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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Scottish Premier League revealed Wednesday that it "has investigated Celtic’s use of an Employee Benefit Trust and is satisfied that no rules were breached," according to Lisa Gray of the SCOTSMAN. Reports stated that an EBT was used "while Brazilian midfielder Juninho was at the club." EBTs typically involve "an employer depositing money in a trust, which is paid out to beneficiaries in the form of tax-free loans." Such payments "should not be made on a contractual basis," as it would make them part of an employee’s salary and subject to tax and national insurance. It was announced that an independent commission, appointed by the SPL, "will begin a hearing into Rangers’ alleged use of dual contracts." With regards to the alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers, the SPL-appointed commission revealed that "it will proceed with its inquiry next month after considering all the preliminary issues over two days of initial meetings" (SCOTSMAN, 9/13).

RANGERS CEO CHALLENGED: The Scottish DAILY RECORD's Gary Ralston reported that the SPL challenged Rangers CEO Charles Green "to put up or shut up" as it cleared Celtic of any EBT wrongdoings. Green claimed earlier this week "more than two" SPL clubs also operated the controversial tax avoidance scheme. He added he would "rather not say" which clubs he believed operated the schemes but added: "I have put my hand up and they should do the same" (DAILY RECORD, 9/13). The SCOTSMAN reported that Rangers have received £272,000 ($438,573) from UEFA for their players’ involvement in Euro 2012, but the cash "will go straight to the accountants responsible for winding up the oldco." The payment, from UEFA’s fund for clubs whose players took part in the tournament, "is expected to go to BDO," the accountancy firm in charge of liquidating the club (SCOTSMAN, 9/13).

Korean car manufacturer Hyundai "will return to the FIA World Rally Championship in '14," according to Mario Fritzsche of MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com. Hyundai plans to compete part-time in '13 to gain experience. There is an increasing number of signs signaling that Hyundai "will officially announce its WRC return at the Paris Motor Show" (Sept. 29-Oct. 14). Hyundai participated in the WRC from '00-03 before it discontinued its rally program. The model that Hyundai "will use for its rally comeback after a 10-year hiatus is reportedly the i20." The i20 is a three-door car with a 1.6 liter turbo diesel. An anonymous source said, "Hyundai will return to the WRC, and the announcement will take place in Paris. We still have a lot of testing developing ahead of us. However, a full season in '14 is secured" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 9/13).

Hong Kong Open organizers Wednesday "asked the government for HK$16M ($2.1M) in funding," with an eye on netting world No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy. The Hong Kong Golf Association and the European Tour met with officials from the Tourism Commission's Mega Events Fund to "voice a multimillion-dollar plea" -- give us the money so that we can get the world's hottest golfing professional, McIlroy, to return to Hong Kong Golf Club (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 9/13). ... All India Tennis Association on Thursday "urged the government to increase the financial help being given to its players" from Rs 3 crore ($542,000) to Rs 5 crore ($903,500) and also demanded that the benefit be extended to juniors as well. AITA President Anil Khanna said that the body "has drafted a proposal, which will be submitted to the Sports Ministry soon." Khanna said that the AITA needed "help from the government to bring more tournaments to the country" (PTI, 9/13). ... The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) terminated its contract with accounting firm MPCN "without citing a specific reason." The CBF will now do its accounting in-house instead of outsourcing (FOLHA DE S. PAULO, 9/13).