SBD/November 21, 2011/Franchises

Franchise Notes

In Dallas, Mike Heika noted when Tom Gaglardi was "named the new owner of the Stars, his first move was to make" Jim Lites President & CEO. Lites, who previously served in the same position from 14 years, talked about his plans for spending and developing the team's fan base. He said, "I don’t think we’ll start spending wildly, but this gives us a chance to get in on some talks and consider some changes. ... We don’t want to say, ‘Here’s money; let’s go spend it.’ I think that hurts you in the long run. But, if a situation comes up that fits and costs money, I definitely think we are open to that." Lites continued, "This team is in a very good situation right now with the right kind of contracts and a good young base, and what we have to do is spend responsibly. ... The other thing is we have to make ourselves attractive in a very competitive marketplace with very good sports teams, so we will re-price the building and we will make good tickets available, and we’ll do that for two years, and that’s the first step" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 11/20).

COURSE OF COMPLIANCE: EPL club Manchester City insisted that "they are on a course to comply with UEFA's forthcoming Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations, despite announcing record losses of" $305.9M (all figures U.S.). The club "confirmed the open secret that, in the most recent accounting period, they made the biggest loss in English football history, eclipsing the previous high" of $220.6M recorded by Chelsea in '05. In London, Matt Hughes noted Manchester City's losses are "unsurprising given how they have thrown money at recruiting some of the world's best players since Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008." Mansour has spent $1.3B on the club in that time (LONDON TIMES, 11/19).

NOT FOR SALE: In the U.K., Mat Kendrick noted Aston Villa Owner Randy Lerner confirmed that he "has absolutely no intention of selling the club." Lerner indicated that his "absence from all but one of Villa’s matches so far this season was due to his son changing schools." He said that work is "continuing behind the scenes about the possible pros and cons of re-developing the North Stand and increasing the capacity of Villa Park to 50,000" (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 11/19). Lerner: "I am someone who runs the risk of being an under-communicator. But I would rather be hard-working and focus on my job and under communicate than the opposite direction" (LONDON TIMES, 11/19).

NOT INTERESTED: In Atlanta, David O'Brien noted if Liberty Media "decides to sell the Braves," Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban said that he "wouldn’t make an offer." Cuban said, "I like franchises that need a lot of help. The Braves have a great franchise." Liberty has "not announced any intentions to sell the franchise, but there's been much speculation the group will sell at some point in the not-too-distant future because the Braves are not considered an important asset by Liberty" (AJC.com, 11/19).
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