The prize pot at this summer’s Wimbledon championship is set to leap by 25% to a record £20M ($30M) after the All England Club "bowed to demands from players that they needed a greater share of the tournament’s spoils," according to Nick Harris of the London DAILY MAIL. The Club will detail the hikes in pay on Tuesday, but Inside Sport understands that the singles champions will earn a whopping £1.5M ($2.28M) each, a huge rise of £350,000 ($533,120), or 30%, on last year. The "extraordinary increases in pay will bring Wimbledon in line with the other Grand Slam events upping their prize funds in recent times -- and further rises are on the cards." Wimbledon’s total prize fund of £16.06M in '12, including £1.15M for the singles winners, already represented a 10% rise on '11. Wimbledon and the three other Slam championships have "moved to head off ongoing unrest among players unhappy at the percentage of revenue" from the majors being passed on through prize money (DAILY MAIL, 4/20).
Britain "is now the home of nearly 10 times as many billionaires" as were featured in the first Sunday Times Rich List published in '89, according to Philip Beresford of the SUNDAY TIMES. This year's list was topped by Russian tycoon and Premier League Arsenal major shareholder Alisher Usmanov. Usmanov "has seen his fortune rise" by just less than £1B ($1.5B) in the past year to £13.3B ($20.2B), "buoyed by the strong performance of his London-listed MegaFon mobile phone business and his stake in the iron ore mining giant, Metalloinvest." With homes in London and the home counties and a 29% holding in Arsenal -- "one of his smallest but best known investments" -- Usmanov "seems intent on strengthening his British links." Arsenal fans "will hope Usmanov might some day galvanise the fortunes of their club in the way that fellow Russian Roman Abramovich has transformed Chelsea." Abramovich slipped to fifth place in this year's list, with £9.3B ($14.1B) down £200M ($305M) from last year. Other notable people with investments in sports include F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, who fell three spots to No. 26. Ecclestone's fortune is worth £2.5B ($3.8B). Premier League Newcastle United Owner and retailer Sports Direct Founder Mike Ashley rose five spots to No. 31. Ashley's worth is valued at £2.3B ($3.5B). Usmanov's partner at Arsenal Farhad Moshiri rose from No. 127 to No. 41. Moshiri saw his fortune increase by £1.2B ($1.8B) to £1.8B ($2.7B) (SUNDAY TIMES, 4/21). For the Sunday Times' complete list, click here.