KEIR RADNEDGE in ZURICH: The price FIFA is having to pay, literally, for corruption at the highest level had been laid bare for the world’s 209 national football associations.
Markus Kattner, the acting secretary-general and finance director of the world federation, set out the financial embarrassment provoked by the collapse in confidence among sponsors sparked by the corruption scandals which have erupted over the past year in particular.
He admitted: “The commercial environment is difficult. The process for the commercialisation of rights has been delayed so we will have a negative results for the past financial year and continue to face challenges in meeting the $5bn revenue projection for the 2015-18 cycle.
“We are $550m behind our goals. So we need to manage costs carefully – and we need the reforms to be approved.”
Kattner revealed that FIFA was paying $10m a month in legal bills and acknowledged that the crisis surrounding the organisation “is affecting the morale of the FIFA team,” meaning the staff.
The strategy for the years ahead had been identified, said Kattner, as transforming FIFA into a “modern, trusted and professional sports organisaton by 2018.”
A second phase concerned restoring credibility which Kattner estimated, in a grand understatement “will last to the end of this year and probably beyond.”
This phase would also focus on “re-energising our commercial programme.”
Phase three, from 2017, would about recovery and consolidation. Kattner did not offer a timeline.
“We know it is an ambitious goal for FIFA to be recognised as a modern, trusted and professional sports organisation but we are convinced we can get there under the leadership of the new FIFA president.”