Backed by lucrative media rights agreements, large corporate sponsorship deals, and capital injections by cash-rich tycoons and global investment groups, football is not only the world’s most popular sport, it is among the most profitable.
However, as with many other asset classes, there are cyclical and structural forces at play, and disruptive elements that are transforming the competitive landscape. With transfer fees, player salaries and agent fees jumping to historically high levels, pressure is increasing on the big clubs to maintain growth and on the smaller ones to remain in the race.
At the same time, digital technology platforms are changing the dynamics of audience engagement, with implications for media revenues, while national, regional and global regulators, still challenged over issues of governance, try to balance the need for financial sustainability against fairer competition and a greater attention to the sport’s fan base.
This environment is opening up the sport to a new wave of private equity and corporate investment which could help level the playing field. It is also forcing clubs and leagues to look for new opportunities for growth globally, in both the men's and women's games.
The inaugural FT Business of Football Summit will bring together leading investors, club and league executives, regulators, broadcasters, sponsors, advisors and other key influencers to discuss the changing shape of the football economy, the key M&A drivers, and generally what the future holds financially for the beautiful game.