Private equity can take Polish soccer to the ‘next level’, says Legia Warsaw president

By Amy-Jo Crowley and Rohith Nair

LONDON (Reuters) – Poland is an “undervalued gem in European football” and external investment in the top flight league and its clubs will help them narrow the gap to their continental rivals, Legia Warsaw president Dariusz Mioduski told Reuters.

Although Polish teams have struggled to make a mark in European competitions and the country’s coefficient places them 27th in the UEFA standings, there has been steady improvement in the last five seasons.

Poland’s national team also qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup last year for the first time since 1986.

Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit in London, Mioduski said he expects to see Polish clubs featuring regularly in continental competitions such as the Champions League in coming years with the right investment.

“Poland is an undiscovered and undervalued gem in European football. In terms of value, we have a competitive structure similar to the Premier League, even though we have no government sponsorship or oligarch investment,” Mioduski said.

“Our clubs have grown organically and have rolled out infrastructure, invested in players — only through the support of a few private individuals who care about the clubs and are involved with improving them.

“So now we are at a point where our clubs are well-managed and run with a talent pool where private investment, like private equity, can take the clubs and the league to the next level.”

In Poland’s top flight, the Ekstraklasa, each club owns an equal share of the league which amounts to 92.8% of the shares while the country’s football association (PZPN) owns the remaining 7.2%.

Mioduski said they have reached a point where they would welcome external investment both in the league and its clubs.

“The Polish league as a whole has been developing more slowly but in a much more competitive fashion, with teams… maximising their limited resources,” he added.

“Most of these teams, even the second division clubs, have a very good modern stadium infrastructure and have been increasingly investing in their academies and player development.”


Spain’s top soccer clubs approved a 1.994 billion euros ($2.12 billion) investment from private equity fund CVC Capital Partners in 2021 in return for a stake in a company that will get revenues from LaLiga broadcasting and sponsorship rights.

In France, CVC Capital also acquired a 13% stake worth 1.5 billion euros in Ligue 1’s media rights business and Mioduski believes that is an avenue the Ekstraklasa can explore.

“We’re in the top 10 in terms of media rights, currently at the level of 55-60 million euros in revenue per year, increasing to 75-80 million euros with the new cycle starting next season,” Mioduski said.

“The league is very well managed, producing its own high quality broadcast of all matches and developing a number of digital tools and assets that will position it very well for future commercialisation.

“Whether something happens depends on attaining consensus from all the clubs. But something could happen in the next two years, we’re already getting interest from investors.”

($1 = 0.9422 euros)

(Reporting by Amy-Jo Crowley in London and Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)