Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

August 11, 2007

20 new metro stations to be constructed in Kyiv ahead of Euro-2012

Filed under: Ukraine — Ivan @ 12:52 am

This was disclosed by Director of the “Kyiv Underground” Petro Miroshnikov.20 new tube stations will be opened in Kyiv within four years, he said. Underground lines will go all the way to the Troyeshchyna district and Teremky.

He also assured that no fares will be upped.  Petro Miroshnikov promises to complete construction of tube lines ahead of the Euro-2012.

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August 7, 2007

Construction of Rospuda Valley route halted

Filed under: Poland,Roads — Ivan @ 11:45 pm

The launch date for the construction of Augustow bypass has been postponed. The work was to have commenced at the end of the bird hatching season in Rospuda Valley, through which the projected route passes.
The decision to locate the road in the valley has met with protests from environmental groups, and the European Commission has also voiced its concern. The latter has even brought Poland before the European Tribunal of Justice, accusing it of infringing regulations banning such investments in areas covered by the EU’s Natura 2000 environmental protection programme. Poland’s prime minister, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has assured critics that the Rospuda Valley project will not go ahead until the Tribunal has looked into the matter. At the same time, Mr Kaczynski said that work on the bypass will continue in other areas.

polishmarket.com

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Poland needs more time to build Euro 2012 stadiums

Filed under: Poland,Stadiums — Ivan @ 1:20 am

By Piotr Bujnicki

WARSAW, Aug 6 (Reuters) – Poland wants to set a new deadline for the construction of their Euro 2012 stadiums, Sports Minister Elzbieta Jakubiak said on Monday.

Since Poland won the right in April to co-host the event with Ukraine, early euphoria has been replaced by growing concerns it may not prepare new grounds and upgrade inadequate infrastructure in time.

European football’s governing body UEFA says the tournament co-hosts must build the necessary stadiums by mid-2010.

“We need additional time and the year 2011 will be the most suitable,” Jakubiak told a news conference.

The surprising choice of Poland and Ukraine as co-hosts ahead of Italy was originally touted by the Polish government as an opportunity to put the country on the international football map.

But a growing number of critics say Poland might have taken on a near-impossible task.

“Beside the announcement, nothing has been done so far,” said Zbigniew Chlebowski, deputy head of the parliamentary finance committee and a member of the opposition Civic Platform party.

“There are also no ideas where to get the money from to finance the huge projects.”

Poland is estimated to need about three billion zlotys ($1.09 billion) to build or restructure four main Euro 2012 stadiums.

WARSAW HEADACHE

The planned national stadium in the capital Warsaw has proved the biggest headache.

The new ground is to be built at a dilapidated communist-era stadium now being used as Europe’s largest outdoor market, with Jakubiak saying hundreds of traders will be asked to leave by mid-September.

Polish authorities have not decided whether the old stadium will be razed or if a new facility will be built next to the old one to save time.

The transport ministry also estimates it will need 164 billion zlotys to build 2,400-km (1,500-miles) of motorway to prepare for the tournament.

Only six kilometres of motorway was built last year and none so far this year.

(Additional reporting by Rob Strybel)

uk.reuters.com

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August 6, 2007

Sports retail consultant drives towards Euro 2012 camp

Filed under: Money — Ivan @ 12:36 am

Gerry Carey, the former retail operations director at Glasgow Rangers, and ex-chief executive of Partick Thistle, has launched a unique brand consultancy aimed at helping European football clubs realise their commercial potential.

Carey, who was sacked by Partick Thistle in March after the club plunged into financial crisis, has already signed a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk, the Ukrainian football champion, to develop the commercial operation for its new five-star UEFA-compliant stadium due to open in 2008.

Carey’s company, Sports Retail Management (SRM), is also talking to, “a number of English Premiership and first division clubs”, and is in advanced discussions with several other clubs in Eastern Europe. It is also in the process of setting up a meeting with the organisers of Euro 2012, with a view to securing the contract to advise on commercial potential surrounding the competition in Poland and Ukraine. The two were awarded joint host status in April.

SRM has also won a contract to provide the commercial framework for a new business education tool being developed jointly by the Scottish Qualifications Authority and Microsoft.

The online educational game is being integrated into the Scottish schools curriculum. The game concept provides students with the challenge of running a virtual sports retail business based on a football club store.

Carey said the idea came to him while at Rangers, where he was involved in building retail turnover from £3m per annum to more than £20m, returning a profit of £7.2m per annum.

He said: “We took the bold step of sourcing and manufacturing our own replica kit, allowing the club full control over design, price and distribution.

“Rangers’ retail department was recognised throughout the industry as innovative and leading edge when it came to maximising retail revenue. We had clubs throughout Europe seeking our advice. Even representatives from the J League (Japan’s football league) paid a special visit.”

When Rangers sold its retail division to JJB Sports for £48m, Carey moved briefly to Thistle, where the vagaries of football again caught up. That gave him the impetus to launch SRM and win the Ukraine deal.

Carey said: “We have worked with Shakhtar’s commercial team on best practice for revenue generating areas within the stadium, retail strategy and operations, merchandise, replica kit and licensing.

“Our strategy includes them building a health and fitness centre, a museum and a whole corporate hospitality facility. This is a 50,000 seater stadium they are building and at the moment they are only getting gates of 20,000. Our aim is to help fill those empty seats.”

The Carey treatment involves a commercial health check of the business, fully documented and detailing measures to start generating revenue. The company also offers a management service to set up and run a retail operation, and manage the brand.

The model for current football sponsorship deals is for the club to license its merchandising through a big sports manufacturer, like Manchester United’s deal with Nike.

However, Carey said: “A lot of clubs we’ve spoken to initially said: We think your ideas are great, but we are okay with what we have’. Well, they’re not. They have no control over their offering. Or how, or where, it’s sold. That is all signed away, and that means they are falling short of their full commercial potential.”

One of his former employers agrees SRM has potential. Martin Bain, Rangers’ chief executive, said: “Gerry can be credited with taking Rangers Retail to the fans by developing our brand in the European football marketplace. He brought diversity and challenged the club to maximise retail sales and profits.

“At its peak, Rangers Retail produced £20m turnover for the club with 22 stores, online sales, mail order, licensing and a thriving wholesale business.

“Gerry is highly respected throughout our organisation and beyond, and we are proud to have had his expertise within our senior management team at Rangers. I have no doubt many top clubs and professional sporting organisations will benefit from his expertise, drive and enthusiasm.”

theherald.co.uk/business

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August 1, 2007

Poland ends stand-off with EU over road plans

Filed under: Poland,Roads — Ivan @ 4:17 am

By Adam Easton

Poland has temporarily backed down in its stand-off with the European Union over its plans to start work on a by-pass road through the Rospuda river valley, one of Europe?s last remaining pristine wetlands.

The Polish authorities had announced their intention to start work in Rospuda, an environmentally protected valley which is home to rare plant species and animals such as wolves and eagles, on August 1 despite a legal challenge from the European Commission.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, prime minister, said the bulldozers would not be sent into the valley after Brussels asked the European Court of Justice to issue an immediate injunction to prevent the work going ahead.

?The work in the Rospuda valley will not start. Other sections (of the road) will be built. We simply have to show patience because I wanted to convince our partners in the European Commission on this matter. But it?s difficult to talk about these issues there,? the prime minister said during an interview with public radio.

Mr Kaczynski insisted Poland would eventually defeat the legal challenge against the by-pass. He said there were ?some mistakes regarding the facts?, adding he did not believe the European Commission?s challenge had ?a legal basis?.

EU officials said it would be ?unprecedented? for a member state to ignore interim measures from the European Court of Justice. Had Poland done so, it faced the possibility of incremental daily fines totalling hundreds of thousands of euros.

Poland?s plans have exacerbated recent tensions with Brussels. Mr Kaczynski sees the by-pass as essential to his plans to modernise the EU?s largest eastern European member state, which has just 665 kms of motorway. It plans to build another 1,000km ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships it is co-hosting with Ukraine.

The by-pass would form part of an EU-funded international highway, the Via Baltica, linking Warsaw to Helsinki. But the by-pass itself would not receive EU funds because the Rospuda valley is protected under the EU?s Natura 2000 conservation scheme.

The government wants to build a 17 km long elevated highway right through the heart of the valley to ease traffic in the nearby town of Augustow.

The town lies on the main route from Poland to the Baltic States and thousands of heavy goods lorries pass through it every day.

Hundreds of protesters from the town blockaded the road overnight causing long queues. They want a by-pass built as soon as possible even if it is routed through Rospuda.

Environmental conservation groups have urged the government to consider a shorter alternative route which would be entitled to receive EU funds. But Mr Kaczynski says that route would take too long to complete.

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