SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Franchises

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  • Arsenal COO Tom Fox Says Premier League Club Expects 'Huge Growth' Overseas

    Arsenal COO Tom Fox said that the Premier League team "has potential to generate higher income by leveraging its international support," according to Ben Priechenfried of BLOOMBERG. He said, "There’s huge growth still in front of us as a sports property." Arsenal made £280M ($460M) in revenue in its last fiscal period, while profit fell to £5.8M ($9.5M) from £29.6M in the 12 months ended May 31. Fox said, "Finding ways to connect with that fanbase and increasingly monetize that fanbase on behalf of our partners is something we haven’t really spent a lot of time and effort doing. I think that’s where our growth will come from" (BLOOMBERG, 1/16).

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  • Barcelona Asks Court To Keep Information Related To Neymar Signing Confidential

    FC Barcelona does not want "the Spanish court investigation into the club's signing of Neymar to become an open channel displaying the club's finances," according to Fernando J. Pérez of EL PAIS. The club sent judge Pablo Ruz a letter "requesting a personal audience and asking that the court preserve the confidentiality of the documents detailing the signing of Neymar and outlining the club's finances." Barcelona asked the court "to separate from the case all facts that are not necessary in the investigation" (EL PAIS, 1/16).

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  • Rangers Shareholder Richard Hughes Sells 2 Million Shares, Makes Profit Of $818K

    A Rangers shareholder "is believed to have made a profit" of around £500,000 ($818,000) after selling more than 2 million shares in the club, according to the SCOTSMAN. Richard Hughes, the co-founder of Zeus Captial -- the firm at the center of Charles Green's takeover in '12 -- "had paid 1p for each of the shares, but is thought to have sold his stake when prices reached 24p per share on Tuesday." The sale came on the same day as Damille Investments II Ltd. bought £2M ($3.3M) worth of shares in Rangers, handing them a 3% stake in the Ibrox club. Hughes "is reported to have performed an important role in securing the purchase of the club's assets" for £5.5M by the Sevco consortium in Feb. '12. But former Sheffield United CEO Green "quit the same role at Ibrox amid allegations of his involvement with former Rangers Owner Craig Whyte and following alleged racist comments made about former Ibrox Dir Imran Ahmad" (SCOTSMAN, 1/16). In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported Damille "bought the holding" from Hughes. The company -- described as a turnaround specialist -- is headed up by two execs, Brett Miller and Rhys Davies, and promises to "optimise balance sheets and align management and shareholder interests" (DAILY RECORD, 1/16).

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  • La Liga Valencia Lender Bankia Receives Takeover Offers, Begins Evaluation Process

    La Liga side Valencia's lender, Spanish bank Bankia, confirmed that it received "several offers" regarding the takeover of Valencia, according to FOOTBALL ESPANA. The deadline for bids "was on Wednesday." The bank revealed that a "number of offers have been tabled, but stress that confidentially is 'imperative.'" Singapore businessman Peter Lim is expected to be "named the new owner" of the club after "promising last year to pay off their debts and create a competitive team." Bankia has not "confirmed when they will announce the new owners" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 1/16).

    THREE OFFERS PRESENTED: In Madrid, De Barrón & Ros reported Bankia "received three offers to sell the club." One, "already known, was presented by Lim, and two others came from foreign investors." Bankia "has opened a three-phase, 15-day period to determine the winning offer." During the first phase, accounting firm KPMG will "analyze the offers to confirm that they meet the required conditions." Both Bankia and the bidders "will be able to ask questions to clarify terms during the second phase." The third phase will consist of "the investors putting their money on the table." Lim's offer "is preferred by Valencia President Amadeo Salvo." Valencia's debt has reached €354M ($482.4M) (EL PAIS, 1/15).

    SALE MUST BE RIGHT FOR CLUB: Valencia majority shareholder VCF Foundation President Aurelio Martinez said that he would "try to veto any sale of the club that saw its bankers get their money but left the team without a viable plan for the future," according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. Valencia is "up for sale," with Bankia now "analysing offers that arrived before Wednesday’s deadline for potential buyers to come forward." Martinez: "The foundation understands that its duty to Valencianismo is to watch the process, to see that the offer includes sporting as well as financial parts, that it is not just about returning the money Bankia is owed but will consider other areas for the future including the foundation, the academy, investments in sporting side, the completion of the stadium." Martinez added that he was "impressed by Lim’s plans, but wanted to consider other, potentially better, offers before any decision was made." Martinez said, "[Lim] seems to me sensible and appreciated, not so much for his offer but because of his CV -- he is not an unknown person in the world of football. All who know him speak well of him. He has involvements in foundations and sponsorships of significant value, he has invested in motor-racing. ... We must see the other offers -- maybe there are better ones, I don’t know. I am convinced that there will be many surprises" (ESPN, 1/16).

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