centre, the line  

 

 #

Â&#x2018;  London since the 1800s. The city is one of the most instantly recognisable in the world, and has been for hundreds of years. But, because of its history, the global view of London is arguably derived from a bygone era â&#x20AC;&#x201C; all Georgian architecture, stiff upper lips, an obsession with tea and absolutely no eye contact at any time on public transport. That changed with London 2012. For the 680,000 foreign visitors who came to the UK     ' ) or Paralympics, and to the billions watching around the world, the Games transmitted an energy, an easiness and a general happiness not traditionally associated with London or Londoners. Tessa Jowell, a Londoner born

and bred and the British politician most closely associated with the Games, puts it  Â&#x2013;&' )_  succeeded in doing is presenting a different image of London,â&#x20AC;? she says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;from one  



    



     & '  

 %  an open, diverse and tolerant city; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a young city. And that has confounded the stereotype  %      Â&#x2014; As secretary of state for the department of culture, media and sport in the early 2000s, it was Jowell who convinced Tony Blairâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s government to support a London bid for the Games. The day after that bid was ultimately +{Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x201A;%  '  

  '     'Â&#x201A;{ '

 ÂĽÂ&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC; were injured.

106 | www.sportspromedia.com

From that point, security was going to be a central theme in preparing for the Games â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a sentiment that was only heightened     {Â&#x20AC;``  ' out across the city. And despite the pre   '   _Â&#x203A;* â&#x20AC;&#x201C; whose inability to deliver the promised number of security staff prompted the army to step in to man entrances and carry    '<  _ | time was impeccable. Figures released on the day of the closing ceremony showed that just 250 arrests were made by police  ')   `Â?Â&#x201C;     ' ^  inclusion of free transport travel cards for )' 

  coup for London, softening the impact for visitors of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation as one of   #     

The Destinations Report 2014 | 107

Destinations Report 2014 BIDDING

HOW TOKYO TOOK 2020

Learning from its experiences in the 2016 race, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid team chose to put a new stadium on the site of the venue for the 1964 Games at the heart of its pitch to the IOC

BUY TODAY

By James Emmett Originally published November 2013 edition of SportsPro

A two-year campaign climaxed in September 2013 in Buenos Aires as Tokyo saw off competition from Madrid and Istanbul to land the right to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Behind the Japanese jubilation was an international effort dating back nearly a decade and honed to perfection. This is the definitive account of how the bid was won.

W

  &)$

   

 into the auditorium in the Buenos Aires Hilton on 7th September to cast their votes, the race to host the 2020 Games was supposed to be too close to call. Tokyo had the technical excellence, Istanbul had the most compelling natural narrative, while Madrid had that all-important momentum. In the end, it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t close at all. In the second round of voting â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Madrid having 

 Â&#x2020; 

 |   | ' with Istanbul â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 60 of the 96 voting IOC members opted for the Japanese capital, with just 36 voting for its Turkish counterpart. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No-one quite predicted, maybe apart from the Tokyo campaign committee, that it would be quite the scale it was in the second ballot,â&#x20AC;? says Mike Lee, founder of Vero Communications and a bidding expert who              ' of an Olympic hosting campaign. Though the bidding cycles have become regimented and the regulations quite  

 ) unique, the dynamic shaped by the makeup of its participants as well as a cocktail of wider geo-political, socio-economic and environmental concerns, not to mention the vagaries and personal agendas of the elite band of voting IOC members. Romeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to withdraw on economic grounds, and Doha and Bakuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ejection before the candidate phase, the second and    &)$

  

meant a three-way scrap between Madrid, in its third successive attempt, Tokyo, in its second, and Istanbul, back again after unsuccessful attempts for the 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games. The relative lack of candidates compared to previous years will have been a concern to the IOC, especially as outside forces must have tipped both Madrid and Istanbul perilously close to the exit at various stages, but made for an intriguing race nonetheless. Most insiders accept that the apex in the race for the 2016 Games came at the SportAccord Convention in Denver in 2009. It was there that the Rio bid, spearheaded by a slick communications effort put together by Lee, made a huge impact with a presentation to the Olympic movement that made spectacular use of a forceful map graphic. Having been on the ropes, Rockystyle, earlier in the campaign, the Rio effort then began to quaff that bidding elixir, momentum, which eventually saw it home at the vote in Copenhagen four months later. SportAccord 2009 was a distinct turning point the like of which, on balance, was not evident in the 2020 campaign. Instead, the Tokyo bid started strong and gained fractional uplifts in momentum at a handful of key checkpoints along the journey. A less spectacular trajectory than the one taken by Rio in the 2016 race, perhaps, but one that can possibly be explained by the cautious nature of the 2020 campaign as a whole. Bid teams, by and large, were on the back foot for large portions of the two-year

 Â&#x2013;&   Â&#x2014; explains Lee, who was working with the Doha bid in the applicant phase of the process. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mainly because all three bidding   

  #  factors that were important and relevant, but over which they had very little control â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ranging from a doping issue through to protests on the streets, question marks over at least one of the bid cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economies, and of course, ultimately, even nuclear fallout. It led to probably a more defensive campaign environment than weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen in recent years.â&#x20AC;? Keep the best and improve the rest Tokyo 2020 did not make the common mistake of simply mimicking the previous successful bid â&#x20AC;&#x201C; although there was a nod to the now-famous map trick that swung it for Rio in several of the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s presentations. Instead, the team looked to build on the strength of its own effort for 2016, keeping the bulk of the plan and adding some sparkle to one or two areas. â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Keep the best and improve the restâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, a line conceived by Nick Varley and his Seven46 communications team, became something of a refrain for bid chief executive Masato Mizuno in the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s various presentations. Ostensibly, it applied to Tokyoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s technical plans, but it was a concept whose tentacles spread to all areas of the bid, not least to personnel. Many, but not all, of the international consultants from the previous

10 | www.sportspromedia.com

The Destinations Report 2014 | 11

Destinations Report 2014 HOSTING

LIVE ON THE EDGE By Eoin Connolly Originally published August 2013 edition of SportsPro

Rallying has always produced dramatic imagery but bringing it to live television has historically seemed a technical challenge too far. Now, Eurosport thinks it has found a solution for its European Rally Championship. We went behind the scenes at the 2013 Tour of Corsica to watch the concept come together.

T

he circus is on tour in Corsica. On the road between Calvi and Corte, moored up in the dry grass, the big top sits waiting for an eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entertainment. A pair of camels are hitched separately to posts around it, gazing listlessly into the middle distance; perhaps at rest, perhaps pondering the unseen banality of showbusiness. But these are not the only incongruous beasts stalking this picturesque Mediterranean island. May has brought with it the European Rally Championship (ERC) for the two-day Tour de Corse, or Tour of Corsica. In the northern harbour town of Calvi on Friday 17th, high-spec rally cars are driven gingerly          the opening stage, each one bucking and sputtering on its short-clutch set-up like a bull led by the nose through a rural market town. It is the 56th running of the all-asphalt ^  $      the FIA European Rally Championship, a series created under a ten-year licence last September by Eurosport Events to     International Rally Championship (IRC). â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had great TV production, a great relationship with rallies, great relationships with teams, complete control â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but we had no sporting credibility,â&#x20AC;? says Eurosport Events motorsport development director François Ribeiro, speaking towards the end of the rally, of what was the IRC. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When

WWW.SPORTSPROMEDIA.COM

you are Skoda and you go to your board and ()Â&#x160;&

 

   million to go and win IRC,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 90 per cent of the board for Skoda were saying, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What is the IRC? Please explain it to us.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; And I said to Eurosport, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;If we become the promoter of a European Rally Championship, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to explain what the European Rally Championship is.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? The change in championship title is not the only novelty this year. Acting in its capacity as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a promoter, a producer and a broadcasterâ&#x20AC;?, Eurosport is putting together selected live coverage of the event. The pan-European broadcaster began exploring the concept of live rallying â&#x20AC;&#x153;very earlyâ&#x20AC;? in its development of the IRC, but has only used it a handful of times so far. Now the group wants to make it a regular feature of ERC coverage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When you control the whole chain,â&#x20AC;? says Ribeiro, â&#x20AC;&#x153;your aim is to offer the best possible product to your client and Eurosportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s clients are the viewers, the fans themselves.â&#x20AC;? Eurosport is screening four one-hour stages of the rally live â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one apiece on the morning and evening of each day, including    ^  

  

 compound of two outside broadcast trucks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one composing the video feed and the other a data feed â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and a number of smaller vans providing supplementary broadcast capabilities. Ten cars in the rally â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the ten quickest â&#x20AC;&#x201C; have been equipped with fourkilogramme on-board cameras, embedded

42 | www.sportspromedia.com

The Destinations Report 2014 | 43

To buy a copy or advertise in the Destination Report please contact us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 549 3250 | Email: info@sportspromedia.com See more at:

www.sportspromedia.com/2014_destinations_report In association with


EUROPE

Marseille president arrested French police arrested Olympique Marseille president Vincent Labrune (above) and general manager Philip Perez in November as part of an ongoing investigation into potential corruption in transfer dealings at the French Ligue 1 club. The two executives, as well as 13 others involved with the club, were taken in for questioning over the 2010 â&#x201A;Ź20 million transfer of striker Andre-Pierre Gignac from Toulouse to Marseille. According to French media reports, prosecutors suspect embezzlement and bungs to intermediaries involved in the deal. Marseille issued a statement     | November, clarifying that the club had cooperated with police throughout the long-running investigation.

Uefa ups contribution to Euro 2016 host cities European footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body Uefa agreed to release a further â&#x201A;Ź20 million in

funding for the ten French cities hosting games in Euro 2016. Half the extra money was paid in October, with the rest set to be delivered after the completion of the tournament. ^  ' 

 after a Euro 2016 steering group meeting in Bordeaux in October. In addition to the extra funding, Uefa has also pledged to rent the stadiums for the duration of the tournament, and to allocate 20,000 tournament tickets to underprivileged children. Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint   ^    24-team European Championship in 2016. Batman creators challenge Valenciaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bat Spanish side Valencia CF are entangled in a legal battle with DC Comics over the use of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;newâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bat crest. The New York-based publishing giant sites that the logo is too similar to the image used for its superhero Batman and has lodged an 11-page opposition complaint. Valencia have used a bat as the symbol of the team since 1919 whereas Gothamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (

 

  

{Â&#x20AC;   later, in 1939. Neither Valencia nor DC Comics have issued a statement in response to the ongoing saga.

58 | www.soccerex.com


MIDDLE EAST Soccerex conďŹ rms return to Jordan in 2015 A new two-year agreement between Soccerex and the Asian Football Development Project (AFDP) will bring the Soccerex Asian Forum back to Jordan in 2015. The deal, signed by Soccerex chief executive Duncan Revie and HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, chairman and founder of the AFDP, will see the two organisations work together to strengthen and improve the business side of the game in Asia while raising awareness for a number of social causes being carried out across the continent. The next edition of the Soccerex Asian Forum will take place in Jordan on 14th and 15th April.

Doha to stage Italian showpiece The Qatari capital of Doha will stage the 2014 edition of Italian soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Supercoppa Italiana. Lega Serie A, the body which runs the top tiers of Italian club soccer, has  



 Š " Association for the hosting rights to the mid-season showpiece. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game will pit champions Juventus against Coppa Italia holders Napoli on 22nd December. The initial agreement is for a single year.

Previously held as the annual curtain-raiser to the league season, the Supercoppa Italiana has been taken to international hosts before â&#x20AC;&#x201C; including, most recently, Beijingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Olympic Stadium, the Birdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Nest, in 2009, 2011 and 2012

Prince Ali refuses to rule out presidential run Fifa vice president and AFDP founder HRH Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan was the subject of media speculation over a potential run at opposing Sepp Blatter in the upcoming Fifa presidential elections in May 2015. A report in Britainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s The Sun in late November insisted the reform-minded Jordanian had made up his mind to stand against Blatter next year. In the wake of the report, a spokesman for Prince Ali said that he had not  

 



    any truth to the speculation. Contenders for the post of Fifa president have until 29th January to declare.

SOCCEREXPRO | 59


ASIA W-League coverage nixed by ABC &   in Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is to end its coverage of the W-League as a result of the federal governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s budget cuts. The W-League has been shown on ABC since the competitionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception {Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x192; â&#x20AC;&#x153;Football Federation Australia (FFA)  

   !>$ TVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to cease broadcast of the W-League for the 2015/16 season as part of widespread budget cuts that affect sporting codes and competitions all over ! Â&#x2014;""!'   Fox Sports has already signalled its interest in picking up the broadcast rights to W-League games. Encouraging early ďŹ gures for ISL The inaugural Indian Super League (ISL) season kicked off in October and Italyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Serie A, Franceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ligue 1 and Major League Soccer (MLS) are just some of the professional football leagues it has surpassed with its early average       Mid-season numbers showed average attendances reaching 25,000 per game with the highest attendance of 65,000 recorded during AtlĂŠtico de Kolkataâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3-0 victory over Mumbai City. Serie A and Ligue 1 matches are watched by crowds averaging 20,000 while MLS has an        `Â&#x192;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;

60 | www.soccerex.com

Sportradar expands Asian watch Sports integrity specialist Sportradar has been appointed by the Asean Football Federation (AFF) to monitor the Suzuki Cup. The partnership will see Sportradar use its Fraud Detection System to identify unusual betting patterns and |     | `Â&#x192;| game international soccer competition in Vietnam and Singapore from 22nd November to 20th December. Sportradar has also been running pre-tournament education workshops. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not blind to the dangers that  #  Â&#x2014; said AFF general secretary Lt Gen Datoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Azzuddin Ahmad (Retired). â&#x20AC;&#x153;Together with the best monitoring system available, we will be vigilant, precisely so     Â&#x2014;


AFRICA

2017 Africa Cup of Nations decision expected early 2015 The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is poised to make a decision on the new host of the 2017 Africa Cup of =  Â&#x2030;   {Â&#x20AC;`Â&#x201A;% which had been scheduled to stage the biennial tournament that year, withdrew from its commitment due to the unstable security situation in the country. As of October, there were seven countries bidding to replace Libya as hosts: Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Having been forced to switch the 2015 edition from Morocco to Equatorial Guinea, CAF has told its 2017 bidders it will focus on acceptable infrastructure and facilities.

South Africans mourn the death of their captain South Africa and the world of football are mourning the death of Senzo Meyiwa. The national team captain was killed after being shot during a burglary at his girlfriendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house in Vosloorus, south of

Johannesburg, on 26th October. The 27-year-old was the goalkeeper for Orlando Pirates and had played in South Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s last four Africa Cup of =Â&#x2030;  The day before his death, Meyiwa had starred for his club in a 4-1 victory over Ajax Cape Town. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We mourn the death of this young footballer and team leader whose life has been taken away at the prime of his 

Â&#x2014; *!  

 Jacob Zuma. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Words cannot express the 'Â&#x2014;

Ghana FA repays World Cup loan The Ghana Football Association (GFA)  

    " World Cup participation payment and, as a consequence, its ability to repay a US$3 million loan from the Ghanaian government. The GFA received around Â?*Â&#x161;Â&#x192; "   of November and immediately moved to pay back its government debt, which had been accrued in shambolic circumstances during the World Cup in Brazil. Ghana, which used cash to prevent player walkouts in the 2006 and 2010   $?   Â?*Â&#x161;Â? cash out to its players in Brazil to avert a walkout and a national embarrassment. SOCCEREXPRO | 61


NORTH AMERICA

Chivas USA removed from MLS Â&#x2020; %  * ÂŤ%*ÂŹ 

 in late October that it would shut down the Chivas USA club and hand the teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s franchise rights to a new ownership group. The league had owned the team since February, and took the step to close their doors after negotiating with a consortium in the Los Angeles area. A new team from the city will enter MLS in 2017, after a franchise fee believed to have been around US$110 million was paid to the league. The 11th MLS team when it was founded in 2004, Chivas USA shared the LA Galaxyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s StubHub Center home.

Orlando fans undertake ceremonial stadium walk Orlando City Soccer Club supporters turned out in their thousands to take part in a half-mile walk from Church Street Station in downtown Orlando to their   |   

62 | www.soccerex.com

Led by a drum line, smoke bombs and club and government dignitaries, fans convened at the site of the new ground in Orlandoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Parramore neighbourhood. Orlando City will become Major League Soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (MLS) 20th franchise in 2015 and will move into their new 20,000-seat arena in time for the start of the 2016 MLS season. The stadium will   Â?Â&#x192; `¢Â&#x20AC;Â&#x20AC;   and a unique standing-room section at one end of the ground.

US senators join Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World Cup turf war The legal battle raging between a group of elite female football players and world footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body Fifa escalated in November as a group of 13 US senators joined the protest over the plan to play games during the 2015 Fifa Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s   $$     Led by Sen Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the lawmakers signed letters sent to Fifa and the US Soccer Federation in support of players who say that holding    $     to gender discrimination because men play footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier tournament on real grass. The letters, signed by 12 Democrats and one Republican, urged Fifa to â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;reconsider this short-sighted and counterproductive decision.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;


SOUTH AMERICA Fifa and CBF sign World Cup legacy MOU World footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s governing body Fifa and the Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November pertaining to the implementation of the 2014 Fifa World Cup legacy fund. The fund will total US$100 million, and will be used to promote development in areas such as infrastructure, womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and grassroots football, healthcare and social programmes for underprivileged communities, with a special focus on the 15 states that were not home to Brazil 2014â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s host cities. All funds will

be subject to an annual central audit by KPMG but implementation will be the  $>"

   plans approved by Fifa.

Wage crisis grips BrasileirĂŁo As November drew to a close, the wage crisis gripping domestic Brazilian football showed no sign of abating. Estimates in Brazil suggest that the issue has affected 90 per cent of the clubs across the country, with as many as 50 per cent of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current professional players    

With salaries spiralling across Brazilian football in recent years, clubs are now struggling to match complex contract arrangements whereby many players are due considerable sums in â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;image rightsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. According to a report by Inside World Football, at the end of October this year  {Â&#x192;  Â&#x203A;Â&#x20AC; Brazilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Serie A and Serie B were late in their payments of player salaries.

Racism blights Chilean football The Chilean FA has become the latest South American football authority to be faced with a serious racism controversy. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Higgins, the Rancagua-based club managed by one-time Fulham striker Facundo Sava, were hauled in front of the national federation after fans made racist chants and gestures towards Venezuelan striker Emilio Renteria during    *  de Arica in early November. Later that month, Renteria was the subject of more abuse â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this time reducing him to tears and forcing the referee to take the players off â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from fans of Deportes Iquique. Sanctions against both teams were pending at the time of writing.

SOCCEREXPRO | 63


SIGNINGS A selection of the major deals agreed by the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading clubs, players and competitions in the past three months. For daily updates visit www.sportspromedia.com or follow @SportsPro on Twitter.

Guinness to continue International Champions Cup deal _ 

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PSG patch up partnership with Dohaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Aspetar "  *|_  ÂŤ*_ÂŹ 

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Arsenalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jack Wilshere joins 10Ten Talent !    

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Movistar extends support of Spanish national team *

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MLS ofďŹ cially launches second Los Angeles franchise !      =  Â&#x2020; %  *  ÂŤ%*ÂŹ Â&#x201E;_  ÂŤ ÂŹ  

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  SOCCEREXPRO | 67


MP & Silva retains global Serie A media rights ! # 

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   &{Â&#x20AC;`¢           Â&#x2014; SOCCEREXPRO | 69


GUEST COLUMN

FOOTING THE BILL

I

n an increasingly dangerous world,     |    sporting events are being held in emerging market economies, the risks of them being cancelled prior to being held or disrupted once they are underway are rising sharply. Organisers need to be alert to the possible issues they face, as well as the tools available to them to transfer those risks and protect both their balance sheets and reputation. A spreading risk      

 to host the African Cup of Nations competition in January 2015 because of fears about the Ebola virus. As a result, the Confederation of African "ÂŤ$!"ÂŹ     host country in a hurry. However, despite Equatorial Guinea stepping up to the plate and offering to host the tournament, CAF may be left facing      potentially enormous bill. For us, as specialist insurance brokers, this is exactly the sort of scenario that should remind event organisers why event cancellation insurance is so vital. I do not ' $!"     bought a policy but I hope for their sake       interests riding on this event, ranging across ticket sales, merchandising, TV rights, sponsorship deals, hotel bookings and corporate entertainment packages â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to name but a few. Early diagnosis Timing in event cancellation â&#x20AC;&#x201C; as in so many other aspects of life â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is vital. If event cancellation insurance for the tournament was taken out by CAF in the early planning stages, when the risk of Ebola was unknown, then cancellation because of a communicable disease (such as Ebola) is likely to have been included in the original policy. Today, given the current situation in west Africa, insurers are only prepared to provide Ebola cover for west African territories on a very limited, risk by risk basis, so it is unlikely that Ebola cover for the tournament to be 70 | www.soccerex.com

held in Equatorial Guinea will be included at this late stage. This issue also highlights the problems relating to Fifaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drive to bring football tournaments to emerging economies. Although the goal â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to spread the   Â&#x2020;  tournament can bring to new, and often emerging economies â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is a worthy one, the risks are also not inconsiderable. For example, the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup has been surrounded by controversy and its physical proximity to the political uncertainty of other parts of the Middle East cannot be ignored. Equally, the situation with Russia and the Ukraine could impact the 2018 World Cup in Russia. As a result, it is likely that there are a number of rather nervous event cancellation insurers preparing for some     



 Prevention rather than cure So what can event organisers do to          reputations? â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Contingencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; insurance cover can be bought to protect the balance sheets of football associations and clubs should they be forced to cancel, postpone   

 Â&#x2020;  !    

  protection should a match or event be affected by consequences beyond the insuredâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s control. The costs that can be covered include the total expenditure or gross revenue. In addition, some policies can be extended to provide cover for pre 

  '

   â&#x20AC;&#x201C; for example, not enough people being able to get to the event due to unforeseen events such as damage or destruction to the venue, adverse weather conditions, unavoidable travel delays, political and civil unrest, and communicable disease. The cover can be purchased by any party that has a  

  including venue owners, event organisers, promoters, managers, broadcasters and ticket providers. The policy is not standard and the risks complex, so specialist advice is

a good idea to navigate the right path          the right insurer. Any association, club or entity wanting insurance will want a close working relationship with their adviser so they can identify what sort of insurance  

   protection it should provide. They will also need to establish robust risk management procedures and policies to make sure the policy works as it should. The right insurance partners will also work with the insured to put in place emergency measures to try to prevent the event from having to be cancelled or abandoned. Equally, if the worst should happen, they will provide much needed assistance in communicating with, and where appropriate reimbursing, ticket holders, clubs, TV companies and all the   ' 

   As we all know, football tournaments are big business, and with risks at an all-time high, there is much at stake. So I hope that any entity with an interest in forthcoming competitions has robust risk mitigation plans in place that include comprehensive event cancellation insurance cover with quality insurers. Robert Barron is the assistant vice president of Accident, Health, Sports & Contingency â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a Division of Lockton Companies LLP.


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Soccerexpro 05  

Issue 5 of SoccerexPro magazine.

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