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FT Business of Football Summit 2019

The Search for Growth and Value in the World's Most Popular Sport

London |
Speakers include:
Zvonimir Boban

Zvonimir Boban


Richard Masters

Richard Masters

Premier League

Christian Seifert

Christian Seifert



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.

fallback Add to my Calendar 05/21/2019 08:00:0005/21/2019 19:30:00trueFT Business of Football Summit 2019Backed 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.FT-Business-of-Football-Summit-201914ade65b4d9fab40ce3401356deb75ebMM/DD/YYYY

FT Business of Football Summit 2019 Photos


Agenda - 21st May

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Welcome Remarks

    Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times
    Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 9:10am
    Soccernomics 10 Years On

    A decade ago, FT writer Simon Kuper, with sports industry academic Stefan Szymanski, published Soccernomics, the international bestseller and football industry bible. Using previously unknown research, the book explored the power of money and the value of statistics in understanding the beautiful game. Ten years on, Simon discusses whether their conclusions have stood the test of time: are wage bills still the best indicator of a team’s success? Are Brazilian footballers still not cut out for the Premier League? And are the US, Japan and even Turkey really destined to win the World Cup... some day?

    Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times, and co-author, "Soccernomics"

  • 9:30am
    Media Rights and Digital Challengers – A New Ball Game

    New entrants are increasingly challenging traditional broadcasters for media rights. From digital upstarts like DAZN, to Silicon Valley heavyweights like Amazon and Facebook, technology groups are disrupting the market. What do they gain from screening live football and do they have the deep pockets to steal prized content away from media giants? Has the media rights market for live sports generally peaked? As the industry undergoes a historic consolidation, will the business model of Pay TV networks move away from paying top prices for exclusive live football?

    Claire Enders, Founder, Enders Analysis
    Barry Flanigan, Chief Product OfficerCOPA90 
    Peter Hutton, Director of Global Sports Partnerships & Programming, Facebook
    Peter White, Partner and Global Co-Chair, Media, Sports and Entertainment, DLA Piper

    Moderator: Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times, and co-author, "Soccernomics"

  • 10:10am
    Keynote Interview

    Javier Tebas, President, LaLiga

    Interviewed by Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 10:40am
    Networking Break
  • 11:10am
    Getting a Club into the Big League – Weighing the Risks of a Lower-End Investment

    An increasing number of investors are buying clubs in lower leagues and building them up for the big time, hoping for rapid promotion to the top echelons. Without the substantial revenues from media rights, and with relatively smaller game attendances, how patient can they be for success? To what extent are the benefits of buying at the lower end offset by the risks of slower than anticipated returns?

    Mehmet Dalman, Chairman, Cardiff City FC
    Samantha Gordon, CFO, Nottingham Forest FC
    Andrea Radrizzani, Chairman, Leeds United FC

    Moderator: Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 11:50am
    Keynote Interview

    Christian Seifert, CEO, Bundesliga 

    Interviewed by Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 12:20pm
    Beating the Best -- Case Studies on How to Break into English Football’s Elite

    The Premier League, the world’s wealthiest football division, has come to be dominated six top clubs, all of which appear among the 10 richest teams on the planet. But other sides, which have often come under new ownership in recent times, are making plans to break into English football’s elite. On the back of a strong season on the pitch, we speak to the leaders of ambitious clubs on their smart player recruitment models, and their sponsorship and investment strategies, as they attempt the climb to the summit of the game.

    Laurie Dalrymple, Managing Director, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
    Keith Harris, Deputy Chairman, Everton FC

    Moderator: James Fontanella-Khan, US Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 1:00pm
    Networking Lunch

    Lunch keynote interview

    Zvonimir Boban, Deputy Secretary General, FIFA 

    Interviewed by Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times, and co-author, "Soccernomics"

  • 2:10pm
    A New Era of Leadership - Models of Achieving Success and Remaining Sustainable On and Off the Pitch

    The advent of Financial Fair Play was designed to usher in a new era into European football. Clubs are being forced to rely upon sustainable business models, spending within their means while looking to place competitive teams on the pitch. We speak to executives leading top clubs about their approaches in the post-FFP era. What are the innovative ways to build commercial revenues and reach new fan bases around the world? How can teams ensure they spend smartly in the transfer market? And what are the ways to spot commercial and sporting opportunities to get a vital edge?

    José María Cruz, CEO, Sevilla FC
    Vinai Venkatesham, Managing Director, Arsenal FC

    Moderator: Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 2:50pm
    The Women’s Game – A New Growth Opportunity?

    Underfunded for decades, the women’s game represents a new growth opportunity, with media and sponsorship interest rising alongside match attendances, and an increasing number of leading clubs investing in creating women’s teams. What else can be done to elevate women’s football?

    Caroline Barker, Sports presenter and broadcaster
    Baroness Campbell CBE, Director of Women’s Football, The Football Association
    Gavin Makel, Head of Women’s Football, Manchester City FC

    Moderator: Madison Marriage, Tax and Accounting Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 3:30pm
    Networking Break
  • 3:50pm
    The Coming Disruption - How Tech is Changing Football

    New technological breakthroughs are leading teams, leagues and sports groups to evolve. Elite clubs are investing more in analytics seeking a footballing edge. Clubs and leagues are investing in over-the-top streaming services and dedicated apps to create a closer connection to their fans. The world’s leading technology companies promise to help football enter the digital age. But how? In what ways will new technologies disrupt a decades-old sport?

    Sascha Härtel, Head of Performance Diagnostics, Science and Innovation, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
    Ryan Paterson, Chief Global Officer, STATS
    Marta Plana, Board Member responsible for Barça Innovation Hub, FC Barcelona

    Moderator: Simon Kuper, Columnist, Financial Times, and co-author, "Soccernomics"

  • 4:35pm
    Football as an Asset Class – The Key Drivers of M&A in the Current Environment

    The increasing profitability of football has made the sport a more attractive asset class for a wide range of investors. To what extent is the influx of private equity, which has traditionally focused on relatively short-term returns and effective exit strategies, changing the shape of the football economy? Why are so many new owners entering football? What are the key drivers of M&A in the current football market environment? How does football as an asset class compare with other sports?

    Mark Abbott, President and Deputy Commissioner, Major League Soccer
    Gregory Carey, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
    Ebru Köksal, Senior Advisor, J. Stern & Co; former CEO, Galatasaray Group

    Moderator: Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 5:20pm
    Keynote Interview

    Richard Masters, Interim Chief Executive, Premier League

    Interviewed by Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times

  • 5:50pm
    Closing Remarks

    Murad Ahmed, Sports Correspondent, Financial Times
    Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 6:00pm
    Cocktail Reception

Speakers (24)

Zvonimir Boban

Zvonimir Boban

Deputy Secretary General (Football)

Zvonimir Boban is FIFA’s Deputy Secretary General (Football) and Advisor to the FIFA President on Strategic Football Matters. One of the greatest Croatian footballers, he captained the national team in the FIFA World Cup and was a symbol of the Croatian fight for freedom.

Zvonimir was the youngest ever captain of Dinamo Zagreb, where he began his professional career at the age of just 16. At AC Milan, he was an integral part of one of the greatest club sides of all time, winning four Serie A championships as well as the UEFA Champions League. His international career was also marked by historic success -- he scored the decisive penalty in the FIFA World Youth Championships in Chile in 1987 and captained Croatia to third place at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

Away from the pitch, Zvonimir has had an equally illustrious career, with vast experience working in the media as a football analyst for Sky TV in Italy for 13 years, in addition to his time as the CEO of Croatia’s leading sports daily SN (Sportske Novosti) and a columnist for La Gazzetta dello Sport. He has a Master’s degree in History.

Richard Masters

Richard Masters

Interim Chief Executive
Premier League

Richard Masters was appointed Interim Chief Executive of the Premier League in December 2018. He oversees all elements of the League’s operations and is responsible for the continuing success of the most watched football league in the world.

Richard has worked in the UK sports marketing industry for more than 25 years and joined the Premier League in 2006, as Director of Sales and Marketing. In July 2015, Richard took on the role of Managing Director, where his core responsibilities included leading the Premier League’s commercial sales processes, partnership management, digital operations and overseeing international events.

Prior to joining the Premier League, Richard was Commercial Director at The Football League for five years, and before that he worked for the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Christian Seifert

Christian Seifert


Christian Seifert is the Chief Executive Officer of DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga, which operates Germany's top football leagues, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. He is also Vice President of the DFB, the German football association, and a member of the board of the DFL e.V.

Mr Seifert is responsible for the strategic orientation and overall leadership of the DFL. Since he took over in 2005, the DFL has founded half a dozen subsidiaries and has become the only football league to fully serve all levels of media with the companies it controls. From data collection for sport and media analysis, to production and global distribution of the base signal, maintenance of its own digital archive, worldwide digital marketing and global rights distribution, the DFL guarantees the highest media expertise. Under Mr Seifert’s leadership, the revenue of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 has risen from €1.5 billion to over €4 billion per season.

Prior to his role at the DFL, Seifert was Chairman of the Board at KarstadtQuelle New Media AG. During his tenure there, he oversaw the acquisition of sports broadcaster DSF (now SPORT1) and an extensive merchandising rights package for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This went hand-in-hand with an expansion of the company’s involvement in the spheres of e- and TV commerce. From 1998 to 2000, Mr Seifert was Director of Marketing (Central Europe) for MTV Networks, having previously risen to Head of Product Management at MGM Media Gruppe Munich (1995-1998).

Javier Tebas

Javier Tebas


Javier Tebas Medrano’s involvement in football began in 1993, when he was named President of Sociedad Deportiva Huesca. In 2001, Mr Tebas was elected Vice President of LaLiga, after which, in 2003, he headed a group representing 30 LaLiga clubs that worked on joint negotiation of audio-visual rights. He was appointed President of LaLiga in April 2013.

Upon taking up the LaLiga presidency, Mr Tebas’ main objective was to reduce clubs debts and restore financial health. This first major objective was achieved in the span of just a few years. A second major milestone was achieving the ability to jointly sell audio-visual rights and more fairly distribute income across all clubs. The 2016/2017 season was the first time LaLiga sold the rights as a collective, something that was determined by Royal decree. LaLiga also worked on substantially improving the quality of its broadcast product, utilising cutting-edge technology to deliver the world’s best-televised football competition.

Today LaLiga is focused on international growth, strengthening its brand around the world, getting closer to fans everywhere and attracting new fans to the beauty of Spanish football. The league has established nine international offices and dispatched representatives to more than 40 countries to help grow awareness of the league and its clubs. LaLiga is doing all this at a time of rapid change in the broadcasting environment. The league has partnered with innovative new providers such as DAZN, Facebook, Eleven Sports and YouTube to reach its fans.

Other key aspects of LaLiga´s work driven by Mr Tebas are the fight against piracy, the fight against violence in football, and supporting the growth of women´s football. At the same time, LaLiga is focused on sharing the lessons it has learned to help football grow everywhere.

Mr Tebas holds a degree in Law from the University of Zaragoza.

Mark Abbott

Mark Abbott

President and Deputy Commissioner
Major League Soccer

The architect of Major League Soccer’s business plan, Mark Abbott was named President and Deputy Commissioner in June 2013. He has been instrumental in many of the League’s accomplishments since he became the organisation’s first employee in 1993, three years before MLS’s first season.

For nearly two decades, during which the League saw transformational growth, Mr Abbott was primarily focused on the business, legal and financial side of MLS. In his current role, he leads and manages all areas of League operations and competition, including product strategy, player relations, strategic planning and communications. He also leads a new business development group to address new areas of opportunity for the League and Soccer United Marketing.

Along with MLS Commissioner Don Garber, Mr Abbott is the League’s primary contact in discussions with potential investors and expansion cities. He was the principal author of the League’s business plan, ultimately approved by FIFA as a legacy of World Cup USA 1994, the most successful World Cup in history. He played a primary role in creating the League’s structure and negotiating with the initial investor-operator group.

As the League’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Mr Abbott played a key role in the launch of MLS in 1996. He was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 1997 and became MLS President in 2006. He was named to Sports Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 in both 2001 and 2002.

Prior to joining MLS, Mr Abbott practiced law as an associate of MLS Founder Alan I. Rothenberg with Latham & Watkins, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and commercial law.

Mr Abbott earned his Law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was the Managing Editor of the California Law Review. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Foreign Service degree in International Economics, cum laude, and an Honours certificate in International Business Diplomacy.

Baroness Campbell CBE

Baroness Campbell CBE

Director of Women's Football
The Football Association

Baroness Sue Campbell trained as a physical education teacher, taught in Manchester and lectured at Leicester and Loughborough Universities. During this time, Sue represented her country as a player, a coach and a team manager. She then went on to spend four years as a regional officer with the Sports Council (now Sport England) before moving to the National Coaching Foundation (NCF). Following 11 years as the Chief Executive of the NCF, she became Chief Executive of the Youth Sport Trust. In February 2005, Sue became Chair of that organisation until December 2017. Sue was appointed Head of Women’s Football with The Football Association in March 2016, and became Director of Women’s Football in January 2018.

Among many honours, Sue has received 11 honorary doctorates and in June 2003, she was awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her services to sport. In April 2005 she was appointed as Chair for UK Sport, following 18 months as the Reform Chair. Sue held this position for two terms until April 2013, where she presided over Team GB and Paralympic GB’s incredible performance at the London 2012 games. In December 2008 Sue was appointed to the House of Lords as an independent Crossbench Peer. Sue was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.

Caroline Barker

Caroline Barker

Sports presenter and broadcaster

Caroline Barker hosts some of the world's biggest sports shows, including Sportshour on the BBC World Service and NFL on BBC TV. A familiar voice of sport, she presents the Peter and Caroline Show on BBC Radio 5 Live, and regularly appears on Drive and 606. She can be seen presenting on Premier League Today on Premier League Productions, Sky Netball, Champions League of Darts, and The EFL Show on Quest TV. She is the founder and host of the long-running The Non League Football Show and presents the Totally Football Show.

Caroline has a wealth of presenting experience at some of the world's biggest sporting events, from the Rio 2016 Olympics to the World Cup final. She is equally comfortable writing as well as broadcasting as proven with a number of published articles in national newspapers. Away from the microphone, Caroline hosts many events for clients including charity and sport governing bodies. She is a director of content creative Jibba Jabba and was previously on the board of Chelmsford City Football Club. A fan of her home club, Caroline was also a director there from 2009 to 2011.

Gregory Carey

Gregory Carey

Managing Director
Goldman Sachs

Greg Carey is Chairman of the Public Sector and Infrastructure Group at Goldman Sachs, focusing on the national infrastructure practice with specific expertise in sports finance and advisory, project finance and surface transportation. Seven of Greg’s team’s deals have been awarded Institutional Investor or Project Finance’s “Deal of the Year”. He joined Goldman Sachs as a managing director in 2004. Prior to joining the firm, Greg worked at Citigroup for 22 years and co-headed the firm’s infrastructure group.

Greg is vice chair of the Tisch Center Advisory Board at New York University, where he previously taught a course on the business of sports facilities. He also serves as chairman for the Children’s Academy in New York City. The Children’s Academy is a new innovative specialised school that teaches children with speech and language delays. Greg earned an AB in Economics from Harvard College.

José María Cruz

José María Cruz

Sevilla FC

José María Cruz is CEO of Sevilla FC. He joined the club in 2005 as General Manager and Vice President. After moving to KPMG in 2013-2014 to serve as Director, Sports Business and Law, he re-joined Sevilla and also serves as Secretary to the Board.

Mr Cruz was a member of the task force for the implementation of Financial Fair Play set up by UEFA and the European Clubs Association (ECA) (2010-2012). He has been Chairman of the ECA’s Legal Advisory Panel (2015-2019) and has also served on the ECA’s youth and finance working groups. He is a member of the FIFA Players Status Committee, and has been a TAS-CAS arbitrator since 2011. He is a Board Member of the Spanish Professional Football Company, and has had several terms on the Executive Committee of LaLiga.

Before joining Sevilla, Mr Cruz was a Partner in Ernst & Young’s tax and legal practice. He began his career with the regional government of Andalusia. He has a Law degree from the University of Seville and a Master in Business Management from Instituto Internacional San Telmo.

Mehmet Dalman

Mehmet Dalman

Cardiff City FC

Mehmet Dalman has over 20 years of global corporate, investment and banking experience. He is Chairman of WMG, a London-based alternative investment firm focused on private equity and real estate which he founded in 2004. He is also Chairman of the Board of HR Owen and Cardiff City Football Club; a founding Partner and Director of Envision Real Estate Capital Partners, a Chinese real estate development company; and a Non-executive Director of Panmure Gordon, a UK stock broker.

Prior to this Mehmet was Chairman of ENRC, a FTSE 100 mining company. He joined the Board at the IPO of the company, chairing the Investment Committee and later becoming the Senior Independent Director before taking over as Chairman.

Previously Mehmet was a member of the Board of Directors at Commerzbank AG, where he founded and led Commerzbank Securities, the investment banking arm of the group. He established a global equity business on five major platforms in Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and New York and also held board seats on the Supervisory Boards of Deutsche Börse and Eurex.

Prior to joining Commerzbank AG, Mehmet was the Managing Director and General Manager of Deutsche Morgan Grenfell Capital Markets Japan, responsible for equity and equity derivatives in Japan and across the Asia Pacific region. He headed Credit Lyonnais' Japanese and European equities for over five years before joining Deutsche Bank. He started his career with Nikko Securities where he was a Managing Director.

Alongside this, Mehmet has taken an active interest in charitable work, focusing on children and young adults, having worked with The Disability Foundation based at the Stanmore Orthopaedic Hospital. He is currently on the Corporate Advisory Board for Chain of Hope and is a Trustee for the Mayor’s Fund for London. Mehmet holds an MA from the London School Of Economics.

Laurie Dalrymple

Laurie Dalrymple

Managing Director
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Laurie Dalrymple joined Wolverhampton Wanderers FC in October 2014 as the Head of Commercial Affairs, responsible for eight key departments within the club. Within two years of his arrival, the club had observed an unprecedented 45% increase in commercial revenue. Following the takeover of Wolves in July 2016 by Fosun International, Laurie was appointed Managing Director, a new role within the club created to have full day-to-day responsibility of all off-field activities.

The primary objective was to ensure a swift return to the biggest league in global football, which was achieved in 2018. Laurie’s role is not only to support the Head Coach, Executive Chairman and the Sporting Director in building a squad of elite professional footballers to now compete for the Premier League title, but to enable all commercial aspects to grow in parallel with the club’s on-field ambitions, and to develop an engagement strategy that connects Wolves with its significant regional and national fanbase, whilst taking the club to a global football audience. 

Laurie is responsible for the overall profitability of the club, including the full operational delivery of Molineux Stadium, our category 1 accredited training facility, stadium ticketing, marketing and digital, press and communications, retail, catering, advertising and all club sponsors, as well as being the Chairman of the board of trustees for the Wolves Foundation. 

Laurie has a predominantly events and venue management background. Prior to joining Wolves, he worked for some of the largest brands in the UK sporting and venue sector, including ExCeL London, and Compass Group UK, as Venue Director for the Ricoh Arena.

Claire Enders

Claire Enders

Enders Analysis

Claire Enders founded Enders Analysis in 1997, after a successful strategy career in UK media. Today, Enders Analysis is the leading TMT research company in the UK. Claire is the top independent analyst of the creative industries, the broadcast economy and digital exploitation models. Enders Analysis provides research, analysis and specialist expertise on major markets (US, UK, Europe). The team of 30 is led by economists and financial and business analysts. The company is a leading authority in its sectors for the Financial Times, the BBC and other quality media.

Enders Analysis supports a wide range of charities in the UK with which Claire is actively involved, including the NSPCC, and many cultural enterprises. Claire also supports the Scar Face Foundation, The Marie Colvin Network for Female Journalists, and the Women’s Equality Party. Over two decades, Claire was actively involved in developing and financing the V&A Design Museum in Dundee which opened in 2018. A Freeman of the City Guild of Entrepreneurs, Claire is on the Advisory Board of Glyndebourne, and is a former Trustee of the NSPCC, Glyndebourne and the Natural History Museum Development Trust.

Claire is a graduate of Yale and the London Business School. In 2016, she was made a Fellow of the Royal Television Society for her significant contribution to television.

Barry Flanigan

Barry Flanigan

Chief Product Officer

Barry Flanigan is Chief Product Officer at COPA90, the world’s most influential football media business reaching millions of fans worldwide. He has more than 20 years’ experience building high growth businesses across media, sports, telecoms and technology sectors, with a particular focus on digital audience strategy, data science and product development. Barry has worked for and with many leading media brands worldwide, including News Corp, AOL and Telegraph Media Group, helping them to grow and monetise fan communities built around digital content. He holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Samantha Gordon

Samantha Gordon

Nottingham Forest FC

Samantha Gordon has been Chief Financial Officer of Nottingham Forest Football Club since January 2017 and in addition to the Club’s finances, is responsible for HR, IT, Operations and Catering. Prior to joining Nottingham Forest, Samantha spent seven years as part of the Executive team that steered Norwich City Football Club from a relegated position in League One with external debt of £21m to a position four years later where all external debt had been repaid, resulting in Norwich City receiving an SME business award from the Institute for Turnaround in 2011. The same year Norwich City was promoted to the Premier League. Samantha was also a Non-Executive Director of the British Basketball Federation until 2017 and prior to moving into the sports industry held posts at Hoseasons Group, Norwich Union, Group Lotus PLC and Ford Motor Company.

Keith Harris

Keith Harris

Deputy Chairman
Everton FC

Keith Harris was appointed to the Everton FC Board of Directors in October 2016 and became Deputy Chairman in June 2018. He acted as an advisor in the deal that saw investment into the Club by Farhad Moshiri in February 2016, and has an extensive background in football, having held roles as Chairman of the Football League between 2000 and 2002, and Director of Wembley National Stadium, owner of Wembley Stadium, between 2001 and 2007.

Through his corporate finance consultancy business, Dr Harris has advised on the sale and purchase of dozens of clubs, including Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, West Ham United, Aston Villa, Fulham, Manchester City and, most recently, the investment into Everton. He also advised Manchester United, Celtic and Tottenham Hotspur for many years.

Outside football, Dr Harris has held senior executive and Board-level roles with a number of blue chip organisations in both the UK and US, including Morgan Grenfell (Deutsche Bank), Drexel Burnham Lambert, Apax Partners, HSBC Investment Bank (as Chief Executive), and Seymour Pierce, where he was Chairman and Principal Owner.

Sascha Härtel

Sascha Härtel

Head of Performance Diagnostics, Science and Innovation
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Sascha Härtel is the Head of Performance Diagnostics, Science and Innovation at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s rise to the German Bundesliga and participation in the UEFA Europa and Champions Leagues have put it firmly on the European football map in recent years. This can be largely attributed to investments in talent, innovation and technology and to a partnership with SAP that stretches back more than 10 years. In this partnership, Dr Härtel is involved in the development of innovative technologies to help analyse and improve the performance of the football club as a whole and on an individual player basis. Before joining TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Dr Härtel was Head of the Performance Diagnostics Department at the Institute for Sports and Sport Science at the University of Karlsruhe (KIT) from 2005 to 2015. Within this role he conducted interdisciplinary research with engineers and technology-based start-ups to develop or validate new technical approaches in the sports market.

Peter Hutton

Peter Hutton

Director of Global Sports Partnerships & Programming

Peter Hutton has travelled the world in a unique sports broadcasting career that has seen major roles with both broadcasters and agencies. He began as a 16-year-old sports reporter on local radio in Yorkshire, England commentating on football, rugby league and cricket throughout his time at Cambridge University. His TV career began with the BBC, where he worked on the Hillsborough football disaster before becoming one of the first faces on Sky Sports as a reporter/presenter for the launch of pay TV in the UK. In 1993 he became the first producer of the world-distributed show ‘Futbol Mundial’ for IMG before becoming the company’s first employee in India in 1994. Based out of Delhi for eight years, he ran groundbreaking coverage of Indian sports and Bollywood music events. In 2002 he was one of the founders of the Ten Sports channel and was CEO of the company when it was sold to Zee TV in 2010. He joined Fox International Channels to run its international sports business and joined the board of Fox Sports Africa and became Managing Director of Fox Sports in Asia. In 2012 he became the co-CEO of the MP and Silva agency, before leaving to become CEO of the pan-European broadcaster Eurosport, where he acquired the rights to the Olympics in Europe and oversaw the first of the contracted Olympic events in South Korea. In 2018, he became Facebook’s first head of live sports. Peter lives in Paris.

Ebru Koksal

Ebru Koksal

Senior Advisor, J. Stern & Co, and
former CEO, Galatasaray Group

Ebru Koksal has a deep background in both football and finance. She began her professional career in 1990 in New York, as a financial analyst in Corporate Finance at Morgan Stanley. From 1992 to 1999, she served as a senior manager at Citibank Turkey. Ebru then joined AIG’s private equity fund, which seconded her as CFO to Galatasaray Football Club, one of its investments. She stayed at Galatasaray and served as the club’s General Marketing Manager, the Marketing and Finance Group Head, and the Stadium General Manager.

In 2010, Ebru was named CEO of the Galatasaray Group. A year later, she became the first and only female General Secretary of the Turkish Football Federation and also started working with FIFA and UEFA as a consultant, until 2017. She is also the only woman to date to have been elected to the Board of the European Club Association. She was the recipient of the Executive of the Year Award from Stadium Business in 2011.

Ebru is currently a Senior Advisor to global investment firm J. Stern & Co. She is also a non-executive director of Doublepass BV and a nominee director on the MNT Healthcare Board representing IFC.

A true advocate of gender equality, she is the Interim Chair of Women in Football UK and a founding committee member of 30% Club Turkey.

A Turkish National, Ebru is a graduate of Brown University (magna cum laude), with a dual degree in Economics and International Relations, and of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Gavin Makel

Gavin Makel

Head of Women's Football
Manchester City FC

Gavin Makel’s involvement in professional football goes back over 10 years, when he worked within the football operation of Manchester City’s community foundation. In his current role as Head of Women’s Football at Manchester City he is responsible for the business operation of the organisation, which encompasses player recruitment, marketing, commercial, finance management and match-day operations. He sits on the European Club Association Women’s Football Committee Bureau and is currently undertaking a Master’s in Sports Directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University. Commenting on the women’s team set up, Gavin has stated: “We are here to challenge and change the perception of women’s football. We are professionalising a sport which traditionally hasn’t received the support or resource it has deserved.”

Ryan Paterson

Ryan Paterson

Chief Global Officer

As Chief Global Officer, Ryan Paterson oversees all of STATS’ operations outside the US, which includes offices operating in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Ryan is responsible for managing and directing STATS’ international strategy, overseeing the development of global products, and building and managing partner relationships with leagues and federations worldwide. Sharing his time between Cape Town and London, Ryan joined STATS through the acquisition of Prozone Sports Ltd in 2015. He received his Bachelor of Commerce, Information Systems and Financial Accounting from the University of Cape Town.

Marta Plana

Marta Plana

Board Member responsible for Barça Innovation Hub
FC Barcelona

Marta Plana i Drópez is the Board Member at FC Barcelona responsible for the Barça Innovation Hub. She has spent most of her professional life in Silicon Valley, where she has advised on and participated in the creation of various technology-based start-ups. Her professional career began at Baker & McKenzie, and she also worked at Microsoft Corp and Osborne Clarke. Between 2011 and 2013, she was an Advisor to Spain’s Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT). She also co-founded Digital Origin in 2015.

Marta is currently a Board Member of the Cercle d’Economia and President of the Foro Fintech, and regularly contributes to Bits Sin Fronteras, an NGO supporting the development of educational programmes in Africa. She has a degree in Law from the University of Barcelona and a Juris Doctor with honors from Nova Southeastern University. She completed her studies at Stanford University and the London School of Economics. Marta’s mother, Carme Drópez, was an FC Barcelona Board Member in the 1990s.

Andrea  Radrizzani

Andrea Radrizzani

Leeds United FC

Andrea Radrizzani is owner and Chairman of Leeds United Football Club, international sports content platform Eleven Sports, and global investment company Aser. Andrea is a leading entrepreneur and has been at the forefront of the global sports media industry throughout his distinguished career. He co-founded MP & Silva in 2004 and has overseen the rapid growth of Eleven Sports in several markets in Europe, Asia and North America since its launch in 2015. In recent years, Andrea has also led Aser’s investment in several growing digital businesses including Whistle Sports, Hellodi, Easyprod and Sports Data Labs, creating an ecosystem of innovative services and sports-related content.

Vinai Venkatesham

Vinai Venkatesham

Managing Director
Arsenal FC

Vinai Venkatesham is an Oxford University graduate who started his career in the City, firstly as an oil trader and then as a strategy consultant at Deloitte where he qualified as a management accountant. He transitioned into a career in sport when he joined the commercial team of the London 2012 Olympics in 2005. There he was key part of a record-breaking team that together raised £2bn from the private sector. Vinai then moved to Arsenal Football Club in 2010, and after a successful period of driving commercial revenue growth as Chief Commercial Officer was promoted to Managing Director in 2018.

Outside Arsenal, Vinai is a Non-Executive Director of the British Olympic Association. He has also held Non-Executive Director roles at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships and the digital start-up Dugout. In 2018 he was ranked number 46 on the list of the 101 most influential Asians in Britain.

Peter  White

Peter White

Partner and Global Co-Chair, Media, Sports and Entertainment
DLA Piper

Peter White has over 25 years of experience in the professional sports business, representing various parties in commercial, development, financing, corporate and M&A transactions, as well as contentious matters, involving the world's major sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Major League Soccer, England's Premier League, Spain's La Liga, Italy's Lega Serie A and the Australian Football League.

Over the years, Peter has gained significant experience representing teams, owners, banks, investors and other parties in the development and financing of sports properties, including leagues, clubs, media interests, stadiums, arenas, concessions and related assets. As Global Co-Chair of the firm's Media, Sport and Entertainment Sector, Peter helps coordinate the firm's financing, M&A, sponsorship, development, major events and disputes practices in this sector around the world and manages significant client relationships.

Peter has been repeatedly recognised in Chambers USA, in which clients have reported that he is "preeminent on financing deals" and "has a fulsome knowledge of the sports space and tremendous relationships in the industry which help in getting transactions done." Peter has also drawn recognition from The Legal 500 United States, which called him a "renowned 'industry leader,'" "innovative," "never daunted by impossible odds" and "particularly good at structuring complex financings with multiple liens and tiers." He has been named Dealmaker of the Year by American Lawyer.


Co-Chairs (2)

Murad  Ahmed

Murad Ahmed

Sports Editor
Financial Times

Murad Ahmed is the FT's Sports Editor. He writes news and features on the world, business and science of sport. He has covered the biggest stories, from the Rio Olympics to the growing Chinese investment in football. Before this he covered sport, hotels, restaurants, tourism and more as Leisure Correspondent. He joined the FT in July 2014 as European Technology Correspondent, and had written about the global technology sector for eight years. Prior to joining the FT, he worked at The Times of London and studied at the University of Cambridge and Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Arash Massoudi

Arash Massoudi

Corporate Finance and Deals Editor
Financial Times, and Co-Creator, FT Due Diligence

Arash Massoudi is Corporate Finance and Deals Editor at the Financial Times based in London, where he has worked since 2014. Prior to that, he was capital markets reporter in the FT's New York bureau. He is the co-creator of the FT’s premium corporate finance briefing called Due Diligence. He joined the FT in London in 2011 from the US government where he served in the Commerce department.

Moderators (3)

Simon Kuper

Simon Kuper

Columnist, Financial Times, and
co-author, Soccernomics

Simon Kuper has been working for the Financial Times since 1994, and now writes a general column for the newspaper. He is the author of several books including Football Against the Enemy (winner of the William Hill prize for Sports Book of the Year 1994), Ajax, The Dutch, The War: Football in Europe during the Second World War (2003), and – as co-author with Stefan Szymanski - Soccernomics (2009). He also writes for magazines in Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland and other countries. He has won several awards for his journalism, ranging from the Manuel Vazquez Montalban prize for sportswriting in 2008 (sponsored by FC Barcelona) to the British Society of Magazine Editors’ prize for Columnist of the Year in 2016. He is British, lives in Paris, was born in Kampala, Uganda, and was educated at Oxford University and Harvard.

Madison Marriage

Madison Marriage

Tax and Accounting Correspondent
Financial Times

Madison Marriage is the Tax and Accounting Correspondent at the Financial Times, where she has worked for seven years. Before taking on this role in 2017, she covered the global asset management industry as an FT correspondent, and was Deputy Editor of the newspaper's investment section, FTfm. Before joining the FT she worked at Incisive Media on two investment titles, following a short stint at a literary agency in Paris. She studied French and German at university.

James Fontanella-Khan

James Fontanella-Khan

US Corporate Finance and Deals Editor
Financial Times and Co-Creator, FT Due Diligence

James Fontanella-Khan was appointed the Financial Times' US Corporate Finance and Deals Editor in February 2018. He was previously US M&A correspondent at the FT. Prior to that, he worked on Lex and as a correspondent in Brussels, New Delhi and Mumbai. He started his career at the FT in London on the news desk in 2005. He graduated from Sciences Po, Paris. Along with Arash Massoudi, Mr Fontanella-Khan is the co-creator of the FT’s premium deals briefing called Due Diligence.

Who Attends

The summit will comprise of senior decision makers from the following sectors: 

  • Football Clubs
  • Governing Bodies
  • Football Associations
  • Sports Agencies
  • Sports Brands
  • Sports Government Officials
  • Corporate Sponsors
  • Broadcasters
  • Sporting Media
  • Stadium Builders
  • Architects
  • Heads of M&A
  • Private equity investors 
  • Technology providers 
  • Professional services in football e.g. Lawyers, Accountants, Banks, Consultancies, Insurance Companies




Standard Summit Price - £2,495

There are a limited number of complimentary passes reserved exclusively for senior executives of Football Clubs, Associations and Governing Bodies.

If you meet the criteria, Please contact for more details.



49 Brook Street
London W1K 4HR

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7629 8860



Please find local accommodation options here


Presented By (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.

Founding Partner (1)

DLA Piper provides a full range of business legal services to many of the world’s major stakeholders in the media, sport and entertainment sector. Among our clients are sports leagues, bodies and teams; media and entertainment companies; organizers of World events; corporate sponsors and advertisers; financiers, developers and investors; and other commercial parties. They come to us for advice on broadcast and media rights sales; IP protection and licensing; mergers and acquisitions; advertising and promotions; disputes and controversies; esport and gaming; development of and compliance with international and domestic regulations relating to sports competition; development and financing of stadiums and arenas; and other finance and transactional matters. For additional information, go to

Statistics Partner (1)

STATS collects the richest sports data in the world and transforms it through revolutionary AI to unlock the past, present and future of everything sport. The pioneer of live sports data, STATS continues to speed innovation in the industry with AutoSTATS, the first-ever AI-powered technology to collect comprehensive sports data from any television broadcast. The world’s most innovative brands, technology companies, media, fantasy, gaming, teams and leagues trust STATS to provide world-class artificial intelligence solutions to engage billions of fans. STATS combines the industry’s fastest and most accurate data platform with video analysis, sports content and research, player tracking, and the latest in AI and machine learning to provide unparalleled media and team performance solutions. For more information, click the link below and follow STATS on Twitter @STATS_Insights.

Women In Football (1)

We are a network of professionals working in and around the football industry who support and champion their peers. Whilst we know there has been significant progress in women’s participation in football and great strides made, we know there is more to do. Follow the conversation at #WhatIf

Supported By (1)

12 Hay Hill was conceived and built as a private members’ club for business, and has pioneered ‘club-working’ as a modern way to do business. Set in the heart of London’s Mayfair, it is unique in providing business people with high-specification facilities in which to work or base their business, alongside exceptional leisure space and five-star service.

Membership comprises a diverse community of industry leaders, influencers and innovators. From finance to fashion, the club is a hub of inspiration where ideas are born and nurtured, deals are signed and business excels and flourishes. The club prides itself on being a barometer of trends in modern business and working culture.

Contact Us

Jeff Wagner
Global Head of Content, FT Live
James Rankin
Delegate, Media and Press Enquiries
Financial Times
Daniel Wood
Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times