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Volume 6 No. 217


The financing of Olympique Lyonnais' new stadium "is completed and currently in the budget," according to FOOT01. A total of €80M ($106M) of the stadium's construction costs "will be provided by issuing a bond to club shareholders." Club owner OL Groupe said that bond subscriptions "are open to all shareholders." The main partners of the club, ICMI and Pathé, which hold more than 50% of the shares of OL Groupe, "have already announced they will insure this operation." OL Group President Jean-Michel Aulas said, "The stadium is expected to be commissioned and will be ready during the '15-16 season, allowing Lyon to host Euro 2016 football, for which it is a candidate to host the opening match and a semifinal. If you wish to participate in the construction of the stadium in the service of sport performance and Lyon, you as a shareholder of OL Groupe should subscribe to this bond that is reserved for you." The bonds are worth €100 ($132) and will be issued starting Aug. 27 (FOOT01, 8/1).

A council "has granted a request by Manchester United Supporters Trust to 'protect' Old Trafford in case it is ever put up for sale," according to the BBC. The club's home since 1910 "will be labelled an Asset Of Community Value." It means the trust "has the right to bid for the stadium if owners the Glazer family ever try to sell it." Trust CEO Duncan Drasdo said, "While we appreciate the owners have no current plans to move or sell Old Trafford, this is a decision that helps to protect fans' interests in the long term, as no one knows what the future holds" (BBC, 7/31). In Manchester, Yakub Qureshi reported lawyers for the Glazer family "had bitterly opposed the move." In a statement on its website, the club said that "the legislation was being wrongly applied and confirmed it had requested an immediate review" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 7/31). In London, Adam Crafton reported supporters "could be destined for a bitter court battle with the Glazer family." Should the club's appeal win over, MUST "would without question take the case to court through a judicial review, with the trust convinced that the asset" -- Old Trafford -- meets the criteria of the Act. ManU fears that the change to the status of Old Trafford "could have a negative impact or trigger fluctuations in the share prices of the club" on the N.Y. Stock Exchange (DAILY MAIL, 8/1).

A new rugby stadium with capacity for 5,000 spectators "will be built in north Edinburgh after city planners approved the contentious proposals," according to Rory Reynolds of the SCOTSMAN. Edinburgh Academicals, the second-oldest club in the U.K., will build the £8M ($12M) facility on the site of the first ever int'l rugby match in Stockbridge early next year. The bid "had been staunchly opposed by the local community and businesses who fear the size of the structure and the nine new retail units attached will radically alter the area." Stockbridge and Inverleith Community Council "had collected about 3,300 signatures against the plans in recent months and said 34 traders opposed the move." The stadium "will contain conference facilities and a rugby museum, backed by former Scotland internationals Andy Irvine and Scott Hastings, along with VisitScotland" (SCOTSMAN, 8/1). In London, Hamish Macdonell wrote the council "spent more than three hours listening to arguments for and against the development." After the decision was announced, some of the opposition said they "were considering taking the decision to a judicial review" (LONDON TIMES, 8/2).