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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

Chelsea is "prepared to ban supporters" from matches at Stamford Bridge for offensive behavior that takes place away from the ground as part of the club's "attempts to combat racism and antisemitism" among elements of its fanbase, according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The club was liaising with the British Transport Police on Monday after three fans were spoken to by officers for "alleged antisemitic chanting on a train returning to London" after Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton. The three fans questioned by police are "unlikely to face prosecution" as British Transport Police have not received a formal complaint about the behavior, but Chelsea "could take action of its own." The alleged behavior of its fans on Sunday is "particularly embarrassing" for Chelsea as Chair Bruce Buck spent time before kickoff at the Amex Stadium speaking to supporters and emphasizing that it was "an important day for the club's image following a week of race-related controversies" (LONDON TIMES, 12/17).

ManU faces a bill in the region of £24M ($30.3M) should it elect to replace José Mourinho "before the end of the winter transfer window," according to Duncan Castles of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. While the compensation package due to the 55-year-old will fall by 25% should Mourinho "fail to secure qualification for next season's Champions League," the club faces a "minimum liability" of £18M ($22.7M) to dismiss the coach who has led it to two major trophies and its highest Premier League finish of the post-Alex Ferguson era. The improved contract ManU agreed to with Mourinho 11 months ago runs until the end of the '19-20 season, "with an option of a further season." The deal reportedly "includes a severance package equivalent to one year's salary." With 25% of Mourinho's pay conditional on qualification for Europe's premier club competition, ManU would remain liable for the Champions League "top-up" were it to dismiss its manager while he was "still in this season's competition or in contention for fourth place" in the EPL. Although Mourinho stated that "the owners and the board...are showing me also their ambition, their commitment, their desire to go in the right direction" upon extending his contract, there have been "problems between" manager and CEO for many months, with last summer's transfer window "descending into a major point of conflict" (DAILY RECORD, 12/17).

The managing director of Schalke 04 (Shanghai) Sports Consulting will be Philipp Rütgers.
Photo: Schalke

Bundesliga side Schalke 04 opened an office in Shanghai, China, strengthening its presence in the market and enhancing the club's connection with local fans. The Shanghai office will serve as the HQ for Asia, according to the club's announcement. The managing director of Schalke 04 (Shanghai) Sports Consulting will be Philipp Rütgers, who previously worked as head of partnerships in Bayern Munich’s Shanghai office (YUTANG SPORTS, 12/17).

The name, colors and logo of Sydney's newest A-League club "should be settled by March," with a series of forums planned over the coming weeks to give the community its say. A few days after winning the battle for A-League expansion, celebrations "have come to an end" for Macarthur South West Sydney and the "hard work of preparing the new club" for its debut in season '20-21 has begun (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 12/17).

A-League side Melbourne City’s fan group is disbanding in a "major blow" to the club, but the "Melburnians" insist it has "nothing to do with the ongoing non-selection of Bruno Fornaroli." This week’s Melbourne derby at AAMI Park will be the last to feature Melbourne City’s official supporters group, which has "long endured alleged heavy handed treatment from stadium officials and bemoaned restrictions from the club and local police." Its numbers have dropped, "making its operation less sustainable" (AAP, 12/17).