Leading European clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid are doing the right thing in trying to develop strong ties in Asian countries, according to Trevor Birch the former CEO of Leeds United and Chelsea. ( dpa )
Birch said at the Soccerex Forum at Wembley on Wednesday, where hundreds of delegates from a large and diverse group of soccer- related organizations met for a series of seminars, that he felt Asia had to be the main future market for the game.
"Everyone agrees that is where the true value might be in the future but the time frame is the great unknown. It is five years, 10 years? It's certainly not short term," he said.
However, Esteve Calzada, who spent several years as chief marketing officer of Barcelona, said he thought it was more a question of which countries to target than considering Asia as a single entity.
"When I was in Barcelona we had a nice business in Japan while in China it is more about building, looking long-term and trying to reach sponsors," he said.