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Volume 10 No. 22


National Rugby League South Sydney Rabbitohs Owner Russell Crowe has given the club "a timely boost" by deciding he has no immediate plans to sell his stake in the club, according to Honeysett & Read of THE AUSTRALIAN. Rabbitohs Chair Nick Pappas told members at the club's annual general meeting on Sunday that the actor "had no plans to sell his stake in the short to medium term." Pappas also reaffirmed to the members that Crowe's co-Owner, Peter Holmes a Court, "had no plans to sell his stake." Crowe announced at the end of last season that he was looking to offload his 37.5% ownership share in the club to "simplify his life" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/5). In Sydney, Brad Walter wrote when Crowe announced in November that he was selling his stake in South Sydney, he "made it clear he was doing so in a bid to save his marriage." In reference to his split with wife Danielle Spencer, Crowe said, ''My family situation has changed. I have to address personally how busy I have made my life outside of my actual job. If I have any chance of keeping my family together, I have to simplify my life where I can.'' But with reports emerging suggesting the offer to "give up ownership of his beloved Rabbitohs may not have had the effect Crowe had hoped, he has now put any thoughts of selling on hold -- indefinitely, it seems" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/5).

Scottish Third Division club Rangers are "preparing to launch a legal campaign to support its long-held desire to be allowed to compete in the English football," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Rangers CEO Charles Green said that he was "determined" to put the issue on the agenda, this time "with the threat of court action to reinforce the club's claim." Green said that resistance to the idea is "anti-competitive." He said that "he intended to put recommendations to the Rangers board," supported by opinions from three law firms, that to deny Rangers access to English football "would be in breach of European competition law" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/4). The SCOTSMAN reported Green believes that the Old Firm sides "would ideally play in England, with their junior sides contesting the league in Scotland." Green: "The parents would play in a different league, I believe that would be England." He cited Swansea City and Cardiff City as evidence that teams from outside England could play in the Barclays Premier League, "which is Green’s ultimate goal for Rangers" (SCOTSMAN, 3/4).

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE: REUTERS' Keith Weir reported Green added that the alternative for Rangers "would be a place in a cross-border European league." The idea of Glasgow's "Old Firm" clubs playing in England has been around "for a number of years and has been rejected in the past by Premier League clubs." Although bringing big crowds, it would mean a couple of English teams "risked being squeezed out of the lucrative top flight." Rangers still draw crowds of 45,000. Green added that in the short-term, a planned restructuring of Scottish football should give Rangers "a quick route back towards the top of the Scottish game" (REUTERS, 3/4).

Australian Football League club Essendon Chair David Evans has promised fans that the team "will come through their doping crisis as a stronger organisation," according to the AAP. Evans and coach James Hird "made emotional speeches on Monday night at the Bombers' season launch, thanking the players and fans for their support." The club is under a joint Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and AFL investigation "for supplements that the players used last season." The anti-doping investigation "is likely to take months, meaning it will hang over the Bombers for much of the season." Evans said, "I understand the way you look at me tonight, looking for reassurance our beautiful place will be okay" (AAP, 3/4).