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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

Shane Richardson: "We see it as an opportunity to ... expand rugby league."
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

National Rugby League side South Sydney Rabbitohs Head of Football Shane Richardson reaffirmed the club's "desire to take on America" on the eve of a preliminary final against the Sydney Roosters at Allianz Stadium, according to Brent Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. The Rabbitohs had been "earmarked" as one of the clubs to take part in "round zero" -- the NRL's "ambitious plan" to start next season with a standalone game on the west coast of the U.S. NRL CEO Todd Greenberg on Thursday confirmed plans to play the game in '19 were "scrapped," although the league "will push ahead with attempts to get the concept up and running the following year." South Sydney remains committed to the game, something Richardson outlined as he spoke about the prospect of "gaining some traction" in the U.S. market. Richardson said, "We put a lot of time into this. We understand it has to be viable but we certainly haven't given up on it. We see it as an expansion of our brand and an expansion of rugby league." Greenberg on Thursday revealed "money and time had conspired against the NRL's grand plan to crack the lucrative" U.S. market, "leaving it with no choice but to postpone the game." However, he insisted the code remains "committed to turning it into a reality," possibly in '20 as part of a three-year deal to begin the season on the U.S. west coast (THE AUSTRALIAN, 9/21).

A legal case alleging that the Thai owner of Leicester City, King Power, is "criminally engaged in corruption" worth £327M ($434M) was dismissed by a court in Bangkok. The lawsuit, brought by a former anti-corruption official, alleged that King Power corruptly withheld from the Thai government an agreed share of income from its duty-free franchise at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. King Power has always denied the allegations (London GUARDIAN, 9/20).

Some EPL side Burnley fans described the club's appeal for unpaid volunteers to help stewards as "shameful." The club said that the "Match Day Hero" role would involve directing fans, validating tickets and checking passes at Turf Moor. Fans on Twitter accused Burnley of recruiting "stewards for free" despite tripling turnover to £121M and making a £22M profit in '16-17 (BBC, 9/18).

Intersport and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced the 2018 Injustice 2 Pro Series Grand Finals will be broadcast on Disney XD and ESPN3 (THE ESPORTS OBSERVER, 9/19).
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