Club World Cup Offer Exceeds FIFA's Estimates, But Still No Sure Thing
The "multibillion dollar offer to FIFA from a group of investors for a new, 24-team World Cup for clubs is worth far more than soccer’s governing body’s vision for the value of the event," according to Panja & de la Merced of the N.Y. TIMES. The offer "values each edition of the proposed quadrennial tournament" at $3B, which "goes way beyond the amounts FIFA’s leadership group presented to officials in a 22-page briefing" last month. In total the international consortium, which includes Japanese conglomerate SoftBank and other investors from Asia, has put forward a $25B offer for "three editions of the club tournament and rights to a new competitive global league for national teams." However, the offer has "unsettled the soccer world." Execs with Europe’s top clubs are "angry about what they perceive as a lack of consultation from FIFA." UEFA was the "first to reject" FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s "pleas to forge and conclude the agreement quickly." African officials also "called for a more cautious approach to negotiations, which if successful, would be the first time FIFA sold control of its events to an investment fund." Those opposed to the plans say a new tournament "could pose health risks to the game’s top players." Others "privately question if the Club World Cup could diminish the value of UEFA’s hugely successful Champions League." The event "would also replace the unpopular Confederations Cup, a national team event played a year before the World Cup." To "sweeten the deal to clubs, FIFA proposes giving participants 75 percent of the tournament’s revenues, which would be" $2.25B if the current offer is accepted (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14).