London's Lord's Cricket Ground owners are "fighting a battle over business rate increases described as 'just not cricket,'" according to Dominic Walsh of the LONDON TIMES. The home of the Marylebone Cricket Club is one of four of the six Test match venues for this summer’s series against New Zealand and Australia that "have lodged appeals over big increases in their business rate charge" -- in the case of Lord’s, from £1M ($1.5M) to almost £2.3M ($3.5M). According to research by business rates consultancy CVS, the most recent increase in rateable values "has lifted the amount that the Treasury could collect from the six grounds" by £2.5M ($3.8M) to £4.5M ($6.9M). In addition to Lord’s, Chester-le-Street, The Oval and Trent Bridge "have lodged appeals, with only Old Trafford and Headingley yet to appeal" (LONDON TIMES, 5/20).
Financially-troubled Championship side Nottingham Rugby is "in discussions with two potential new owners," according to the BBC. Nottingham Rugby Chair Alistair Bow also revealed that club directors helped finance the £250,000 ($382,000) shortfall "needed to finish their last campaign." However, he said that hopes of returning to the playoff semifinals next term "rest on the confirmation of a new backer." Bow: "There have been positive conversations going on for a while now. At this level we have an annual shortfall that can be anywhere up to £500,000 and as a club we could quite happily survive on what we generate from income. But if we want to continue playing at the top of the Championship we do need to find a major investor" (BBC, 5/20).