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Volume 6 No. 234

Franchises

Chelsea appointed a new CEO, Guy Laurence, who has been a director of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, according to Simon Johnson of the London EVENING STANDARD. The 56-year-old, who was born in Manchester, will start work next month and take overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the club. MLSE controls the NBA Toronto Raptors, NHL Toronto Maple Leafs and MLS side Toronto FC. Laurence was CEO of Vodafone UK and has been president and CEO of Rogers Communications in Canada (EVENING STANDARD, 1/11). ESPN.com's Liam Twomey reported Laurence will become Chelsea's first formal CEO since the resignation of Ron Gourlay in Oct. '14 when he takes up his new post next month, and "will report to the club's three-person board" of Chair Bruce Buck and Dirs Marina Granovskaia and Eugene Tenenbaum. Laurence's appointment is the "latest step" in Chelsea's "concerted effort" to grow its commercial income. Commercial Dir Chris Townsend said in October that the club wants to take its revenues north of the £650M ($880M) mark "over the next seven to 10 years" by agreeing to a "wide range" of new commercial partnerships (ESPN.com, 1/11).

Perth Glory could take an A-League game to either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur next season after Owner Tony Sage claimed he "received the green light from Football Federation Australia to do so," according to the AAP. If it happens, it would be the "first time an A-League match has been staged outside Australia and New Zealand." Sage said, "That's just one home game that we'll give up and play, either in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. It hasn't been finalized yet but that's the wish and I've got the tick of approval from FFA." Sage reiterated his support for A-League expansion into southeast Asia. The idea has been "raised numerous times," with FFA "knocking back a plan" presented by English player agent Jon Smith in '14. Sage said that he had conducted "informal conversations" with the FA of Malaysia. He said, "Everyone laughs at me but I think we've got to have a team in Singapore, Jakarta, Malaysia. That's 300 million more eyeballs onto the game. The television numbers will be huge. ... What's the use of having another one in Sydney or Melbourne?" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/12).