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Views From The Industry: This Week In Sport & Business

March 11, 2022

iSportConnect takes a look at some of the biggest happenings and talking points around sport and business over the past seven days and what the industry has been saying.

Russian For A New Owner? But missing the bigger picture?

Chelsea FC have had a rocky week off the pitch after the British government revealed sanctions against the club’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich.

Abramovich, who is looking to sell the club, may now no longer get a single penny from the deal after Chelsea were seized by the government, who have implemented strict regulations for the team to continue to function.

This undoubtedly throws a lot of doubt into the future of the club, however the government have stated that they will be able to make a deal happen and that potential owners should go directly through them if they wish to bid for the asset.

Main shirt sponsors Three have already suspended their sponsorship of the club, however training kit sponsors Trivago have stated they will be sticking by Chelsea.

Of course, while many rivals fans are taking great pleasure in watching the potential downfall of Chelsea, which clearly cannot operate in this manner for a sustained period of time and will require new ownership if the club is to continue as it currently does, the major concern should lie with the employees of the club.

Were Chelsea to suddenly suffer severe financial consequences there would be hundreds, if not thousands, of staff members who work at Stamford Bridge, the club’s Cobham training ground, or those who are required on matchdays for hospitality and security and many other roles who would suddenly find themselves in danger of being unemployed.

On BBC Radio 5Live on Thursday evening, former Chelsea player Pat Nevin was quick to point this out and emphasise that while those on the pitch will be fine, there are many others who will be extremely worried for their livelihoods if this does not come to a smooth conclusion.

Trouble on the horizon?

Everton are another club who could potentially be suffering the consequences of the Russian sanctions, after having to suspend all relations with companies of Alisher Usmanov, another high-profile Russian billionaire.

However, the club have supposedly stated that there is no immediate difficulty for the club, but it may affect the organisation in the long run, so it will be a key focus to replace the funding that will have been lost by this situation before it negatively impacts them.

Relegation this season, looking a greater possibility by the minute after their 5-0 loss at Tottenham on Monday night, would certainly not be pleasant in this regard.

What is certain is that the question of ownership has been sent to an even greater level than it was at over the past couple of months with the Saudi investment group who took over Newcastle United getting huge criticism from many sectors.

Perhaps this may cause the Premier League to think greater when it comes to who is allowed ownership of clubs, because at which point do we start to question the credibility of other owners around the league and how could that even be policed?

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Major League Baseball across the USA will be making a return on the 7th of April after an agreement was finally reached on a new collective bargaining agreement with the players, that will reportedly last for five years.

Another piece of good news for the MLB came in the form of a new deal with Apple+ which will see the league get two showcase broadcast games every Friday night as part of a new broadcast rights agreement, which will initially be free to view.

Just Believe It?

Nike have provided a teaser for the upcoming third season of Ted Lasso, revealing that they will be the new kit partners of the fictional club.

This is a really interesting partnership by Nike and it will be a great development to follow to see how they utilise this within their marketing elements moving forwards and whether there could potentially be sales of an AFC Richmond kit in the future. Props to them for entering this space, let’s hope it’s a success.

The modern way?

Nashville Soccer Club in Major League Soccer have decided to have all of the money from their new sponsorship deal with Valkyrie Investments in Bitcoin. This is of course a risk as Bitcoin could drop or rise at any time.

And finally… something for the weekend and some beautiful views

BONUS: If you love picturesque sporting venues then you can’t go wrong with Joe Pompliano’s thread of the 50 most beautiful bits of sporting scenery around the world.

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