Robert Kraft is "still intrigued" by the prospect of buying a Premier League club, but said that he is "put off by the absence of a salary cap," according to the BBC. The 76-year-old American, who owns the NFL New England Patriots and Major League Soccer club New England Revolution, was linked with buying Liverpool in '05. He said, "I like to win at whatever I do. But without a salary cap I'm concerned that we might be at a disadvantage." Former Liverpool CEO Rick Parry met with Kraft in the U.S. in '05, before the Reds were eventually sold to American tycoons George Gillett and Tom Hicks in '07. Kraft added, "We helped found MLS in America. Our league here is starting to really develop, and with our soccer team we've gone to the championship game five times in 21 years. I'm just concerned in the Premier League that we might not, with all the different ways of operating, we're not as familiar with all of them. Let's say people from all over the world come in and buy teams and maybe they have different reasons for doing it and managing it. And you have to compete with that and I'm not sure. But I'm still intrigued" (BBC, 10/12).
Lionel Messi's "signing bonus" for staying at Barcelona "could be as high as a record-breaking" £80M ($106M) and the club hopes to have a naming-rights sponsor for Camp Nou as early as next season to help the team pay for it. It is "normal" for clubs to add a signing-on fee or a renewal bonus in contracts but Messi's is believed to be the "highest ever." Catalan paper L'Ara reported this week Barcelona's wage bill as a percentage of overall revenue is now at 84%, up to £430M ($570.5M) (London DAILY MAIL, 10/12).
Premiership Rugby side Exeter Chiefs appointed SecuTix as its official ticketing technology partner. SecuTix, which already partnered with Saracens, was appointed to look after the club and its 12,500-capacity Sandy Park stadium (THE TICKETING BUSINESS, 10/12).
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund supporters will continue their protests against RB Leipzig when the clubs meet at the Westfalenstadion on Saturday. In February, "there were outbreaks of violence before the game between the two sides in Dortmund, with visiting fans attacked." Dortmund police told "hooligans and criminals" that they will make "huge efforts" to protect away fans from "harassment and attacks" (ESPN.com, 10/12).
Serie A side Lazio Marketing Dir Marco Canigiani laments "we have a Champions League worthy squad, with the attendances of a relegation team." The team has averaged just 27,000 at the Stadio Olimpico so far this season, "despite facing Milan and Napoli" for two of its four home games (FOOTBALL ITALIA, 10/12).