Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian Dir Sergejus Fedotovas insisted that the club’s League Cup Final place "will deliver the cash they need to see out the season," according to Alan Marshall of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The crisis-hit Jambos -- £24M ($38M) in debt -- are in line for a £500,000 ($793,000) boost after beating Inverness to set up a March 17 clash with St. Mirren at Hampden. Hearts' 139-year existence "had come under threat" over a recent £450,000 ($713,000) winding-up order brought by U.K. tax authority HMRC. Fans "dug deep," but their share issue fundraising fell around £800,000 ($1.3M) short of the £1.79M ($2.8M) target "needed to secure survival until summer." Fedotovas admited that "reaching Hampden is the cash injection" the club needs "to cover the funding shortfall" (DAILY RECORD, 1/31).
An Australian shopping center operator and a Qatari sovereign wealth fund "are among those expected to submit bids" worth about $5B-8B for Anschutz Entertainment Group "as early as next week," according to Sender, Edgecliffe-Johnson & Gelles of the FINANCIAL TIMES. AEG's billionaire Owner Philip Anschutz put the real estate and entertainment group up for sale in September "and is said to be asking" for about $10B. AEG's assets include the Staples Center in L.A., the O2 arenas in London and Berlin and stakes in U.S. sports groups, including the NBA L.A. Lakers. People involved in the auction said that Westfield, the Australian shopping center operator, Qatari Sports Investment "and other sovereign wealth funds were vying with or could partner with other bidders involved in the process." These include California private equity investor Guggenheim Partners and L.A. real estate investment group Colony Capital. Two people "familiar with the auction" said that Qatari Sports Investment, a fund linked to the Qatari royal family, "was expected to join forces with Colony" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/31).
League One side Swindon Town FC will "avoid administration after agreeing a takeover by a local consortium," according to the BBC. The group, which will write off most of the club's £13M ($20M) debt, is led by Southern League side Banbury Owner Jed McCrory, who assumed control of Banbury six months ago. No other names involved in the consortium "have yet been revealed." Of the £13M debt, it was thought around £9M ($14M) "was owed to investors." The club had "considered entering administration in a bid to wipe out the unsecured debt." Swindon has "already appointed advisors" to restructure its finances, and a letter has been sent to every club in the Football League stating that all Swindon players "were for sale with star winger Matt Ritchie joining Bournemouth." The takeover is "subject to Football League approval" (BBC, 1/30).