SBD/November 8, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

The GUARDIAN's David Conn notes FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell “has criticised the corporate and foreign ownership of major Premier League clubs, saying that while he is in charge his club, which is owned by its 180,000 members, will ‘never, ever be for sale.’” Rosell said that clubs should “naturally be mutual ‘associations’ owned by their members, rather than companies owned by a single business figure.” He suggested that the reason Barcelona “sold their shirt sponsorship for the first time, controversially to Qatar, whose sports investment arm paid [US$225M] for five years' rights, was due to competition with owners putting excessive money into their clubs” (GUARDIAN, 11/8).

SINGING THE BLUES? The GLOBE & MAIL’s David Shoalts notes the Blues “list their average per-game attendance as 19,150, fifth in the NHL, but those fans do not bring in a lot of revenue.” Sources said that “there are a lot of ticket giveaways and discounts because the team’s rebuilding efforts are dragging on and the owners are desperate to woo an increasingly disaffected fan base.” Prospective Owner Matthew Hulsizer is “well-aware of these problems and signed off on the coaching move,” firing Davis Payne and hiring Ken Hitchcock. Hulsizer “needed to be seen as part of the solution” (GLOBE & MAIL, 11/8).

PAY UP: In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde wrote if Marlins execs “want to reinvent the franchise,” then they need to “open the wallet and buy a player.” But “not just any player ... one of the three biggest names” on the market: Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or Jose Reyes. Hyde asked: “Wouldn't putting one of those names in a new jersey inside the new stadium show the world has changed?” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/6).
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