July 31 Football Business Round-Up

EUROPE

Top European clubs threaten to break away
European clubs will break away from Fifa and Uefa and create their own super league unless the governing bodies urgently addresses their growing concerns over international fixtures and finances reports The Guardian. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge’s talked this week of a ‘revolution’ for football; a European super league that would see the clubs take control of their own affairs from the regulators.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka offered as collateral for ECB loans
The most expensive footballer ever could be used to guarantee loans from the European Central Bank (ECB) to ensure the solvency of the Bankia group of savings banks. The financial institution part-financed Real Madrid’s purchase of Ronaldo (€100m) and Kaka (€60m) in 2009. These loans are in turn secured on the club’s future media and advisement revenue streams. The ECB have yet to decide on the status of the loan application.

Fifa on alert over Qatar corruption
The Guardian reports that Sepp Blatter has conceded that Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup will be scrutinised if his new anti-corruption watchdog, the Solutions Committee, discovers evidence of wrongdoing by the Qatar Football Association. However, he maintains that Fifa will not move the event from Qatar, nor seek to switch the tournament away from its traditional summer scheduling.

Carson Yeung charges affecting Birmingham investment
Birmingham City Chairman Peter Pannu has revealed the charges brought against the club owner Carson Yeung are hindering efforts to bring new investment in the club. City’s parent company, Birmingham International Holdings Limited, have been unable to trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange since Yeung’s arrest last month. Yeung’s  assets were frozen after his arrest, he’s due to appear in court in August to face charges on five counts of money laundering.

Government calls for change in English football
A Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee report has called on the FA to completely restructure with a view to establishing the organisation as the game’s ultimate governing body. The reforms include the FA taking responsibility for a new club licensing system to establish clear rules on club ownership and finances.

QPR to be sold?
Air Asia tycoon Tony Fernandes is plotting a £100m move to buy Queens Park Rangers reports The Daily Mail. The Malaysian based businessman, who is head of F1 Team Lotus, was linked with a bid for West Ham United earlier this year.

Gary Hoffman to meet Coventry City owners
Coventry City have arranged a meeting with former vice-chairman Gary Hoffman next month to discuss his offer to buy the club for £1 and pump in £30m of fresh investment. The Sky Blues chairman Ken Dulieu confirmed: “I am happy to meet with Gary and I am optimistic that this time the investors will show up and we can have a meaningful discussion.”

Football League signs global deal
The Football League have agreed a record five-year overseas broadcasting contract that will see the worldwide distribution of matches from the beginning of the 2012/13 season. Currently, Football League and Carling Cup games are broadcast in 96 different countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Fifa to make decision on goal-line technology in 2012
Fifa will make a final decision on goal-line technology next March, according to the president, Sepp Blatter. Fifa is talking to nine potential suppliers and Blatter said; “If it (goal-line technology) will prove to be accurate and to be affordable, then it is possible the international board will decide goal-line technology shall be introduced for the World Cup 2014.”

Brighton announce plans to increase capacity of new stadium…before it opens
Brighton & Hove Albion announced that they plan to increase the capacity of their new 22,500 seat stadium by a further 8,000 seats. The stadium, which took two and a half years to build, will host its first match when Spurs visit for a friendly this week.

Start of Turkish season delayed
Turkey’s football federation decided on Monday to delay the start of the new season until September 9 from August 5 amid the investigations into-fixing. A Turkish court has already jailed 31 people pending trial, including the chairman of champions Fenerbahce and the coach and deputy chairman of Besiktas.

AMERICAS

Rogers builds Sportsnet brand in Canada
Rogers Communications Inc. has acquired 100% of Setanta Sports Canada, the 24-hour Canadian television channel dedicated mainly to rugby and football matches, including the English Premier League. In October, the channel will be relaunched as Sportsnet World.

Bill Gates and FC Barcelona join forces
Microsoft chief Bill Gates unveiled this week a partnership between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and FC Barcelona with the goal of eliminating polio. Barca will use its social media reach to raise money and generate awareness.

MLS to be one of world’s top leagues within 10 years
MLS commissioner Don Garber stated this week that MLS will be able to compete with the biggest leagues within 10 years . “It’s not next year but, ultimately, if we keep focused and continue to manage our strategy properly, we should be able to stand toe-to-toe against anybody. America does not want to be second-best.”

This information is brought to you with football business consultancy FMMInternational (http://www.fmminternational.com/).

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