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Volume 6 No. 216


League Championship side Birmingham City "insisted that no sale of the club has been agreed, or was imminent," according to Colin Tattum of the BIRMINGHAM MAIL. In a move "responding to mounting speculation, the club made a statement on their website." Birmingham City said that "fresh investment continued to be sought, but a change in ownership was not on the horizon." The club has "been effectively up for sale for two years." Hong Kong-based parent company Birmingham Int'l Holdings Ltd. has a 96% stake in the Blues. Birmingham City Acting Chair and BIHL CEO Peter Pannu "has been leading negotiations during this time" (BIRMINGHAM MAIL, 8/7).

The Australian Football League Players Association on Thursday left AFL club Essendon's senior list in no doubt as to its "grave disappointment in senior football staffers it believes failed its players," according to Caroline Wilson of THE AGE. While AFLPA CEO Matt Finnis stopped short of threatening separate legal action at this stage against the club, he added "he had not closed the door" on that option. Those staffers are understood to include football operations boss Danny Corcoran and coach James Hird, "although the AFLPA was careful not to name names at Thursday's address to the players." Several Bombers players "were left sobered by the meeting at the club with Finnis and his legal team" (THE AGE, 8/9). In Melbourne, Grant Baker wrote Finnis said that whether some substances taken by Essendon players were on the World Anti-Doping Agency banned list "was secondary to their health and wellbeing." Finnis: "I think the most important thing to come from it is that no player is ever put in a position like the Essendon players have been, again" (HERALD SUN, 8/8). In Sydney, Jon Ralph wrote AFL Commissioner Linda Dessau "will sit in judgment of Essendon despite strong links to the club." The recently retired Family Court judge "is the founding chair of the Essendon Women's Network, and has long had a close connection with the Bombers." Fellow Commissioner Bill Kelty "has absented himself from commission discussions on the Bombers" because of his close friendship with Hird and former Chair David Evans. But Dessau is said to be confident in her ability to judge a club she has long supported and "is prepared to consider penalties when the AFL charges the club." She is held in high regard in the legal community, "and will be one of eight commissioners likely to decide Essendon's fate" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/8).

Former Scottish Second Division Rangers Dir Dave King has warned that "Rangers could go into administration by Christmas" unless former CEO Charles Green "lowers his asking price and sells up," according to the SCOTSMAN. King is "looking to acquire a controlling stake but has branded the current share asking price 'absurd.'" Green has told minority shareholder Jim McColl that "his consortium will sell its 28% stake in the club if given £14M ($21.8M) by Friday." King "warned that the club was close to running out of money." King: "There is an inevitability to the fact that the people currently operating Rangers are going to run out of cash. But the way directors are spending money on Green's consultancy fees and other things, I don't think they will make Christmas" (SCOTSMAN, 8/8). In Glasgow, Gary Ralston reported Rangers Supporters Association General Secretary Drew Robertson "spoke out against Green ahead of a meeting" Thursday between fans, CEO Craig Mather and Manager Ally McCoist. The Rangers Supporters Association has "accused Charles Green of behaving like a 'spoiled child.'" Robertson: "If Charles Green is employed only as a consultant he has an awful lot to say for himself. If he is making statements about the manager and the team is he still running the club? It would appear so even though he has been brought back to advise the board. If he has the club's best interests at heart he should be conducting his affairs more discreetly" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 8/8).