Who will be the winners of the 2014 World Cup?

With the World Cup starting this week, no doubt there will be much joy and (probably more) disappointment in the four week tournament building up to the final on 13 July 2014.

Many of us will be starting to think of who to select in our World Cup dream teams, setting up a sweepstake or even putting a bet on. But what if I could tell you who the winner will be?

A recent website article highlighted the financial winners and losers of this year’s most lucrative, yet expensive, World Cup.

Brazil themselves are set to spend around $14 billion on hosting the tournament which has caused much controversy in the country. FIFA spend a further $2 billion themselves.

Even if Brazil do receive the winner’s cheque for $35 million, it hardly pays back the initial investment. The $35 million winner’s cheque is less than 1% of the FIFA’s revenue banked directly from its marquee event over a four-year commercial cycle.

But the federations do share $48 million from FIFA to prepare for the tournament, and $70 million goes to clubs whose players are selected (mostly European clubs).

So what do FIFA get in return? $4 billion is the answer, mostly paid by broadcasters and sponsors.

European television networks have paid nearly $1.7 billion, so far, in rights fees to FIFA, according to the past three years of financial reports.

Six top-tier partners – Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony, Visa – pay a combined $177.125 million annually. That totals $708.5 million over four years.

Eight second-tier sponsors – Budweiser, Castrol, Continental, Johnson & Johnson, McDonalds, Moy Park, Oi, Yingli – collectively pay $524 million with a further $120 million from Brazilian sponsors.

FIFA also gets hundreds of millions from fans buying match tickets, plus agencies securing the rights to sell corporate hospitality seats, and licensed merchandise.

In addition to all of this, any income FIFA earn in Brazil is tax free!

The full World Cup financial picture will be clear only next March, when FIFA publishes its 2014 accounts.

Typically however, its numbers peak in a World Cup year.

So who will win the World Cup? My money is on FIFA and Sepp Blatter!

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