The Big Deal Weekly: Collingwood's social error, Tredders talks Port board, Vegemite's Australian Open exposure, Canberra in both BBL and A-Leagues, Man United ownership making changes & more
Newsletter no.67, 23 January 2024
Sports business has picked up this week.
There’s new teams making bids for competitions, while ownership debacles remain.
Pies in hot water over new-look facilities
Reigning premier Collingwood has copped some flak this week after celebrating its new-look footy training facilities.
The facilities cover up what used to be the club’s netball training base, after the Magpies pulled out of Super Netball at the end of 2023.
The club’s headquarters was funded, in part, by a $15 million federal government infrastructure grant, intended for improved facilities for women’s sports teams.
The Magpies’ Super Netball team was reporting a yearly loss of $1 million, which led to its demise. Meanwhile, the organisation as a whole recorded a $7.56 million profit for the financial year ending in October.
Tredders talks Port board
The Port Adelaide Football Club board race is down to two after incumbent Kathy Nagle withdrew.
Warren Tredrea spoke on why he’s running for the club’s board on today’s podcast.
Demon out, Vegemite in
Alex de Minaur’s Australian Open bid was left in tatters, leaving the young Aussie absolutely gutted.
However, he drew plenty of viewers - 1.15m viewers as the last Aussie in the singles draw.
Meanwhile, Vegemite got some global exposure.
Morgan Riddle, the partner of Taylor Fritz, had declared she would eat an entire jar of Vegemite if he were to beat his next opponent, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
And he did.
Tom Brady and tennis
The greatest of all time is coming down to visit Melbourne.
And not only that, his January 27 commitment at Crown coincides with the finals of the Australian Open.
Reports are that a PR agency inquired about hosting him courtside, but got a shock - $200,000 to $300,000 USD per hour was the figure relayed.
Nadal takes the Saudi money
Rafael Nadal has reportedly signed on as a tennis ambassador for Saudi Arabia, with plans to build an academy in the country.
Canberra men’s bid for A-League
Football Australia is hesitant on A-League expansion as it awaits further details following last week’s Australian Professional Leagues financial explosion.
As of March 2023, the A-League was set to expand by two clubs, with billionaire-backed Auckland and Canberra United for the 2024-25 season.
However, since the APL’s financial woes have come to light, there are concerns about if it’s the right time to expand, considering issues with the Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets.
Current A-League commissioner Nick Garcia expressed his confidence that Canberra would be part of next season’s men’s competition.
APL in strife
Three years ago the APL took over control of the A-Leagues from Football Australia.
It has now reportedly axed around 50 per cent of its workforce, making roughly 40 of its staff redundant.
Cricket ACT’ bids to enter BBL
Cricket ACT is making a push to enter teams into the men’s and women’s Big Bash League competitions.
The multimillion-dollar bid, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, is to receive a license, and it has made presentations to both the federal government and CA board on the matter.
Part of the submission argued an extra team would help national revenue via broadcast rights and provide more opportunities for players.
Venue wise, Manuka Oval has hosted both BBL and AFL previously.
Big name players out of contract in BBL
David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Steve Smith look set to be on the market, as they headline a list of 51 players yet to pen a deal for BBL14.
Other names include Alex Carey, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne.
Ratcliffe could be forced to sell United shares
Sir Jim Ratcliffe could be forced to sell his Manchester United shares, which is 25 per cent stake in the club, in just 18 months.
A tender document revealed a number of rules on a future sale of the Red Devils, that the Glazer family are not allowed to either solicit or even encourage any new offers for the first year after the tender offer is completed on February 13.
However, once that first 18 month period has passed, the Glazers can sell the club outright, which would force Ratcliffe’s company to sell up every share they have to any new buyer.
Jordan Henderson returns to Europe
After only six months in Saudi Arabia, former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson signed with Dutch giants Ajax on a two-year deal. (highest paid player 90k per week down from 700,000) well short of liverpool deal of 170k p/w he wal;ked out of
Henderson took a significant pay cut to return to European football.
The former Sunderland player also had a suss if his preferred number 14 had been retired, as it had been worn by the late Johann Cruyff - which it had.
Milan players walk after racist chants
AC Milan’s French keeper Mike Maignan was subjected to racial chants during the club’s 3-2 win over Udinese.
The referee had stopped played and Maignan had stormed down the tunnel with his teammates, leading to the game being temporarily abandoned.
It’s not the first time Maignan had been racially abused by supporters in Italy, he was targeted by a Juventus fan in 2021.
United poach City executive
Omar Berrada is doing the reverse Carlos Tevez, and making his way from Manchester City to Manchester United as its new CEO.
Berrada is the Chief Football Operations Officer for the City Football Group, and will step away from that role to become the Red Devils’ CEO.
Berrada is held in high regard and has worked at City since 2011. He’s been largely credited for the club’s recent successes on and off the field.
Detroit’s proud restoration has major implications
The Detroit Lions have been through hell.
Before their win over the LA Rams, the Lions had gone 30 years without a playoff victory or a home playoff game.
Also in that time included 11 different head coaches, six general managers and an 0-16 campaign in 2008.
Ticket prices are rising, with the average resale prior to their playoff win against the Buccaneers nearing around $1200.
Stephen A. Smith to be in-demand
He’s one of the hardest working talents in sports media across the world, and Stephen A. Smith could demand a number the resembles that.
Smith’s reported $12 million a year contract is up in 18 months, and Smith has made it clear that he wants to be ESPN’s highest-paid talent.
Currently he has been leapfrogged by Troy Aikman ($18 million) and Joe Buck ($15 million), as well as Pat McAfee ($15 million).
When he departed Nike after nearly three decades, Tiger Woods had said another chapter was on the horizon.
Front Office Sports is reporting recently uncovered trademark filings from TaylorMade Lifestyle Ventures LLC hint at a potential new brand involving the golfing legend.
The applications to the United States Patent and Trademark office show TaylorMade is seeking to trademark the term ‘Sunday Red’ and an image of a tiger.
Sports Illustrated in strife
Authentic Brands Group has reportedly revoked Sports Illustrated’s license to publish due to a missed payment.
Due to that, all staff for the publication were told on Friday their jobs were being eliminated.
In a statement provided to publication Deadline, Authentic Brands said it had given the Arena Group a chance to come up with payment.
“Authentic is here to ensure that the brand of Sports Illustrated, which includes its editorial arm, continues to thrive as it has for the past nearly 70 years. We are confident that going forward the brand will continue to evolve and grow in a way that serves sports news readers, sports fans, and consumers. We are committed to ensuring that the traditional ad-supported Sports Illustrated media pillar has best in class stewardship to preserve the complete integrity of the brand’s legacy.”
An internal memo said some workers were to be terminated immediately, while others would continue working under the 90-day notice period. All will get a severance pay.
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