95: F1 driving manufacturer interest, UFC London prompts pay bonus idea, and cricket heads to Texas
Following the deadline for all bids from potential Chelsea FC buyers on Friday, the decision-making process is expected to quickly produce a new owner for the west London club.
It has been suggested there were over 200 interested parties in the aftermath of government sanctions against Roman Abramovich, with the number of submitted, serious bids expected to be around 15.
That said, Chelsea aren't the only sports property attracting attention...
Formula 1 driving interest from new manufacturers
Last month, former World Champion Mario Andretti revealed his son had applied to the FIA to enter a Formula 1 team from the 2024 season. However, his son is apparently not the only one trying to get into motorsport's crown jewel, which kicked off the new season in Bahrain over the weekend.
According to Stefano Domenicali, there are other candidates who have also contacted the FIA and discreetly made their interest known. "Let's say more than one and less than eight," said the Formula One Group CEO to avoid giving further clues, suggesting that the new rules have aroused interest from manufacturers.
Before approving a new entry, it is reported by Soy Motor that the FIA wants to know the decision of Porsche and Audi. Not only to know if they get involved, but also if they do it only as an engine manufacturer – which seems most likely– or with their own team.
For their Le Mans programs, Audi took care of the design and development of the car, but track management was outsourced to Team Jost. As a result, it is believed that they could enter (as the engine manufacturer) for either Williams or McLaren.
"From our point of view, more teams do not imply a greater show on the track, unless they are from important entities," continued Domenicali. This suggests that Porsche and Audi – who have not yet made their decision – would be welcomed with open arms while other applicants would see their application scrutinised.
Groups have always wanted to enter F1 (lets remember the FIA has previously received requests from Panthera and from Monaco Increase Management), however, the explosive growth in the sport has surely led to a further increase in interest now.
📚 Further Reading
McLaren predicts "successful decade" for F1 business amid sponsor influx - Autosport
John Terry-led 'True Blues' consortium attempts to secure 10% stake in Chelsea for £250m - Goal
Ligue 1 and CVC enter exclusive talks over €1.5bn stake in media rights company - SportsPro
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
Saturday's UFC Fight Night event in London drew a sellout crowd of 17,081 at The O2 for a gate of $4.5M, making it the highest grossing single sporting event in the arena's history. It is also the highest grossing "Fight Night" card (all non-PPV events) in UFC history.
Dana Whitesaid the event was a shot in the arm. And while it wasn’t on the 2022 docket to return to the UK for a second show, plans will soon change. The UFC President proclaimed that, “We’re coming back this year. I don’t give a sh*t what the schedule is. We’re going to be moving some sh*t around when we get home."
White’s enthusiasm even led to every fighter on the card who finished a bout (9) getting a $50,000 performance bonus, a company first.
This (of course) led YouTuber Jake Paul, to react on Twitter, “Love seeing fighters get paid."
Before going on to propose that the UFC "commit $50K bonus for every winner, amounting to $600K per UFC event."
He pointed out that for the UFC's 45 events (each consisting of 12 fights) this would lead to a total payout $27M, which is just 2.7% of the UFC's revenues.
Fighter pay has become an increasingly bigger issue for the UFC in recent months and the MMA promotion faces antitrust lawsuits from former fighters as well as a public contract dispute with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
📚 Further Reading
UFC fights back against compensation narrative - Sport Business Journal
Israel Adesanya’s manager calls for fighter pay to be disclosed for all UFC athletes - Pundit Arena
"Don’t just look at the wages of a fighter" - Muhammad Mokaev defends the UFC amid pay controversy - Sportskeeda
WEEKLY ROUND UP
U.S. T20 Franchise, Major League Cricket has announced timelines for multiple facility developments with the aim of having several cricket-specific venues ready for play by 2024.
Amazon has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM. Per Amazon, "The storied, nearly century-old studio" will complement Prime Video and Amazon Studios’ work.
In an effort to empower content creators while encouraging more authentic engagement with followers, Tom Brady, Rory McIlroy, and Torrie Wilson have invested in next-gen creator platform SageSpot.
Four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has taken an equity stake in FTX and will be receiving compensation in crypto from the Bahamas-based cryptocurrency exchange.
Premiership Rugby, English rugby union’s top flight, is testing a new ‘smart’ rugby ball from Sportable in a move designed to provide more data for fans and other stakeholders.
Natalie Portman formed an ownership group that includes athletes and Hollywood stars to found a different type of team, Angel City FC - which has already sold nearly 16,000 season tickets.
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