Finance

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Livingstone: No tax increase for Londoners

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone has reaffirmed his statement that Londoners will not pay any further increase on council tax despite the government’s revised 2012 Olympic budget including an extra £300m contribution from the Mayor’s office.

Livingstone stated that he will not increase the current 38p a week rise on council tax laid out in the original Olympic budget and that the extra funds would come from ‘within the Greater London Authority group’.

London 2012 unveils new £9.35bn budget

The government has finally responded to growing pressure and unveiled its revised budget for the London 2012 Olympics with Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell revealing to the House of Commons that the cost of the Games has risen to £9.35bn.

The new budget, marginally under the £10bn predicted by media speculation, is an increase of three times the original estimation of the funds needed to stage the 2012 Olympics.

CWC 2007 to make $239m profit

The Cricket World Cup, which began this week in the Caribbean, is expected to line the coffers of the International Cricket Council to the tune of $239m in profit.

According to the ICC, revenues derived from sponsorship, media rights, ticketing and merchandising will amount to the $239m figure, making the 2007 World Cup one of the most profitable in the organisation’s history.

The monies are set to be distributed amongst all of the cricket-playing nations with a large bulk of the funds set to be used by the ICC to further grow the game in developing countries.

US duo complete Liverpool takeover

US entrepreneurs George Gillett and Tom Hicks have completed their takeover of FA Premier League club Liverpool.

The US businessmen had given shareholders until Monday to respond to the offer of £5,000 per share but the pair comfortably reached the 75 percent required to put the deal through.

A statement to the Stock Exchange said the duo ‘received valid acceptances in respect of approximately 80.7% of Liverpool's issued share capital’.

Construction work on the club's new 60,000-seater stadium in Stanley Park is set to start imminently.

Coventry City latest target for US investors

Coca-Cola Championship side Coventry City has emerged as the latest British football club to hold takeover talks with US backers.

The club has announced that is has signed ‘non-binding heads of agreement’ with Manhattan Sports Capital Partners – a financial investment that, should it get the green light, it is hoped will propel Coventry City back into the FA Premier League.

The US consortium is in the early stages of due diligence, but the club said 'it will not be possible for some time to be sure if the deal will go ahead'.

Blackburn joins clubs dropping ticket prices

Blackburn Rovers has become the latest club to cut the cost of the average season ticket as the campaign for Premier League teams to reduce the financial demands on fans grows.

With attendances levelling out across the league, Rovers join Chelsea, Everton, Bolton and Wigan in confirming a reduction or a freeze in ticket prices for the 2007/08 season.

Blackburn Rovers will pass on savings totalling more than £1m to fans in a bid to halt falling attendances.

Blair adds his voice to 2012 debate

Prime Minister Tony Blair has added his voice to concerns over the London 2012 Olympics finances by stating that the costs for the Games must be kept ‘under control’.

Blair gave the 2012 Games his full support stating that the Olympics would be the ‘greatest sporting event on earth’ but tempered his comments with the insistence that a tight budge would be central to its success.

The Prime Minister’s comments came during Question Time following media speculation that placed the budget for the 2012 Games at £10bn.

£9bn figure linked with 2012 costs

Another week, another Olympics budget story as media speculation reports that the costs for London 2012 are set to rise as high as £9bn, nearly four times the initial £2.35bn figure laid out in the bid.

The Treasury and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have been locked in talks for the past few weeks regarding a revision of the 2012 budget but no announcement has yet been made regarding the new figure.

Wimbledon hands women equal prize money

After years of debate, The Wimbledon Championships has finally ceded to the pressure and announced that it is to hand men and women equal prize money for the first time at this year’s tournament.

The decision from the All England Lawn Tennis Club, which runs the championships, brings Wimbledon into line with all the other Grand Slams on the annual calendar.

The WTA and leading players of both genders have long fought to achieve financial parity at Wimbledon – a request that the AELTC had hitherto refused to grant.

Chelsea reduces debt to £80m

Premier League champions Chelsea have unveiled losses of £80.2m for the financial year to the end of June 2006 although the debt has been cut by 42.9 percent from the previous 12 month period.

The figures are the lowest level of debt that the club has reported since Russian owner Roman Abramovich took over three years ago and keeps Chelsea on track for its break even target of the 2009/10 season.

‘These figures demonstrate the business is moving in the right direction,’ said Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon.

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