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Volume 6 No. 213

Leagues and Governing Bodies

The Scottish Professional Football League has "launched an investigation into claims that secret bonus payments were made" to former Scottish Football League CEO David Longmuir, according to Alan Marshall of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Lower league clubs "called for an enquiry" into why Longmuir received almost £400,000 ($622,880) in "financial enhancements during his six years in office at Hampden." Accountants for the SFL, as well as former board members Ewen Cameron of Alloa and Arbroath’s Anne McKeown, are "examining the detail behind the payments as part of a winding down of the old league body." The possibility of "Longmuir’s payments being clawed back in court has not been ruled out" if the investigation decides there is "cause to question the legalities of the payments" (Scotland DAILY RECORD, 8/15).

Fans' groups such as Supporters Direct, anti-racism organization Kick It Out and the Football Supporters' Federation "will share a total" of more than £1M ($1.5M) a year in funding from the Premier League this season, despite the top flight "having boosted its TV income" to £5.5B ($8.5B) over three years, according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. As part of a joint response to Sports Minister Hugh Robertson, the Premier League "has proposed a 20% increase in the amount of money awarded annually to the so-called Fans' Fund," which administers the funding for the '13-14 season. That represents an increase on the £800,000 ($1.2M) a year the fund currently receives, with the organizations "also encouraged to find new streams of funding so they are not wholly reliant on the arm's length Fans' Fund." But the overall response "is likely to disappoint those who hoped for more." Kick It Out, which will also continue to receive £125,000 ($914,000) a season from the FA, "had argued for an increase in funding" in light of the "serious discrimination issues the game still faces" (GUARDIAN, 8/15).

Hockey Australian Capital Territory has lost A$60,000 ($55,000) in ACT government funding, with CEO Terry Evans claiming "the carpet was pulled out from under us" by Hockey Australia's decision to condense the format of the Australian Hockey League, according to Chris Wilson of the CANBERRA TIMES. Evans remains confident that Canberra's premier men's and women's field hockey teams, the Lakers and Strikers, respectively, "will still be able to contest the re-formatted AHL competitions" from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5. The decision "has effectively made the ACT Lakers and Strikers ineligible for the ACT Government funding provided to national sporting teams, given Canberra will no longer stage home matches." Evans "was not critical of the ACT Government, which he said remained supportive." But he feared Hockey Australia's decision would not only cut Hockey ACT's funding, but also "significantly diminish" the sport's flagship national event (CANBERRA TIMES, 8/15).

A–League coaches "will be given greater tactical flexibility in the upcoming A–League season after the Football Federation of Australia confirmed that the substitutes bench will be increased by one player." The number of players on the bench "will go up from four to five in order to relieve the restrictions placed on coaches during match-day, while the number of substitutions allowed will remain at three" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/15). ... The Palestinian FA on Thursday "urged FIFA to expel Israel from the international federation, saying it had refused to allow several Arab youth teams into the Palestinian territories" (AFP, 8/15).