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SBD Global/April 28, 2014/FranchisesPrint All
Argentine first division side Olimpo, which is located in the city of Bahía Blanca in the Buenos Aires Province, launched a "member campaign" that took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans paid 250 Argentine pesos ($31) to purchase provisional memberships, which included a bonus "club day" that was required to attend Sunday's match against River Plate at Olimpo's Roberto Natalio Carminatti stadium (Olimpo). OLE reported "even Olimpo's team office and stadium were tinged with River Plate's red and white." For River fans, "it did not matter whether the cards were for a day or for 90 minutes, these cards allowed them to enter Olimpo's stadium." During the game, they "could not encourage their team while wearing their colors, but the only thing that mattered was being in the stadium to see a decisive game for River." Argentine football regulations "prevent the sale of tickets to 'neutral fans,'" but Olimpo leaders "launched a lightning campaign over three days to attract people." The "ticket stores, though, were not open for neutral fans, they were open for local visitors." The passes were "only available to fans living in Bahía Blanca or within a 300km radius of the city." Olimpo President Alfredo Dagna said, "We are very happy because we have around 1,400 new members and it is all people from here, because we fulfilled what the provincial authorities required." Dagna estimated that the club raised 600,000 Argentine pesos ($75,000), as regular club members also had to pay an additional 100 Argentine pesos ($13) for the "club day." River Plate fans "were expected in the crowd, without flags or shirts but with the River flag in their hearts" (OLE, 4/27).
Police Scotland "is investigating a complaint" from a Scottish League 1 side Rangers shareholder against CEO Graham Wallace, according to the BBC. Wallace "is being accused by some fans of making misleading statements about finances at December's annual meeting." A police spokesperson confirmed, "We have received a complaint, which is currently being assessed to establish if there is any criminality." Former Dir Dave King and the Union of Fans "have both urged Wallace in open letters to explain his comments to shareholders." On Friday, Wallace -- who took charge in November -- released the results of his long-awaited business review of Rangers, in which he admitted that £70.7M ($119M) raised through season-ticket sales, commercial revenues and a '12 share issue had been spent "relatively quickly and, in some areas, liberally." He said that Rangers, which have won the League 1 title this season, would need to raise a further £30M by '17, "including a new share issue, in order to compete at the top of Scottish football" (BBC, 4/27). In Glasgow, Norman Silvester wrote banker Phil Maher, an Ibrox shareholder, "complained about comments made by Wallace." He claimed that Wallace "insisted the club had enough funds in place to operate until May" -- but the board took out a £1.5M ($2.5M) emergency loan two months later. Rangers on Saturday said his complaint "has no grounds." Maher, who is managing director of the investments arm of a multinational bank, said, “I can confirm I have made a complaint that is being investigated by police." The investigation into Maher’s complaint "is being carried out by the Police Scotland economic crime unit based at the Scottish Crime Campus in Gartcosh, Lanarkshire" (DAILY RECORD, 4/27). In London, Roger Blitz wrote "Rangers faces a fight for survival if season ticket sales suffer over the next two months, its board warned in a damning assessment of its financial position." Rangers’ cash position is such that "it is unable to accept credit or debit card payments for season tickets, and will only take cash, cheques or bank transfers." Rangers, "the one-time giant of Scottish football, secured promotion from Scottish League One this season as it seeks to put an inglorious saga of financial failure behind it, resulting in administration in 2012." A review stated that it did so against a backdrop of a “precarious” financial position in which the club “mismanaged almost all of its cash reserves following administration” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/25).
ManU "closed the final chapter" with Manager David Moyes by "reaching a settlement agreement" worth £7M ($11.8M), according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The club and the League Managers’ Association "each put out statements saying the terms of the settlement had been agreed, without revealing the details." ManU said, “A settlement agreement is in the process of being finalized.” Moyes was sacked on Tuesday just 10 months into a 10-year contract. Moyes’ contract "is understood to have had a clause that curbed the size of his settlement if the club failed to qualify for the Champions League" (FT, 4/25). REUTERS' Mark Gleeson noted Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported on Saturday that Louis van Gaal and ManU "have agreed to the Dutch coach taking over as the club's manager next season once he has completed the World Cup in Brazil with the Netherlands." The Dutch daily said first talks between the parties "began a fortnight ago," before the sacking of Moyes, and that an agreement "was reached on Friday night" after talks with one of the Glazer brothers, Vice-Chair Ed Woodward, and a club lawyer at Van Gaal's holiday home in Portugal. Dutch broadcaster NOS quoted national team media officer Kees Jansma as saying on its website (nos.nl), "He told me that nothing definite has happened but there has been discussions. He expects to be able to say something not later than next week" (REUTERS, 4/26). SKY SPORTS reported ManU "denied a deal had been signed but, notably, did not dismiss the story or the claim an agreement had been reached." In a statement, the club said, "We have not signed a new manager." Van Gaal "had been the clear front-runner" to permanently replace Moyes. Sky News' Sports Correspondent Paul Kelso said, "The club have denied a deal is done, but not that they have spoken to (van Gaal)" (SKY, 4/26). In London, Blitz reported Woodward "cuts an unlikely footballing figure." Woodward "carries the burden of the club's now pressing expectations on his shoulders." Woodward's job is to find a new manager "who will arrest the club's recent decline and set it back on its familiar path of continued success." He is "realising the Glazers' long-held ambition of monetising United's vaunted status," but footballing knowhow is what Woodward "needs now" (FT, 4/25). In London, John Drayton reported Moyes "had to get away from it all." Moyes was pictured in Florida as he "tried to put a dismal week behind him in the sun." Moyes "was pictured landing in Miami and heading out for a meal" (DAILY MAIL, 4/27).