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FIFA announces $36 million profit in 2011 accounts

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March 30, 2012, 8:32 p.m. |

FIFA President Sepp Blatter gestures during a press conference at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, on March 30.
© AP

ZURICH — Boosted by the World Cup's enduring appeal, FIFA reported a profit of $36 million on March 30 from its billion-dollar income in 2011 and increased its reserves to $1.293 billion. FIFA accounts showed it had $1.07 billion revenue and spent $1.034 billion last year, allowing football's world governing body to save an additional $13 million in its reserve fund.

"I am delighted to note that, financially, FIFA stands on rock-solid foundations," FIFA President Sepp Blatter wrote in the financial report. Blatter, and other FIFA leaders and executives who were not identified, shared in bonus payments totalling $29.5 million.

The figures cover the first year in a four-year cycle of commercial deals tied to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

FIFA said the tournament earned $910 million in 2011, and $550 million was banked from broadcasting deals.

Nearly all broadcasters and sponsors are signed to two-tournament packages that began with the 2010 tournament in South Africa.

FIFA's financial prospects look even brighter for the subsequent two-tournament deals covering the 2018 and 2022 events being played in Russia and Qatar, respectively.

On March 30, FIFA announced it completed a 37-nation rights deal with the European Broadcasting Union, plus a standalone deal with Scandinavian network SVT, covering both tournaments. German broadcasters ARD and ZDF also bought 2018 rights.

FIFA did not give the value of the deals, though previous contracts for 2018-2022 worth more than $3 billion combined have been clinched with broadcasters including Al-Jazeera in the Middle East and Fox, which holds English language rights in the United States.

FIFA pays no tax because of its status as a not-for-profit association in Swiss law that invests its revenues in football development and running costs.

Last year, FIFA spent $428 million on 2014 World Cup expenses and $183 million on development, including $31 million on its Goal program that funds projects in developing nations.

FIFA also gets tax exemptions granted by tournament host nations.

Accounts published Friday showed that FIFA subsidiaries paid almost $4.9 million in tax and duties to Swiss authorities last year.

FIFA's salary bill in 2011 was $67.3 million for 390 employees, at an average of $172,677. Other employee benefit costs tallied more than $21 million.

In the World Cup year of 2010, FIFA's wage bill was $65.3 million for 387 employees, at an average of $168,700.

Blatter's remuneration package was not detailed.

Bonuses totalling $29.5 million were paid to "key management personnel" — defined as members of the 24-man executive committee, financial committee and departmental bosses. In 2010, they were paid $32.6 million.

Blatter and finance director Markus Kattner declined to answer questions at a news conference requesting details of how the $29.5 million was allocated.

FIFA typically reports its lowest figures in the opening year of a World Cup cycle.

Still, its original budget for 2011 approved two years ago had anticipated revenue of $715 million — $355 million less than the amount reported.

Last year, FIFA declared a profit of $202 million (then €145 million), as the 2010 World Cup cycle showed a surplus of $631 million (then €452 million).
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