SBD/Issue 168/Events & AttractionsPrint All
Champions League Final Could Be
Worth More Than $166M For Winner
TEAMS IN DEBT: Rogers notes while ManU is valued at about $1.8B, it has debts of around $1.08B, and UEFA President Michel Platini said that he would "like to see licensing implemented to restrict the level of borrowing and leverage that owners are able to use to buy clubs." Platini: "Licensing will come and, when it does, no longer will clubs be able to win through debt" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/21). In Manchester, David Conn reported the latest filings from ManU and Chelsea show that the clubs owe creditors $1.5B and $1.44B, respectively. Today's game marks the first time two English clubs have competed in the Champions League final, and Conn wrote those "unprecedented figures will fuel concern that at this time of English football's greatest club triumph its clubs are carrying too much debt." Chelsea's filings for the FY ending June 30, 2007, show that the club's "largest creditor" was Owner Roman Abramovich, who "poured [$1.14B] into the club ... as an interest-free loan" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 5/20).
Tickets To Today's Champions
League Final Still Available
DREAM COME TRUE? The GLOBE & MAIL's Stephen Brunt writes Russia-native Abramovich finally "gets his wish, Chelsea in a Champions League final, in Moscow, no less." Money "might not buy happiness, but apparently it can buy this." For Abramovich, "getting a crack at the one title that has eluded him might be interpreted as confirmation that he knew what he was doing all along" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/21). A spokesperson for ManU Owners the Glazer family declined to say how many of the Glazers would attend today's game (LONDON TIMES, 5/20).
RISING STAR: The U.S. men's national soccer team in the next month will play games against England, Spain and Argentina, all of which will be televised by either ESPN2 or ESPN Classic, and Chicago Women's Pro Soccer President Peter Wilt said, "It's a direct result of ESPN and the power traditional media has on mainstream society." Wilt: "This has probably been an evolution, not a revolution. It's been a slow process, but more (media) decision-makers are coming from a soccer generation and are more comfortable with the sport. You don't get the anti-soccer feeling you used to get" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 5/20).