The Australian Athletes Alliance "has called for an overhaul of workplace compensation laws to ensure sporting bodies are legally required to cover players’ injuries," according to Nicola Berkovic of THE AUSTRALIAN. The call came after Medicare "had identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in claims by professional sports players and clubs for medical benefits it believes should not have been paid." Australian Athletes Alliance General Secretary Brendan Schwab said that "current workers compensation arrangements in most states excluded athletes." It "was only through players’ collective-bargaining that most employers had agreed to pay for their medical expenses." Schwab said that "many players who had injuries that extended beyond the term of their contract were left without proper compensation." Schwab: "We think the exclusion of athletes from workers compensation should be revoked in all jurisdictions and appropriate statutory schemes can and should be developed" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/18).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
Int'l Cricket Council Chair N. Srinivasan said of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, "A lot of people have got a wrong idea that BCCI was sitting on pots of money. BCCI is a non-profit organization. It is committed to its members, associations, players and equally committed to creating infrastructure," according to the Indian BUSINESS STANDARD. Explaining the "scheme of works at the BCCI," Srinivasan, the body's former president, said that associations were receiving Rs 50 crore ($8.3M) for creating stadium infrastructure and "for other related expenditure, while in the past it was around" Rs 4 crore. Srinivasan said due to these, "We are getting new stadia in Rajkot, Pune, Ranchi, while all the old stadia including the M A Chidambaram and Wankhede were getting renovated." Srinivasan said that the BCCI allocates its funds -- 26% is given to the players; 13% to all int'l players; 10.6% to domestic players and 2.6% to junior players. While a domestic player in Ranji trophy previously earned Rs 100-Rs 1,000, a player now gets Rs 30,000-Rs 35,000 ($497-$579). Cricket is now a "viable career option." Srinivasan: "This is what we have done to the players. The BCCI has quietly, without fanfare, looked after its own and its cricketers" (BUSINESS STANDARD, 7/16). In Sydney, Peter Lalor reported the MCC's World Cricket Committee has "questioned the money grab engineered by India, Australia and England" at the ICC, claiming it will "exacerbate the divide between rich and poor cricketing nations." The WCC is an "independent group of administrators and former players, including Steve Waugh," who this week described it as "the moral conscience of the game." The group said it "hoped the changes would benefit the game but criticised the new financial arrangements." The WCC said in a statement, "The inequality of the 'contribution costs' that will be paid to ICC full-member countries is a matter of concern for the committee." The committee "proposed a body to oversee the 'progress and fairness' of the ICC's new set-up" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/18).
UGANDA WORLD CRICKET LEAGUE: The JAGRAN POST reported Uganda Cricket Association CEO Ligyalingi said that the country will host the World Cricket League from Oct. 26-Nov. 2. He added that the tournament will feature Uganda, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, the U.S. and Bermuda (JAGRAN POST, 7/17).
A A$300,000 ($280,300) repayment to the Broncos Leagues Club, thought to have been used for cash payments to players outside the salary cap, "has ramifications that could extend to a bid" to buy the National Rugby League franchise from owners News Corp. and return Wayne Bennett as coach, according to Roy Masters of the BRISBANE TIMES. The NRL is investigating cash payments totaling A$470,000 ($439,000) to Broncos players, "but described the serpentine, sometimes undocumented trail as complicated and requiring time to probe." While the A$300,000 repayment "may satisfy auditors of the Broncos Leagues Club, it has not placated NRL salary-cap investigators who are concerned about a significant breach." Nor has the potential breach "escaped the attention of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, after the Broncos Leagues Club volunteered to the regulator sloppy governance" that surrounded the initial A$300,000 in payments from its accounts. Mystery "surrounds the source" of the A$300,000 refunded, "although it is believed to have come from Broncos football manager Andrew Gee, who resigned his post and also tendered his resignation from the board of the Broncos Leagues Club shortly after the Brisbane outfit self-reported the potential salary-cap breach on the eve of the first State of Origin match" (BRISBANE TIMES, 7/16).
The Spanish Football League (LFP) announced that the number of clubs accused of failing to make payments "has been reduced by 75%," according to the EFE. The LFP said that six clubs "are in this situation," and added that recent claims from the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE) "are false." The LFP released a statement on Thursday to "clarify" information stated by the AFE on Wednesday. The AFE announced it had filed 194 claims against 18 clubs from La Liga and the Spanish second division, which it said owed a total of €22.8M ($30.8M). The LFP said in its statement, "The facts the AFE presented are completely false because they do not feature sums from the '13-14 season, as the teams closed their financial years on June 30." The LFP highlighted that the number of clubs accused of failed payments has been reduced from more than 20 to six, a "fact that confirms the LFP's belief that its implementation of Economic Control regulations has been successful" (EFE, 7/17).
Super Rugby organizer SANZAR has confirmed "their competition is set to expand into Asia with Japan and Singapore vying for the licence to run a team in 2016," according to the AFP. SANZAR said that the two countries "best met the criteria required to successfully operate a Super Rugby franchise." A decision will be made in September or October. SANZAR CEO Greg Peters said, "Asia is a region that has been the focus of considerable investment by the International Rugby Board in recent years and is a strategically sound location for the evolution of Super Rugby" (AFP, 7/17). In Sydney, Payten & Pandaram reported Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver said that bringing Japan into Super Rugby "makes the same sense for SANZAR as embracing Argentina." Pulver was "quick to point out that doesn't qualify as an Aussie endorsement." Pulver: "You can understand strategic rationale behind Japan, but not at any price. We are obviously pleased it is going to be an Asian team. To some extent we see the same sort of strategic intent that existed to bring Argentina exists to bring Japan in. But at the end of the day we need to wait until these two tenders come in and assess them from there" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/18).
Basketball Australia has begun a wide-scale external review into the Women's National Basketball League "to ensure its long-term viability, with a salary cap, player points grading system and marquee player allowance among the topics up for debate," according to Jon Tuxworth of the CANBERRA TIMES. But interim BA CEO Scott Derwin "virtually guaranteed the long-term future of the eight existing clubs, including the Canberra Capitals, even if auditors recommended otherwise." Derwin said that "every aspect will be put on the table, as if the review was starting a league from scratch." BA "is keen to ensure an even disparity of talent across clubs to lessen the gap between the heavyweights and also-rans." The league’s financial stability "has been under the microscope since Logan Thunder folded after last season, and many other clubs struggle to keep their heads above water." Derwin said, "It’s about looking for an optimum model for a league if you had a clean sheet of paper and you’re starting from square one. ... If the consultants came forward with a recommendation to say one or two of the current clubs should no longer be there, I would be very surprised if the board would accept that. ... We’re not going to sweep them aside, that would be totally wrong and immoral." Derwin "expected the review to take three months," and most recommendations would be put in place by the '15-16 season (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/17).
Australian Football League side Hawthorn President Andrew Newbold "has backed Collingwood's Eddie McGuire in raising misgivings" over the AFL academies in Sydney and southern Queensland, and urged the league to work toward a "pure draft." Newbold called for an "overhaul of both the academy and the father-son bidding system." Newbold: "I think Eddie's right to question this. For there to continue to be anomalies in the draft when we are contributing A$1.3 million to help equalize the competition is wrong. Why wouldn't we want a pure draft?" (THE AGE, 7/16). ... DEN Networks-owned DEN Soccer announced the launch of the Delhi Dynamos FC, a Delhi-based Indian Super League club. DEN also announced an alliance with Dutch side Feyenoord Rotterdam. Feyenoord's academy has been voted the Netherlands' best five years in a row (INDIAN TELEVISION, 7/17). ... Rugby league crowds have "finally surged ahead of last year's figures as the code prepares for more record attendances to salute fallen hero Alex McKinnon this weekend." So far 2,048,853 fans have "gone through the turnstiles after 128 games of footy in a phenomenal comeback from what appeared to be a crowds crisis earlier this season" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/18). ... Council for East and Central Africa FAs Secretary General Nicholas Musonye said that CECAFA is "planning to start a regional Champions League." He said, "We are impressed with the growth of the Kagame Cup. With the type of sponsorship coming on board and the rise in competition we are now planning to start our own Champions League" (STANDARD MEDIA, 7/13). ... South and North Korea "ended their first round of talks Thursday on the forthcoming Incheon Asian Games without being able to narrow their differences on key issues" (YONHAP, 7/17).