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SBD/April 30, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Bloomberg Key To N.Y. MLS Deal, As Parties Seek Accelerated Approval
Published April 30, 2013
POWER BEHIND THE THRONE: SI.com’s Grant Wahl wrote Man City CEO Ferran Soriano is “one of the driving forces behind this deal.” Soriano “used to be in a similar position” as La Liga club FC Barcelona VP during Joan Laporta's presidency. Soriano a few years ago was “involved in Barcelona's push to own an MLS expansion team in Miami with Bolivian investor Marcelo Claure.” That deal “died" in ‘09 after Soriano had left Barcelona, but he has “remained interested in MLS” (SI.com, 4/29).
WORLD-CLASS CITY: In London, Mark Ogden writes Mansour's efforts to land the N.Y.-based franchise in MLS "point towards the true objective of Abu Dhabi’s sporting portfolio," which is "propelling Abu Dhabi's image onto a global scale." The U.S. for that purpose is "where it's at for Sheikh Mansour and his advisors." Mansour is "expected" to be announced "as the owner of New York City FC" on May 25. That move is "unlikely to affect the day-to-day running" of Man City "one iota." There is "absolutely no prospect" of Mansour "withdrawing his backing in favour of an upstart team in the MLS." But it is "not without significance" for Man City, which has not yet attracted a "lucrative deal from the US or the Far East, unlike" EPL club Manchester United, Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and other large clubs including La Liga clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona and EPL club Liverpool. A N.Y. franchise "would give Abu Dhabi, and City, a foothold" in the U.S. It also would "increase the prospect of the kind of American investment which enabled" ManU Owner the Glazer family "to turn United into such a financial powerhouse" (London TELEGRAPH, 4/30).