Football Notes: ManU Refinances Debt To Cut Interest Costs By $15M A Year
ManU has refinanced more than £192M ($290M) of high-interest debt, cutting the club's interest costs by around £10M ($15M) a year. ManU said in a statement it has "secured a new loan from Bank of America with far lower interest rates." ManU said that the new loan would "have an estimated starting interest rate" of around 2.78%, and that interest payments should come down from around £31M ($47M) to £21M ($32M) per year (AP, 5/23). ... Hungary charged 45 people for taking part in a global football "match-fixing crime ring." The cheating affected 32 games, including an int'l match between two countries, a first-division game in the Italian league, three in the Finnish league and 11 Hungarian first-division matches (BLOOMBERG, 5/23). ... England Manager Roy Hodgson has warned supporters "they risk damaging the reputation of fans across the country if they sing anti-IRA songs at next week’s friendly" against Ireland. Next Wednesday’s friendly at Wembley "will be the first meeting between the sides" since Feb. '95 (London EVENING STANDARD, 5/23).
BACK IN TIME: After the Argentine FA, "pushed by the national government," scheduled games for Buenos Aires clubs Boca Junior and River Plate to be played on Saturdays at 9:30pm to compete with Jorge Lanata's TV program, the Buenos Aires City Government decided Wednesday that "games of medium to high risk" will not be played after 8pm in Buenos Aires (CLARIN, 5/22). ... Turkish Cypriot football officials "insist that a landmark agreement aimed at unifying football on the politically divided island is not dead in the water," and that a further meeting with the Greek side will be held next month (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/23). ... The Vietnam Football Federation will postpone its seventh VFF Congress scheduled for June 5, with a new date to be set at a meeting of the exec board on June 11. The decision comes after the voting fraud scandal on May 15, "when the voting results to pick the finalists for election to the Board were found to not tally with the actual votes cast" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 5/23).