Global football had its watershed moment in England at the beginning of 1992. The country’s biggest clubs decided to break away from their national football association and form their own league, the Premier League, taking advantage of a massive television broadcasting rights deal in the process.
Clubs around Europe followed suit and the sport became richer than ever. Rights to broadcast England’s Premier League are today worth in excess of USD 17 billion. Six of the top ten most valuable clubs in the world are from England. Manchester United, in pole position, is valued at USD 3.7 billion.
Brazilian football has not followed the same path. The country’s clubs are comparatively powerless and the national championship is still organized by the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), an entity which has been the subject of three formal investigations in Congress on suspicion of corruption and mismanagement. Of the CBF’s last three presidents, each one has been indicted by the FBI for corruption, one is wanted by Interpol, another is in a U.S. prison, and the other has been banned for life from football.