Finance

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Government watchdog criticises 2012 costs

The National Audit Office (NAO), the government’s watchdog for financial affairs, has warned that the constant budgetary shifts for the London 2012 Olympics is a ‘major risk’ to the project’s success.

After evaluating the figures for London 2012, the NAO declared that more public funding would be required to meet the rising budget and stated that the ‘worrying situation must be dealt with as a matter of urgency’.

Liverpool close to Gillett takeover deal

Liverpool looks to have secured a takeover deal with American businessman George Gillett following the collapse of the bid from Dubai International Capital earlier this week.

Dubai International Capital had been expected to buy out Liverpool in a £450m bid but following an increased last minute offer from Gillett the club backed out of the deal on the table.

The Gillett offer is understood to be more lucrative for shareholders and also includes a commitment to finance a new stadium, thus ruling out the possibility of a ground-share with neighbours Everton.

Liverpool stalls over Dubai takeover

Dubai International Capital’s £156m takeover bid for Premier League team Liverpool has stalled after the club decided against giving the deal the green light.

Liverpool’s decision appears to have let US entrepreneur George Gillett back into the frame after the businessman issued a last-minute revised offer at the weekend.

A final decision on both bids is expected to be made by the end of the week.

Manchester United report steady financials

Manchester United has revealed a steady year in its latest annual financial results – the first yearly announcement since the Glazer family took control of the club.

Operating profit for the 12 months to 30 June 2006 was £49.7m – a small rise from the £46.1m profit in the prior reporting period, which only covered 11 months.

The financials were not as strong due to the impact of exiting the Champions League at the first stage – the club citing that the early exit from the tournament cost it £2.8m in revenue.

MPs: 'Lottery and taxes cannot fund 2012'

A report by MPs into the financial management of the 2012 Olympic costs has demanded that the Games organisers should not rely on the National Lottery and increased taxes to offset the upward revision of the budget.

The MPs’ report, presented at a DCMS hearing today, indicated that ministers are ‘disturbed’ at the £900m rise in costings of the 2012 project from its original budget due principally to compliance issues and an unexpected VAT bill.

The document also outlined surprise that an extra £400m was needed for a ‘delivery partner to exercise cost control’.

Football League agent fees on the rise

The Football League has followed through on its commitment to financial transparency by revealing that its constituent clubs spent £6.21m on agents’ fees in the first six months of the season.

The figure represents an increase of close to £1.8m on the same period in the previous season.

Despite the rise, the Football League remained optimistic that it was addressing the issue following the introduction of new regulations for player agents late last year.

Belgravia withdraws Newcastle interest

The prospect of a takeover bid for Newcastle United appears to have stalled after Jersey-based investment fund The Belgravia Group withdrew its interest in the club.

Belgravia stated that despite protracted negotiations with the club, it had been ‘unable to agree a price and transaction structure’.

Belgravia joins US firm Polygon in distancing themselves from a deal after the latter pulled its interest earlier this month.

The majority shareholder at Newcastle United is Sir John Hall who, with his son, owns more than 40% of the club.

DIC closing in on Liverpool takeover

Dubai International Capital’s takeover bid for FA Premier League club Liverpool is close to completion according to the club’s chief executive Rick Parry.

Parry stated at the weekend that he expected the takeover to be completed ‘relatively quickly’.

‘A huge amount of work has been going on, we'll have something to say soon,’ he said. ‘Yes, the deal is looking positive and yes, I'm confident it will go through. This will take us to the next level.

Beckham first to get club stakeholding

David Beckham is believed to become the first active footballer to have a stakeholding in his club as the exact details of his new playing contract for LA Galaxy begin to come to light.

The reported contract clause, which will see him take a share of the club profits which could amount to as much as $10m a year, will catapult Beckham up the global list of highest earning sport stars – a list dominated by athletes from US sports.

When he moves from Real Madrid to LA Galaxy at the end of the season, Beckham looks set to earn a total of $55m a year in total.

Bahrain firm buys into McLaren F1

McLaren Formula One team has received a new backer after it was confirmed that Mumtalakat Holding Company – a Middle East investment firm wholly owned by the Kingdom of Bahrain – had agreed a deal to buy a 30% stake in the team.

Should the stakeholding by finalised, McLaren’s parent company DaimlerChrysler will still own 40% but the holdings of team boss Ron Dennis and TAG will be reduced to 15% each.

A statement from McLaren confirmed that the change in ownership would not affect the existing management team.

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