The Big Deal Weekly: AFL's boo issue and HQ headaches, Big Ben Boomers snub, Ange's contract strategy, WWC blackout threat, Messi set to be richest athlete, 'sexist' prize for women's race & more
Newsletter no.32, 9 May 2023
AFL HQ has plenty of headaches, ups and downs for Aussie NBA stars, a broadcast blackout threat and Messi gets set to sign the biggest deal ever, as we cover this week's big money moves at home and around the world.
Get straight into it and tune in below, or scroll on for the headlines and key points.
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AFL’S ‘BOO’ ISSUE AND OTHER HQ HEADACHES
AFL leaders and pundits have slammed Collingwood fans for booing legend Lance Franklin over the weekend.
It was particularly raw for the league, being the first time the Magpies had hosted the Swans at the MCG since Adam Goodes was racially abused back in 2013.
Port Adelaide’s young star Jason Horne-Francis has also been strangely booed by opposition fans all season - thankfully he’ll take on his former team, the Kangaroos, in Tasmania this week instead of in Melbourne, where things would’ve been much tougher for him.
More than just lighted-hearted banter from opposing fans, the ‘booing’ issue appears to be deeper and darker.
Dealing with the problem isn’t easy - the public criticism only draws more attention to it.
Meanwhile, after the Federal Government announced funding for a new stadium precinct in Tasmania there has been some political pressure applied on clubs over a contentious issue.
But AFL leadership has it’s own politics to deal with, after Andrew Dillon was announced as the new CEO-elect attention has already turned to an heir for AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder - and clubs aren’t happy with the potential replacement.
Tredders says there is a growing divide between AFL HQ and clubs.
Further contributing to this, growing frustrations with the adjudication of the game.
The new four umpire system is not working, and decisions handed down from the Match Review Officer range from bemusing to infuriating.
Maybe a spray from Tredrea will turn things around - it worked for his club, Port Adelaide!
After Tredders questioned the coaching situation, the Power hasn’t lost a game.
And the club legend says a shift in the coaching structure is having a big impact.
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SPONSOR PUTS NRL CLUB IN HOT WATER
Jason Paris, CEO of One NZ, a major sponsor of NZ Warriors in the NRL, accused referees of “cheating of the highest order” on Twitter after the Warriors loss to the Panthers on the weekend … and it has caught the attention of NRL HQ.
Paris has walked back his rant, claiming it was in the heat of the moment as a passionate fan.
But the NRL is said to be investigating the matter.
We all agree that refs should be protected, but can (and should) the NRL really clip a sponsor for some emotional words online?
BEN SIMMONS MISSES OUT ON BOOMERS WORLD CUP SQUAD
Ben Simmons wasn’t named in the Australian Boomers squad for the FIBA World Cup, but coach Brian Goorjian hasn’t shut the door on the injured star just yet.
Simmons wasn’t among the ten Aussie NBA players named in the 18 man squad for the competition which tips off in Japan on August 25, but still has a chance to get a call up if he can prove himself fit.
Even without Simmons, the Boomers will be going in strong:
Xavier Cooks (NBA listed)
Dyson Daniels (NBA listed)
Matthew Dellavedova (NBA listed)
Josh Giddey (NBA listed)
Josh Green (NBA listed)
Joe Ingles (NBA listed)
Jock Landale (NBA listed)
Patty Mills (NBA listed)
Matisse Thybulle (NBA listed)
Jack White (NBA listed)
LANDALE MAKES A NAME FOR HIMSELF IN THE NBA
Meanwhile Jock Landale has been making a huge impact off the bench for the Phoenix Suns, playing a key role in their last two wins against Denver to tie the playoffs series 2-2.
He’s made the most of Deandre Ayton’s poor form, getting more court time and maximising every minute with points, rebounds, assists, steals and massive energy.
Much has been made of the Ayton v Landale role, especially by Suns fans.
Former Number 1 pick Ayton makes $US31 million a year, while Landale makes $US1.5 million and is delivering great return on investment.
But as a true team player, Landale came out swinging in the media to defend his teammate:
“DA (Ayton) has held down some big-time areas of games for us this year and I am kind of sick of hearing people s***ting on him nonstop. I know it comes with the business and that is your guy’s job, but it’s other people’s right to say what they want to say. DA has been f***ing great for us.”
SON OF A GUN MAKES COLLEGE CALL
Bronny James, son of NBA legend Lebron, has announced he’ll play with USC in the NCAA, saying no to the NBL who had tried to lure him to Australia.
When the younger James steps onto campus, he will be nation's highest NIL (Name Image Likeness) earner, with a $US5.9 million valuation.
Bronny has a deal with Beats by Dre — the company's first high school athlete.
POSTECOGLOU’S BACK TO BACK SUCCESS
Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic has claimed back to back premiership titles.
Last week’s 2-0 win against Hearts secured the result.
Aussie Ange, the former Socceroos coach, has won four of the five domestic trophies on offer since his arrival at the Scottish giant – and another could come at next month’s Scottish Cup.
Postecoglou has had a rolling one year deal at Celtic and is reported to earn around £2.2 million ($2.8 million) per year as of 2022/23.
He has been linked to various Premier League clubs but appears to be happy at the iconic Celtic which brings with it a huge fan base, opportunities to win trophies the UEFA Champions League.
WOMEN’S WORLD CUP BLACKOUT THREAT
FIFA is fuming about not getting enough financial interest from international broadcasters for the Women’s World Cup, and is now threatening a TV blackout just three months before the event in Australia and New Zealand.
FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has been warning England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain for months, who are still yet to put up enough cash for the broadcast rights in their region.
Now he’s threatening to pull the plug.
Europe is FIFA’s biggest market and unfortunately games in Australia and New Zealand sit outside of prime time.
Broadcasting will not be affected in Australia.
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WOMEN’S FA CUP SELL OUT
Despite the commercial battles over women’s soccer, fans continue to prove they can’t get enough.
Tickets for the Women’s FA Cup final between Sam Kerr’s Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley has sold out.
That’s 90,000 tickets … more than double last year’s result, which was also a record!
MESSI TO BECOME WORLD’S RICHEST ATHLETE
According to media in Spain, Football mega star Lionel Messi has agreed to join the Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal, at a record price.
Check out these numbers …
Messi was initially chasing a ridiculous $US662 million per season, but ‘settled’ for $386.5 million a year (that’s $AU570 million a season!).
Easily the highest paid athlete in the world, Messi will overtake Ronaldo who plays for Saudi team Al-Nassr on $US220 million a season.
After telling Paris Saint-Germain he wouldn’t be back next season, Messi’s former club Barcelona was also vying for his services.
And while no official announcement has been made yet, it would clearly be hard to say no.
NEWCASTLE’S NEW BET PAYS OFF
Meanwhile, Premier League giant Newcastle has jagged a new $US31 million per year front of shirt sponsorship, reportedly a company from the Middle East but not from Saudi Arabia (where its current ownership is based).
It’s a big cash boost, after it parted ways with a betting company which was a $US10 million per year deal.
KENTUCKY DERBY BRINGS IN THE DOLLARS
The biggest horse race in the US took place over the weekend, with Mage winning the Kentucky Derby to claim $US1.86 million of a $3 million purse.
The horse is owned by a fractional share consortium known as Commonwealth, which allows individual investors to buy in on horse ownership.
At 15-1 odds to win, Mage made punters happy.
150,000 fans attended Churchill Downs to watch the race, and betting records were set:
All sources wagering on the Kentucky Derby race was a new record of $US188.7 million, beating the previous record of $US179 million set in 2022.
The Kentucky Day program set a new record of $US288.7 million in wagers and Derby Week rose to a record of $US412 million.
HOW MUCH FOR A SALAD AT THE MIAMI FORMULA 1 GP?
Max Verstappen got another win at the Formula 1 GP in Miami, but it was the cost of the food that got fans talking.
On Twitter some were calling it ‘Fyre Festival vibes’.
Here’s a taste of one premium menu …
A prawn salad for four would cost you $AU750!
Lobster rolls would set you back just under $AU700
Salads without meat were a ‘much more affordable’ $350 or so
A platter with sliders, ribeye quesadilla, and chicken tenders was AU$740.
‘SEXIST’ PRIZE FOR WOMEN’S RACE
Organisers of a race for 32,000 women in Spain have been accused of sexism after putting up a food processor as a prize.
The 7km ‘Carrera de la Mujer’ women's race issued a statement on Twitter saying it hadn't considered the kitchen appliance, which was donated by a sponsor, would have sexist implications.
Well, now they know …
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