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Volume 10 No. 22


Premier League side Arsenal said that its fiscal-year profit "declined" after it "earned less from selling players and wage costs rose," according to Christopher Elser of BLOOMBEG. Net income fell to £5.8M from £29.6M in the 12 months ending May 31. Revenue rose to £280M from £243M in the year-earlier period. The Gunners earned £47M from the sale of players including striker Robin van Persie to ManU and midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona. That was £18.5M "less than it earned from trades" in '12. The club’s wage payments surpassed £150M for the first time, and "it also wrote down the value of some players" (BLOOMBERG, 9/23).

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone said that "two or three" teams are facing financial troubles, according to Roger Benoit of BLICK. Told that "half the field" is struggling to survive amid the economic crisis and spiralling costs, Ecclestone said, "That's not quite right. We are talking about two vulnerable teams at the moment. Perhaps there's a third with a question mark." Asked if he is confident the "vulnerable" teams will be on the '14 grid, the 82-year-old said, "If you had asked me a year ago, the answer would be no. But now, suddenly, most of the teams find money somehow from somewhere. I don't know how they do that." Ecclestone would not name the vulnerable teams, or even admit that the one at the top of the list is surely Sauber. Ecclestone also ruled out intervening with personal loans as he sometimes did in the past. He said, "I'm not allowed to do that anymore. We have an agreement with the teams that it would be unfair to the others" (BLICK, 9/22).

Spanish telecom company Euskaltel said that F1 Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso's "plans to buy Spanish cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi have collapsed," according to Braden Phillips of REUTERS. Euskaltel said, "We could not reach a definitive agreement. Euskaltel is now obliged, regrettably, to return to the process of an orderly and responsible closure of the project." Alonso, "a keen bike rider," had been set to "purchase the company that owns the Basque team's WorldTour license to enable them to continue racing in professional cycling's top league" in '14. Euskaltel-Euskadi faces "closure at the end of the season after 17 years of activity." No financial details "were given of Alonso's offer but Spanish media had reported" that Alonso had about $8.11M "available to spend on the project" (REUTERS, 9/23).

LAST HOPE DISAPPEARS: The AFP reported that Euskaltel-Euskadi had agreed "in principle" for Alonso to "fill a funding gap in their sponsorship" after the team lost $4.7M of "local government spending due to spending cuts." With the breakdown in negotiations, "it appears as if the last hope to save the 19-year old team have disappeared" (AFP, 9/23).

NEGOTIATIONS UNSUCCESSFUL: In Madrid, Sergio Viñas reported "the miracle has evaporated." Alonso, "who had funding a cycling club in his mind for years, saw in the near disappearance of Euskaltel an excellent opportunity to act on this idea." Throughout this month, Alonso was "outlining the project, which was going to be led by former cyclist Kiko García." At the same time, "meetings were held to finish the agreement, and this is where the problem occurred." Alonso "assured that Euskaltel was asking for too much." The team "criticized the spreading of false information." Euskaltel-Euskadi also "showed its disappointment in the outcome of the process and said that it put forth all of its effort to reach an agreement" (EL MUNDO, 9/23).