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Chelsea in chaos as Abramovich era implodes

Between my week and my half A frenzy on British television While stuck in the health and safety protocols of London, and in a particularly turbulent period for English football, the sporting theme of the month so far has been Chelsea, Chelsea, Chelsea. Every day yielded new twists in the fate of the five Super League Champions.

We have a comprehensive insight into the madness that surrounds the club in our first item, although questions arise around the future of Chelsea’s ownership. There is no shortage of American billionaires interested in acquiring the club, and early feedback from my sources indicates that potential buyers have not shyed away from the sanctions. As one told me this week: “At some point it will have to be sold”,

Meanwhile, we also have a mission from the former FT Sports Editor and the current Global Technology Editor Murad Ahmad On the life and heritage of the Australian Titan Cricket Shane Warren, Whose untimely demise shocked world sports fans. Continue reading – Sarah Germano, a sports business reporter in the United States

Send us tips and feedback at scoreboard@ft.com. Haven’t received the newsletter by email yet? Sign up Here. For the rest, let’s go.

Why Chelsea’s chaotic end to the Abramovich era is just the beginning

Roman Abramovich: Dismantling the Empire © Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

Only weeks later Roman Abramovich and Chelsea The football club picked up the FIFA World CupThe British government cut him off from the football club that launched the Russian-Israeli oligarch To fame and fortune in the UK Due to his ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who started the war against Ukraine.

Having achieved the team’s conquering success on the field for almost two decades, Abramovich’s status as a sanctioned man Put Chelsea in crisis.

Britain’s move to impose sanctions on Abramovich sent shock waves across and outside of football.

“Unprecedented,” exclaimed a senior competitor. “Better late than never” it was to take In the Lex column of the FT, although the paper’s system had a Gloomier view“There is little evidence that the move will do much to deter Putin from his bloodthirsty aggression in Ukraine.”

Chelsea’s financial accounts show a group that depends on the capital of the Russian-Israeli billionaire. FordstamThe entity through which he owns the club owes Abramovitch £ 1.5 billion and has accumulated losses of £ 1.1 billion.

The sanctions have complicated his efforts to sell Chelsea, who now require special approval from the UK government to proceed with the deal.

Chelsea can continue to play football games only because of a special license granted by a government that wants to isolate rival clubs in the Premier League, one of England’s famous exporters, from the political turmoil in west London.

While Chelsea were pressured to defend their ability to host games at Stamford BridgeHer home stadium, a senior figure in the English game told the Scoreboard that it was “amazing that no real thought was ever given to what happens after Abramovich”.

Yesterday, Downing Street said Britain will release the restrictions on Chelsea after it became clear that it would be difficult for the club to continue football activities reasonably under the owner’s economic paralysis.

American billionaires, incl Titan Private Equity Josh Harris And wealth manager Todd Bohli, Considered offers to Chelsea. But new ownership may bring about a change in the club’s financial culture.

Few buyers have the means or willingness to sign off on such huge losses in pursuit of trophies. If and when bankers b Raine Group Able to renew the sale process, it will herald a new era in a club that is currently not financially independent.

Of course, there is A strange alternative Robert Shrimsley of FT suggested: “We’ll have to nationalize Chelsea.”

Whatever the outcome, the government insists that Abramovich, who has pledged to donate the proceeds from the sale of Chelsea to the victims of the war in Ukraine, will not be able to benefit from the sale while being sanctioned.

And while Abramovich leaves behind a trophy cabinet, Chelsea’s adaptation to a new ownership life will continue to shape its ongoing legacy.

The meaning of Shane Warren regarding the past, present and future of cricket

Shane Warren: Aussie rules © David Gray / Reuters

Shane Warrenwho will dead Of suspected heart attack last week at 52, was one of the sport’s most sociable personalities.

The Australian cricketer had a tumultuous love affair with the English supermodel Liz Harley. “Varney” supported the hair loss drug, but some of the commercials he introduced Were arrested On an over-egg how effective it was as a cure for baldness. In 2003, cricket authorities reduced the drug ban to just two years one year Having decided on the urinal he took could have done more harm than good.

All this made for great tabloid meat. But his real impact came on the cricket ground.

He became an instant superstar with his first delivery in a test cricket, where games last up to five days. It has earned the nickname e “Ball of the Century”.

This ball has changed the course of test cricket for almost two decades. Warren was a mysterious “dizzying” bowler and a lynching player for a brilliant Australian team that dominated the sport. He said he wanted every prom to be an “event.” The fans agreed, packed stadiums to watch it.

Its rise in the 1990s also came alongside the rise of pay-TV and satellite broadcasts. The value of cricket screening media contracts has steadily risen in its three largest markets: England, India and Australia.

Warren retired from a test cricket in 2007. The long form of the game now appears in a state of constant decline. There are few real cricket stars, other than perhaps that of India Wirth Kohli. Outside of England and Australia, audiences are rarely sold.

Test cricket remains a major component of paid TV broadcasts that need to fill broadcast time. But the biggest media contract in sports lies in Indian Premier LeagueFounded in 2008 as a money-spinning “Twenty20” competition, in which games last only four hours.

The lovers of Disney, Sony, Amazon and Facebook they Among those interested Promising a multi-billion dollar contract to screen IPL games in India when the rights are sold later this year.

Warren was a revolutionary who had a keen sense of what the modern audience wanted. After retiring from the test, he was among the first overseas stars to play in the IPL, where the best players can earn contracts worth over a million dollars, far more than any other competition. The future popularity of the game lies in the competition, very much Sorrow of traditionalists.

The passing of the great Australian is a reminder that all sports need players of caliber and character to thrive. Well, Verny.

highlights

Red Bull Race Leader Christian Horner: Renewed © Anna Gordon for the Financial Times

  • Christian HornerDirector of the Red Bull Formula 1 Team, know a thing or two about managing a dispute afterwards Max Verstappen An opponent was thwarted Mercedes Driver Lewis Hamilton On the title of World Championship in December. In the final episode of FT’s How to Lead seriesHorner talks about his passion for winning and his rivalry with it Toto Wolf.

  • International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach Took a rare political stance To reject Russia’s new ban on so-called ‘fake news’ as a precedent for expanding the organization’s request to ban Russian and Belarusian participation in all world sports. The IOC president delivered his rationale in a generous open letter on Friday.

  • Baseball Premier League And MLB Players Association Agreed to a new collective agreement On Thursday after more than three months of fierce negotiations that forced the postponement of the 2022 season. The new deal includes the establishment of a universal dedicated batting position and an increase in the minimum wage for players.

  • Apple Announced an agreement With MLB broadcasting the league games on Friday night, the technology company’s first foray into live sports rights, as reported by Business sports diary. The firm joins Amazon In competition for a share of the U.S. profitable sports rights market, after the latter signed a deal for Thursday night National Football League Games in the American League The latest broadcast package.

Transfer market

Anamri Phelps: Finish Line © BHA

  • Anmari Phelps Retires from- British Horse Racing Authority At the end of May instead of continuing for a second term. Joe Somers Smith, A non-senior manager, will perform the role until September 2023. Phelps confirmed that the regulator of the sport is in the midst of a “significant investigation”, with changes in his administration. Her departure comes before the British government criticizes the gambling laws. Race revenue depends in part on the tax on gambling agents known as the levy.

Final buzzer

Duke University And head coach in men’s basketball Mike Krizewski Have been synonymous there for over four decades, and this week the man known “Coach K” Managed his last home game before the sworn opponent University of North Carolina. It was a star-studded final, with people like comedians in the game Jerry Seinfeld and National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver. The highlight for Duke fans was perhaps this exciting video tribute, as UNC Tar heels Eventually he defeated the Duke Blue demons 94-81.

The scoreboard was written by Samuel Agini, Murad Ahmad and Arsh Masudi in London, Sarah Germano, James Fontanella-Khan and Anna Nicolaou in New York, with donations from the team producing the Due Diligence newsletter, FT’s global network of reporters and data. Imaging team

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