Global Business of Soccer Recap

Court of Arbitration for Sport Upholds UEFA Bans on Fenerbahce and Besiktas (Business of Soccer)

Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the “CAS”) dismissed Fenerbahce SK’s appeal of UEFA’s decision to exclude Fenerbahce from European club competitions for two years.  In July, the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Board (the “CDB”) banned Fenerbahce from participating in any European club competitions (including the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League season) for three years (with the third year of the ban deferred for a five-year probationary period) because of match-fixing.

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Real Madrid Make Record $131 Million Transfer for Bale (Business of Soccer)

Gareth Bale’s long rumored move from the Premier League’s Tottenham Hotspur to La Liga’s Real Madrid is now a reality. The 24 year old Welsh striker, who scored 26 goals last season for Tottenham across all competitions and named the 2011 and 2013 Professional Footballer Association Player of the Year honors, has been targeted all summer by the Spanish side. Real Madrid has announced that they have secured Bale’s services for six years. The transfer fee Real Madrid must pay Tottenham is rumored to be a record breaking £85 million ($131,707,500). The deal comes one day before the international transfer window closes. Bale is also rumored to receive £300,000 per week ($464,850). Bale released a statement on Tottenham’s official website following the team’s 1-0 loss to Arsenal on Sunday.

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Breaking Down the Potential Impact of a Winter World Cup (Business of Soccer)

The continued discussions within FIFA of a Winter World Cup has increased the likelihood of the tournament’s timing in 2022. The latest announcements of support from FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michael Platini have set the tone. The challenges ahead are gaining the support of the Premier League and leagues around the world. As the head of UEFA, Platini’s comments target the top European leagues, primarily Barclays Premier League (England), Ligue 1 (France), Serie A (Italy), Liga BBVA (Spain) and the Bundesliga (Germany).

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UEFA Champions League Group Stage Draw, Coefficients and Colors (Business of Soccer)

On Thursday earlier this week, anticipation built around Monte Carlo as representatives from Europe’s top clubs gathered in one room to view the live drawing of the groups for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.  Some of Soccer’s biggest faces could be seen in the crowd as well as on stage to assist in the drawing of the teams including the likes of Luis Figo, Michael Owen, and Yohan Cruyff.

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Structure of Orlando City’s Stadium Deal; A Look Back at Stadium Costs in North America (Business of Soccer)

Orlando City Soccer Club President Phil Rawlins made the final presentation to the City of Orlando Board of Commissioners yesterday, making the final case for a downtown soccer specific stadium in an effort to bring Major League Soccer to Orlando. To be located in Parramore District of downtown Orlando, the new stadium will be a mile from the club’s current home, the Florida Citrus Bowl.

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New Premier League Initiative Seeks to Alleviate Away Costs for Fans (Business of Soccer)

For much of the summer, supporters’ groups from England’s top clubs have voiced anger over the ever-escalating cost of attending a Premier League match. The displeasure has been such that, in June, supporters of Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham alike united in London to protest against the increasing financial burden of supporting their favorite club.

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Tottenham, AIA And Tiered Shirt Sponsorship (Business of Soccer)

Almost two weeks ago, on August 15th, Tottenham Hotspur announced a new corporate sponsorship with AIA Group Limited, a pan-asian insurance services provider.  At first glance the deal seems like just another partner to add to the seemingly endless list of corporate sponsors that clubs are amassing in an effort to build their sponsorship portfolio and consequently their revenue stream.  With Chelsea having an official Asian whiskey partner in Grand Royal Whiskey, and Manchester United having an official noodle and diesel engine partner, the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

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Premier League Attendance Climbs +0.8% in Week 2 (Business of Soccer)

Barclay’s Premier League week 2 average attendance came in at 37,448, a +0.82% improvement from week 1. Though attendance numbers were up, they did not grow at the same rate as the average home stadium capacity during the same time period, which was up +2.31%. Average stadium fill capacity dipped by -0.89 pts from week 1, coming in at 96.20%. However, there was 1 sellout in week 2 and there were none in the first week: Cardiff City vs Manchester City in the Welsh capital at Cardiff City Stadium. Cardiff’s sellout crowd helped them rally against the giants from the north to win 3-2 on Sunday.

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Platini Asks European Leagues to Adapt to Winter World Cup (Business of Soccer)

Following comments made by FIFA President Sepp Blatter on Sunday, UEFA President Michael Platini emphasized the need for European leagues to support a winter World Cup in Qatar. Earlier reports claimed the tournament could be rescheduled to begin in November and the final would be held before Christmas. Although in agreement to shift the timing of the tournament, Platini believes January is more realistic, discussing the topic with Sky Sports on Thursday.

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Dempsey Transfer Highlights Influence of MLS Single-Entity Economic Structure (Business of Soccer)

When Clint Dempsey took the field last night for his first home game with the Seattle Sounders, the crowd’s ovation marked the culmination of collective efforts to bring the United States Men’s national team captain back to MLS after 7 years in the Barclay’s Premier League. And there is no question that those efforts were truly collective: the Seattle Sounders management and MLS both played important roles in securing Dempsey’s services. In particular, reports indicate that MLS paid the $9 million transfer fee to Tottenham Hotspur to acquire Dempsey. Almost immediately, questions arose about MLS’s involvement and whether MLS’s actions bent the rules to get Dempsey to land in Seattle.

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.