International Centre for
Sports Studies

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Wed. 06 March 2024


Focusing on the top two divisions across a sample of ten countries, the report reveals the latest trends behind investments in professional clubs and provides a detailed insight into the current European football club ownership landscape.

The analysis, which covers the 2019-2023 five-year period, is structured around three main verticals - foreign investments, private capital and multi-club ownership - that, interconnected between each other, are driving a significant shift in the governance of the club game.

Some of the findings in the report include:

  • The leagues covered by the study attracted a total of 128 foreign investments between 2019 and 2023. A total of 26 deals took place over the most recently completed calendar year, representing a 24% year-on-year contraction in activity.
  • England, France and Belgium received the highest number of foreign investments over the 2019-2023 five-year period. The French Ligue 2 and the Spanish LaLiga 2 were the most targeted leagues over the same period;
  • Private capital accounted for more than half of the total foreign investment deals completed between 2019 and 2023. In nearly 90% of the cases, these investments were attributable to US investors;
  • A total of 78 multi-club ownership (MCO) investments were concluded between 2019 and 2023 across the leagues included in the analysis. As of the end of 2023, nearly 40% of the 341 clubs participating in these leagues had a direct link with another football club at ownership level.

The report represents the latest of a series of new research outputs which will be undertaken by CIES to further delve into aspects of football governance and add to the existing knowledge on the frameworks which underpin the management and development of professional football.

CIES Sports Intelligence is a research and analysis division of the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) specialized in sports governance, policy and regulatory aspects. By focusing on the dissemination of research and knowledge, CIES Sports Intelligence’s goal is to support stakeholders in the implementation of strategic decisions based on data and information and promote the development of best governance and management practices across the sports industry.

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