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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

South American Leagues

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Brazilian football getting stronger but challenges remain

Alongside the growth of the Brazilian economy, football in Brazil is getting stronger.  Club finances have improved and top players no longer need to go abroad to play.

Nevertheless, many challenges remain.   Like the growth of the economy, the overall picture is uneven. Some clubs still have big debts.   Attendances are poor with many fans priced out of the game. Corruption is stlll a big problem.

Biggest global brands avoid naming rights deals

A number of clubs are in the market for naming rights deals, not least West Ham in relation to the Olympic Stadium. Football takes just under a quarter of a global market worth $750m a year, according to data from Sponsorship Today. Multi-purpose venues, which would include the Olympic Stadium, account for 29 per cent.

Club football in Brazil booms

Brazil's top football clubs earned revenue of $1bn in the 2011 season, up nearly 30 per cent from a year earlier, as they gained a greater share of income from television rights.  They have been helped by the rise of pay TV in Brazil with clubs now drawing 26 per cent of their income from TV rights.

This sudden increase in wealth is allowing Brazilian clubs to persuade more top talent to stay at home and to draw some players back from overseas.   A rising middle class is producing rapid growth in telecoms, media and the entertainment industries.

Brazilian footballers head back home

The possible return of Manchester City's Carlos Tevez to Corinthians in Sao Paulo, although influenced by a wish to be closer to his children in Argentina, is symptomatic of a wider trend driven by the strength of the Brazilian real.

A success story in Ecuador

Ecuador is punching above its weight in world football.  The national team has qualified for two of the last three World Cup finals.   In 2008 leading club Quito's Liga Deportiva Universita (LDU) won the Copa Liberadores, the top South American club tournament   LDU came close to beating Manchester United in that year's Fifa Club World Cup.

Organised crime and football

Sepp Blatter and Fifa have a mission to develop football in the Global South.   That's fair enough: the international organisation of which I am vice-president has a similar mission in its field of activity.


However, in some countries football faces particular challenges from criminal organisations.  One such country is Colombia where the Fifa under-20 World Cup kicks off on July 29th.  It is the biggest sporting event ever held in the country and 250,000 tickets have been sold.

The Presidential Prerogative

Bolivian President Evo Morales was caught on camera kneeing an opponent where it hurts most during a 'friendly' football match to celebrate the inauguration of a new artificial pitch.

Brazil Football Clubs Ranked by Turnover (US$) 2005 to 2006

Source: By kind permission of Casual Auditores Independentes S/S of Brazil - All figures are stated in US$. Copyright remains with Casual - address: R. Pamplona 818 Suite 11, 01405-001 São Paulo - SP, Tel/Fax:55(11) 3284 - 4871, Tel: 55(11) 3253 - 8516

Casual Auditores annual survey on the financial situation of Brazilian soccer. Covering 21 clubs and including expert comment from the analysts. You can see copies here: