As the 2022 FIH accounts have just been published after having been approved by the auditing company (Ernst & Young), FIH President Tayyab Ikram shares his thoughts about finances, investments, development and transparency:
FIH was in the red figures a couple of years ago; how did you recover?
Tayyab Ikram: We went on a rigorous saving mode. But also – and this is a positive development – this situation made us re-think the FIH Hockey Pro League format. We started with too long and costly travels, at the expense of the athletes’ welfare. Now, we have a far more sustainable and healthier match schedule. We also became more creative when it comes to broadcasting.
During my time as President of FIH, I will take a particular care at the sustainability of our finances, as well as the relevance of our projects.
The 2022 FIH accounts have confirmed that the finances of hockey’s world governing body really are back on track now. What will be your investment priorities?
We are a non-profit organisation and our mission number one is to develop hockey. We have just launched a first-of-its-kind development strategy, called “FIH Empowerment and Engagement strategy”. Our ambitious programme encompasses numerous projects to fulfill our mission. Therefore, this is where we will concentrate a fundamental part of our financial investments, with the objective to pursue the growth of our game globally.
We will also look at broadcasting our events on free-to-air, whenever possible, with a view to expand viewership. That will surely imply financial investments as well.
The FIH accounts are of course available on the Federation’s website, FIH.hockey. How important is transparency?
Transparency is non-negotiable! In my view, this is a pre-requisite to run any organisation properly and with the confidence of all its members. Not only are we publishing our accounts, but we’ve just organised a summit with National Associations – discussing about a wide range of topics and inviting them to join our last Executive Board meeting – and I want to keep them informed, at least twice a year, about our financial situation and give them the opportunity to ask any questions they might have. This is good governance and our duty towards our members.
How do you envisage to grow financial resources?
Of course, we need to strengthen again and again our product. We still have some areas to work on to make it even more convincing towards internal and external stakeholders. This applies also to the way we are presenting our sport.
All of that is absolutely crucial if we want to develop partnerships. Indeed, partnerships cannot be a one-sided affair. They have to generate mutual benefits.
Equally important, we have to build trust! If potential commercial partners see a value in our product and have trust, then the way is paved for us to embark them on our journey. That’s why the quality of our offer and the trust that we may generate are so crucial!