Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 23


Sports media business Perform "is in advanced talks to buy" London-based supplier of sports statistics Opta Sports Data, according to Katherine Rushton of the London TELEGRAPH. Opta's venture-capital backer, Albion Capital, is understood "to have put the company up for sale" for around £40M ($62.8M). A deal "is expected within the next couple of months." Opta was founded in '96 by Toby Russell, "collecting information such as which football players achieved the most passes in a given match or which parts of the pitch the most goals were scored from." It counts BSkyB, U.S. newspaper USA Today, and the NBA "among its clients." Opta turned over just more than £10.8M ($17M) in the 12 months to July '12, the last full-year available, and had just tipped into the black with a pre-tax profit of £345,000 ($542,000) (TELEGRAPH, 6/16).

I-League clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal "are up against financial problems," according to Aabhas Sharma of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Both were being sponsored by Indian business magnate Vijay Mallya's UB Group "for the last 15 years." With Mallya's business interests taking a severe hit in the last 18 months, "the two clubs are set to lose the UB Group's support." While the UB Group has not spelled out the actual plans for the football clubs, a 50% cut "in sponsorship money is expected." Indian football clubs, over the years, "have struggled" to monetize their popular appeal. Generally, "revenue sources for Indian clubs come from sponsorships, tickets sales, player trading and merchandise sales." A former finance secretary of an I-league club said, "These clubs' revenue models are highly impractical." Clubs "are now mooting the idea of a salary cap on players." East Bengal club official Debabrata Sarkar said, "Indian football has highly overpaid players." East Bengal "plans to reduce the overall annual spend" by Rs 10 crore ($1.7M). Much of it "will come from salary cuts" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 6/15).

According to Transfermarkt, which determines the market value of football players, the Spanish U21 national team's most valuable player is Thiago Alcántara, whose value is €22M ($29.4M), according to Juan Manuel Díaz of SPORT. Per Transfermarkt, Iker Muniain and Isco are both valued at €20M ($26.7M), Martín Montoya is valued at €19M ($25.4M) and De Gea is worth €17M ($22.7M). Tello and Rodrigo are both valued at €10M ($13.4M) (SPORT, 6/17).

New Zealand Football hopes that a new broadcast deal with Sky TV "can help produce a self-sufficient business model this year," according to Simon Plumb of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. NZ Football "has agreed a package deal with Sky, guaranteeing that eight All Whites and six Football Ferns matches will be screened live to Kiwi fans between June and November." Previously, NZ Football "has had to pay big fees for games to be televised -- and games are already the main reason NZ Football's business model consistently runs at a loss." The books "are being balanced by transfers from an 'International Teams Activity Reserve,'" set up in '10 after a NZ$10M windfall in 2010 World Cup prizemoney. With the reserve "running out and lucrative World Cup qualification made harder after FIFA changed the rules," NZ Football CEO Grant McKavanagh wants the organization "to start breaking even without using the reserve." McKavanagh said, "I want us to be self-sufficient this year, but it's not easy. The key for us is getting people to the home internationals, we're only selling about 15-20 percent of seats for games. That's what kills us" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 6/16).