FIFA announced that "the global recession cut spending in soccer's int'l player-transfer market" by 34% in the first half of the year, according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. FIFA said that the drop in transfer and loan payments for players was "due to tougher conditions in the global economy and financial control measures imposed on teams in Europe." The total number of cross-border player moves recorded on FIFA's Transfer Matching System fell 9% to 4,973, and 73% of those were "free agents changing teams." Costs of player sales and loans for the six months to June 30 declined to $576M. Brazil "had the busiest transfer market" with 700 players entering or leaving South America's most populous nation," according to FIFA's report. England placed second with 326 player movements. Clubs in Russia "had the biggest outlay," spending $64.4M while Brazil's teams "were the largest recipients," banking $64.9M in trades (BLOOMBERG, 7/23). The DPA reported that clubs spent a third less compared to the first six months of last year. In '11, clubs spent $870M over the same time (DPA, 7/23).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
The Premier League has "drawn up guidelines" for players about how to use social media, according to the BBC. The guidelines "offer advice" on the endorsement of brands, goods and services and also "warn players not to reveal confidential information about team matters." EPL CEO Richard Scudamore said, "Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players. Clearly it isn't the same as texting your best mate or talking to someone" (BBC, 7/24). Meanwhile, the PA reported that Arsenal FC player Emmanuel Frimpong "has been charged with improper conduct" by the Football Association relating to comments he made on Twitter. Frimpong, who recently suffered a knee injury, posted a message on his official Twitter account which read "if you going church today Pray For me Giving today A Miss." Frimpong retweeted a response from one Tottenham fan which read: "I prayed you break your arms and legs", to which Frimpong replied "Scum Yid." It "sparked a mass debate on the social network site among supporters from both Arsenal and Tottenham" (PA, 7/24).
Football Federation Australia has offered a "substantial pay rise to cash-strapped A-League clubs for next season, as long as projected revenue from the business end of the World Cup campaign does not collapse," according to Michael Cockerill of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. It is believed FFA has offered the league's 10 clubs a dividend of $1.9M each for the '12-13 season -- "a big increase of $450,000 from last season and within striking range of the $2.8M salary cap." Part of the increase is funded by a new government-backed sponsorship, but it is not dependent on the new TV deal, "which is in an advanced stage of negotiation and could be worth almost double the existing contract with Fox Sports" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/25).
GOING ONCE...: The Australian Football League St Kilda club has offered up its vacant co-major sponsorship property in a raffle, coinciding with Members’ Day for its Round 22 match against the Greater Western Sydney Giants. The club "hopes to sell 100 $3,000 tickets to local businesses and second-tier sponsors" (SPONSORSHIPNEWS.com.au, 7/23).
British horse racing "received a huge boost" when Qipco Holding extended their sponsorship through '17, according to Geoffrey Riddle of THE NATIONAL. The Qatari firm added another five years to their sponsorship of the British Champions Series, in addition to "the hope that prize-money to British Champions Day, held annually in October, can be increased" to £4M ($6.2M). Qipco Holding CEO Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Thani said, "We believe that Britain hosts the world's best horseracing. We respect and appreciate the heritage of the sport and we would like it to maintain its status as the most important and deep-rooted in the world." British Champions Day, held at Ascot Racecourse, is currently worth £3M ($4.7M), Britain's "most-valuable raceday" (THE NATIONAL,7/24). In London, Greg Wood noted that Champions Day "is the culmination of the Qipco British Champions Series," which includes 35 races at 10 courses arranged into five categories: Sprint, Mile, Middle-Distance, Long-Distance and Fillies & Mares. There will also be "further focus on the position of Champions Day in the calendar," sandwiched between the alternative attractions of Arc Day and the Breeders' Cup in the U.S. in early November, and at a time of the year when there is a "significant risk of soft or heavy ground" (GUARDIAN, 7/23).
PROFITABLE VISION: The KOREA JOONGANG DAILY reported that the Korea Racing Authority unveiled its "Vision 2022" for Korea's horse industry. The Korea Racing Authority "promises" to improve the profit from horse races to 1.3T won ($1.1B) (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 7/25).
Pakistan Cricket Board former Chair Ijaz Butt has "welcomed the planned revival of bilateral ties with India but insisted that Pakistan must ask the Board of Cricket Control in India to compensate it financially" for the cancelled series in '09, according to the PTI. Butt said, "It is a good thing that finally the Board of Control for Cricket in India has invited Pakistan to play a short series this year in India. But my concern is, the PCB needs to gain something more out of the series than the resumption of ties." The PCB has already accepted the invitation from the BCCI to tour India in December to play three-match One-Day Int'l series and two Twenty20 matches. A PCB spokesperson, however, said that Pakistan would not discuss "sharing of revenue generation for the series as its only interest was to see bilateral cricket ties revived" (PTI, 7/24).