Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin is closing in on a €6M ($8M) windfall, according to Lamprecht & Ingwersen of BILD. Hertha GM Michael Preetz and CFO Ingo Schiller "are closing in on another investment deal." The duo generated an "unbelievable" €80M ($107M) for the club, through a strategic partnership with KKR (€61.2M) and the sales of players Adrian Ramos (€28M) and Pierre Lasogga (€22M). The previously reported talks with an investor from Hong Kong "have been successful, and the deal is nearly done." Schiller: "It is true that we are in talks. However, there's nothing more to say at the moment." The deal "is expected to be signed within the next two weeks." The Hong Kong-based businessman "will reportedly loan Hertha" €6M. The minimum duration of the deal "will be seven years." It means that the club has seven years to pay back the €6M, but the investment "will immediately increase its capital." In return, the investor "will receive previously negotiated interest on his investment for each fiscal year in which the club turns a profit" (BILD, 8/14).
Some of the National Rugby League side Cronulla players "accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs" in '11 could "escape with a ban of as little as four weeks during the off season," according to Roy Masters of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Past and present players are "expected to be called to a meeting with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the NRL this week where they will be offered a range of sanctions, some receiving a ban of one month and others six months." The meeting will reportedly be on Wednesday, with ASADA CEO Ben McDevitt "anxious for it to be resolved before the end of the season so players given six-month bans can miss only one month" of the '15 season. Although the World Anti-Doping Agency code allows for a maximum 75% discount on the "standard two-year punishment for players who co-operate with ASADA, there is provision for admonishment, or a one-month sanction, for those found to have taken unapproved prescribed, rather than prohibited, substances" (SMH, 8/18). In Sydney, Brad Walter reported for the players, "it will mean an end to the constant speculation and scrutiny that they have had to endure" since the press conference at Parliament House on Feb. 7, 2013 that was "infamously" dubbed the "darkest day in Australian sport." For officials and supporters, it will "restore stability to the club" after two seasons overshadowed by the ASADA investigation into the supplements program at Cronulla during an 11-week period at the start of the '11 season. Having recently estimated that the investigation had cost the club A$4M ($3.7M), the Sharks have "paid a high price for what happened four seasons ago" (SMH, 8/18).
British Basketball League club Leeds Carnegie announced a rebranding that will see the club become known as Leeds Force as it makes the move to the fully professional BBL. The move also includes structural changes, as the club becomes a standalone business away from Leeds Metropolitan University. Leeds Force Commercial Director Mark Mills said, "This structure will enable us to fully engage with the professional nature of the BBL without being tied to the constraints of a public sector body." The team will continue to play its home games on Friday nights at the Sports Arena on the Headingley Campus of Leeds Metropolitan University. The rebrand will apply throughout the club, as its women's, academy and junior programs will all take on the new name (Leeds Force).