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Volume 6 No. 212


U.S.-based investment firm GEM announced that it is "withdrawing from the bidding process" to buy La Liga side Valencia, according to the EFE. GEM cited "a lack of clarity" and "legal insecurity" in its decision. The decision "was expressed in a statement from the mayor of the Valencian municipality of Gandía, Arturo Torró, who was participating in GEM's bid." The statement said that "due to recent events in the sales process and with respect for the necessary confidentiality, GEM will withdraw from the process" (EFE, 4/30).

CERBERUS 'RESCUED': In Valencia, Julián Montoro reported the sale process "suffered another setback" after the committee managing the sale of the club accepted that "the leaders of the bid by U.S.-based investment firm Cerberus Capital Management can make a series of modifications to its offer." Now, "any of the bidders will be able to improve their offers" until May 5 (SUPERDEPORTE, 4/30).

J.League Division 2 side Roasso Kumamoto faces revocation of its club license and possible expulsion from the league unless it clears 61M yen ($610,000) in debt and liabilities by August. GM Hiroyuki Miyamoto told SBD Global, "Starting today, we are approaching our existing shareholders, as well as new potential backers, and the local government, in an attempt to raise more capital. With our club license in danger, this is a very serious situation." The club is aiming to raise 70M yen ($700,000), including 30M yen from supporters and corporate sponsors, by the end of July.

FUND-RAISING EFFORT: Kumamoto collected 1.8M yen ($18,000) from supporters at its home game against Nagasaki on April 26. The club plans to keep asking for donations at matches at the 32,000-seat Kumamoto Athletics Stadium, where it averages gates of around 6,000. J.League spokesperson Rimia Ono said that seven J2 clubs were issued warnings last season about their club licenses, with finance and stadium facilities being the main problems. Ono said, "Regarding finances, the rules are that if a club operates in the red, and has debt for three consecutive years, its license can be taken away." The announcement on licenses is expected in September.

Former Macquarie Bank Exec Dir Bill Moss has been a "self-confessed" National Rugby League club Parramatta Eels "diehard for more than 50 years," and his ties with the club "could be made official as soon as next week" if Parramatta Chair Steve Sharp "has his way," according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Moss' name was on Thursday "supplied to members as the chairman's nomination for the proposed eighth independent seat on the Parramatta Leagues Club board that runs the Eels." The "mooted addition is one of several resolutions to be put before members" at Monday's annual general meeting -- another is to extend the terms of future board to three years -- as the Sharp administration "seeks to provide stability to a club riven by factionalism and in-fighting in recent years." Sharp says Moss' "celebrated financial record" makes him the "sort of board candidate the Eels should be desperate to have involved." However, while his "credentials can’t be questioned his ascension to the the directors' room will not be straightforward." At least 75% of members "must vote for the resolution at the AGM for the extra seat on the board to be approved, and then if that passes Moss must get the green light from the existing directors." That "could be a hurdle with it emerging on Thursday that four of Sharp's six colleagues on the board were understood to have not been made aware of the letter about Moss sent out to members and due to land in letterboxes on Friday" (SMH, 5/1).

Alan MacKenzie, the Scottish League 1 Rangers supporter who "sunk half a million of his own cash into his football club," has challenged potential investor Dave King to "put his money where his mouth is and buy up fans' shares in the club," according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. MacKenzie, 66, now lives in Australia. MacKenzie, in an open letter to King, reflected on the past year and stated that the "current Board cannot be held 'fully accountable' for the first year trading figures." In the letter, MacKenzie "talks about the key boardroom figures he has met during the crisis before going on to reveal his own exchanges" with King. MacKenzie added that "the time has arrived for the South African-based businessman to stump up and buy shares." MacKenzie said in the letter, "I wrote to Dave King seeking his intentions and offering to sell my shares to him as a token of his intentions." MacKenzie said that he was told by King, "Why should any new investor bail out existing investors because they made mistakes in overpaying for their shares. The club needs money not complaining shareholders" (DAILY RECORD, 5/1).