Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Football finances under spotlight at Soccerex forum

By Bill Wilson
Business reporter, BBC News, Manchester

United's Michael Carrick and City's Carlos Tevez contest possession
The Soccerex European event has moved to Manchester for 2010

The financial challenges facing football clubs, not only in England but globally, will be examined at the first Manchester-based Soccerex event.

The two-day event, starting on Tuesday, includes big name speakers such as Man Utd chief executive David Gill.

Key names from clubs, leagues, brands, sponsors, federations, World Cup-bid nations, and many more, will attend.

On Tuesday, the BBC hosts a debate called Football in the Red, broadcast on the News Channel and Radio 5 live.

'Long-term future'

There is extra interest in the European event this year, coming as it does just 100 days before the 2010 World Cup kicks off in Johannesburg on 11 June.

Business of sport branding
Join leading figures in football for a BBC debate:
The Business of Sport - Football in the Red.

It will be broadcast live on Tuesday 2 March (all times GMT)

2000-2100 BBC News Channel
2000-2130 BBC Radio 5 live
2000-2130 BBC News website

Among the delegates are Uefa chief executive David Taylor, and German football legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, of the European Club Association - representing 144 major football clubs from across Europe.

The forum also comes when much attention is being paid to the financial structure of top teams in England.

Last week, Portsmouth became the first English Premier League team to go into administration, and questions have been asked about the amount of debt carried by other top clubs, including Liverpool and Manchester United.

Duncan Revie, chief executive of Soccerex says the finance behind the European football industry is coming under increased scrutiny.

"The Soccerex European Forum in Manchester will provide the perfect occasion for UEFA, football clubs, leagues, global media, commercial partners and other key stakeholders to come together to assess how we need to improve the running of the game and help secure its long-term future," he said.

Topics to be covered include financial prudence, the UEFA Champions League, league and club strategies, sponsorship, the fan experience, broadcasting, new media, naming rights, and venue management.

"Football, particularly, is a fascinating story at the moment," says Jeremy Hillman, editor of the Economics and Business Centre in BBC News.

"We're looking forward to a lively debate on Tuesday."

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