The Big Deal Weekly: AFL's hidden weight, Voss & Marshall to sign extensions, politics in cricket continues, F1 star's South Aussie plugs, more Premier League clubs hit by FFP, Nike's LIV move & more
Newsletter no.66, 16 January 2024
The sports business world is back full throttle in 2024!
Tredders and Huddo have dived into what’s making news in the sports business world to start the year.
The AFL will stop publishing the weights of its players in its season guide to stop them being fat shamed.
The league said time has changed and it’s doing it to protect the mental health of players.
Have we now officially gone too far?
More from the AFL
Carlton coach Michael Voss is reportedly set to sign a two-year contract extension.
The former Brisbane Lions mentor is contracted until the end of 2024, and is off the back of the Blues’ miraculous run from the bottom four to a preliminary final berth.
Is it too early to make the move?
Melbourne’s Joel Smith meanwhile is facing a minimum two-year suspension after reportedly being found guilty of taking cocaine before a match.
The 27-year-old is set to fight the ruling.
A urine sample collected after the Dees’ win over Hawthorn in Round 23, as a part of a routine drug testing, found a small amount of the drug in his system.
It comes as ex-Demons legend David Schwarz has expressed concerns over the club’s culture, with Smith’s looming ban and Clayton Oliver’s situation still up in the air.
Port Adelaide forward Todd Marshall set to ink a four-year deal, according to Channel Nine.
Marshall had struggled with fitness and form towards the end of 2023 with hip issues causing his usually reliable goalkicking to go wayward.
The 109-year-old shed, which could’ve been a problem for Tassie’s entry to the AFL, is unlikely to stand in the way.
According to Fox Sports, it is open for relocation or demolition, as the stadium is being labelled a “project of state significance” by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
Australian Open’s odd start
Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov’s tournament start was a tad bizarre.
There was a brief delay at John Cain Arena as Hungarian veteran Marton Fucsovics was ordered to change his shirt before the first round match could even start.
The issue was the number of logos visible on his shirt - with players not restricted when it comes to approved manufacturers on their kit, but can only display up to two commercial logos of a certain size.
West Indies Test saga
The West Indies will field a largely inexperienced side at Adelaide Oval, with players prioritising the richer domestic cricket leagues elsewhere.
The West Indies will have seven uncapped players against the Aussies, and will be without former captain Jason Holder and all-rounder Kyle Mayers.
Coach Andrew Coley, in a chat with the Herald Sun, said he has concerns over the longevity of Test cricket and believes changing the format from five days to four will make it more attractive to ‘white-ball players’.
Politics still hitting cricket
Meanwhile, South Africa has stripped its under 19 captain, David Teeger, of his leadership title after the Jewish cricketer publicly honoured Israeli soldiers.
Cricket South Africa said it had been advised that protests over the conflict are likely to target the tournament’s venues and the teenager, with the fear of violence also lingering.
“CSA has decided that David should be relieved of the captaincy for the tournament. This is in the best interests of all the players, the SA U19 team and David himself,” CSA said.
However, he’ll remain a part of the squad.
Back home, and Usman Khawaja’s appeal to the ICC over the black armband he wore in Perth has reportedly failed.
He has been permitted by Cricket Australia to wear an image of a dove with an olive branch if he plays in the Big Bash this season.
Bottas, Cromwell enter commercial agreement with South Australia
Formula One star Valtteri Bottas and partner, South Australian cyclist Tiffany Cromwell, have entered an agreement with the SA Tourism Commission to post about the state.
Bottas has become the latest celeb to receive a ‘secret fee’ to promote the state on social media, with businesses giving the superstar the red carpet treatment.
The couple have posted from various locations, including the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island.
The figure the couple have been paid remains undisclosed.
Forest, Everton charged by Premier League
Nottingham Forest and Everton are facing a points deduction from the Premier League due to Financial Fair Play.
Everton has already copped a 10 point deduction this season, which has pushed the Toffees from a top half spot into a relegation dog fight.
Manchester City’s situation is still up in the air, with 115 charges pending.
Super football contracts
Aussie star Sam Kerr has reportedly extended her contract with Chelsea in the Women’s Super League.
According to ata football, Kerr has signed on until 2025.
She currently ruptured her ACL and is set to be out for nine months, but has appeared for Chelsea on 128 occasions, scoring 99 goals.
Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe’s future is still up in the air.
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar is out of contract in six months, meaning clubs can approach him to sign on a pre-contract.
The forward is currently being backed to remain at the Ligue 1 club, snubbing Spanish giants Real Madrid in the process.
Mbappe was the subject of a mammoth bid from Saudi Arabia in the summer.
On the opposite end of the scale, Croatian side Hajduk Split has signed striker Nikola Kalinic on a one Euro salary.
The 36-year-old has had stints at Blackburn Rovers, AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Roma.
Bulls fans smashed after ‘shameful’ act
Late Chicago Bulls basketball GM Jerry Krause was honoured as one of 13 members of the inaugural class for the Bulls ‘Ring of Honour’, and was being recognised as the architect of their six championship teams.
However, Bulls fans booed his name, and his widow, who was accepting the award on his behalf, was reduced to tears.
Krause was labelled as one of the key reasons the team was broken up in The Last Dance.
Bulls legend and commentator Stacey King slammed the crowd.
“Chicago is a sports town and what we witnessed today when Jerry Krause’s name was called and the people that booed Jerry Krause and his widow, who was accepting this honour for him, it was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life,” King said.
“I hurt for that lady, it brought her to tears.”
Big brain contract move
The Miami Heat waited until Erik Spolestra’s divorce was finalised before giving him his record-breaking $120 million contract.
According to ESPN, it’s the most ever given to a coach in the history of the NBA.
Mavericks to pay out big bonuses
Mark Cuban has told Dallas Mavericks employees the team will pay out a total of more than $35 million in bonuses following his sale of the majority stake in the franchise, according to ESPN.
Patrick Dumont, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands, and his wife Sivan joined Adelson in purchasing Cuban's stake.
"As a thank you for all your hard work making the Mavs an amazing organization, each of you will be receiving a bonus from myself, and the Adelson and Dumont families," Cuban said in a letter to employees, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon.
"In total, we will be playing out approximately $35 plus million Dollars in bonuses to you all.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but reports indicate the transaction values the Mavericks in the range of $3.5 billion.
Cuban retains 27 per cent of the stake in the franchise and remains in charge of basketball operations.
He paid $285 million in January 2000 for the Mavericks.
Nike’s LIV move?
Tiger Woods and Nike have split ways after almost three decades.
“Throughout the course of our partnership, we have witnessed along with the rest of the world, how Tiger not only redefined the sport of golf, but broke barriers for all of sport. We watched him set records, challenge conventional thinking and inspire generations of people around the globe. We are grateful to have been a part of it. We wish him the best in the future.”
It appears Nike may also be potentially making the jump to LIV Golf.
In a post from Smash GC, the LIV team wrote ‘Smashing into 2024’, with the picture of a pair of Nikes, with the Smash logo and Nike tagged in the photo.
Lululemon enters golf
Min Woo Lee has signed a clothing deal with Lululemon, which is the first the brand has made with a Men’s PGA Tour pro.
Min Woo is seemingly a popular choice with his personality linking well with the brand.
The bizarre world of whatever happened at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea has been the scene of some bizarre things since Todd Boehly has taken over, and this weekend was no different.
During the Blues’ 1-0 win over Fulham, a group of men in jackets stood up at various points in what was later revealed to be a publicity stunt for the film Argylle, produced by one of the Chelsea owner’s companies.
On more than one occasion they have been pretending to brush their teeth, and the home fans chanted for them to ‘sit down’.
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