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Volume 10 No. 25


Australian Football League Melbourne Demons' bid for an AFL-funded multi-million dollar restructure "comes with the club still struggling to lure an experienced football boss" and uncertainty lingering over the replacement for President Don McLardy, according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. McLardy will accompany Demons' CEO Peter Jackson to Friday's AFL Commission talks, "but is unlikely to remain at the helm of the club for much longer as the league, along with Jackson, moves to streamline the club's board." Jackson's bid for emergency AFL funding is not expected to receive an immediate response from the Commission, "which has not yet been briefed regarding the extent of Melbourne's dysfunctional football operation which is regarded as overpaid and top heavy" (THE AGE, 6/14).

Bundesliga Hamburg SV Sport Dir Oliver Kreuzer "wants to improve the team despite the club's cost-saving measures," according to the DPA. Kreuzer said, "[There is] not reason to worry. But we won't present new players that all cost a transfer fee from the get-go. We first have to thin out our roster." As it is widely known, players Robert Tesche, Gojko Kacar and Marcus Berg are not allowed to practice with the team to force them to leave the club. Kreuzer does not only want to reduce the number of players but also "reduce the payroll to less than €40 million ($53.2M)." The goal of the 47-year-old, who replaced former HSV Sport Dir Frank Arnesen, "is to calm down the club, which has been in a state of unrest." The club is reportedly interested in FC Nuremberg defender Timm Klose and free agent Man City striker Roque Santa Cruz (DPA, 6/13).

Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian said that it will have to sell its best players to ensure its "survival over the next couple of months," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. The club said in a statement on its website: "The club will consider offers for the players of the current squad, including the most promising talent in order for the most necessary and important payments to be made." Hearts, established in 1874, "are hoping that a new owner will come in if they can stablise operations over the lean summer months when the club has no matchday income to fall back on" (REUTERS, 6/13). The BBC reported Hearts Managing Dir David Southern said that "it is doubtful they will be able to pay players' wages that are due at the end of this week." Hearts need to raise a "significant six-figure sum" before the weekend. The club said that "the resulting uncertainty has led to the club's main source of revenue in the close season -- the sale of season tickets -- drying up, with around 6,500 being sold so far, leading to problems in paying debts" owed to U.K. tax authority HMRC (BBC, 6/13).

BLAME GAME: In Edinburgh, Barry Anderson reported the club Thursday blamed "hesitation and inaction" from supporters for the lack of funds despite the £1.1M generated from a share issue just six months ago. Season ticket sales remain below the 7,000 mark and Hearts "desperately need that number to increase." For now, even the best of their youth academy graduates like Jamie Walker and Jason Holt "are available for transfer in an effort to raise money and help the Edinburgh club survive" (SCOTSMAN, 6/13).

Spanish second-division side Racing Santander held its General Shareholders Meeting (AGM), with the objective of voting on a €4.5M ($6M) increase in the club's capital, although it will first be reduced by €1.8M ($2.4M) to balance assets, according to Manu de Juan of AS. The meeting ended with the motion approved while minority shareholders left the room. For much of the meeting, with a strong private security presence on hand to prevent altercations, many members yelled, "Liars" and "You will pay" at the Administration Council. Racing Penalties Association President Bernardo Colsa was one "of the most belligerent" and was detained by security after approaching the Council (AS, 6/13).

Renault Sport F1 Dir Jean-Michel Jalinier said that Renault expects "to power four Formula One teams next season with Red Bull's two confirmed and Caterham and Lotus set to renew soon," according to Guillaume & Blachier of REUTERS. The French manufacturer, which has helped Red Bull "sweep up the last three constructors' titles, will supply the champions' sister team Toro Rosso next season when a new V6 unit replaces the current V8." Williams, which uses Renault engines at present, is "switching to Mercedes." Jalinier said, "We very likely will end up with four teams." Jalinier said that Renault "will unveil the engine they have developed with Red Bull at next week's Paris air show at Le Bourget." He added that the deals "will be announced shortly afterwards" (REUTERS, 6/13).