China’s sports deals hit the hogwash jackpot

May 31, 2016

Mainland money is pouring into Western teams, rights, agents, and competitions. Bold M&A often comes with empty talk and hyperbole. The world of sport is not much better. Throw in the grand designs of China’s political leaders and you have a near-unbeatable trifecta of nonsense.

Leicester City upends “size is everything” mantra

May 3, 2016

The lowly UK soccer club has, remarkably, won the Premier League. Victory in Britain’s top division had been the preserve of a five-club oligopoly since 1992, and Leicester was a 5000-1 outsider. Businesses facing seemingly unbreakable glass ceilings have a new role model.

China’s soccer field of dreams lacks paying fans

March 15, 2016

Tycoons and corporate giants are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on local clubs and foreign players. Media groups are bidding up the value of broadcasting rights. To be viable, though, China’s leagues need to attract lots of paying viewers. That’s hardly an open goal.

Manchester City deal is good business for China

December 1, 2015

Sport tends to consume capital rather than create it. Acquired kudos often bridges the gap. The $400 mln investment by two Chinese groups in one of the UK’s most successful teams could break the mould. Still, investors in English soccer still seem to value trophies above profit.

Thruppence: Should World Cup hosts foot FIFA woes?

June 5, 2015

U.S. authorities are investigating how soccer’s governing body awarded the event to Russia and Qatar. As FIFA’s problems proliferate beyond graft indictments, Breakingviews columnists debate whether it is fair or practical to deprive host countries of the sport’s global fiesta.

Edward Hadas: FIFA and the root of all evil

June 3, 2015

The soccer federation’s corruption shows how much harm abundant money can do to weak institutions. The problem goes well beyond sport. Modern affluence spreads lucre’s poison to everything from drug crime to the perfectly legal but socially destructive spiral of executive pay.

Match-fit FIFA would give players, fans more ball

June 3, 2015

Sepp Blatter has resigned as the besmirched president of soccer’s governing body. Needed reform is now unavoidable. FIFA’s best strategy would be to embrace it by enfranchising the beneficial owners of the sport: the players and the fans. It would also usher in better governance.

To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors

May 28, 2015

U.S. prosecutors allege that shadowy marketing agencies diverted cash from the likes of Toyota, Santander and probably Nike to corrupt soccer officials. Big bucks are at stake. FIFA’s revenue from 2011 to 2014 was $5.7 bln. In future, contractual transparency will be paramount.

U.S. well placed to blow whistle on soccer excess

May 27, 2015

Americans already act as the globe’s legal enforcer and financial regulator. Now a Federal prosecutor is filling soccer’s refereeing void with a direct tackle on its long-running corruption allegations. FIFA, the sport’s governing body, faces a long overdue reformation.

Sky’s insecurity helps Premier League net $8 bln

February 11, 2015

The pay-TV giant is spending 83 pct more than its last deal to retain most of England’s top-flight soccer. Sky can make the sums add up. But runner-up BT is a real threat. And Sky can’t afford to test what losing its football dominance would mean. The big winners are the clubs.