Brazil’s proposed Liga Forte secures €879m buy-in from venture capitalists

February 8 – The 26 clubs of the Liga Forte (LFF), one of two groups seeking to redesign Brazilian football, have reportedly closed an investment agreement with domestic venture capital group Life Capital Partners and US investment group Serengeti Asset Management, worth R$4.85bn (€879.6 million).

The investors would inject the €879.6 million over a number of decades in return for a 20% stake in a league body over a number of decades.

“Since its inception, the LFF has championed a revenue-sharing model inspired by the world’s most successful football leagues, such as the [English] Premier League and [Spanish] LaLiga,” said the LFF.

“In the format approved by the group, the criteria for sharing recurring revenues is 45% equal, 30% sports performance and 25% commercial appeal, always with objective and non-manipulating metrics.

“There is a rule of thumb that in no scenario is the difference between the first and last team greater than 3.5 times. Investors are in line with the principles and purposes of Liga Forte Futebol and have formally approved this model.

“In the model proposed by the LFF, distribution of revenues for Série A, B and C of Brazilian football, balance in revenue sharing, mobility, financial fair play and governance are in line with the major leagues in Europe and are non-negotiable principles.”

Liga Forte have been jostling for primacy with Liga do Futebol Brasileiro (Libra), a rival organisation which proposes a 40-30-30 split of broadcast and commercial revenues. LFF is advocating for a 45-30-25 model.

LFF is comprised of 26 clubs, including top flight outfits Athlético-PR, Atlético-MG, América-MG, Coritiba, Cuiabá, Fluminense, Fortaleza, Goiás and Internacional. Upon the establishment of LFF last year, financial services group XP investimentos was tasked to help seek out investors. Libra had proposed Mubadala capital as financial backer.

In 2021, Brazilian clubs set up an independent league body following widespread dissatisfaction with the Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF), under whose umbrella the professional leagues have struggled commercially. The new CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues has been more forthcoming than his predecessors in giving his tacit support for the clubs to build a new league eco system.

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