MMA promotion Cage Warriors announced a fundraising round with many of Europe’s biggest sports investors and a new broadcast deal with Freesports. Almost 18 months after the relaunch of Cage Warriors, its existing shareholders have put further funds behind the promotion with a new investment round. The group includes former Perform Group CEO Oliver Slipper, Nicole Junkermann (formerly of InFront), Jörg Mohaupt (a European tech investor in Spotify, Perform, Deezer, Warner Music and Adyen) and The Lad Bible Founder & Owner Solly Solomou. The promotion entered a new era of growth in '16, following a management buyout with a clear plan to combine MMA promotion, talent management and content producers in Europe. The management buyout was led by Graham Boylan, who ran Cage Warriors from '10, Casimir Knight and Chair Michael O’Rourke, who founded Setanta and Premier Sports (Cage Warriors).
Samoa will ask the Rugby Football Union for a £160,000 ($212,920) cut of next month’s £10M ($13.3M) Test against England, according to Nik Simon of the London DAILY MAIL. Samoa Rugby Union CEO Vincent Fepuleai is "personally contacting" RFU CEO Steve Brown after it was revealed Samoa's players will earn £650 ($865) each for the week -- in contrast to a £22,000 ($29,276) match fee for England players. Samoa’s pay packet breaks down to just £95 ($126) per day for its "biggest game of the year," prompting World Rugby Vice-Chair Gus Pichot to call for "widespread financial reform." Pichot said, "The whole economic equation in rugby is wrong at the moment. I can’t bull**** you and say it’s all fine, because it is a massive issue. We need a long-term plan." World Rugby is "under pressure" to introduce a revenue-share model. There is currently "no onus" on the host to split the revenue with its opponents, which is "stunting the growth of cash-strapped tier two nations" that lack the infrastructure to stage major Test matches. Pichot: "The revenue share model has been discussed. But the tier-one countries decided that wouldn't sustain their economies. ... I'm not a great supporter of making the rich richer but I was in those meetings and it's tough. Someone has £200 million ($266M) and they want £220 million ($293M). I’m looking for a fair growth of the game" (DAILY MAIL, 10/14).