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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Ferrari Chair Luca di Montezemolo "vented his discontents with the organizers of F1," and suggested the company may enter sports-car competition instead, according to Dan Neil of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. He said, "Formula One isn't working. It's declining because [the Federation International d'Automobile, the sport's governing body] have forgotten that people watch the racing for the excitement. Nobody watches racing for the efficiency, come on" (WSJ, 6/14). In London, Daniel Johnson reported Di Montezemolo "made his second intervention in as many days into the state of Formula One," writing to F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone and the F1’s owners "to call a meeting to discuss the sport’s future." Interestingly, after Ecclestone stated "he felt there was no need to involve social media companies, Di Montezemolo wrote that business such as Google and Apple should be invited." He suggested that the meeting "could be held in Maranello before the Italian Grand Prix in September" (TELEGRAPH, 6/15). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported Di Montezemolo's "ongoing criticisms of current F1, and a potential future interest in sportscars, prompted speculation in recent days that Ferrari could even turn its back on grand prix racing." However, the Italian team "is wholly committed to F1" -- and doing all it can "to ensure it had a bright future." When asked about the reports that Ferrari was thinking of leaving F1, Ferrari spokesperson Renato Bisignani explained, "Quite the contrary" (AUTOSPORT, 6/15).

The Kontinental Hockey League has lowered the salary cap from 1.39B rubles ($40.4M) to 1.1B rubles ($32M) per squad for next season. Squads that go over that figure will be subject to a 20% “luxury tax” on any extra spendings. According to KHL President Alexander Medvedev, who announced the new salary cap on the air of Sport FM radio, another difference will be that the cap will apply to all players. Last season, some players who moved to the KHL from the NHL were exempt from the cap.

PAY VS. PERFORMANCE: Incidentally, there has been no direct correlation between the salary budget and performance of KHL squads. SKA St. Petersburg, which has the highest salary budget, has never won the league's main trophy, the Gagarin Cup. Last season's Gagarin Cup winner, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, had the league's third biggest salary budget and the runner-up, Lev Prague, the ninth.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.

IMG-Reliance, the marketing partner of the All India Football Federation and organizer of the Indian Super League, has "managed to convince five I-League clubs to take part with their players for the cash-rich tournament scheduled to kick-start later this year," according to Marcus Mergulhao of the TIMES OF INDIA. IMG-Reliance was engaged in a "bitter war with I-League clubs"-- who came together under the banner of Indian Professional Football Clubs Association  -- over the release of their players on loan for the tournament. Dempo Sports Club and Shillong Lajong FC "will automatically be part of the ISL since their owners are League Partners and will use their players for the Goa and Guwahati franchise respectively." Fourteen of their best players "will be allowed to take part in the ISL, while Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mumbai FC are the other clubs who are understood to have reached an agreement with the organizers" (TIMES OF INDIA, 6/13).

The Welsh Rugby Union "has overwhelmingly survived a vote of no confidence" at an extraordinary general meeting prompted by its former CEO David Moffett. After four hours of debate, "only four club representatives voted to oust the current regime" (BBC, 6/15). ... Japan women’s national basketball team player Yuko Oga thinks that the Japan Basketball Association "is neglecting to give players the best chance to achieve whatever it wants them to." FIBA allegedly told the JBA that "it would be suspended from international tournaments if it didn’t propose a solution for unifying Japan’s two men’s top leagues, the NBL and bj-league, by the end of October" (JAPAN TIMES, 6/14). ... Bangladesh "has accused anti-corruption investigators from the International Cricket Council of allowing a match in a scandal-plagued Twenty20 tournament to go ahead even though it knew it was fixed." A report from a tribunal set up by the Bangladesh board said that the ICC's anti corruption and security unit "was aware in advance that a match in the Bangladesh Premier League was going to be fixed but decided to keep organisers in the dark rather than alert them" (AFP, 6/13). ... The Int'l Cycling Union "has denied a claim in a French newspaper that Tour de France champion Chris Froome was given preferential treatment over the use of a steroid-based drug in April" (REUTERS, 6/15).