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Alternative Market Briefing

It's all kicked off in Qatar: Private capital looks to play in the glamorous world of football

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

The 'Big Five' European football leagues (England, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France) are forecast to generate a record €18.6bn aggregate revenue in the 2022-23 season, said a study.

According to Deloitte UK's Annual Review of Football Finance, with numbers like that, investors will want to be part of the beautiful game.

Private capital has long looked to play in the glamorous world of football, said a Preqin report. Last month, Qatar Sports Investment, a state-backed fund that owns French club Paris Saint-German, acquired a 22% stake in SC Braga, a Portuguese team.

But with extensive fan culture behind clubs, putting profit before supporters can be risky. The unsuccessful attempt to create a European super league in April 2021 was an example of the potential difficulties. The multi-billion-euro deal, underwritten by JPMorgan Chase, collapsed when six English clubs pulled out following a backlash from fans and other stakeholders.

Nevertheless, professional and eSports are a big draw for some investors. This year alone, 82 VC deals have been announced or completed, and 35 buyouts. This includes a $300mn series D fundraising round for Onefootball GmbH, an online platform that provides updates and statistics.

According to Deloitte, despite an almost complete loss of matchday revenue in the 2020/21 season, the European football market grew defiantly in revenue terms by 10% to €27.6 billion, boosted by the UEFA EURO 2020 ......................

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