For football, the challenge goes beyond the law of the market. Infantino (Fifa) writes

The recent history of Italian football shows a less and less democratic context, where usually those who have more money earn more. It is the inescapable law of the market, applicable to any industry, many think. But football is also a collective cultural experience and it is important to strengthen product quality without distorting the principles of democracy. The article by the FIFA president published by Ants magazine in June 2022

From childhood we understand how football is the democratic sport par excellence. A ball is enough, but if necessary, we also strive to build one using any material useful to form something that looks like a ball. For the doors, the blinds of a shop, a portal or a pair of backpacks are enough. If there is no rectangle of grass, the ground, the asphalt of a road or the beach are also fine.

Then, those who strive to climb the steep steps of professionalism realize how football is becoming an increasingly less democratic context, where those with more money usually earn more. And the recent history of Italian football fully confirms this principle. When the money came mainly from the box office and Totocalcio, before the explosion of television rights, and club The Italians were the protagonists of European competitions. Between 1983 and 1998, an Italian club reached the final of the Champions 12 of 16 (75% of the editions), and in the case of the Europa League, between 1989 and 1999 even 10 times of 11 , with 7 different teams. , winning the trophy in 7 editions. In the following 23 editions, between 1999 and 2022, i club The Italians have only reached the Champions League final 7 times, and only once in the Europa League.

So the one who has the most money wins. It is the inescapable law of the market, applicable to any industry, many think. But before being an industry, football is a collective cultural experience and FIFA’s priority is to strengthen product quality without distorting the principles of democracy, balancing the economic growth of the industrial sector with the protection of sports competition. , ensuring inclusive and sustainable growth for the benefit of those who work in football and all those who live it as a passion.

In the past I have been able to say that we need 50 club able to win, not just 5 or 6, and all Europeans, as has happened so far. Then maybe 20 of those 50 will be European, which I think is even better than the current situation. And there is no doubt that in order to increase the competitiveness and performance of football, it is first necessary to invest in human capital, investing more and better in the research and development of sports talent.

All the football professionals started playing ball from an early age, from the school yard to the academy fields, and after the small facilities of the amateur and youth teams on the grass of the major league team, and this also thanks to the valuable work of the coaches., of the club and national federations. What infrastructures and technical means do young talents have at their disposal? What knowledge can they use in a rapidly evolving context thanks to technology? These are the questions we are expected to answer today. And to do that specifically, we need to improve the redistribution of revenue generated by football.elite along the value chain that guarantees the constant influx of athletes from performance exceptional.

This is the premise on which the so-called “solidarity” mechanisms have been implemented since 2001, which include institutions such as solidarity contribution and the training compensation. However, the latest trends in the transfer market have reduced the effectiveness of these mechanisms. Suffice it to say that, compared to the overall real value of the transferred players, the current solidarity system is capable of transferring marginal resources that, together, raised about $ 50 million in 2020, equivalent to 0, 89% of the $ 5.6 billion. payments made. Not to mention that discrepancies in the amounts to be paid resulted in more than two thousand litigations in 2020 alone, in addition to those for non-payment.

In short, the solidarity system needs to be reviewed more effectively. To this end, FIFA is studying new criteria that can redistribute a larger share of the value generated by players throughout their professional life in a fair and effective way. More resources to be allocated to the football realities at the base of the pyramid, academies specializing in the training of talent, capable of creating value for the entire sector. In this sense, also the introduction of a method to calculate the fair value of the players, regardless of their market price, will be of great benefit to the whole system.

At the same time, it is necessary to reflect on the interventions capable of providing greater stability to the calcium system in the long term. Tools that are above all more transparent, able to attract new investments in the football industry and promote a more balanced access to credit club. More sustainability and more transparency are the paths that FIFA intends to take in constant dialogue with all those interested of football, to find together the most effective answers to the uncertainty of the post-pandemic phase.

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