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Volume 10 No. 24

People and Pop Culture

Ten years after buying Chelsea for a bargain £60M plus £80M to pay off the debts, ROMAN ABRAMOVICH "can be regarded as one of the greatest influences in modern football," according to Matt Dickinson of the LONDON TIMES. Abramovich "was not the first foreign sugar daddy" -- MOHAMED AL FAYED has been bankrolling Premier League club Fulham since '97 -- but he "threw so much money at football that the game was bound to change shape." Indeed, the Russian "has been so influential that there is now a law against him." Pouring "more money into football than anyone ever imagined" -- the best part of £1B ($1.5B) -- Abramovich’s riches "brought a new moral dimension to the argument." It is unthinkable that "there would have been that value" if Abramovich had not come along with his funds. Abramovich "has driven modern Premier League trends of foreign stars, foreign coaches, unjustifiable sackings, soaring wages, transfer inflation and the certainty that money is central to success." Once the distrusted outsider, Abramovich "is now the establishment." Chelsea feels so secure that they even voted for Financial Fair Play "to ward off the threat of future Abramovichs" (LONDON TIMES, 7/1).

ABRAMOVICH EVOLUTION: In London, Bruce Buck wrote "few people could have comprehended" 10 years ago how Abramovich’s ownership would quickly transform Chelsea, taking them "from a club facing mid-table mediocrity and near bankruptcy to become one of the most formidable football teams in the world." The Abramovich Revolution "has really been the Abramovich Evolution." He has "built probably the best training facilities in Europe." He has "invested millions in establishing a world-class squad and a superb academy, one of the elite youth development programmes in Europe" (LONDON TIMES, 7/1).

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REPUCOM has appointed ROD MILLOTT as Global CFO. Millott was most recently at Deloitte & Touche LLP where he was a partner in Deloitte's Merger & Acquisition Transaction Services Group. As Global CFO, Millott will be responsible for all of the financial matters across 17 countries. Based in the company's Stamford, Conn. office, Millott will become part of the REPUCOM Global Exec Committee, reporting directly to the CEO (REPUCOM). ... League Championship Leeds United named Vice Chair SALAH NOORUDDIN as its new chairman, and DAVID HAIGH as its managing director. Haigh replaces SHAUN HARVEY, who "stepped down" as CEO. Nooruddin is a shareholder in LUFC Holdign Ltd., which acquired a minority shareholding in the club from owners GFH Captial (BBC, 7/1). ... UK Athletics has appointed RICHARD WORTH as senior independent director. He will begin Thursday. Worth will join the UKA board in a non-exec capacity following an open recruitment process, focusing on commercial and marketing areas. His appointment will follow the departure of outgoing Dir JOHN TAYLOR, who will step down from the board in September (UK Athletics).

COACHES: Spanish second division side Mirandés has confirmed the signing of GONZALO ARCONADA ECHARRI as head coach, replacing CARLOS POUSO (MARCA, 6/30). ... South African Premier Soccer League side Maritzburg United has "moved to sign" coach ERNST MIDDENDORP to a two-year contract extension, and add RUBEN CLOETE "to the ranks for one more year" (SOWETAN LIVE, 7/1).

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Incoming New Zealand Rugby League President HOWIE TAMATI said that his appointment "is a step in the right direction for a sport that has a Maori-dominated player base but no Maori administrators at board level." The president's role "is largely ceremonial, but Tamati expected to have an input on governance issues." Tamati: "I don't have a vote but if they want my opinion I'll give it" (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 7/1). ... London Evening Standard local TV network London Live TV will launch in March and has hired F1's technician BRYN BALCOMBE to "help with its rollout" (MEDIA WEEK, 6/28).

BBC's JENNIE GOW: "Mark Webber saying Ricciardo is "in the box seat" to get his job and his given him some tips already! #f1"

Sports correspondent PAUL KELSO: "Laura Robson can play the the theme from The Simpsons on the saxaphone #fact #laura"

London Guardian's SIMON CAMBERS: "There are shocks and then there are shocks. Serena Williams loses to Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon"

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