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Volume 7 No. 149

International Football

Gerard Piqué is the new owner of Catalan side Andorra, Spanish press reports.
Photo: getty images

Barcelona's Gerard Piqué reportedly is the new owner of Catalan club Andorra, which competes in Grup II of the Primera Regional competition, according to EL MUNDO. Diario de Andorra reported Piqué's investment firm, Kosmos, "bought the club several days ago." Kosmos will reportedly assume the club's debt and "the objective is to bring Andorra into the professional ranks," which would require it earning promotion three times: from its current league to Spain's fourth tier (Tercera División), from there to Spain's third tier (Segunda B) and on to the Spanish second division. Andorra was founded in '42. Piqué said weeks ago in an interview with L'Équipe that he was interested in buying a football club (EL MUNDO, 12/12). In Barcelona, Ángel Pérez reported Piqué and Kosmos are only in the process of "analyzing the viability" of a potential acquisition. Despite it being reported that the agreement will soon be made official, sources close to Piqué said that "there is nothing advanced and at the moment he is only studying the project." Since the player's comments to L'Équipe, "many clubs on the verge of bankruptcy have contacted him" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 12/12).

There was no announcement from Football Federation Australia on A-League expansion on Wednesday, "much to the frustration of football fans around the country," according to Bossi & Lynch of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The six remaining bids hoping to gain entrance into the A-League were "left facing a nervous wait" as FFA’s board deliberated over A-League expansion but "hinted only at a potential further delay on an announcement." However, it would not likely be one that would hold back plans "for two new teams to enter as early as next season." It is understood a "strong push" took place inside the board room to progress with the competition’s growth, adding a minimum of two new teams at the "earliest possible opportunity," with an announcement set for midday on Thursday. It comes a week after FFA senior management "highlighted a lack of urgency for a decision," suggesting the expansion process could even be concluded as late as January. Privately, sources close to the new FFA board "expressed their desire to resolve the matter immediately while holding back their announcement for a press conference on Thursday." Sources suggest that, dependent on permutations, Macarthur-South West Sydney, Canberra, West Melbourne and Team 11 are "in the box seat" for licenses. No outcome was left off the table at Wednesday's marathon board meeting, whether it be the number of licenses issued, the schedule of expansion, conditions of entry such as stadia and the "financial windfall delivered from the process" (SMH, 12/12).