Global Business of Soccer Recap

Here are some of the top stories from around the global soccer industry from last week…


Beach Soccer World CupBusiness Profile of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (Business of Soccer)

Most soccer fans might not be aware that FIFA is staging two World Cups this summer.  The larger and more visible tournament is the FIFA Women’s World Cup which will be held in Canada beginning in June.  Shortly after the women’s tournament, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will commence across the Atlantic ocean in Portugal.

FIFA adopted the tournament in 2005 and it has been held every two years since then.  Beach soccer first got its start on the sands of Los Angeles, California in 1992, and in 1996 beach soccer hit the road with the Pro Beach Soccer Tour.  Shortly after a European beach soccer league was born.  Brazil has since dominated the tournament as the game spread across the world – the sport is now played in 75 countries and continues to grow.

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GR ChinaChina’s Xi Makes Soccer Supremacy Focus of Top-Level Party Panel (Bloomberg)

The economy, cybersecurity and the military are among the few matters Chinese President Xi Jinping has deemed important enough to create a top-level Communist Party task force. Add soccer to the list.

Achieving Chinese supremacy on the football pitch is the latest mission Xi has assigned to a “leading small group,” the Guangzhou-based Soccer News reported Thursday. The panel will be led by Vice Premier Liu Yandong, the first time a Politburo member has been put in charge of developing a sport.

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GR Corinthians StadCorinthians Stadium Confirmed as Olympic Venue (Reuters)

The city of Sao Paulo confirmed on Thursday that Corinthians arena will be used as an Olympic soccer venue after the Rio 2016 organising committee agreed to pay for the adjustments necessary to host 10 matches there at next year’s Games.

Rio stepped in after both Corinthians and Sao Paulo refused to pay for alterations local media have estimated will cost 30 million reais ($10 million).

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GR Liga BBVASpanish Government Finally Approves Collective TV Model (Soccerex)

The Spanish government has approved a royal decree mandating the country’s top soccer clubs to sell broadcast rights collectively.

The long-awaited ruling means that, from 2016, clubs in Spain’s top-tier Liga BBVA and second-tier Liga Adelante will pool their rights for the first time ever, bringing to an end the current model of individual clubs negotiating their own TV contracts and ensuring revenues are distributed more equally throughout Spanish soccer.

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Wembley_The_FA_LogoThe FA & Panini Bring Football Stickers Home (FC Business)

The Football Association has confirmed a new four-year deal with Panini, the world leader in the sticker collectable and trading card market.

England complete the Italian company’s set of national federations and the team will now appear in  Panini collections in their official England kit for the first time since Euro ‘96.

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GR BournemouthBournemouth’s Next Stop: The Premier League (New York Times)

F.C. Bournemouth, the team from a small resort town facing the English Channel, is living the dream of a lifetime.

Six years ago, it placed 91st among the 92 teams and was a game away from expulsion from the league pyramid and extinction. It could not pay its taxes nor the 4.4 million pounds ($6.7 million) it owed in unpaid bills. It begged for clemency and began the next season at the bottom of the lowest rank of England’s professional leagues, starting the year with a 17-point penalty as punishment for its financial problems.

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Manaus Stadium Brazil

Brazil Still Struggling to Deal with World Cup Stadiums (Washington Post)

Brazil spent billions renovating and building World Cup stadiums that were supposed to help modernize and improve local soccer. Almost a year after the tournament ended, the nation is still trying to figure out what to do with them.

Some of the 12 new state-of-the-art stadiums are just now being completed as originally planned. Others are already up for sale.

The Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo hosted the World Cup’s opening match last June, a 3-1 win over Croatia for the host nation. But the venue wasn’t fully finished at the time and only now it’s been completed, 10 months after the tournament.

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Concacaf LogoMoney, Not Magic, Needed for MLS to Surpass Liga MX in CONCACAF (ESPN FC)

As close as the Montreal Impact came Wednesday to becoming the first MLS team to qualify for FIFA’s Club World Cup, there was no sense of devastation emitting from Frank Klopas or his players after they squandered a lead and lost, 4-2 (5-3 on aggregate), to Mexico’s mighty Club America in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final.

There was sadness, to be sure. After all, the Impact’s implausible two-month adventure to the continental championship’s decisive match had made believers out of many. And after Montreal jumped to a 1-0 advantage just eight minutes in — Nacho Piatti undressed U.S. national team defender Ventura Alvarado and set up Andres Romero, making it feel like the roof might come off a literally rocking Stade Olympique — and the hosts took that lead into the locker room at halftime, it actually seemed possible that the raucous, Canadian-record crowd of 61,004 would bear witness to even more history.

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nycfcbadgeNew York City FC Considers Building Stadium at Columbia Complex (New York Times)

Over the past four years, New York City’s $100 million professional soccer club has bounced from a pier on the Hudson River to a public park in Queens to a factory site in the South Bronx in its relentless search for a permanent home.

This being New York, where the real estate market is especially frenetic, team officials for New York City F.C. have looked into two dozen locations. But the latest spot is right back where the club started in 2011: Manhattan.

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mls new logoMLS Releases 2015 Competition Rules and Regulations (Major League Soccer)

MLS will have 20 clubs for the league’s 20th season and will feature a new conference alignment.  Most notably, the Houston Dynamo and 2013 MLS Cup Champions Sporting Kansas City will move to the Western Conference, creating two 10-team conferences. The 2015 conference assignments are as follows:

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