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FT Business of Football Summit

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

London |
Speakers include:
Andrea Agnelli

Andrea Agnelli

Juventus and European Club Association (ECA)

Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang

Inter Milan and Suning International

Bob Ratcliffe

Bob Ratcliffe

INEOS Football


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.

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

Watch stream of the FT Business of Football Summit

You can view a stream of the FT Business of Football Summit via this link.


Agenda - 5th Mar

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

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

  • 9:05am
    Presentation: The football season so far -- a graphical analysis

    FT columnist Simon Kuper, co-author of Soccernomics, and FT Senior Data Visualisation Journalist John Burn-Murdoch analyse the 2019-20 season so far in Europe, uncovering some of the hidden trends in the development of the game.

  • 9:20am
    Panel: Going digital - the transformation of the media landscape

    Key industry figures share their insights on the rapidly changing media landscape for football and the potential impact of new technology platforms on Pay TV networks, the value of broadcasting rights, and global fan engagement. How are new digital providers responding to audience demands for more varied and personalised content and a closer relationship to players and clubs? How can clubs and leagues navigate these changes and continue to maintain strong earnings from the sport’s ever-increasing global viewership?

    Kerstin Lutz, Managing Director, Partnership Management, TEAM Marketing
    Steve Parish, Chairman, Crystal Palace FC
    Elliot Richardson, Founder and Chairman, Dugout

    Moderator: Alex Barker, Global Media Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:00am
    Keynote interview

    Andrea Agnelli, Chairman, Juventus FC and European Club Association (ECA)

    Interviewed by Murad Ahmed, Sports Editor, Financial Times

  • 10:30am
    Panel: Good governance – tackling financial indiscipline and inequality

    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.

    Alberto Colombo, Deputy General Secretary, European Leagues
    James Kitching, Director of Football Regulatory, FIFA
    Jane Purdon, CEO, Women In Football

    Moderator: Murad Ahmed, Sports Editor, Financial Times

  • 11:10am
    Networking break
  • 11:30am
    Keynote interview

    Steven Zhang, President, Inter Milan and Suning International

    Interviewed by Murad Ahmed, Sports Editor, Financial Times

  • 12:00pm
    Panel: Generating revenue – sponsorship, stadiums and brand alliances

    The revenue mix in the football economy is more varied than ever, with clubs increasingly reliant on sponsorship, stadium expansion and other initiatives outside of media rights and ticket sales to power commercial growth. At the same time, international companies are looking for new ways to partner with clubs and leagues to expand their customer base. How are the big clubs using other brands to drive growth and vice versa? Why does football sponsorship command such high fees? Who are some of the big players trying to enter the sport? How are ethical issues, such as betting regulations and anti-racism initiatives, affecting the market? How viable is stadium building and financing?

    Carsten Cramer, Managing Director, Borussia Dortmund
    Nick Fitzpatrick, Partner and Global Co-Chair, Media, Sports and Entertainment, DLA Piper
    Rita Liu, Director, Sports Marketing, Global Branding and Marketing, Alipay, and CEO, Alipay (UK)
    Sasha Ryazantsev, Chief Finance & Commercial Officer, Everton FC

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

  • 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 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. We will also discuss how the needs of the fans and the broader community are being taken into account in how clubs are run.

    Kate Bradley, Head of Business Development, Newcastle United
    Antonia Hagemann, CEO, SD Europe
    Domingos Soares de Oliveira, CEO, Benfica

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

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

    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.

    Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, General Secretary, FIFPRO
    Albert Capellas, Head Coach, Denmark U21 national team
    Rainer Koch, First Vice President, German Football Federation (DFB)

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

  • 3:00pm
    Networking break
  • 3:20pm
    Panel: The women’s game – what’s next?

    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?

    Bruno Cheyrou, General Manager, Paris Saint-Germain FC Women
    Sally Horrox, Managing Partner, Y Sport
    Kelly Simmons, Director of Women's Professional Game, The Football Association

    Moderator: Siona Jenkins, Assistant UK News Editor, Financial Times

  • 4:00pm
    Panel: The Dealmakers

    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.

    Mike Forde, Executive Chairman, Sportsology 
    Rob McKie, Partner, DLA Piper
    Gian Piero Sammartano, Managing Director, Head of EMEA Media Investment Banking, JP Morgan

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

  • 4:40pm
    Keynote interview

    Bob Ratcliffe, CEO, Ineos Football

    Interviewed by Arash Massoudi, Corporate Finance and Deals Editor, Financial Times

  • 5:10pm
    Closing remarks

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

  • 5:15pm
    Cocktail reception

Speakers (27)

Andrea Agnelli

Andrea Agnelli

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). 

Steven Zhang

Steven Zhang

Inter Milan and Suning International

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.

Bob Ratcliffe

Bob Ratcliffe

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.

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.

Rainer Koch

Rainer Koch

First Vice President
German Football Federation (DFB)

Rainer Koch has been First Vice President of the German Football Federation (DFB), the governing body of football in Germany, since 2013. Dr Koch also serves as Assessor of the UEFA Appeals Body, a member of the FIFA Governance Committee, and President of the Bavarian Football Association. His passion for the sport is reflected in his experience on the field. He was an active player and later head coach of FC Falke Markt Schwaben’s Under-18 team. Dr Koch graduated in 1984 from Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich and four years later obtained his PhD degree in Law. He worked as a judge at the Freising local district court as well as at the Munich Higher Regional Court. In 2020, he took leave from the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice, enabling him to fully perform his functions for the DFB, the Bavarian FA, UEFA and FIFA. 

James Kitching

James Kitching

Director of Football Regulatory

James Kitching, an Australian-Italian lawyer, is the Director of Football Regulatory at FIFA, having commenced in the role in January 2020.

James is responsible for the Football Regulatory subdivision which incorporates: dispute resolution and player status; the Transfer Matching System; relationships with professional football stakeholders; regulatory strategy and policy; football agents; and the FIFA Clearing House.

Prior to joining FIFA, James was the founder and Managing Director of Kitching Sports, the first specialist sports regulation and business firm in the Asia-Pacific region. He was formerly the Head of Sports Legal Services, Disciplinary and Governance at the Asian Football Confederation.

James is a recognised expert in the international sports law industry, with specialised knowledge in football. He regularly lectures at conferences and postgraduate programmes on matters related to international sports law and business.

In addition to his role at FIFA, James currently serves as a member of the External Judicial Experts Group of the Badminton World Federation, and the Appeals Panel (Selection Disputes) of the Australian Olympic Committee.

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.

Jonas Baer-Hoffmann

Jonas Baer-Hoffmann

General Secretary

Jonas Baer-Hoffmann is General Secretary of FIFPRO, representing 65,000 professional footballer players worldwide. In his role, Jonas develops, negotiates and implements policy and regulation to protect the rights and interests of professional players in the football industry. He leads the strategic development and execution of the organisation, and leads FIFPRO’s head office in Amsterdam. In his capacity as General Secretary, Jonas represents the point of view of over 60 national player associations across Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe. He is an executive board member of the World Players Association and overseas the FIFPRO Global Player Council.

Jonas is an experienced executive who has represented players in a variety of national and international decision-making bodies – both in the football industry and with governments. Since 2018, he has served as a member of the Professional Football Strategy Council at UEFA. He is also a member of the FIFA task force on transfer matters and since 2013 has led the players’ delegation to the European social dialogue committee for professional football.

Before his current appointment, Jonas served as General Secretary of FIFPRO Europe and spent more than seven years as the Director of Global Policy at FIFPRO. He has been involved in negotiating employment standards and arbitration mechanisms for players across multiple continents. His career in the player association movement started as a young academy basketball player in his native Germany, where he helped form a national player union, representing interests of league and national team players.

Kate Bradley

Kate Bradley

Head of Business Development
Newcastle United

A senior leader with over 12 years’ experience working at a Premier League football club, Kate Bradley is a member of the Senior Management Team at Newcastle United FC, providing strategic direction and leadership across the club’s commercial and marketing departments, with responsibility for business development and marketing outputs. Prior to this, Kate was the head of Newcastle United Foundation.

Gateshead-born Kate worked for the Prince's Trust in London after graduating from Leeds University with a BA (Hons) in History. She returned to the North East to work for the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland for five years while studying for an MSc in Urban Policy and Regeneration at Northumbria University. Kate is a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation and chair of their Grants Committee. She is also a volunteer with Speakers for Schools. 

John Burn-Murdoch

John Burn-Murdoch

Senior Data Visualisation Journalist
Financial Times

John Burn-Murdoch is the FT’s Senior Data Visualisation Journalist. He produces statistical analyses, graphics and stories on a range of subjects from sports to politics and economics, and between 2014 and 2016 wrote the FT’s Baseline sport statistics column. He is also a visiting lecturer in visual communication at the London School of Economics. He joined the FT in 2013, having previously worked as a data journalist at the Guardian, and before this was studying at Durham University and City University, London.

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, 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. 

Bruno Cheyrou

Bruno Cheyrou

General Manager
PSG Women

Bruno Cheyrou was appointed General Manager of the Paris Saint-Germain FC women's team in November 2017, focusing on the performance of the club's women's football department and player recruitment.

Bruno came through the ranks as a midfielder at Lille, making his professional debut in 2000 before Gerard Houllier signed him for Liverpool in 2002. He went on to play for several Ligue 1 clubs before retiring from professional football in February 2012. He has been capped three times by the French national team.

Bruno became a commentator for beIN SPORTS in 2012. He holds a BTEC Higher National diploma in marketing and a university degree in Managing Professional Sports Clubs from the Limoges Centre for Sports Law and Economics. He also obtained the UEFA Executive Master’s for International Players from the University of Limoges.

Alberto Colombo

Alberto Colombo

Deputy General Secretary
European Leagues

Alberto Colombo has vast international experience in governance and stakeholder relationships in professional football thanks to his 12 years in management roles at the European Leagues, where he is currently Deputy General Secretary. 

Alberto was previously involved in events management, working in the media operations for the Olympic Games, the America's Cup and other tournaments. 

Alberto is fluent in five languages, and holds a university degree in Business Administration and an international Master’s in Sports Management.

Nick Fitzpatrick

Nick Fitzpatrick

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

Nick Fitzpatrick is the co-chair of DLA Piper's global Media, Sport and Entertainment team and in that capacity heads the team coordinating the firm’s international work on all aspects of exploiting major events. He has 30 years of experience of advising in the elite sport sector across most major sports, with a specific expertise in advising the football industry -- with clients including the Premier League, the Football League, Football Dataco and Roma FC. He has undertaken major sponsorships involving Manchester United, Roma FC, Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona. His other clients include the IOC and NBA, and the British Horseracing Authority. He has acted for the organisers of major events including the London and Rio Olympics and the Glasgow and Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

Nick also regularly advises major corporates on sponsorship matters. He has recently undertaken major sponsorship transactions with Qatar Air and Rakuten. Nick advises on the Premier League Sponsorship programme, and has assisted event organisers in formulating their sponsorship strategies. 

Nick features in the Legal 500 “Hall of Fame” for UK sports lawyers. Chambers says the "brilliant" Nick Fitzpatrick is praised by commentators for being "very strong commercially." 

Mike Forde

Mike Forde

Executive Chairman

Having worked in elite sports since 1998, Mike Forde is a highly regarded, trusted advisor on organisational and human capital performance, with vast experience in creating performance methodologies around the development of world class sports franchise models and maximising diverse and multi-cultural talent. Now based in New York, Mike currently advises ownership and front offices on building high performance cultures and talent management across a variety of global sports, including leading NFL and NBA teams. 

In 2014, Mike co-created the advisory and software company Sportsology, which, based in the US and UK, works with over 40 teams in six major sports and US colleges in building a performance model for sustained success. 

Between June 2007 to July 2013, Mike was employed as Director of Football Operations and Executive Club Director at Chelsea Football Club, and between 1998 and 2007 he spent eight years at Bolton Wanderers as Performance Director and Director of Football Operations. Alongside Carlo Ancelotti (four-times UEFA Champions League winning manager), Mike launched his first business book – Quiet Leadership - in May 2016 with Penguin Global Publishing. It has been translated into 10 languages and sold in over 19 major countries.

Antonia Hagemann

Antonia Hagemann

SD Europe

Antonia Hagemann is a leading expert on supporter and fan engagement in football. She is the founder and CEO of SD Europe, a non-profit organisation that promotes meaningful supporter involvement in the running of football clubs. SD Europe represents grassroots and national supporters’ organisations across 38 countries, as well as amateur and professional member-run football clubs, and is an official partner of UEFA’s Social Responsibility programme. 

In her capacity as CEO, Antonia has led on a number of EU-funded projects with the overarching goal of improving governance standards in football by involving supporters in decision-making processes. This includes LIAISE, which aims to forge better relationships between clubs and supporters across Europe and FANS MATTER!, a collaboration between supporters’ organisations, football associations, clubs and other relevant football authorities, which will train hundreds of individuals across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in key operational skills such as governance, sustainability, volunteer management and communications.

Antonia speaks regularly on high profile platforms about how to bring together football activists, football authorities, EU institutions and other stakeholders. She has addressed the European Parliament on the role of clubs and fans in the development of the football, and is frequently invited onto European Commission Expert Groups on football governance. 

Sally Horrox

Sally Horrox

Managing Partner
Y Sport

Sally Horrox is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Y Sport, industry experts leading the commercial and professional development of women’s sport in England and Europe for the past 15 years.

As advisors to the Football Association and UEFA, sponsors, media partners and investors, Y Sport has been instrumental in supporting the systematic and strategic development of women’s football worldwide.

Sally was originally a commercial lawyer, and has also been a non-executive director of England Netball and Chair of the Vitality Netball Super League.

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.

Rita Liu

Rita Liu

Director, Sports Marketing, Global Branding and Marketing

Rita Liu joined Alipay in 2010 and was initially responsible for driving partnerships with major Chinese banks. In 2011, she became one of the founding members of the Alipay International Business department and has since held responsibility for business development and partnerships in Asia, the US and Europe. From 2015 to 2017, Rita was based in London while serving as Head of EMEA for Alipay, overseeing the company’s overall business in the region, including business development, operations and marketing activities. In early 2018, She was named Head of Canada, to build the firm’s business and strategy from scratch in Canada. She later returned to London to take up responsibility as a leading member in the newly signed Alipay–UEFA global partnership, driving the firm’s new venture into sports as a platform for globalisation. She was also appointed CEO of Alipay(UK) Limited, serving on the board of the company. Before joining Alipay, Rita was business development manager at American Express.

Kerstin Lutz

Kerstin Lutz

Managing Director, Partnership Management
TEAM Marketing

Kerstin Lutz has worked at TEAM Marketing since 2000, in various roles including sponsorship management and sales. She is currently Managing Director of Partnership Management, leading the sponsor and media partnership management teams for the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League, as well as licensing and commercial rights delivery and operations. Kerstin has over 20 years of sports marketing industry experience. She previously worked for Octagon and General Motors Europe on major football and other sporting events.

Rob McKie

Rob McKie

DLA Piper

Rob McKie is a Partner in the Corporate Group and has particular experience in a wide range of domestic and cross-border merger and acquisition transactions and initial and secondary public equity offerings and public takeovers.

Rob specialises in acting on share or business acquisitions or disposals for both UK and International listed and private companies and capital market transactions, having acted on IPOs, secondary issues and takeovers for listed companies. He acts for quality corporate clients on a wide range of transactions. He also advises a range of clients on shareholders' agreements, articles of association, demergers, corporate governance and compliance issues.

In Media, Sports and Entertainment, he has advised Dejphon Chansiri on his acquisition of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club; BFC Investment Company Ltd on their acquisition of Barnsley Football Club; Sheffield United Football Club on multiple equity raises and corporate acquisitions and disposals; and Heart of Midlothian Football Club on corporate governance issues.

Steve Parish

Steve Parish

Crystal Palace FC

Steve Parish, Chairman of Crystal Palace FC, is a serial entrepreneur and investor. In 1998, he acquired an advertising company called Tag Worldwide. He turned it from a small London-based company with 50 staff and a turnover of under £4m into the world’s leading advertising production company, boasting a client base of some of the biggest brands, including Unilever, Intel, HP, Reebok and H&M; 3,000 employees operating across all media types; 13 offices around the world; and revenues in excess of £180m. Steve exited the business in 2011, selling it to Deutsche Post DHL for around £150m. 

In 2010, Steve acquired the football club he had supported since childhood, Crystal Palace FC. He has acted as Executive Chairman for the past eight years, successfully bringing the Club out of administration and into the Championship play offs, subsequently going on to win the play off final in May 2013. The Club has since gone on to win runners-up honours in the 2016 FA Cup Final as well as retain their Premier League status for the sixth consecutive year, a record in the Club’s 113-year history.

Steve maintains a broad investment portfolio while running Crystal Palace FC. His other business ventures include Pure Gyms, Oliver Marketing, Seenit, Collider, Seedrs and TalentSpa Recruitment. Alongside all of this, he also manages a growing property portfolio, advises companies and acts as a mentor to young entrepreneurs.

Steve’s philanthropic endeavors include active support of the Crystal Palace for Life Foundation as well as charities Nordoff Robbins and Cure Leukemia.

Jane Purdon

Jane Purdon

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.

Elliot Richardson

Elliot Richardson

Executive Chairman

Elliot Richardson is Executive Chairman and a key shareholder of Dugout. He was responsible for the creation, development and launch of the business – alongside the original co-founder clubs – in late 2016.

At Dugout, Elliot leads the Board and works closely with the founder clubs and investors to set the vision and strategic direction for the business. As such, he manages the company’s senior relationships with its commercial partners and drives Dugout’s international growth, including spearheading the business’ expansion by opening new offices in London, Singapore, Cairo and Istanbul. 

Elliot possesses a strong network of contacts across international football and broader sport, film, the arts and music, and has previously been an advisor to the International Olympic Committee, several Formula 1 teams and leading football clubs.

Elliot also has more than 30 years’ experience in the global financial markets, leading the development of some of the most successful teams in insurance broking. This includes his position as CEO of AON Broking and his current role as Chairman of RKHRB, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyperion, a Sunday Times Fast-Track company.

Sasha Ryazantsev

Sasha Ryazantsev

Chief Finance and Commercial Officer
Everton FC

Alexander (Sasha) Ryazantsev is a member of the Board and Chief Finance and Commercial Officer of Everton Football Club.

Sasha’s key financial priorities in his role include financing of the day-to-day and working capital activities of EFC, ensuring adherence to the Club’s financial principles, and structuring of stadium financing.

Sasha also has a strong focus on EFC’s commercial activities, including expansion of the sectoral and geographical reach of the Club’s partnership portfolio, opening new markets, and maximising controllable revenue growth, including the transition to the new stadium in Bramley Moore Dock.

Prior to joining EFC, Sasha had a successful career in finance and investment banking spanning more than 20 years. His expertise is in financial markets and corporate finance.

Sasha holds a BSc in Economics and Commercial Management from Plekhanov University and a Master’s in Finance from London Business School, and has attended the Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports course at Harvard Business School.

Gian Piero  Sammartano

Gian Piero Sammartano

Head of EMEA Media Investment Banking
J.P. Morgan

A senior dealmaker with 16 years of experience working in investment banking, Gian Piero Sammartano is Head of J.P. Morgan's Media Investment Banking activities in the EMEA region. In his role, Gian Piero is responsible for the origination and execution of M&A and Capital Markets transactions in the Media & Sports sectors. Recent notable football transactions led by J.P. Morgan include the acquisition of Fiorentina and financings for Real Madrid and AS Roma. Prior to his current position, Gian Piero has held numerous roles across J.P. Morgan’s EMEA Investment Banking business, including leading the UK M&A sell-side practice. 

Gian Piero holds a degree cum laude in Business Administration from Bocconi University. He has been part of numerous philanthropic activities including the J.P. Morgan Schools Challenge programme in the UK.

Domingos Soares de Oliveira

Domingos Soares de Oliveira


Domingos Soares de Oliveira is the CEO of Benfica Group (SL Benfica). He is in charge of the Football Department, Youth Development, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Administration, IT, Infrastructure, HR, Planning and Control, Communication and Media. 

He was a member of the European Club Association (ECA) board from 2017 to 2019, on the Financial Fair Play strategic panel.

During his career, Mr Soares de Oliveira has been invited to speak at events in every continent, sharing his experience in transforming SL Benfica over the course of more than a decade.

Before joining SL Benfica in 2004, he was CEO of Cap Gemini Spain and Portugal. 

Mr Soares de Oliveira’s studies were mainly conducted in France, at both the University Paris XI and INSEAD. He has also lived and worked in Spain and Brazil.


Co-Chairs and Moderators (4)

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.

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. 

Alex Barker

Alex Barker

Global Media Editor
Financial Times

Alex Barker was appointed Global Media Editor for the Financial Times in September 2019. He had previously spent eight years in Brussels for the FT, first as EU Correspondent and European Diplomatic Editor, and then from May 2016, as Brussels Bureau Chief. Prior to that, he spent four years as a UK political correspondent in Westminster. Mr Barker started his career in current affairs television. After taking a Master’s degree at Columbia University, he joined the FT as a graduate trainee in 2005. 


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


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

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




The Biltmore Mayfair
44 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 2HP

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7596 3122



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.


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

Associate Partner (3)

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s leading payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay serves over 1.2 billion users with its local e-wallets partners as of June 2019. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 50 markets across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35 markets. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies, and works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas, and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites.

Dugout is digital media company co-owned by the world’s biggest football clubs.

Launched in 2016, Dugout’s mission was to combine the huge demand for high quality, original video content and the global popularity of football. We have brought together the biggest names in football in one shared enterprise, and are proud to be a truly iconic company that inspires fans and brands in over 238 countries.

Our online library is home to over 50,000 exclusive, brand safe videos featuring content from 97 of the world’s leading football clubs. This exclusive content is enjoyed by millions of football fans around the world – on Dugout’s own platform, iOS, Android apps and via our network of over 75 premium global publishers.

Sportsology is a trusted advisor and ‘knowledge broker’ across the elite sports landscape. Sportsology has created a unique repository
of ‘best and next practice’ built over 20 years of daily contact with the world’s best sports teams, ownership groups and individuals. Working alongside and learning from these transformational organizations we are in a position to add value through our cutting edge collective knowledge.

Our Corporate Knowledge Platform (CKP) and consultancy process is designed to capture, codify and create new dynamic core Intellectual Property for the organization.

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

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Financial Times
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Financial Times
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Financial Times