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Volume 10 No. 22


Bob Jamieson has insisted his HMFC Ltd. company is still the highest bidder for Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian and denied claims that "he is now in dispute with the American investment firm backing him," according to Stephen Halliday of the SCOTSMAN. Peebles-based businessman Jamieson has also condemned what he says is "malicious gossip" surrounding his attempt to purchase Hearts from administrators BDO. HMFC Ltd., incorporated by former club shirt sponsor Jamieson earlier this year, "was one of three bidders to meet BDO’s deadline last week, along with united supporters group Foundation of Hearts and the Five Stars Football Ltd. company fronted by former Livingston Owner Angelo Massone." The HMFC Ltd. bid "has been placed in doubt" because Club 9 Sports, the North Carolina-based sports investment firm, is withholding £5M ($7.6M) which was to be used to buy the club. Jamieson "has firmly rejected that version of events." Jamieson said, "It’s more malicious gossip designed to undermine the bid made by HMFC Limited. The fact remains that HMFC Limited is the highest bidder with a potential £45 million ($59M) U.S. investment to build a new 25,000 capacity stadium" (SCOTSMAN, 7/18). The HERALD SCOTLAND reported Hearts' hearing for the notice of complaint issued by the Scottish FA for the Tynecastle club going into administration "has been postponed until next month." The hearing was meant to take place Thursday, but the SFA released a short statement declaring that "due to the unavailability of tribunal members, today's judicial panel tribunal has been postponed" and it will now take place on Aug. 1 (HERALD SCOTLAND, 7/18). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported possible punishments by the SFA "could include a fine or suspension or termination of membership from the governing body." Hearts "will start the first Scottish Professional Football League season with a 15-point penalty for moving into administration" (DAILY RECORD, 7/18).

A triumvirate comprising former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, Telugu film actor Akkineni Nagarjuna and former Board of Control for Cricket in India junior selection committee Chair V. Chamundeshwarnath "have formed a consortium that has bought" Mumbai Indian Badminton League team Mumbai Masters, according to Moses Kondety of the DECCAN CHRONICLE. Chamundeswarnath and Nagarjuna "have ploughed in the money while Gavaskar holds equity." Hyderabad District Badminton Association President Chamundeswarnath said, "He is the brand ambassador of the franchise and also a partner." Nagarjuna already co-owns the Superbike Mahi Racing Team "with Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni." The team is gearing up for the auction to be held on July 22 in Delhi, where each franchise will have a Rs.1.5 crore ($15M) cap "to purchase 11 players that make up the squad" (DECCAN CHRONICLE, 7/17). In Mumbai, M. Ratnakar wrote Chamundeswaranath, (better known as Chamundi) who is also the first sponsor of Indian badminton player Saina Nehwal, said that "the owners are keen on getting India's top player in their team." Chamundi: "The auction is just a couple of days away and we would like to have our best player in the team." Incidentally, Nagarjuna "is also the co-owner of the Mahi Racing team" along with Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (THE TIMES OF INDIA, 7/18).

READY FOR LAUNCH: The PTI reported the team "will be called Mumbai Masters." The $1M league "is set to launch on August 14." A total of 90 matches "will be played in the IBL which will feature six franchises." Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Lucknow "are the six cities that will feature in the first edition of IBL" (PTI, 7/18). The PTI also reported the Burman family, promoters of Dabur Group, has bought the IBL Pune Franchise. The Burman family -- which forayed into the field of sports with the Indian Premier League and followed it up with the Hockey India League, "successfully bid and bagged the 'Pune Pistons.'" Dabur Group Dir Mohit Burman said, "Having been actively involved in league sports in the country, we are elated to contribute towards the rise of IBL" (PTI, 7/17).

Real estate company Greenland Group has confirmed it is interested in buying Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua but said that "it is waiting to see how the general situation develops," according to Cameron Wilson of WILD EAST FOOTBALL. Greenland Group Chair Zhang Yuliang, responding to a journalist's question on buying Shenhua, said, "There were some media stories suggesting Greenland should come out and take over a team, and this is something I also considered. I've been asked about it before and my answer was just one word -- 'possibly.'" It would appear that Greenland Group does have intentions to buy Shenhua, "but the takeover process may be long and drawn out, indeed this statement may be the first move in their negotiation strategy." For his part, current owner Zhu Jun spoke a week ago of "waiting for other teams to decline" so Shenhua could become a leading team again, and that he would re-invest money in the club if his business took an upturn (WILD EAST FOOTBALL, 7/17).