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Volume 7 No. 149

Franchises

Amanda Staveley
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Financier Amanda Staveley has "given fresh hope" of a deal to buy EPL side Newcastle United from Mike Ashley, "insisting that she has no problem with the controversial owner," according to Ben Nagle of the London DAILY MAIL. Her PCP Capital Partners investment firm made three offers to buy the club at the end of '17, but talks fell through when Ashley dismissed her as a "time-waster." Now, just a year later, Staveley spoke out about the St. James' Park club and admits there is "still a chance a deal can be done in the future." She said, "We are big fans of Newcastle, big fans of the team. We have no issue with Mr. Ashley, that is water under the bridge. It's still an interesting club to us, the fans are fantastic, but we are looking at a lot of clubs" (DAILY MAIL, 2/14).

League One side Blackpool was put into receivership so that it can be sold and the proceeds can be used to pay off some of the £22M ($28M) owed by the owners, the Oyston family, to Latvian banker Valeri Belokon, a court has ordered, according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. English Football League rules state that if a club suffers "an insolvency event," which includes the appointment of a receiver, it receives a 12-point deduction, but the league "has not yet determined whether that penalty will be imposed in this case." The receivership of the club, an associated company and other assets owned by Owen Oyston and his son, former club Chair Karl, was ordered by the High Court "after it heard the money is still owed to Belokon." The millions are owed by the Oystons to Belokon following a court judgment in '17 that the Oystons "illegitimately stripped" the club of £26.77M in a salary and other payments to their own companies, following Blackpool's '10-11 season in the Premier League (GUARDIAN, 2/13). In London, Jack Gaughan reported a representative for Belokon said, "Mr. Belokon expresses his hope that this will herald a new chapter in the proud history of a prestigious club. The application was a groundbreaking one in the football industry, with the judge confirming that it was in the interests of justice for the appointment to be made" (DAILY MAIL, 2/13). The BBC reported the EFL said in a statement that it will "consider the matter" at its next meeting on March 6. EFL CEO Shaun Harvey said, "We will be seeking an early meeting with the receiver, so as to ensure that the best interests of the club can be jointly considered, against the context of our regulatory framework" (BBC, 2/13).

There is "already plenty of romance" surrounding Alfa Romeo returning to Formula 1, according to Dan Ripley of the London DAILY MAIL. Love "really is in the air at the team, who offered the first look of their new car for the upcoming season by running a Valentine's Day livery during a shakedown session on Thursday." The livery features patterns of hearts and shamrocks interlinked, "with the latter a traditional symbol used by Alfa Romeo on all their sports cars as a symbol of good luck." The design is a "one-off" that will not be used during the season. Alfa Romeo will unveil its '19 car on Monday (DAILY MAIL, 2/14).

HUMBLE APPROACH: The BBC's Andrew Benson reported McLaren "projected a message of humility and determination to improve" as it unveiled its new F1 car. The team had the second-slowest car for much of last season "but finished sixth in the championship, largely thanks to the efforts of Fernando Alonso." The Spanish two-time champion "has left F1" and McLaren has a new driver lineup of Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris (BBC, 2/14).