Missed all the stirring and suspenseful action of the live CPL draw for Malaga--somehow it slipped my mind--but there is the odd interesting bit as a result. It seems Lisbon Benfica is now on board--having moved up from the SPL--and Rammstein Instinct is expected to finalize their CPL spot as both were included in the results of the draw. That brings the CPL back up to its original count of 16. It's all mildly disappointing as I was hoping for some phantom team inclusions like at Antalya last autumn but life goes on. Why don't they place teams by seed? Prior CPL teams from last year's results and new CPL teams prioritized by their previous ranking? It's almost as if the MS was searching for ways to screw up.
Also of some note it appears that no one is or will be a diamond sponsor this year as the category has been removed from the league's website. This amid persistent rumors the league cut various deals with both sponsors & teams to swell their ranks in recent days and weeks. (If you made a deal with the MS drop me a line. I promise not to tell anyone about it. Besides, who would I tell?)
There is even a rumor that Ulrich is going to produce something akin to an updated set of rules--but I find that one to be totally lacking in credibility--so I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.
UPDATING THE UPDATE: Rammstein Instinct is a definite. One explanation is that they simply didn't get the online registration done. However, that fails to explain how a team registered in a locked division has a spot but isn't registered--especially when the policy requires a pre-payment schedule. Either the organization is a wreck or some teams are simply ignoring the policy and arranging their spots independent of policy. (Which is where some of the rumors reported come from.) I suspect the CPL teams are afforded some unofficial leeway--that's been a commonplace across all the major leagues at one time or another--but doesn't serve to explain any of the late arrivals in the other locked divisions.