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FT Business of Football Summit

Deal-making, disruption and the relentless development of the beautiful game

London |
Speakers include:
Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang

Inter Milan

Gary Neville

Gary Neville

former Manchester Utd and England defender

Carsten Cramer

Carsten Cramer

Borussia Dortmund

Overview

Football is the world’s most popular sport, and, also, one of the most active sectors globally for deal-making. Whether it is M&A, private equity investment, stadium financing, media rights, sponsorship contracts, player transfers, or salary packages, the business of football has become a multi-billion dollar economy. And as with many other major asset classes, there are disruptive forces that are shifting the goalposts – challenging established systems and creating new opportunities for growth.

Building on its inaugural event in May 2019, the FT Business of Football Summit returns to renew its unique exploration into all of football’s key income streams, bringing together the biggest names in the industry to debate the financial future of the beautiful game.

Leading investors, club and league executives, regulators, broadcasters, sponsors, advisors and other key influencers will share expert insights and often surprising stories to give structure and colour to the major issues affecting the football economy.

We will explore the new technology that is transforming the way the sport is both consumed and played, radical proposals to expand regional and global tournaments, the continuing efforts by regulators to level the financial playing field, and the enormous growth potential for the women’s game following the success of the 2019 World Cup.

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fallback Add to my Calendar 03/05/2020 08:00:0003/05/2020 18:30:00trueFT Business of Football SummitFootball is the world’s most popular sport, and, also, one of the most active sectors globally for deal-making. Whether it is M&A, private equity investment, stadium financing, media rights, sponsorship contracts, player transfers, or salary packages, the business of football has become a multi-billion dollar economy. And as with many other major asset classes, there are disruptive forces that are shifting the goalposts – challenging established systems and creating new opportunities for growth.Building on its inaugural event in May 2019, the FT Business of Football Summit returns to renew its unique exploration into all of football’s key income streams, bringing together the biggest names in the industry to debate the financial future of the beautiful game.Leading investors, club and league executives, regulators, broadcasters, sponsors, advisors and other key influencers will share expert insights and often surprising stories to give structure and colour to the major issues affecting the football economy.We will explore the new technology that is transforming the way the sport is both consumed and played, radical proposals to expand regional and global tournaments, the continuing efforts by regulators to level the financial playing field, and the enormous growth potential for the women’s game following the success of the 2019 World Cup.FT-Business-of-Football-Summita9150e2e1effd14e5cb202b9a2c00aeeMM/DD/YYYY

Agenda - 5th Mar

  • 8:00am
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:00am
    Welcome remarks
  • 9:05am
    Presentation: The football season so far -- a graphical analysis

    FT columnist Simon Kuper, co-author of Soccernomics, assisted by FT data visualisation journalist John Burn-Murdoch, analyses the 2019-20 season so far in Europe, uncovering some of the hidden trends in the development of the game.

  • 9:25am
    Panel: The transformation of the media landscape

    Statistical Framer: The world’s most popular sport

    Key industry figures share their insights on the rapidly changing media landscape for football, the potential impact of new technology platforms on Pay TV networks and the value of broadcasting rights, and how clubs and leagues can navigate these changes and continue to maintain strong earnings from the sport’s ever-increasing global viewership.

  • 10:05am
    Keynote interview
  • 10:30am
    Panel: Good Governance – tackling financial indiscipline and inequality

    Statistical Framer: Profits and losses – wealth and inequality in football
    Across the world, football’s governing bodies and administrators are addressing many of the same problems: how to bring good financial discipline to clubs and confederations, and how best to tackle the wealth imbalance between the biggest and smallest leagues and nations. Is Financial Fair Play a smart route to shoring up balance sheets, or is it a form of protectionism? Can new rules be implemented for football organisations to run better? Are there situations where rule-makers should get out of the way? How should agents and other player intermediaries be governed? Senior executives and thought leaders from national organisations, leagues and governing bodies discuss these key questions and share lessons from good – and bad – governance in the game.

  • 11:10am
    Networking break
  • 11:30am
    Keynote interview
  • 12:00pm
    Panel: Sponsorship – untangling the value propositions of brand alliances

    How are the big clubs using other brands to power commercial growth? Why does football sponsorship command such high fees? Are leagues and tournaments taking sponsorship share from clubs? Are there more sellers than buyers? How are ethical issues, such as betting regulations and anti-racism initiatives, affecting where and at what price sponsorship is delivered?

  • 12:40pm
    Networking lunch
  • 1:40pm
    Panel: The winning formula -- how clubs build for success

    Clubs challenge each other for the sport’s top prizes by building businesses that support the creation of winning teams. We speak to the leaders of top clubs around the world about the relationship between success on and off the pitch. They will share insights on how they have created modern media operations that can reach fans around the world, established commercial teams able to target blue-chip sponsors, and employed global player scouting regimes and smart recruitment strategies -- all in an effort to get a competitive edge on their rivals.

  • 2:20pm
    Panel: How to produce the football stars of the future

    Statistical Framer: How technology is changing player performance

    In the current football economy, with rapidly increasing transfer fees, a fast-transforming global media and fan engagement landscape, and a renewed push by leagues and associations to connect with grassroots communities, it is more important than ever for clubs to have a strong youth academy. This session gathers pioneers in youth development to discuss what sets the great academies apart, the latest training methods and analytics that help clubs identify future talent, the pros and cons of an extensive player loan system, and how a focus on youth can help embed a football style that yields trophies for decades to come.

  • 3:00pm
    Keynote interview
  • 3:30pm
    Panel: The women’s game – what’s next?

    Statistical Framer: A look back at the FIFA Women’s World Cup

    The success of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which achieved record television revenues, suggests a rare growth opportunity in global sport. Debates are raging on how best to resource emerging women’s leagues. Some see an opportunity for sponsors, looking to be associated with female audiences. Others say attendances must rise to secure a dedicated fanbase. How best then to support -- and perhaps even profit from -- women’s football?

  • 4:10pm
    Networking break
  • 4:30pm
    Panel: The Dealmakers

    Statistical Framer: Deal Values in Football

    Football clubs are no longer a trophy purchase. With access to multi-billion dollar broadcasting contracts and sponsorship deals, a well-run club is a valuable asset. But the sport features stiff competition, with the threat of relegation depressing the values of clubs. We speak to dealmakers who have played pivotal roles in the acquisition of clubs about what goes into club valuations, how to structure deals, and the pitfalls to avoid.

  • 5:10pm
    Keynote interview
  • 5:40pm
    Closing remarks
  • 5:45pm
    Cocktail reception

Speakers (14)

Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang

President
Inter Milan

Kangyang Steven Zhang (Steven Zhang) is the President of Suning International, part of Suning Holdings Group, and also President of Football Club Internazionale Milano SpA (Inter Milan). He is one of the most influential young business leaders in China.

Mr Zhang has featured in Fortune China magazine’s ‘40 Under 40’ list for two consecutive years. He holds a unique insight into the technology and lifestyle trends shaping Chinese youth and is passionate about bridging the East and West to facilitate mutual commercial opportunity and cultural exchange.

Having been instrumental in Suning Holding Group’s 2016 acquisition of Inter, he became the youngest ever President of the Club in 2018. Under his leadership, the club has qualified for the UEFA Champions League after a six-year absence, and club revenue has risen 100 per cent. Long-term commitments include a new stadium. Mr Zhang has been a member of UEFA’s Club Competitions Committee since 2018 and in 2019 joined the European Club Association (ECA) Executive Board.

Mr Zhang has run Suning International since 2016 and opened the Milan office in 2018, which was seen as a catalyst for Suning International's European growth. Cooperation agreements have since been signed with Italian trade institutions, brands and enterprises, including a strategic partnership with the Italian Trade Agency. An office also opened in the UK in June 2018, adding to an established global network covering Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR, Japan and the US. Under his guidance, the business forecasts some 30 per cent of revenue will come from international business by 2020.

Mr Zhang was educated in the US and graduated with honours from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Before joining Suning, he worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley, where he specialised in IPOs and M&A.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville

former Manchester Utd and England defender
Carsten Cramer

Carsten Cramer

Managing Director
Borussia Dortmund

Carsten Cramer began his professional career as Managing Director and Head of Marketing at German lower league football club SC Preußen Münster. He then moved to the sports rights marketing agency UFA Sports (later Sportfive). There he served as a Sportfive team leader at Hamburger SV, and from 2002 to 2007 in the same capacity at Borussia Dortmund (BVB). From 2007 to 2010, after Sporfive became a unit of Lagardère, Mr Cramer was responsible for Sportfive’s nationwide marketing and sales business as Senior Vice-President based at headquarters in Hamburg. He joined Borussia Dortmund in October 2010 as Director of Sales & Marketing, with a major focus on the club’s digitisation and internationalisation strategy, as well as co-managing BVB Merchandising GmbH and serving on the board of the BVB Foundation "Leuchte Auf". On March 1, 2018, Mr Cramer was appointed a Managing Director of Borussia Dortmund Geschäftsführungs-GmbH.

Andrea Agnelli

Andrea Agnelli

Chairman
Juventus and European Club Association (ECA)

Andrea Agnelli has been Chairman of Juventus Football Club SpA since 19 May 2010, and Lamse SpA, a holding company for which he is a founding shareholder, since 2007.

Mr Agnelli began his professional career in 1999 at Ferrari Idea di Lugano, where he was responsible for promoting and developing the Ferrari brand in non-automotive areas. In November 2000, he moved to Paris and assumed responsibility for marketing at Uni Invest SA, a Banque Sanpaolo company specialising in managed investment products. From 2001 to 2004, he worked at Philip Morris International in Lausanne, where he initially had responsibility for marketing and sponsorships and, subsequently, corporate communications. 

In 2005, Mr Agnelli returned to Turin to work in strategic development for IFIL Investments SpA, and joined the board of directors of IFI SpA in May 2006 (IFIL and IFI are now both part of EXOR NV). He is a General Partner of Giovanni Agnelli BV, a member of the board of directors of FIAT SpA (now Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV), and a member of the advisory board of BlueGem Capital Partners LLP. Since March 2017, he has also been President of "Fondazione del Piemonte per l’Oncologia".

Mr Agnelli has been a member of the European Club Association (ECA) Executive Board since 2012. In September 2015 he was appointed to the UEFA Executive Committee as an ECA representative and, as of September 2017, has been ECA Chairman.

He has also served as a board member of the Serie A National League of Professionals and as a board member of The Foundation for General Mutuality in Professional Team Sports from 2014 to 2017.

Mr Agnelli studied at Oxford (St Clare’s International College) and Milan (Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi). 

Kelly Simmons

Kelly Simmons

Director of Women's Professional Game
The Football Association

Kelly Simmons MBE took up the new role of Director of the Women’s Professional Game in September 2018 to help deliver and transform professional women’s football in England. She oversees The FA Women’s Super League, FA Women’s Championship, FA Women’s National League and the Women’s Pyramid of Football. 

She was previously The FA Director of Participation and Development, overseeing the implementation of a £200m four-year investment programme into children’s and grassroots football. 

Kelly was awarded an MBE in 2002 for Services to Football and received the BT Sports Industry Award for Leadership in Sport in 2016.

Bob Ratcliffe

Bob Ratcliffe

CEO
INEOS Football

Bob Ratcliffe spent over three decades in the financial services sector in key appointments on two continents. During the mid-1990s as Executive Vice President of NatWest in New York, he led the acquisition and integration of Greenwich Capital and other key investment banking activities. He returned to the UK in 1998 in his early 40s to become NatWest’s Group Chief Credit Officer with responsibility for global credit quality and with a personal authority of £1bn.

Bob subsequently spent 15 years at Swiss Re, including being COO of a $160bn asset management portfolio where the activities were substantially reengineered. In 2011, he was appointed to the Group Management Board and made CEO of AdminRe/Reassure, an orphan business that he turned around over a five-year spell through a series of divestitures and acquisitions. Following the £1.6bn purchase and integration of Guardian Insurance, which established Reassure as the leading closed book consolidator in the UK and a top 10 life insurer, he left Swiss Re at the beginning of 2017.

Bob joined INEOS in the spring of 2018 to become CEO at Lausanne Sport. Now as President, he will orchestrate the move to a purpose-built new stadium this year. With the acquisition of OGC Nice, Bob, as CEO INEOS Football, is responsible for achieving the objectives of both clubs.

Albert Capellas

Albert Capellas

Head Coach
Denmark U21 national team

Albert Capellas, the current head coach of Denmark’s Under-21 national team, is a leading proponent of the possession football style that has contributed to the success of teams like Barcelona, Ajax and Spain. Albert’s 20-year career includes a long period at FC Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy as well as experience at Borussia Dortmund and other European clubs. His last post before Denmark was as assistant coach under Jordi Cruyff, manager of Chongqing Dangdai Lifan in the China Super League. 

Albert is also the founder and CEO of internet portal www.possessionfootball.com, where he shares the knowledge he has acquired about the game to inspire and help professionals who want to apply this style of football to their own teams.

Albert holds a ProUEFA License, a Bachelor of Physical Education degree from Barcelona, and an ​​International Master’s in Sport Management from the Cruyff Institute. He has contributed to UEFA seminars and programmes organised by various football federations, including the Advanced Youth training programme run the FA in St George’s Park. 

Nadine Kessler

Nadine Kessler

Head of Women's Football
UEFA
Rainer Koch

Rainer Koch

First Vice President
German Football Association (DFB)
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.

Maheta Molango

Maheta Molango

CEO
Real Mallorca

Maheta Molango is CEO of Spanish LaLiga professional football club Real Mallorca. He was appointed CEO of the club in January 2016 after Real Mallorca was bought by a group of US investors led by Robert Sarver and Andy Kohlberg (owners of the Phoenix Suns) and Steve Nash (2-time NBA MVP).

Prior to joining Real Mallorca, Maheta was a lawyer at Baker McKenzie in Madrid specialised in labour/employment law, as well as sports law, admitted to practice in Spain and New York. He remains a member of the Baker McKenzie Advisory Board in Madrid, and still teaches several courses on a part-time basis at Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Centro de Estudios Garrigues and other universities. He is also a guest speaker at New York University (Madrid campus).

Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Maheta played football at a professional level for several European clubs, including Atletico Madrid, SV Wacker Burghausen and Brighton & Hove Albion. After his playing career came to an end, he remained linked to the football world, working for Charlton Athletic as a scout for the Spanish market and appearing as a guest commentator on Real Madrid TV’s international channel.

Jane Purdon

Jane Purdon

CEO
Women In Football

Jane Purdon, who has a track record at the highest level of football and sport, is the first ever CEO of Women in Football, a role she started in December 2018.

Jane qualified as a lawyer and in 2001 was appointed as Club Secretary and Solicitor at Sunderland AFC, the club’s first ever in-house lawyer and one of the first in-house lawyers at any Premier League football club.

In 2005, she joined the Premier League, where she enjoyed 10 eventful years, rising to become the Premier League’s Director of Governance.

Whilst at the Premier League, Jane had responsibility for maintaining and enforcing the Premier League rulebook, with a particular focus on the rules concerning the transfer system, club ownership, club profitability and sustainability, and club licensing. She was the Premier League’s representative on several committees of UEFA, FIFA and the Association of European Leagues.

In 2015, Jane joined UK Sport as Head of Governance and Leadership, working with the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic programmes to ensure high standards of governance.

Andrea Traverso

Andrea Traverso

Managing Director of Financial Sustainability and Research
UEFA
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.

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Co-Chairs and Moderators (3)

Murad  Ahmed

Murad Ahmed

Sports Correspondent
Financial Times

Murad Ahmed is the FT's Sports Correspondent. 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.

Siona Jenkins

Siona Jenkins

Assistant UK News Editor
Financial Times

Siona Jenkins is Assistant UK News Editor at the Financial Times, where she has worked since 2008. While on the desk she has covered women's football in interviews and columns for the FT. Prior to that she worked on news briefings -- including First FT and Opening Quote. She also spent six years as the FT's Middle East and Africa News Editor in London. Before joining the FT, she was based in Cairo. 

Be in good company

Attendees at the 2019 Business of Football Summit included:

Arsenal • AS ROMA • Barcelona • Borussia Dortmund • Brazilian Football Confederation • Brighton & Hove Albion • Cardiff City • Crystal Palace • DFL Deutsche Fussball Liga • EFL • European Leagues  • Everton • FIFA  • Fulham FC  • Internazionale Milano • Juventus • La Liga • League Managers Association • Liverpool • Major League Soccer • Manchester City • Manchester United • Nottingham Forest • Premier League • Real Madrid • Sevilla • The Football Association • The PFA • Tottenham Hotspur • Valencia

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Why Attend

The Financial Times is once again bringing together football leaders with investors, bankers, broadcasters and other key stakeholders to discuss the changing shape of the football economy and the outlook for football as an asset class. Join us to:
  • Network with a high level audience of football leaders and influencers
  • Hear from club and league executives, and major investors
  • Discuss how new technology platforms will change access to football
  • Examine how big clubs can remain competitive and how smaller ones can stay in the race
  • Explore the most attractive opportunities amid a wave of private equity and corporate investor interest
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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

 

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Venue

The Biltmore Mayfair
44 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 2HP

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7596 3122

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Fees

Standard Summit Price - £2,995

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 Abigail.Lewis@FT.com for more details.

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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 Sponsor (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 www.dlapiper.com.

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

Contact Us

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Sponsorship Opportunities
Financial Times
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Financial Times
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