Chelsea reveals names of board members alongside Todd Boehly....beIN pursuing MENA rights to Serie A after previously opting out....Paris 2024 names Carrefour its newest premium partner

Chelsea names members of Todd Boehly's board

Todd Boehly has been confirmed as the new Chelsea chairman amid a series of new appointments to the club's board. He takes up the role of chair after it was announced earlier this week that Bruce Buck will step down. Chelsea also confirmed the departure of director Marina Granovskaia. But Granovskaia will "remain available" to the club for the duration of the summer transfer window to "help with the transition" (BBC, 6/22). The new board includes Behdad Eghbali and José E. Feliciano, co-controlling owners of Chelsea and founding partners of Clearlake; Mark Walter, the CEO and co-founder of Guggenheim Partners; Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss billionaire; Jonathan Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Cain International; Barbara Charone, a celebrity publicist; Daniel Finkelstein, a Tory peer and Times columnist; and James Pade, a partner and managing director at Clearlake Capital (London GUARDIAN, 6/22).

Meanwhile, Chelsea has begun the search for a replacement for Granovskaia. Atletico Madrid Sporting Director Andrea Berta, outgoing Liverpool Sporting Director Michael Edwards and Michael Emenalo, who served as Chelsea's technical director from '07-17, are reportedly among the candidates (AS, 6/22).

BeIN confirms bid for MENA rights to Serie A

BeIN Media Group confirmed it has made an offer for the Serie A media rights in the Middle East and North Africa. The league has been without a permanent broadcast partner in the region since beIN opted not to renew its deal after the '20-21 season. Relations between Serie A and beIN "fell apart" when the broadcaster accused the league of "not doing enough to combat piracy." Abu Dhabi Media and streaming platform StarzPlay also submitted a new offer after their joint proposal was rejected in February. The latest proposal presented by ADM and StarzPlay would have a value of €28M ($29.5) per season from '22-23 to '26-27. In February, Serie A extended the Arabic-language YouTube streaming of Serie A matches for the MENA region from five to all 10 matches each matchday. Serie A will decide on beIN's proposal by June 30 (CALCIO E FINANZA, 6/21).

Meanwhile, Serie A is reportedly considering the launch of its own radio channel, and the league is in talks with commercial stations RTL and RTS over production (MILANO FINANZA, 6/21).

Carrefour named premium partner of Paris '24

The Paris '24 Games named French food distribution company Carrefour Group a premium partner, the first time a company from that category will be an Olympic sponsor. Under the deal, Carrefour will provide produce and organic food to the Olympic and Paralympic Villages; a branding project promoting health through diet and social inclusion; and exclusive Carrefour collections in a range of products licensed by Paris 2024 (Paris 2024). Carrefour is the fifth company to be named a premium sponsor (second-tier, behind the worldwide category) of Paris '24, joining telecom Orange, energy group EDF, BPCE bank and pharmaceutical company Sanofi (TELLER REPORT, 6/22).

Sunderland's Kyril Louis-Dreyfus increases stake

League One side Sunderland has confirmed that co-owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has become the club’s majority shareholder after increasing his stake to 51%. Louis-Dreyfus was previously just the largest single shareholder in the club with 41% but has now purchased a further 10% to acquire further control. Charlie Methven, who had previously owned a 5% stake in Sunderland, no longer has any, while British businessman Stewart Donald has seen his stake almost half from 34% to 19%. Juan Sartori holds the remaining 30% after increasing his stake in the club from 20%. The news comes just two weeks after Donald and Methven revealed that they had accepted two bids from external parties in order to sell their remaining stakes in the club. However, Louis-Dreyfus has now confirmed there will be "no further sales of shares to a third-party buyer" and he hopes today's news has addressed any speculation heading into the Championship season (CHRONICLE LIVE, 6/22).

FA defends venues for Women's Euros this summer

The FA insisted on Tuesday night that it has "no regrets over its choice of stadiums for next month's Women's Euros" after facing criticism that larger venues should have been chosen. The opener  at Old Trafford on July 6 and England's other group-stage matches in Brighton and Southampton have sold out, and so has the final at Wembley. Total ticket sales for the tournament have already surpassed 450,000, up significantly from the 240,045 cumulative attendance for the '17 Women's Euros. Smaller stadiums such as Leigh Sports Village (capacity 12,000) and Manchester City's Academy Stadium (7,000) are being used, "leading to claims that the FA was being unambitious." FA CEO Mark Bullingham said that "very few grounds wanted to host Euro 2022 matches" when the stadiums were originally selected, adding, "We actually had to persuade a few clubs and cities to come forward, so we are actually very happy with where we got to" (London TELEGRAPH, 6/22).

FA Director of Women's Football Sue Campbell reiterated her defense of the tournament venues "as the tournament closes in on half a million ticket sales." Campbell said, "It’s how you balance the England games which everybody wants to go to, with the reality that the other matches, however good they are, are not going to attract a full audience. So did we get the balance right? We will look at it again, but you’ve got a big stadium opening it, you’ve got a big stadium closing it off at Old Trafford and Wembley" (London INDEPENDENT, 6/21).

UFC eyeing big Australian return early next year

UFC is targeting a return to Australia in the new year with an event that "could shatter the biggest crowd figure in the promotion’s history" -- and it could be headlined by three world champions from the region. UFC Australia-New Zealand VP Peter Kloczko wants to emulate the UFC 276 card which takes place in Las Vegas on July 3. Australian featherweight Alex Volkanovski will face Max Holloway in the third instalment of the pair’s trilogy on a card headlined by the bout between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya of New Zealand and American Jared Cannonier. Volkanovski will "figure heavily in the UFC’s plans to return to Australia." The UFC attendance record of 56,127 was set in Melbourne when Adesanya took the middleweight crown from Rob Whittaker in October '19 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/22).

Group eyeing Everton optimistic about takeover

The Peter Kenyon-led American consortium "leading the way" to buy Everton believes its bid is "progressing positively" after it toured the club’s training ground and the site of the new stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront. Kenyon, the former ManU and Chelsea CEO, is leading a group made up of real estate tycoon Maciek Kaminski and gold magnate John L. Thornton. The exclusivity deal that the group has with Everton Owner Farhad Moshiri is reportedly "close to expiring but there remains hope a deal can be concluded." Other parties remain interested but, "should the Kenyon-led takeover go ahead," Kaminski's son Mikhail "could be in line for a hands-on role in the day-to-day running of the club." Agreeing to the sale price "remains one of the final barriers to the purchase." Kenyon's consortium is thought to be working off an equity value of around £380M ($466M) (THE ATHLETIC, 6/22).

Soccer Notes: French Senate weighs UCL final probe

The French Senate is "considering launching a full parliamentary investigation into the horrendous scenes" at the Champions League final after hearing evidence from Liverpool and Real Madrid fans in Paris. It would be a "huge step forward in addressing what occurred at Stade de France on May 28 when Liverpool fans were crushed and tear-gassed outside the ground" (LONDON TIMES, 6/21).

EPL side Crystal Palace announced a long-term partnership with Italian sports apparel brand Macron, which will become its official technical kit partner, replacing Puma (Crystal Palace).

LaLiga side Osasuna is acquiring land to build a 2,500-5,000-capacity stadium for its youth and women's sides for the '23-24 season (PALCO23, 6/22).

The Hong Kong FA will invest more than HK$10M ($1.3M) to install the VAR system for all Premier League and Cup matches starting in the '23-24 season (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 6/22).

Russia's appeals against bans from international soccer because of the invasion of Ukraine will be heard at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 5 (AP, 6/22).

Short Takes

Aragón, Spain, announced that it is working on a bid for the '34 Winter Games. Earlier this week, the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) pulled the plug on a planned joint bid with Catalonia for the '30 Games due to disagreements between the regions (PALCO23, 6/22).

The World Netball Federation has become the latest international sports body to announce they are "reviewing their rules on transgender involvement in women's sport" after swimming's ruling on the issue (REUTERS, 6/21).

The Australian Football League is in talks to land pop star Robbie Williams for its Grand Final entertainment this year. The league wants Williams to front its pregame or halftime show in Melbourne on September 24, and discussions have progressed on a multimillion-dollar deal (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/22).

LaLiga acquired a 10% stake in Legends Collection, and the first project will be a museum in Madrid's Puerta del Sol, a downtown square in the Spanish capital. In addition to the museum, the project will include the third location of LaLiga-themed sports bar TwentyNine's (2PLAYBOOK, 6/22).

What They're Saying

"The automotive side clearly has challenges, but we believe in the company and we think this will be a prime candidate, obviously not at the moment, but in two to three years, for an IPO" -- McLaren F1 shareholder Mumtalakat CEO Khalid Al Rumaihi, on whether the team could pursue an IPO (REUTERS, 6/22).

"Comments like Hamish’s in the last week have harmed all 12 clubs and the future. It’s a little bit sad because it’s pretty obvious it’s a money grab" -- NZ Super Rugby side Highlanders CEO Roger Clark, on Rugby Australia Chair Hamish McLennan saying his organization might leave Super Rugby in '24 (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/21).

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