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Volume 6 No. 215

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The owners of the 18 Mexican first-division football clubs voted Monday to bar one person or one company from owning more than one team, according to the AP. The vote "was an apparent move to stop tycoon Carlos Slim from expanding his growing influence" in Mexican football. Mexico broadcasters Televisa and TV Azteca "have in the past owned multiple first-division teams" but the issue was not brought up until after Slim ventured into Mexican football in September. Mexican Soccer League President Decio de Maria would not comment on the decision except to say the consensus was to ban multi-ownership. De Maria: "I think it's always time to analyze where you stand, and where you are going especially. Being able to make decisions unanimously is critical for the league." Slim "last year bought 30 percent of the shares in the Leon and Pachuca teams through his telecommunications company America Movil. In December, he bought all the shares of the second division team Estudiantes Tecos." The rule implemented Monday will not require Slim to sell one of his first division teams, but the vote stops him from buying any more (AP, 5/21).

DE MARIA HIGHLIGHTS RESULTS: FRONTERA reported de Maria highlighted the most important results from Monday's meetings, focusing on 10 key points. Among other things, De Maria pointed out his vision for his league, "with each owner having only one team," "the goal to reach his vision in five years" and the idea that "owners with more than one team will only get one assembly vote." De Maria also explained that "if an owner has a Mexican League team and a lower-level team that gets promoted to the Mexican League, the owner of the recently promoted team will have three years to sell that club" (FRONTERA, 5/20).

Cricket Australia announced a restructuring of the contracting system for women's int'l and state cricket which will result in the Southern Stars being among the best paid female athletes in the country. The CA Board has approved a restructure of the contract system with a move from a three-tier payment retainer system to a squad ranking system. The top player retainer increases substantially from A$15,000 ($14,700) to A$52,000 and the minimum retainer increases from A$5,000 to A$25,000. The player tour payments also increase from A$100 to A$250 per day. With 85 tour days within the next year, players have the potential to earn more than A$20,000 in tour payment earnings on top of their contact retainer payments (CA). In Sydney, Lalor & Kogoy reported despite the pay raise, they "still lag behind their less successful male counterparts." Still, "no one was complaining." Captain Jody Fields said, "Today's announcement is great news for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Star players and also for state players. It is recognition for the hours of effort they put into their game." Lundy said the pay raise was "the biggest single step forward in the professionalisation of women's sport in Australia" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/22).

MARKETABLE STAR: Also in Sydney, Chloe Saltau reported cricket "will still have to share superstar Ellyse Perry, but stands a much greater chance of keeping her." Perry, who has won multiple World Cups and is "one of the most marketable female athletes in the land," stands to earn at least A$80,000 from cricket next year, before personal endorsements. Cricket Australia is "set to top up her playing contract and tour payments with fees for extra promotional work from a separate marketing pool." Perry said that she "believes the ability to make a proper living from cricket will make the summer game more appealing to young women in her position." Perry: ''Looking at women's sport as a viable career option it's a really positive step forward'' (THE AGE, 5/22).

Boca Juniors VP Oscar Moscariello is not confident the Argentine FA will change its decision to make Boca and River Plate alternate playing games on Saturdays at 9:30pm, according to OLE. Moscariello: "I hope other clubs join the protest." Both Boca and River will make a protest before the Argentine FA to try to stop the proposed schedule change, but Moscariello "does not believe it will work." Moscariello said, "I do not have much expectation with respect to a possible schedule change. We have to think about the fans, who have to make too much sacrifice to go to the stadium under this schedule" (OLE, 5/21).

COMPETING WITH LANATA: In Buenos Aires, Daniel Lagares reported Buenos Aires Deputy Governor Gabriel Mariotto admitted the schedule change was made to distract viewers from Jorge Lanata's highly-rated Journalism For All program, which is critical of the government and airs at the same time, 9:30pm. Mariotto: "The decision to change the schedule of the games is for ratings and competition against a good program like Lanata's. It seems political, it seems athletic, but it is TV. Everyone always fought for the rating. It seems perfect to me that the channels compete" (CLARIN, 5/21).

Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou "has defended the league's links with betting agencies," according to the AAP. Demetriou said that the AFL's main priority "is to protect the game against corruption." He made the comments after former Melbourne club champion David Schwarz said that "the AFL was getting drunk on gambling revenue." Demetriou: "I understand why David would say that because he's had significant issues (with gambling problems). I've been at pains to say if the AFL wasn't involved with gambling agencies there'd still be betting." Advertising of live betting odds during sports broadcasts "is a raging issue in the AFL" and the National Rugby League. Free TV Australia, representing all of Australia's commercial free-to-air TV licensees, "wants commentators and their guests to be banned from promoting live odds during a game, as well as for 30 minutes before and after the match" (AAP, 5/21). In Melbourne, Jon Pierik wrote Schwarz said that "he was particularly worried the effect that promoting live odds during broadcasts was having on children." Schwarz: "My biggest issue … is these corporate bookmakers are grooming kids into gambling. People will say, 'Well, how is that happening?' When my [eight-year-old] boy comes up to me and says, 'Richmond are favorites because they are $1.63,' we've got issues" (THE AGE, 5/22).

The England and Wales Cricket Board unveiled a new and ambitious strategic plan, which seeks to deliver successful England teams at all levels, to produce a vibrant domestic game as well as increasing and enthusing participation during the period '14-17. The latest strategic plan -- Champion Counties -- is designed to build on the outstanding success of the '05 plan -- Building Partnerships -- and the subsequent '09 initiative -- Grounds to Play. Among the targets are:

  • An increase in participation as measured by Sport England's Active People Survey from 183,400 to 197,500.
  • Increase attendances at county cricket matches by 200,000.
  • Complete sponsorship and broadcasting agreements through '19 (ECB).

Lions officials are attempting to end a “terrible” deal that will see Australia bank an estimated £50M ($76M) from this summer’s three-Test tour while the Four Home Unions will collect just £1.5M ($2.2M) each, according to Chris Jones of the London EVENING STANDARD. A new TV deal, starting with the '17 Lions tour to New Zealand, "will see them receive a share of the multi-million pound contract for rights sold by the host nation." At present, the SANZAR Unions -- South Africa, New Zealand and Australia -- keep that money, with the Lions "unable to claim a slice of the pie." However, growing disquiet from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales over the handling of the last contract "has seen a much tougher stance being taken at negotiations" (EVENING STANDARD, 5/21).

Even as the Indian Premier League' s spot-fixing scandal deepened, the Supreme Court "pointed the finger at the Board of Control for Cricket in India," observing that such incidents "had taken place due to its lackadaisical approach to reining in erring players" (PTI, 5/21). ... Officials from the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia arrived in Kratie on Sunday ahead of the launch of a five-day sports administration training course. The course is "aimed at improving fair play amongst Cambodian competitors" (PHNOM PENH POST, 5/21). ... FIFA officials are in Nicaragua this week "to offer a course" to members of the Nicaraguan Football Federation aimed at "boosting professional standards" in national football (XINHUA, 5/21). ... With just three bids coming in for the two new I-League berths which the All India Football Federation has put on offer, the national body "has decided to keep the bidding open for a few more days for others to apply" (THE HINDU, 5/20). ... The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association "officially confirmed Tuesday a ban on anchoring the club." Almost six months since proposing the rule change, golf's governing bodies confirmed that a new rule, 14-1b -- effective on Jan. 1, 2016 -- "would be adopted" (AAP, 5/22).