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Volume 6 No. 217

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Prize money at Britain’s biggest racecourses "will jump 15% to £40.4M ($66M) next year," according to Danielle Rossingh of BLOOMBERG. Governing body the Jockey Club Group CEO Simon Bazalgette said, "We're being more commercially successful, driving our profits and so we were able to put more back into prize money. Prize money in 2013 is also set to rise because of a higher horseracing betting levy from bookmakers." The Jockey Club, which manages and operates 15 racecourses including Cheltenham and Newmarket’s Rowley Mile and July courses, will contribute a record £18.6M ($30.6M) to the prize money pot. The club contributed £16.8M ($27.3M) in '12. Funding from the betting levy -- the annual fee on the profits of bookmakers from bets on British horseracing -- "will contribute £15.1M ($24.6M), up from £11.7M ($19M)." Prize money "will be spread across 361 fixtures." Average prize money per fixture will rise 6.3% to £110,000 ($178,900) (BLOOMBERG, 12/20).

A "costly and bitter legal battle" is underway following the decision of former national Manager Craig Levein to issue a writ against the Scottish FA, according to the SCOTSMAN. Levein has "accused his ex-employers of failing to honour his contract," while the SFA has responded by saying that it offered "to fulfill the deal in its entirety when it relieved him of his duties early last month." It is understood that "some legal sources urged Levein to begin action sooner but that he delayed in the hope of coming to an agreement which, if not exactly amicable, would at least avoid court action." He believed that "he had a good working relationship" with SFA CEO Stewart Regan and is understood to have found it "hard to comprehend why Regan could not behave in what he, Levein, regarded as a decent manner." Besides contradicting reports which stated that Levein would continue to receive his SFA salary, the former Hearts and Dundee United manager's advisers "are also unconvinced by the SFA's suggestion that he would remain an employee." Their argument is that, as his job was that of national coach, when he was removed from that post "he was effectively left in limbo, with no attempt being made to offer him meaningful work elsewhere in the organisation." The statement on the SFA's website "offered a different interpretation of several of the issues referred to by Levein's representatives." (SCOTSMAN, 12/20).

FIFA President Sepp Blatter revealed that "he wants to ban beer and cigarettes inside football stadiums." Blatter said that he is in favor of banning alcohol and cigarettes at football stadiums and added after all he "has never seen anybody smoke at the opera or the theater." Bayern Munich Exec Chair Karl-Heinz Rummenigge will most-likely oppose this idea as he just recently said, "Three things belong together. Football, bratwurst and beer" (DIE WELT, 12/19). ... The Sun Group, new entry into the high-profile Indian Premier League, "unveiled its team name Sunrisers and the logo of an eagle soaring high, looking into the core of a rising sun" (THE HINDU, 12/20). ... The German Touring Car Championship (DTM) "has adjusted its race calender for '13 to avoid an overlap with the F1 Grand Prix of Germany." The DTM event at the Norrisring in Nuremberg "has been rescheduled to July 14 after motorsports governing body FIA revealed that the German F1 Grand Prix will take place on July 7" (DPA, 12/19).