Sports marketing figures have questioned Fifa’s claim that the move to biennial Men’s World Cups will lead to a huge increase in income.
The world football governing body reignited the argument to stage its centerpiece more regularly on Monday, presenting research that estimated the change would increase earnings by 60% in the first four years.
The research, conducted by Nielsen, predicted an increase in revenue from £ 5.3bn to £ 8.6bn, which would mean an additional £ 12m for each Fifa member nation.
One would expect the increase to come from media rights and sponsorship, but figures in the sports industry doubt that is achievable.
“An oversupply will dilute the prestige of the tournament very quickly,” Steve Martin, global CEO of M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, wrote on Twitter.
“It shouldn’t be all about the $$$! Having a World Cup every four years keeps its magic in my eyes and also keeps a distance between the euros. ”
Michael Payne, former Marketing Director of the International Olympic Committee, wrote: “Double the income – sincerely doubt!” Destroy the rare and special nature of the brand – a definite possibility. “
European clubs, leagues and governing bodies are strongly opposed to plans for a biennial World Cup, which they believe could harm their interests.
A report commissioned by UEFA’s European governing body last week estimated that the proposed change would cut revenues for its member national associations by up to £ 2.6 billion over four years.
UEFA has recently forged a closer alliance with its South American counterpart Conmebol, who also strongly opposes the biennial World Cups. Together, they represent 65 of the 211 members of Fifa.
Fifa President Gianni Infantino insisted on Monday he remained confident he would get the support needed to approve the plans.
“If I were to vote tomorrow, the majority would probably vote for the World Cups every two years,” he said.
“But we are looking at the whole calendar. We are looking at how we can improve football and we are looking at how much we can involve with a new way of organizing football in the future.
“We continue the dialogue, we continue the analysis, we hope that we can move forward one way or another, or a middle way.”