Soccerex European Forum (Manchester): Opening Ceremony

Day 1 – Wednesday 10 April 2013

09:15 – 09:30       Opening Ceremony

–       Matt Lorenzo – Head of Media, Soccerex

–       Sir Howard Bernstein – Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

–       Adrian Bevington – Managing Director of Club England and Group Communications Director, The FA

–       Tony Martin – Chairman, Soccerex

Matt Lorenzo: Head of Media, Soccerex

The Soccerex 2013 European Forum opened with Matt Lorenzo welcoming all the attendees to Manchester a location he stated that could arguably to be called ‘the footballing city’ in England. He then introduced Sir Howard Bernstein, the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.

Sir Howard Bernstein: Chief Executive, Manchester City Council

Sir Howard recalled when Manchester won the rights to host the European Forum and how it has over the years attracted 1,200 delegates and brought £6million into the local economy. He added that from 2014 until 2017 Manchester would be the venue of the Soccerex Global Convention, which he hoped would attract 3,000 delegates and generate £200million over that period. In that regard he believed this event would cement further, the inextricable link between football and the city. Sir Howard said that in 2010/11 football in the form of visitors, manufacturing and commercialism had brought £300million to the local economy and 8,500 jobs. He continued that the global success and reputation of the Manchester clubs had led to further investment in the city, such as Etihad opening their European Service Centre in the location. Manchester City had invested in facilities including a 6th Form College and Manchester United contributed to the city through their Football Foundation work. Sir Howard closed his address by welcoming The FA to the event; especially given the organisation is currently celebrating its 150th Anniversary.

Adrian Bevington: Managing Director of Club England and Group Communications Director, The FA

Next to speak was Adrian Bevington, from The FA who started by acknowledging the pride felt at England hosting the UEFA Champions League Final at Wembley as well as the UEFA Congress during such a special year for The FA. He added that The FA was honoured to be involved at Soccerex in Manchester and sponsoring The FA 150 Lounge. Bevington added that it was important for The FA to talk about the game at all levels, but said that 2013 would be a special one at international level. This included the Men’s Senior team as they sought qualification for the 2014 World Cup Finals and the Women’s Senior Team and Men’s Under 21s and Under 20s as they take part in their respective European Championships tournaments in the summer. He added that Soccerex as an event provided an arena for discussion about football’s past and well as its future and it was important for The FA to be involved, to be accessible and listen and be aware of what was happening in the football industry. Bevington reiterated that The FA was a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation and that finance generated is reinvested into areas such as promoting grassroots football and increasing participation. He closed his speech by thanking Manchester City Council and Soccerex for the invitation and their hospitality.

Tony Martin: Chairman, Soccerex

Before introducing the final speaker, Matt Lorenzo reflected that since its inception 17 years ago, Soccerex had continued to get bigger and better. Tony Martin the Chairman of Soccerex then provided the final part of the Closing Ceremony. He opened by stating the football is the most important and richest game in the world and that Soccerex had a part to play in providing a platform for the discussion about the future sustainability of the sport. Martin detailed that Deloitte’s estimated that European Football Clubs currently had a turnover of €20billion, a five-fold increase in the last 20 years, a figure which excluded international football and associated products. He added that over the next two days there would be sessions which would provide insights into the UEFA 2016 and 2020 tournaments, the FIFA 2014 and 2018 World Cups as well as The FA’s vision for football. He finished by detailing that following the European Forum, there was the African Forum in Durban in October with the Global Convention hosted by Rio de Janeiro in November.



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Posted April 13, 2013 by Editor in category "Soccerex 2013

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