Football Management

Commentary on the management of over 160 English football clubs by Dr John Beech, winner of the FSF Writer of the Year Award 2009/10 Twitter: @JohnBeech Curator of Scoop.it! Football Finance

Posts Tagged ‘2010’

FIFA’s largesse

Posted by John Beech on January 6, 2011

Before I return to more usual topics (I’m working on a posting on a nonleague club), it’s worth picking up on something Paul Geiss raised in a comment on my last post.  Some details emerged today of the monies paid to various countries to provide “a share of the benefits from the successful staging of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™” (1)

Figures are based on a total per player basis and are intended to go the club the player comes from.  One player attracts $1600 per day if at the World Cup, whether he actually plays or not.  As Blatter puts it, “We are pleased that we can share the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup with the clubs by providing them a share of the benefits of our flagship event, in particular to recognise their efforts in the development of young players

Unfortunately the data is not entirely transparent as FIFA has only released on a country-by-country basis.  Only the data for the top five clubs, from (exactly?) 400 clubs to benefit, is given. The FIFA announcement concludes with the following: “Furthermore, a number of clubs who are not playing in their national top division will also receive a share in the payments, whilst a number of clubs from Member Associations whose representative team did not participate in the final competition, will also benefit from such payments.

I’ve repeated the data below, with a couple of extra columns – the countries’ regional body, a conversion of the FIFA dollar payment to sterling, and an indication of the wealth of the recipient countries (GDP per capita)

Country Continental body FIFA payment $1 = £0.647 GDP / capita
England UEFA $5,952,133.30 £3,851,030.25 $35,052.92
Germany UEFA $4,740,666.70 £3,067,211.35 $35,930.37
Italy UEFA $3,880,666.70 £2,510,791.35 $29,417.92
Spain UEFA $3,699,066.70 £2,393,296.15 $29,651.70
France UEFA $2,202,666.70 £1,425,125.35 $34,092.26
Netherlands UEFA $1,858,266.70 £1,202,298.55 $40,777.34
Japan AFC $1,199,866.70 £776,313.75 $33,828.07
Mexico CONACAF $1,175,866.70 £760,785.75 $14,265.99
Portugal UEFA $1,141,866.70 £738,787.75 $23,113.86
Greece UEFA $945,066.70 £611,458.15 $28,833.71
North Korea AFC $932,000.00 £603,004.00 -
Argentina CONMEBOL $758,266.70 £490,598.55 $15,603.13
South Korea AFC $714,266.70 £462,130.55 $29,790.89
Honduras CONCACAF $692,000.00 £447,724.00 $4,404.70
Russia UEFA $690,400.00 £446,688.80 $15,806.88
South Africa CAF $662,666.70 £428,745.35 $10,505.33
Turkey UEFA $600,533.30 £388,545.05 $13,392.16
Chile CONMEBOL $540,666.70 £349,811.35 $14,982.25
New Zealand OFC $533,600.00 £345,239.20 $27,420.22
Switzerland UEFA $490,666.70 £317,461.35 $41,765.28
Scotland UEFA $449,466.70 £290,804.95 $35,052.92
Denmark UEFA $445,866.70 £288,475.75 $36,763.96
USA CONCACAF $423,200.00 £273,810.40 $47,131.95
Belgium UEFA $387,733.30 £250,863.45 $36,274.55
Brazil CONMEBOL $298,800.00 £193,323.60 $11,289.25
Paraguay CONMEBOL $258,400.00 £167,184.80 $4,915.42
Israel UEFA $224,933.30 £145,531.85 $29,404.74
Australia AFC $223,866.70 £144,841.75 $39,692.06
Ghana CAF $222,000.00 £143,634.00 $1,609.50
Slovakia UEFA $198,000.00 £128,106.00 $22,267.31
Romania UEFA $190,000.00 £122,930.00 $11,766.54
Uruguay CONMEBOL $186,000.00 £120,342.00 $14,341.94
Serbia UEFA $164,000.00 £106,108.00 $10,808.06
Norway UEFA $159,866.70 £103,433.75 $53,439.67
Algeria CAF $134,400.00 £86,956.80 $7,103.61
Slovenia UEFA $123,200.00 £79,710.40 $27,899.57
Poland UEFA $105,066.70 £67,978.15 $18,836.87
Colombia CONMEBOL $96,800.00 £62,629.60 $9,445.22
Ukraine UEFA $88,000.00 £56,936.00 $6,655.54
China AFC $85,200.00 £55,124.40 $7,517.72
UAE AFC $74,533.30 £48,223.05 $36,973.44
Sweden UEFA $55,866.70 £36,145.75 $37,775.40
Saudi Arabia AFC $52,800.00 £34,161.60 $23,742.69
Czech Republic UEFA $51,466.70 £33,298.95 $24,986.85
Ivory Coast CAF $48,000.00 £31,056.00 $1,686.78
Cameroon CAF $46,400.00 £30,020.80 $2,165.14
Ecuador CONMEBOL $40,533.30 £26,225.05 $7,951.87
Qatar AFC $40,133.30 £25,966.25 $88,232.51
Egypt CAF $39,466.70 £25,534.95 $6,367.43
Bulgaria UEFA $29,866.70 £19,323.75 $12,052.37
Cyprus UEFA $28,800.00 £18,633.60 $28,044.92
Canada CONCACAF $28,133.30 £18,202.25 $39,033.69
Austria UEFA $25,200.00 £16,304.40 $39,454.01
Hungary UEFA $24,000.00 £15,528.00 $18,815.88
Wales UEFA $9,866.70 £6,383.75 $35,052.92

[Countries in italics did not reach the Finals in South Africa.
GDP per capita figures are IMF estimates for 2010, of which home countries data is UK data]

This distribution would be a complete fail as an attempt to redistribute FIFA’s income from 2010 on a needs basis. Broadly, the rich get richer.

The fact that England tops the list is a reflection of the international make-up of Premier League squads rather than recognition of their efforts in the development of young players, as Blatter would have us believe.

Clubs in New Zealand, the sole OFC recipient, pick up just under £350,000; African clubs pick up just over three quarters of a million pounds; clubs in the two Americas share roughly the same amount, £1.4m heading southwards to CONMEBOL and £1.5m northwards to CONCACAF (roughly half of that heading for Mexican clubs), just over two million heads to Asia and the rest goes to UEFA clubs, in 29 of the 53 UEFA nations.  ‘How much is the European share’ you ask.  Well, it’s a total of just under eighteen and three quarter million pounds, which is three quarters of the money.

It’s interesting to see who the ‘furthermore’ countries are, selected on some unspecified basis.  Biggest gainer in this group is Russia, with just under £450,000.  Russia?  Now they’ve come up in FIFA press releases recently if I remember rightly.  As has Qatar, who pick up £26,000.  Bet that’ll make a big difference to Qatari clubs.  Qatar, by the way, has the highest GDP per capita in the world.

I’m sure Sepp Blatter must know what he’s doing.

Posted in 2010, FIFA | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Lessons from South Africa

Posted by John Beech on January 5, 2011

If you are still ‘feeling the hurt’ of England’s failed bid for the 2018 World Cup (and perhaps thinking London 2012 will be a roaring success), you may well be interested in the results of a survey made by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and South African Tourism (SAT) on the impact of the 2010 World Cup.  Apparently it  shows that “without a doubt that the event will have a lasting legacy in terms of the South African tourism industry” (1).

Now this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise.  It has long been established by Adam Blake, Professor of Economics & Econometrics at Bournemouth University’s School of Tourism, and others, that the Olympics, for example, can have a positive economic effect.  The impact varies though – generally it is fairly local, and, in terms of an ongoing tourism legacy, the less the destination is already an established tourism destination, the bigger the subsequent impact.

Undoubtedly there are some great headline statistics for South Africa.  See futebolfinance for a quick summary.  But as futebolfinance points out, “With a cost that was estimated at about 3,225 million Euros (see How much is a FIFA World Cup ), the benefits are clearly below costs, leaving just as big beneficiaries of the events, FIFA itself and the sponsoring companies that achieve a huge media exposure.”  South Africa’s Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk insists that “I have no doubt that South Africa is reaping the rewards of hosting the Cup.”  Well, he wouldn’t, would he?

All of this just reinforces my personal view that FIFA (and the IOC) have done an amazing PR job in managing to get countries queuing up to lose money while others reap the benefit.  In the case of FIFA, where Seb Blatter has made much of his desire to take the World Cup beyond its traditional host areas, it is abundantly clear that the number of possible new venues is going to be extremely limited.  Beyond Qatar, the ability to finance the hosting of a FIFA World Cup may be restricted to countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Is that really Blatter’s intention?  There is an obvious way of facilitating a wider range of hosts – cash-rich FIFA could subsidise the hosting.  Not that I’m holding my breath mind you…

Posted in 2010, 2012, 2018, FIFA | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

An upside to England’s early exit?

Posted by John Beech on July 13, 2010

As well as my involvement in sports management research, I have another part to my day job – researching tourism management.  These two worlds overlap in the topics of sports tourism and mega-events.

Catching up with my monitoring of tourism management developments, I came across a couple of reports suggesting that England’s early exit was going to be mainly rather good news for English travel agents.  Andrew Pozniak, Director of e-Commerce for Google, has pointed out that “Travel searches on Google leapt by 15% after England went out of the World Cup in 2006” (1), and TravelMole offered more direct evidence: “Within an hour of England’s defeat to Germany, lowcostholidays.com reported a sudden surge in web traffic, around 40% increase compared to the previous week” (2).  *

It’s an ill wind and all that, although on the other side of the coin Thomas Cook Sport had knocked more than £600 off its remaining four-day packages to South Africa for the quarter finals.

On the morning of the game I noticed a lot of general St George paraphernalia on sale at half price.  Did they know something or had they just over-purchased?  Whichever it was, the actual economic benefit was undoubtedly greater for the Chinese manufacturers than the English retailers.  But which figure would be used in an economic impact analysis – purchases from China, projected sales revenues at full price, or actual sales revenues?

Spin-off and indirect effects make forecasting, and post-event evaluation, of the economic impact of mega sports events at best an informed guess.  Costs are relatively easy to forecast (although projected costs always turn out to be rather lower than actual costs – I wonder why ;-) ) but projecting increased revenues is rather more problematic.  Increased beer and flag sales may well be directly attributable to an event, but what about, for example, increased television sales?  Those seeking to big up the economic impact of Euro2008 would have, as it happens, included my purchase of an HD TV a week before, but I can now reveal (my wife is not interested in football and does not read the blog) that Euro2008 may have triggered the purchase, but a purchase would have taken place anyway – it replaced a 25 year-old set that I was under considerable pressure to replace.  I might have held out a couple more years, but a new TV was going to appear in the Beech household at some point fairly shortly, Euro2008 or not.  Should my purchase really be included in the economic benefit?

Pronouncements on the economic benefit of a mega-event such as the World Cup need to be treated with caution.  And it always important to bear in mind who is making the pronouncement – what vested interest do they have in inflating the figures?

* Late Extra: A similarly upbeat prediction from The Co-operative Travel should England fail here.

Posted in 2010, Economic impact | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Another side to the World Cup

Posted by John Beech on July 6, 2010

Most of us will have been (eventually!) enjoying the World Cup as a feast of football, soaking up the atmosphere even if only in our sitting rooms or in the pub, and savouring the more dramatic and skilful moments.

We may even spare a thought for the pressure on those who produce this spectacle.  This morning Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of the pressure on Wayne Rooney, suggesting that this was the reason for his poor performance (1).  It’s all too easy to forget that the pressure is also on a whole load of people who are not players.

No less a figure than Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and ex-United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has strongly criticised FIFA for causing hardship to street vendors through the creation of exclusion zones around stadiums (2).  Street vending is estimated to account for 7 percent of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product, and it has been estimated that there could be more than 100,000 street and informal traders who have lost their livelihoods during the World Cup.  No great benefit for them from the World Cup then; rather, they and their families will have had an extremely hard time.  Their reaction is recorded here.

This is not the first time that this kind of issue has emerged.  You may have noticed the strike.  I’m not referring to the problems of Les Bleus, but to the stewards protesting over pay (3) – they claimed they had only been paid £17, significantly less than they had been promised.  The strike was broken by bringing in police to take over their duties (4).  Whether they too were expected to work 15 hour shifts is unclear (5).

So far the World Cup, as an event, has been a great success.  But when talk turns to ethics it should not be confined to Suarez’s handball.  Given FIFA’s budget, it should be possible to ensure that the benefit of the World Cup extends to the hosts.

Posted in 2010, Ethics, FIFA, Human Resource Management | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Au revoir les Bleus

Posted by John Beech on June 26, 2010

If Schadenfreude is your thing – and you are not French – then you would have enjoyed the last few days in France.  The ignominious departure of the lacklustre national team from the World Cup caused a positive hurricane of media outpouring.

On Tuesday, the press was already clear in its displeasure with events in South Africa.  Today in France led with:

‘Thanks and see you again’ was certainly tongue in cheek – the article begins ‘After six weeks of psycho-drama, there hasn’t been a miracle.

This is how Tuesday’s definitive loss to hosts South Africa was reported the following morning.  France Football went with ‘Death on the Field of Dishonour‘, showing the sense of understatement that you would normally associate with a British tabloid.

It was “The End of a World” according to top French sports newspaper l’Equipe.  Even le Figaro made the departure of Raymond Domenech its lead story, assuring its readers that his ‘retirement’ was approved by presumably the entire French nation.  He did himself no favours with the media – the French TV showed the clip of him refusing to shake hands with Carlos Alberto Parreira, South Africa’s manager, again and again and again.  His post-match interview might have seemed statesmanlike on the radio, but casually picking his ear took away sime of his gravitas on television.

Being of an academic disposition, I immediately conducted a survey to establish who exactly the French public saw as being responsible.  Admittedly a sample of just one – the owner of the bar in Granville where I was drinking – does not ensure statistical confidence, but he was unequivocal in his answer: “Everbody.  The President of the French Football Association, Raymond Domenech, all the players…

By Thursday morning the whole crisis had escalated:

An affair of state‘ it had indeed become.  President Sarkozy was supposedly spitting bullets, and Sports Minister Rosalyne Bachelot dishing out public bollockings.  She said that she believed it inevitable that French Football Association President will go.  FIFA has of course reacted angrily at to this perceived blatant interference by a government into football affairs (1).  Gerard Houlier is also featured in the story, although by this point Herself was becoming more reluctant to translate French press reports on football into English while on her holiday, so I’m not sure why.  As my bar-owner friend had said though, everyone is to blame.

While there are deeper long-running issues which have led les Bleus to the disastrous situation they find themselves in, the immdediate setting is the refusal of Ncolas Anelka to apologise for swearing at Raymond Domenech, Anelka being sent home as a result, the players then striking briefly, Evra grassing to the press, etc. etc.

Already there have been commercial repercussions.  The team has already lost its kit sponsor (2), and Crédit Agricole and fast-food company Quicktoday have cancelled their television adverts with the team (3).

How very different from England’s campaign.  Cheeky chappy John Terry had of course come close to becoming a ‘traitor’, as Evra was branded, but I like to think of him as a public-spirited whistle blower.  Well, it would be disloyal not to, wouldn’t it?  And England had apparently (I say ‘apparently’ because French television preferred to show the Algeria game) beaten Slovenia convincingly 1-0.  Of course I believe The Sun report which spoke of “renewed optimism after a performance which was a lot more convincing than the score suggests” (2).  I certainly hope so – a scoreline of 1-0 against a country of 2 million people which only became a country less than twenty years ago doesn’t strike me as particularly convincing.  Who knows, we may yet see Steven Gerrard, à la Theirry Henry, summoned to Downing Street to explain.

[Normal service is almost resumed.  I will be away in Austria next week for a funeral, but plan to get at least one more posting up before I depart.]

Posted in 2010, FIFA, Governance, Human Resource Management, Sponsorship | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Protecting sponsors

Posted by John Beech on June 17, 2010

My third World Cup posting has resonances much nearer to home; just bear with me.

Ambush marketing – the piggy-backing of events by companies who are not official sponsors (there is an excellent overview of the phenomenon in sports events here) – hit the news at the last World Cup, with Bavaria, the Dutch lager producer, engineering the celebrated orange lederhosen stunt (1 if you are unfamiliar with this).

Bavaria (see, more free publicity – which I regret, but it’s too contrived to write ‘ a certain Dutch beer manufacturer) have capped that incident in spite of FIFA’s best endeavours to protect the official World Cup beer sponsor (am I alone in thinking that is in itself just a tad absurd?), Budweiser.  Forty women sitting together in orange minidresses became this World Cup’s version of lederhosen (2, and for the prurient who find the incident hard to picture 2)

Bavaria have certainly achieved some success.  A Google search on ‘FIFA world cup beer sponsor’ currently finds Bavaria (remember, they aren’t) squeezing out Budweiser (who are) from the number one slot.

The whole issue of ambush marketing like this needs to be seen from two perspectives.  First, there is the need to protect sponsors against it.  The case is a clear one from a business perspective.  An official sponsor expects exclusivity in their marketing campaign, and pays for it.  If the event organiser does not stamp out ambush marketing he is not providing what the sponsor has paid for.

The second perspective is how the organiser goes about the ‘policing’ of potential ambush marketing.  Obviously prevention is the best policy, but, when ambush marketing does take place, how can the organiser best retrieve the situation?  In a sense they are on a hiding to nothing – too little reaction, the ambusher will be encouraged to try again; too much reaction, and the ambusher will get additional free publicity.  FIFA are in danger of veering towards the second course.  They are pressing criminal charges (3), which is logical from their perspective, but this is giving the story legs (and bear in mind that we are talking shapely legs in minidresses), with two of the women on bail, with passports confiscated (4).  The fact that they do not return to court until June 22 ensures that the saga, with attendant publicity, drags on.

It seems unlikely that the women involved were entirely dewy-eyed innocents.  The stunt was highly organised, and has other ethical connotations as it seems to have involved the illegal sale of corporate tickets – ITV’s pundit Robbie Earle has already lost that job as a result, although it is suggested that he will not be charged (5).  The saga has now grown to the extent that the Dutch Foreign Minister has weighed in, “describ[ing] the arrests of the two women as “disproportionate” and said it was wrong that they could face prison for “wearing an orange dress” to the stadium.”  She rather misses the point – it isn’t quite as simple as ‘wearing an orange dress’ now is it?

FIFA are facing a lose/lose choice.  Go soft and the story will die, but sponsors will be reluctant to pay for sponsorship in the future; go hard and the sponsors will be happy, but the Dutch government will turn the two women into martyrs.  The real problem for FIFA, however, is that Bavaria face a win/win scenario.

What strikes me in all of this is the rather surreal nature of what is going on.  Understandable it may be from a business perspective, entertaining it may be, but should a major issue in football revolve around lager and minidresses?  Bovril and flat caps maybe, but not lager and minidresses surely.  ;-)  It is just another manifestation of the incongruities that commercialisation has brought to the beautiful game.

The example of commercialisation, protecting sponsors and English football that I mentioned at the beginning revolves around the awarding of a 2012 Olympic football venue to Coventry (6).  The surreal is summed up in the two opening sentences of the Coventry Evening Telegraph report:

COVENTRY’S Ricoh Arena has been chosen as the new Midlands venue to host Olympic football matches in 2012 after Aston Villa pulled out.

The home of Coventry City will be renamed the City of Coventry Stadium for the 2012 games and all branding will be removed from the stadium.

To Coventry people, and football fans throughout England, the newish home of Coventry City FC is ‘the Ricoh’.  Pulling down branding (and of course putting it up again a couple of weeks later) will make no difference to this, although it may well see Ricoh looking for a better price when sponsorship come up for renewal.  It has to be done to protect Olympic TOP sponsors such as Panasonic however.

Just a little bit hard to see how exactly the scurrying around on the roof of the Ricoh by workmen will be ‘helping to build a better world through sport’ though.  Commercialisation and sport make strange bedfellows at times.

Posted in 2010, Ethics, Marketing, Sponsorship | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Political correctness in South Africa

Posted by John Beech on June 16, 2010

You  wait over a week for a World Cup story to come up on this blog and then three come along almost at once!  This one, the second, has a very direct connection with English football finance.

Nadeem Khan, a member of the South African Liverpool Supporters Club, accompanied by his wife and child, put up a banner at the Germany v. Australia game on Sunday night in Durban among other supporters’ banners (full story here).  About half an hour into the game he was somewhat surprised to see three security officials taking it down – and subsequently it was destroyed by FIFA officials!  His ‘crime’, as in the Click Liverpool report, was identified by FIFA officials that “the flag contravened their rules against obscene or vulgar images being displayed at games, despite no such guidelines existing in FIFA’s ticketing terms and conditions.” The only even remotely relevant prohibitions I can find in the official Fan Guide (p.52) are on racist or xenophobic material and on promotional or commercial material.

Well, judge for yourself (photo link to Click Liverpool site embedded here).

Liverpool fan Ziyaad Hassam outside Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg with the banner

Obscene?  An absurd suggestion.  Vulgar?  Au contraire!  I think it has rather tasteful connotations of nineteenth century trade union banners.

This was plain and simple censorship.  For the extremely heavy-handed handling of Hassam, click through to the full report here.  The same report also mentions two other incidents – “Two Irish fans were threatened with imprisonment for displaying an inoffensive flag during France’s game with Uruguay last Friday whilst Americans were also threatened with jail terms for holding up a banner claiming, ‘Wayne Bridge for USA’ during their clash with England.

I’m afraid I find this approach to fans all too typical of the FIFA way – the naked commercialisation of their activities has led them to lose touch with the fans.  The episode has prompted me to add a Censorship tag to the blog, and retrospectively add it to two previous postings.

Posted in 2010, Censorship, Fans, FIFA | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

World Cup 2010

Posted by John Beech on June 16, 2010

As regular readers may have spotted, I have so far restrained myself from blogging on this event.  This is not because it hasn’t caught my attention – well, the Maicon goal will certainly be up with the all-time great goals, but otherwise it hasn’t lived up to expectations; plenty of time yet though.

Those expectations have of course been mainly media-driven.  Even the normally sound BBC football news website has given itself over to the World Cup, with news on English club football (where I’m usually coming from) being rather thin on the ground.

A posting by Wyn Grant on Football Economy called  The price clubs pay for the World Cup did catch my attention however.  He points out just how vulnerable English clubs are to injuries sustained on World Cup duty, with Chelsea the most exposed with 16 players in South Africa. Definitely worth clicking through.

Another site worth exploring for its particular angle on the World Cup is that of Play the Games South Africa 2010.  Some interesting articles there, especially on the legacy for South Africa of such an event – well worth exploring.

If you are a vuvuzelaphile, probably feeling withdrawal symptoms from the stream of news reports on various injuries and how dire some of the matches have been, you can get a fix of that particular swarming beastie here.  If, like me, you are beginning to feel just a tiny bit vuvuzela-ed out, then be afraid, very afraid, especially if you are a fan of Bury, Coventry City or Sheffield Wednesday – they are going to be on sale in your club shop next season (1).

Posted in 2010 | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

 
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