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Volume 10 No. 23


Dubai Holding has confirmed it has “dissolved” its partnership with Tiger Woods, according to Shane McGinley of ARABIAN BUSINESS. The branded golf resort, for which Woods was paid $55.4M to design and promote, "has been permanently scrapped." Dubai Properties Group, a unit of Dubai Holding, announced in Jan. '10 it had suspended work on the luxury Tiger Woods Dubai golf course and residential units but said it would "continue to be monitored and a decision will be made in the future when to restart the project." Under a revised contract drawn up in '08 between Woods' company ETW (Eldrick Tiger Woods) and Dubai developer Tatweer, which is now part of Dubai Holding, the golfer was paid $26.25M up front and an additional $29,166,667 10 days "after signing the contract." The $1.1B Tiger Woods Dubai project was announced in '06 and originally scheduled to open in Sept. '09 (ARABIAN BUSINESS, 7/9).

One of F1’s most historic teams is "facing a countdown to extinction" unless it can find financial backers quickly, according to Kevin Eason of the LONDON TIMES. Sauber admitted Tuesday that it is "in danger of being cut off by suppliers who have not been paid," while it scours the globe for investors willing to secure its future. Team Founder Peter Sauber revealed that it is living "day to day." Rumors "have bounced around the paddock for weeks that a team were in serious financial difficulties," while there are warnings that more could be dragged down with teams facing a $2B hike in costs over the next seven years. Sauber driver Nico Hülkenberg, signed from Force India, "has been given the freedom to leave his contract amid speculation that he has not been paid." That "could open the way for him to make the move to Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso if the Scuderia decide to replace Massa, who is on a poor run again." The young German "is also a target for Lotus to replace Räikkönen but could find a home at Red Bull next season in place of Mark Webber." Peter Sauber admitted his "embarrassment" at the team’s financial plight. He said, "For the large part, we are being met with understanding, but it is very stressful for us and in many regards painful" (LONDON TIMES, 7/10). MOTORSPORT reported F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone "has ruled out intervening directly to help the embattled Sauber team survive." The 82-year-old said "one solution" for the Hinwil-based team would be to sell up. Ecclestone said, "I don't want to imagine F1 without Sauber. Ideally, they will find new sponsors in the long term, but even companies who are willing to support them in the short term would be fine" (MOTORSPORT, 7/10).

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim-owned global conglomerate Grupo Carso, the majority shareholder of Spanish third division side Real Oviedo, will not abandon the club, according to LA AFICION. Grupo Carso will maintain its financial investment in the hopes that Real Oviedo can earn promotion to the Spanish second division next season. Grupo Carso will not, however, "participate in directing the team or in forming part of the club's new administration council." Grupo Carso spokesperson Arturo Elías Ayub said that the company decided to invest €2M ($2.6M) in the club almost eight months ago because "it wanted to support the club and its marvelous fan base." Elías: "We never had interest in participating in the club's operations and decisions. We can't manage a team from a distance of 9,000km" (LA AFICION, 7/9).

Cycle sales "powered ahead" at retailer Halfords, which said that it would "struggle to match its performance from last summer when the Olympics triggered a cycling bonanza" in the U.K. (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/10). ... Shoe brands are opting for Bangladesh to source their footwear "because of rising cost and environment concerns of Chinese products." Italy's Gucci, Nike, the U.S.'s Timberland, Germany's Reebok and the ABC-Mart Incorporate of Japan "are now sourcing shoes from Bangladesh" (FINANCIAL EXPRESS, 7/8).