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Volume 6 No. 215


EPL Newcastle United has "not made provisions for relegation in all of the contracts" it gave to the players who arrived at St. James' Park in January, according to Martin Hardy of the London INDEPENDENT. The club "did not insert relegation clauses into all of the five deals that were given to the French players who arrived during a spending spree" which cost the club £31M ($48.1M) in transfer and agents' fees. However, despite an initial surge in the team's form, "results have tailed off" and Newcastle is "now in the middle of a relegation fight for the second time in five seasons." It fell to 17th in the Premier League table when Aston Villa beat Sunderland 6-1, "just five points above third-bottom Wigan Athletic." Its most recent accounts showed that the club's wage bill was £64.1M ($99.5M) -- but that was before the influx of new players -- against a turnover of £93.3M ($144.8M). That turnover, however, "would fall dramatically" should the club be relegated. The "one silver lining for Newcastle" is that relegated clubs will receive £48M ($74.5M) in parachute payments over the following four campaigns (INDEPENDENT, 5/2).

League Two side Aldershot Town has "been placed in administration just five days after being relegated from the Football League," according to the PA. After successive non-league promotions, Town returned to the Football League in '08 but its "five-year stay came to an end last weekend" as the club was beaten by Rotherham and finished bottom of the League Two table. With the club's perilous financial state "causing growing concern and with players still not paid their April wages, it was announced that Aldershot have entered administration." Quantuma Restructuring "has been appointed as joint administrators" (PA, 5/2).

National Rugby League CEO Dave Smith said that South Sydney’s record-breaking membership culture was laying the platform for a new era of crowd growth in Rugby League. In congratulating the Rabbitohs for becoming the first Sydney club to achieve 25,000 members, Smith highlighted the importance of membership in achieving packed stadiums week in, week out in the years ahead (NRL). ... South African Premier Soccer League side Ajax Cape Town said that any possible pull out of its Dutch partners "will prove no easy affair as the two parties have a long-term contract" (SOWETAN LIVE, 5/2).