SBD Global/January 22, 2014/Franchises

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  • Wanda Group Denies Report In U.K. Press About Takeover Of EPL Southampton

    China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, chairman of real estate developer Dalian Wanda Group, "reportedly refuted a British media report that he planned to buy" EPL side Southampton for £1.75M ($2.8M), according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. U.K. tabloid the Sunday Mirror said that Wang "has been in negotiations with the British team regarding a takeover." Wang, who "has a keen interest in the sport," signed a three-year deal in '11 with a Chinese football league to invest 500M yuan ($826M) in various football fields. He "would become the first Chinese business tycoon to own a British football club if the deal were to happen." The group published a statement, however, "to say that no individual from the group has ever been in contact with the football club, nor has it appointed any individual or third party to engage in negotiations on its behalf" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 1/21).

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  • Spanish Newspaper AS: Barcelona Showed 'Arrogance' In Ignoring Request For Neymar Info

    When Barcelona President Sandro Rosell and the club's board "ignored a certified fax in which club member Jordi Cases asked them to explain" the details of the club's signing of Neymar, "they were certainly guilty of arrogance," according to Santi Giménez of AS. Barcelona could "have met Cases to explain: 'Look, we paid €17 million to Santos and €40 [million] more to his father as a signing-on bonus, because otherwise he would have gone to Madrid.'" And "that would have been that." The club "chose to pass over a request made by an ordinary club member." Rosell "ignored the request, and Cases proceeded to file a lawsuit with the High Court." Madrid newspaper El Mundo on Monday published "all of the figures contained in the contract, which add up to €95 million: 38 more than the amount declared" by Barcelona Economic VP Josep Maria Bartomeu (AS, 1/20).

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  • Scottish Rangers Officials Defend Decision By Cash-Strapped Club To Stay In Four-Star Hotel

    Scottish League 1 Rangers Manager Ally McCoist "has defended his side’s pre-match preparations in the wake of accusations that the club is still living beyond its means," according to the SCOTSMAN. The squad was "booked into the four-star Carnoustie Hotel prior to their match with Forfar at Station Park" Monday. Rangers won the match 2-0, but afterwards "it was put to McCoist that his players" -- who recently rejected proposals to cut their wages by 15% -- "were living the high life after staying at the luxury resort." McCoist "was adamant that he was simply trying to prepare his squad in the best way possible," and suggested it would have been "disrespectful" to Forfar not to have prepared in such a way (SCOTSMAN, 1/21). In Glasgow, Michael Gannon wrote McCoist is "bracing himself for budget cuts." Rangers CEO Graham Wallace was "standing firm on the pre-game plans." McCoist: "We are still Rangers Football Club and have always attempted to be as professional as we can. That will never change as long as I'm manager." McCoist admitted that "he will hold further meetings" with Wallace to discover what this exact plans are in terms of cuts. McCoist: "We have one pencilled in for Friday but I think we’ll be meeting [Tuesday] or Wednesday as well. I don’t know what to expect, it’s not my gig" (DAILY RECORD, 1/21).

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  • Team New Zealand Returns To Extreme 40 Sailing Series As It Waits For Cup Details

    Team New Zealand "will return to the Extreme 40 circuit this year as they endeavour to keep the sailing team occupied while they await details of the next America's Cup," according to the NEW ZEALAND HERALD. Contested in one-design 40-ft catamarans, the series "features several top sailing teams, including one of Team New Zealand's old rivals, Alinghi, and Ben Ainslie Racing." Skipper Dean Barker said that he "doesn't want to waste any time in developing the sailing team and integrating newcomes Peter Burling and Blair Tuke into the squad." Barker: "We can't wait around until Oracle releases the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup. We need to keep developing and take every available opportunity to compete in cats" (NZ HERALD, 1/21).

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  • Franchise Notes: Liga MX Rival Takes Protest Of TV Azteca's Purchase Of Atlas To FIFA

    Liga MX Atlante President Miguel Ángel Couchonnal "warned that after getting a null response from Liga MX, he will now approach FIFA to protest the sale of league rival Atlas to TV Azteca." Couchonnal said "the sale does not seem to him to be 'clean.'" Couchonnal: "This approval of the purchase of Atlas is not fair play. This ruling is going to cost too much in terms of Liga MX's image. The sale of Atlas is evidence that the opportunities are not the same for all teams" (LA AFICION, 1/21). ... Caterham F1 Team and Caterham Racing have confirmed their 2014 driver lineups with the announcement that Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson will race in F1 this season. Robin Frijns and Alexander Rossi will be the F1 team's reserve drivers. In addition, Alexander and Rio Haryanto will contest this year's GP2 honors with Caterham Racing (Caterham F1).

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