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EFL and eBay launch ‘Small Businesses United’ partnership

Small Businesses United

A new three-year partnership has been inked between the English Football League and eBay that will see communities represented in the EFL Championship, League One and League Two.

Beginning from the upcoming the 2021/22 season, ‘Small Businesses United’ will celebrate the businesses powering local communities around all 72 EFL clubs.

The partnership will see eBay donate advertising space at EFL grounds to the small businesses at the heart of their marketplace.

In an incredible show of the power of community, 85% of EFL clubs were supported by a small local business in the last year, despite the financial hardships of businesses during the pandemic.

EFL clubs were instrumental in their communities during the pandemic, having delivered over 1.4 million food parcels, more than 179,000 items of PPE, 22,000 prescriptions and donating over 2,100 laptops and tablets to people facing technology poverty. Club staff and their players have had in excess of 527,000 outgoing and incoming conversations with fans and vulnerable people.

Although the EFL lost £250m (471.1 AUD) when football went behind closed doors, the end of lockdown and Euros fever has seen a huge surge in interest in attending games.

‘Small Businesses United’ will allow eBay sellers to further connect with their local EFL clubs, and see their own brand under the bright stadium lights now that they’re back watching their team.

All EFL clubs and competitions will be involved in the initiative until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

EFL Chief Commercial Officer Ben Wright:

“The long-term relationship we have agreed with eBay is an exciting addition to the EFL portfolio of Official Partners and highlights how we want to support the local businesses who have in turn done so much to help our clubs.

“We are really pleased to be able to support growing businesses through all 72 EFL clubs and the ‘Small Businesses United’ initiative. It is a fantastic opportunity for supporters of our Clubs to see their own businesses advertised in EFL stadia nationwide, and demonstrates again how the EFL can support positive and impactful local community activation on a national scale.”

SVP & Head of eBay Europe Rob Hattrell:

“eBay UK and the EFL know that local business and football clubs are the backbone of our communities, sharing a history of mutual support that we’re so excited to celebrate with Small Businesses United.

“After the financial trials of the pandemic, it’s more important than ever for eBay to continue to shine a spotlight on the power of small business, and to champion the sport we know and love.

“The excitement surrounding English football is at a real high this year, and we’re seeing that replicated on eBay with huge demand for the equipment needed for the grassroots game. That’s why we’ll be looking to extend our support beyond the professional clubs, to further boost local communities – all thanks to the power of eBay’s 300,000 small business sellers.”

Acun Medya Group secures Hull City takeover

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, headed by Acun Ilicali.

EFL Championship side Hull City AFC has been purchased by Turkish production company Acun Medya Group, for a fee in the reported region of $37 million AUD.

Acun Ilicali, a 52-year-old businessman and owner of Acun Medya Group, was introduced to fans at the MKM Stadium prior to the club’s 2-0 win at home over Blackburn Rovers.

The takeover brings the controversial ownership of the Allam family to an end, much to the delight of fans after a roller coaster 11 years in charge.

Despite overseeing two promotions to the Premier League, an FA Cup Final and Hull’s first-ever foray into a European competition through the UEFA Europa League in 2014, the Allam family became increasingly unpopular with the fans.

The unpopularity of the Allam family is due to many different reasons, however it all started when the family proposed a name change to ‘Hull Tigers’ back in 2013. The move was ultimately blocked by authorities a year later, which frustrated the Allams and they then put the club up for sale, straining the relationship with fans and seeing a decline in attendances at home fixtures.

The new ownership will look to win back supporters and turn the negative tide.

Acun Medya Group Owner, Acun Ilicali:

“I am happy that I have fulfilled one of my biggest dreams. We are starting a beautiful journey with Hull City. We have many big dreams and goals to achieve together with our fans,” he said.

Outgoing Vice-Chairman Ehab Allam:

“During our tenure, we have worked hard to create a sustainable model and successful academy set-up, giving the club the foundations it needs for the future,” he said.

“There have been lots of ups and downs over the last 11 years or so, but we will take some very fond memories with us… We have taken a very business-led approach to running the club and I truly hope Acun can rebuild the relationship with the fanbase and also bring back the success on the pitch that fans crave and deserve.”

Hertha Berlin pushing hard for stadium upgrade

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to the Olympiastadion.

Top-flight German football club Hertha Berlin has reiterated its intention to develop a new stadium nearby to its current home, the Olympiastadion, releasing fresh renderings of its vision for such a project.

The club has been attempting to progress plans to develop a new home for several years and in February 2020 stated that the OlympiaPark would be the preferred location.

In November 2018, Hertha confirmed it was targeting an opening date in July 2025 for a new-look Olympiastadion, with preference to be building a completely new stadium rather than renovating the current one.

The current Olympiastadion has been home to Hertha Berlin for almost 60 years, and has a capacity of around 74,000. However, the club is seeking a more intimate stadium for its fans, as well as the inclusion of an athletics track.

Hertha’s former stadium commissioner, Klaus Teichert, withdrew an application for a decision to be made on the location for a new stadium, with Brandenburg also put forward as a potential location.

Hertha Berlin Chief Financial Officer, Ingo Schiller:

“We have entered into talks with the new government and are working hard to set the course for our new stadium in 2022,” he said.

“The stadium is the club’s most important project, especially in terms of the economic situation.”

There is a lot of political support necessary for the project to get approved, as the potential worksite currently includes residential apartments, a big reason for negotiations coming to a stall at times.

A resident spoke to local radio station rbb24:

“You talk about ir, but not with us. We are still not prepared to sell our apartments in Sportforumstraße or to negotiate about them,” they said.

“It is very unfortunate that our residents in Sportforumstraße are once again unsettled by this uncoordinated approach.”

Hertha Berlin and backers of the new stadium have been in negotiation with Berlin’s sports senator, Iris Spranger, with talks to continue over the next month.

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