McLaren Formula 1 reportedly "reached an agreement with Honda to be released" from its partnership and switch to Renault power from the '18 season, according to Freeman & Rencken of MOTORSPORT. Honda's return to F1 with McLaren "has been disastrous" since it came back to the grid in '15, with a "lack of performance and constant reliability problems." Sources close to the deal confirmed that McLaren agreed to a three-year deal with Renault, taking it to the end of the current F1 engine regulations cycle in '20. It is understood McLaren "will get parity on power unit specification with the works Renault team and fellow customer Red Bull," while Toro Rosso's deal to switch from Renault to Honda -- "freeing up a supply for McLaren" -- was also signed (MOTORSPORT, 9/13). In London, Oliver Brown reported Fernando Alonso is expected to re-sign at McLaren after the team "finally decided" to ditch its Honda engines. The Spaniard "has made clear throughout his contract re-negotiations that his stay at McLaren would be conditional on a change of engine supplier," and his wish "has at last been granted." McLaren and F1 had been loathe to "let Alonso turn his back on the sport, and the double world champion has duly been offered a minimum two-year contract extension" worth at least £20M ($26.4M) a year, in line with his present terms (TELEGRAPH, 9/12).
BOTTAS STAYING PUT: In London, Giles Richards reported Valtteri Bottas signed a one-year deal to race for Mercedes in '18. He has "won twice this year and although expected to maintain his drive, the team had held off." The one-year deal allows Mercedes to keep its options open, with Daniel Ricciardo contracted at Red Bull until the end of '18 and Max Verstappen contracted with the same team until the end of '19. The 28-year-old "joined Mercedes at short notice at the start of this year" after current world champion Nico Rosberg "shocked the team by announcing his retirement" (GUARDIAN, 9/13).
National Rugby League side Parramatta's "attempts to distance itself from the bitter boardroom politics of the past failed spectacularly on Wednesday night" when club Chair Max Donnelly's constitutional reforms "were voted down by members," according to the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. At an extraordinary general meeting held at Rosehill racecourse, Donnelly "failed to pass strict new eligibility requirements" to become a director of parent company Parramatta Leagues Club, "namely excluding anyone who was an Eels board member before July 16 last year." It was a "clear sign" former Eels CEO Denis Fitzgerald and former Chair Roy Spagnolo "still wield significant influence among members," having mobilized the necessary numbers to block the "proposed landmark reforms." The vote "ended up" 68 in favor of the reforms and 125 against. Under the "unsuccessful changes, anyone who had a finding made against them by the Office of Liquor and Gaming" would have been barred from holding a position on the board. Donnelly also wanted to remove the requirement for prospective directors "to have been paying members of the club for three years" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/13). In Sydney, Adrian Proszenko reported the vote "keeps the door ajar" for Fitzgerald and Spagnolo to "return to office at future elections." It was "clear from the outset" that Donnelly would not "have the numbers." A dozen members "approached the microphone over the course of about an hour, all of them speaking against the reforms." Fitzgerald "also spoke passionately against the proposed constitution." The self-proclaimed "Emperor" of Parramatta said that the "wiping out of previous directors would eliminate worthy candidates," citing former Dir Glenn Duncan as an example (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/13).
There is "no excuse" for ManU not to have a senior women's team, former club Commercial Dir Andy Anson said. The club has junior female sides but disbanded its women's side in '05. Anson, who was on the board until '07, believes it is "no longer tenable for the club to be without a senior women's side." He said, "It is something of an embarrassment to them now. Manchester United have to revisit this" (BBC, 9/12).
Liga MX side Club América is "set to donate the gate proceeds" from the match against Chivas on Sept. 23 to "help fund rescue efforts in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, which were devastated by an earthquake last Thursday." At least 96 people died as a result of the 8.1-magnitude earthquake, with more than 2.3 million affected by the natural disaster (ESPN.com, 9/12).