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CVC in talks with Fifa to create new football tournament

By Ramla Soni

Club World Cup would feature biggest teams in world and be held in China mid-2021

Private equity group CVC Capital Partners is in talks with Fifa and Real Madrid about funding the creation of new global football tournaments that will challenge the sport’s most popular leagues.

CVC is holding discussions with Fifa about acquiring the commercial rights to the Club World Cup, a tournament that will feature some of the biggest football teams in the world.

The current eight-team Club World Club would be replaced by a 24-team contest featuring at least eight European teams and taking place every four years with the first extended tournament to be held in China in mid-2021.

Separately, CVC and other corporate groups have also said to have been approached by Spain’s Real Madrid about creating a new club competition.

Eight of those teams could include the founding members of the World Football Club Association which are Real Madrid (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Auckland City (New Zealand), Boca Juniors (Argentina), River Plate (Argentina), America (Mexico), Guangzhou (China) and Mazembe (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

Last week, US-based Silver Lake reached a $500m (£380m, €451) deal to acquire around 10 per cent in City Football Group, the parent company of England’s Manchester City and affiliated clubs around the world.

CVC, which has $82.5 billion of assets under management, has a history of buying and selling sports franchises, including Formula One between 2006 and 2017 and MotoGP. It has recently done deals in rugby union, paying £225 million last year for a 27 per cent stake in England’s Premiership Rugby competition.

Fifa has not commented on CVC’s interest about the new tournament.

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