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Volume 6 No. 215

Leagues and Governing Bodies

New regulations that would "change the face of English football are being debated" by the 20 Premier League clubs, a majority of whom are "understood to favour far greater financial controls, especially on wages," according to Steve Tongue of the London INDEPENDENT. The measures would "bring a degree of sanity to a world in which barely one-third of the country's top clubs manage to make a profit despite receiving huge sums from broadcasting and commercial activities." There is "little support for the salary cap" proposed by Wigan Owner Dave Whelan, which is "regarded as impractical if not illegal." However, other measures discussed included "an annual limit on wage rises and a ceiling on the percentage of income spent on salaries." West Ham Chair David Gold supports the latter plan. Gold: "Wage capping is almost communism, that's abhorrent. Most Premier League clubs support UEFA's Financial Fair Play, but I think what clubs want is something that works alongside that to stop the ever upward spiralling wages" (INDEPENDENT, 10/14).

ARSENAL'S SELF-SUFFICIENCY: In London, Tongue also wrote that ever since moving from a stadium holding 38,000 to one with a 60,000 capacity and three times as many executive boxes, Arsenal FC has "been able to run the club on a self-financing basis." Arsenal's revenue is close to £3.5M ($5.6M) every matchday for up to 30 home games a season. A lower wage limit than its direct competitors and a recent lack of trophies has meant selling players, but "that has usually resulted in solid profits," including £36.6M ($58.8M) in the last accounts (INDEPENDENT, 10/14).

U.K. Athletics will reveal on Monday a "reduced group of athletes" who will receive lottery funding for next season, according to the London DAILY MAIL. The emphasis will be on "those with major championship medal potential over the next four years." U.K. Athletics has narrowed the focus for a place on its World Class Performance Program from "athletes with top-eight potential to those who are top-three contenders." The result will be fewer podium-level funded athletes, the highest level of lottery support, which runs from around £13,000 ($20,896) to £26,000 ($41,792) and "is in addition to non-financial help like access to coaches, facilities, medical staff and training camps." The athletes in danger of being cut are those who "failed to achieve the targets set out for them at either the 2011 World Championships or this summer's Olympics" or those not considered medal contenders at the 2016 Summer Olympics (DAILY MAIL, 10/14).

India's sports ministry made a "unilateral'' decision to merge a joint fund of Rs 80 crore ($15.1M) created four years ago -- including Rs 50 crore ($9.5M) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India -- to "bail out cash-starved sports disciplines into a larger corpus," the National Sports Development Fund, according to Swamy & Basu of the TNN. The BCCI "is fuming" over the decision and said that it has been "kept in the dark not only on the merger but also on how the money is being spent." BCCI sources said that "the ministry's attitude could force them to stop contributing to the fund." A source said: "We expected the ministry to inform us about how they were spending our money. We sent them so many letters. Had they been more professional in their approach, we would have been glad to give more funds for the development of other sports." Sports secretary PK Deb said that he would write to the BCCI "about the status of the fund besides providing them with the accounts audited by the comptroller and auditor general of India" (TNN, 10/14).

F1's expansion into the global market has brought with it "some bumps in the road," according to Thomas Mersch of HANDELSBLATT. In the last 10 years, F1 has entered markets such as China, UAE's Abu Dhabi and India and will soon host races in New Jersey and Sochi. However, the racing series' expansion "encounters financial problems," as seen in South Korea, and "other problems that slow down its expansion." Sports marketing company Sport+Markt motorsports expert Friedhelm Lange said, "The future of F1 is not free from worry. In some important markets it encounters decreasing interest or flat-lining interest on a low level." F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is highlighting his strategic skills with F1's global expansion, "which attracts business to motorsports." Lange said, "F1 is for car manufacturers and sponsors a good tool to tap in to new markets. They don't have to think in each new country about what sports to join." The teams also back the series' global course. Mercedes Motorsports Dir Norbert Haug said, "Mercedes-Benz sells 83% of its premium vehicles in countries that host F1 races." The new Concord Agreement between Ecclestone, teams and motorsports governing body FIA is supposed to be adapted at the end of the month. The agreement regulates the distribution of F1's revenue until '20. It is uncertain if the new markets will have positively developed until then (HANDELSBLATT, 10/12).

BMW-owned car brand Mini "decided to terminate its factory involvement in the World Rally Championship after the '12 season," according to MINI Business Coordination and Brand Management Senior VP Kay Segler said, "Mini will discontinue its factory involvement in the WRC after the '12 season. At the end of the season, we will have accomplished the homologation of the Mini John Cooper Works, according to FIA regulations. Thereby we have complied with the requirements that allow us to continue the use of the vehicle in the WRC on a customer basis." Mini has, since its WRC return in '11, reached three podiums and a number of top-10 finishes. The "arguably biggest success has been Dani Sordo's second-place finish at the Rally Monte Carlo" in January. Mini won the Rally Monte Carlo in '64, '65 and '67, which "established the myth of the brand in rally sports" (, 10/12).

Cycling Australia will meet this week "to discuss what action it will take" after former road racer Matt White admitted involvement in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy. The 38-year-old said that he was "part of a strategy" when he rode on the Armstrong-led U.S. Postal Services team from '01-03. He told CA on Saturday that he was "standing down from his position" as professional men's road coordinator (AFP, 10/14). ... The German Beko Basketball Bundesliga (BBL) "will expand its youth development program." Starting this season, the league will adopt the concept of a youth program that was started a year ago at Alba Berlin. In addition, the Brose Baskets Bamberg, EWE Baskets Oldenburg and Bayern Munich will also participate. The BBL presented the new academy together with players from all four clubs in Munich. BBL CEO Jan Pommer said through this new program the league "wants to attract children of different age groups for basketball" (DPA, 10/8). ... The prospect of a full-time Australian Rugby League coach "will be put to the ARL Commission during discussions" as to whether Tim Sheens will coach the Kangaroos to next year's World Cup. The ARLC will confirm by the end of the year whether Sheens "will continue his successful stint as the national coach next year" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/15).

UAE WANTS APOLOGY: The UAE Football Association has "demanded an official apology" from the Asian Football Confederation for the "disrespect" shown toward the national team in an article on the AFC official website. The post read about the performance of the team in its previous eight Asian Cup finals appearances and translated the team's nickname "Al Abyad" as "Sand Monkeys." The team's nickname translates correctly to "The Whites" (THE NATIONAL, 10/14)

MEET AND GREET: National Olympic Committee of Cambodia President and Tourism Minister Thong Khon called officials from all affiliated sports federations for a meeting "with the aim of drawing up a shortlist of disciplines," which would receive special training schedules both at home and abroad in the lead up to next year's Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar. The NOCC also plans to encourage foreign-based athletes to compete for Cambodia as well as pursuing relationships with other nations to set up training camps overseas (PHNOM PENH POST, 10/11).