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Volume 10 No. 22


League One Coventry City has "been offered a reduced rent by the Ricoh Arena's operators in a bid to keep them at the stadium," according to the BBC. Following a year-long rent row with Arena Coventry Ltd., the club "agreed a groundshare at Northampton's Sixfields Stadium for the next three seasons." Having previously charged more than £1M ($1.5M) a year, ACL has now offered a rent of between £100,000 ($151,000) and £400,000 ($607,000) per year, depending on the club's division. Coventry has until Friday to respond. News of this offer comes the day after ACL, which operates the Ricoh Arena on behalf of Coventry City Council and the Alan Edward Higgs Charity, "requested a final adjournment of a Coventry City creditors' meeting which could see the club come out of the administration" (BBC, 7/31).

ManU fans "are taking on the club’s rich American owners in a battle over the future of Old Trafford," according to Mike Keegan of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Trafford council officers will "consider a bid by the Independent Manchester United Supporters Trust to have the 103-year-old stadium listed as a 'community asset.'" That "would give the council the power to stop the stadium being put up for sale for up to six months" -- even though the club "currently has no such plans." However, the move "is being opposed by lawyers acting for United’s owners the Glazer brothers." They "are understood to have written to the council arguing that the club, rather than the ground, is the community asset." They also "argue that the supporters trust does not meet the criteria required to propose the listing" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/31).

Bundesliga club Hamburg SV, stadium naming rights partner Imtech and the club's marketing partner SPORTFIVE "will reportedly hold a crisis meeting this week in which they will talk about the financial struggles of the naming-rights partner," according to Kai Schiller of the HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT. Imtech announced about a month ago that it would like to terminate its contract with the club, which runs through '16, ahead of time. The technical service provider pays €4.2M ($5.6) annually for the naming rights. HSV Chair Joachim Hilke said, "There will be talks in the next couple of days. We know about Imtech's economic problems. But we have been assured several times that the existing contract will be fulfilled" (HAMBURGER ABENDBLATT, 7/31).

Telecom firm Phones 4u "has signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Manchester Arena," according to James Ferguson of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. The deal will see the venue re-branded "the Phones4u Arena, Manchester." As part of the multi-million pound agreement with the arena's management company, SMG Europe, "work will begin on a refurbishment of its interior and exterior." The arena, which attracts 1.5 million visitors a year, "will also offer Phones4u customers the opportunity secure priority seats for concerts and other events." The 21,000-seat complex is "the largest indoor concert arena in Europe" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/31).

Ahead of the 2014 World Cup, the Arena Group completed its first project in Brazil, increasing Arena Fonte Nova's seating capacity for the FIFA Confederations Cup in July. The stadium's standard capacity of 56,500 was increased by 5,000 temporary grandstand seats installed and managed in collaboration with Arena Group's Brazilian partner FAST Engenharia. Arena Fonte Nova stadium hosted three games during the FIFA Confederations Cup and will be one of the main venues for the 2014 World Cup (Arena Group).