Home Sports FIFA Budget Breakdown: How Does the Football Organization Make Money?

FIFA Budget Breakdown: How Does the Football Organization Make Money?

by Pritam Chougale

“Fédération Internationale de Football Association” (FIFA) or the International Federation of Association Football is a governing body of association of football worldwide.

Football is one of the favorite games and is played by around 240 million people from more than 200 countries regularly. Football has by far the largest fan following and that is why football has the highest television viewers worldwide. 

In this article, we’re going to see the budget breakdown of FIFA: the governing body of association football worldwide and how this organization makes the money. 

Table of Contents

What is FIFA 
What is FIFA responsible for
What are FIFA’s recent initiatives
FIFA World Cup 
FIFA Budget breakdown 
How does FIFA make money 
Revenue Sources of FIFA 
How does FIFA spend the money 
Expenses of FIFA 
How much does FIFA have in reserve
FIFA’s investment portfolio
Key Takeaway

What is FIFA  

Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland FIFA was founded in 1904 to supervise the international competitions of association football. 

FIFA has six Confederations (AFC, CAF, Concacaf, CONMEBOL, OFC, and UEFA) and there are currently 211 national associations members of FIFA.

FIFA is in charge of running world football and of organizing the big football tournaments around the world. The most famous tournament organized is the FIFA World Cup every four years. 

Although FIFA is the governing body of football worldwide it alone does not set the rules of Football games. The International Football Association Board set the rule of the game however FIFA is a member of this association and that is why FIFA applies the rules across all its competitions.

All FIFA tournaments generate revenue from sponsorship; in 2018, FIFA had revenues of over US $4.6 billion, ending the 2015–2018 cycle with a net positive of US$1.2 billion, and had cash reserves of over US$2.7 billion.[6] 

For FIFA the main stream of revenue comes from its tournaments sponsorships and other resources. In 2018, World Cup FIFA has revenue over US $4.6 billion with a net profit of US $1.2 billion and FIFA has a cash reserve of over  US$2.7 billion. 

Let’s see how this organization manages to make the money and its budget breakdown in later sections. 

What is FIFA responsible for

According to the official website, FIFA aims to “promote the game of football, protect its integrity, and bring the game to all.”

FIFA is responsible for growing the association football internationally and taking efforts to make the game of football accessible to everyone. FIFA also acts as an advocate for the integrity of football and fair gameplay. 

FIFA is responsible for organizing not only the popular FIFA World Cup but also organizes 19 different tournaments for men, women, girls, and boys across different age groups and Football types such as Olympic football tournament, futsal cup, beach soccer, youth cup, eWorldcup, confederation cup, etc… 

What are FIFA’s recent initiatives?

Here are some of the activities and initiatives that FIFA works on. 

  • FIFA Guardians:

It is a Child Safeguarding program from FIFA that ensures a safe and healthy environment for the young generation of the football family.

  • FIFA forwards Program:

It’s a support program for the development of football games so that it can reach every nation worldwide. 

  • FIFA medical:

FIFA has a medical committee that looks after the medical services across all FIFA tournaments and also handles medical matters in football. It ensures the health of players. 

  • Education and technical:

The objective of this program is to provide football education and technical support. There are subprograms under this program for grassroots, women, boys, and other football categories. 

  • The FIFA foundation: 

This program is committed to improving the lives of children and young people across the globe. 

  • FIFA coach mentorship program:

This program has a commitment towards increasing the opportunities that exist within football for female coaches across the globe.  

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is not just a tournament or the biggest sports event in the world but it is the biggest source of FIFA’s income for its business revenue. 

Total 21 FIFA World Cups have been won by different nations. Brazil has won 5 titles that are the highest won by any country ever followed by German and Italy with four World Cup wins each. Uruguay, France, and Argentina have won two times each. Spain and England have won 1 title each.  

FIFA Budget breakdown

Have you ever wondered how this big organization makes and spends its money? What is its revenue model and what are the main streams of income for FIFA?

In this section let’s breakdown the FIFA budget and understand how the biggest football organization in the world makes the money.

How does FIFA make money?

Image from:resources.fifa.com

As per FIFA’s financial report 2018, the World Cup is the main source of revenue for FIFA.  FIFA’s revenue reached a new high of USD 6,421 million, of which USD 5,357 million or 83%

was delivered by the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, FIFA claims that this is the most profitable edition of FIFA World Cup to date.

FIFA’s total assets amounted to USD 4,389 million (50% higher than at the end of the previous cycle), with 82% in the form of cash, cash equivalents, and financial assets.

The total assets of FIFA reached USD 4,389 million which is 50 % higher than the previous cycle. 

With the end of the FIFA World Cup Russia, it managed to reserve a new record level that is USD 2,745 million. 

These are totally jaw-drawing figures. Without arguably FIFA is the world’s richest sports organization and governing body. 

Here is the breakdown of FIFA incomes from various sources including the World Cup. 

Revenue sources of FIFA in 2015-2018 Cycle (Numbers are in USD Million

  • Hospitality Rights & ticket sales
    • Hospitality/accommodation – 148
    • Ticket sales – 564
  • Licensing rights 
    • Brand licensing rights – 575
    • Other licensing rights – 25
  • Marketing rights
    • FIFA Partners – 1,118
    • FIFA World Cup Sponsors – 363
    • FIFA Regional Supporters – 153
    • FIFA National Supporters – 26
  • Television broadcasting rights
    • Europe – 920
    • Asia and North Africa – 974
    • South and Central America – 452
    • North America and the Caribbean – 522
    • Rest of the world – 104
    • Other broadcasting and FIFA events revenue – 
  • Other revenue
    • FIFA Club World Cup -123
    • Penalties/appeals – 27
    • FIFA Quality Programme – 44
    • FIFA World Football Museum – 12
    • Income from sales of film/video rights – 22
    • Other events and areas – 94

So that is how FIFA makes the money. Now let’s understand how it spends or invests its Money. 

How does FIFA spend (invests) the money?

Here is the quick view of the investment or spend of FIFA in numbers. 

Image from resources.fifa.com/

Here is the breakdown of FIFA’s Expenses

Expenses of FIFA in 2015-2018 Cycle (Numbers are in USD Million

  • FIFA Governance & Administration – 797
    • Communications – 95
    • Information technology – 71
    • Annual FIFA Congress and committees – 79
    • Legal and governance costs – 91
    • Legal costs – 41
    • Buildings and maintenance – 39
    • Other – 91
    • Personnel expenses – 253
    • Depreciation of property and equipment 37
  • Football Governance – 124
    • Football governance bodies and third-party services – 55
    • Personnel expenses – 63
    • Depreciation of property and equipment – 6
  • Development & Education – 1,670
    • FIFA Forward – 1,079
    • Technical development – 41
    • Refereeing Assistance Programme (RAP) – 34
    • Football for Schools Programme – 100
    • FIFA World Football Museum – 58
    • Other projects – 202
    • Personnel expenses – 90
    • Depreciation of property and equipment – 66
  • Marketing & TV Broadcasting – 211
    • Broadcasting and media rights – 45
    • Marketing rights – 23
    • Licensing rights – 11
    • Sales commission and other – 77
    • Personnel expenses – 49
    • Depreciation of property and equipment – 6
  • Competitions & Events – 2,566
    • 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – 1,824
    • Other FIFA events – 559
    • FIFA Club Protection Programme – 106
    • Personnel expenses – 71
    • Depreciation of property and equipment – 6

How much does FIFA have in reserve?

After the 2018 World Cup FIFA’s reserves reach an unprecedented high. 

  • FIFA has USD 4,389 million in total assets on 31 December 2018. 
  • Out of total assets, It has USD 3,596 million in cash and financial assets (82%)
  • It has a total reserve of USD 2,745 million. 

FIFA’s investment portfolio

FIFA has seen solid returns on its investment despite the difficult environment. 

Here’s an overview of FIFA’s Investment Portfolio. 

Image from: resources.fifa.com

Key Takeaway 

The world’s biggest sports organization FIFA makes most of its money from its tournaments and the biggest source of income is television, sponsorships, marketing, and licensing rights for its football tournament like FIFA World Cup. 

The infrastructure costs of organizing the World Cup are left up to the organizing country that helps FIFA in keeping its expenses low. 

In 2018, FIFA generated more than $4.6 billion in revenue. FIFA has a good amount of capital reserve and a profitable investment portfolio that makes it the world’s richest sports organization. 

FIFA invest most of its revenue back into the development of the football game. 

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