Serie A’s New Investors, CVC Capital Partners And Advent International, Fear European Super League
~ Original article here!
The Lega Serie A Assembly is set to meet on Wednesday to finalize the €1.6 billion offer presented by a consortium made up of two private equity firms, CVC Capital Partners and Advent International, and Italy’s sovereign wealth fund, Fondo Strategico Italiano (FSI).
The consortium, which is set to acquire 10% of the Serie A broadcasting rights, has raised concerns about the ongoing talks over the potential establishment of a European Super League that would completely reshape the format of European football.
According to a recent report by the Financial Times, CVC and Advent want to introduce a “breakaway clause” that would allow them to opt out of the broadcasting deal with Serie A should the European Super League project become reality.
Advocates of the idea behind the European Super League want to bring together the top-18 European football clubs in a closed-league competition in which promotions and relegations will be abolished.
The prestige of the European Super League would stem from having all the high-profile clubs from England, Spain, Germany, France, and Italy compete against each other in a year-round tournament. The new league would also guarantee regular clashes between the world’s best players, including some of the fans’ favorite rivalries like the one between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The European Super League would replace the UEFA Champions League, currently the most ambitious competition at club level and a very lucrative one, considering that it generates €2 billion annually from sponsorships and broadcasting rights.
Sky Sport reported that while FIFA entertains the idea of a European Super League, UEFA has opposed it because it goes against key pillars of the game like relegation and promotion, which UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin deems as necessary to prevent leagues from becoming “boring.”
Discussions about establishing a European Super League have been around since the 1980s but never really materialized. The idea has gotten more concrete in recent months, as some club owners see it as a relief for the financial stress brought on European football by the coronavirus pandemic.
Others, however, speculate that the most influential European clubs see the European Super League as a leveraging tool to promote personal economic agendas with UEFA.
According to the same Sky Sport report, Real Madrid’s chairman Florentino Pérez has already sought foreign investment from the financial giants of JP Morgan. The U.S.-based investment bank has allegedly prepared a €5 billion debt to be used by European clubs to launch the European Super League.
CVC, Advent, and FSI fear that the European Super League will get in the way of expanding Italian soccer both domestically and abroad. The prestige of the new league would very likely overshadow Serie A, attracting large audiences and therefore taking up the biggest chunk of broadcasting revenue in Italy.
The Financial Times explains that by introducing a “breakaway clause,” CVC and Advent want to insure themselves against the potential threat posed by such a fierce competitor. The Financial Times also reported that Serie A President Paolo Dal Pino said that he is against the creation of a European Super League and will not consider accepting such a clause.
We should know more on Wednesday, Nov. 18, when the Lega Serie A Assembly gets together to finalize the deal advanced by the consortium of CVC, Advent, and FSI.