Is Football doing a Kodak?



Do you remember Kodak? They were the company that produced rolls of film to use in cameras, before digital came along this was the only was to process pictures, at one time Kodak had 99% of the global market, and then what happened, change came along and they didn’t go with it.

This week in Europe there has been uproar because 12 avaricious businessman have come up with a plan to make their companies more money, it seems in “normal” business the value of stable business is X20, if there is a level of instability the value drops to X4.

Any CEO worth his or her salt would be steering the business to the X20 model, equally they wouldn’t be paying single employees $350k per week and then leave them out of the office, they would probably not pay a recruitment company $190 million for one single hire, as I said this is not how “normal” business would operate.

Kodak became so self centred and full of themselves they believed they were untouchable, when in fact they swiftly became unwanted and un-investable, and most definitely untouchable.

The crazy European CEO’s are in the football business, their new idea was to create a European Super League (ESL)

This is a business unlike any other as it is the peoples game, or is it?

Like Kodak times have changed and is football guilty of being left behind?

Or are these 12 CEO’s visionary?

The money in football today doesn’t appear to be in season tickets or paid entrance through the turnstiles, in fact this particular revenue stream is one of the smallest and can literally be passed out, the key streams today are just that streams.

Asia is there marketplace, where guys in Shanghai or Singapore can pay $1 and watch a live European match between two of the so called giants on their mobile phones, and they can do this week in week out, the clubs are safe as they cannot be relegated thereby making the business model “normal” and the value of the club is now X20.

It all makes very good business sense, however football is unlike most business’s some of the things that go on would simply never happen in any other genre on the planet, a Manager (albeit a very good one) has allegedly received over $190 million for not achieving his KPI’s !!!

Can you imagine that, the CEO calls you in for your review, you have cost the company literally millions and she gives you a big fat cheque as a parting gift, and then as you leave the building the opposition are waiting outside before you even cash the cheque to give you another huge one to come and ply your wares with them.

Employees being paid huge salary's in excess of $300k per week, and then because the Boss doesn't like them they are left in a back room, to gather dust and all the time their value is decreasing until it’s virtually written off.

You are a failure but really you are a success.

Football has a huge history of corruption and misuse of funds, you only have to look at Sepp Blatter and the carnage he created all designed to line his own pockets, FIFA and EUFA are not exactly innocent in all of this, both trying to maintain control of their respective cash cows and therefor completely against any form of change unless it’s their own, which in turn they are the prime benefactors of.

I guess the real question here is, does football need to change?

The answer has to be yes, better tournaments, increase the promotion of women’s football, the opportunity for the street kid to become the next Messi or Ronaldo, the next Megan Rapinoe or Alex Morgan, the dream of scoring the winning goal in a world cup final, all of this must stay, it just needs to appeal to that massive Asian / Global market.

Or how about this as an alternative, don’t try to change the business model, accept the instability of promotion and relegation.

Only have CEO’s who accept this instability and can work on the unknown X Valuations, of maybe X4 and not X20, have people who understand the game and the culture of it, keep it modern for sure but also keep and respect its history.

The backlash from fans has stopped this new idea this so called ESL, however it will come back and will continue to come back, football has to move on, it has to accept and embrace change.

Football used to be called the working mans game, it’s a long way from that now and will continue to move even further away, it has to to survive, remember Kodak.


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