Man City has announced that former midfielder Claudio Reyna "has been appointed as director of football" of the new Major League Soccer franchise established by the EPL club and the MLB N.Y. Yankees, according to James Ducker of the LONDON TIMES. Reyna "was unveiled at the official launch" of New York City FC in East Harlem Wednesday, where N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg "offered his firm backing for the pioneering deal." A former captain of the U.S. national team who made 111 appearances for his country, Reyna "will be responsible for putting together a coaching and playing staff" ahead of New York City joining the MLS from the start of the '15-16 season. Reyna: "This is very exciting for me, having had the opportunity to play both for my country and Manchester City I could not imagine a more tailor-made opportunity" (LONDON TIMES, 5/22).
THE RIGHT FIT: Man City CEO Ferran Soriano said, "Finding the right person for this role and getting him in place from the start was a priority. The football culture of New York City FC will be built from this decision, and we believe Claudio is the man who uniquely understands what New York soccer should mean, and how it can benefit from the relationship with Manchester City FC" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 5/22). BLOOMBERG's Eben Novy-Williams noted Reyna, elected last year to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, "stepped down" from his position as U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director, which he held since '10 (BLOOMBERG, 5/22). In London, Ian Ladyman reported Soriano and Reyna were present Wednesday at the Lexington Academy in Harlem, where Man City "paid to build a football pitch on the roof -- 14 stories up -- three years ago." Man City has "subsequently invested more money to put a roof on the facility to protect its young footballers from the dust and the heat." Soriano said, "We are enthusiastic believers in the development of soccer in America" (DAILY MAIL, 5/22).
THE YANKEES COME: In London, Mark Ogden wrote MLB N.Y. Yankees President Randy Levine "admitted his interest in taking his baseball team to Manchester" for a game, in light of the recently announced New York City FC partnership between Man City and the MLB team. Levine: "The idea has come up through Major League Baseball about us maybe coming over to play. I don't think they have actually said it yet, but we'd love to come over to play at the Etihad Stadium." Former Man City MF Patrick Vieira threw out the first pitch for Tuesday's Blue Jays-Yankees game (TELEGRAPH, 5/22).
GreenEDGE Cycling Owner and Melbourne businessman Gerry Ryan said that "he will decide early next month whether to join the consortium that has taken control" of National Rugby League Melbourne Storm, according to Steve Mascord of THE AGE. Ryan told Fairfax Media that "he was yet to commit to the group." Ryan: ''I think we're all going to meet on the fourth or the third of June, when we're going to discuss the final rollout of the new structure. We'll have some dialogue then and I'll decide what I'm going to do." Ryan said he was impressed with new CEO Mark Evans and that the new owners would ''bring value to the club,'' but believed it would ''take a few years to turn the club around" (THE AGE, 5/23).
Rangers Supporters Assembly President Andy Kerr said that Scottish Third Division Rangers Financial Dir Brian Stockbridge "should resign over his alleged leak" of a video showing a drunken Club Chair Malcolm Murray, according to the SCOTSMAN. Video emerged over the weekend showing Murray "drunkenly shouting while on a night out in London." Murray believes that he has been set up by Stockbridge "in an attempt to remove him from his post." Kerr "has called for Stockbridge to stand down." Kerr: "It's unbecoming of the club. The lack of class is not something Rangers fans have been used to" (SCOTSMAN, 5/22). In Glasgow, Scott McDermott wrote Kerr said, "If that was happening among fans, you would't be happy. But for a board of directors to do it is an embarrassment." Another fans' group, the Rangers Supporters Trust, has also been left dismayed by Stockbridge and Ahma's behavior "and made it clear they want new people in charge at Ibrox." A statement released last night said, "This kind of behaviour does the club no favours. It's an underhand and damaging course of events which again leaves fans looking on in despair" (DAILY RECORD, 5/22).
After Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez announced earlier this week that he will run for re-election as club president on June 16, Real Madrid fan club Plataforma Blanca President Eugenio Martínez Bravo said he is looking to present himself for election, according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. Bravo, 43, "would like to offer an alternative to Pérez." Bravo: "I want to present myself at the elections. I would like to do it, I have the intention to do so, and it would be healthy for madridismo. It would be good if there was an alternative, a debate. Florentino does not have a project -- we do." Changes to the club's election statutes made last September mean any candidate for the presidency must be a member for at least 20 years, and provide a deposit or bank guarantee of 15% of the club's annual budget -- €76M ($97.5M) this year. Bravo, who criticized those changes at the time, "meets the first new requirement, having been a socio for 31 years, but not the second as he is not a millionaire." Bravo said, "We do not want to create false expectations because there is the thing called the deposit and it is very difficult to achieve" (ESPN, 5/22).