World soccer governing body Fifa has hired American financial advisory firm The Raine Group to help secure the $1bn funding required to launch an expanded 24-team Club World Cup in 2021, according to the New York Times.
Much of the money is needed to secure the participation of the top European clubs, whose financial demands – which reportedly include an ownership stake in the event – have forced Fifa’s hand to get the project off the ground. However, delays to secure the necessary backing has set the process back, leading Fifa to appoint The Raine Group to help its investment efforts.
In 2018, Fifa president Gianni Infantino presented to the Fifa Council a $25bn offer from a secretive group of investors to take control of a revamped Club World Cup and global Nations League. However, he had to back down on the proposal following opposition led by European officials. The affair led to public rift between Infantino and Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin.
Fifa then formally announced the launch of the new Club World Cup in October 2019. The new tournament will have 24 teams, take place every four years, and replace both the Confederations Cup national team tournament and the existing annual, seven-team Club World Cup.
In December, Fifa launched a tender process “to invite various commercial and investment proposals” for its revamped Club World Cup. Now, however, Fifa has hired The Raine Group, which has significant experience in the sports sector, to fast-track the process.
In November, The Raine Group helped City Football Group sell a $500m stake to the American investment group Silver Lake Partners.