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Aston Villa unveils integrated season ticket payment cards

Aston Villa Football Club has integrated pre-paid contactless and chip and pin payment technology into its season and member cards.

The new technology will enable fans to use their Aston Villa season/member cards in the same way as any pre-paid payment card, including contactless payments up to £30, with fans earning ‘Pride Rewards’ points at a ratio of one point for every pound spent.

Chelsea announces record revenues

Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea FC has announced record turnover of £361.3m for the year ending 30th June 2017, which resulted in a profit for the year of £15.3m.

The turnover figure grew from £329.1m the previous year, a 9.8% increase. As part of the announcement, the Premier League side noted that broadcasting revenues increased as a result of winning the Premier League title, as well as commencement of the latest Premier League’s contracts with broadcasters.

Barnsley FC takeover confirmed

Barnsley FC has been taken over by a consortium headed by Chinese businessman Chien Lee and is led by investors Paul Conway and Grace Hung.

Other investors include former Major Leage Baseball player, Billy Beane, who also owns a minority stake in the Oakland Athletics and inspired the Hollywood film, Moneyball, as well as tech entrepreneur Neerav Parekh.

The takeover ends Patrick Cryne’s 13-year spell as owner of the club. Cryne has terminal cancer and wrote a letter in September telling fans he was “living on borrowed time”.

Jockey Club extends mini-bond

The Jockey Club has extended its mini-bond after five years, retaining 96% of original investors.

Investors in The Jockey Club's Racecourse Bond – which was the first 'mini bond' issued in British sport – have chosen to retain more than £23.6m (96%) in the financial product after they were offered the opportunity to rollover or extend their investment in the scheme.

Tweddle becomes Hardship Grants ambassador

Beth Tweddle has been announced by the British Gymnastics Foundation as the ambassador for their Hardship Grants programme.

The programme provides financial assistance to British Gymnastics members to help them continue participating in gymnastics when they are going through financial hardship.

Since April 2016, the Foundation has awarded over £29,000 of grants, benefitting 80 British Gymnastics Members.

Beth said: "Nobody deserves to miss out on the sport that they love because of a financial hardship or time of crisis in their lives!

Mike Ashley to sell Newcastle United

Newcastle United has been put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley, who reportedly hopes to conclude a deal by Christmas.

The Premier League side won promotion last season, but has been relegated twice during Ashley’s ten-year stint.

The 53-year-old took over in 2007, buying the club for £134.4m. The latest club accounts – up to June 2016 and before the club’s relegation – showed a profit of £900,000 and a £126m turnover in 2015/16.

Tifosy reaches £1m in equity raise

Tifosy, a fully licensed sports crowdfunding business, has successfully raised £1m equity through its own platform.

Co-founded by former player and manager Gianluca Vialli and former investment banker Fausto Zanetton, Tifosy allows supporters to invest in clubs.

More than 10,000 fans have already invested through the platform and Tifosy has worked with more than 15 clubs in England and Italy.

Bike Channel to close

Cycling broadcaster, the Bike Channel has ceased trading after failing to find a buyer, the company’s administrators confirmed in a statement.

Bike Channel UK was launched in December 2015, and was owned by London-based company Bike Media Limited. The channel will be removed from distribution on Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat. Six staff will lose their jobs and buyers are being sought for the broadcaster’s assets.

Day/night test hailed commercial success

Warwickshire County Cricket Club has revealed the level of commercial success for the first ever day/night Test in the UK, despite the match ending in less than three days. 

Edgbaston accommodated 70,000 spectators across the three days of play, recording sell-outs on the second and third day and, despite the shortened match, the venue’s retail catering sales were also the highest ever for a non-Ashes Test match.


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