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Liverpool welcomes official chocolate partner

Liverpool have signed a three-year deal with Cadbury which sees the world’s largest chocolate brand become the club’s first official global chocolate partner.

Cadbury has given out 50,000 limited edition champions Dairy Milk bars to Liverpool fans to celebrate the launch of the partnership.

Cadbury will also be raising money for the LFC Foundation’s Virtual Employability Programme. The programme was created in May 2020 to help people who had lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme aims to improve participants employability prospects. The employability support service offers CV and cover letter support, interview practice and job insight.

“LFC and Cadbury are both passionate about the importance of community, so this is a great opportunity to build on those common values and help those whose employment has been impacted by the pandemic into new roles,” Commercial Director at Liverpool FC, Matt Scammell said about the new partnership.

“Cadbury has a long history of generosity and we’re excited to be partnering with them, celebrating traditions and culture whilst uniting people in a new way.”

Official Liverpool stores will sell limited edition champions chocolate bars – all proceeds go towards the LFC Foundation to support the Virtual Employability Programme.

“We are very proud to be working with Liverpool FC in this way. It is a brand that truly embodies the Cadbury mentality of working together to help others,” Global Brand Director at Cadbury, Samantha Greenwood said in a statement.

Last week, Chelsea also signed a deal with Cadbury to become the blues’ official chocolate partner.

“At Chelsea we pride ourselves on partnering with some of the world’s leading companies and are therefore delighted to be announcing our new partnership with Cadbury,” Chelsea Chief Executive, Guy Laurence said.

“We look forward to working closely with Cadbury as they seek to reward and engage our global fanbase, whilst also giving back to the local community through their support of the Chelsea Foundation’s initiatives.”

Via the partnership Cadbury will support the Chelsea Foundation’s Edge of the Box Club and aims to provide skills, knowledge and connections to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Competitions will also be run with Cadbury and Chelsea to offer prizes – match tickets and hospitality experiences will be given out as a part of Cadbury’s Match and Win promotion.

Liverpool and Chelsea return to action this weekend when the 2020/21 English Premier League starts on September 12.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

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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