Biennial World Cup could cost domestic leagues and UEFA €8billion, says report 4 days ago

Biennial World Cup could cost domestic leagues and UEFA €8billion, says report

It would also put strains on players, leading to 'poorer' play

Hosting a biennial World Cup could cost the major domestic leagues and UEFA around €8billion per season in lost TV rights and match day and commercial agreements, according to a report, as per Reuters.

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Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - who is FIFA's Chief of Global Football Development - is keen to revolutionise football’s biggest international tournament by implementing a World Cup every two years.

The Frenchman has put forward a new calendar which would see a reduction in the number of international breaks for qualifiers, with one or two longer breaks in order to reduce the qualification process.

According to the report, compiled by consultancies KPMG and FTI's Delta Partners, an increase in international competitions could see a reduction in the number of teams competing in national leagues, as well moving weekend matches to midweek and fewer domestic fixtures.

It also predicted that in addition to cutting club revenue, a move like the one proposed would impact viewer interest in games and reduce advertisers' interest in domestic football, as well as putting strains on players, leading to 'poorer' play.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed last month that the world governing body was discussing holding the World Cup every two years, instead of the current four-year cycle.

However, the prospect has been met with strong opposition from UEFA, which runs the lucrative and popular Champions League, and also national leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has insisted that a biennial World Cup would lower its value and harm other competitions, threatening to lead a European boycott of an additional World Cup.

The report adds that even if the 'least disruptive' options went ahead, it would cost them billions annually - with TV revenues being hit the hardest.

It calculated that the 40 biggest domestic leagues around the world, along with UEFA club competitions like the Champions League, could lose as much as €5billion per season in audiovisual deals alone.

That figure is more than a third of what the leagues make in TV rights today.

It estimates that the respective leagues would lose more than one billion per year in visual rights due to a fewer number of matches, €1.75billion because of the shortened calendar and another €901million for the changes in the schedule.

Additionally, the study predicts that the total revenue in audiovisual rights generated by leagues would drop from more than €14billion to about €9billion, with commercial losses up to 2.16 billion per season - a drop of about 25%.

The impact on match day revenues would cost the clubs €1.2 billion, another drop of around 25%.

The 2018 World Cup generated $5.37 billion in revenue for FIFA, whereas gross revenue from the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League and the 2021 UEFA Super Cup is estimated to be €3.5billion.

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