September 2021 Sector Update: Australian Football

2021 has been an exciting year for professional football. Globally the sporting code has started to attract keen interest from private equity funds. In Australia, there have been some key structural changes that will fuel future growth. Like many other industries, professional football is now focused on future growth as we look to put the pandemic behind us.

Some of the key events in 2021 have been:

Update #1: Changes to the structure of professional football leagues allowing for major professional leagues to become independent of the ‘Football Australia’ governing body.

  • What this means: Under the new independent structure known as the Australian Professional Leagues (APL), clubs are empowered to make their own decisions allowing for entrepreneurial flair to enter the industry. This move mirrors that of the EPL and is considered best practice, and just like with the EPL, the move is likely to be followed by an influx of private capital keen to invest in these new-found freedoms.

Update #2: APL announces a new broadcasting agreement to grow its audience.

  • What this means: The APL has signed a new broadcasting agreement with ViacomCBS, which owns Network Ten and Paramount+. A league match of the round will be broadcasted on Channel 10 and 10 Play on Demand Saturday nights to a free-to-air audience, this is in combination with their existing Fox Sports agreement reaching the domestic pay-TV audience too. This will result in an instant increase in viewership and further expose the sport to newer/broader audiences whilst also increasing the generation of revenue.

Update #3: Growth in the attraction of private equity to sporting organisations, globally.

  • What this means: There has been a marked increase in the amount of private equity funds flowing into sporting organisations worldwide. Notable instances include the 99% purchase of Italian football club Genoa by equity fund 777 Partners. This follows CVC capital partners investment of $4.3 billion into Spanish football league La liga, who have also recently opened offices in Australia. These are clear indications of the attractiveness of football clubs as an investment vehicle from global investment outfits.

To know more contact WI Capital today to discuss opportunities to enter the nascent Australian football industry via Melbourne Victory’s secondary market opportunity: Register Here


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