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SBD Global/November 13, 2013/FranchisesPrint All
EPL Hull City is expected to announce this week that the club "made a loss in its promotion year to the Premier League" of £27.8M ($44.2M), according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. The figure "principally financed" Manager Steve Bruce's signings and an increased wage bill in the 12 months to July 31. The losses "came before the summer's major signing" of midfielder Tom Huddlestone from Tottenham Hotspur for £5M ($8M). The loss in '12-13 "follows major losses in the two previous years" of Assem Allam's ownership since he took the club over in Dec. '10. Allam said that the Hull City wage bill is now up to around £36M ($57M) a year, and he "intends to buy a striker in January to supplement manager Steve Bruce's squad's chances of staying up this season." This year in the Premier League, he expects the club "will lose" £11M ($17.5M). Allam: "It is a lot of money I have put in, £66 million. So far I am comfortable with it, as long as we are achieving results." However, he said he could not "keep throwing money into it," and needs the club to become self-financing in the Premier League (GUARDIAN, 11/12).
CATCH A TIGER: The BBC reported Allam "has confirmed his long-term intention" to rename the club Hull Tigers. Any plans to alter the club name "would need to be ratified" by the FA. Allam said that he "has to find other income streams for the club as the KC Stadium is owned by the council." The 74-year-old believes a ''Tigers'' brand would be more marketable, having previously said he considers the word 'City' to be "lousy" and "common" (BBC, 11/12). REUTERS' Mike Collett reported angry Hull City fans are hoping that the FA "will block any attempt" by Allam "to change the name of the 109-year-old club to Hull Tigers." Hull fans' group City Til We Die hope said in a statement on its website, "Our group has already had extensive contact with key figures at the FA, and we anticipate they will take a dim view... of this announcement. We remain puzzled that Dr Allam cannot distinguish between the name of his holding company and the football name of the club he owns. Let us be clear - Dr Allam cannot change the football name of the club without approval of the FA, who in turn require consultation with fans" (REUTERS, 11/12).
Mexican second division side Nexaca President Felix Aguirre "confirmed speculation and indicated that the club is in negotiations to sell the team," according to Rubén Guerrero of LA AFICION. Aguirre: "The team is in the process of being sold. This is not a rumor, it is a fact. We are waiting to see what happens in the tournament, although it will not decide if there is a sale. This is going to happen. For now, all I can do is concentrate on the operative part of the organization" (LA AFICION, 11/11).
Police "are investigating" whether former Scottish League 1 Rangers Owner Craig Whyte "is still involved" with the club, according to Alasdair Lamont of the BBC. When the Scottish FA transferred the liquidated company's membership to a new company, "the key requirement" was the total lack of involvement of Whyte. Police Scotland "are also examining documents filed with Companies House." Those documents "lie at the heart of Whyte's claim" he and former CEO Charles Green "colluded over Green's purchase of Rangers' assets" (BBC, 11/11). In Glasgow, Chris Clements reported officers from Police Scotland’s elite Economic Crime Unit "have been in contact" with Green to "quiz him about Whyte’s possible continuing involvement with the club." If police find Whyte "still has connections to Rangers," the Scottish FA "could strip them of their membership -- effectively ending Rangers involvement in Scottish football." And any suggestion that the reviled Whyte "still has any influence over the club he brought to their knees will prompt fury from fans." The probe follows "an internal Rangers investigation carried out by law firm Pinsent Masons which cleared Green of any wrongdoing or involvement with Whyte." However, the firm has since "passed their files to police -- who are now conducting their own inquries into Whyte." Ex-Rangers Dir Paul Murray, who is leading a shareholder revolt, said the probe “raises massive concerns for everyone with Rangers at heart." Murray said of the Pinsent Mason report, “This should have been made public months ago and it is a matter of great concern that the board chose to keep these findings from the fans" (DAILY RECORD, 11/12).
NEXT MAN UP: The SCOTSMAN reported Scottish Premier League Dundee CEO Scot Gardiner "has been given permission to speak to Rangers with a view to becoming the club’s new chief executive." Gardiner is "currently the man in charge at Dens Park, but Dundee’s American owners have given the former Rangers employee permission to enter talks over the Ibrox job." Gardiner is reportedly set for meetings with Chair David Somers and the club’s two remaining directors, Brian Stockbridge and James Easdale (SCOTSMAN, 11/12). In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported it is "conceivable Gardiner could accept the highly-paid position only then to be dismissed in four weeks’ time when the shareholders vote on the men they want to run the club’s affairs." Rebels Jim McColl and Murray "have already identified" former Liverpool Managing Dir Christian Purslow "as their choice for the role of CEO." It is "understood he has agreed to go to work at Ibrox if McColl and Murray triumph." But Gardiner "is a lifelong Rangers fan and may find it impossible to ignore the lure of such a key and lucrative boardroom position" (DAILY RECORD, 11/12).