English football chiefs set for ‘difficult’ coronavirus decisions

The football governing bodies are set for more talks next week. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 29 March 2020

English football chiefs set for ‘difficult’ coronavirus decisions

  • Three organizations study financial impact of suspending season, with Britain in state of lockdown

England’s Premier League, Professional Footballers’ Association and Football League are steadying themselves for some “difficult decisions” amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak as they try to see if there is a way of restarting the season.

The three organizations all met on Friday to examine the financial impact of suspending the season, with Britain as a whole in a state of lockdown.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA discussed the growing seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” they said in a joint statement.
“It was stressed that the thoughts of all three organizations continue to be with everyone affected by the virus.
“The Premier League, EFL and PFA agreed that difficult decisions will have to be taken in order to mitigate the economic impact of the current suspension of professional football in England and agreed to work together to arrive at shared solutions.”
Some clubs have asked players to defer up to half their wages, while players at Championship leaders Leeds, pushing for promotion to the lucrative Premier League, have volunteered for a wage deferral.
The governing bodies are set for more talks next week as they try to draw up a unified plan.
Last week saw the projected restart of the season pushed back until April 30, and that date has not moved.
“The leagues will not recommence until April 30 at the earliest. They will only do so when it is safe and conditions allow,” added the statement.
“Further meetings will take place next week with a view to formulating a joint plan to deal with the difficult circumstances facing the leagues, their clubs, players, staff and fans.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Football Association insisted they had no regrets about their announcement earlier this week that saw a host of lower division leagues declared null and void because of the coronavirus outbreak.
“The decision taken to end the 2019/20 season across Steps 3-7 of the National League System, the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game was made by committee representatives for the respective leagues, and was supported by the FA Board and the FA Women’s Board,” the spokesperson said.
“It will now go to the FA Council for ratification. We fully support the decision they came to during these challenging and unprecedented circumstances for English football.”


WWE names Bandar Al-Mashhadi MENA Vice President and General Manager

Updated 04 June 2020

WWE names Bandar Al-Mashhadi MENA Vice President and General Manager

  • Al-Mashhadi will lead WWE’s strategic business initiatives and day-to-day operations in the MENA region
  • He will also manage local operations for the company’s 10-year partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority

RIYADH: WWE announced on Thursday the appointment of Bandar Al-Mashhadi as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Vice President and General Manager.  

Al-Mashhadi will lead WWE’s strategic business initiatives and day-to-day operations in the MENA region and work with partners across all of WWE’s lines of business, including television, live events, marketing, sponsorship, advanced media, licensing and merchandising. He will also manage local operations for the company’s 10-year partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority.

“We are excited to welcome Bandar to our international leadership team and confident that his experience in managing successful partnerships in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East will have a significant impact on WWE’s continued growth,” said James Rosenstock, WWE Executive Vice President, International. “We look forward to Bandar leading WWE’s efforts in this important region for our company.”

Al-Mashhadi has more than 20 years of experience as an executive in Saudi-based companies. He spent the past six years at OSN, most recently as Managing Director, leading implementation of the broadcaster’s corporate strategy in Saudi Arabia. During this time he also served a one-year deployment as Advisor to the Minister of Media in Saudi Arabia, leading multiple Vision 2030 initiatives including the privatization of the Saudi News Network.

Earlier in his career, Al Mashhadi spent more than a decade at BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, rising to Director of Portfolio Management and undertaking strategic leadership placements with joint venture partners.