On the 20th of December, the Fundación del Fútbol Profesional (FFP) organised a legal breakfast in which the intervention of investment funds in the world of football was analysed and debated. Javier Tebas, the President of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, was responsible for kicking off the breakfast which was attended by various names from the world of football and experts in sports law.
During the conference which followed, Javier Tebas declared his support for investment funds because he considers them “a form of alternative funding which would make greater competitiveness possible and avoid the potential disappearance of clubs”. He insisted that “regulation is essential in order to provide them with the necessary legal stability and so that there may be more investors”. Tebas also championed complete transparency in all operations in order to avoid mistrust or uncertainties: “At the LFP we would like to take this route, and we are going to work to see if we can have a regulation in the first third of next year”.
Jokin Aperribay, the President of Real Sociedad, defined investment funds as “an extra source of funding” and stated that his club “has never updated them because it has not needed to”. He also showed his support for their use in professional football, especially now “that it is so difficult to obtain funding”. Aperribay explained that the lack of regulation and scarce information available on investment funds "could be a breach of financial 'fair play'". Real's President also commented that, if the funds are not sufficiently regulated, “the gap between clubs could increase instead of shrinking”.
Nelio Freire, CEO of Doyen Sports, spoke of his experience with investment funds in football, referring to the strength and guarantees they can provide. Freire, also spoke of his company's involvement in football, a sector in which he has years of experience. He also showed support for regulation, arguing that the ”Grupo Doyen is a professional company which works transparently and follows regulations”.
Javier Hervás, the head of KPMG Sport's legal department, presented a study at the breakfast analysing the participation of third parties in economic-legal negotiations in the transfer of players. Hervás called investment funds “a funding system which, at times of crisis, takes on more importance due to the lack of credit”. Also, he weighed UEFA's reluctance up against the “significant effect that the funds have in other confederations such as that of South America”. In addition, he explained the needs for existing regulation and showed that the system “does not represent more than 5% of the current market, therefore it is possible that some of the drawbacks being put forward are already present in football”.
Javier Gómez, President of the LFP, explained how the Liga controls the operations carried out by clubs with the investment funds through the established economic controls. Gómez showed his "support for the investment funds, their transparency and their regulation", something whose establishment he considers simple. Alfredo García Amado, CEO of Sporting de Gijón, provided the conference with the point of view of a professional club who has turned to investment funds as a means of funding to guarantee the survival of the club. He recognised them as "a guarantee of assets which financial entities do not provide". Amado also championed "the transparency of the operations which they have carried out with investment funds" and explained that all the necessary documentation can be found at the corresponding bodies.
Sevilla's lawyer Jesús Arroyo, declared himself in favour of working with investment funds in order to receive aid in funding the clubs. He sees them as "an incipient tool which must be utilised with appropriate regulation".