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Volume 6 No. 213


Lotus has said that it "will put driver decisions on hold" while it sorts out the F1 team's "finances for next season," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. Team Principal Eric Boullier said that "finalising a deal with new investors was more of a priority than hiring a replacement" for '07 world champion Kimi Räikkönen. Boullier: "I want to close this (deal), because it is important for the team. It will give it the financial stability for more than five years and it will give us also two steps forward in terms of revenue. After that, we can then think about the drivers for next year -- but also for 2015, 2016, and 2017." Lotus announced in June that a consortium of private investors, including an American hedge fund manager and an Abu Dhabi-based multinational business group, "had acquired a 35 percent stake." However, the deal "has yet to be finalised" (REUTERS, 9/26).

Brisbane supporters group The Lions' Roar said that "it would be a 'slap in the face' to members" if the Australian Football League "sweeps aside a rival boardroom ticket and fails to give supporters a right to vote on the club's future," according to Phil Lutton of the BRISBANE TIMES. The AFL "remains in the middle of tense negotiations as it tries to sort out a deeply fractured Lions board." Lions standing chairman Angus Johnson "continues to try to stave off a rival faction" led by directors Mick Power, Paul Williams and former coach Leigh Matthews. It had appeared the Matthews ticket "had a mountain of popular support among members," but Johnson "appears to have the stout backing" of AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou. Matthews is now looking "less and less likely to find a spot on a revamped board." Meanwhile, Demetriou has said that a financial grant to Brisbane "would be at risk if members were determined to take the boardroom battle to a popular vote." Demetriou said, "Our position is very clear -- if the members want to call an EGM, they can do that. They can appoint who they want. But they shouldn't rely on the AFL's financial support. And we've done that with the Melbourne Football Club." The group said in a statement, "If Mr Demetriou is suggesting that financial assistance is incumbent upon the members not exercising their rights, then it is a slap in the face of the many members and supporters who have called loudly and consistently for the right to have their say on the future of the Board" (BRISBANE TIMES, 9/27).

Spanish cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi denied that "it imposed or demanded any conditions that would justify or excuse the failure" of the team's agreement with F1 Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who had attempted to acquire the team, according to MARCA. The Euskaltel team said it was false that "the team presented an obstacle to reaching agreement." Euskaltel released a statement against what the team considered "continued false information coming from the media" regarding the failed negotiations in the sale of the club to Alonso and his representatives. In the statement, "Euskaltel denied trying to complicate the negotiations in search of benefits." Euskaltel: "The causes of the failure of the negotiation were the disagreements about the different fiscal repercussions of the contracts." The statement added that "Euskaltel approached the negotiations without any type of economic restrictions or other demands, with the only goal being an agreement" (MARCA, 9/26).

Southeast Queensland's last remaining professional basketball team, Women's National Basketball League side Logan Thunder, "may just pull off a miracle and avoid joining the list of extinct clubs in the region," according to Connor O'Brien of the BRISBANE TIMES. Having lost BDS as "their naming rights sponsor, the Logan Thunder have been under the pump" to raise A$150,000 ($140,300) to ensure the club's financial future. To make "matters worse, with the start of the WNBL season just a week away, the Thunder needs proof of the funds by close of business Friday." However, the club "might just hit the winning shot at the buzzer," having raised A$100,000 by late on Thursday. With players helping by "knocking on doors and rattling the tin," they managed to find more than A$50,000 worth of support during Thursday afternoon (BRISBANE TIMES, 9/26).