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Citigroup To Lead UEFA Relief Package

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How Rupert Murdoch Changed Sports Media Forever

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September 22, 2023 | Podcast
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U.S. bank Citigroup will present a $7.9 billion relief package on Thursday in an effort to assist European soccer clubs’ financial recovery from the global pandemic.

Goldman Sachs, Macquarie, and Apollo reportedly all bid for the project. Bankers stated the deal does not include the league’s equity or broadcasting revenues, but rather involves debt — and is expected to “grow over time.”

The Citigroup-led proposal comes as new COVID-19 variants are found and the virus continues to spread. There are concerns it could begin a similar spiral to the last few seasons — the European soccer market dropped 13% to $29.7 billion in the 2019-2020 season, according to Delloite.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin says the deal is a “work in progress.”

Relief Deals

Earlier this week, Spain’s La Liga ratified its $2.3 billion deal with CVC Capital that would grant the firm an 8.2% equity stake of a new company in charge of the league’s media rights for 50 years. 

  • The deal was approved by 37 of 42 teams — it only needed 32 to move forward.
  • Since then, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao have sued the league for violating “the most elementary principles of Spanish sports law.”

Ligue de Football Professionnel, which oversees France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, is also taking bids for a 20% stake — for roughly $1.7 billion — of a new company overseeing the league’s media rights. It says it’s received “around 10” offers.

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