Serie A clubs decline $15.56 billion offer from International Bank of Qatar

Serie A - InsideSport

Serie A clubs have reportedly rejected a lucrative proposal worth $15.56 billion from the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) related to the league’s broadcast rights.

The private sector bank from Qatar had reportedly offered a package of financial guarantees worth €13 billion ($15.56 billion) to the organisers of top division Italian football, has reported quoting Italian media reports.

The offer required the nod of at least 14 of the 20 Serie A clubs. There were only 13 ‘Yes’ votes. Fiorentina, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Torino are said to have voted against the offer. Sassuolo abstained from the voting and AS Roma and Napoli did not attend the meeting.

The 10-year proposal had mainly focused on Serie A’s future income from broadcast rights, with commissions to the bank if agreements exceeded the €1.3billion ($1.58 billion) per season mark.

The clubs reportedly felt uneasy over IBQ’s offer owing to existing commercial agreements with other banking groups and the fact the bid was overlapping the recently launched tender process for Serie A’s domestic rights at a base price of $675.4 million (€570 m) for broadcasting 380 matches per season.

Lega Serie A was forced to formulate the new rights auction process after Italian media group Mediaset refused to participate in the last tender and the bid offers received by them failed to meet their expectations.

Under protest, Mediaset had filed a complaint with Italy’s anti-trust authority, the AGCM, over the structure of the tender sales process, which the broadcaster claimed favoured pay-television rival Sky.