The Swiss Football Federation (SFV) will pay an estimated 200,000 Swiss francs ($227,400) to the city of Bern for "Cup final security costs," according to the NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG. SFV President Peter Gillieron said, "We currently don't feel welcome in Bern." A decision regarding where the '15 Cup final "will take place will be made at the end of '14, at the earliest." Gillieron, SFV General Secretary Alex Miescher, city President Alexander Tschäppät, Bern Security Dir Reto Nause and regional Police Chief Manuel Will met on Thursday "to talk about acts of violence of Zürich fans surrounding the Cup final." The city's security costs were an estimated 500,000 Swiss francs ($568,500) (NZZ, 5/1).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
The "hierarchy of financially-crippled Cycling Australia has signed off on profound change with a rare slashing of the board among a raft of reforms" at the organization that was in the "firing line of the national sports commission," according to Samantha Lane of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. A meeting on Wednesday resulted in "eight directors standing down from what had been a 10-member board." A "caretaker board of three has been installed," with former Int'l Cricket Council CEO Malcolm Speed "recruited to sit alongside" CA President Gerry Ryan and Lloyd Freeburn, "who was one of four vice-presidents on the old CA board." The next "major milestone in the overhaul, which has been applauded by the Australian Sports Commission, is the appointment of a permanent board that may be only half the size of the old ensemble." The new board -- which the ASC says should be a more modern, "skills based" group -- will "elect a new CEO" (SMH, 5/1).
Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver has "rubbished claims the professional game is at risk of failure and says a controversial four-conference Super 18 model is its best chance of survival," according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Amid "heated debate about Australia's involvement in Super Rugby" in '16 and "dire predictions about the future of the game," Pulver said that the ARU's cash flow problems "would be fixed by the end of next year." Pulver, speaking as the ARU "committed to a new four-conference model for the competition," warned that forecast was "dependent on extracting maximum income from SANZAR's new broadcasting agreement, which will be taken to the market in the next fortnight." Pulver: "We're just suffering the short-term environment where A$144 million ($134M) in revenue in 2013 drops to A$100 million and then drops to A$80 million, and we've been losing A$5 million to A$10 million a year" (SMH, 5/1). In Sydney, Bret Harris reported SANZAR "approved a new structure for Super Rugby." The "new, four-conference format involves increased interaction between Australian and New Zealand teams and an expanded finals series." Starting in '16, Super Rugby will "expand from 15 to 18 teams with three additional teams from South Africa, Argentina and a location to be determined by a tender process" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/1).
LAYING THE GROUNDWORK: REUTERS' Greg Stutchbury reported New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew said that Super Rugby's "latest plans for realignment" could "potentially lay the groundwork for a global competition one day." SANZAR approved a new "18-team competition with a sixth South African side, one from Argentina and an as yet un-named team to join the current 15 sides" in '16. Tew said, "We are going to go to market. We think that's a great opportunity for rugby and for our competition to explore the possibilities." He said that potential sites for the team "could include Asia, North America or even southern Europe" and added that SANZAR "had an open mind as to where it was based." Tew: "It has to work from a draw and travel perspective so there will be some geographies that can count themselves out" (REUTERS, 5/1).
BRUMBIES CONFIDENT: In Sydney, Chris Dutton reported Super Rugby side ACT Brumbies are "satisfied the financial reward of a new broadcast deal will offset the hole in their budget when they lose one home game in a new 18-team, four-conference Super Rugby structure." Super Rugby will be "overhauled in two years." The "radical transformation will mean Australian teams play one less home game on a two-year cycle." Pulver met with Australian CEOs on Thursday to "detail the plan and said there was 'comfort' the new model would generate increased finances." The ARU is "reportedly chasing" a A$40M-a-year broadcast deal in Australia. Brumbies CEO Doug Edwards said, "We believe the contribution from the new broadcast deal will be better than what we've currently got. We could have lost maybe A$500,000, but we think the extra games in the competition, and a team in Asia, will lead to more opportunities" (SMH, 5/1).
The Spanish Football League (LFP)'s 10-minute video that is "being shown in locker rooms to warn players against match-fixing features Belgian footballer Cliff Mardulier." The video begins with Mardulier, a goalkeeper who "was threatened at gunpoint" in '06 by a Chinese investor. Mardulier says in the video, "We were owed payments and he paid us. We were in sixth (place) and for him to buy us, we had to lose some games to drop a little and be more affordable" (AS, 5/1). ... Some of the “stupidest’’ and “most ridiculous’’ V8 Supercars rules and penalties "have gone under the microscope with the sport expected to announce a major overhaul to pit-lane procedures on Friday." A host of race-crushing drive-through penalties for breaking the controversial 40km/h “school zone’’ limit prompted the pit-lane discussion, "with leniency expected to be given to those who infringe" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/1). ... The launch of a Southeast Asian football Super League is likely to be delayed until '16 because of "administrative issues," a senior official said on Thursday. The relegation-free league "was to run from February until September." But Association of South East Asian Nations Football Federation General Secretary Azzuddin Ahmad said that problems "were likely to force back the start date of the league" (REUTERS, 5/1).