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Livingstone slams 'excessive' 2012 budget

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has reignited the row over the London 2012 Olympics budget by claiming that the new revised £9.35bn costs are ‘completely excessive’.

With demolition work on the main Olympic site due to begin this weekend marking five years to the start of the 2012 Games, Livingstone slammed the costs and said that they should still be reduced.

Commented Livingstone: ‘It is completely excessive. I'll consider it a personal defeat if we do not knock several billion off.’

Shepherd replaced as Newcastle chairman

Following the club’s takeover by retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley, long-standing chairman Freddy Shepherd has resigned from his post at Newcastle United to be replaced by his deputy Chris Mort.

It had been thought that Shepherd would remain as chairman despite selling his 28% stake to Ashley last month but it has now emerged that he is handing over the reins following a 15 year spell in charge.

Mort was handed the role of deputy chairman following Ashley's takeover of the club.

Kroenke circling Arsenal takeover bid

US billionaire Stan Kroenke, who recently bought a 12% stake in Arsenal, has asked to speak to all of the club’s board of directors amid reports he his preparing for a full takeover bid.

The news came after Kroenke held talks with chairman Peter Hill-Wood and managing director Keith Edelman regarding the club’s future.

Speculation has been rife that Kroenke was preparing a full takeover since he first purchased the stake in the club earlier this year.

Newcastle delists from Stock Exchange

As expected, Newcastle United has delisted from the London Stock Exchange following the takeover of the club by retail entrepreneur Mike Ashley.

Ashley, who owns the Lillywhites and Sports World chains, has moved to take the club off the stock market following his takeover in June when it bought 94.5% of the shareholding in Newcastle.

Ashley bought the club through his company St James’ Holdings valuing Newcastle at around £131m.

News of the delisting became a formality after Mr Ashley's stake in the club passed the 90% level.

Yeung closing in on Birmingham takeover

Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung is edging closer to a full takeover of Birmingham City after becoming the club’s largest single shareholder in buying up a 29.9% stake.

The purchase, which is worth close to £15m, is likely to lead to a full takeover with Yeung only needing to take his holding to 30% to activate a bid for total control of the club.

Yeung, who had paid a non-refundable deposit of £1.09m on 27th June in anticipation of the deal, has bought shares from directors David and Ralph Gold, David Sullivan, Karren Brady and Roger Bannister.

Police raid clubs in corruption probe

Police have raided the premises of Newcastle United, Portsmouth and Glasgow Rangers football clubs as part of an investigation into alleged corruption within football.

The action, which is connected to the inquiry into discrepancies in 17 FA Premier League transfers being undertaken by Lord Stevens’ Quest organisation, saw police issue search warrants on the three clubs’ grounds and two homes of unnamed individuals.

Newcastle United were quick to issue a statement confirming the club was visited by police but distancing it from any wrongdoing.

Bates secures Leeds United buyout

The ongoing financial saga over the future of Leeds United looks to have been resolved after it was announced that the club had been resold to former owner Ken Bates.

The deal, which has been concluded for an undisclosed sum, comes five days after Leeds United’s administrators KPMG stated that they needed to sell the club following a legal challenge from creditor HM Revenue & Customs.

KPMG received a number of bids but have finally struck a deal with Bates which would seem to secure the future of the club.

Super League clubs break salary cap rules

Three leading Super League clubs have been charged with a breach of the rugby league top-flight’s salary cap structure and will face independent hearings to decide their fate.

St Helens, Bradford and Wigan have all been charged with failing to adhere to salary cap regulations with the first two clubs appearing in front of an independent tribunal on 12th July, and the hearing for Wigan taking place on 16th July.

Clubs are permitted to spend no more than 50% of their income, up to a maximum of £1.7m, on players' wages.

Losses force NFL Europe closure

NFL Europe, the American football franchise’s European developmental league, has been shut down after 15 years due to crippling financial losses.

The league, which began in 1991 under the moniker World League, is believed to be losing close to £30m a year – a scenario which has led to the NFL pulling the plug.

The NFL had been known to be considering the future of NFL Europe for some time but the decision comes as a blow to the franchise’s desire to expand globally.

Wimbledon hit by £1m ticket refund

The All England Lawn Tennis Club will be forced to pay out over £1m in ticket reimbursements due to the bad weather that ruined Saturday’s play at Wimbledon.

The refund was activated after fans on Centre Court only saw 57 minutes of action all day, entitling them to their money back. Similarly, Court One spectators can claim a half refund after seeing 74 minutes of play.

According to the championships policy, had play on Centre Court lasted over an hour then the refund would have been null and void saving the AELTC over £500,000.


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