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Volume 6 No. 216


The Bundesliga recorded its ninth straight year with positive turnover during the '12-13 season, continuing its lasting growth with €2.17B ($3B) and topping its previous year's amount by 4.4%. The Bundesliga recorded €383.5M in operative profits, the highest of all time. Seventeen of 18 clubs were profitable (Bundesliga). REUTERS' Karolos Grohmann wrote media revenue rose sharply by more than €70M ($96M), up to €619M ($845M) from €546M, "boosted by increased interest from outside Germany." It "surpassed advertising as the biggest single revenue stream" with 28.53%. Merchandising grew by about 30% from €93.8M to €120.3M ($164M) while advertising revenue was up to €578M ($790M) from €553M, accounting for 26.6% of turnover. The 36 clubs in the top two divisions "also posted their ninth straight turnover record" with a combined figure of €2.59B ($3.5B). The second division broke the €400M ($546M) turnover mark "for the first time" (REUTERS, 1/28).

ManU's signing of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata "may have brightened the mood at Old Trafford," but Deutsche Bank "has taken a dim view" of the Spainiard's £37M ($61M) arrival and "downgraded its target price for the football team," according to Kiran Moodley of CNBC. With the team currently in seventh place in the Premier League, Deutsche Bank "has downgraded its price target for the company's New York-listed shares" from $21 to $16, arguing that "the combination of poor performances and higher player costs have hit earnings projections." Deutsche Bank Research Team Head Doug Mitchelson said, "We now think we were too conservative in our player cost outlook" (CNBC, 1/28).

Dissatisfied with the management of Bulgarian top-flight club Levski Sofia, fans "decided to create a supporters' trust," according to Alexander Krassimirov of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The association will be named Blue Bulgaria, and its purpose "will be to raise funds that will be invested in the club, but only under certain conditions." The trust "is modeled on trusts in England," where there are more than 140 in operation, and which in some cases "give the trust ownership rights" -- an objective of the Blue Bulgaria group. The bulk of the funds "will be raised through membership fees and donations." Representatives of the trust have already held a meeting with club Owner Todor Batkov, who "also expressed a desire to join the organization" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/28).

English eighth-tier side Darlington FC, one of England's oldest football clubs, "is staging a financial comeback, allbeit on a small scale," according to Paul Nicholson of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. The club "has introduced a 'crowdfunding' initiative" to raise an initial £50,000 ($83,000) with further targets of £150,000 ($249,000) as the next steps. The crowdfunding model "has been organized by Glasgow-based investment firm Squareknot," which is running a similar scheme at East Fife FC in Scotland and believes the model "is applicable to a number of clubs." Already £26,000 ($43,000) "has been raised from 16 investors." Under the scheme, fans and members of the community "have been asked to invest by crowdfunding, direct investment or through the DFC Development Fund." Investors "receive shares in the club along with a range of benefits including season tickets, hospitality packages and club merchandise" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 1/28). A County Durham-based industrial roofing contractor has joined the ranks of the growing business contingent prepared to back the Quakers. Alderclad Ltd. based in Seaham, through one of its owners, Anthony Nevison, has pledged a sum of money to the football club to help ensure its financial stability and to invest in the return to its home town (Darlington FC).