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Volume 10 No. 25


The "big difference" between this preseason and those in previous years for Barcelona is that the club has "avoided an overseas tour that would be economically profitable but hardly advisable from a football standpoint, especially during a summer featuring a World Cup," according to Javier Gascón of MUNDO DEPORTIVO. Barcelona, however, "cannot reject a source of revenue like a preseason tour every year." The club has decided that next summer, "with more time for vacation for its players," it will make a preseason tour. Starting in November or December, Barcelona "will consider the various offers and possibilities, but the club is likely to tour Asia or the U.S., the zones where the Barça brand is most profitable in promotional activities and where the brand could have a bigger impact in the future" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 8/11). In Barcelona, Gascón wrote some Barça players "are wearing a GPS device featuring a tracking technology to help the coaching staff analyze different aspects of how players perform in both practices and games." The devices "reveal, among other things, not only the distances players cover, but also show average speed, when intensity begins to drop and whether someone is performing above or below his typical level" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 8/11).

Former FA CEO Mark Palios "has taken ownership" of League Two side Tranmere Rovers along with his wife, Nicola, after the pair "bought out the majority of Peter Johnson’s controlling stake," according to Tony Barrett of the LONDON TIMES. Palios, a former Tranmere player who made more than 280 appearances for the Wirral-based club in two spells at Prenton Park, "will take on the role of executive chairman with his wife, a commercial lawyer, becoming vice-chairman." Johnson "will remain a shareholder, director and become the club’s honorary president." Johnson: "I have been looking for a safe pair of hands to ensure the club’s future. In Mark and Nicola I have found that. As a local lad who played for the club, and a former chief executive of the FA with a successful commercial track record, Mark is uniquely placed to help lead Tranmere to a bright future. Nicola is an accomplished lawyer and businesswoman" (LONDON TIMES, 8/11). The PA reported Palios "has long been linked with Tranmere." The move "gives a nod to change after 27 years of Johnson being in charge, having bought the club out of administration in 1987." The Rovers "visited Wembley five times during his reign and narrowly lost the 2000 League Cup final to Leicester." Palios: "There is a big job to be done to get the club back in the higher divisions and get the facilities back up to scratch. In the coming weeks and months we will share with you our plans on how we intend to make it happen" (PA, 8/11). The BBC wrote Palios said that "his strong emotional ties with Rovers had led him to take up his new position." He said, "It was not in our plans to join any other football club. It's not a business decision that we're making, it's an emotional decision, but it's one where we hope to bring business principles to the club" (BBC, 8/11). Nicola Palios said, "Peter Johnson has shown incredible generosity to Tranmere over many years, and particularly by writing off his past loans to give a solid financial base for the upcoming season. We aim to reward his loyalty by ensuring the club’s legacy for the future" (WIRRAL GLOBE, 8/11).

La Liga side Valencia's fans have scheduled a protest for Wednesday afternoon, "when they are expected to protest against the delay in the sale of the club," according to SUPERDEPORTE. The Valencia fan base is "even proposing to form a symbolic human chain around the stadium." There is "also an effort being made on, in which an initiative to push lender Bankia to reach an agreement" with Peter Lim's Meriton Holding was launched on Sunday. The petition had acquired 3,712 signatures by the time of publication (SUPERDEPORTE, 8/11). Valencia President Amadeo Salvo said, "It is an issue that has to be resolved. We have all taken a step forward -- Valencia, (majority shareholder) Fundación, Peter Lim -- the only that has not has been Bankia and it should take this step. Lim accepts 100% of the debt and the Fundación is selling to Lim pending an agreement with Bankia. ... There is only one who has to take a step forward" (SUPERDEPORTE, 8/11).