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Belgravia eyes Newcastle takeover bid

Jersey-based firm The Belgravia Group has confirmed it is in discussions with Newcastle United about a possible takeover bid.

Although no formal proposal has been put forward, spokesman for the group revealed it was keen to reach an agreement to take over the FA Premier League club.

Current club chairman Freddy Shepherd owns 28% of the club, while former chairman Sir John Hall has a 29% share and his son Douglas owns a 12% stake.

Olympic costs will rise to £5bn

The Olympic Delivery Authority has confirmed that the cost of staging the London 2012 Games has increased from £3.4bn to £5bn, confirming industry concerns outlined at the FT Sport Industry Summit earlier this month.

Sir Roy McNulty, head of the ODA, told the London Assembly that the combination of increased security costs, an unexpected VAT bill and demands for a contigency plan have all added to the overall cost of staging the Games.

Finances spell more woe for RFU

The RFU’s annual financial results showed a 4.5% drop off in turnover to £83m – a worrying decline attributed to the England team’s poor performance on the pitch in the last 12 months.

According to the annual report, seven straight losses on the bounce have cost the RFU £3.6m, mainly due to a decline in ticket sales, reduced merchandise sales, a lower share of Six Nations revenues and the costs of restructuring the Elite Rugby Department.

FA Cup leaves non-league side in debt

A row has erupted over the monetary value of playing in the FA Cup after a non-league side was left £10,000 in the red after being forced to switch its first-round game to a larger stadium.

Havant and Waterlooville’s home tie at the club’s West Leigh Park stadium against Millwall was moved to Portsmouth’s Fratton Park ground due to concerns over overcrowding.

Wasserman completes SFX buyout

US sports marketing giant Wasserman Media Group has completed its long-mooted takeover of the European arm of SFX Sports Group, the marketing agency that represents a host of sports stars including footballers Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard.

Wasserman’s acquisition of SFX Sports from Clear Channel gives the new parent agency a significant foothold in the European market across a number of different sports, most noticeably football and rugby.

Through the union, SFX Sports will become part of WMG Management. No price has been disclosed for the transaction.

PCB suggests compensation plan

The Pakistan Cricket Board has proposed to stage a one-day international in England as compensation for the lost revenue from the disbanded Oval Test between the two nations this summer.

The ECB had demanded a compensation payment of £800,000 from the PCB after Pakistan refused to take any further part in the Test following accusations of ball-tampering by umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove.

Football leaders get hot under the collar

Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore and Minister for Sport Richard Caborn were at loggerheads at today’s FT Sport Industry Summit over the increasing commercialisation of football at the expense of the sport's fans.

Caborn challenged Scudamore on stage at the Summit over the commercial agenda of the Premier League stating that he believed that ‘competition off the pitch has become more important than competition on it’.

Shadow Sport Minister calls for Olympic clarity

Speaking at today’s FT Sport Industry Summit, Shadow Sport Minister Hugh Robertson has called for the government to provide greater clarity on Olympic costs following criticism in today's press from the recently departed Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Jack Lemley.

In calling for a greater transparency however, Robertson defended the government against the media reports regarding Lemley’s comments which the Shadow Sport Minister described as misleading.


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