Global Business of Soccer Recap

Here are some of the top stories from around the global soccer industry from last week…


Blatter Steps DownWho Owns Soccer? (New York Times)

Early this month, after Sepp Blatter trudged off the stage following his announcement that he would be retiring from the presidency of FIFA, he was followed at the podium by a man named Domenico Scala, the FIFA official who is charged with overseeing the election to replace him. Implicitly acknowledging the furor that prompted Blatter’s departure — the arrests of seven soccer officials in Zurich on corruption charges the week before — Scala said Blatter’s decision “created an opportunity for us to go further than FIFA has before — to fundamentally change the way in which FIFA is structured.”

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BOS_FIFAFIFA Loses Nobel Peace Center Cooperation Amid Bribe Scandal (Bloomberg)

FIFA’s initiative with the Nobel Peace Center will end in another blow to soccer’s governing body, which has been tainted by a U.S. investigation into corruption.

FIFA introduced the Handshake for Peace — pre-match greetings between team captains and game officials — in 2012 in cooperation with the Oslo-based Nobel Peace Center.

The soccer body said it was “disappointed” to learn of the move through the media and will continue the gesture at competitions including the current women’s World Cup in Canada and under-20 tournament in New Zealand.

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Arsenal Football ClubAfrica’s Richest Man, Nigeria’s Dangote, Plans to Bid for Arsenal Soccer Club (Reuters)

Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote, announced on Thursday that he wanted to buy English soccer team Arsenal and would make a bid “at the right time”.

Dangote, 58, is listed as the 67th richest person in the world by Forbes, with business interests including sub-Saharan Africa’s leading cement producer Dangote Cement and a net worth of more than $17 billion.

“He is showing interest in making an offer,” Dangote’s spokesman Anthony Chiejina said, referring to the London soccer club, one of the most successful in the Premier League.

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BOS_Leeds UnitedLeeds United Announce Kappa Kit Deal (Soccerex)

The Italian brand will supply matchday and training wear to the Championship side for the next five years. It will also create a range of replica merchandise for Leeds supporters.

The new home strip will be worn for the first time in a pre-season friendly with nearby non-league team Harrogate Town on 10th July, following an unveiling the previous day. It will be available to supporters on 11th July.

Macron had a partnership in place with Leeds until the summer of 2016 but that contract, which began in 2010, has been severed. Last November, the Italian sportswear firm made a claim of over UK£5 million from the club – UK£2.15 million in money owed and between UK£2.5 and UK£3.5 million in damages.

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Montreal ImpactMontreal Impact Install Revolutionary Ticketing and CRM Technology (FC Business)

Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact has made the revolutionary step of implementing a single platform stadium technology solution.

The software, supplied by Sports Technology specialists, Green 4 Solutions, will provide one system for the club’s Ticketing and Merchandise operations, CRM, marketing automation and Fan Loyalty Program.

After recently becoming the first team from Canada to make the CCL Final, Montreal Impact will now be leading the way off the field with their vision to bring all of these venue technologies onto the single platform.

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BOS_Barcelona Intel Shirt SponsorJoan Laporta Would Scrap Barcelona’s Qatar Sponsorship Deal (ESPN FC)

Barcelona presidential candidate Joan Laporta has indicated that he would scrap the club’s Qatar Airways shirt-sponsorship deal if he were re-elected.

Laporta, who was president between 2003 and 2010, has confirmed he is running in next month’s election and he was the overwhelming leader in recent readers’ polls conducted by Madrid-based papers AS and Marca.

He has previously criticised the five-year sponsorship deal with Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), which was agreed by Sandro Rosell shortly after Laporta’s exit and is worth €165 million.

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Blatter Qatar 2022FIFA Probe Shows Soccer State Within a State (Wall Street Journal)

In 1996, Nicolás Leoz, then president of the South American Soccer Confederation, wrote to a Paraguayan senator with an unusual request: Grant the confederation immunity from prosecution.

In exchange, Mr. Leoz said, the federation would base itself permanently in this poor, landlocked country.

Paraguay’s Congress passed legislation giving the confederation, known as Conmebol, an untouchable status in this country, as if it were an embassy. Paraguayans celebrated, heaping praise on Mr. Leoz, their compatriot, for having secured a prestigious appointment in a sport that is a national obsession.

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Concacaf Gold CupGold Cup 101: What it is, why it matters, and how to follow along this summer (Major League Soccer)

Whether you’re a wily soccer veteran or brand new to the game, you’ll want to spend much of July following the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the biennial tournament that crowns the champions of our continent.

But if you fall in the latter category, you probably have a few questions. We’re here to help. Let’s start with the basics.

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20130305_minnesota-united_33City of Minneapolis Creates Work Group to Study Soccer Stadium Proposal (MinnPost)

The city of Minneapolis took its first official action toward a new Major League Soccer stadium Friday morning.

A resolution creating a stadium work group was added to the city council’s regular agenda by Council President Barbara Johnson and approved on a voice vote.

The resolution directs the work group to study issues surrounding the stadium proposal and report back to the council’s committee of the whole in September and then to the full council no later than its final meeting of 2015. The resolution charges the group to “determine a legislative strategy, if any, to support an MLS stadium.”

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US SoccerU.S. Soccer Announces Round of 16 Draw for 2015 U.S. Open Cup (U.S. Soccer Federation)

U.S. Soccer unveiled the Round of 16 as well as the potential Quarterfinal and Semifinal pairings and host scenarios for the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. For the first time in the competition’s Modern Era (1995-present), a regional bracket provides teams with a clear path to the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final. The Round of 16 takes place on Tuesday, June 30 and Wednesday, July 1.

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Reporting on the business side of the world's game.