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Pressure Mounts on Arsenal, Man U for Trophy as Europa League Reaches Q-Final Stage



English clubs, Manchester United and Arsenal return to European action are among four unmissable quarter-final first-leg clashes exclusively live on StarTimes.

Since 1972, all permanent Manchester United managers have won at least one trophy in their stint with the Red Devils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is fast running out of options if he wants to ensure a continuation of this run in his third season in charge of the club.

Having taken over from Jose Mourinho (who won the Europa League, the League Cup and the Community Shield in his two and a half years in charge) in December 2018, the Norwegian’s best chance – and probably the only chance – for success this season is the Europa League.

On Thursday United are away to Spanish club Granada in the first leg of the quarter-final of the prestigious competition.

Granada, who entered the tournament in the 3rd qualifying round and have already played 13 Europa League matches, are enjoying their first-ever foray into European football.

If Solskjær is under pressure to do well, there is even more pressure on Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. The Gunners slumped to a 3-0 home defeat against Liverpool on the weekend and are 10th in the league and seem unlikely to qualify for Europe next season.

Unless, of course, they win the Europa League.

Arsenal enjoy home advantage in the Emirates Stadium against Slavia Prague on Thursday and will be looking to ensure they travel to the Czech Republic with a lead a week later.

One of the reasons why Arsenal’s season has never quite reached the heights their fans expect is that star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not been as lethal upfront as he used to be.

Having scored over 30 goals in all competitions last season, the Gabonese international currently stands on just 14.

Football fans will be able to watch all the best action from the exciting competition live and exclusively on StarTimes Basic Bouquet for N1700 monthly or Smart Bouquet for N2200 monthly.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Sport Business

El Clásico Live on StarTimes This Saturday



La Liga’s El Clásico on Saturday promises to be a significant game in the title race. Messi’s Barça go into the clash just a point off the top spot, and two points ahead of a Real Madrid that just beat Liverpool in the Champions League.

Saturday’s match is no doubt the highlight of the weekend’s global football calendar and fans will miss none of the action as the game will be televised live and in HD on the StarTimes’ Sport Premium channel at 8 pm, as Africa’s leading digital-TV operator broadcasts La Liga matches throughout the continent as well as Bundesliga, UEFA Europa League, FA Cup and the coming UEFA Euro 2020.

Saturday’s home side, Real Madrid have a slight advantage in the statistics, having won 74 of the 181 previous matches, while Barcelona won 72, with 35 ending in a draw.

Due to COVID regulations, the match will be played in the Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium, which normally hosts games of the Real Madrid reserve side that campaigns in the Segunda División B, which is the third tier of Spanish football.

Both sides have several injury worries ahead of their 182nd La Liga clash.

Against Liverpool, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane had to make do without captain Sergio Ramos, who has played in more El Clásico matches – 45 – than any other player.

Ramos’ central defensive partner Raphael Varane will definitely be out of the game as he has tested positive for the Covid virus and will be forced to quarantine.

Dani Carvajal and Eden Hazard were also unavailable against Liverpool and are likely to miss the clash against Barcelona.

Barcelona, who needed a last-gasp goal from Ousmane Dembele to beat lowly Valladolid 1-0 on Monday will probably be without inspirational Gerard Pique on Saturday.

But despite all the absences, there are still plenty of stars that will feature in the game, with Barcelona having the likes of Lionel Messi, Frenkie De Jong, Jordi Alba, Antoine Griezmann and young American Sergino Dest, while Real can count on Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Luca Modric – amongst others.

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Sport Business

Copa del Rey Final, Bundesliga, La Liga Live on StarTimes This Easter Holiday



Exciting time await football fans during the Easter Holiday as top European fixtures will be aired live on StarTimes.

Football returns to Spain this weekend after the international break with nine games in La Liga and the final of the 2020 Copa del Rey.

The Copa del Rey final between local Basque rivals, Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad will be played at 8:30pm on Saturday. It will air on StarTimes’ World Football channel. The channel was recently moved to basic and smart bouquets to make premium sports content available to all.

Real Sociedad have a slight doubt over the fitness of key midfielder Mikel Merino. Athletic are without any injuries for the game but defender Inigo Martinez and goalkeeper Unai Simon played 90 minutes for Spain on Wednesday night.

Sunday’s big match in La Liga will see league leaders Atletico Madrid face a difficult visit to fourth-placed Sevilla in one of the toughest tests they will face between now and the end of the season.

Atletico’s lead has been cut to just four points over Barcelona, and if Real Madrid win at home to Eibar, they could be just three points off the top by the time their city rivals kick-off.

In Bundesliga, the title race could be decided on Saturday as RB Leipzig face a Bayern Munich side at 5:30pm without star man Robert Lewandowski in a blockbuster clash.

With eight games to go in the league, Bayern have a four-point lead over Leipzig, who this season are looking like a team that can actually, win their first Bundesliga title.

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Golden State Warriors Record Highest Revenue Among NBA Teams – $474M in 2019/20 Season



The Golden State Warriors (GSW) have recently risen from its days at the bottom of the NBA standings to a powerhouse that won 3 world championships from 5 straight Finals appearances from 2015-2019.

Success on the court also means success for its majority owner Joe Lacob who purchased the team in 2010 for what now seems like a bargain, at a price of $450M. According to data presented by Safe Bet, the Golden State Warriors had the highest revenue among NBA teams for the 2019/20 season with $474M.

GSW Created A Dynasty On Its Way to NBA’s Highest Revenue

The Warriors enjoyed a popular period in the late ’80s and early ’90s but struggled mightily in what is known as the “Wilderness Years” from 1997-2009. In 2010 a 19 person ownership group spearheaded by Joe Lacob purchased the Golden State Warriors for 450M from Chris Cohan, a change many felt sparked the rejuvenation of the franchise.

The new ownership group’s intentions were clear with investments being made in the right direction. Smart draft picks of prospective young talents such as Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green made GSW a consistent playoff team. Future superstar and back-to-back league MVP Stephen Curry was also drafted in 2009, setting the Warriors up for a rebuild ahead of its most successful period in franchise history.

The Warriors recent success and proactive investments by the owners such as the Chase Center have made it the second most valuable team in the NBA behind only the New York Knicks with a franchise value of $4.7B.Golden State’s $474M revenue is also the highest among NBA teams for the 2019/20 season.

Chase Center Final Piece in the Puzzle For Lacob and GSW

2014 also marked the year that Joe Lacob and the Warriors ownership group began purchasing the Warriors’ new home which was finalized in 2015 as the Chase Center. The new arena had its grand opening on September 6, 2019. The first official regular-season NBA game was played on October 24, 2019, when the Warriors hosted the Los Angeles Lakers in a losing effort.

The Chase Center is a modern marvel and is a considerable upgrade from GSW’s former home, the Oakland Arena which was known as Oracle Arena from 2006-2019. The Oakland Arena first opened in 1966 and was last renovated more than 20 years before the Warriors decided to move.

The Warriors needed a venue that represented its recent success on and off the court and delivered just that with the Chase Center, named after JPMorgan Chase purchased the naming right of the arena. Before the pandemic, it was estimated that the Warriors earn a revenue of $7M per home game at their new home from concessions, tickets and premium seating. The team’s sponsorship revenue also increased by an estimated 54% in the new arena

Forbes values Chase Center at just over $1.4B and credits the new arena for the rise in value of the GSW brand: “the new arena is why the Warriors surpassed the Lakers as the league’s second most valuable team.”

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