The Williams F1 team is expected to lose up to £20M ($31.4M) in revenue this year after Jaguar "put the brakes on a hybrid supercar, which the two were developing," according to Christian Sylt of the London EXPRESS. The Jaguar C-X75 supercar was announced in '10 and "was powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine as well as two electric motors." It was due to have a top speed of 205mph and a price tag of up to £1M ($1.57M). In December, the "weak economic climate led Jaguar to announce that it would not put the car into production." In the year ending Dec. '12, Williams’ revenue accelerated 22% to £127M, but a report by Switzerland’s Bank am Bellevue predicts that it will dip to £102.2M ($160.5M) in '13 "due to the supercar costs" (EXPRESS, 6/16).
IT'S NOT OVER YET: AUTOSPORT reported ahead of its 600th F1 start at the British Grand Prix, Williams "has yet to score a world championship point" in '13. Deputy Team Principal Claire Williams said that the team "is determined to get itself back in shape this year." She insisted that "the team must understand exactly what went wrong with the design of its car over the winter, and is adamant another stumble next year would be unacceptable" (AUTOSPORT, 6/17).
Australian Football League CEO Andrew Demetriou has disputed Melbourne Demons CEO Peter Jackson's assertion that Melbourne is "a huge impediment to the industry," but conceded the Demons' dreadful on-field performances had hurt the competition, according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. Defending the AFL's imminent decision to throw the club a seven-figure lifeline, which will fund Mark Neeld's A$600,000 ($572,000) payout, Demetriou said that "the club's lack of competitiveness was proving costly to other clubs." He said, "I don't believe they are an impediment to the competition -- they are a valuable part of the competition. But it is true that performances like these impact upon crowds and hurt the broadcasters when ratings are poor" (THE AGE, 6/18). In Sydney, Matt Murnane reported former Melbourne champion David Schwarz has declared Neeld's sacking as the first day in the building of a "new club," and has warned a large group of players could also be axed by season's end.
Schwarz surmised that "the board had no choice but to dump Neeld." He said that "the players should not be spared for their part in making Melbourne the AFL's 'laughing stock.'" He added that "there were 20 players on the current list with their heads 'on the chopping block'" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/17). In Melbourne, Michael Warner reported new Melbourne powerbroker Geoff Freeman has declared that "the stricken club can play finals within three years." Freeman said he would be "staggered" if the club's dramatic rebuild did not reap results. Freeman, 65, "is expected to assume Melbourne's presidency on his return from a pre-planned overseas trip in six weeks" (HERALD SUN, 6/17).
Former Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian player Henry Smith "insisted the Jambos risk being lumbered with the next Craig Whyte if they fail to treat bids for the club with suspicion," according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Six parties "are interested in taking control at Tynecastle and there has been talk of American bids and a Scandinavian consortium," it has been rumored. Smith claims these groups "must prove they have the funds to rescue Hearts." Smith also insisted that the club "can’t afford to let another dreamer like Vladimir Romanov take the reins." Smith said, "If there are five or six groups putting bids in now then I hope they will be looked at deeply -- not like Romanov, who came in and everybody said, ‘Oh yes, he has cash, let’s have him.’ We need to look at every one of these groups down to the bones. If they have cash, show us the figures" (DAILY RECORD, 6/17).
Scottish Premier League Kilmarnock Chair Michael Johnston revealed a plan "to knock down Rugby Park and move the club to a new stadium would have been potentially ruinous," according to Hugh Keevins of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Disgruntled Killie fans "claimed at Saturday’s agm of the supporters association that Johnston had knocked back" potential investor and Klin Group CEO Marie Macklin. She "had wanted to buy the chairman out and move the club to the site of the former Johnnie Walker distillery in Kilmarnock." But the chairman "hit back with details of a move he had agreed to keep confidential since it was first proposed to him in September." Johnston said, “The decision to raze Rugby Park to the ground and build houses there would have meant we would have gone to a place where we would have been tenants and not owners." Johnston added, "That proposition was unattractive to me on behalf of the club and I told Macklin’s representatives that was the case" (DAILY RECORD, 6/17).