SBD Global/May 24, 2013/Franchises

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  • Ford To Retire Falcon, V8 Supercars Future Uncertain After Melbourne Plant Closes In '16

    Falcon's presence on the V8 Supercars grid "appear to be numbered following the carmaker's decision to end local manufacturing" in '16, according to Peter Kogoy of THE AUSTRALIAN. The company "stunned the sport" Thursday when it confirmed it would close down its Broadmeadows assembly plant in Melbourne and become an imports-only operation. There are currently just six Falcons in the 28-car championship, "with their numbers having been in steady decline in recent seasons." Of the six, four race under the Ford Performance Racing factory banner, "while the other two are campaigned by the iconic Dick Johnson" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/24). SPEED's William Dale wrote "Ford have yet to make any decisions on their motorsport involvement in Australia" after they close the Melbourne plant. Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano said, "My sense is that the Falcon name is inextricably linked to Australia and to being produced here. We will retire that name when we retire the vehicle." Falcon must exit V8 Supercars, "as a model must be commercially available in Australia to be approved for competition." Graziano "affirmed that no decisions have been made in regard to their motorsport involvement" from '16 onwards. Graziano: "We haven't taken any decision. We'll work with our motorsport teams and work our way through the next three years" (SPEED, 5/23).  

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  • Hearts Reject Return Of Roman Romanov As General Director At Annual General Meeting

    A motion to reappoint Roman Romanov as a director of Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian "was unanimously voted down from the floor at the club's annual general meeting" Thursday morning, according to Stuart Bathgate of the SCOTSMAN. The motion will still be carried, as Romanov's father, Owner Vladimir Romanov, "still controls a majority of the shares, but the vote was nonetheless an embarrassment for the club's owner." After the formal business was over, Dir Sergejus Fedotovas had a question-and-answer session with shareholders, "at which he gave details of how Hearts plan to plug" a £2.5M ($3.7M) funding gap next season. Fedotovas "said that the club's budget had allowed for income" of £1M ($1.5M) from player transfers and £1.5M ($2.2M) from a membership scheme for supporters. Fedotovas gave no real detail about the membership scheme, which is understood to entail something akin to the "pledge" scheme which is currently being run by fans' group Foundation of Hearts (SCOTSMAN, 5/23).

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  • Despite RaboDirect PRO12 Loss, Glasgow Warriors See Increase In Season Ticket Sales

    Scottish rugby team Glasgow Warriors' narrow loss in the RaboDirect PRO12 semifinals for the third time in four years "has only whet the appetite of supporters," it appears, with the club predicting a record number of season ticket sales for '13-14, according to David Ferguson of the SCOTSMAN. The Warriors "revealed that more than 1,200 supporters have already bought tickets for next season," with more than 25% going to new season ticket holders. Having sold a little more than 1,500 season books last season, Glasgow is now "hopeful of beating that and surpassing Edinburgh's 2,000 record before the new term kicks off in August." The club is working hard to sign up more supporters too, with open days on Thursday (12-7:30pm) and on June 1 (11:30am-2:30pm), "where fans can purchase season tickets in person and get a tour of the 
stadium." The British & Irish Lions game against the Barbarians "will also be shown live at Scotstoun" on June 1 (kick-off 12:30pm) (SCOTSMAN, 5/23).

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