SBD Global/August 8, 2014/Franchises

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  • Authorities Freeze Assets Of Brasileiro Side Botafogo After Debts Surpass $307M

    Brasileiro side Botafogo "is in crisis, unable to pay its players" after debts totaling more than 700M reais ($307M) led authorities "to freeze its accounts," according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. The Rio de Janeiro-based team "hasn’t paid some players in more than three months." Accounts showed the team had tax debt of 127M reais last season, and former players "are owed millions in pension contributions." Team spokesperson Bernardo Peirao said, "We have 100 percent of our resources blocked. We don’t have money to pay the players and the employees." Botafogo’s case "is an extreme example of the financial mismanagement that has blighted" football in Brazil for decades. The Sports Ministry said that the country’s professional teams owe more than 4B reais ($1.7B) in taxes. Amir Somoggi, who advises several of Brazil's top clubs on business strategy, said, "If Botafogo was a corporate firm it would be bust" (BLOOMBERG, 8/6).

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  • F1 Driver Fernando Alonso's Cycling Team Waits For License From Int'l Cycling Federation

    The manager of Ferrari F1 driver Fernando Alonso, Luis Garcia-Abad, cannot "sign any riders until they learn whether or not their licence application has been successful," according to Gregor Brown of CYCLING WEEKLY. But with riders signing contracts already, they "could be left with nothing." Alonso "has begun his race to start a cycling team with his application" for an Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) license. Ahead of the deadline last Friday, his manager "submitted its request to have a first division team for 2015." Garcia-Abad said, "We’ve got people working on forming the team and they are following the deadlines imposed by the UCI. Without the license, we can’t do anything." The UCI will announce its 18 WorldTour licenses, some renewed and some new, in October. Until their license to race is secured, Alonso and his people "do not want to offer any contracts." Garcia-Abad: "The rules are what they are, and we have to accept them." Alonso reportedly has €100M ($133M) for five years from Dubai sponsors to roll into his FACT (Fernando Alonso Cycling Team) project (CYCLING WEEKLY, 8/4).

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  • Proposed Logo Change Of 2nd Bundesliga Side FSV Frankfurt Causes Stir Among Fans

    Proposed new logo vs. current logo
    Fans of 2nd Bundesliga club FSV Frankfurt "protested the club's proposed logo change with a sign at the club's away game in Heidenheim on Sunday," according to Ingrid Geuckler-Palmert of BILD. The sign read, "Neues Wappen -- ohne uns" ("New logo -- without us"). It was "the continuation of a dispute that has been smoldering for several weeks." The club management wants to get rid of the red color in the logo. The new logo "is, like the club colors, black and blue and has a silver-colored frame." A number of club fans "are against this change." The first reason for the proposed change is that "the current logo looks too similar to the logo of Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt." The second reason is that the club "wants to attract more people to its home games." For years the club "has desperately been trying to attract more spectators to its games." FSV Managing Dir Clemens Krüger said, "We've tried everything. But the FSV is second to last in the average attendance ranking with 6,287." The club "will decide on the logo at its member meeting in November" (BILD, 8/7).

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