Over the last decade, sport, and more specifically football, has undergone exponential commercial and economic growth. With player transfers, television rights and sponsorship now worth billions of euros, football is a global business, with unprecedented impact in our societies and economies.
Such economic growth has generated positive impact across many areas. But it has also led to an increasing sophistication in the way that business and financial transactions are conducted, and increasing worrying trends. Arrangements such as third party ownership of players’ economic rights, offshore investment funds, complex and opaque club ownership structures, bidding processes for sports events and media rights have raised substantial controversy in recent years. In addition, growing reports of money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion and other detrimental practices are tarnishing the financial integrity and reputation of the so-called “beautiful game”.
The need for reform is, undeniably, greater than ever. It is time for action!
Against this background, the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) has been developing, since November 2014, an ambitious, independent and global project to promote the necessary reforms across all levels and key areas of sport, concentrating this year on football – the Financial Integrity and Transparency in Sport Project (FITS).
As part of the FITS Project, and in order to address the most critical threats and the most adequate solutions to ensure the highest standards in terms of good governance, financial integrity and accountability in sport, the ICSS took the initiative to organise a high-level, inclusive and expert-driven international conference – the FITS FORUM.
Through the unique lenses of some of the world’s sports leaders, senior representatives from international authorities and key stakeholders, the FITS FORUM offered a privileged opportunity to discuss several fundamental questions and meet the mounting challenges facing the financial integrity and transparency in sport across a series of high-profile panels. Critical issues that were placed under the spotlight, included:
- How Can Sport Maintain its Global Appeal and Commercial Success?
- Good Governance in Sport: Time for Reform
- Money-Laundering and Tax Evasion: Risks and Cures for a Clean Sport
- Third Party Ownership: Prohibition or Regulation?
- Club Ownership: Safeguarding Sport from Criminal Infiltration
- Financial Supervision in Sport: So Far So Good?
- Is It Worth Investing in Sport?
- The Autonomy of Sport: A Contemporary Perspective from Governments and EU Institution
You can download the Event Guide here