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Volume 7 No. 149


A consortium led by League Championship side Sunderland supporters is "ready to rival" a £50M ($63.7M) German takeover bid for the relegated club, according to Miguel Delaney of the London INDEPENDENT. Sunderland last week announced it was putting its "search for a new manager on the backburner as talks over a change in ownership became more serious." A German consortium held talks with Owner Ellis Short in London, with the American businessman looking for £90M ($114.6M) to sell the club. Another consortium "comprised of wealthy Sunderland fans" is also reportedly set to bid. TV execs Leo Pearlman, Gabe Turner and Ben Turner are leading a bid that is also "believed to count on the support" of former Arsenal defender Tony Adams and former Chelsea Business Affairs Dir Paul Smith. Adams, currently Spanish side Granada's sporting director, is "thought to have been offered a role in the new set-up." Pearlman and the Turner brothers are co-owners of production company Fulwell73, which takes its name from one of the stands at the old Roker Park stadium. The 73 refers to the club's 1973 FA Cup win, when it beat Leeds United at Wembley. A source said, "These guys are huge Sunderland fans and just want to help the club get back to where they should be in any way possible" (INDEPENDENT, 6/19). The PA reported consortiums from China and the Middle East have "previously shown interest in taking over the club but failed to make formal offers" (PA, 6/16).

Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, who owns Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, was named owner of the Cape Town franchise of Cricket South Africa’s upcoming T20 league, according to Gaurav Laghate of the ECONOMIC TIMES. IPL side Delhi Daredevils owner GMR Sports also picked up a Johannesburg franchise in the T20 Global League. CSA announced the eight team owners at The Bulgari in London. Other team owners include Rana Fawad (Durban), owner of Qatar Lubricants Company, who also owns Lahore Qalandars franchise of Pakistan Super League; Javed Afridi (Benoni), a Pakistani business exec and the owner of Pakistan Super League team Peshawar Zalmi; Dubai-based businessman Ajay Sethi (Port Elizabeth), the chair of Channel 2 Group; Mustaq Enus-Brey (Stellenbosch), the co-founder of Brimstone Investment Corporation; Hong Kong-based businessman Sushil Kumar (Bloemfontein); and an SA Consortium (Pretoria) led by Osman Osman (ECONOMIC TIMES, 6/19). CRICKET NEXT reported the Cape Town franchise will be Khan's third team in a T20 cricket league after Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. The competition, "hoping to emulate the success" of competitions such as the IPL and Australia's Big Bash League, is set to start in November, with the final to be played on Dec. 16 (CRICKET NEXT, 6/19). REUTERS' Nick Said reported teams will be hosted in eight centers around South Africa -- Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch and Benoni. Marquee players already signed include former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, current England limited overs players Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy, and ex-internationals Brendon McCullum (New Zealand) and Chris Gayle (West Indies). Almost 400 players from 10 countries "have confirmed their interest in being part of the draft" (REUTERS, 6/19).'s Firdose Moonda reported despite no Indian players being available for the tournament, its overlap with the Bangladesh Premier League, the chances of Australian players "being scant given the clash with their summer" and the England & Wales Cricket Board's refusal for Morgan and Roy to attend the launch, CSA President Chris Nenzani "was hopeful the competition would receive global support." Nenzani: "We thank all other cricket boards and we hope that they will support this venture in the manner that we have helped and supported their leagues. We hope they will help us to make it a success" (, 6/19).

Honda "appears set to deliver a much-needed engine upgrade this weekend in Baku." In Canada, McLaren F1 leadership admitted its frustration "was at a boiling point after the team's hapless partner failed to deliver an upgrade as scheduled." Honda F1 CEO Yusuke Hasegawa said that he "could not promise it would even be ready for the following race in Azerbaijan." But he has now said that "help is on the way this week." He said, "There will be some kind of improvement in the combustion engine in Baku" (AUTOWEEK, 6/19).

Hong Kong football club South China has been told to "respect player contracts" despite its decision to go down to the second tier, the First Division, next season. The club "dropped a bombshell earlier this month" by giving up its Premier League place. Nine players are "still under contract to play for them next season" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 6/19).

Super League side Wigan Warriors was "reprimanded and ordered to pay costs" for postponing its Super League fixture against Widnes Vikings in February. Wigan "called off the game, without consulting Widnes, as the pitch had deteriorated following Storm Doris and needed time to recover so that Wigan Athletic could play football on it." The club must pay £2,000 ($2,546) in costs for the Rugby Football League (BBC, 6/19).

Australian Football League side Sydney Swans announced the establishment of a Youth Girls Academy. The Youth Girls arm of the Sydney Swans Academy will commence in '18, with 140 places available in an initial 12-week training program open to 12 and 13-year-old girls. The program will be delivered across three metropolitan training hubs, including Moore Park, northern Sydney and southern Sydney (Sydney Swans).