Sunday. The Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up. You know the score by now, 

This week is a bit more of a mix compared to the last weeks edition. We’re covering everything from cricket, takeovers, to the Forbes list and more. Enjoy.


The IPL to London?

This news broke over the weekend however, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced that talks have been opened with the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the Indian Premier League cricket tournament and its clubs over the prospect of hosting matches in London.

Sadiq Khan


With the mayoral election well underway, Khan hopes that holding these matches in London will help to bring back tourists to the capital after the pandemic.

Should this happen, it will only be the second time that the IPL has been played outside of India. Last year the tournament was moved to the UAE due to the pandemic.


Barcelona knock Real Madrid off top spot

It wouldn’t be a Weekly wrap-up without a bit of finance news so we’re going early with it this week and it’s a big one, the Forbes list.

The annual list of the worlds richest football clubs is always something worth keeping an eye on if you work in the world of sports business and this year especially so, given the pandemic and its impacts on sport. Real Madrid were knocked off the top spot by La Liga rivals, Barcelona despite the Catalan club having considerably more financial debt. Somewhere over £1bn. Yes, billion. 

The Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up Barcelona


In an article published by Sky Sports, the Catalan club are valued at £3.46bn which is just ahead of Real Madrid who are called at £3.45bn. It’s also worth noting the position of a few English clubs. Six clubs from England’s top flight feature in the top 10 with Manchester United still the most valuable club at £3.06bn. Liverpool (£2.98bn), Manchester City (£2.91bn), Chelsea (£2.33bn) Arsenal (£2.04bn) Tottenham (£1.67bn). Forbes say that Liverpool have seen an 88 percent rise in their value in the last two years. Winning both the Premier League and Champions League will certainly have helped that rise. 


Wednesday was fairly quiet news wise so here’s a quick little round up of a few noteworthy things I spotted…

  • Rome has secured its host city status for UEFA Euro 2020 after the Italian government gave the green light to permit the Stadio Olimpico to have at least 25% of its capacity.
  • Coinbase went public and NBA star Kevin Durant is set to do quite well from it as he’s an investor in the company through his company, Thirty Five Ventures.
  • The Chinese Super League will allow fans into just over half of the 112 games planned for the first phase of the season kicking off this week.

A request for political intervention and signatures equals vaccines, apparently.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene in his £300m takeover of Newcastle United after it was blocked by the Premier League the Daily Mail has said.


Apparently, he’s warned Boris Johnson that Anglo-Saudi relations would be damaged unless the buyout was approved. “The Crown Prince was enraged after the Premier League demanded to know if the Saudi state — in effect, Bin Salman himself — would be the owners of Newcastle.

The Premier League had concerns over alleged state-backed broadcast piracy in the country, but the buying consortium insisted that the Public Investment Fund leading the deal was separate from the state.”

In other news, a few Lionel Messi signed shirts have helped obtain 50,000 COVID vaccines from China. This is part of an ambitious plan to inoculate all of South America’s football players before the Copa América tournament this summer. The deal, which has been brokered by Uruguay’s conservative president has been criticised though as the country is currently dealing with the most serious Covid levels in the world right now. Fair point. 


Tokyo 2020 Olympics in jeopardy

With just a few months to go until the rearranged 2020 Summer Olympics are supposed to kick off in Tokyo, there’s still a chance they could be cancelled if the country’s COVID-19 numbers don’t improve. 


According to CBS Sports One official in Japan’s ruling LDP party said on Thursday evening that “If it seems impossible to go on with the games, they must be definitely canceled,” Liberal Democratic Party secretary general Toshihiro Nikai told the Associated Press. “If there is a surge in infections because of the Olympics, there will be no meaning to having the Olympics.”

The number of COVID cases have risen throughout Japan with the second largest city, Osaka reporting over 1,000 new cases on Thursday.

However, Tokyo’s Olympic Organisers, the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee are “are fully focused on hosting the games this summer.” A decision is expected later this month.


The first pilot events take place in the UK

It was a positive end to the week as Saturday marked the beginning of the pilot events for the return of fans to live sport. Sundays FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and the World Championship Snooker at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield will both host fans for the first time in months. 

sports business


The semi-final between Leicester and Southampton will have 4,000 fans in attendance with each of them having to provide proof of a negative lateral flow test taken no more than 24 hours before the game. Tickets have been limited to local Brent residents and key workers, they have also been requested to take a PCR test (which they process in a laboratory) before and after the match to help the research programme around the pilots and if the impact they have on infection rates according to BBC Sport.

At The Crucible, capacity will be around a third for the opening round of World Championship Snooker with the hope and aim being that by the time the final comes around on 3 May, they will be able to host a full capacity crowd.

Fingers crossed everything goes to plan this weekend and we can continue to see more and more fans returning to sport.

That’s another week and another edition of the Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up done! In the UK, as we continue to move along the roadmap out of lockdown I’m really hoping that everything goes to plan and we see fans back in stadiums and at sporting events as we head into the summer months. Hit us up on social media with any of your thoughts or ideas about this weeks stories!

Here’s a link to last weeks Sports Business Weekly Wrap-up if you missed it. You can also follow us on social media to keep up with the latest sports business news and content.