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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

McLaren appointed German Andreas Seidl as the new boss of its "struggling" Formula 1 team, according to Andrew Benson of the BBC. Seidl's recruitment in the new role of managing director is "the latest in a series of management changes aimed at making McLaren competitive again." The ex-boss of Porsche's World Endurance Championship team will join "during 2019," reporting to McLaren F1 Exec Dir Zak Brown. The exec said that Seidl was "a highly capable leader with a track record of success." He added, "It is another important step in our F1 performance recovery plan and long-term commitment to F1." Seidl, who worked in F1 for BMW from '00-09, "does not yet have a specific start date" because McLaren is yet to agree to a "leaving date" with Porsche (BBC, 1/10). REUTERS' Alan Baldwin reported a McLaren spokesperson said that Seidl was not a "like for like" replacement for Eric Boullier and "the changed role was reflected in the different job title." McLaren signed James Key from Toro Rosso as technical director, and he is "expected to start some time this season" once released by Toro Rosso. Former engineering head Pat Fry also returned to McLaren, which appointed Brazilian former Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran as sporting director. Brown said, "This is a significant appointment for us on two fronts. First, it is another important step in our F1 performance recovery plan and long-term commitment to F1. Second, concentrated senior leadership on our F1 program is an integral part of the long-term strategy of McLaren Racing to expand into other forms of global motorsport over time" (REUTERS, 1/10).

League Championship side Bolton Wanderers supporters "are planning a mass walkout" during a televised match later this month to "protest against how the club is being run," according to Martyn Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. Fans’ groups are urging supporters to leave the stadium in the 58th minute of the match against West Bromwich Albion on Jan. 21, which is being televised by Sky Sports. It follows "renewed financial problems for the club" and criticism of Owner Ken Anderson. The 58th minute reflects the year of the club’s last major honor, when it won the FA Cup. Anderson "responded to the mass protest in a column on the club’s website." He said, "If these people think this is beneficial to the club then so be it. Unfortunately, people seem to be coming to their own conclusions without knowing the full facts and believing everything they read" (LONDON TIMES, 1/10).