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Volume 10 No. 25


Scottish Premiership side Dundee United Chair Stephen Thompson "called a truce over his war of words" with the Scottish FA, claiming "it's a waste of energy," according to Hugh Keevins of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The Tannadice chief "had slammed the SFA for snubbing his request to swap their Scottish Cup clash with Rangers from Ibrox to Celtic Park and accused the governing body of being 'economical with the truth' over ticketing issues" -- although he "has now backed down from that statement." In a "series of public statements between Thompson and the SFA over the choice of venue and ticket allocation" for the April 12 semifinal, SFA bosses "claimed United declined their original allocation and asked for fewer seats, with an option to sell more." Thompson said, "If Rangers had been asked to play Celtic at Celtic Park in a Scottish Cup semifinal I’m sure they wouldn’t have been happy. But I don’t want a battle with Rangers or the SFA. A change of venue isn’t going to happen and to go on about it any more would be a waste of energy" (DAILY RECORD, 3/20).

League One Oldham Athletic Owner & Chair Simon Corney said that "he will resign" if the club goes down, according to Mike Keegan of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Corney said that "he would consider relegation to League Two ‘a personal failure’ and added that he would quit should it happen." Lee Johnson’s side is currently 18th in League One, "two points above the danger zone, and face a tough-looking final nine matches." Corney: "I would consider it a personal failure and have little option other than to fall on my sword. I would step down as chairman and seriously consider handing the club to the supporters who would have to ensure it ran within its means” (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 3/19).

A €1M ($1.38M) bonus reportedly "awaits each player" on the Paris St. Germain team if it wins the Champions League, according to Josh Burrows of the LONDON TIMES. PSG’s Qatari owners, who bought the club in '11, "have made the offer of cash" before the draw is made Friday for the quarterfinals. PSG beat Bayer Leverkusen 6-1 on aggregate in the round of 16. Reports in L’Equipe suggest that "the proposed payments were negotiated" by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a discussion with PSG President Nasser al-Khelaifi. It is unclear whether the bonus "would go to each member of the 25-man Champions League squad or whether appearance criteria would apply." The potential gift "is merely the latest effusive financial gesture" from a board of owners who have lavished more than €350M ($482M) on the club since taking charge. Should the Paris club win the Champions League, and even if the €1M windfall were paid to each player in the squad, the cost "would be more than covered by win bonuses paid by UEFA to the club" (LONDON TIMES, 3/20).

Chinese business mogul Wang Jianlin has been "linked with a move to buy Valencia after his company sealed a youth development deal" with the La Liga club, according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPN. Wang was in Spain recently visiting Valencia and La Liga sides Atlético Madrid and Villarreal as his "company Dalian Wanda Group continues to invest in a programme to bring young Chinese players to train and play at La Liga clubs." Spanish newspaper Sport now "claims that the billionaire has moved ahead in the race to buy the heavily indebted Mestalla club -- and is the preferred buyer" of Valencia President Amadeo Salvo. Salvo said last week that he "welcomed the interest in his club from Wang and Wanda." Salvo: "This was an important visit from one of the most influential and powerful people in China. If [Wang] has chosen us for the development of young Chinese players, that is an important statement for Valencia. It shows the good relationship we have with the Wanda Group. Valencia can grow with Wanda" (ESPN, 3/18).