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Volume 10 No. 25


Newcastle United Managing Dir Derek Llambias is "confident the events of the past fortnight have helped to secure the long-term future of the club," according to the PA. Club Owner Mike Ashley secured Manager Alan Pardew and his coaching staff on eight-year contracts and agreed to a sponsorship deal with loan company, meaning the name of the stadium will revert back to St. James' Park. There was "disquiet in some quarters" Tuesday at the club's association with the Wonga brand, but "as the dust settled," Llambias was "wearing a satisfied smile." Llambias said, "It's been a big fortnight -- a very big fortnight. For me, it's all about stability. It's all about the season for us now. It's about getting the injuries cleared up -- but that's Alan's job. Thank God I don't have to get too involved in that" (PA, 10/10).

MUSLIMS CONSIDER BOYCOTT: The London DAILY MAIL reported that Newcastle now faces "a tricky situation" with several of its senior players. Under Sharia law, Muslims "must not benefit from either lending money or receiving money from another person -- meaning that interest is prohibited." Interest is not paid on Islamic bank accounts or added to mortgages. Players Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa are all "practising Muslims." They may "follow the stance" of former La Liga Sevilla FC striker Freddie Kanoute, who refused to wear the logo of gambling website on his shirt because of "his religious beliefs" (DAILY MAIL, 10/10).

The plan of National Rugby League club Manly Sea Eagles to "spread the NRL gospel in China is no gimmick," as they continue negotiations to jump-start next season in China against Canberra, according to Jon Tuxworth of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Sea Eagles and Raiders officials met with the NRL and broadcast partner Fox Sports last week "to discuss the viability of moving a Manly home game" to China. Manly CEO David Perry said, "We wouldn't be doing this unless we thought there was some momentum and consistent frequency of having an event up there." Fox Sports "has agreed in principle to the initiative, and is determining whether it is financially viable." Should the broadcaster approve, the league "will then send a letter to the Chinese high commission outlining the support it would require for the game to go ahead" (SMH, 10/12).

Glasgow businessman David Low has "become part-owner" of the British Basketball League team Glasgow Rocks, according to Hugh Macdonald of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Low, who "drew up the share-buying strategy" that allowed Canadian businessman Fergus McCann to take over Celtic in '94, has signed contracts giving him and Scottish entrepreneur and business partner Joe Grimond a 50% stake in the basketball team, which plays in the Emirates Arena. Low said that he viewed the Rocks as "both a business opportunity and as a chance to develop the community projects initiated by the club." He also said that the Rocks presence in a British League "gave good marketing opportunities and indicated the brand could grow." Low said, "Basketball is also a sport that can be developed in this country" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 10/10).

Scottish Third Division Rangers Chair Malcolm Murray insisted that "his regime’s plan to restore financial fortunes at Ibrox is on course, despite warnings from an advisor to a rival bid to buy the club from administrators," according to Gavin McCafferty of the SCOTSMAN. U.S.-based advising company Club 9 Sports CEO and Operating Partner Jon Pritchett, who advised American businessman Bill Miller on his offer for the "oldco" club, wrote in Forbes that there was no return possible and stated, "I don’t think the Rangers math works." Responding in a statement, Murray said: "The last time Mr Pritchett had sight of any financial information about Rangers was many months ago and, as a result, his article in Forbes Magazine is ill-informed, misleading and scaremongering. It does not take a genius to work out that costs needed to be cut at the club, and this has happened. However, we also have a plan to maximise commercial revenues and develop many areas of the club that historically were under-utilised" (SCOTSMAN, 10/10).

The UAE's Danube Lions, which "rule indoor cricket in the local circuit, launched an outdoor team with much fanfare" at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai on Tuesday night, according to K.R. Nayar of GULF NEWS. Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar officially launched the team in the presence of Daunbe Group Managing Dir Anis Sajan, who had transformed the indoor squad into an invincible team in indoor cricket. Sajan said, "We want to do the same in outdoor cricket too and emerge as the best in domestic tournaments." Sajan announced that Danube, one of the leading construction and building materials companies in the UAE, "will also launch the Diplomats Cup, a tournament for all of the foreign embassies" in the country (GULF NEWS, 10/10).