SBD Global/August 7, 2013/Franchises

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  • Serie A Club AS Roma Raising Global Profile With Assist From American Palotta

    Serie A club AS Roma has "taken steps to create a brand name that is recognized worldwide" under team Owner and NBA Boston Celtics investor James Pallotta, according to Julian Cardillo of the BOSTON GLOBE. This summer has "been of particular importance to Roma as they've unveiled a new logo, which according to Pallotta, will help the club generate more worldwide recognition." The new club crest "still depicts the Roman wolf feeding the twins Remus and Romulus, as goes the legend of Rome's founding." But it "simply states 'Roma 1927' instead of the acronym 'ASR' as in years past." The "ASR" acronym was "taken out because it stands for 'Associazone Sportiva Roma' (Rome Sports Association) which few fans outside Italy knew." Pallotta said of the changes, "It's not just 'ok we want to change the logo.' It's intellectual property. How many teams are in Rome that have ASR? The swim team? The crew team? It's ASR. We don't own that. Building the brand, a lot of people don't know what 'AS' is." Cardillo noted Roma also "unveiled a new jersey to go with their new crest earlier this summer." The club also could "further develop their relationship with American fans by continuing to travel to the U.S." Pallotta said of a visit to the MLS All-Star game, "Kansas City's Park is unbelievable. ... I spoke to [MLS Commissioner Don Garber] about that while I was out there, that we'd want to have a relationship with the entire league. What'll come out of it, I don't know, but I'm sure they would like to do something too, especially after the All-Star game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/2).

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  • Watchdog Criticizes Rangers Charity Foundation Over AC Milan Fundraising Match

    The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator "found misconduct in the organisation of a charity dinner and football match between Rangers Legends and AC Milan Glorie in March last year," according to the HERALD SCOTLAND. The foundation "agreed to forego most of its share of the proceeds in favour of The Rangers Football Club plc which entered administration the previous month." A report by the regulator found a "conflict of interest" in the close relationship between the charity trustees and the football club. The decision-making process "breached the trustees' duties, the inquiry concluded" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 8/6). In Edinburgh, Angus Howarth wrote the report "details the involvement of three trustees of the Foundation, all of whom were employed by, or held senior roles at Ibrox." One of the trustees told administrators Duff and Phelps of the club’s intention "to provide support for the dinner and the match," and according to the report, was "concerned that the administrators would block the match from going ahead if it was not in the club’s creditors’ interest." The trustee "agreed to hand over control of the match’s income to Duff and Phelps so that Rangers could recover costs." Prior to this decision, 60% of the net profit along with a £25,000 ($38,000) management fee "had been earmarked for the Rangers Charity Foundation," but the decision to hand control to the administrators led to the charity only receiving 10% of the profit -- less than £40,000 ($61,000) -- and the management fee. This meant more than £191,000 ($293,000) that had been intended as charity donations went to Duff and Phelps (SCOTSMAN, 8/6).

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  • Former SPL Hearts Owner Vladimir Romanov 'Suspected Of Large-Scale Embezzlement'

    Scotland prosecutors have said that former Scottish Premier League Hearts Owner Vladimir Romanov "is suspected of large-scale embezzlement" at collapsed Lithuanian bank Ukio Bankas, where he was former majority shareholder, according to Brian Donnelly of the HERALD SCOTLAND. An int'l arrest warrant "has been issued in an effort to bring the elusive businessman back from Russia." Romanov is "wanted for questioning over alleged crimes that, if he was convicted, would see him jailed for up to seven years" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 8/6). The PA's Gavin McCafferty reported Ukio Bankas is owed £15M ($23M) by Hearts and owns 30% of the club's shares. Lithuania's General Prosecutor's Office's Vilma Mazone said, "V Romanov has been recognized as a suspect and is suspected of having squandered high-value property belonging to the bank Ukio Bankas" (PA, 8/6).

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