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Soccer, a mirror of the corporate world | Fortune

In the corporate sphere, comparisons between the world of football and human resources are frequent, but the similarities can also be extrapolated


In the sphere, comparisons between the of football and human resources are frequent, but the similarities also be extrapolated to other departments. This is how Talengo partner José Ignacio Jiménez sees it, who states that “at a geopolitical level, what is happening in the world of football is still the same as what is happening in the world of money and , where Asia has every once a greater presence ”.

This is the case of Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), owned by the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani; Manchester City, which belongs to Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahayan, son of the President of the United Emirates; or Newcastle, which has recently been bought by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), an investment fund managed by Mohamed bin Salmán, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. “Big states are entering with a lot of budget behind that break the ,” Jiménez sums up.

This also happens with managers and professionals. “20 years ago it did not happen, but now there are many who go to countries in the Middle East because there they charge a lot and they do not have to pay taxes. That in high salaries is very noticeable ”, continues the consultant. Thus, part of the world sits at the board with different rules of the game. “In Europe we have fair play rules whereby no more than x percentage can be spent on footballers’ accounts, but Qatar, for example, which is not a European state, does not care,” he illustrates. A problem that occurs because it is not only football that is on the table. “His strategy is different from everyone else. They do not want to build a league, but present at the international level. They seek to gain prestige and wash their image through teams, ”Jiménez insists.

However, to ensure the sustainability of the club, it is important to look at the sports field. This is how Pablo Burillo, professor of Sports Management at the European University and director of the MBA in Sports Management at the Real Madrid-Universidad Europea University School, sees it, who considers that a team is just another company, although its main objective is to win titles, not only economic performance. “No fan goes to a square to celebrate the financial statements, but they do need to be successful in sports,” he says. In the same way that developing a good product, or having a winning team, will also contribute to financial achievements.

The main difference, says Burillo, is that in football it is interesting that the competition does well, in order to achieve a competition that attracts more spectators. “If the Spanish league is more balanced, there will be more uncertainty, people will tend to see it more than if they know from the beginning what is going to happen. The better my rivals, the more money I earn ”, says the teacher. The pure monopoly in soccer does not work, although it is a very closed industry. In the end there can only be 20 teams that share the cake, while in other sectors anyone can innovate and break the market.

But football can also contribute its grain of sand to the corporate world. The last closing of the transfer market was hectic, some clubs had several contracts prepared in case they managed to reach a last minute agreement to sign the most sought-after players. The executive director of the sports management startup Director11, Sergio Casalins, explains that the is due to the large number of stakeholders (the player, his agent, his family, the home club, the destination club, the training club. ..), as well as the performance variables that are usually incorporated (automatic renewal if a certain objective is met, a bonus for exceeding the set goals …).

Companies could incorporate this sophisticated approach into their contracts to retain better talent. Specifically, Casalins highlights the fact that they financially compensate the club where the footballer started, since they assume that thanks to those first steps he was able to take off. “In a with so much youth unemployment, having to compensate the first company in which they worked could encourage them to bet on young talent, with less suspicion to train someone and leave once trained,” he sums up.

The big stars

  • Polarization. There are two speeds when it comes to remuneration: the big signings and the rest of the team. A movement that is repeated in companies; While in 1965 the ratio between the salary of managers and employees was 15-1, it now reaches 300-1 in the United States, Jiménez explains.
  • Celebrityades. “Now, great CEOs are well-known figures on a social level. They even dream of going to the moon ”, illustrates the Talengo spokesperson. A reflection of an increasingly individualistic society that does not see that the strength is in the team, it continues.

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