Finance

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Stevens names illegal Premiership transfers

Lord Stevens, the man leading the investigation into alleged illegal payments in FA Premier League transfers, has named seventeen transfers involving five clubs as having breached regulations.

The five clubs found to have been in breach of the league’s rules on transfer payments are Chelsea, Newcastle, Bolton, Portsmouth and Middlesbrough.

The Football Association will now decide how to move forward in terms of punishment for these clubs although it is thought that Newcastle and Bolton are viewed as the most serious offenders.

Birmingham City recieves takeover offer

Newly promoted FA Premier League club Birmingham City has announced that it has been approached about a potential takeover bid.

The club informed the Stock Exchange that discussions had begun regarding a buyout although the identity of the bidder remains under wraps due to the regulations of the Stock Exchange.

A statement from the club read: ‘Such discussions are at a very preliminary stage. The directors note that there is no certainty that a transaction will result from the approach.’

Whelan sells up JJB Sports stakeholding

David Whelan, chairman of FA Premier League club Wigan Athletic, has controversially sold his remaining 29% holding stake in JJB Sports – the sports retail chain he founded 36 years ago.

The 70-year old Whelan, who sold his stakeholding to Icelandic financial group Exista and sports retailer Chris Ronnie for £190m, has come in for criticism over the move given he had promised the London Stock Exchange in January that he would not sell up for at least another 12 months.

Sugar sells remaining Spurs stake

Entrepreneur and TV celebrity Sir Alan Sugar has sold his remaining stake in FA Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur to majority shareholder ENIC International.

The remaining 12% stake owned by Sir Alan Sugar, who had the majority stakeholding in Spurs and was club chairman for a decade until 2001, has been sold to ENIC for £25m.

ENIC, whose managing director Daniel Levy is the club chairman, has now increased its stakeholding from 54% to 66%.

Newcastle's Shepherd agrees to buyout

Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd has agreed to sell his shareholding to Mike Ashley – a move that is set to see the sports retail billionaire take control of the club.

Ashley will pay £37.6m for Shepherd’s 28% stake which, following on from the businessman’s purchase of 41.6% of the club from Sir John Hall’s family last month, means that Ashley now owns close to 70% of Newcastle United.

Ashes give Australia major economic boost

Despite the one-sided nature of last winter’s Ashes tour, the visit of the England cricket team provided a £133m boost to the Australian economy according to a report commissioned by Cricket Australia.

According to the Economic Impact Study, more than 813,000 tickets were sold for the Tests and one-day matches, and 37,000 overseas tourists visited Australia during the series. The tourism boost also led to the creation of 793 jobs.

The study also showed that each tourist stayed for around 30 days and spent almost £4,400. 

Deloitte: FAPL wages to top £1bn next season

Deloitte’s annual review of football finances has predicted that wages in the FA Premier League will total more than £1bn for the first time next season.

The report revealed that salaries and bonuses would increase next season in line with the FA Premier League’s new £1.7bn TV rights contract which begins in August.

The latest report, which monitors revenues across the top flight for the 2005/06 season, saw wages rise 9% to £854m.

Ashley unveils Newcastle takeover bid

Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of the Sports Direct retail group, has unveiled a £133.1m offer to takeover FA Premier League club Newcastle United.

Ashley, who floated his company earlier his year pocketing more than £900m in the process, has already bought a 41.6% stake in the club from majority stakeholder Sir John Hall for more than £55m.

Under stock exchange rules, Ashley's company now has to make a cash offer for the remaining shares – including a stake of around 29.8% belonging to chairman Freddy Shepherd.

FIFA monitoring West Ham row

FIFA are to wade in to the row between the Premier League clubs, the league and West Ham over the registration of Carlos Tevez.

The world governing body president Sepp Blatter has stated that he is ‘monitoring the situation very carefully’ and will intervene should it prove that the league has been too lenient.

West Ham were fined £5.5m for irregularities over the signing of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano but they escaped a points deduction.

However FIFA has said that it is not re-examining the evidence with the aim of testing the Premier League's ruling. 

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