November 25 – Brazilian clubs are contemplating a billion-dollar investment from private equity in a bid to take control of their own league.
The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) runs the domestic league, but this season clubs have expressed increasing frustration over how the beleaguered governing body manages the league and they have entertained talks with various investment groups to seek a new financial model.
In the latest development, a group backed by English Football League chairman Rick Parry, former ESPN executive Scott Guglielmino and Relevent Sports co-founder Charles Stillitano is behind an offer, according to Sportico, that would see the group acquire a 20% stake in a league for $1 billion.
Stillitano and his backers want to remodel the Brazilian calendar and augment the number of relegated teams in the top flight. The idea is to reduce the level of indebtedness of the clubs which has long burdened Brazilian football.
In spring, the clubs held initial talks with three different consortiums to explore investment avenues as they contemplated a potential breakaway from the CBF. KPMG, with the support of marketing firm Dream Factory, projected investment somewhere between 1.5 billion and 3 billion Reias. The third group was led by Livemode.
The clubs wanted to launch the new league by 2022, but that seems widely optimistic. In the past, Brazilian clubs have tried to establish their own league but failed; the most famous example coming in the late 80’s when Brazil’s biggest clubs got together and formed the ‘Clube Dos 13’, organising their own tournament, the ‘Copa União’, which generated sufficient revenue and nationwide traction but ultimately faltered.
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