As much as the romanticist in us would like to believe that the beautiful game remains unsullied, it is true – now more than ever – that there are certain people who wield ungodly amounts of power in deciding the course of transfers, decisions and the direction of football as a whole.
With a steady growth in the influx of cash over the years due to billion dollar TV deals, leagues all over the world are in a much stronger position and there are no “lesser sides.” Every team worth its salt is capable of fighting it out with the big guns and has a shout at deciding where league titles end up, come the end of the season.
Football is a sport that transcends and seamlessly crosses cultures and socio-economic boundaries and the meteoric rise in popularity due to easier availability across the world has also seen certain people placed into positions of preposterous power.
As football continues to evolve at a rapid pace, both on the field and off it, these men will be responsible to ensure that the spirit and integrity of the game is upheld while simultaneously ensuring that it remains a commercially viable entity.
Here are those men who we feel are the most powerful in world football.
#10 Kia Joorabchian
Kia Joorabchian is an Iranian-born British businessman who is considered as one among the slew of “super-agents” that have gained considerable influence in football over the past decade.
A graduate of the University of London, Kia is less of an agent and more of a “fixer,” whose business primarily involves advising players and clubs of their rights during contract negotiations.
A huge player in world football, The Mirror estimates he received nearly 25% of the £180 million spent on foreign talent by Premier League clubs in 2009.
He’s the principal owner of Media Sports Investments, a company through which he owns the rights of several players from Europe and South America; Philippe Coutinho being one of his more famous clients.
Most recently responsible for Willian’s transfer to Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala, he’s also remembered for the controversial transfer of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano from Corinthians to West Ham United in 2006.