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Volume 10 No. 25

International Football

Premier League owners, including Roman Abramovich and the Glazer family, "are close to agreeing a crackdown on players' wages," according to Joe Bernstein of the London DAILY MAIL. Talks "have already taken place" amongst all 20 top-flight clubs about introducing their own version of financial fair play. A formal outline "could be agreed later this month" when Premier League chairmen meet in London on Nov. 15. There is a "growing desire among the Premier League's int'l owners to keep a big slice of what could be £5B (£8B)" from the new TV deals that begin next year, instead of seeing it all go to players and their agents. The talks are concerning "wage restraint," prohibiting clubs from increasing their wage bill by more than 5% annually. Clubs spent £1.5B on wages in '10-11, 69% of their income, and they had debts of £2.4B. Among the "more radical proposals is that member clubs should be made to break even," something that UEFA's Financial Fair Play rule does not require. There is a "will among even the richest owners" -- Chelsea's Abramovich and Manchester City's Sheik Mansour -- "to stop making huge losses." The "new breed of American owners" -- Liverpool's John Henry, Sunderland's Ellis Short, Arsenal's Stan Kroenke, ManU's the Glazers and Aston Villa's Randy Lerner -- "are desperate to see a return on their investment." Figures from '10-11 revealed that Premier League clubs "made cumulative losses of £361M." An insider said, "There is a consensus from nearly every club that something needs to happen before the new TV deal takes effect next season. It doesn’t make sense for clubs to carry on losing money when so much revenue is being generated. It’s looking likely some form of agreement will be found" (DAILY MAIL, 11/4).

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim has "planned to invest money in Spanish football," and according to sources close to the negotiations, he has chosen La Liga club Getafe, according to Tolo Leal of In the upcoming days, an internal revision of the club will be done including a financial audit "to learn the economic situation" of the club. Once this is done, negotiations will get underway for the sale of the team. Slim's intention is to convert Getafe "into one of the biggest club's in Europe in a couple years" through the purchase of top players and the arrival of top talent from Mexico. Slim also wants to "promote Mexican football in Europe" and vice versa (, 11/1).

Zimbabwe's national team was disbanded Friday as a match-fixing scandal continued to "seriously undermine the sport in the country" even after the conclusion of an investigation into widespread corruption, according to the AP. After being "dogged for more than two years by fixing allegations and with some players and officials only recently banned for life," Zimbabwe FA (ZIFA) President Cuthbert Dube said the team has been "discarded.'' Dube said, "The Warriors, if indeed they were Warriors, have been dissolved en masse. We will rebuild from the under-20 and the under-23s. These are people who are clean. The team has been discarded in its entirety.'' Dube added that "only a few current players" would be kept after the long-running scandal. Dube also said that ZIFA would put in place an appeals process in accordance with FIFA rules after the 15 players, officials and reporters were "banned for life for helping fix Zimbabwe games" on tours to Asia in '09 (AP, 11/2).