Barcelona paid tribute to the victims of Thursday's terrorist attack "by wearing shirts with the city's name on the back, rather than players' names," according to Callum Davis of the London TELEGRAPH. Thirteen people were killed and "more than 100 injured" when a driver in a white van "mowed down pedestrians" on La Ramblas in the heart of Barcelona. A statement on the club's website said, "The first team will wear a special shirt with 'Barcelona' on the back where their names are usually displayed in Sunday's LaLiga opener against Real Betis." Barcelona Manager Ernesto Valverde added, "We would like to show our solidarity with the victims and their families in these difficult times. We are here to help in any way we can" (TELEGRAPH, 8/20). REUTERS' Richard Martin reported Barça was granted special permission from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for the arrangement. Additionally, the message "#TotsSomBarcelona" ("We are all Barcelona") was embroidered on the front of the club's shirts and players wore black armbands during the match. Each team in Spain's top two divisions held a minute's silence before games over the weekend (REUTERS, 8/18).
Championship side Barnsley is in advanced discussions with Ligue 1 side Nice’s Chinese billionaire majority shareholder Chien Lee "over a takeover," according to Jack Gaughan of the London DAILY MAIL. The club has held talks with Lee and his consortium, which includes U.S. businessman Paul Conway, and "there is hope of a swift conclusion." Sources in France said that the club is "seen as a key purchase" as the group looks to expand its commercial portfolio. Lee, who made his fortune with hotel firm Plateno Group and investment company NewCity Capital, is "looking to secure a full buyout." Sources close to Lee insisted his consortium is "not planning to plough huge finance into Barnsley" but believes it "can fund a tilt at Premier League promotion" (DAILY MAIL, 8/18).
Korea Baseball Organization side Nexen Heroes is set to face a change in its ownership structure after it lost a trial against a U.S.-based businessman on Friday, according to YONHAP. The club filed a lawsuit claiming that it does not "owe a debt to Hong Sung-eun," chair of Atlanta-based real estate developer Rainier Group, but the Seoul High Court dismissed the team's appeal and upheld the lower court's decision. Hong said that he did not get a 40% stake of the club that former Heroes President Lee Chang-suk "promised in exchange for 2 billion won." Lee claimed that he "never promised shares of the club." After a "long tug-of-war between the two sides," the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board in '12 ordered Lee to give Hong a 40% stake in the club. In '14, the board's decision was backed by a Seoul court. Lee, however, did not follow the order, and Hong last year requested a prosecutor probe against the club owner "which saw Lee indicted on charges of fraud and embezzlement" (YONHAP, 8/18).