Finance

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Dein sells Arsenal stake to Russian billionaire

Former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has sold his 14.5% stake in the club to a Russian billionaire with rumours mounting that the latter’s company will now stage a takeover of Arsenal.

Dein, who resigned from the club's board in April, sold his stake in Arsenal for £75m to a firm co-owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov.

Dein has now been named as the company's chairman but has moved to dampen speculation by saying that there is ‘no current intention’ to mount a takeover bid.

FA to unveil new player agent rules

The Football Association is to unveil new legislation clamping down on agents acting for more than one party in a transfer as put forward by Lord Stevens’ recent report into the Premier League.

The Football Agents Regulations come into effect on Saturday and include guidelines on dual representation, nepotism and overseas agents.

Despite the new regulations, the FA has admitted it only has limited powers on dealing with third-party ownership, claiming the issue needs to be addressed on a more wholesale basis by world governing body FIFA.

Newcastle dismiss Ashley sale rumours

Newcastle United has dismissed speculation that retail billionaire Mike Ashley is ready to sell his controlling interest to an Icelandic consortium despite only taking over the Premier League club in June.

Media reports had cited that Ashley, whose Sports Direct firm has endured a tough time on the stock market of late, had held talks with Icelandic businessmen Palmi Haraldsson and Jon Asgeir Johannesson over a £135m-plus takeover of Newcastle.

Castleford Tigers drop RFL legal action

Rugby league club Castleford Tigers have dropped their proposed legal case against the Rugby Football League in the wake of the punishment handed out to rivals Wigan for breaching the Super League salary cap system last season.

Although the breach happened last season, the RFL only decided to dock Wigan four points this year. Had the punishment been meted out last year it would have seen Wigan relegated from the top flight instead of Castleford.

FIFA ramps up Club World Cup prize money

FIFA has provided further incentives to competing clubs in the much criticized Club World Cup by increasing the prize money for 2007 to $16m and has also put forward that Japan remain the host of the tournament in 2008.

The Club World Cup, which is vehemently opposed in many circles due to further congestion of the annual fixture list, pits the champions of each continent against each other.

London 2012 to send building fees soaring

The huge construction projects required for the London 2012 Olympics is set to raise building fees in England by close to £4bn according to the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

According to the lobby group, overall inflation of building fees is one of the ‘hidden costs’ of the London 2012 Games which will see £5.3bn invested in construction and regeneration of the stadia and facilities required for the Olympics.

Betting scandal hits ATP tournament

A betting scandal has hit tennis after it was revealed that online bookmaker Betfair is investigating irregular gambling patterns during a recent ATP tournament in Poland.

Betfair has stopped giving payouts on a match at the recent Sopot tournament which saw world number four Nikolay Davydenko withdraw from his game against Martin Vassallo Arguello despite leading in the third and deciding set.

Betfair’s decision came after over £3.4m was bet before and during the first set of the match which is over 10 times the sum typical for a game of this stature.

SRU refutes insolvency claims

The Scottish Rugby Union has dismissed claims from club franchise Edinburgh that the governing body is close to insolvency and could be forced to sell Murrayfield stadium.

The SRU, which has been in dispute with Edinburgh since the franchise was taken away from the governing body’s financial control earlier this year, has defended its financial position.

SRU president George Jack wrote an open letter to member clubs reading: ‘I would ask you to challenge such allegations wherever you come across them.

Human rights group attacks Thaksin's City deal

Manchester City’s new owner Thaksin Shinawatra’s hold on the FA Premier League club is under threat after a leading human rights group challenged his takeover.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims Thaksin is "a human rights abuser of the worst kind" and should not have passed the league's 'fit and proper person' test.

The HRW has subsequently written to the FA Premier League asking how a man with Thaksin’s background passed the league’s ‘fit and proper person’ test which the FA Premier League requires all club owners to pass.

Castleford eyes legal move over salary row

Rugby league side Castleford Tigers are considering going to the courts after rival Super League club Wigan were deducted four points for breaching the salary cap.

Castleford, who were relegated from the Super League after finishing three points behind Wigan last season, believe that governing body the RFL should have acted more quickly in docking the points thus consigning Wigan to relegation in place of Castleford.

Castleford chief executive Richard Wright says his club feel 'cheated' and criticised the RFL for not acting more promptly.

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