SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Franchises

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  • Mercedes F1 Exec Dir Paddy Lowe Leaving Team To Join Williams

    Paddy Lowe has left his role as Mercedes exec director "to join Williams," according to SKY SPORTS. It is understood Lowe has been "allowed to leave without serving a notice period so he can join the Grove team, with Valtteri Bottas poised to move in the opposite direction to partner Lewis Hamilton." Mercedes declined to comment. Sky Sports' Craig Slater said, "Lowe's departure is a sign that Mercedes and Williams are ready to conclude several bits of business over the next couple of days. Lowe has left Williams without serving any of what would be multiple months of gardening leave and that's significant -- there must have been some kind of inducement from Mercedes to let him go early." Bottas has been in talks with Mercedes about replacing retired driver Nico Rosberg for the upcoming season, "with Felipe Massa set to come out of retirement to return to Williams." Mercedes, meanwhile, "could replace Lowe" with former Ferrari Technical Dir James Allison. The "highly-rated" Englishman left the Scuderia last July, with his gardening leave period thought to last for 12 months (SKY SPORTS, 1/10).

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  • French Anti-Doping Agency To Examine Three Racing 92 Players' Cases

    The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) will reportedly “examine the cases” of Top14 rugby side Racing 92 players Dan Carter, Juan Imhoff and Joe Rokocoko, according to Clément Guillou of LE MONDE. Their cases were released by the French Rugby Federation (FFR). The AFLD will reportedly convene the players, who were found to have “traces of corticosteroids in them after the Top14 final in June ’16.” Carter, Imhoff and Rokocoko were “cleared by the FFR anti-doping commission in October.” The AFLD “did not endorse the decision and chose to convene the three parties before rendering its own decision.” This procedure is “not rare,” and does not immediately mean a “reversal of the FFR’s decision.” The date of the summons is unknown. Racing 92 “refused to comment” (LE MONDE, 1/9).

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  • West Ham Not Allowed To Wear Special FA Cup Kit After Administrative Error

    EPL side West Ham United was "forced to bin plans to wear a specially-designed kit in the FA Cup after an embarrassing administrative mix-up," according to Oliver Todd of the London DAILY MAIL. The club unveiled a commemorative "Thames Ironworks" navy-blue outfit in August and told fans it would be "worn during our FA Cup campaign." But there was "no sign of it" as the club "crashed out in the third round" against Man City. Club chiefs "believed they had the sign-off from the FA to wear the special shirts at the start of the season -- only to later be told it contravened the governing body's regulations." A source close to the FA said that the problem "stemmed from a commercial issue with the shirt." The "foul-up has caused frustration among supporters," who paid up to £55 ($67) for the shirt alone (DAILY MAIL, 1/9).

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  • Franchise Notes: Africa Cup Of Nations Claims Three From EPL Side Leicester City

    The Africa Cup of Nations "is the biggest inconvenience" for EPL side Leicester City, among clubs in England's top flight. While ManU footballer Eric Bailly has been "called up" by the Ivory Coast and Liverpool has lost Senegalese int'l Sadio Mane, Leicester has "had to cede" Riyad Mahrez, Islam Slimani and Daniel Amartey. Fifteenth in the table, Leicester is "fighting to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/10).

    League One side Oldham Athletic Manager Stephen Robinson said that the club "should be able to exit" its transfer embargo "within a week." The club has been under the embargo since November because of a £300,000 bill with U.K. tax authority HMRC and "fees owed to other clubs." Robinson: "As far as I'm led to believe it should be cleared at the latest next week" (BBC, 1/10).

    League Two side Morecambe Chair Peter McGuigan said the club is "staggered" by the actions of Brazilian businessman Diego Lemos since he took over. Since then, "there have been financial issues including wages being paid late" and the club is also "operating under a transfer embargo." Co-Chair Ali Abdulrahman Al Hashemi and Dir Nigel Adams "have left because of the current situation" (BBC, 1/10).

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