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SBD Global/November 21, 2013/Finance

KPMG Says Investors Take Stakes In Up To 1,100 Football Players

Auditor KPMG Europe LLP's Spanish unit said that investors "have acquired stakes in the transfer rights" of as many as 1,100 football players in Europe from cash-strapped teams, according to Alex Duff of BLOOMBERG. Champions League squads Atlético Madrid and Porto "are among those that have turned to selling stakes in team members to raise finance as an alternative to bank loans." Investors "get a return based on the fee the player is eventually traded for." UEFA "wants to ban the practice, saying financial interests could damage the sport’s integrity." KPMG Asesores SL compiled the study for the European Club Association, whose chairman is Champions League title-holder Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. KPMG said that the combined stakes are worth as much as €1.1B ($1.5B), or 5.7% of the regional transfer market’s value. The report said that the practice "is widespread in 10 eastern European countries" -- where investors hold about 40% of the market value of league players -- and "is increasing in Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands." Malta-based Doyen Sports Investments Ltd. "acquired stakes in players such as Porto’s Steven Defour and Eliaquim Mangala." Unit CEO Nelio Lucas said on Sept. 20 that "it has invested" €80M the last three years. The EPL "banned such investments, known as third-party ownership" (BLOOMBERG, 11/20).
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