EXCLUSIVE Soccer-Biennial World Cup could cost leagues 8 billion euros per season, study says

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BARCELONA, Nov 23 (Reuters) – A FIFA proposal for a World Cup each two years and adjustments to the Club World Cup could cost the large home soccer leagues and UEFA round 8 billion euros ($9 billion) per season in misplaced TV rights and match day and business agreements, in line with a report commissioned by the leagues.

More frequent worldwide competitions, in addition to further worldwide membership video games, could result in main adjustments within the nationwide leagues, together with a discount within the variety of groups competing in them, a shift from weekend to weekday video games, and fewer home video games, the report mentioned.

The report, compiled by consultancies KPMG and FTI’s Delta Partners and seen forward of publication by Reuters, predicted that along with slicing membership income, such a transfer would hit viewer curiosity in video games.


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It would additionally scale back advertisers’ curiosity in home soccer and put strains on gamers, resulting in poorer play, it mentioned.

Gianni Infantino, president of soccer’s world governing physique, mentioned final month that FIFA was discussing holding the World Cup each two years as an alternative of the present four-year cycle.

Arsene Wenger, the previous Arsenal supervisor and FIFA’s head of world growth, has proposed a brand new calendar which might see a discount within the variety of worldwide breaks for qualifiers, with one or two longer breaks to compress the qualification course of.

He recommended holding World Cups in alternate years with continental championships such because the Euros and the Copa America in between. He can be calling for necessary relaxation durations to keep away from participant burn-out.

However, the thought has run into sturdy opposition from UEFA, which runs the massively common and profitable Champions League, and from nationwide leagues such Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, and England’s Premier League, which have an infinite world following.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has argued {that a} extra frequent World Cup would dilute its worth and hurt different competitions. He has threatened to steer a European boycott of an extra World Cup.

Wenger, talking in September, mentioned: “Until now, club football is 80%, national team football is 20% and I want to keep that balance.”

FIFA has not responded to a Reuters request for remark, however it has beforehand promised its personal feasibility study.


The report, which additionally entails the MLS, Mexico, Japan and South African leagues in addition to the European large 5, mentioned even the least disruptive choices would cost them billions yearly.

The greatest hit could be to TV revenues.

It calculated that the 40 greatest home leagues world wide and UEFA membership competitions just like the Champions League stand to lose as a lot as 5 billion euros per season in audiovisual offers alone – greater than a 3rd of what the leagues make in TV rights as we speak.

The study estimates that the leagues would lose multiple billion per 12 months in visible rights on account of a lower of variety of matches, 1.75 billion euros on account of a shortened calendar, and one other 901 million euros for the adjustments within the schedule, with weekend video games being transferred to midweek.

The complete income in audiovisual rights generated by leagues would drop from greater than 14 billion euros to about 9 billion euros, the study predicts.

Enders Analysis senior analyst François Godard mentioned holding a biennial World Cup could be very dangerous.

“My worry is that at some point demand collapses. The risk of a sudden dramatic drop is huge if you weaken the main product (the national leagues),” he advised Reuters.

“If you change to this new model with a World Cup every two year and games have to be moved from the weekend to midweek and you have a shorter overall season and some players might not be available at some point, you weaken your core product.”

The report mentioned business losses could be as much as 2.16 billion per season, a drop of about 25%, and the unfavorable impression on match day revenues would cost the golf equipment 1.2 billion euros, once more a drop of about 25%.

It took in varied situations. But in all of them leagues challenge that ranging from the 2024-25 season, they might be compelled to cut back to 18 groups and to complete their seasons in early May to suit FIFA’s plans. It was not clear what number of matches may be dropped.

The report can be introduced on the World Leagues Forum’s Annual Meeting subsequent week, mentioned Enrique Bonilla, chairman of the Forum and Liga MX.

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

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

Gross income from the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League and the 2021 UEFA Super Cup is estimated to be 3.5 billion euros.

($1 = 0.89 euros)

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Reporting by Fernando Kallas, further reporting by Tom Bergin, modifying by Angus MacSwan

A general view shows the Al Janoub Stadium built for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer championship during a stadium tour in Al Wakrah, Qatar, December 16, 2019.  REUTERS/Corinna Kern

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