The Month in Soccer Business: December 2011

A monthly compilation of interesting business news related to soccer. December 2011.

Goal line technology only needed every 40 years – Platini – December 9th

UEFA president Michel Platini reiterated his opposition to goal line technology on Thursday, saying it would only be needed once every 40 years and could lead to “video refereeing”.

The Frenchman, speaking after a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee, also praised Poland and Ukraine’s preparations to host Euro 2012, describing progress as “sensational”.

World governing body FIFA is pressing ahead with plans to use electronic equipment in incidents where there is a doubt as to whether the ball has crossed the line.

Full Article >> Reuters


American Owners Look to Turn A.S. Roma Into a Global Soccer Brand – December 11th

It all started with some hasty scribbling on the back of a napkin at Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Joseph Tacopina, the high-profile, soccer-mad New York criminal defense lawyer, was taking in a soccer game seven years ago involving the team that has been a lifelong obsession — A.S. Roma.

Full Article >> New York Times


WPS owners accept U.S. Soccer’s terms – December 13th

Women’s Professional Soccer took another big step toward a fourth season Tuesday, with all five teams agreeing to U.S. Soccer’s conditions for a Division 1 sanction.

U.S. Soccer’s board had delayed giving WPS a Division 1 sanction at its regular meeting Nov. 20, instead giving the league time to work on getting a sixth team. WPS could not line up a sixth team in time for the 2012 season, but the league was able to convince U.S. Soccer that they have a solid expansion pipeline. U.S. Soccer’s board agreed Monday evening to extend the sanction to WPS, provided the league’s owners voted to accept the terms.

The conditions include expanding to at least six teams in 2013 and eight in 2014, plus unspecified financial requirements geared toward stabilizing the league.

Full Article >> ESPN


Tottenham given green light for return to private ownership – December 14th

Tottenham Hotspur’s shareholders on Tuesday approved the club’s delisting from the stock market as chairman Daniel Levy fired another shot in the war-of-words over London’s Olympic Stadium.

The Barclays Premier League club last month announced its proposal to return to private ownership in a bid to assist its funding plans for a new stadium. The North London club is currently listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) with its intention to de-list being part of a new focus on the Northumberland Park development next to White Hart Lane following its defeat in the Olympic Stadium bid.

Full Article >> Soccerex


Match-fixing arrests reach 17 in Italy – December 19th

Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and 16 other people have been arrested across Italy in an ongoing investigation into soccer match-fixing and illegal betting.

The inquiry is focused on several matches in Serie B over the past two seasons, with Atalanta involved in three matches. Three Serie A matches from last season are also under investigation: Brescia vs. Bari, Brescia vs. Lecce and Napoli vs. Sampdoria.

“This is not the end, but just a starting point,” Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said Monday. “Let’s hope it’s a starting point in cleaning up the beautiful game that is football. One of the suspects has admitted that these operations have been going on for over 10 years.

Full Article >> ESPN


FIFA Names Anti-Corruption Panel; Valcke Warns Brazil 2014 Organisers – December 19th

(WFI) FIFA has named the members of its Independent Governance Committee that is charged with helping clean up the corruption-hit football governing body.

The representatives from the international football community and key figures from outside the sport were appointed by the chairman of the committee Mark Pieth, the man spearheading FIFA’s reforms process on behalf of its president Sepp Blatter.

The anti-corruption panel includes: U.S. Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati, an influential figure in the development of US soccer over the past 30 years; Leonardo Grosso, president of FIFPro, the global players’ union; Lydia Nsekera, IOC member from Burundi, who has served as president of her country’s football federation since 2004; and François Morinière, CEO of Groupe L’Équipe – Groupe Amaury, the market leaders in sport information.

Full Article >> World Football Insider


Premier League and Ligue 1 to lobby Uefa over third‑party ownership – December 21st

The Premier League will join forces with Ligue 1 to lobby Uefa over the issue of third‑party ownership and its effect on financial fair play rules.

The Premier League has made representations to Uefa over the fact it believes third‑party ownership, banned in England and France but allowed across most of Europe, unfairly tilts the scales of the FFP regime that came into force this year. It has now agreed to work together with the top division of the French football league with a view to lobbying Uefa over the issue, believing that it poses a threat to the integrity of competition and potentially puts English and French clubs at a disadvantage to their European rivals.

Full Article >> The Guardian


Cash Crisis Haunts English Soccer Club as Banker Owner in Court – December 22nd

Fans of Portsmouth thought their luck had turned when Vladimir Antonov bought the English soccer club. The Russian banker pumped millions of pounds into the team that a year earlier became the first ever from the Premier League to seek bankruptcy protection.

Now Portsmouth, which was demoted in May 2010 to the second-tier, is in crisis once again. It’s facing another cash shortage and is looking for its fifth owner in less than two years. Antonov is fighting extradition to Lithuania where he and a business partner are facing fraud and embezzlement charges linked to about $1.6 billion missing from banks he controlled there and in Latvia. The 36-year-old denies any wrongdoing.

Full Article >> Bloomberg BusinessWeek


Fergie backs Suarez ban– December 24th

Sir Alex Ferguson has described Luis Suarez’s eight-match suspension as “the right decision” and suggested Liverpool will have to accept the punishment.

 Suarez is set to miss eight games and pay a £40,000 fine after he was found guilty of using insulting words with reference to Patrice Evra’s skin colour during Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United at Anfield in October.

Full Article >> ESPN


Kevin Garnett Becomes Part-Owner of AS Roma  – December 30th

Start calling Kevin Garnett “Il Biglietto Grande.” The Boston Celtics star has agreed to purchase a minority stakein Italian soccer club AS Roma, according to the Associated Press.

“Roma confirmed to The Associated Press that Garnett accepted an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston executives who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club,” the report states.

Full Article >> NESN

The Month in Soccer Business: December 2011

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