Finance

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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.

Boxing and basketball get funding boost

Boxing and basketball are set for improved funding after reaching an agreement with UK Sport as to how the respective Olympic sports are managed.

As part of a strict overhaul of the funding regime for Olympic sports undertaken by UK Sport, boxing and basketball will now receive financial aid from the organisation in a bid to match medal expectations for the 2012 Games.

The two sports had previously had funding withheld over concerns about the way they were run by their respective national associations.

ITV looks to US to sell Arsenal stake

ITV may finally have found a bidder for its 10 percent stakeholding in Arsenal after Stan Kroenke, the US billionaire owner of soccer club the Denver Rapids, was linked to a bid.

Kroenke, who would be the latest in an increasingly long line of US investors in FA Premier League clubs, was pencilled in as a potential bidder after the Denver Rapids announced a partnership last week with Arsenal based on sharing marketing know-how and collaborations on training and coaching methods.

IOC asks for clarification on 2012 costs

After weeks of media speculation over rising costs of the London 2012 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee has formally asked the Games organisers to clarify the funding plan.

While vocally supporting the London 2012 organisers, the IOC has asked that the host city clarify its budget position to stave off fears that the costs are spiralling out of control.

‘We have no doubt London will deliver on time but we need to have a clear picture of it,’ said IOC executive director for Olympic Games Gilbert Felli.

United dropping down football rich list

Manchester United is dropping down the list of the world’s richest football clubs according to the latest figures in the annual Deloitte Football Money League.

United, which headed the table for eight years before being overtaken by Real Madrid last year, has now slipped further down the rankings to fourth trailing Barcelona and Juventus.

Real Madrid retained its top spot with revenues rising to £202m from £186.2m the year before.

US duo secure Liverpool takeover

US billionaire sport entrepreneurs George Gillett and Tom Hicks have finalised their proposed £174m takeover bid for Liverpool including the purchase of the 9.99% stake in the club owned by commercial broadcaster ITV.

Gillett and Hicks, who own NHL ice hockey teams the Montreal Canadiens and the Dallas Stars respectively, beat off competition from Dubai International Capital to buy Liverpool.

The offer is worth £5,000 per share, valuing the club at £174.1m, which when comprised with the club's £44.8m debt, increases the cash on the table to £218.9m.

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