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Volume 10 No. 24


League One football club Leyton Orient Chair Barry Hearn "appears to have definitively lost his long-running crusade to reopen the bidding process for the Olympic Stadium" in Stratford, after his case for a judicial review was rejected, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. EPL West Ham was chosen as the main tenant for the stadium last month. Hearn had argued that the decision was flawed because the London Legacy Development Corp. failed to consider Orient's proposal to ground-share with West Ham. But lawyers representing other interested parties in the case are "believed to have been informed that the application for judicial review has been rejected." Hearn, who has spent more than £300,000 ($465,000) pursuing his legal challenge over the stadium, said last month that "he hoped to win the judicial review but accepted he would ultimately lose the fight." Lawyers for Orient are "expected to review the reasons for the rejection of the judicial review application before deciding whether to seek an oral hearing before a judge" (GUARDIAN, 4/26).

League Championship club Blackburn Rovers admitted in court that they are a football club "out of control" and being run by "a renegade managing director whom they claim they are powerless to suspend," according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. The club’s lawyers conceded that the latest chapter in their efforts to avoid paying their sacked manager Henning Berg £2.25M ($3.5M) in wages was a "shambles." However, lawyers pleaded that their Indian owners "were struggling to wrest control" from India and at the mercy of Managing Dir Derek Shaw, who is "in de facto control of the club and continuing to act without authority and his self-interest." However, Blackburn, which is "trying to prove that Shaw was acting without authority by agreeing a contract which entitles Berg to payment of his three-year contract in full, and not just 12 months, were pilloried in another day of deeply damaging High Court evidence." The court heard that the Venky’s empire’s Rao family "were perfectly entitled to suspend Shaw, under the terms of his contract, and that claims to the contrary were a facade." Judge Mark Pilling was "deeply sceptical of their case" -- and particularly the fact that no members of the controlling family "had provided any evidence to back up their claims about Shaw or the Berg contract" (INDEPENDENT, 4/27).

Scottish Third Division Rangers Financial Dir Brian Stockbridge opened the Ibrox safe Saturday night to show the title deeds he claims prove former club Owner Craig Whyte "is on a loser," according to Gary Ralston of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Stockbridge "has accused the former owner of holding Rangers to ransom and says he is 'deluded' if he thinks he can win back control of Ibrox and Murray Park." Stockbridge insisted every penny from the club’s recent £22M ($34M) share flotation went into Rangers’ coffers and that the club is still sitting with "double digit" millions in its bank account. The Ibrox finance chief also insisted that Whyte "had no claim on any of the Rangers assets and stated that he didn’t have any shred of a legal case." Stockbridge said: "I have the title deeds for Ibrox, Murray Park and the Albion car park. There is speculation Craig Whyte owns them, or [former CEO] Charles [Green], or that the club doesn’t. It is very easily dispelled" (DAILY RECORD, 4/28).

The Chinese Basketball Association said Shanxi Zhongyu confirmed on Saturday that it had reached transferrence agreement with Beijing Enterprises Group Company Ltd., according to XINHUA. The club, which will settle in Beijing in the new season, "has applied for transferrence to Chinese basketball's governing body and Shanxi Sports Administration." The price for transferrence is about 150M yuan ($24.3M). The Shanxi team had seeked cooperation or transferrence with local enterprises "as it found difficulty in sustaining itself." The club called the selling move "the last choice" as it met much trouble and "saw no light ahead" (XINHUA, 4/28).

League Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers fans "demanded the removal" of Chair Steve Morgan after losing 2-1 to Burnley at Molineux Saturday, according to Rob Maul of the SUNDAY TIMES. The loss "edged them closer to relegation from the Championship." More than 1,000 supporters "surged on to the pitch at the final whistle to express their anger at the decisions made by the Wolves board since dropping out of the Premier League last season" (SUNDAY TIMES, 4/28).