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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

Andre Villas-Boas arrived in London on Monday "to sign a three-year deal" to take over as manager of EPL Tottenham Hotspur, according to Jason Burt of the London TELEGRAPH. An announcement by the club is expected on Tuesday. Just four months after being fired by Chelsea, Villas-Boas "has agreed a deal to succeed Harry Redknapp" who was let go by Tottenham last month. Burt wrote the hiring "caps a remarkable turnaround" for the Portuguese manager, who "is highly regarded by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy." Levy "immediately shelved plans to speak to another manager, such as the now former France coach Laurent Blanc," and Villas-Boas "will be tasked with eventually creating a younger team" and to qualify for the Champions League. The club are also hoping to announce two key signings. An "£8M ($12.6M) deal has been agreed with Hoffenheim" for midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, and "the transfer of defender Jan Vertonghen for £9.5M ($14.9M) should also go through" once he settles with his former club (TELEGRAPH, 7/2).

British sportswear brand Umbro, supplier of the English, Swedish and Irish national teams, sold the most jerseys during Euro 2012, according to Stefan Merx of HANDELSBLATT. The small brand from Manchester, England sold an estimated 4.1 million jerseys during the tournament, partly due to "football-crazy" England fans. That is "more than half of all jerseys sold" during Euro 2012. Adidas, Nike and Puma sold fewer jerseys combined, despite outfitting 13 of the 16 teams. PR Marketing boss Peter Rohlmann said, "Umbro lives off its' sales of the English national team jersey." Nike, which bought Umbro in '08, announced it will sell the British brand by June '13. Rohlmann said, Nike recouping its purchase price of $582M for the company "will be unattainable" (HANDELSBLATT, 7/1).

Euro 2012 in Poland and the Ukraine broke a 16-year-old attendance record, according to A total of 1.4 million people attended the 31 matches. That is 200,000 more than the previous best of 1.2 million during Euro 1996 in England. The average attendance was 45,519, which is the second-highest number of all time. Only Euro 1988 in Germany had a higher average attendance of 62,370. However, the tournament consisted of only 15 matches at that time (, 7/1).

France Euro 2012 elimination and the reaction to the insults directed at a journalist from player Samir Nasri "have driven down the popularity" of the team, according to Stephane Joby of LE JOURNAL DU DIMANCHE. Before the Euro Championships, 56% of the French sympathized with the team. Three weeks later, the Ifop survey completed for the JDD revealed "there are only 20%" who still sympathize with "Les Bleus." The national team "is once again the little bad duck of French sports." The players are viewed as "bad, immature, individualists, overpaid and arrogant." Sports marketing agency Sportlab co-founder Gilles Dumas gave his reasoning for the 36% fall in three weeks time. Dumas: "In a period of crisis, we want the people that represent us to be examples and come together, especially when they make a lot of money." The survey was conducted on June 28-29, and 986 people 18-and-over were interviewed (JDD, 6/30).

NEW COACH: With Laurent Blanc stepping down as head coach of the national team, LE MONDE speculated that Didier Deschamps, who just stepped down as coach of French side Olympique Marseille, could be the man for the job. His past experience as a player for both clubs and the French national team along with his "coaching experience in Monaco, Juventus and Marseille" make him a candidate. The support of his "very influential past teammates like Zidane, Barthez and Lizarazu are in his favor." As are his methods: "his charisma, his record and his grip may be able to overcome a young loud mouth and individualistic generation" (LE MONDE, 7/2).

Newly-relegated German 2. Bundesliga club Hertha BSC Berlin laid off several employees due to budget cuts, according to the DPA. A total of 14 employees in the club's administration department received their notice of termination on July 1. Hertha spokesperson Peter Bohmbach said, "The positions are being cut due to restructuring measures." He added, "Those measures are necessary to prepare the club for the future." Hertha reduced its budget from €62M ($78M) to €31.8M ($40M) after its relegation to the 2. Bundesliga. Staff expenditures were also reduced from €27M ($34M) to €13M ($16M) (DPA, 7/2).

FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke is pleased with "the evolution of the World Cup stadiums," according to Diego Alcántara of Speaking after his visit of host cities Brasilia, Recife and Natal, Valcke said, "The majority of the projects are in time for the World Cup. They are on time because everybody is working more and harder" (, 6/28). The AP reported that Valcke "praised the stadium being built in Brasilia." Valcke: "It will be a worthy arena to represent the nation's capital." Regarding a World Cup law approved by the Brazilian Congress and sanctioned by President Dilma Rousseff, Valcke said that FIFA negotiating some of its needs with local governments was not exactly what soccer's governing body wanted. However, Valcke said it "was not the end of the world" (AP, 6/28).

BIDDING TIME: reported that the Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia is looking to hire a company to "supply and install the two sets of electronic boards" for the arena. The equipment "will be used to display multimedia information during events hosted by the venue" including the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2014 World Cup. The value of the contract "has been estimated at R$6M ($3M)." The public bidding process "has been scheduled" for Thursday (, 7/2).

SOUL Electronics has signed Spanish footballer Cesc Fabregas as its new brand ambassador. The FC Barcelona player will be featured in the company's upcoming "SOUL of Greatness" video series. Fabregas will also represent the SOUL brand during various sporting events throughout the year (SOUL Electronics).

CHARITABLE GOAL: UEFA will donate €228,000 ($289,000) to the official Euro 2012 charity, Centre for Access to Football in Europe, following a goals for charity campaign. UEFA pledged to donate €3,000 ($3,800) for each goal scored at Euro 2012. A total of 76 goals were scored in the tournament. Centre for Access to Football in Europe will use the money to help fund their work to improve access and facilities for disabled fans at football matches (UEFA).