Biennial World Cup could cost leagues 8 billion euros per season


A FIFA proposal for a World Cup every two years and changes to the Club World Cup could cost the big domestic football leagues and UEFA around 8 billion euros ($ 9 billion) per season in lost TV rights, game days and trade deals, according to a report commissioned by the leagues.

More frequent international competitions, along with additional international club matches, could lead to major changes in domestic leagues, including a reduction in the number of teams participating, a shift from weekend matches to weekday matches and fewer domestic matches, according to the report. noted.

The report, compiled by consulting firms KPMG and FTI’s Delta Partners and seen ahead of its release by Reuters, predicted that in addition to slashing the club’s revenue, such a move would have the effect of sparking viewers’ interest in Games.

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It would also reduce advertisers’ interest in domestic football and put a strain on players, resulting in poorer play, he said.

Gianni Infantino, chairman of the world’s football governing body, said last month that FIFA discusses hosting the World Cup every two years instead of a four-year cycle.

Arsène Wenger, the elder Arsenal FIFA manager and head of global development, proposed a new schedule that would see a reduction in the number of international breaks for the qualifiers, with one or two longer breaks to compress the qualification process.

He suggested organizing World Cups alternating with continental championships such as the European Championships and the Copa America in between. He is also calling for mandatory rest periods to prevent player burnout.

However, the idea met with strong opposition from UEFA, which manages the hugely popular and lucrative Champions League, and domestic leagues such as the Italian Serie A, the Spanish Liga and the Premier League. English, which have a huge worldwide success.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin argued that a more frequent World Cup would dilute its value and hurt other competitions. He threatened to lead a European boycott of an additional World Cup.

Wenger, speaking in September, said: “So far club football is 80%, national team football is 20% and I want to keep that balance.”

FIFA did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters, but has already pledged its own feasibility study.

The report, which also involves the MLS, Mexican, Japanese and South African leagues as well as Europe’s Big Five, said even the least disruptive options would cost them billions every year.

The biggest hit would be TV revenues.

He calculated that the 40 biggest domestic leagues in the world and UEFA club competitions like the Champions League risk losing up to 5 billion euros per season in audiovisual contracts alone, or more than a third of what leagues earn in television rights today.

The study estimates that the leagues would lose more than a billion per year in visual rights due to a decrease in the number of matches, 1.75 billion euros due to a shortened schedule and an additional 901 million euros for schedule changes, with weekend matches. being transferred mid-week.

The total audiovisual rights revenues generated by the leagues would rise from more than 14 billion euros to around 9 billion euros, the study predicts.

Enders Analysis senior analyst François Godard said hosting a biennial World Cup would be very risky.

“My worry is that at some point demand will collapse. The risk of a sudden and dramatic drop is enormous if you weaken the main product. [the national leagues]”he told Reuters.

“If you switch to this new model with a World Cup every two years and matches have to be moved from weekends to midweek and you have a shorter overall season and some players may not be available at any given time, you weaken your core product. “

The report says business losses would reach up to € 2.16 billion per season, a drop of around 25%, and the negative impact on match day revenue would cost clubs € 1.2 billion euros, again a decrease of about 25%.

It took in various scenarios. But in all of these leagues, they predict that starting in the 2024-25 season, they would be forced to downsize to 18 teams and end their seasons in early May to accommodate FIFA’s plans. It was not clear how many games could be abandoned.

The report will be presented at the annual meeting of the World Leagues Forum next week, said Enrique Bonilla, president of the Forum and La Liga MX.

“These plans are against leagues, clubs and players,” Bonilla said.

The 2018 World Cup generated $ 5.37 billion in revenue for FIFA.



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