First Round: Funding goals

They call football the beautiful game. Though that’s not always how it seemed to First Round, lolloping around at left-back, getting an earful of abuse from some furious football father on a frigid Saturday in January.

A thing of undeniable beauty, however, is generosity of spirit, and this was very much on display at CVC Capital Partners’ charity five-a-side football tournament, which took place in mid-May at the Powerleague centre in Shoreditch, London.

Held in aid of Street League, a charity that harnesses the power of sport to teach young people the skills they need to achieve meaningful, sustained employment, 224 players from 26 venerable institutions, along with 21 young Street Leaguers, came together to fight for footballing supremacy.

Would the consultants out-strategise the bankers? Could the corporate finance bods account for the underwriters? Would the solicitors lay down the law on the techies? And would the guile and nimbleness of private equity be any match for the clout of its publicly traded nemeses?

After 100 matches full of sublime skill, crunching tackles and lots of shouting, online gamblers SkyBet emerged victorious, defeating Lloyds in the cup final. In the shield competition, EY felled CVC Credit Partners (one of two teams the firm fielded), no doubt a bitter pill for the hosts to swallow.

In the end, any hint of acridity was washed away by the £192,000 ($250,000; €224,000) raised for a great cause, making this the most successful of the six football tournaments that CVC has held. And having the trophies presented by Aston Villa and Coventry City legend Dion Dublin was the icing on what all agreed was a beautiful occasion.