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The Uncomfortable Truth About Football: Why We’re Changing the Game

· by World Football Summit

An unsettling reality in football

It’s time to face the uncomfortable truth: the football industry is failing us.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Only 10% of board seats at top football clubs are occupied by women.
  • Ticket prices in major European leagues have surged by 28.3% since 2010.
  • According to a report by the Football Industry Environmental Network (FINE), the global football industry produces around 3.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is equivalent to the emissions of a country like Denmark.
  • The football industry accounts for a mere 0.08% of the global workforce and contributes just 0.1% to the global GDP for 2023.


Are you proud of the football industry you work in?

These are not just stats; they’re a reflection of our choices as an industry over time. And it’s time to make different ones. Today, we’re redesigning the playbook from scratch.

Welcome to a new World Football Summit.  

Under an audacious claim:

“The Football We Want. The Football We Need.”

We aim to unite those working in the global football industry toward making it more professional, sustainable, and one that those who work in it are proud to champion.



Establishing new pillars for the football we want, the football we need

Let’s get real: the pillars of the football we want, the football we need are overall sustainability, a relentless pursuit of excellence, and business innovation.

But these should not be simply “words.” They should be commitments. The industry needs to be an example of progress.

In pursuit of a value-driven football industry

Football isn’t just about kicking a ball; it’s a catalyst for societal transformation. Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus said it best:

“Football has the potential to change the world. Your commitment depends on your imagination. If you imagine it, it will all come together.”

And these words serve as inspiration to imagine a better football industry we all truly deserve.

We are proud to say that World Football Summit has a strong commitment to making a better industry, and thus a better world. This is palpable through initiatives like:

  • Joining the Common Goal movement when it was launched 6 years ago, to whom we commit a percentage of our annual revenue.
  • Welcoming at least 30% of women’s speakers to the WFS Stage.
  • Donating part of our 2022 ticketing revenues to the victims of the conflict in Ukraine.

But let’s not fool ourselves. There is much more that needs to be done…

The tangible values that will drive football’s future: Excellence, Integrity, and Innovation

Today we’re not just putting on “good-looking” labels. We’re embedding these core values into the very DNA of the football industry:

  • Holistic Excellence – We cannot accept playing small ball. The football industry needs to set a leading example across every aspect of the game and become a gold standard for balancing the three levers of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental.
  • Impactful Integrity – Both on and off the pitch, one must win in the right way. No shortcuts should be allowed and accountability has to be embedded in the football industry culture. Those not playing fair, should not be allowed to play at all.
  • Trailblazing Innovation – The football industry should not follow the playbook, it should rewrite it. It needs to be the one setting trends and defining new frontiers. Those who don’t lead are following…and followers never win.

But it’s not just us. Those inside feel a similar imperative for change, looking at it from similar angles. As Tony Mamodaly, from TSG Hoffenheim, wisely shared with us:


“We need the football industry to go back to core values: Excellence, Respect, and Friendship”


The World Football Summit community has an instrumental role in designing the future of football

Our community of 90,000 professionals is not just a list of names or numbers though; it’s a tribe of change-makers. Over the years, World Football Summit has been witness to some game-changing moments in the football world, including:

  • Andrea Agnelli shared with the world the initial footsteps of the European Superleague.
  • Peter Moore had a profound conversation about the impact of winning the Champions League with Liverpool FC with a legend of the club like Michael Robinson, who already knew he was facing a tough battle against cancer.
  • Ronaldo Nazario shared the backstory of his acquisition of Real Valladolid.
  • The world record for the most inclusive match in the world hosted by Real Betis.
  • The official joint-venture announcement between LaLiga Tech and Globant.
  • The seed for groundbreaking initiatives, such as the launch of Mercury13, a fund aimed at expanding the multi-club ownership model in women’s football.

Impressive, right? Well, we’re just getting started. 

We’re not just offering events and content; we’re offering a chance to be part of something bigger: a movement that focuses on accelerating business, creating long-lasting partnerships, meaningful friendships, and, quite simply, designing a better world.



The time to make football industry history…is now.

The future of football isn’t written; it’s chosen. The question is, will you stand on the sidelines or will you play the game?

Let’s design the football we want, the football we need…together. An industry we are proud to champion.

Visit our revamped website at, subscribe to our weekly newsletter and podcast, and follow us on Social Media for the latest updates. Let’s not just talk about the football we want; let’s build it, together.