Thursday 21 January 2021 4:38 pm

Week in Sportbiz: Fifa spooked into action by Super League talk; Uefa may rip up Euro 2020 plans; London Marathon chiefs eye records

Is football governing bodies’ ultimate bogeyman the European Super League in danger of actually happening?

Fifa and its six confederations, including Uefa, have been sufficiently spooked into warning they will ban any footballer who takes part in a putative breakaway competition from playing in World Cups and their regional equivalents, such as the European Championship.

For decades, clubs have used the threat of a European Super League for leverage when negotiating Champions League reforms, without ever choosing the nuclear option.

Read more: Gloucester Rugby CEO Lance Bradley: Scrap relegation this season, it’s not right and would be catastrophic for any Premiership club

Although talks over the 2024-27 cycle are thought to be close to completion, Fifa, Uefa and its African, Asian, American and Oceanic colleagues are taking no chances.

“Such a competition would not be recognised by either Fifa or the respective confederation,” said the joint statement.

“Any club or player involved in such a competition would as a consequence not be allowed to participate in any competition organised by Fifa or their respective confederation.”

Legal chat on social media has been quick to point out the vulnerability of this position – not least in light of an EU antitrust ruling against skating chiefs last month.

Is Fifa on thin ice too? Your move, super clubs.

Uefa to rip up Euro 2020 plans?

Breakaways notwithstanding, Uefa has enough on its plate determining if and how a delayed Euro 2020 can happen this summer.

Covid-19 has left the original vision for a pan-European tournament held in 12 cities across the continent, from Baku to Dublin, increasingly unlikely.

German football royalty Karl-Heinz Rumenigge said this week that Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin is leaning towards holding the tournament in just one country.

Which begs the question: where is safest? Uefa has set 5 March as a deadline for what the Euros ultimately looks like.

London Marathon open to 100,000

Records are the stuff of race organisers’ dreams and London Marathon chiefs have a few up their sleeve this year.

Some 50,000 places – a new high – are on offer to pound the capital’s roads on the revised race date of Sunday 3 October.

A further 50,000 runners will also be able to join in via a virtual London Marathon – another record.

A total of 100,000 participants would make it the biggest marathon ever.

Almost 38,000 people worldwide took on the virtual London Marathon last year after the race itself was cancelled.

NBA courted by private equity

The march of private equity on sport shows no signs of slowing, even in the NBA, where investements are tightly regulated.

NBA chiefs are said to be considering relaxing rules to allow more institutional investors to take minority stakes in its teams.

Dyal Homecourt was the first to be approaved and Arctos Partners is reorted to have sought permission to follow.

Smalling’s energy drink punt

He may have flown the Premier League to play in Italy but footballer Chris Smalling is still pay attention to business over here.

Specifically, Smalling has just invested a six-figure sum in London-based natural energy drink brand Virtue.

Whether he can persuade his Roma team-mates to trade in espresso for a Virtue Yerba Mate, however, remains to be seen.

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