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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Brazilian Soccer Teams Plot Breakaway League

  • Brazilian club teams are coordinating on a breakaway league to address concerns they have over the existing soccer federation.
  • The league could take shape as early as next year.
Flamengo/Design: Alex Brooks

The Super League flopped in Europe, but a similar concept might take hold in Brazil. 

Brazilian club teams are in talks to form a breakaway league, seeking more control over their schedules and earning potential.

One proposal pitched to club teams would have private equity investors purchase 20% of the breakaway league for as much as $1 billion — implying a $5 billion valuation.

Clubs have grown frustrated with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). Their complaints include:

  • Games scheduled during major tournaments, like the Copa América, deprive club teams of their top players.
  • Games are often scheduled to start after 9 p.m., so as not to conflict with popular soap operas on the country’s main soccer broadcaster, Globo. Globo pays CBF $2.5 million per game to show Brazilian National soccer team matches through 2022.
  • Top players regularly leave for European leagues, seeking better pay. 

Brazilian superstar Neymar signed a contract extension in May with Paris Saint-Germain through 2025 for a reported $36.5 million per season. Liverpool’s Alisson Becker, also from Brazil, is in the midst of a contract that pays him $10.8 million per season through 2024.

A 2016 survey found that 82% of Brazilian soccer players make less than $250 per month.

The breakaway league could take shape as soon as next year, though it may have to wait until 2024, when certain media contracts expire, to fully capitalize on its value.

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