MIDA: Our key points for participating at WFS Asia
MIDA: Our key points for participating at WFS Asia 1300 1083 World Football Summit Asia


  • Hosting World Football Summit Asia (WFSA) in Malaysia provides a good platform for the country to not only showcase the capabilities of Asian football, but the potential of domestic players in supporting the ecosystem of the football industry, which covers sport and non-sport related activities.


  • As a WFSA Conference Partner, MIDA will be present throughout the Summit and will be involved in the roundtable sessions, panel discussions and Business to Business (B2B) meetings. MIDA, the country’s principal investment promotion agency, stands ready to assist and facilitate business interests in Malaysia’s manufacturing and services sectors, particularly in the following areas:


  • Establishment of Regional Office by international sports companies/organisation.


  • Manufacturers of sport products, accessories, training and R&D Centre, sports healthcare and equipments.


  • Sports technology companies involved in areas such as virtual reality or augmented reality in football, big data services as well as audio visual technology.


  • With Malaysia’s well-developed and modern infrastructure as well as unmatched connectivity, foreign investors have much to gain particularly in capturing growth opportunities and immediate market access of 600 million people in this region. Please connect with us at booth No.18 during the event. You can also stay updated with MIDA’s latest activities by following us on Twitter, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram (@OfficialMIDA) or visit our website at
MIDA – New Conference Partner
MIDA – New Conference Partner 2238 274 World Football Summit Asia

MIDA and World Football Summit have reached an agreement to have the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) as the new conference partner for WFS Asia.

WFS Asia is the international event for the Asian football industry, gathering the most influential professionals in order to discuss the most relevant topics and generate business opportunities. During 2 days, Kuala Lumpur becomes the capital of this thriving industry.

As the principal investment promotion agency of Malaysia, the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) said that “is proud to be a part of World Football Summit Asia, a well known international platform and event for the football industry which will be held in Malaysia this year.”  This marks Malaysia as the first country in this region to host this prestigious event, after being annually held in Spain over the last three years. It underscores the attractiveness of Malaysia’s business environment and the country’s position as a hub in ASEAN to have some of the most influential names in the industry to convene in Malaysia.

Football is not just a game, but is an industry. It is supported by a strong industrial ecosystem that has kept it as the number one sport in the world. With the gathering of over 1,200 football fraternities from more than 50 countries, this is certainly going to spur more business opportunities for a wide range of industries and services sub-sectors. MIDA has also said that they “look forward to the spillover benefits generated in areas such as sports tourism, global establishments and also the manufacturing of sports merchandise.”

Global Market Transfer Report Confirms Football Industry Growth
Global Market Transfer Report Confirms Football Industry Growth 950 475 World Football Summit Asia

It’s no news that the football industry is growing at an exorbitantly rate, but the Global Market Transfer Report has provided new data that confirms this growth.

The total money invested in the transfer market in 2018 is 10.8% higher than in 2017, setting a new all-time record in the amount spent by clubs internationally. The global market witnessed how clubs spent a little over $7 billion, with players like Cristiano Ronaldo (€117), Kylian Mbappé (€135M) or Kepa Arrizabalaga (€80M), the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of football, being in the centre of the transfer stage.

Although UEFA clubs are still the ones making most of the spending in the transfer market, with a 78.2% of the entire worldwide expenditure, other continents such as Asia are climbing steps, with Saudi Arabia jumping to the 7th place as one of the biggest spenders (more than €150M).

Women’s football had to have all transfers processed by FIFA’s International Transfer Matching System for the first time ever and the total spending on transferring players was $0.6 million, confirming that the industry for female footballers has begun its take-off.

These great figures go hand in hand with the continuous increase of earnings that football clubs are experiencing. Premier League clubs, enrolled in the league with the highest income in the industry, have increased their earnings and have now more than five billion Euro in annual income. That is still a big difference from their direct competitor, LaLiga, with almost three billion Euro (€2.85bn).

Many experts are wondering when the football industry will hit the ceiling, a prospect that doesn’t look realistic for now, taking into account the arrival of the Asian continent and its investments in the sector. Clubs have stopped basing their income in the selling of tickets for a while now, but the rights from TV broadcasting aren’t either the most important driving force of income for them anymore. Over the past few years, the focus of many club owners and CEOs has been to find more deals for sponsorship and commercial revenues.

Germany’s Bundesliga has made it clear that it’s a force to be reckoned with and that they should be considered a serious competitor that is close to reach similar numbers in revenue as LaLiga, with €2.79 billion. Serie A maintains itself as the fourth league in the UEFA zone, with €2.07 billion, followed by French Ligue 1 with €1.64 billion.

The revenue from countries like France or Italy may seem low in comparison, but they are only five years behind the Premier League if they follow the same trend –2 billion out of the total Premier League revenue in 2010 came solely from TV broadcasting.

It is remarkable to see that this fast-paced increase in revenue throughout Europe has arrived around the same time UEFA put into practice their Financial Fair Play plan, in the 2011/12 season.

The ever-present vast difference between the “big five” UEFA leagues is also seen in the statistics that show which clubs have spent most of the money in transfers since 2010. There are three Premier League clubs in the top five, with Manchester City ranking first, Chelsea second and Manchester United fifth. A French team, Paris Saint Germaine, and a Spanish one, FC Barcelona, complete the top five list. The first seven clubs spent over a billion euros in this decade, with Real Madrid almost hitting that figure with 912€ million.

CIES Football Observatory


We’ll still have to wait some time to see clubs outside Europe enter the list of the biggest 20 spenders in the world, right now filled with clubs from the “big five” leagues.

If the international football industry is reaching such figures, one must wonder where the ceiling would be if issues like piracy were to be eradicated from the industry’s picture, making TV broadcasting revenue increase. This and more topics will be discussed in the upcoming World Football Summit Asia, which will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on the 29th and 30th of April.

The Asian Football Industry and its ever-growing expansion
The Asian Football Industry and its ever-growing expansion 4801 3016 World Football Summit Asia

The expansion of the Asian football industry is something that has been happening for a while now. Countries like China, Japan or Thailand have invested billions of euros these last few years, which makes it a common-sense conclusion to celebrate the next World Cup in that very same continent.

For a long time, Europe has been a loner in the football industry. The majority of investments, biggest signings and highest sponsorships came from European countries. However, as the industry blossomed, other parties came into play, making it a more competitive and prosperous market.

For instance, in 2017 Chinese clubs invested the record sum of 540 million euros to sign players coming from Europe. Spanish clubs have earned 110 million euros in incomes from China only last year. But China is not only investing in players for their national league. The best stadium in the world, according to the WFS Industry Awards, takes its name from a Chinese company: Wanda Metropolitano.

AC Milan, now back in European hands, had also a brief period of time when it belonged to Chinese investors. The same goes for their neighbors Internazionale Milano. This is also happening with other players, properties or federations, which are thriving with Asian capital. RCD Espanyol, Nice or PSG are just some other major examples.

Japan is also working hard to consolidate the Asian football industry. Local teams are investing millions of euros in signing European players for their clubs. Japanese firm Yokohama took a massive step in 2015 by signing a 120-million-dollar deal for sponsorship with Chelsea. Last year the world witnessed how Japan took two major Spanish stars to their league: Fernando Torres and Andrés Iniesta. Both of them were offered wages that could easily compete with Europe’s major clubs. Iniesta’s case is indicative of how business and football are going more hand-to-hand than ever in the Asian football industry, having Rakuten, the e-commerce giant, present the Spanish player as the new Vissel Kobe’s star.

Countries such as China, Japan or Qatar, are creating more than 70 thousand football schools for children, understanding that the industry does not only increase when investing abroad, but mainly when nurturing the national product. This investment is not only being made by private companies. On the contrary, governments like the Chinese have started to invest public money in the consolidation of the Asian football industry.

India, a country known for its passion for cricket, has also stepped into the Asian football industry. For example, Football attendances for domestic matches doubled last year, going from 5,000 to 10,000. Sponsorship in football teams also grew in 2017 by 64%, making it clear that the growth of this particular sport in India is unstoppable.

Many European clubs have opened offices in the Asian continent. More than 20 top clubs, such as Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid or Chelsea, have seen the importance of being present in this continent. LaLiga has also just opened a brand new office in Singapore, maintaining its international expansion.

In all business, competition makes companies innovate and prosper, and that’s not going to be any different with football.

The industry is changing faster than most experts predicted. For instance,technology, advertisement or innovation companies have accessed football and they are not planning to leave.

That’s were the importance of creating bridges between the European and the Asian football industry sits. It is vital to organize and attend events and meetings where brands from Europe can meet brands from Asia. Marketing, merchandising, sponsorships and all business related to the sport need a place to find themselves and thrive.

The biggest opportunity for this comes in April, when World Football Summit is going to celebrate its first event in Asia. Malaysia is the place chosen by the organizers, making Kuala Lumpur the capital of football business for two days.