How private equity is changing the global soccer landscape with big investments in clubs and leagues

February 6, 2024  -MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid is revamping its training facilities. Sevilla and Valencia are rebuilding their stadiums. Sporting Gijon is expanding its youth academy.

Spanish clubs this week are meeting to showcase and discuss projects funded by their shares of the $2.1 billion that private equity group CVC Capital Partners is investing in the Spanish league. Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are opposed to the agreement that gave Luxembourg-based CVC a 8.25% stake in a new company that manages TV rights and other income from the Spanish league, are not participating in the two-day conference that began Tuesday.

The 2021 deal was the first of its kind in Europe’s top soccer leagues, but CVC has since made a similar investment in the French league and is competing with Blackstone, another private equity firm, for a stake in the media rights of the German league. Here’s a look at how private equity and other investment funds are building a presence in global soccer — despite pushback from some clubs, federations and fans.

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