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Volume 10 No. 25


Scottish Second Division Rangers Chair Walter Smith "has resigned" less than four months after he was appointed, according to the LONDON TIMES. His resignation "follows a bitter power struggle at Ibrox," and comes only three days after former CEO Charles Green returned to the club as a consultant. Smith's resignation comes after Green was quoted in a national newspaper saying that Rangers Manager Ally McCoist’s position "might not be safe even if he delivered the League One title." It has been suggested that Smith, a former Everton and Scotland manager, "voted against Green’s return, while McCoist and Green have had problems in the past." Green "could now be appointed to the post Smith has vacated" (LONDON TIMES, 8/5). The BBC's Chris McLaughlin reported McCoist described Green's behavior as "appalling," and insisted Green "was an embarrassment to the club." It is "now clear that the pair will not work together and one will have to go before the club can make any attempt to move forward" (BBC, 8/5). The SCOTSMAN reported the announcement "was followed by a call for the removal" of CEO Craig Mather, Finance Dir Brian Stockbridge and Non-Exec Dir Bryan Smart from the Ibrox board. The resolution, which will be put to shareholders, "calls for the appointment as directors" of former Dir Paul Murray -- also "the central figure in the Blue Knights consortium which wanted to take over the club last year" -- and PricewaterhouseCoopers CEO Frank Blin (SCOTSMAN, 8/5). In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported Smith "battled in vain to keep the club’s broken board together" since replacing former Chair Malcolm Murray on May 30. However, he had "never been comfortable in the position and had been left isolated by the decision to bring Green back" (DAILY RECORD, 8/5).

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan "is planning to bid" for the Kolkata franchise of the new league promoted by the All India Football Federation and IMG-Reliance, according to IANS. Shah Rukh said that "he was interested in buying stakes in the successful Goan I-League club Dempo but now with a new franchise-based league coming up he has changed his mind." Shah Rukh: "Earlier I was planning to buy stakes in Dempo and now with the new franchise-based league coming up, I will have a look at it. I will love to own a franchise." Asked which city he would buy, Shah Rukh said, "I will love to have the Kolkata football club." Eight clubs, 176 players, 72 overseas stars and 10 weeks of packed action -- "that is how the AIFF's commercial partner IMG-Reliance plans to glamourise Indian football early next year" (IANS, 8/5).

Inter Milan Owner Massimo Moratti said that he has decided to sell at least part of his shares to Indonesian magnate Erick Thohir "in order to increase revenue and make the brand global," according to FOOTBALL ITALIA. Serie A President Maurizio Beretta said, "This vision of the future needs to be a guiding light for the future of all of us. After all, international investors only show an interest in precious things." Federation President Giancarlo Abete "also commented on the internationalisation of Serie A." Abete: "It's true, we need to stick together more in Italian football. The interest of a foreign investor in our clubs makes us proud, as it shows the activity of the movement" (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 8/4). FANATIX's Sumeet Paul wrote "it is understood that Moratti will sell a 70% majority stake in the club" worth €300M ($397M). Former Owner Ernesto Pellegrini pleaded with his successor earlier this week not to sell the club to "a stranger." However, Moratti explained that "his decision will benefit the club and its supporters in the long-term." Moratti: "I am acting in the interest of fans. Inter can then be managed in a new, modern way" (FANATIX, 5/4). SOCCEREX reported Moratti maintains that the Thohir deal is not concerned with addressing the club's debts, "but instead boosting revenue generation" that has dipped from €251M in '10 to the current figure of €170M ($225M). Moratti: "The real problem is turnover. That's what's needed for development: it's a commercial problem if we really want to define it in business terms" (SOCCEREX, 8/5).

Spanish second division side Huesca could be relegated to the Spanish third division, "depending on whether Alcorcón is relegated 'for financial irregularities.'" according to AS. Huesca will play in the second division next season only if "Alcorcón, under investigation for financial irregularities, is relegated by the Spanish Football League (LFP)." Huesca has said that "it is cowardly for other clubs to say we woul,d avoid relegation because LFP President Javier Tebas is from Huesca." Huesca said in a statement on the team's website, "It will not be Huesca's problem that others take illegal measures to become Anoymous Sports Societies (SAD)" (AS, 8/5).