Finance

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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.

2012 still dogged by cost rumours

Concerns over inflating costs continue to hound London 2012 organisers after media reports claimed that the new revised budget to be released next month had doubled from original estimations to £5.1bn.

The reports suggested that, according to a leaked document from the Olympic Delivery Authority, the financing was way above the initial suggestions of the revised budget.

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.

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