Global Business of Soccer Recap


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

Carolina_RailHawks.svgCarolina Soccer Team Sold by Firm Tied to FIFA Scandal (New York Times)

A second-division soccer team in North Carolina has cut its ties to the global FIFA scandal. The team, the Carolina RailHawks of the North American Soccer League, announced Friday that it was under new ownership.

The RailHawks had been owned by Traffic Sports USA, a Miami-based marketing firm that pleaded guilty in May to wire-fraud conspiracy in United States District Court in connection with the scandal in world soccer. The same month, the United States announced similar criminal charges against Traffic’s owner, José Hawilla, and its president, Aaron Davidson.

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Gianni InfantinoPlatini’s Right-Hand Man Makes Surprise Run for FIFA Presidency (Bloomberg)

In a last-minute twist befitting the ongoing crisis at FIFA and the race to become its next leader, European soccer’s old guard has thrown another candidate into the fray.

Gianni Infantino, the right-hand-man to suspended European soccer head Michel Platini, has joined the race for the presidency just hours before the deadline for nominations passed. Platini had been widely seen as the favorite to replace Joseph “Sepp” Blatter, but Platini is barred from the election until he clears his name with FIFA’s internal ethics committee.

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Turkish PM Erdogan addresses the media in AnkaraErdogan Intervenes After Soccer Boss Takes Referees Hostage (Reuters)

The boss of Turkish soccer club Trabzonspor locked four match officials in the stadium overnight for failing to award his team a penalty, only to release them under escort from special forces after a phone call from President Tayyip Erdogan.

Enraged club president Ibrahim Haciosmanoglu ordered Cagatay Sahan and his assistant officials to be detained after Trabzonspor were denied the penalty in the dying minutes of the top flight tie with Gaziantepspor that ended in a 2-2 draw.

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Photo courtesy of Manchester United.Manchester United Appoint New Chief Financial Officer (FC Business)

Manchester United has announced the appointment of Cliff Baty as Chief Financial Officer.

Baty. joins Manchester United having served as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Directors of Sportech plc, a leading pool betting operator and technology supplier.

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Galatasaray LogoGalatasaray Secure US $10m Shirt Sponsorship (Soccerex)

Turkish sports club Galatasaray have secured a major new sponsorship deal with construction firm Dumankaya.

The three-year agreement will run until the end of the 2017/18 European soccer season and is worth 30 million Turkish lira, or just over US$10 million, overall.

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OrlandoPrideSplashy Signings and Proven Models: Orlando Goes All In on Women’s Soccer (the guardian)

Orlando City SC’s new women’s team, the Orlando Pride, are officially the 10th franchise in the National Women’s Soccer League and they are aiming high. Or at least, they are aiming as high as the Portland Timbers and the Houston Dynamo.

After initially telling reporters that Orlando was aiming for an average attendance “north of 10,000” for Pride matches, club president Phil Rawlins days later hinted that early expectations have already been exceeded by early season ticket sales.

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UEFA LogoDynamo Kiev Racism Investigation Started by UEFA (BBC)

Uefa has opened a formal investigation after being handed TV footage appearing to show black fans being attacked during Dynamo Kiev’s Champions League draw against Chelsea last week.

European football’s governing body will assess charges of racist behaviour, crowd disturbances and stairways being blocked among the Kiev fans.

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credit suisseCredit Suisse Gets Dragged into FIFA Corruption Scandal (CNN)

Credit Suisse has been dragged into the FIFA corruption scandal. The Swiss bank said Friday it has been questioned by the U.S. and Swiss authorities in relation to alleged corruption and money laundering at the world’s soccer organization.

Credit Suisse (CS) said it received inquiries about its banking relationships with FIFA officials.

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FIFAAd-hoc Electoral Committee Receives Seven Candidatures for FIFA Presidential Election (

FIFA’s member associations have proposed, in due time and form, seven candidates for the presidential election to take place at the Extraordinary FIFA Congress in Zurich on 26 February 2016. The candidates proposed are HRH Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein, Mr Musa Hassan Bility, Mr Jérôme Champagne, Mr Gianni Infantino, Mr Michel Platini, H.E. Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Mr Tokyo Sexwale.

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Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber speaks on ESPN at halftime during the All-Star Game. Photo courtesy of Major League Soccer.MLS Commissioner Don Garber: “Great things happening” in Canadian Soccer Scene (Major League Soccer)

“When we thought about expanding up in Canada, we set a goal, and we still have that goal, and we haven’t achieved the most important goal, which is to help Canada qualify for the World Cup,” Garber told reporters before the game. “But the goal alongside that was to help build the sport here in this country. This sport’s got a lot of history, and I think that we’re beginning to see some of the benefits of that.”

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