Robert Arrowsmith: FIFA’s $110 million take just a drop in the bucket

Robert Arrowsmith

Robert Arrowsmith

Robert Arrowsmith

CMI Publisher

I know how I will go crazy. It will be because of numbers.

The FIFA — Federation International Football Association — raid this week brought about some of the largest charges of racketeering in the history of sport: $110 million over a period of 24 years.I think I have said that before, and if I have said it, then I must be on my way.

And now the numbers in me say …

Did you know how much the TV rights for the last World Cup and the next World Cup in Russia were for? Try $1.85 billion.

That Manchester United alone is worth over $2 billion?

Or that eight of the 10 highest payrolls in sports around the world are for soccer teams? Paris Saint-Germain is No. 2 at $227.1 million behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers worldwide.

Did you know that Kevin Durant’s Adidas deal is worth between $265 million and $285 million?

Many of us suspect organizations such as FIFA and the International Olympic Committee are up to something. We have suspected it for years. From the majority of people that I have talked to, read, or heard from, they were not surprised.

I do believe the two countries that received the rights to the next two World Cups created the final straw for many, especially when it went to two countries with a history of human rights violations.

But $110 million over 24 years to me is a joke. It is a drop in the bucket in the big picture of high-dollar sports.

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio both made more than that for a 45-minute snoozefest a couple of weeks ago.

And yes the media is partially to blame for the hype of all this. I get that. News is good at finding the drop in the bucket and hyping it up.

But the reality is that $110 million is not even a drop in the bucket to the high-end world of soccer. I do mean world as it is the largest sports organization in the world.

No wonder Sepp Blatter mentioned that he cannot keep an eye on everything everywhere all the time — $110 million is such a miniscule number in the big picture.

This whole thing reminded of the movie “Office Space” when they took the fraction of the cents rounded off and put it in a bank account.

Kudos to the Swiss and American governments for their due diligence for what they accomplished with their investigations. But again, this really is nothing more than a drop in the bucket.

I must be on my way.

Robert Arrowsmith is publisher of Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at:

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