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Volume 10 No. 22


Sports stars across Britain and Ireland "have never had it so good," according to Philip Beresford of the SUNDAY TIMES. The fourth Sunday Times Sport Rich List shows that "the top 100 present and former sportsmen" -- and it is all men -- have wealth totaling £3.2B ($5B), up 6.7% on last year and 31% higher than in the first list in '10. It "has been a vintage year for British sport with the hugely successful London Olympics, a British triumph at a Grand Slam tennis event and a wonderhorse enthralling the world of racing." But the "list is headed by someone who is now fast becoming a vintage player himself in the shape of David Beckham." Football dominates the list. This year, the list includes 49 footballers, managers and past players against 48 last year. But this is well down on the 57 it had in the first list. The "earnings are huge." Man City midfielder Yaya Toure is on £11.4M ($17.7M) a year, and that is "without sponsorship income." For all the success of the Olympics, the list has only one Gold Medalist in the ranks in the shape of tennis player Andy Murray (£32M / $49.6M), who won the singles title, as well as the U.S. Open. Jessica Ennis, the face of the Olympics, "just failed to make the cut for our Young Rich List." There are "12 current or former racing drivers in our top 100 and one in the young list." Just as "foreign stars flock to British football, so American basketball and the huge money to be made in boxing there attracts British stars." Three Britons "play for top U.S. basketball teams," including the Chicago Bulls' Luol Deng (SUNDAY TIMES, 4/28).

Britain's 100 Richest Sportsmen
Rank 2013 (2012)
Name Worth
Source Of Wealth
1. (1.) David Beckham
+ £5M
2. (3.)
Dave Wheland and family
+ £20M
Football, Sports equipment
3. (2.)
Paul Caddick and family
+/- £0
Construction, Rugby
4. (4.)
Tony O'Reilly
+ £22M
Rugby union, Food, Media
5. (5.)
Johnny Dumfries
+/- £0  Land, Motor racing, Art
6. (6.)
Lennox Lewis
+/- £0  Boxing
7. (7.)
Eddie Irvine
+ £3M
Motor racing, Property
8. (9.)
Lewis Hamilton
+ £5M
Motor racing
9. (10.)
Jenson Button
+ £5M
Motor racing
10. (8.)
Jody Scheckter
- £3M
Motor racing, Defense training
Source: Sunday Times

RELEGATION HURTS: In London, Barry Flatman wrote "relegation from the Premier League hurts more than just pride." This year "is guaranteed to cause the greatest financial shortfall in the history of English football with a caculated loss to the Championship-destined clubs" of £50M ($77.4M). The new £5B ($7.7B) deal to televise the EPL nationally and globally next season "has upped the financial stakes out of all proportion and will make life among English football’s elite next season the most lucrative place to be." Even those unfortunate teams relegated at the end of '13-14 will pick up £60M ($92.9M), which is approximately what Man City "earned for winning last year’s title." Deloitte Sports Business Group senior consultant Adam Bull said, "The impact of relegation from the Premier League will be harder than it’s ever been this season. Even with the parachute payments of £48M ($74.3M) spread over four years, the large reduction in broadcast income from missing out on the first year of the new Premier League deal will be a tough blow to take" (SUNDAY TIMES, 4/28).

 F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that "the board of the sport’s parent company Delta Topco has voted to proceed with the Initial Public Offering," according to Christian Sylt of the London TELEGRAPH. Sylt also reported Ecclestone revealed a shake-up of F1’s $698.5M prize fund, "which will see the last-placed team lose the $10M it currently receives every year." Of the IPO, Ecclestone said, “we have agreed to do it. It will happen this year and it will be up and running. CVC is getting on with it and putting all the bits and pieces together that they have to.” On April 26, CVC formed a Jersey-based company CVC Delta Topco Nominee, "which is understood to be part of a reorganisation of the F1 company structure" to prepare for the flotation. F1’s prize fund is split between the top 10 teams. For the past three years any that finish outside this group received $10M each as part of an agreement Ecclestone made with former FIA President Max Mosley, who introduced three new teams in '10. The payment clause was part of the Concorde Agreement that expired at the end of last year. Ecclestone subsequently signed separate commercial agreements with each team, the exception being the 11th-place team Marussia. Ecclestone: “They don’t have a commercial agreement because they are not in the top 10. We pay the top 10, that’s what we do. For three years we did something different because we had an agreement with Max, but from now on we will pay the top 10 and that is it” (TELEGRAPH, 4/28).

Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (Bafin) "is looking into the trade of Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund midfielder Mario Götze to league rival Bayern Munich," according to Andrea Rexer of the SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG. The reason for Bafin's involvement is that Dortmund, as a publicly traded club, "might have violated its information obligation toward its shareholders." If that is the case, the club will have to pay a fine of up to €1M ($1.3M). A Bafin spokesperson said, "We haven't started an investigation, we routinely, unbiased to the results, take a look at the facts and circumstances." The question is whether Dortmund "has informed its shareholder too late" about Götze's trade to Bayern for €37M ($48.2M). A press release regarding the trade was published by the club on Tuesday morning. However, shareholders had to wait until Thursday to receive an official statement (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 4/26).

The debate over the subject of third-party ownership in football "has taken a fresh twist with a group of Brazilian clubs claiming that a move to outlaw such practices would negatively impact their financial status," according to SOCCEREX. The 21 clubs, which include reigning Brasileiro champion Fluminense, along with Flamengo, Internacional and Santos, "have sent an open letter to FIFA expressing their concerns." The clubs' move comes after UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino last month stated that the controversial practice of third-party ownership has "no place" in football. Infantino said that European football's governing body is against third-party ownership due to four key factors, "including its potential impact on financial fair play regulations." The clubs said in the letter, "The ban -- as proposed by UEFA -- could impact the finances of the Brazilian and South American clubs negatively, as well as the flow of the international transfers of players between South America and Europe" (SOCCEREX, 4/26).

The Doyen Group, a London-based hedge fund, is launching a new sports investment group led by former XIX Entertainment executive Simon Oliveira and CAA agent Matthew Kay. The group, which will be called Doyen Global, will invest and buy businesses working in areas ranging from talent management and technology start-ups to media rights and property sales. New funds like Doyen typically start with more than £100M to invest. Oliveira declined to comment on the size of the fund. He said that they will primarily look at opportunities in Asia, North America and South America, but noted that they will be based in London and have a presence in Europe. Oliveira said, “We’ll put the right investments in things we’re not only passionate about but things we feel are good value and we can build through our own expertise and make stronger. It doesn’t mean we have to always come in with cash flow. We may bring something they don’t have in terms of our skill set.” Prior to joining Doyen, Oliveira worked as the senior VP of XIX Entertainment and concentrated on communications and branding work for David Beckham, Andy Murray and Lewis Hamilton. Oliveira will continue to consult XIX Entertainment and work with Beckham. Kay helped manage the commercial business of Cristiano Ronaldo and José Mourinho. The Doyen Group has offices in Istanbul and London and investments in areas such as mining, oil and gas, energy, real estate and sports and entertainment. Its Doyen Sports Investments division makes football-related investments in talent and provides independent financing to teams.

Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf "has repaid a loan" of €7.5M ($9.8M) that it received in '99 from businessman Michael Kölmel, according to DER WESTEN. The club reportedly "used the profits from the current season to repay the loan." The club has started repaying the loan, which increased due to interest to an amount of more than €11M ($14.3M), in Aug. '08. Fortuna negotiation leader Dr. Reinhold Ernst "was able to negotiate down the loan" to €7.5M. As part of the deal, Fortuna used 30% of its TV money to repay the loan. Fifteen percent of the club's TV money was used to repay the loan and another 15% was used as commission for Kölmel. The commission for Kölmel, which was described by Exec Chair Dirk Kall as "indefinite" at the club's annual meeting in April '10, "reportedly has an option to make it final." To get out of the commission payments, the club "would have to pay more than" €10M ($13M) to Kölmel (DER WESTEN, 4/25).

China News Service reported Chinese sportswear company Li Ning "held a 48-hour online sale on April 22, offering discounts of up to 80%," according to the WANT CHINA TIMES. The report said most items on sale were priced between 39-79 yuan ($6-13), "and everything was sold before the sale period ended." Online store JD market analyst Yan Yaolong said that "while Li Ning may have thought it was a good idea to offload its inventory, the plan could backfire in the long term, as consumers may now wait for future sales rather than pay full price for its products" -- or be reluctant to wear the brand if it becomes perceived as cheap. The sales could also hurt the relationship between Li Ning and its retailers, "who complained that the low prices offered online would prevent customers from coming to their stores" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 4/27).

Sporting goods retailer Intersport is set to enter its 43rd market, Morocco. With plans to open at least 12 stores, Intersport has granted a sub-license for the Moroccan market to Intersport Spain. The Spanish group has founded a joint venture with a local partner, Iska Management (ISPO, 4/26). ... Consolidated sales by Japanese cycling and fishing equipment manufacturer Shimano increased by just 1.3% to ¥63,278M ($647.6M) in the first quarter of '13. The operating income fell by 9.4% to ¥9,755M($99.8M), while the net income went up by 9.3% to ¥7,652M ($78.3M). Shimano "felt the impact of lower consumer spending in the U.S. and the continuing crisis in Europe" (ISPO, 4/26).