Emanuel Medeiros Proposes Action Plan to Strengthen Financial Integrity in Football

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London, UK; 5 October 2016: As sport seeks to address the many challenges to its good governance and integrity, Emanuel Medeiros, CEO of ICSS EUROPE, put forward his 6-point game plan for the future to help strengthen financial integrity across the football industry at the Leaders in Sport Business Summit today.

With over 25 years in the football industry and as a leading voice for stronger governance in sport, founder and former CEO of the European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) Emanuel Medeiros put forward the action plan, tackling critical issues such as Third Party Ownership, club ownership, financial supervision mechanisms, intermediaries and offshore investment funds, tax evasion and money laundering.

Recommendations include:

1. In-depth governance reform at all levels and key areas of the game
2. Standardised, robust and globally-enforceable financial standards and enhanced financial mechanisms, at national and international level
3. Enhanced FIFA transfer matching system, as a first step towards the development of a clearing house system for all financial transactions at a national and international level
4. Legislative and regulatory reform of club (multi) ownership, with effective due diligence and appropriate oversight, including full disclosure of ultimate beneficial owners
5. Review of the FIFA regulations governing the activity of intermediaries, including the enforcement of true qualitative criteria for their registration and payments by clubs and players to be made compulsory via a clearing house system
6. Creation of an independent, neutral, global, multi-stakeholder integrity body to set universally applicable standards, assist with their implementation and usher football and the wider sport into a new era of good governance and integrity

In addition to proposing solutions for clubs, leagues and governing bodies to implement, Medeiros also presented the main findings of the first independent report of the Financial Integrity and Transparency in Sport (FITS) Global Project, an independent study developed by a team of international experts led by Professor Matt Andrews, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.

Following the FITS FORUM 2015 in Geneva, the report aims to provide a holistic, fact-based, independent overview of key challenges facing the financial integrity and transparency within the football industry and lead the way towards effective solutions.

Proposing five core pillars of financial integrity for the football industry to strengthen, key findings of the independent report include:

· 60% of the world’s national associations would not be financially viable without the help of FIFA
· 25% of global clubs produce financial reports showing they know how to account and do account publicly
· 40% of national associations produce financial reports showing they know how to account and do account publicly
· Over 70% of global club revenues are raised in Europe;
· Financial inequality exists throughout football. Richer clubs and leagues are monopolising revenue streams, leading to poorer clubs becoming more vulnerable to match fixing, money laundering and corruption.

To read the full report entitled ‘Off Pitch: Football’s financial integrity weaknesses, and how to strengthen them’, please click here.

Speaking today at the Leaders Sport Business Summit, Emanuel Medeiros, CEO of ICSS EUROPE said: “There is an unprecedented crisis of confidence in sport aggravated by a number of scandals. It is clear that elements of sport have a lack of financial integrity. Around the world, sport has never been more popular or impactful, but elements of sport are being operated in a completely unethical manner.

“The system today is essentially powerless to stop corruption. There is not enough cooperation between sport, international organisations, governments, and law enforcement, to tackle the problem—especially a multi-jurisdictional problem of this magnitude.

“The ICSS has been advocating for reform in these areas for a long time and convened the key organisations for in depth discussions on this area through the FITS forum.

“The plan presented today provides a way forward for football to address these growing issues around good governance, financial transactions, player transfers, agents, investment funds activities, financial supervision. These issues are now under the spotlight and need to be addressed immediately.” 

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