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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

Australian Football League side Hawthorn will "dip a toe in the basketball boom," joining forces with National Basketball League expansion side South East Melbourne Phoenix, according to Gilbert Gardiner of the HERALD SUN. The NBL and Hawthorn will confirm the "strategic partnership" on Wednesday, with the Hawks set to help put the Phoenix "on the map" in the region. The Hawks see the NBL "as an opportunity to diversify revenue streams," a key part of the club's 2050 Vision, and a "step into the sports management and governance sphere." The new deal "could open the door for the Hawks to one day own a slice of the Phoenix." L.A.-based Phoenix Owner Romie Chaudhari brokered the landmark deal making Hawthorn the first AFL club to partner with an NBL team. Chaudhari said, "They're a model sports club, they have a proven track record, both on and off the field. They have set a standard we look to build into our fabric here with the Phoenix family" (HERALD SUN, 11/27).

Arsenal is "confident" that it has taken "appropriate security measures" for its trip to Poltava on Wednesday after the president of Ukraine introduced martial law in the country for 30 days. Arsenal will play Vorskla Poltava on Thursday "amid a sharp rise in tensions in the region" after Russian ships fired at and seized Ukrainian vessels in the Black Sea. Arsenal usually travels abroad with a security team and the club has spoken to UEFA officials, who said that there are "no plans to postpone the Europa League group E game" (LONDON TIMES, 11/27).

Chelsea announced it will travel to Japan for a preseason match in July. It is the first game announced for the club's summer schedule ahead of the '19-20 campaign, with full details to follow in the coming months. Chelsea will work alongside principal partner Yokohama while in the country (Chelsea).

McLaren Group Chair Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa of Bahrain said that he has "no regrets about the decision to split from engine partner Honda" before the '18 season. He admitted it was "an expensive decision" but added, "It was in the long-term interests of the company." McLaren "just finished the worst season" in its history (BBC, 11/27).

League One side Coventry City fears its English Football League status is being put "in jeopardy" by owner Sisu's court battles with Premiership Rugby club Wasps. Conventry City said that Sisu intends to appeal the rejection of its call for a judicial review into the '14 sale of the Ricoh Arena to the rugby club. Sisu claims the city council "undervalued the stadium" by £27M when it was sold. Coventry's rental agreement expires next summer and Wasps "will not discuss a new deal with legal action ongoing" (BBC, 11/27).