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  • Shauna Rush

5-POINT FRIDAY, JULY 17th, 2020

Here is this week's dose of “5-Point Friday”. A weekly round-up of the sports news and stories that I find most interesting and enjoyable.

Scottish soccer news I am excited about -

A fan group for Scottish Championship club Greenock Morton has agreed to a deal to take over the club from next summer.

Morton Club Together (MCT) has reached a deal with current owners Golden Casket, fronted by current club chairman Crawford Rae, to buy the Inverclyde side and hold around 90% of shares.

Golden Casket is set to wipe all club debts of around $2.5 million before transferring it into the group's hands but will retain ownership of home ground Cappielow Park, which will then be rented back to the club from the 2021/22 season.

MCT founder Graham McLennan (@graham_mclennan) said, "Our goal has been clear from the outset – we want to move Morton forward.

"We want a better team on the pitch. We want a better match day experience for everyone attending Cappielow.  We want to listen to the fans and to communicate effectively with all fans, stakeholders, and partners.

"We are all Morton supporters; we all want what is best for the club and now is our chance to be that best for the club through community ownership.

"In April 2019, MCT was just an idea.  Now, with 440 members, we have achieved so much and have an exciting future ahead of us.  We would like to thank every single one of our members who has supported us so far.

"As we have always said, we encourage Morton fans from everywhere to join us on this journey, and we hope this announcement will encourage many more to come on board."

Golden Casket had reportedly rejected a more lucrative deal from another party, to push through the community-ownership structure.

New racing series I am looking forward to -

NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) announced that he is starting his own auto racing circuit, Superstar Racing Experience (SRX).

SRX is envisioned to be six short-track races starting in the summer of 2021, featuring cars that don’t rely on aerodynamics and reward mechanical grip and driver skill. The series has already signed a broadcasting deal with CBS.

“With the backing from legends in the racing industry, the quality of the drivers and competition, and the atmosphere that short tracks will help to create, the Superstar Racing Experience is a great addition to our live summer sports programming that racing fans will embrace,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said.

eSport news I am learning about -

OverActive Media, which owns eSport franchises in both the Overwatch League (OWL) and Call of Duty League (CDL), sent a memo to Canadian government officials stating it is planning to build an esports arena in Toronto.

The venue is set to have the capacity for between 7,000 to 10,000 fans and be positioned adjacent to Hotel X Toronto and BMO Field, home to MLS's Toronto FC. If OverActive can successfully build the venue, it would become one of the largest esports-specific arenas in North America.

MLS news I am following about -

MLS is set to change its ownership rules, allowing investment funds to take minority stakes in clubs. The move would enable teams to have better access to funds at a time when revenue is down, as a result of Covid-19.

Typically, MLS owners have been wealthy individuals, while franchises eyeing extra cash have traditionally had to source more minority investors or perform capital calls on existing partners. The option of allowing investment funds to come on board would provide a third option amid the current financial uncertainty.

Furthermore, MLS is set to introduce a new commercial revenue opportunity by opening up CBD as an approved sponsorship category. It is still not clear whether CBD branding would be permitted on kits or prominently in stadiums.

LA sports news I am excited to see -

The 11 professional sports organizations in greater Los Angeles have joined together to launch The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles, a comprehensive five-year commitment to drive investment and impact for social justice through sport.

Following the recent protests nationwide, the 11 teams have united to address racial injustice, develop educational opportunities, and support other important issues facing communities of color, particularly Black communities. The 11 teams will advocate for social justice, address disparities and take actions to help end racial inequality. This commitment includes supporting the Play Equity Fund’s social justice movement in communities across greater Los Angeles, and in Orange County amplifying the work of Accelerate Change Together (ACT) Anaheim. These innovative cooperative response models of engagement are aimed to inspire similar actions nationally.

“The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles has been forged specifically to create positive change in underserved communities, with an emphasis on Black communities,” said a spokesperson for The ALLIANCE: Los Angeles. “All 11 teams are united in their dedication to this effort and recognize driving change is a long-term commitment. Through sports and social programming, we aim to work in communities to affect structural changes on levels that have a lasting impact.”

Have a wonderful weekend, all!



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