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Volume 6 No. 212


Arsenal Holdings Plc doubled its profits during the '12 fiscal year after the EPL club sold captain Cesc Fabregas and winger Samir Nasri, according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. The team revealed that net income rose to £29.6M ($48M), or £475 ($770.3) a share, in the year ended May 31, from £12.6M, or £203 the previous fiscal year. Revenue dropped to £243M ($394M) as the team "finished the conversion of its former Highbury stadium into apartments." Arsenal generated £153.6M ($249.1M) in cash through the sale of players, including Fabregas to FC Barcelona and Nasri to Manchester City. The 13-time English champion is preparing for new European financial rules that will "require teams to keep spending in line with sales." CEO Ivan Gazidis said, "Clubs, fans and other stakeholders in the game are demanding a more rational financial approach and this reinforces our conviction that our club is strongly placed to succeed over the long term." The cash was boosted by renewals from season ticket holders, "who had until the end of May to pay for their seats." The club "can expect higher revenue" from sponsorship starting in '15 when its current contracts with jersey manufacturer Nike and top sponsor Emirates are up for renewal (BLOOMBERG, 9/27).

Nike reported "a fall in new orders in China, and said it would revamp its strategy in the country as investor concern over its performance sent its shares down," according to Barney Jopson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. The company said on Thursday that new orders from its greater China region, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, were 5% below last year's level, "confirming a slowdown in a crucial market." Nike Brand President Charlie Denson said retailers in China are all "grappling with a combination of slowing economic growth, excess inventory, and more discerning consumers." Denson: "This is a natural evolution that we’ve seen in many markets, so it’s not a surprise. What is a surprise, like everything in China, is how fast it got here." Nike shares initially fell more than 4% after market trading, but later recovered slightly to be down 3.2% at $92.90 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/27).

A German university study "revealed that success in the football Bundesliga has only a marginal correlation with the budget of an individual club," according to the SID. This is the finding of a study at the Macromedia University for Media and Communication in Stuttgart, Germany, which "evaluated the dependency of a club's on-field success to its off-field finances." Therefore, rich clubs in the Handball Bundesliga have "a bigger chance of on-field success than their counterparts in the German Hockey League (DEL), in which clubs' financial resources do not indicate on-field success." University Professor Andre Bühler said, "Football is a game, in which non-financial factors such as luck, misfortune, referee decisions or player's  has a bigger influence on the outcome than in handball. In handball, the differences between a good and not so good -- or expensive and cheap -- team is therefore substantially more obvious." The study took a look at clubs in Germany's top football, handball, basketball and hockey leagues, and analyzed their budgets and individual success over the past five years (SID, 9/27).

Retailer Sports Direct is set to buy up to 60 JJB Sports retail stores, "safeguarding at least 1,000 jobs at the struggling chain," according to Felsted & Thompson of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Newcastle United Owner Mike Ashley, who founded Sports Direct, will buy the stores for £30M ($49M). The 60 stores amount to "one-third of JJB’s estate." It will take control of 20 stores immediately, with the acquisition of the remaining 40 "subject to approval from the U.K. competition authority." Sports Direct is already the U.K.’s largest sportswear and equipment retailer. The sale is "likely to take the form of a pre-pack administration -- the pre-negotiated sale of an insolvent business." Sports Direct "has been the frontrunner to acquire some of JJB’s estate," after it said on Monday that it could collapse into administration (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/27).