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Volume 6 No. 262

Franchises

Premier League side Newcastle United’s financial future reportedly "hinges on the imminent new Premier League TV deal, with would-be owner Amanda Staveley’s next offer to Mike Ashley dependent on how much cash the broadcasters are willing to pay," according to Ian Herbert of the London DAILY MAIL. Staveley has "no intention of walking away from her attempt to buy the club" despite "public attacks on her" by Ashley. It is reportedly "now unlikely that a renewed offer will be made by her and PCP Capital Partners" until the winners of the '19-22 domestic rights are known, by the end of next month. Analysts "believe that the new deal will bring a further increase" on the current £5.1B ($7B) domestic rights and are convinced that Ashley "is deliberately stalling on negotiations with Staveley," knowing that a "big new settlement will drive up the price of the club." Staveley had hoped to do a deal before '18, "ahead of negotiations for the new TV deal." Falling viewing figures for live games "has created uncertainty about this round of TV rights," though some sources believe that there may be a 10% uplift. That "would mean Staveley having to improve her offer to Ashley, which she is ready to do." An analyst said, "If Ashley sits and waits for the new TV deal, he knows the value of the club will probably go up" (DAILY MAIL, 1/22).

Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne "is hinting that a deal between Haas and Maserati could be closer than ever." Last month, Ferrari signed a deal for a Formula 1 sponsorship between Fiat Chrysler brand Alfa Romeo and Sauber. At that annoucement, Marchionne suggested a deal with Ferrari "B team" Haas and Fiat Chrysler-owned Maserati was something he was just "thinking about." Marchionne said last week of possibly sending Maserati to Formula E, "I'm not so sure. In terms of a possible cooperation, it is maybe better to try to organize a joint project with Haas in Formula 1" (AUTOWEEK, 1/20).

Manor F1 CEO Graeme Lowdon is "not ruling out a return" to the circuit. He told Finnish newspaper Turun Sanumat, "If nothing changes -- if there is no cost cap and the costs stay the same -- then we cannot go back because it's impossible to race against the big teams. But we have heard from the FIA and Liberty [Media] that work is being done to reduce the cost for private teams. In that case, we are interested in returning" (AUTOWEEK, 1/22).

Four more former Chelsea academy players plan "legal action against the club over racist abuse" they say they were subjected to by coaches Graham Rix and Gwyn Williams. The players, who prefer to remain anonymous, came forward after reading claims made "by three of their contemporaries." Those stories also concern then-youth team coach Rix, and Williams, who held a number of roles at the club. Both coaches deny wrongdoing (London GUARDIAN, 1/22).

Premier League side Swansea City "vowed to fund the purchase of defibrillators for grassroots football in the city following the death of a fan." Mitchell Joseph collapsed and died last weekend while playing football. The club also vowed to spread the defibrillator program "throughout all the local football leagues in the area." Swansea will supply one new defibrillator for every goal Carlos Carvalhal's side scores "between now and the end of the season" (WALES ONLINE, 1/21).

Bundesliga side Hamburg is "planning an entry into competitive gaming, with a focus on the FIFA scene." During a business event prior to the club's match against Cologne on Saturday, Hamburg Head of Sales & CRM Oliver Poppelbaum said that the club's management "approved the creation of an esports department" (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 1/22).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.