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Volume 10 No. 25


American multi-millionaire Preston Haskell IV has "made his move to buy" League One Coventry City Football Club and half the Ricoh Arena, according to Andy Turner of the COVENTRY TELEGRAPH. The bids were turned in on Haskell's behalf by suspended Sky Blues President Joe Elliott and former Vice Chair Gary Hoffman. The success of the move "hinges on administrator Paul Appleton’s ruling on the location of the elusive golden share, the club’s licence to operate." Haskell hopes the share being held by Coventry City FC Ltd, the business currently in administration, and "has made an offer to Appleton to purchase the club on that basis." The "takeover team" has also made an offer for Higgs Charity’s half of the Ricoh Arena, which "will only go through if they get the football club." Elliott: “We can confirm that we have now tabled an offer for Coventry City Football Club Limited (in administration) which assumes the Football League’s ‘golden share’ is in that company. Everyone knows that the stadium and the football club need to be brought closer together." The potential buyers are ready to enter the due diligence phase, where Haskell would have to "provide proof of funds and his credentials" and would get the opportunity "to look at the books of the Ricoh" (COVENTRY TELEGRAPH, 5/16).

Scottish Premier League Heart of Midlothian "responded calmly to renewed scrutiny" of its finances from other SPL clubs, along with suggestions that it "may have been in breach of league rules, by stressing the Tynecastle club is neither owned nor operated by Ukio Bankas, the bank that has collapsed in Lithuania" with debts of more than £300M ($459M), according to Alan Pattullo of the SCOTSMAN. Hearts "have been told that there has been no breach of rule A6.12 which applies to any 'group undertaking' of an owner and operator of a club suffering insolvency." Two clubs did make "informal" approaches to the SPL, asking the governing body "to investigate the true extent of Hearts' financial crisis." However, Hearts "played down the need for rival clubs to call for a probe by the SPL" (SCOTSMAN, 5/16).

Honda Thursday announced its decision to participate in the FIA F1 World Championship from the '15 season under a joint project with McLaren. Honda will be in charge of the development, manufacture and supply of the power unit, including the engine and energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge of the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team, McLaren Honda. From '14, new F1 regulations require the introduction of a 1.6 litre direct injection turbocharged V6 engine with energy recovery systems. The opportunity to further develop these powertrain technologies through the challenge of racing is central to Honda's decision to participate in F1 (Honda). BLOOMBERG's Mukai & Hagiwara wrote Honda, which forecasts the highest annual profit since '08 as a weaker yen boosts overseas earnings, said Wednesday that "the F1 racing series provides feedback for improving cars it manufactures in volume." The company had said in '08 it saved at least ¥20B ($195M) "by dropping out of F1." Information Handling Services Automotive industry analyst Yoshiaki Kawano said, "It's very costly to participate. Since Honda is coming back after being away from the racing series for a while, they may have to spend some extra on initial investments." Honda "will develop F1 engines in Tochigi, Japan" (BLOOMBERG, 5/16). The PA wrote the partnership "will bring to end McLaren's long-running engine deal with Mercedes" that began in '95, so far yielding 78 victories, one constructors' and three drivers' championships (PA, 5/16).

Scottish Third Division Rangers have confirmed that "they have received a request to hold an extraordinary general meeting designed to oust" Chair Malcolm Murray, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Rangers "had been issued with a letter from shareholders asking for a vote to remove" Murray and fellow Dir Philip Cartmell. The proposed resolution "would put James Easdale and Chris Morgan on the board if voted through." The club Thursday morning "issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange confirming that they were considering the request" (DAILY RECORD, 5/16).