The Spanish Football League (LFP) has demoted Real Murcia from the second division to the third tier -- Segunda B -- and fined the club $240,800 after it "failed to meet the competition’s financial criteria," according to Iain Rogers of REUTERS. A Murcia delegation led by coach José Manuel Aira and accompanied by several hundred noisily protesting fans "failed to prevent the league from ratifying the sanctions on Thursday." The LFP said in a statement that Mirandés, which finished "19th among the 22 second-division sides last season and were relegated, will take Murcia's place" (REUTERS, 8/7). MARCA reported LFP President Javier Tebas "explained in a press conference the reasons for the decision." Tebas added that Racing Santander will also compete in the second division. He said, "The economic control process we have followed makes us believe that there will not be a problem. ... The economic situations have been observed this season and I repeat, Mirandés will not have a problem. ... We would prefer 100 protests before accepting clubs with these economic problems" (MARCA, 8/7).
MIRANDÉS CELEBRATES: Mirandés President Alfredo de Miguel said, "It is a pleasure for the club, the entire Mirandés family and the city. It's important to be in the second division, as demonstrated this year. ... Now we can give this city what it deserves" (EP, 8/7).
MURCIA REACTS: In Madrid, Álvaro Olmedo reported more than 300 Real Murcia fans had gathered outside LFP headquarters when an LFP statement "ended the small hopes of the most optimistic fans." Before "reaching LFP headquarters, the Murcia fans found out on Radio Marca that the LFP committee making the decision would meet at 9:30am." The LFP was "looking to avoid its committee members having to pass in front of Murcia fans." In addition to Manuel Aira, players including Miguel Albiol and Daniel Toribio "accompanied their fans to Madrid, where they tried without success to enter LFP headquarters" to meet with Tebas (MARCA, 8/7).
The Australian Football League’s power clubs "have won yet more equalisation concessions that will significantly discount any tax paid for football department overspending," according to Baker & Ralph of the HERALD SUN.
Clubs "have expressed alarm at the prospect of having to pay millions of dollars in taxes over the next two years." The cost of running state league teams, staff development programs and capital works within football department budgets next year "are likely to be excluded from the tax calculations." The league would not say "at what number and how it had worked out the football department cap," although an average of '14 club football spending plus A$500,000 ($464,000) "has been widely mooted." AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said that "the league had landed on a cap number, but added there were details that were being worked through 'with respect to exclusions and things that go in and out' of the cap’s scope" (HERALD SUN, 8/7). In Melbourne, Daniel Cherny reported former Hawthorn champion and board member Dermott Brererton said that "the knowledge wealthier clubs will be forced to put money into a pool to help their poor cousins will discourage the purchasing of club memberships."
Brereton said that he "would be less inclined to support Hawthorn financially in the event that the money would end up elsewhere." He said, "I buy 10 memberships for that club, and I get given a free one as well being a life member of the club. I give them out to people close to me that support the club as my ongoing gift to the club. That would stop" (THE AGE, 8/7).
A FALL CLASSIC: The AAP reported McLachlan said that "he hopes players understand why clubs will have only one bye in 2015."
And there "will be no breakthrough on scheduling a game on Good Friday" -- not next year at least.
Cricket’s World Cup final will be staged at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 29. The AFL announced on Wednesday its '15 season "would not start until April 2, the day before Good Friday."
The grand final "has been moved back to October 3 from its traditional last Saturday in September" (AAP, 8/7). In Melbourne, Cherny reported next year "has been dubbed the AFL’s 'year of the fan.'" It appears that "mantra will be observed even in spite of the best interests of players."
The league "has reiterated that its 2015 fixture and contentious Etihad Stadium roof policy will prioritise the preferences of supporters." Part of the emphasis on supporter needs "has been the shelving of a second rest during the season, an initiative that players successfully lobbied for in the 2014 season." The Etihad Stadium roof debate "was reignited last weekend." McLachlan said, "We will do whatever the fans want with the roof. At the start of the year, we surveyed our fans on this specific issue; I think it was nearly 60 percent that said they would like the roof open when it was a nice day, so that is what we have been doing" (THE AGE, 8/7).
The Board of Control for Cricket in India feels that it is time the Int'l Cricket Council Code of Conduct "undergoes a complete revamp" after England cricketer James Anderson escaped any sort of censure for the "pushgate" incident involving him and Indian cricketer Ravindra Jadeja, according to the PTI. BCCI Secretary Sanjay Patel said, "As I see it the ICC Code of Conduct needs to be revamped or rehauled, whatever you may call it. ... I have already asked our boys at the BCCI and our lawyers to look into the entire Code of Conduct process and find out places where it can be tightened. Once this is done we will be sending a mail to ICC suggesting these changes to be undertaken for discussion at the right forum of ICC. ... I will also write about the absence of video footage and insist this should not happen. This is all for the good governance of the game" (PTI, 8/7).
National Rugby League side Brisbane's two-year deal to recruit Anthony Milford "is under scrutiny with the fullback reportedly missing a meeting with NRL salary cap investigators."
The Canberra star’s deal to join the Broncos "is sure to be scrutinised with the NRL investigating claims Brisbane have allegedly overspent" the salary cap by A$450,000 ($417,000) over the past three years (AAP, 8/7). ... Canterbury coach Des Hasler "has called on the NRL to revisit its idea for a video referees' bunker after questioning the accountability of the game’s officials." Hasler: "The simple scenario is the bunker. We’ve been hearing about the bunker [for a while] now. It’s hard for referees because they can’t get hold of the vision, which seems strange in a game that involves a billion dollars" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/7). ... NRL side South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire "was reluctant to discuss the club's venture into high-altitude training this week" but a A$350 per head fund-raising dinner was held at Doltone House on July 10 to ''assist the Rabbitohs high performance initiative 'Raising Arizona' -- a three-week camp slated to take place in November that will provide them with a competitive edge'' for next year. Souths "are striving to have the 'most professional high-performance program in the NRL''' (SMH, 8/7). ... Vanishing spray "will be used for the first time in English football at the FA Community Shield match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday" (PA, 8/7).