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Volume 10 No. 22


The NFL Jacksonville Jaguars on Wednesday did not comment on a U.K. report that team Owner Shad Khan is "on the cusp of purchasing" EPL club Fulham FC for an estimated $224M, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. The London Daily Mail on Wednesday first reported that Khan "could complete negotiations" to acquire Fulham from Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al Fayed as soon as Friday. The acquisition would "further expand Khan’s footprint on Europe in general and on London in particular." The purchase reportedly "could be completed in time for the club’s season opener Aug. 17 at Sunderland" (JACKSONVILLE, 7/10). In London, Jack de Menezes noted Al Fayed "has been at the helm of the club since he purchased it" for $9.44M in ‘97, and he "loaned them the money as he oversaw a rise from the fourth tier of English football to the Premier League." Al Fayed last year converted his $302M "worth of loans into equity," meaning Fulham is "essentially debt free in an attempt to make the club more attractive to any potential investors, and also to comply with UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules." The club "also gained planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand to take the maximum capacity up to 30,000, and remove another stumbling block that any new owners might encounter." Still, much to "the frustration of manager Martin Jol, Fayed has reduced his spending at the club over the last 18 months" (INDEPENDENT, 7/10).

Former Scottish Second Division Rangers Chair Malcolm Murray said that "his departure from Rangers' board will leave institutional investors nervous about the Ibrox club's future," according to the BBC. He "also called for continued transparency about the club's finances." Murray "has written an open letter to Rangers fans after a boardroom shake-up" that also led to fellow Non-Exec Dir Phil Cartmell departing. Murray said, "We cannot go back to the depths of the last two years -- we need to hold course." The former chairman thinks that "the controversy surrounding the club would have disappointed" former Manager, Dir and Vice-chair Bill Struth. He said, "You and I want a squeaky-clean club run by men of the highest integrity and global commercial ability and the highest level of transparency" (BBC, 7/11). In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported Murray hit back in a "carefully-worded statement illustrating the depth of the bitter boardroom split currently still raging behind the scenes." And the man who was the victim of a smear campaign, and videotaped at the end of a boozy night out by Financial Dir Brian Stockbridge, "came back with all guns blazing last night to launch a salvo at the current regime." In the open letter, Murray said, "I make this statement not for self-gratification or sour grapes but because so many fans have told me that dignified silence will be seen as a sign of disrespect. My previously criticised silence was observed in the best interests of Rangers. Everything I’ve done or do is for the club, not self-interest or financial gain" (DAILY RECORD, 7/10).

La Liga side Rayo Vallecano has had its latest attempt to be granted a UEFA license rejected by courts in Madrid. The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) refused to grant the club a license for UEFA competition for '13-14 on the grounds of the club's financial situation, seeing it "with debt and in administration." Rayo Vallecano took its case against the RFEF to the courts, but "the judge overseeing the appeal has ruled in favour of the RFEF" (FOOTBALL ESPANA, 7/11). ... Liga MX side Atlas President Eugenio Ruiz Orozco has "made clear the reasons his club is in crisis" following fan protests. Ruiz Orozco: "The fans are preoccupied and have the right to know. We have a problem because our spending is exceeding our income and we have an operational deficit that we have to solve in the short and medium term" (LA AFICION, 7/10). ... F1 Champion Red Bull has changed its split-second pitstop procedures after a rear wheel flew off Mark Webber's car in the pitlane in Germany last weekend and injured a TV cameraman (REUTERS, 7/11).