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SBD Global/May 30, 2014/FranchisesPrint All
One of "the most protracted ownership handovers in Australian sport has finally been concluded" with A-League club Western Sydney "officially going into private ownership on June 30," according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The new ownership consortium is headed by Primo Smallgoods CEO Paul Lederer, Sabre Sports United Dir Jefferson Cheng, Pirtek Founder Glenn Duncan and businessman David Slade. Lederer "is expected to become the club's chairman." They "will take over" from Football Federation Australia, which has owned and run the club since its inception in '12. The sale of the A-League’s newest club "has been ongoing for almost a year," with sale figures mooted between A$10M ($9M) and $15M. It is estimated the final fee is around A$12M (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/29). REUTERS' Ian Ransom reported the FFA is "cutting the apron strings from a club it has poured millions of dollars into." The FFA "hastily set up" Sydney's second A-League club in '12 with the help of state funding, and the Wanderers "have proved a smashing success, reaching the competition's final in a fairytale debut season and building a fervent supporter base in the city's working class west" (REUTERS, 5/29). In Sydney, Carly Adno reported not only is the sale "positive news for the Wanderers," but their rival A-League clubs "are also expected to benefit by sharing in the windfall from the Western Sydney club’s success." The surplus from the sale "will be split between the other nine clubs, who are all eager for a cut in the revenue." FFA CEO David Gallop said that the sale of the Wanderers "is an important step in the continued growth of the club." Gallop: “The Wanderers were built for the people, by the people of Western Sydney. That was the promise from day one and FFA has held true to that mission" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/29)
Mexican second division side Estudiantes Tecos will be moved by its owner, Mexican conglomerate Grupo Pachuca, from Guadalajara to the Mexican state of Zacatecas, according to Eduardo Espinosa Bautista of LA AFICION. Due to "low attendance at the club's stadium, among other factors, it will be moved to Zacatecas." The "club's nickname starting in the Apertura 2014 season will be the Mineros." The club's "top execs will remain the same." Zacatecas Governor Miguel Alonso "assured that his region will support the team to help it reach Liga MX." Grupo Pachuca President Jesús Martínez "explained the move" by pointing out the competition in Guadalajara with its three Liga MX sides: Chivas, Atlas and Universidad de Guadalajara. Martínez: "We had a lot of competition in Guadalajara and so we decided to move the franchise; we are moving there and the team will be there to stay" (LA AFICION, 5/28).
F1 team Red Bull "is putting pressure on engine supplier Renault after the team's disappointing start to the season," according to the SID. It has also been reported that Red Bull "is flirting with VW should Renault's developments fail to materialize." Red Bull Motorsports Dir Helmut Marko said, "VW is already using engines with similar technology to F1 in other racing series." In comparison to Mercedes, Renault "has delivered a distinctively less powerful engine this season." Reports suggest that Renault "is working on a trial basis until the Austrian F1 Grand Prix on June 22." Marko: "There we have to decide who will be our future engine supplier" (SID, 5/28).
Atlético Madrid's La Liga championship "has had a strong impact on the number of club members." The team finished this season with 66,648 members, 43,873 of which are season-ticket holders. The current membership figure is the "highest in the club's history." In "just the last 14 months, the club has surpassed the 60,000-member mark, and it is now looking to reach 70,000." In the last week, Atlético has received 1,500 requests for season tickets for next season (MARCA, 5/29). ... La Liga side Espanyol President Joan Collet on Thursday "denied reports of an Asian investor's interest in purchasing a share of the club." He also "denied meeting with any such party and demanded a correction from La Vanguardia, the Catalan outlet that published the report." Collet: "Neither the Administrative Council nor the club executives have met with an Asian investor" (EP, 5/29).