Judicial sources indicated that Spain's National Court "did not detect any type of illegality in FC Barcelona's signing of Neymar," according to Agustín Marco of EL CONFIDENCIAL. The case was brought to court after Barcelona member Jordi Cases "accused the club of embezzling money during Barcelona's acquisition of Neymar." Barcelona paid €57M to sign the player from Brazilian club Santos. The case was reviewed by Spanish judge Pablo Ruz (EL CONFIDENCIAL, 1/8).
German billionaire Klaus-Michael Kühne said that "he would make a big investment in Bundesliga club Hamburg SV if club members decide in favor of the 'HSVPlus' restructuring proposal at their meeting" on Jan. 19, according to BILD. Kühne said in a statement that "HSVPlus is the best alternative to the club's current structure." The reform concept proposes that the club's football department will be separated from the main club and turned into a public holding company and the board reduced from 11 to six members. The 76-year-old added, "That's the reason why I can imagine supporting this concept in an extensive way as a strategic partner." At the same time, Kühne "is hoping for additional investors." He said, "I connect [this possible invesment] with the expectation that other important partners will be acquired in order to stabilize and further develop the club." Sources said that Kühne's investment would be in the area of €25M ($34M). It is a significant number considering that the club has a reported debt of €100M ($136M) (BILD, 1/7).
League Championship side Leeds United has "confirmed the identity of the men behind the consortium" buying the club and pledging to provide transfer funds, according to the BBC. Sport Capital, "which is close to acquiring a minimum 75% stake," includes club sponsor Enterprise Insurance Managing Dir Andrew Flowers. Current United Managing Dir David Haigh "is also part of the group." Haigh said that "funds had been made available" to Manager Brian McDermott to strengthen his squad. Haigh said, "We are working closely with the Football League regarding the necessary documentation, and we will do our best to keep fans fully informed" (BBC, 1/8). The TELEGRAPH & ARGUS reported Haigh promised funds for McDermott "to strengthen his squad." Haigh: "Completion is something we have been working very hard to achieve. We’re now past the holiday periods of Christmas and New Year and we’re looking forward to completing shortly" (TELEGRAPH & ARGUS, 1/8). The YORKSHIRE EVENING POST reported the four members of Sport Capital, "two of whom remain unnamed," are understood to have invested some £6M ($9.9M) in the club already. Flowers, a lifelong Leeds fan who negotiated Enterprise Insurance’s sponsorship of United in '11 and renewed the deal last year, said, "I’m delighted to confirm that I am part of the consortium that will be acquiring the major shareholding in the club" (YORKSHIRE EVENING POST, 1/8).
Caterham F1 Team announced that it will unveil its Renault-powered 2014 car on Jan. 28, the first day of preseason testing in Jerez, Spain. As well as the four-day Spanish session, Caterham confirmed it will attend the other two preseason tests in Bahrain (Formula 1). ... Austrian Basketball Bundesliga club UBSC Raiffeisen Graz "is looking for a new president" after the death of incumbent Harald Bubik. However, the club's board of directors "decided to go an unconventional way in its search for a new president." Graz "will auction off the position to the highest bidder." The deadline to submit a bid is Feb. 28 (KRONE, 1/8). ... ACT Premier League side Tuggeranong United President Jon Thiele said that the "decision to overlook the Federation Cup champion for the inaugural FFA Cup 'defies all logic' and will appeal to Capital Football to have the move overturned." However, Capital Football believes it would be "unfair to the remainder of the clubs in Canberra because they were unaware at the time a place in the ground-breaking nationwide tournament would be up for grabs" (CANBERRA TIMES, 1/9).