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Volume 10 No. 22

Leagues and Governing Bodies

A summit meeting of the 24 Championship clubs on Wednesday will "warn the Premier League that it risks permanently damaging the 'integrity of the Football League' by proposing a big hike in parachute money for clubs relegated from the top tier but only a modest rise in 'solidarity payments' for other clubs," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. Club chairs said that they could "ultimately turn their backs on the Premier League in protest," while others believe their recently introduced Financial Fair Play rules will become "completely unworkable" if the scheme goes ahead as planned. MPs have also warned of this being soaked up by a "culture of greed" at the top of the game as the Premier League finalizes a record £5.5B ($8.3B) in broadcasting income. Football League chairs will attempt to "persuade those clubs already in receipt of parachute payments to support a plan to recalibrate the offer so that the total is shared more equally." However, it is understood that the Premier League is" unlikely to unpick the deal" (GUARDIAN, 3/19).

The bottom 10 players in each National Rugby League squad "would be made available for rival clubs to approach as replacements for players suspended due to doping violations under a proposal being considered to ensure the game fulfils its television commitments," according to Brad Walter of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The NRL "has been drawing up a contingency plan to cope with the possibility of players being suspended en masse following an investigation by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority." Officials "have been discussing options to ensure the NRL fulfils its contractual obligations to Channel Nine and Fox Sports to provide eight competitive matches a week since news broke on the eve of the season kick-off that up to 14 Cronulla players face drugs bans." Players "would not be forced to join a rival club, but some may believe they will have better opportunities by doing so." The clubs releasing players "could also benefit as they would free up room under the salary cap to extend the contracts of other players" (SMH, 3/20).

SUPPORT, OPPOSITION: In Sydney, Honeysett & McDonald reported the NRL's "contingency plan to force players to other clubs through an internal draft polarised the game." Wests Tigers players Benji Marshall said: "I wouldn't want any of my teammates to be put through that, put to the sword and (be told) 'we don't want you, you can go play for Cronulla.'" Tigers teammate Chris Lawrence was far more diplomatic, but said that "rival NRL clubs should not be made to pay for the mistakes of others" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 3/20).

FACE TO FACE: Also in Sydney, Heath Aston reported suspected sporting drug cheats "will be forced to submit to interviews after an 11th-hour deal was struck between the Gillard government and the Greens to ratchet up the powers" of the ASADA. The new law -- to be rushed through Parliament by Thursday -- "will give the stuttering investigation new life, with up to 50 NRL players now in the sights of ASADA" (SMH, 3/20).

SEEKING SUPPORT: Also in Sydney, Josh Massoud reported the NRL's entire welfare unit visited Cronulla Tuesday "to meet with sacked Sharks coaching staff and players distressed over their uncertain fates." Axed football Manager Darren Mooney and head trainer Mark Noakes "joined the current squad for a two-hour lunch with four NRL staff at the Royal Motor Boat Yacht Club on Port Hacking" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/20).

Kontinental Hockey League President Alexander Medvedev revealed that Gdansk’s bid to become Poland’s first KHL hockey team next season "has foundered for financial reasons," according to R-SPORT. The failure is "a blow to Medvedev’s dream of expanding the Russia-based KHL westwards across Europe" all the way to Britain to create a true rival to the North American NHL. The announcement comes five days after KHL inspectors "approved the team's arena to host games." New KHL teams are "required to prove they have suitable facilities and the money to assemble a competitive team." Medvedev added that some of the other four candidates to join next season "are experiencing problems." He also said that two Russian teams, one in Vladivostok and the other the former KHL team Lada Tolyatti, "have not provided necessary assurances to the league" (R-SPORT, 3/19).

British automotive and motorsports company Zytek "could enter F1 as an engine supplier as early as '14," according to Alexander Maack of SPOX. The company "is working on a system that is conform with the '14 regulations." Starting next year, the FIA World Endurance Championship and F1 "will have similar engine regulations." Zytek revealed on its Twitter account that it is working on a system for the two racing series.

F1 teams "can use two energy-recovery systems in '14." One is the already used KERS system that recovers the kinetic energy of braking and stores it for later use under acceleration. The second one "will use the heat energy created by the newly introduced turbo engines." These engines "are also in complience with WEC regulations" (SPOX, 3/17).