FIFA’s 2015 deficit may weigh in at $108 million (£77 million/€98 million), $78 million more than the budgeted figure of $30 million, as the football body’s crisis continues to take its toll on the bottom-line.
This emerged here amid growing rumours of more positive financial news ahead for the governing body, in the shape of a major new Chinese sponsorship deal.
This rumoured deal – thought to be worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars – would come at a vital time with the organisation grappling with the consequences of the worst crisis in its more than century-long history.
FIFA has already received one recent Chinese boost, with Alibaba E-auto, a brand of Jack Ma’s giant Alibaba internet group, agreeing an eight-year sponsorship deal for FIFA’s Club World Cup last December.
The first year after a World Cup is generally the tightest in FIFA’s four-year cycle.
The body had managed, nevertheless, to generate a surplus in the first year of each of its last three quadrennia; these totalled CHF141 million (£93 million/$139 million/€130 million) in 2003, $49 million (£33 million/€46 million) in 2007 and $36 million (£24 million/€34 million) in 2011.
In spite of its difficulties, FIFA is still in relatively solid shape financially, assuming that its sole quadrennial cash cow – the World Cup – continues to deliver the goods.
Reserves built up over recent years stood at more than $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion/€1.4 billion) at the end of 2014.
The body had made clear, indeed, that the era of deliberate reserve-building was over and that it was calling therefore for a balanced budget over the 2015 to 2018 period.
- By David Owen at the HallenStadion in Zurich
- Republished with permission insidethegame.biz