As a football fan, as well as someone who believes in the human purposes of business, I groaned when I read about FIFA plans for a $25bn dollar investment in a new global club competition.
Faced with a choice between planning a high quality competition and pleasing major advertisers I wonder which way FIFA will go? Will a new Global competition for the top 24 clubs help promote grassroots football? How much of the revenues will flow into making football accessible to the disadvantaged? Where is the push from FIFA to promote ownership models that keep clubs close to their fans, as still happens in Spain and Germany but rarely in UK or other European countries?
Football, like the oil industry, exemplifies the resource curse where money floods in for a time but what is left behind is ultimately impoverished. The Germans and Spanish have maintained mutual ownership at club level but can anyone see a way whereby international football could be rescued from plutocrats and embezzlers?
We need to reassert the interests of fans and players and coaches and the next generation. To kick start that would either need a major philanthropist on the scale of Bill Gates or an extraordinary crowdfunding initiative such as Jimmy Wales achieved with Wikipedia.