SBD Global/August 21, 2013/Franchises

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  • Lack Of Sponsorship To Force Spanish Cycling Club Euskaltel-Euskadi To Fold After Season

    Ruben Perez Moreno Ruben of Spain and Team Euskaltel-Euskadi rides during the 2013 Tour de France.

    Spanish cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi said in a statement that the team "is to close down at the end of the year after failing to find a second sponsor for the 2014 season," according to Mark Elkington of REUTERS. The news comes four days "before the start of the Tour of Spain," which sets out from Vilanova de Arousa in Galicia on Saturday. The statement said, "Euskaltel-Euskadi is unable to continue next season. It is a sad day for Euskaltel, for the team, for the current sponsors, for the fans and for everyone who has supported this project. We are sad that no company or entity has decided to back this team, the oldest in the world of elite cycling." The team said that Spanish cable operator Euskaltel had increased its long-running support from €3.5M ($4.7M) a year to €7M ($9.4M) for '13, out of an overall budget of €9M ($12M), but that it "could not maintain that level of backing." The team has "not been able to secure a second sponsor either locally or internationally to cover the shortfall for next year." Euskaltel's statement said, "From this moment on Euskaltel will start an orderly and responsible close down of the project including immediate negotiations to free up the members of the team" (REUTERS, 8/20). In Madrid, Jon Rivas reported "the news that had been suspected for more than a month became official on Tuesday." The team communicated to the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) "that its athletes are now free to sign with other teams." Euskaltel, the cable operator, has contributed €45M "since the end of '97, when the Euskadi Foundation cycling team was facing a crisis" (EL MUNDO, 8/20). Also in Madrid, Alfonso Herrán reported the Euskadi Foundation, will "remain in use and the future could pass through this organization in the second division of cycling." Euskaltel "seemed to have reached the promise of support from two new shareholders, but could not raise the amount required for survival" (AS, 8/20). In London, John MacLeary wrote "the news will come as a bitter blow to Spanish cycling, and particularly the Basque region from where the Euskaltel-Euskadi team derive, just days ahead of the Vuelta a España" (TELEGRAPH, 8/20).

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  • Actor Gerard Butler Takes Equity Interest In CPL Cricket Side Jamaica Tallawahs

    Actor Gerard Butler has taken a stake in a Jamaican cricket side.

    Actor Gerard Butler "has taken an equity interest in a Caribbean Premier League franchise, Jamaica Tallawahs, as the tournament heads for a climax this weekend," according to IANS. Butler "is also planning to be in Trinidad Friday to support the Tallawahs when they play Barbados Tridents" in the second semifinal. Butler: "It is obvious that this tournament is the home of the greatest party in sport so I wanted to get in on the fun." CPL CEO Damien O'Donohoe said, "We are thrilled that Gerard has seen the enormous potential of the CPL and has taken an equity interest in the Jamaica Tallawahs" (IANS, 8/21). The CARIBBEAN JOURNAL reported Butler "has joined Mark Wahblerg in buying a stake in Caribbean cricket." Wahlberg "purchased a stake in the Barbados Tridents." Verus Int'l Chair and Limacol CPL Founder Ajmal Khan said that "the decision of two Hollywood actors buying stakes in the league was 'quite novel.'" He said, "I think it’s a testament to the quality of the tournament, the carnival party atmosphere, the music, the entertainment, the fans, and the experience that only the Caribbean can deliver" (CARIBBEAN JOURNAL, 8/19).

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  • Liga MX Side Chivas Guadalajara Owner Jorge Vergara To Work More Closely With Club

    Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara Owner Jorge Vergara announced that "he will return to participating in Chivas' decisions and also denied that the team is for sale," according to LA AFICION. Vergara admitted that "it was an error having distanced himself from the club, but said that he is now returning." Vergara: "I know the players, I have a relationship with them and some of them confide in me their problems." When asked if he will "now make sporting decisions," Vergara said, "I am not going to make the decisions because [Sporting President] Dennis [Te Kloese] is doing this well and I am not going to interrupt him. However, I am going to be much closer to the team." Vergara said that he "did not anticipate improving the club to be as difficult as it has been." Vergara: "The truth is that I believed we would have more help achieving this, but this does not scare me. I have learned a lot, I have recognized many mistakes and this is something very interesting because eventually you realize it's people. We are working with the fans, the players and the coaching staff, so I'm excited about it" (LA AFICION, 8/20).

    ORTEGA REPLACES GALINDO: ESPN reported Chivas on Monday hired Juan Carlos Ortega to replace Benjamin Galindo as coach following a 1-1-3 start to the Liga MX season. Ortega played five seasons for Chivas before starting his coaching career (ESPN, 8/19).

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  • Bundesliga Club Schalke 04 Considers Lawsuit In Dispute With Viagogo

    Bundesliga side Schalke 04 "is considering filing a lawsuit for damages against online ticket marketplace viagogo," according to SPIEGEL ONLINE. The "reason is lost marketing revenue." In a statement the club said that "it will not comment any further on the issue." The lawsuit "is expected to be filed in the coming days." On July 9, Schalke "terminated its deal with viagogo, which took effect on July 1 because the ticket marketplace has allegedly, from the beginning, breached contract regulations despite several requests" by the club (SPIEGEL ONLINE, 8/19).

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  • NRL Wests Tigers Descend Into 'Civil War' With Balmain Side Of Joint Venture

    National Rugby League side Wests Tigers "descended into a state of civil war" with the Balmain side of the joint venture accusing the Magpies of "betrayal of trust and an indication of disrespect," according to Andrew Webster of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Balmain Chair Leslie Glen "issued a blistering response to revelations in Fairfax Media that powerful stakeholder Wests Ashfield wants control of the Wests Tigers board in exchange for saving the club from insolvency." Balmain directors met on Tuesday night "to discuss how to respond to Wests' proposal, under which the Magpies would gain an additional director on the board and the chairmanship for three years." But the appearance of the story in Fairfax Media -- as well as comments from Wests Chair Mike Bailey -- "has outraged Balmain, and the joint venture's future is shrouded in uncertainty." Glen said, "Wests made an offer to Balmain Tigers recently, as outlined in the Herald article, which was confidential and which was to be considered by the Balmain Tigers board this evening [Tuesday]. The leaking of that offer and the comments by Mike Bailey is seen by me, at least, as a betrayal of trust and an indication of disrespect from our partners at Wests Ashfield" (SMH, 8/20).

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  • Franchise Notes: Former Rangers CEO Charles Green To Resign From Advisory Role

    Former Scottish League 1 Rangers CEO Charles Green "is to stand down from his role as a paid consultant at the club and plans to sell his shares in the Ibrox outfit." The Glasgow side's board was due to meet Tuesday "to discuss sacking the Yorkshireman from the post which he was only appointed to" on Aug. 2. But he "has now decided to go before he was pushed and has promised Rangers investor Sandy Easdale first refusal on the 7.7 per cent stake in the club he currently owns" (London INDEPENDENT, 8/20). ... Australian Football League club Collingwood "has been fined" more than A$20,000 ($17,300) "for falsely advertising a membership offer." The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said that "the league's biggest club advertised a membership offer which appeared to include three games" and a Collingwood jumper for A$20 (with an asterisk), when the actual total price was A$120 payable over six months (AAP, 8/20). ... F1 team Williams Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams insisted she is "happy" with the Oxfordshire-based team's budget for '14. Her comments come amid reports many teams on the grid, like Sauber and even the title-charging Lotus, "are struggling to survive" (GRAND PRIX, 8/20).

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