SBD Global/April 18, 2013/Franchises

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  • Judge Slams Blackburn Rovers As 'Woeful' And 'Unforgivable' In Henning Berg Dispute

    League Championship club Blackburn Rovers was "pilloried by a presiding judge" who described its way of operating as “utterly unforgivable,” as they launched a last-minute fight to stop sacked Manager Henning Berg being awarded £2.2M ($3.4M) in unpaid wages, according to the London INDEPENDENT. Having "initially agreed to meet Berg’s demands for the payment of his three-year contract in full," Rovers revealed at a High Court hearing that they had "changed their minds." Blackburn filed papers after a pre-agreed deadline in a way Judge Mark Pilling said was “woefully inadequate” and “entirely contrary to the way justice is supposed to be served.” Blackburn Owner Anuradha Desai "has hired new solicitors" who will now claim that Managing Dir Derek Shaw "had no authority to give 43-year-old Berg -- who was sacked after 56 days in December -- a contract entitling him to such lucrative severance terms." However, Desai’s claim that Shaw had no authority "is deeply undermined by a press release" -- still accessible on the Rovers’ website as of Wednesday night -- which claimed earlier this month that Shaw has the “complete backing and support” of the owners and that there was “no investigation” into the Berg contract (INDEPENDENT, 4/17).

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  • German Second-Division Basketball Club Gets Anonymous Donation Of $1.3M

    German second-tier basketball club BV Chemnitz "has received an anonymous donation," according to the SID. The club revealed that a businessman "will pay the salary for three full-time youth coaches for the next 10 years." The only requirement is "that his name will not be made public." The total amount of the donation is around €1M ($1.3M). Club President Detlef Müller said, "It is a tremendous feeling and an absolute piece of luck. It happens only once in a lifetime that you profit that much from a donation. It is about sustainable and long-term support. The donor is himself a former athlete and from the region. He didn't ask for additional voting rights or positions" (SID, 4/17).

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  • Cardiff City Owner Vincent Tan Pledges $38M On New Players Following Promotion To EPL

    League Championship club Cardiff City's Malaysian Owner Vincent Tan said that the club could spend up to £25M ($38M) "on new players after securing promotion" to the EPL, according to the BANGKOK POST. The Welsh club "will return to the English top flight for the first time in 51 years" after a 0-0 draw at home to Charlton Athletic on Tuesday guaranteed promotion from the second-tier Championship. Financial difficulties in recent years have left the club with an overall recorded debt of £83M ($126M), but Tan said that "they will find the money to fund a competitive assault" on the EPL. Tan: "We need to strategize well, and we'd like to spend some money -- maybe £20-25M ($30-38M). Others have spent a big amount of money and don't do well, so we will try to spend smartly." Cardiff will join local rival Swansea City in the EPL next season, "meaning there will be two Welsh clubs in the English top flight for the first time in the competition's 125-year history" (BANGKOK POST, 4/17).

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