Brazil's national football team is "becoming Globetrotters" in its own right, according to Amitai Winehouse of the London DAILY MAIL. On Friday, it played a "seemingly bizarre" friendly in Lille, France, against Japan. The team will travel to Wembley for a fixture against England on Tuesday. These matches "only seem weird if the last five years worth of fixtures are not taken into account." The "money machine" that is the Brazil national team has played 33 friendlies in that time. A "staggering" 24 have taken place outside of its own nation. The box office is the "main reason" behind Brazil's ongoing global tour. A game organized against Argentina at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in June this year drew 95,969 supporters. Even at stadiums that are "not as starved of good football," such as the Emirates, Brazil draws fans. A near-sellout 60,007 turned up in north London when Brazil took on Chile in March '15. Of course, there is "a cost associated with bringing Brazil to a stadium." Pitch Int'l currently has the right to help organize Brazil's friendlies worldwide. It is understood that it cost around £3M ($3.9M) to bring Neymar and his teammates to Wembley. The friendly against Russia at Stamford Bridge in March '13 was "touted" as costing $3M to organize. Even if a game is at a "seemingly inconvenient" time and location, there is still a commercial benefit. The match against Japan on Friday was organized for a 1pm kickoff as that meant it "would be broadcast at peak time for an interested Asian audience" (DAILY MAIL, 11/13).
Salford, England, town hall execs gave "financially strapped" Super League rugby club Salford Red Devils a three-year break on repayments of a £1.5M ($1.9M) loan, according to Neal Keeling of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Councilors decided to grant the club further time after a previous two-year loan holiday ended. The council will "not reveal how much of the loan is outstanding" but insiders said that it is "substantial." The loan, paid through an independent administrator "after the previous club’s assets were seized to pay off creditors," is due to be paid back by '38 after a 25-year deal was "thrashed out" in '13. In Aug. '15, former Mayor Ian Stewart agreed to "allow the club to defer payments" on the loan for 17 months. In January, current Mayor Paul Dennett agreed to let the club "hold off on payments" until December. Now, he has agreed to a "further three-year freeze on payments" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 11/9).
Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire owner of multinational petrochemicals company Ineos, "added a football team to his collection of esoteric buys." The sale of Swiss side Lausanne-Sport to Ineos was confirmed on Monday. The team has won the league seven times, the last in '65, "and the cup nine times." Club President Alain Joseph "has been seeking a buyer for several months" (BBC, 11/13).
Revenues at Ladbrokes Coral "have recovered through the year, thanks to recent double digit sales increases at its online gambling division that have more than offset continued falls in wagers" taken in its retail shops. In a trading update for the period from July 1-Oct. 19, the company said that overall group revenues increased 2% on a constant currency basis, up from a 1% rise "across the rest of the year." Over the four-month period, revenues from its digital arm rose 11% on a constant currency basis, helping to make up for a 1% decline at its U.K. retail shops (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/13).
AC Milan is in exclusive talks with a single party for the refinancing of €308M ($359M) of the club’s debt, two shareholders quoted CEO Marco Fassone as saying. The two minority investors said that Fassone "did not say who the counterpart was." The club "is majority-owned by a Chinese-led consortium headed by Li Yonghong" (REUTERS, 11/13).