FIFA plot global Nations League if plan for biennial World Cup fails

AHEAD OF THE GAME: FIFA plot global Nations League if bid to stage World Cup every two years fails… while Leeds’ caution over transfer spending could be trumped by fear of relegation

  • FIFA explore global Nations League as an alternative to a biennial World Cup 
  • The governing body are desperate to set up a tournament to increase revenue 
  • FIFA have held discussions about replacing the old Confederations Cup
  • Eddie Howe will be given input into Newcastle’s hiring of a director of football

FIFA are considering pursuing their own global Nations League as an alternative to a biennial World Cup if that controversial proposal is effectively vetoed by UEFA and CONMEBOL, the South American federation, as seems likely. 

The world governing body are desperate to set up a new global tournament to increase their revenues. 

Given the hostility towards staging the World Cup every two years that has been expressed by influential stakeholders, including the FA, the Premier League and the two biggest continental federations, they are looking at other options. 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is considering pursuing his own global Nations League

The success of UEFA’s Nations League has been noted by their rivals and FIFA could seek to set up their own version, which would fulfil their aim of organising more matches between the world’s best teams in a tournament format to appeal to sponsors and a global television audience.

FIFA have held discussions about creating a new competition to replace the old Confederations Cup, which has not been held since 2017. 

The Confederations Cup was an eight-team tournament held every four years 12 months before the World Cup, a timetable which FIFA may find easier to sell to the sceptics even if it was expanded to include more nations in a mini-league. 

FIFA will hold a summit to discuss their plans on December 20. 

FIFA’s bid to hold a World Cup every two years looks set to be vetoed by UEFA and CONMEBOL

Eddie Howe will be given an input into Newcastle’s appointment of a new director of football in an unusual move which indicates the manager could have a long-term future at St James’ Park.

Newcastle’s search is being led by head of recruitment Steve Nickson, alongside specialist sport head-hunters Nolan Partners, as revealed by Sportsmail this week. 

But Howe will also be consulted as the club’s owners are eager to appoint someone he is comfortable working with. 

The appointment is not regarded as Newcastle’s immediate priority, however, and is not expected to be completed before the end of the January transfer window.

Coach Eddie Howe is set to have a say in who Newcastle appoint as their director of football

Leeds in transfer quandary

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani could be forgiven for not granting Marcelo Bielsa a large budget during the January transfer window, as heavy spending would reduce the sale price in the event of a takeover by the San Francisco 49ers.

The NFL franchise currently own a 44 per cent stake and have an option to buy Radrizzani out in a deal that values Leeds at £400million by 2024, but that price is based on the club breaking even, which will be heavily influenced by their transfer spend.

Leeds’ valuation will drop far more significantly, however, if they are relegated, which does provide an incentive for Radrizzani to invest over the coming transfer windows.

Andrea Radrizzani has been reluctant to spend money on Leeds’ squad to maintain the club’s sale price in the event of a takeover… but may be forced to buy players to avoid the drop

In the club’s most recent accounts, for the 2019-20 season, Leeds posted losses of £62m but that was before they were in receipt of Premier League television money so their next accounts should look healthier.

In a complex arrangement, Radrizzani also has options to buy out the 49ers to regain full control of the club. A takeover in either direction is likely to be amicable, as Radrizzani has a close relationship with Paraag Marathe, the president of 49ers Enterprises.

The breadth and depth of Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review has been criticised by several Premier League clubs amid concerns that radical reforms could be introduced on the back of limited consultation.

Crouch’s panel spoke to 21,000 supporters before compiling their report, but the review goes on to state that there are 35 million football fans in the country, and out of 25,000 clubs in the UK just 135 were consulted. 

The review did consult fans groups attached to every professional club, however, so are confident they have received input from a representative cross-section of supporters. 

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