Category Archives: MESGO II

MESGO mourns the passing of Saoud A. Aziz M A Al-Mohannadi, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Vice President and FIFA Council member

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Saoud Al-Mohannadi, former MESGO participant (MESGOII). 

After serving as the General Secretary of the 16-time Qatar Stars League and two-time AFC Champions League winners Al Sadd SC., Saoud was appointed general secretary of the Qatar Football Association (QFA) in 2001.

In 2015, he became vice president of the AFC, a position he held until his death.

Described as “a true servant of the game” by AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, Saoud contributed immensely to the development and growth of QFA competitions and, in particular, played a key role in the transformation of the AFC Asian Cup.

For the MESGO family, Saoud will also be remembered as a caring and passionate person, eager to learn and always willing to share his knowledge and experience. The entire MESGO team convey their sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.  Our thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.

MESGO congratulates Pascal Fratellia on his new position!

Pascal Fratellia – MESGO II graduate, has been promoted to commercial director at the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

Pascal takes charge of commercial activities at Eurovision Sport after having occupied the position of Head of Football Rights at the EBU since 2007.

He has a very rich experience in the sector. In fact, prior to joining the EBU, he was Deputy Director of the TV & Marketing Department at the French Football Federation. Among his other significant roles, we should also mention his position as a UEFA Champions League Venue Director for 12 seasons, as well as a FIFA Match Commissioner for some games.

On behalf of all the MESGO community we would like to wish him the best of success in his new appointment.

MESGO II graduates honoured in Nyon

MESGO II - Graduates

After 9 sessions over 18 months, the second Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO) course has been completed with 17 graduates receiving their certificates at the graduation ceremony in Nyon, at the UEFA headquarters.

“I hope you have found MESGO enriching”, declared UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino to the graduates. “A Master’s programme like this is absolutely necessary in today’s sporting world. He added: “Good governance is not only about taking decisions, but also assuming responsibility in taking decisions. I hope you have become aware of this in the past 18 months. MESGO acts as a benchmark that will help shape the future of sport. UEFA is very proud to contribute to this programme, and we are also learning a lot from the other team sports federations who are involved.”

Star guest speaker at the ceremony was the former athlete from the United Kingdom, Colin Jackson, whose outstanding career, in particular as a 110-metre hurdler, brought him an impressive array of world, European and domestic records and an Olympic silver medal. Colin Jackson gave a stirring keynote motivational speech to the graduates, speaking of the need for personal focus, commitment, discipline and responsibility – elements that he had been taught as a young teenage athlete and which helped contribute to his later successes.

Two participants of the course stressed MESGO’s importance. “To have these studies is a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Football Union of Russia deputy CEO Ekaterina Fedyshina. “We have all had the chance to step back from our daily work and reflect on our sport’s direction and long-term vision – and we have learned important knowledge from experts,” added European Club Association (ECA) head of public and international affairs David Frommer.

Applications are being invited until 15 April 2014 for the third edition of MESGO, online.

Ninth and last MESGO II session takes place in Munich

MESGO II participants at FIBA Europe headquarters (Munich)

The ninth MESGO II session, dedicated to the future of sport governance, took place in Munich, Germany, from 3 to 6 February.

Being the last MESGO II session, the week was rather special, with two days dedicated to a workshop on the topic of “Imagining the future of sports in society”, coordinated by Dr Riel Miller, head of foresight at UNESCO. Earlier, the medium to long-term impacts on sport, the development of new technologies and the financial and economic situation in Europe had been examined. The future of football, sports governance and sports events were also the subjects of presentations by prestigious speakers. Finally, the vote of the people of Munich against a bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics was studied as an example of the role of the local population in major future events.

The session was hosted by FIBA-Europe, one of the MESGO sporting partners, as well as by the Allianz Arena, home of FC Bayern München.

Participants had the chance to attend the game between FC Bayern München and Eintracht Frankfurt and to enjoy beers and pretzels to celebrate handing over their professional theses.

The participants will present their theses and receive their diplomas at UEFA’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on 13 and 14 March.

Eighth MESGO session takes place in New York

MESGO II participants at National Football League (NFL) headquarters in New York

The eighth MESGO II session, dedicated to the North American model of sport, took place in New York (United States) from 18 to 22 November.

Focusing on the governance and regulation of North American sport, this week-long session was an opportunity to look closely at the five major professional leagues in the United States – the National Hockey League (NHL), the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Soccer (MLS), the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) – with the MESGO group being hosted by a different league each day.

The regulatory tools of each league (such as salary caps, the draft and revenue-sharing systems), collective bargaining mechanisms and issues relating to competition law were tackled by prestigious speakers such as David Stern and Don Garber, the commissioners of the NBA and MLS respectively. Among the other topics covered during the week were college athletics and the university sports system (NCAA), the organisation of an NBA franchise (looking specifically at the New York Knicks), the specific nature of the US Olympic marketing and the peculiarities of NASCAR.

Participants also had the chance to visit prestigious sports venues such as Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. The next and final MESGO session will take place in Munich (Germany) from 3 to 6 February 2014 and will be dedicated to the future of sport.

Seventh MESGO session takes place in Mainz and Frankfurt

The seventh session in this second edition of the MESGO, focusing on ethics in sport, took place in Mainz and Frankfurt from 23 to 27 September.

While considering all kinds of ethical challenges associated with sport nowadays, session 7 in particular tackled the issues of corruption in sports organisations, match-fixing, the fight against doping, the integration of diverse minority groups such as disabled athletes and the need for greater sustainability in sport, as well as ethical questions concerning the athletes themselves.

The five days of this session were each hosted by a different academic or sports institution: the University of Mainz (MESGO academic partner), the German Football Association (DFB), 1. FSV Mainz 05 (Coface Arena), Germany’s second public-service television broadcaster (ZDF), and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB).

Session 7 also included the last case studies the participants would have to present, the completion of which could then be celebrated with local beers and wines.

The next session will take place in New York City in November, when the North American model of sport will be studied in depth.

Sixth MESGO session takes place in Barcelona

MESGO II participants at EUROLEAGUE headquarters in Barcelona

The sixth MESGO II session, focusing on sports events, took place in Barcelona from 17 to 21 June.

On the programme for the week were presentations on attracting and bidding for sports events, creating and designing a new event, facility management, risk management and crisis communication, the economic impact of sports events and their legacy, and the importance of knowledge transfer between different editions of a sports event.

In addition, some of the major sports events to have taken place in Barcelona were studied in detail, starting with the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. There were also presentations on the Euroleague Final Four (basketball), Formula One and MotoGP events, the Barcelona World Race, the FINA World Swimming Championships, the Barcelona X-Games and the men’s Handball World Championship.

Sessions took place at the INEFC (National Institute of Physical Education of Cataluña) (Montjuïc), the Euroleague Basketball Office, Camp Nou (FC Barcelona’s stadium), the Circuit de Catalunya racetrack and Barcelona harbour.

The participants also had the opportunity to test their driving skills in a karting race and to visit Barcelona harbour on board a boat.

The next session will take place in Mainz/Frankfurt in Germany in September. The session will be dedicated to ethical challenges in sport.

Fifth MESGO session takes place in Paris

The participants were back in Paris for the fifth session of the MESGO, dedicated to Marketing challenges, from 22 to 26 April.

The first part of this session was devoted to the concept of brand and the importance of brands for competitive edge and profitability. Strong sports and non-sports brands were carefully studied, notably with leading speakers from the NBA and Virgin. The session then tackled media rights issues, with representatives from free-to-air and pay-TV as well as rights holders. Sponsorship rights, licensing and merchandising, customer relationship management, ticketing and hospitality, sports image rights and social media were among the other topics debated during the week, with a wide range of high-level speakers representing leading companies such as Warner Bros., Ferrari, CAA Sports and Facebook. MESGO participants also had the opportunity to discuss sponsorship and image rights issues with an Olympic medallist.

This marketing-oriented session was hosted by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Canal Plus, Eurosport, La Croix Catelan and Paris Saint Germain FC at the Parc des Princes.

The participants had the opportunity to watch the two UEFA Champions League semi-finals all together in a festive atmosphere, and to participate in a pleasant and relaxing event to which each of them brought culinary specialities from their home countries.

Fourth MESGO session takes place in Brussels

The fourth session of the second edition of the Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO), dedicated to the legal framework of European sport, took place from 4 to 8 March in Brussels.

The session was organised in four sections, moving from in-house issues (e.g. matters of internal organisation) to others that, despite appearing more distant, are no less important (e.g. issues relating to EU law). In particular, the session concentrated on the management of legal disputes (internal and external), with a special focus on the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and EU law (EU lobbying, jurisprudence from the Court of Justice of the European Union and the impact of EU law on sporting regulations).

Speakers included representatives of sports organisations (clubs, European federations), lawyers, attorneys specialised in sports law, representatives of EU institutions (the European Commission and the European Parliament), well-known sports law professors and CAS representatives.

The debates took place at the Royal Belgian Football Federation, Constant Vanden Stock Stadium (home of RSC Anderlecht), the European Commission and the European Parliament.

Third MESGO session take place in London

Unique classroom for MESGO II participants at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London!

The third session of the second edition of the Executive Master in European Sport Governance (MESGO), focusing on the governance and regulation of sporting competitions, took place from 14 to 18 January in London.

During the week, the debates focused on the financial regulation of sport, notably analysing the UEFA financial fair play initiative, the licensing system of the German football Bundesliga and other regulations existing in Premiership Rugby in England. Other presentations focused on the regulation of sports labour markets from both a legal and economic point of view. The role of agents and the current debate surrounding third-party ownership were also among the topics covered. Finally, the role of supporters as stakeholders in the governance of sports clubs, especially in football, was debated.

Daily gatherings took place at Wembley Stadium, Lords Cricket Ground, Arsenal Emirates Stadium and in the premises of the MESGO’s local academic partner, Birkbeck College.

The 20 MESGO participants also took the opportunity to attend the English FA Cup football match between Arsenal and Swansea.

The next session will take place in Brussels in March and will be dedicated to the legal framework of European sport.