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Volume 6 No. 195


Former League One side Doncaster Rovers Chair John Ryan, who "was set to take over" the club with One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson, "has said the deal is off," according to the BBC. A statement "purporting to be sent on behalf of the Tomlinson Ryan Trust" said the deal was "in serious doubt" because of "issues with the crowd-funding initiative." Ryan said that the deal had "collapsed over a lack of Football League approval." Ryan: "The statement is a fabrication. ... They have made it so difficult now that unless you have a bag full of cash you are going to get turned down." The Football League released a statement to "say that they were not presented with a satisfactory business plan to support the takeover." Ryan added, "Louis and I were just looking to do the right thing but this is the end of my involvement in football now. It has been a long love affair between myself and Doncaster Rovers but it has hit the buffers today" (BBC, 7/18). The PA reported Tomlinson said he had been "misled" but "hopes to stay involved." Tomlinson said "in a series of posts" online, "I'm absolutely gutted the Doncaster Rovers deal is not going ahead. I am desperate for the club to be given the recognition it deserves. I was explicitly told that the deal to buy the club was not dependent on the money raised by Crowdfunding. Unfortunately, I was misled" (PA, 7/18).

Former Spanish second division side Real Zaragoza Owner Agapito Iglesias "still does not know who he will sell his remaining shares to," according to Christian Ortiz of MARCA. Iglesias "cannot delay his decision much longer, but it seems as though he will wait until the last minute." His idea "is clear and simple." He wants to sell to someone who is capable of paying the €10M ($13.5M) he is asking for and also "able to help the club keep competing." Although the club's current owners announced an agreement with a group of Mexican investors, the latest group to enter negotiations, "consisting of German investors, has an advantage, as Spain's tax authorities have not approved of the solvency of the Mexican group." Additionally, "the offer from the Germans is closer to what Iglesias is asking." Iglesias "met with bidders on Friday, but no agreement was reached." Another bidder, the Fundación Zaragoza 2032 group, which is led by Telefónica President César Alierta, "continues to wait." The Alierta-led group of local businessmen hopes that the Mexican and German bids "fall through and that Iglesias has no choice but to sell the shares to his group" for just €1. Iglesias "has not contacted anyone from Fundación Zaragoza 2032, as this is the last choice." Alierta "and company, however, are keeping their faith until the end." Currently, "most Zaragoza supporters are in favor of the Fundación Zaragoza 2032 group, as this choice has created the most excitement, although this does not seem to matter to Iglesias" (MARCA, 7/19). In Zaragoza, J. Miguel Tafalla reported Iglesias "is seriously considering his right of resolution." Since Saturday, Iglesias "has considered recovering his majority share to later transfer it to the Fundación Zaragoza 2032." He has "always believed the best path for the club would be a trade that would inject new capital" (HERALDO DE ARAGÓN, 7/20).

Bayern Munich Exec Chair Karl-Heinz Rummenigge "criticized the club's Bundesliga opponents after they declined his request to delay the start of the league for another week," according to the AUGSBURGER ALLGEMEINE. At a manager meeting, Rummenigge "proposed to delay the start of the '14-15 Bundesliga, which will kick off on Aug. 22, for another week." Rummenigge: "The proposal was declined with the statement it is the only chance to create problems for Bayern." He added, "I'm missing solidarity toward clubs that sent numerous players to the World Cup." The decision "also affects Borussia Dortmund" (AUGSBURGER ALLGEMEINE, 7/19).

Six of the eight franchises in the "IMG Reliance and Star India-promoted Hero Indian Super League" will be "selecting 14 domestic players for their teams in the player drafting process to be held from Monday to Wednesday," according to Urvi Malvania of the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. The Goa and Guwahati teams, which have "already selected the players from their I-League clubs Dempo and Shillong Lajong, respectively, will not take part in the selection process." The six teams are expected to shell out Rs 22 crore ($3.6M)-Rs 25 crore ($4.1M) in the drafting process. The "costliest players in the league are Subrata Paul, Gounrmanga Singh and Nirmal Chettri among others." The highest cost per player in the "inaugural season of the league" will be Rs 80 lakh ($132,600). A total of 84 players are in the "central pool and will be drafted by the six teams over 14 rounds." The league has "loaned 30 players from the I-League clubs for four months and the franchises picking up these players will have to pay the I-League." The remaining 54 players have been signed by the ISL on a "one-year contract and will be paid by the franchise that selects them, at the price mentioned in the contract" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 7/19).

Around 1,000 Scottish Championship side Rangers fans "staged a march to Ibrox to demand the stadium's future is protected by the board," according to Richard Wilson of the BBC. The demonstration was organized by the "supporters group, Sons of Struth, which has held several protests against directors in recent months." The group is "calling for the board to provide an undertaking that the ground will not be used as security against future borrowings." The board has admitted that "additional money will need to be raised." The "only assets that can be borrowed against are the training ground, Murray Park, or Ibrox." Club directors have previously said that they have "no intention of using Ibrox for security against any borrowings, but fans who protested at Ibrox want a more definitive assurance" (BBC, 7/19). In Glasgow, Scott McDermott reported former Rangers Chair Malcolm Murray on Saturday "broke his silence on the current Rangers board and accused them of failing the club's fans by not granting them security over Ibrox." He had not "spoken out since the AGM in December." Murray is "fully behind" Sons of Struth. He believes Rangers CEO Graham Wallace is "hamstrung due to a split at the top of the marble staircase." Murray said in a statement, "We have maintained a dignified silence to give Wallace a chance but he is being hamstrung by a board that is neither culturally or corporately equipped for the challenge at Gers" (DAILY RECORD, 7/20).