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Volume 10 No. 23

International Football

Scottish First Division clubs have said that "they are still pursuing changes in the Scottish game before the start of next season," according to STV. The clubs "met on Monday night at New Douglas Park." Following the meeting, the clubs issued a statement saying that "they were looking to continue progress toward change in the very near future." The statement read: "A meeting of clubs (10 Scottish Football League 1, plus Dundee and Queen of the South) took place, with [SFL CEO] David Longmuir also present for the first part of the meeting. The clubs still feel there is a willingness for change and a window of opportunity still exists to agree on a way forward, and what can be accepted for the benefit of all 42 clubs" (STV, 4/23). In Glasgow, Greig Thomas wrote Scottish Premier League Celtic Manager Peter Lawwell Monday night insisted that "the Scottish game had just five more days to come up with a plan for next season." And he claimed that fans "would be stuck with the status quo for another year if no moves were made in that time." Lawwell: "If we don’t get something coming forward, say this week, then that’s it. We need to move on and play in the same structure." Little progress appeared to be made at Monday night's meeting in Hamilton (DAILY RECORD, 4/23).

Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported Saudi Arabian Sheikh Khalid Al Shoaibi is interested in buying Serie A club Lazio Rome, according to BILD. The club for which German national team striker Miroslav Klose plays is reportedly worth €80M ($104M) to the sheikh. Lazio Owner & President Claudio Lotito said that "he does not know anything about it." Lotito: "Lazio will not be sold. The offer is ridiculous. Lazio is worth way more than €80 million." Lazio fans "have been criticizing Lotito for not spending enough money on new players." Lazio is one of three Serie A clubs that are listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (BILD, 4/23).

Italian club AC Milan confirmed on Monday that "it will tour China next month." The Serie A side "will play a Winoly Cup game against Dutch club Ajax at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium" on May 25 (CHINA DAILY, 4/23). ... Police "have arrested three men in dawn raids in connection with violence" at the FA Cup semifinal match between Millwall and Wigan. Scotland Yard said that the men, aged 21, 22 and 27, "were arrested at addresses in London by officers from Operation Arrowtip, which targets football-related crime" (PA, 4/23). ... EPL West Ham United fans will have an opportunity over the next week "to air their views about the club's move to the Olympic Stadium." The club was due Tuesday "to begin an independent supporter consultation process, carried out by pollster SMG YouGov" (London EVENING STANDARD, 4/23). ... South Manchester MP John Leech "has submitted a Parliamentary motion calling for the FA Cup Final to be held at 3pm on Saturday, and be the only major football game on that day." Man City will take on Wigan at Wembley in the final, which is scheduled to kickoff at 5:15pm (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 4/23). ... Some parts of Munich, the site of Tuesday's first leg of the Barca-Bayern Champions League semifinal matchup, had tickets being resold for €400 ($520). The price increase just before the start of a big game does not come as a surprise (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 4/23).