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SBJ/November 10 - 16, 2003/International
Title sponsors of 2 horse races bolt
Published November 10, 2003
Two of Britain's big horse races are losing their title sponsors. Martell Cognac is ending sponsorship of the Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool after the 2004 running. The company has decided to move on after sponsoring Britain's biggest race for 13 years. Martell is putting up slightly more than $1 million in prize money annually for the event and spending the same again on related marketing. Also, interactive television betting company Attheraces said it will drop sponsorship of the Gold Cup at Sandown is suburban London. Attheraces spent more than $800,000 on a two-year deal with the course, which is looking for a replacement for next April's event, known as the Whitbread Gold Cup before Attheraces bought the name.
ROMAN DOLDRUMS: The two Rome teams are financially in the worst shape among Italy's top soccer clubs, according to figures published in Gazzetta dello Sport. Roma, with a loss of $120 million in 2003, and Lazio, showing a loss of $140 million, were by far the weakest performers of the six most notable teams. Roma suffered the worst turnaround, thanks to a huge drop in net player sales, going from a net profit of $1.14 million in 2002 to its loss this year.
EXPENSIVE DELAY: A German court has rejected French soccer player Youri Djorkaeff's claim for back pay from a German club because he waited too long to file. The German court said the former French national team player should not receive the $473,000 he was seeking from Kaiserslautern because he failed to file his claim within three months of leaving his employer, as required by law. Djorkaeff, who now plays for Bolton in England's Premier League, was with Kaiserslautern from 1999 to mid-season 2002. His claim was submitted 10 months later. Under German law, Djorkaeff will now foot the bill for all legal fees after losing the case.
SWITCHING BIKES: The World Superbike series is losing another champion to the MotoGP. Neil Hodgson, who dominated the Superbike season aboard a Ducati cycle, is joining a Ducati team in MotoGP. Superbikes are international motorcycling's equivalent of stock cars, while MotoGP is the equivalent of Formula One. Hodgson raced in the MotoGP series (when it was called the Road Racing Grand Prix) until 1995. He follows former Superbike champions Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss, who have moved to MotoGP. Both the Superbike and MotoGP series are sanctioned by the International Motorcycling Federation. Octagon bought the Superbike series in 1998 but sold it back to Italian company Flammini Group, the original owner, in May. MotoGP is controlled by Spanish group Dorna.
— Jay Stuart