PROFILE

Daniel is a Geey wizz on finances in beautiful game

FOOTBALL is in Daniel Geey's blood. The Liverpudlian grew up enthralled by the fortunes of his beloved Liverpool FC.

And London-based Daniel has made his own name in the football world. The private practice lawyer is a well-regarded authority on football finance law.

Constantly in demand for his expertise, he has written for such publications as The World Sports Law Report, Sport Business and The Entertainment and Sports Law Journal as well as The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

And he regularly provides comment and analysis for Sky Sports News, Sky News, BBC Radio 4 and talkSPORT.

"I am doing something I have enjoyed watching and reading about since I was a child," Daniel told me.

"I have read and gained knowledge of football since I could stand.

"I used to read the Liverpool Echo every day to see the latest Liverpool transfer gossip.

"To now be able to use that accumulated knowledge and experience is great.

"The more you get to know about the football industry, however, the less you sometimes want to know. It has become less entertainment and more daily work.

"Sometimes I just want the escapism of watching 22 men on a pitch."

Raised in the Woolton Village area of Liverpool, Daniel attended the city's King David schools from the age of four until he was 18.

His dad David's passion for Liverpool FC was passed on to him, while mum Lillian made a name for herself as a tennis player.

In fact, she was runner-up to footballer Dean Furman in the Maccabi GB Sportsperson of the Year awards in November.

"I always had a ball at my feet, whether it was playing for Liverpool Haroldeans (in the Manchester Jewish Soccer League) or whether it was playing with a tennis ball," Daniel recalled.

He went on to read politics and law at Manchester University, where his dissertation was written on the Bosman ruling, which had a profound effect on the transfers of football players within the European Union.

Daniel said: "At the time the European transfer system was being completely re-hauled."

He then embarked on a Master's in competition law and European football broadcasting rights.

Daniel's studies helped him to provide advice on a number of football regulatory, disciplinary and broadcasting issues once he landed a training contract in London.

"I had a decent amount of football industry knowledge," he said.

"The first couple of issues I dealt with were to do with the financing of football club debt and having to explain how the regulation works and how finance is generally set out in the football world."

Daniel - who is married to Londoner Hollie (nee Springer) and the father of one-year-old Isabelle - believes there has been an explosion of money into the game, primarily because of broadcasting rights.

He explained that the Premier League receives 5 billion globally from broadcasting rights.

The Premier League is regarded by many as the top league in the world - especially financially - but Daniel said Germany's Bayern Munich and Spain's Real Madrid and Barcelona both have huge commercial value.

"Real and Barca receive 130 million euros each per season in broadcasting rights," he added. "In the Premier League, the TV money is distributed more equally."

Daniel also revealed that he had advised Premier League and European clubs on UEFA's Financial Fair Play Regulations - although he wouldn't say which clubs he had dealt with.

The implementations - first agreed in principle in 2009 by the Financial Control Panel of UEFA - were brought in to prevent professional football clubs spending more than they earn in the pursuit of success.

"Its advantages are that clubs have to break even and become sustainable - they will aim to grow their revenues," Daniel explained.

"UEFA does not want a European market where clubs are taken over and spend a billion pounds, only to decide three years later the owners don't want to invest any more money, which could lead to administration.

"On the flip side, some have argued that FFP effectively entrenches the status quo, so top clubs remain the top clubs.

"All of the clubs who were consulted through the European Club Association and UEFA were very much in agreement."

Daniel, who has delivered papers at sports conferences on European football broadcasting rights, multiple club ownership and third party ownership rights issues, said social media had made it easier in a lot of ways for him to boost his profile.

He explained: "Through it, I have had a lot of journalist and TV guys get in touch with me, in the hope of seeing if I have something interesting to say on a particular issue or if I can use my expertise on certain issues."

Daniel is also the editor of football law publication On the Ball, which is published in both hard copy and digitally on an annual basis.

"It is a round-up of interesting football law issues and a collection of my blogs throughout the year," he said.

"Those issues could be transfers, FFP or third party ownership, for example."

The recent 897 million deal that saw BT Sport snatch Champions League coverage from Sky and ITV starting in the 2015/16 season is also a landmark issue, according to Daniel.

He explained: "It will change the landscape of the game. The downside is having to pay a subscription to watch the Champions League, but the upside, for the clubs, is an uplift in their prize money."

Daniel can't even get away from football outside of his job: Not that he particularly wants to.

As well as watching Liverpool - mostly when they play in London - he also turns out for Maccabi Souther League team Oakwood, which is made up of northerners living in the capital.

Raised in a traditional Jewish family, he also attends shul on a regular basis.

 
© 2014 Jewish Telegraph

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