FIFA could spark the biggest crisis in football history if they push ahead with their unnecessary money grab of a World Cup every two years.
The World Cup has been held every four years since 1930, but earlier this year, FIFA’s annual Congress gave the go-ahead for a feasibility study for it to be held every two.
Saudi Arabia first floated the plan for the biannual tournament and now has the support of FIFA’s head of global football development, Arsene Wenger.
And it is very easy to see why FIFA are keen on the idea, as it would give them a huge payday every two years, instead of every four.
The vast majority of FIFA’s income comes from broadcasting fees, licensing rights and ticket sales for the men’s World Cup.
Over the last four years, FIFA has made £4.6 billion, over half of what UEFA makes in the same period from the Champions League and the European Championships.
So it is very easy to see why the eyes of the accountants in FIFA-Strasse 20 in Zurich lit up at the prospect, and so did the smaller football nations around the world.
They get an annual payout linked to the financial success of the world’s governing body, so the theory is: the better FIFA do, the more they get.
And that is what it is all about! Money, just like the European Super League, the Premier League, the Champions League, and the Europa Conference League.
FIFA claimed, a survey, conducted last July, came out favouring a more frequent men’s FIFA World Cup, and the preferred frequency is biannual.
But to be honest, surveys aren’t worth the paper that they are written on. You ask the right people the right question – and a survey can tell you whatever you want it to say.
FIFA need to be honest, which doesn’t happen very often. This is all about power, control and politics, and not about giving the fans what they want.
It is not surprising that UEFA are against the idea. While the Euro’s are their biggest money, they generate considerable income, which would be lost.
UEFA are already threatening a boycott of the tournament, which would be nothing short of a financial disaster for the bean counters.
The biggest clubs are against the idea, as is the European League – the organisation representing the world’s biggest leagues.
And as its club’s employee, nearly all of the biggest name players who would play in the tournament, it is starting to look like FIFA have got its work cut out.
Who is to say that it would bring in the income they think, especially as a biannual event would clash with the Olympics and its football tournament.
The message to FIFA is pretty simple: stop wasting your time and everyone else’s time and scrap this idea before you spark a war you cannot possibly win.
by Neil Fissler