SBD/Issue 112/Franchises

Soccer Franchise Notes: Liverpool CEO Rick Parry To Leave Club

Parry Will Leave Liverpool
At End Of This Season
In Manchester, Andy Hunter reports English Premier League (EPL) club Liverpool CEO Rick Parry will bring his career at the club "to a close at the end of this season." Parry, who has worked for the team for 12 years, "has been at the centre of long-running disputes with the club's manager, Rafael Benitez, over the club's transfer policy," and with co-Owner Tom Hicks "over Liverpool's commercial operations." Hunter notes Hicks had "called for Parry's resignation last year, a demand which was resisted by" co-Owner George Gillett, who had "remained in agreement with [Parry] over transfers until recently" (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 2/27). 

TICKET TALK: The NORTHERN ECHO reported EPL club Newcastle United has "reduced season ticket prices for the 2009-10 campaign by an average" of 9%. The reductions "will take the cost of watching games at St. James' Park for the majority of ticket holders back to 2007-08 levels." Attendance at the club's home games has "dwindled" since Owner Mike Ashley bought the team in '07 and has "topped 50,000 only three times this season" at St. James Park (THENORTHERNECHO.co.uk, 2/25)....In London, Phil Gordon noted Scottish Premier League clubs Celtic and Rangers were told Tuesday that their "season ticket customer base should be protected from the worst of the economic downturn," allowing the clubs to "ride out any potential financial storm." The clubs "count on around 100,000 season tickets being sold each season to underwrite the bulk of their revenue, which, in both cases, exceeds" US$99.0M (LONDON TIMES, 2/25).

DESPERATE TIMES: In Miami, Adam Beasley notes USL club Miami FC "unveiled an aggressive ad campaign Thursday," titled "For the Good of the Game -- For the Good of South Florida," which "targets the area's historically apathetic soccer fans." Also, $25 off any season ticket purchased this year will be applied to a '10 ticket plan, regardless if that team is Miami FC or the MLS franchise" which might be awarded to the city. Beasley also notes Miami FC "has been given a March 8 deadline to prove to its ownership group, Traffic Sports, that it has a viable business plan moving forward, with or without an MLS team in town" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/27).

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