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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Toxic brand cost FIFA €67m

Sepp Blatter
Sepp Blatter

FIFA's crisis has caused a serious financial blow for the organisation which has suffered a £67 million financial loss in 2015, it can be revealed.

A drop in income after sponsors - and huge legal bills following the corruption scandal - has seen the world governing body hit hard in the pocket.

FIFA's executive committee members were told yesterday the losses for the year totalled 103m Swiss francs, according to insiders. It is the first time the body has reported a loss since 2001.

FIFA has so far been unable to replace top tier partners Emirates and Sony - plus second tier sponsors Castrol, Continental, Johnson & Johnson - due to its toxic brand.

The revelation of the deficit will put pressure on FIFA's ExCo members to vote for proposed reforms at its meeting today in order to attract new sponsors. The organisation has already made significant savings to reduce the level of the deficit.

FIFA's income always drops in the year after World Cups but it has always previously managed to make a surplus - in 2011 it made a £24m profit which was added to its reserves which currently total around £1billion.

The legal bills are also significant - suspended president Sepp Blatter brought in a team of American lawyers after the US justice department announced its indictments of 18 officials on football-related corruption charges in May. Blatter and other senior FIFA executives are also believed to be under investigation by the FBI.

FIFA's last annual deficit came in 2001 when the bankruptcy of its marketing partner ISL saw the world governing body end the year in the red and forced to take out a £118m bridging loan.

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