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Soccer Franchise Notes: Sounders Have Become Model Franchise
Published July 14, 2009
|Dynamo President Hopes To
Learn From Sounders FC
UNION WORK: In Philadelphia, Pat Leonard reports MLS Philadelphia Union GM & coach Peter Nowak has “revealed plans to build a youth development academy in the mold of respected European clubs.” Meanwhile, the expansion franchise's owner, Keystone Sports & Entertainment, has formed a partnership with Comcast-Spectacor to “help the Union manage its planned 18,500-seat stadium, provide food and beverage concessions and catering, and support the club’s ticket sales” (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 7/14).
DOWN BY THE BAY: A’s GM Billy Beane said he watches soccer games on TV, but besides that has "no involvement" with the MLS Earthquakes, who are owned by A's Owner Lew Wolff. Beane: "While every other general manager is playing 18 holes of golf, I watch soccer. It's just an interest" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 7/12).
STILL FOR SALE: In Manchester, Louise Taylor notes there is a "growing possibility that Newcastle United will not be sold this summer." Although two consortiums "remain interested in buying Newcastle for a figure close" to the US$163M asking prices and others "hover in the background, the due diligence process is understood to have exposed troubling facts about the club's financial liabilities" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 7/14). However, the IRISH TIMES' Carl O'Malley reported Irish business execs Charlie Chawke and Louis Fitzgerald are "seeking investors to join them in bidding" for Newcastle (IRISH TIMES, 7/13). Chawke, who was part of a consortium that bought Sunderland in '06 before selling its stake in the club earlier this year, said that talks on buying Newcastle were at an "early stage" (REUTERS, 7/12).
DELAY OF GAME: In Manchester, Jamie Jackson reported Falcon Equity Chair Sulaiman al-Fahim's proposed takeover of EPL club Portsmouth "could be delayed until next month," as Fahim has "still not agreed [to] a price to buy the club." Fahim's lawyers informed the EPL that "negotiations are ongoing" with current Owner Alexandre Gaydamak. But the news "raises fresh concerns over whether the buy-out will go through," and the EPL has "yet to receive the statements they require, beyond the 'fit-and-proper persons' documents, regarding the provenance of finance for the deal" (Manchester GUARDIAN, 7/12).