The challenges of the Football Industry: Turning Fans into Customers and Stadiums into Entertainment Centers
The challenges of the Football Industry: Turning Fans into Customers and Stadiums into Entertainment Centers 1688 1125 World Football Summit 2017

Nearly 100 speakers from all the areas of the football industry gathered at World Football Summit in Madrid

Gustavo Silikovich, General Manager of River Plate and San Mamés Stadium, winners of the Industry Awards.

The Spanish company ThermoHuman, winner of the best startup award in the StartCup by GSIC.

World Football Summit

Madrid became, for the second consecutive year, the world capital of football industry with more than 2,000 people attending World Football Summit. Over two days, more than 90 speakers, including the most prominent clubs, federations and companies working in the football industry shared their views on relevant topics such as TV rights, investments, taxation and competitive advantages, fan engagement and monetization, or cybersecurity and Football Leaks.

Renowned international experts attended the congress, FIFA General Secretary, Fatma Samoura, Javier Tebas, President of LaLiga, Jaume Roures, Founding Partner of Mediapro, Victor Montagliani, FIFA Vice President and President of CONCACAF, Pedro Proença, President of Liga Portugal, Julio Senn, Managing Partner of Senn Ferrero Asociados, Rayde Luis Báez, General Director of WWP, Oliver Seitz of Johan Cruyff Institute, Don Dransfield, Director of Operations of City Football Group or Greg Carey, Director of Goldman Sachs.

World Football Summit

Experts stressed that the major challenges facing the football industry are turning fans into customers, taking into account the large number of fans that football clubs have and monetize the passion towards the team. For these experts, in addition to the traditional income streams, the future is to convert stadiums into week long meeting points, turning them into entertainment centers that interact with the fan and offer personalized options.

For finance and tax specialists, the industry is experiencing a good moment thanks to the improvement in management and the increase in revenue that encourages investors to bet on the big leagues. For his part, Julio Senn has asked for “changes in the Spanish regulatory system that will allow certainty and legal security for both players and clubs.”

World Football Summit

In addition, there were spectacular presentations such as the Wanda Metropolitano by the CEO of Atlético Madrid, Miguel Angel Gil, the FC Barcelona Innovation Hub presentation by Javier Sobrino, in charge of the clubs strategy, or a keynote by Peter Vesterbacka, one of the founders of the company Rovio, creator of the famous game Angry Birds.

During WFS, the second edition of the StartCup by GSIC took place, an international startup competition co-organized by WFS and the Global Sports Innovation Center, a global center based in Madrid led by Microsoft. Close to 70 startups from 25 countries applied to the competition and during WFS, the 7 finalists were able to pitch their project. Of the 7 startups, there was only one Spanish, ThermoHuman, an infrared thermography company with applications to sport that won both the jury and the publics award.

Marian Otamendi, director of WFS highlighted “We are very satisfied with the level of the event in this second edition as we were able to attract close to 2000 attendees, 35% of these coming from abroad and representing 65 countries, with the presence of more than 200 football clubs. Thanks to the sponsorship of LaLiga, we have multiplied the international interest of World Football Summit and we already have offers from important cities, both Spanish and foreign, who want to host WFS in their cities in 2018″.

WFS Industry Awards Winners

WFS17 celebrated an innovative event within the industry, the WFS Industry Awards, which recognize and reward, for the first time in history, the work done by professionals in the international football landscape.

The winners of the five categories were Gustavo Silikovich, General Manager of Club Atlético River Plate as Executive of the Year. Mastercard and its sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League in the category of Best Marketing Initiative. GolStats, specialized in using VR to analyze the game, as the Best Football Industry Supplier. Gol & Paz, with its initiative “Cambiando el Juego“, a social transformation tool which is building peace in Colombia, and San Mamés in the category Venue of the Year.

World Football Summit

The award ceremony took place at Palacio de Neptuno, followed by a Gala Cocktail that gathered football club executives, agencies, sponsors, associations, NGOs and institutions working in the world’s leading sport.

The finalists of the 2017 WFS Industry Awards have been announced
The finalists of the 2017 WFS Industry Awards have been announced 868 458 World Football Summit 2017

The football industry chooses its best representatives of the year in the categories of Executive of the Year, Venue of the Year, Best Marketing Initiative, Best Football Industry Supplier and CSR Activity of the Year.

This year, for the first time, World Football Summit, Spain’s international congress on the football industry will host the WFS Industry Awards that reward the daily work done by football industry professionals that make this sport a real economic engine.

With this project, WFS continues to consolidate as a platform for the football industry with this pioneering initiative at an international level which counts with a jury of first level professionals.

Among the Executive of the Year nominees we find profiles such as Hans-Joaquim Watzke, CEO of Borussia Dortmund; Gustavo Silikovich, General Manager of Club Atlético River Plate; and Tiago Craveiro, CEO of the Portuguese Football Federation.

The three candidates Industry Awards finalists for the Venue of the Year are the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a modern multi-sport space that hosts the Atlanta Falcons from the NFL and Atlanta United F.C. of the MLS; the new San Mamés, premiered by the fans of Athletic Bilbao in 2013, and the emblematic Estadio da Luz of SL Benfica.


The ambition of their projects and their commitment to football as an ally to improve their brand image have led Banco Santander and their campaign “Santander Fútbol Pasión“; Mastercard and their UEFA Champions League sponsorship; and Mahou, and its campaign “Partido de las Estrellas”, to make it to the Industry Awards finalists  for Best Marketing Initiative.

 The Industry Awards finalists for Best Football Industry Supplier are 3D Digital Venue, 3D interactive solutions in 360º for stadiums; GolStats, specialized in the analysis of the game using VR; and MolcaWorld, branding experts and architects of the brand new image at Balaídos and the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadiums.


One of the essential components in any sport is its social vocation. World Football Summit has highlighted the work of several organizations with its CSR Activity of the Year: Gol & Paz – Cambiando el Juego, and its ability to bring together organizations, companies and government entities with initiatives that promote peace using football as their main tool; AFE – Reminiscencia, the project aimed at bringing back the best memories of the elderly with cognitive impairment; and Red Deporte y Cooperación – Fútbol sin límites: for its idea of using football as a bridge towards a better education, health, integration or job access.

The award ceremony will take place at a gala cocktail to be held on the evening of Monday, October 16th, at the Palacio Neptuno in Madrid, which will bring together football club managers, agencies, sponsors, associations, NGOs and institutions who work in the football industry.

The eight Startups that pass to the final stage of the WFS STARCUP by GSYC have been selected
The eight Startups that pass to the final stage of the WFS STARCUP by GSYC have been selected 1052 1049 World Football Summit 2017

The Jury selected the finalists from more than 70 projects who submitted their candidacy. 

The 2017 edition of the World Football Summit (WFS), is the international convention of the football industry which will be held at the Teatro Goya in Madrid, on the 16th and 17th of October, and will count with the participation of more than 2,200 accredited professionals coming from 70 countries, among companies, football clubs and institutions, both national and international.

In the context of the congress, WFS and the Global Sports for Innovation Center of Microsoft summons the WFS StartCup by GSIC awards, a contest of innovative startups with applications to the sports industry and football. More than 70 high-profile startups from 25 different nationalities, registered to the competition.

The GSIC team, together with WFS, selected the following 8 finalists:

 A new concept for inner city, stackable football pitches with the idea of promoting a sense of community and healthy living.


 The first tool for real-time cognition training with LED-lights on the pitch.

 A highly innovative and advanced daily fantasy football management game, now available for football clubs that want to improve their digital strategies.


 Wellness ring, mobile App and Cloud UI to improve sleep and recovery from daily mental and physical load in clinical level accuracy.

 Spiideo make sports video recording and analysis easy and accessible for coaches, analysts and players.


 ThermoHuman is a tech startup focused on injury prevention in sports and health with Infrared Thermography.

 The only Automated Cloud Content Creation Platform for Digital Content Creation.


Yonoton (Finland) – Yonoton is an app for better concert and sport events experience. Food, drinks and merchandise: in-seat delivery or quick pick up.


The selected startups will have 3 minutes to present their projects to the attendees of the World Fooball Summit, among them, the jury will select the winning startup, which in addition to becoming a member of the Global Sports for Innovation Center, will have the opportunity to contact investors and venture capital companies attending the event.

The jury is formed by executives of companies linked to the world of startups such as: WAYRA, Sports Investment Partners, Microsoft, Barrabés, Investors Partners, or the Madrid Business Angels network.

WFS will once again be the ideal platform for the most innovative startups focused on the world of sport and football. After the success achieved in the first edition where 38 aspiring startups presented their technological solutions applied to football, the WFS StartCup by GSIC, will once again show how the sport is evolving and in constant transformation.


The Gym, “Base camp of the profesional footballer”
The Gym, “Base camp of the profesional footballer” 1052 843 World Football Summit 2017

Dani Oses, elite performance coach and Franchise owner of 3 Anytime Fitness Gym in Sant Cugat, Reus & Sabadell (Barcelona), talks to us regarding the importance of the hard work completed by Pro Footballers, behind the scenes in the gym.

 During the many years that I have assisted elite athletes with their physical preparation and gym work before, during and after their respective seasons, I have seen them displayed in newspaper & magazine articles and training in the most varied of places.

We are accustomed to seeing soccer players training on the pitch, on the grass, running, jumping, doing sit-ups, shooting at goal, team game exercises etc … Curiously, other elite athletes, such as motorcycle riders or Formula one drivers, we can even see them training in the snow before the season begins, but very rarely do we have the opportunity to see them in their facet closest to any of our activities: their hours in the gym, which exist and are many!

Gym If we take a moment to remember, it is possible that at some time we have seen a soccer star training, doing quadriceps extensions on a machine in a gym and almost certainly the image that comes to mind is related to recovery of an injury.  Do you not remember seeing them doing shoulder, back or pectoral exercises, but not in the gym, but on the field during an advertising campaign? Like any other elite athlete, football players work in the gym to achieve the physical condition that their body requires to be up to the demands of their profession – like any other sport at competition level.

As a football fan, you are sure to know the name of the coach of all the teams in your league, but do you know the names of the fitness coaches, even of your own team? Working tirelessly, every day behind the scenes in the gym, this role is critical to the player’s and team’s performance. Why?

If we observe a complete soccer training session, we will see that players spend very limited time on the pitch and that the training session is carried out in groups, with twenty or twenty-five players working with one or two coaches. The head coach or manager, uses this time to work on both tactics and technique, which leaves very little time and energy, for strength & conditioning work in the gym.

In addition, on the field you train with basic material and do not have the equipment or machinery necessary to train all muscle groups in a correct and specific manner as available in a gym, and it is impossible to achieve the high level of condition necessary at elite level in this time.

“The gym become the base camp for all good players” – Dani Oses

When we talk about professional football, each player is trained by his coach, following an individualized routine, designed specifically for him or her, either because of his/her constitution, old injuries, position in the field, skills, weaknesses etc.

Each player has different needs and physical characteristics that have to be taken into account when designing work in the gym. Of course, the same physical preparation is not required by the body of a goalkeeper where less gym work is required. as that of a defender or a striker, where a high level of gym work is required, nor a young footballer who has just graduated from the academy compared to a player who is in the twilight years of his/her career where more injury preventative gym work is prudent.

 What are the main goals of gym training for professional soccer players?

We review them below:

Developing muscle mass:

We need strong well-muscled legs with strong joints to be faster, to kick harder and prevent future injuries. To do this, we must have a good muscular base and perform, from the beginning of our preparation, a routine that includes exercises like deadlifts, squats or in machine like quad extensions and femoral press – these exercises can only be effectively competed in a gym.

Increase muscular endurance:

In addition to a powerful lower power train thanks to this good muscle mass, we will also need those muscles to remain strong throughout the game and not fatigue fast. Circuit training is ideal for improving this aspect. Alternating with the number of sets, repetitions and intervals of rest, we will make our muscles endure more than the ninety minutes of a game.

Gain power:

Once a good muscle mass has been acquired and previous gym work done in prevention, we can improve the power by means of plyometric exercises and multi-skills. Strength and agility must go hand in hand in this sport, and we cannot forget the work of the support joints that will achieve a solid structure to avoid possible injuries due to overload or mechanical overexertion.

Core Strength:

Strengthen the core for good stability of the spine and pelvis. This way we will get a greater transfer of forces during the movement and we will avoid many common injuries. It may seem strange but when some of the athletes I train come to see me at any of the Anytime Fitness gym that I run, I encourage them to enter our yoga, pilates or body balance classes, most become fans of these classes and exercises carried out in the gym. Given these types of activities are based on stretching and dynamic body control they are the perfect complement to the rest of the bodybuilding and gym work.

Improve Stamina:

Football is a sport that is played at high intensity for at least minutes per game. The players are making an important cardiovascular and muscular effort marked by the sprints – that require an explosive organic response – and moments of “rest” that alternate Intermittently. To this must be added the increase in the production of adrenaline, which brings the circulatory system almost to the limit of its capacity. To train this, footballers train in the gym with treadmills, Nordic ski & rowing machines, bikes, etc, all simulating the profiles similar to those intervals of extreme effort that occur during matches. In addition, this essential gym work favours the circulation of the blood and therefore the oxygenation of the tissues that will cause the musculature to develop in a healthy way.

GymEnsure good work of proprioception, flexibility and toning of the general musculature, all acquired through hard work in the gym, to prevent as much as possible, the main injuries suffered by footballers, and to be in the best physical form possible.

Now, maybe when you see the players running on the pitch, you do it from another point of view?Finally remember that it is not necessary to be an elite sportsman to lead a healthy lifestyle that will bring years of well-being and greater quality to your day to day.  I encourage you to follow the footsteps of the players by training in the gym, where you will find trainers and professional staff who will be with you to help you reach your goals even if they are not winning a league! A little exercise every day will improve your life. As we say in our Anytime Fitness Gym:

¡The moment has arrived to meet your new you!


common goal
WFS joins Common Goal
WFS joins Common Goal 2606 614 World Football Summit 2017

WFS is proud to announce its support to Common Goal, an initiative lead by Juan Mata and streetfootballworld, by donating 1% of its income to the movement.

common goalJuan Mata recently stepped up and became the first football player to make a pledge to donate 1% of his salary to a collective fund, which is then invested in football-based charities around the world. The project is called Common Goal and it is an initiative that has the ambition to maximise the power of football for the benefit of our societies.

“What we’re trying to do is define a shared social agenda for football, Common Goal goes beyond individual brands and egos to deliver a greater impact. By making the pledge, we can form a lasting connection between football as a business and football as a tool for social change.” – Juan Mata

The project is developed by the streetfootballworld, a WFS Partner, whose CEO, Jürgen Griesbeck said,

 “Juan Mata’s pledge was the first step of a giant global endeavour. Imagine the entire industry uniting in the name of social change. Together we can usher in a new era for football and forge a deeper sense of purpose at the heart of the game.”

The pledge has received huge media attention and plyers like Mats Hummels have joined and more recently, Women’s Football players Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan.

At World Football Summit, we have always been inspired by the work of streetfootballworld. When Common Goal was launched, we immediately felt connected to the project. WFS provides a platform for business engagement, communication and knowledge sharing for the football industry so we consider ourselves as an important part of this growing industry. It is an honour and a privilege for WFS to become part of the growing family that is Common Goal.

Study Sport Management at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana
Study Sport Management at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana 1220 391 World Football Summit 2017

Where to find beautiful nature, kind people, delicious food, great study opportunities and of course… enjoy a lot of football?


Surely most of you who love to travel will agree that when we go out into the world we are always searching for that perfect location for our adventure. A location where nature is breath-taking at every step; a location where you have a chance to meet kind people that would be happy to show you around and share their customs with you; a location where you have the opportunity to learn new things that will help you grow. And of course, a location where we, the football fans, can enjoy a lot of football! What if there is such a place, where you can experience all these things? Let me tell you about Slovenia, Ljubljana and the greatest business school in the region…


About Slovenia

Slovenia lies in the heart of Europe, where the Alps meet the Mediterranean and the Pannonia Plain meets the Karst. Its geographic location along Europe’s virtual centerline sees the country linking East and West and that is what makes it so strategically well-positioned. As a beautiful and picturesque country, Slovenia makes a great tourist destination. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, forests, caves, hills, plains, rivers and the sea – you name it, you can find it all within the country’s modest 20,273 km2, as well as many natural and landscape parks (see Figures 1 and 2). You can ski in the morning and surrender yourself to the luxury of the Adriatic Sea in the afternoon.


Cycling in Soča Valley – photo by T. Jeseničnik


Lake Bled – photo by J. Gantar



About the City of Ljubljana

Situated between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, the city of Ljubljana is classified as a mid-sized European city, but it has preserved its small-town friendliness and relaxed atmosphere while providing all the facilities of a modern capital. The city’s character is marked by two widely differing and yet complementary features: Ljubljana is famed for its historical heritage and tradition while being a relatively young city with a modern lifestyle (see Figure 3). It is the political and cultural heart of the Slovenian nation, safe and particularly charming in summer. Distances between places in Slovenia are short, which makes Ljubljana a perfect base for exploring Slovenia’s diverse beauty.


Prešern square in Ljubljana – photo by D. Wedam


Prolong your stay – study at the best business school in the region


Why not combine your visit with a great study experience? The Sport Management program at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, is a great fit to everyone who loves sports and enjoys its business side as well.




About the Sport Management program

By taking part of the master-level study program in Sport Management (see Figure 4) you will receive answers to questions such as:

  • What are the biggest problems of management in sports organizations and how to deal with them?
  • How to provide sources of financing for sports organizations?
  • How to properly market sports products and services?
  • In which direction is the development of international sport going?
  • How are sports and sports organizations organized?
  • Which are the characteristics of voluntary work in sports?
  • And many others…

Sport management master’s program at the Faculty of Economics Ljubljana


You will acquire basic knowledge and skills to successfully coordinate and manage your team/colleagues and be able to achieve the goals you set for yourself inside your sports organization. You will receive the right knowledge to develop into a successful and socially responsible leader. You will gain the ability to diagnose problems and make decisions using advanced managerial approaches. You will gain competencies for effective performance in managerial roles and processes in organizations, with an emphasis on mastering contemporary economic, social, environmental and ethical challenges. Through innovative forms of work, you will develop a knowledge base for a comprehensive understanding of demanding managerial problems in practice. You will be able to solve complex issues within the sports organization and in its environment.


About the Faculty of Economics and the University of Ljubljana

The Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (“FELU”) was established in 1946 and is today the biggest higher education and research institution in the field of business and economics in Slovenia with the largest center for executive education within a university setting. It is the only school in the wider region to have been awarded the EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA international accreditations, thereby joining the elite group of Triple Crown schools. The FELU provides education at all levels (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, executive and lifelong learning) and in most key areas of specialization. And almost all of them are aimed at an international audience and offered also in English. The FELU strives to become a world-renowned institution for the quality of its academic programs and achievements in education and research. The FELU offers an international study environment with cross-cultural learning experiences and partnerships with institutions from all around the world and offers full-time study programs in English and programs with courses in both English and Slovene. Since business and economics are such diverse fields of study, the FELU offers a selection of specialized courses to suit your interests.


The FELU is a member of the University of Ljubljana, which is the oldest and largest higher education and scientific research institution in Slovenia. Established in 1919, it comprises 23 faculties and 3 art academies. It is renowned for the quality of its social and natural sciences and technical study programs, structured in line with the Bologna Declaration. It has more than 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and employs approximately 5,600 higher education professors, researchers, assistants and administrative staff. The central building, all three academies and faculties are located in the center. Some of the most recent and modern buildings were constructed on the outskirts of Ljubljana, giving the university and its students a ubiquitous presence in the city.


About the campus

The FELU’s campus is located in the northern part of Ljubljana and easily accessible by public transport, car or bicycle. The main campus facilities are well equipped, maintained and also adjusted to suit the needs of people with disabilities. All teaching halls and classrooms are fitted with multimedia equipment, students are provided with free access to computer equipment, and free Wi-Fi. The FELU premises include a modern library (Central Economics Library), restaurant lounge and coffee bar, a photocopying service, a bookshop, study corners, computer rooms and two art galleries. The physical facilities (auditoriums, classrooms, breakout rooms, social spaces etc.) fully support the particular pedagogical approach taken in each program and provide a good learning environment.



Education in Sport Management for Football Development in Slovenia
Education in Sport Management for Football Development in Slovenia 1650 527 World Football Summit 2017

Short history of Slovenian Football

Slovenia has participated in international football as an independent nation since 1991, when the country gained independence from SFR Yugoslavia. In Yugoslavia, the majority of Slovenian clubs played in the federal football league system. First post-war champion Nafta competed in the 1946–47 Yugoslav First League, an achievement that was later repeated only by Olimpija Ljubljana and Maribor. Olimpija was the most successful team in the period, playing 22 seasons in Yugoslav top league. The most well-known Slovenian players who managed to get into the Yugoslavia national team were Branko Oblak, Srečko Katanec and Danilo Popivoda.

read more

Presentación WFS17
WFS17 Presentation – World Football Summit launches its 2017 edition
WFS17 Presentation – World Football Summit launches its 2017 edition 3482 1282 World Football Summit 2017

Last Friday, World Football Summit presented its novelties for the 2017 edition. Spain’s leading international event for the Football Industry, which will take place on October 16th and 17th 2017, will bring together the main actors of the global football scene.

read more

World Football Summit 2016
World Football Summit 2016 2000 1333 World Football Summit 2017

On behalf of World Football Summit team we would like to say thank you for all of your contribution and participation in the very first edition of World Football Summit.

Some days have passed and we are now able to send you pictures of the success event.

WFS 30116491423_27cbd1be30_hWFS WFSWFS WFS WFS WFS WFS WFS WFS WFS


Soon, we will also be announcing WFS 2017… so stay tuned!



T: @wfootballsummit

F: World Football Summit

Ig: @WorldFootballSummit

In: World Football Summit

mailto: info@worldfootballsummit.com

Interview with Rick Parry, Ex CEO of Liverpool FC and former head of the FA Premier League
Interview with Rick Parry, Ex CEO of Liverpool FC and former head of the FA Premier League 150 150 World Football Summit 2017

Liverpool FC Chief Executive Rick Parry looks on during the draw of the quarter-finals of the soccer Champions League at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon March 20, 2009. The quarter-finals will be played April 7 and 8 and the return legs on April.14 and 15, the semi-finals will be played April 28 and 29, the second legs to be staged May 5 and 6, the final is to be played May 29, 2009 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND SPORT SOCCER)

Liverpool FC Chief Executive Rick Parry looks on during the draw of the quarter-finals of the soccer Champions League at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon March 20, 2009. The quarter-finals will be played April 7 and 8 and the return legs on April.14 and 15, the semi-finals will be played April 28 and 29, the second legs to be staged May 5 and 6, the final is to be played May 29, 2009 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND SPORT SOCCER)

1. How has football changed since you were CEO of the Premier League?

I left in 1997 so we were just starting to see the impact of the Bosman judgment. In England that impact has been enormous with over 70% of the Premier League players coming from overseas. Let’s see what Brexit does! And then around 1998 we had the changes in the format of the UEFA Champions League. This has changed the landscape of European competition and every top club wants to compete regularly in the Champions League.

2. You have also been CEO of Liverpool. What is the most difficult to manage in a football team?

Managing a club is certainly more complex, and I would say more difficult, than managing a league. For a club like Liverpool with such a history of success, the fundamental aim is to win trophies. In the highly competitive environment we have in England, that is not easy.

3. More and more investors, especially from China, are buying football teams in Europe. What do you think about of this trend? Are football teams a profitable investment?
More than half the Premier League clubs are in foreign ownership. We certainly never envisaged this when we first discussed the formation of the new league back in 1990. I think the owners have different motivations. For some it is about glory, for some it is about promoting their country and for others it is a financial investment. I suspect China is a little different as there is clearly a desire right from the top to establish the country as a major football power. With its population – which is very important – and economic strength, who would bet against that happening?

4. Why Premier League is the richest league in Europe?
There are two reasons for the success of the Premier League. We were able to start with a blank piece of paper so we put in place governance structures that are fit for the twenty first century and embrace the principles of transparency, accountability, independence and consistency. Too many in sport see good governance as a hindrance; for the Premier League it was the bedrock of its success. And we were very fortunate that the formation of the league coincided with the birth of Sky TV. Pudng our faith in Pay TV in the early 1990’s took some courage but it was clearly the right decision. The Premier League and Sky have grown in partnership – Sam Chisholm, former CEO of Sky, described it as the “greatest corporate romance of all time”.

5. How can change or improve the league with the new television contract?
Most of the money inevitably finds its way to the players. As it should! The key is to make sure it is not all focused on the short term and that the next generation of players is nurtured. And it is very important to keep the stadiums full. The atmosphere and the noise is part of the spectacle. So the quality of the stadiums, and the price of tickets, are very important factors.

6. Nonetheless, Manchester United has shown that having more money is not synonymous of trophies?

It is not for me to comment on Manchester United but their success of the life of the Premier League has been extraordinary and something we all envy. Nothing is forever and whilst money is essential, it is even more important to use it wisely. Having the right people in the key positons is essential.

7. Are you one of those who defend the national leagues or would you like to see and European Super League in the future?

I am a very strong believer in the national leagues. The pyramid system, the right to dream of future success, is essential and it separates football from some other sports.

8. President Spanish League, Javier Tebas, says that without funds in football, banned by UEFA and FIFA, Premier League will have all the great players. What is your opinion?

The Spanish clubs continue to outperform the English in European competition. Between 2005 and 2009 the English clubs regularly reached the finals and semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League but despite the big increases in recent TV deals, their performance has worsened. Perhaps because the Premier League is so demanding and so competitive. And to date, the Premier League has not attracted the world’s very best players.

9. You have been appointed as a member of the Financial Fair Play Committee of UEFA few days ago. How Fair Play has improved the economy of the clubs?

It is certainly making clubs more responsible and more sustainable.

10. What will be your role in the Committee?

I will have to see! I have only just joined it. But I hope I can bring a perspective from having run a major league and a major club.

11. Technology has made the world smaller. Football leagues not only compete with each other, for example by sponsorships, they also compete with NBA, NFL and other sports. What is the main value and the main poten&al of football over other sports?

Football has a universality that the others don’t have and never will. It is popular on every continent. I’ve already touched on the importance of the pyramid and the growing popularity of the women’s game is very important.

12. What is your opinion about events like World Football Summit?

It is more important than ever to go on leaning and to share knowledge. Events that bring people together, particularly on an international basis, have a great role to play.

13. Are this events a good plalorm to get know how and to do networking? Why?

These events are a great plalorm both to listen and to meet people. Gathering people in one place means you can have conversations in a couple of days that might otherwise take months to organise. And people come willing to share.