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Sutcliffe defends Premiership wages remarks

While admitting that the figures he cited were not 100% accurate, new Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe has stood by the 'wider point' of comments he made during an attack on ‘obscene’ Premiership wages at the FT Sport Industry Summit 2007.

Addressing the gathered delegates of the FT Sport Industry Summit, Sutcliffe attacked the sky-high level of player salaries, citing Chelsea and England captain John Terry as an example, as well as criticising Manchester United’s ticket prices.

Liverpool player's wage leaked on the internet

Premier League club Liverpool has instigated a major internal inquiry after the details of first team player John Arne Riise’s wage slip, including his exact monthly wage, was posted on the internet.

The Norwegian star’s pay document was leaked onto to the internet revealing a monthly pay packet of £139,634 comprising his basic salary, appearance bonuses and a Champions League salary increase.

The pay slip also showed Riise’s national insurance number and personal details.

Government cuts threaten 2012 tourism target

The £2.1bn tourism revenue figure predicted to be generated by the London 2012 Olympics is unlikely to be met after the government reduced its funding to tourism body VisitBritain by 18%.

The decision by the government to significantly reduce the funds it allocates to British tourism has led the industry to claim that it can no longer afford to run any advertising in the years leading up to the London 2012 Games.

BOA's Moynihan stirs up 2012 budget row again

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has renewed the pressure on the government over the London 2012 budget by stating that the Games still needs tighter financial management and more transparency.

Following a few months of calm since the announcement of the revised £9.3bn Games budget, the attack on the government and the Olympic Delivery Authority by Moynihan, who sits on the London Olympic Board, is likely to stir the row up again.

Whelan sells Wigan to Harlequins owner

Wigan Warriors rugby league club owner Dave Whelan has followed through with his decision to sell the club, agreeing a deal with Ian Lenagan, chairman of rival team Harlequins, for 89% of the stakeholding.

As a result of the deal which takes effect on 1st December, the sport’s governing body the Rugby Football League has given Lenagan two years to find a buyer for his 65% stake in Harlequins, although the latter has insisted he will not sell unless he was convinced the club was in safe hands.

Nike snaps up Umbro in £285m deal

Lured by the appeal of the England football team kit contract, Nike has acquired rival sports brand Umbro in a deal which values the brand at £285m.

The acquisition of Umbro, which has been independent throughout its 70 year history, further establishes Nike’s strong foothold in the UK football market.

Umbro, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, unanimously recommended that shareholders accept the offer of 193.06p, which together with the declared dividend values the company at approximately 195 p per share.

Royal Ascot raises prize money to £4m

Ascot Racecourse has increased the prize money on offer at Royal Ascot in 2008 to £4m - an increase of £335,000 on this year’s winnings.

In tandem, Ascot also announced that ticket prices for general admission and the Silver Ring area have been frozen at 2007 rates for the Tuesday and Wednesday of the Royal Meeting with new advance booking incentives available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

MPs reignite 2012 budget debate

A Culture, Media and Sport committee of MPs has reignited the London 2012 Olympic budget row by accusing the government of being ‘willing to spend money like water’.

The committee says the budget, which has leaped from an initial estimate of £3.4bn to £9.3bn, has damaged confidence in the Games' management.

The project for the 2012 aquatics centre came under fire the most after the costs rose from an estimated £73m in 2004 to £303m.

Usmanov will bid for Arsenal takeover

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has revealed his hand for the first time, declaring that his long-term plan is to launch a takeover to buy Arsenal.

Usmanov recently raised his stake in the club to 23% through his company Red and White Holdings but had remained silent on any plans for a full takeover.

Usmanov commented: ‘We don't have the capacity today, but this is business and life is changing. Something that you can't do today, maybe you can do tomorrow.’


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