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Volume 6 No. 215


ManU's record-breaking £63.9M ($106M) capture of Angel Di Maria will take its "spending this year" to £170M ($282M), according to David McDonnell of the London DAILY MIRROR. ManU has not "finished yet, with a week left before the close of the transfer window." Di Maria, who will earn £190,000 ($315,000) a week on a five-year contract, will become the "latest player to join" Manager Louis van Gaal's "Old Trafford ¬≠revolution as the club become the biggest spenders in Europe this year." ManU has brought in Juan Mata (£37.5M) ($62M), Ander Herrera (£28.8M) ($48M), Luke Shaw (£27M) ($45M), Marcos Rojo (£16M) ($27.5M) and now Di Maria, in '14, to "endorse their talk of spending big to improve" its squad. The signing of Di Maria represents a "major coup" for ManU Exec Vice-Chair Ed Woodward, who had "come under fire for a lack of adequate investment in the squad." Woodward had "always insisted there were significant funds" to spend on new signings (DAILY MIRROR, 8/24).

Argentina's Federal Court is investigating tennis player Juan Martín del Potro, according to DYN. He is "accused of tax evasion," with it "calculated that he defrauded Argentine authorities" of more than 1M Argentine pesos related to earnings from '10. Judicial sources indicated that "charges were filed by" Argentina's Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP). Del Potro released a statement "explaining that there was 'no evasion' and saying that he will follow every procedural step to try to clear up the case." The AFIP accused del Potro of "diverting funds from his revenue from participating in tournaments and image rights" to a Uruguayan account owned by his parents (DYN, 8/24).

National Rugby League side Newcastle Knights "are in the throes of slashing" as much as A$2M ($1.9M) from "their operating budget for next year following the extravagances of the Nathan Tinkler era," according to Barry Toohey of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. Newcastle CEO Matt Gidley, however, said that "Knights players won't bear the brunt of any of the cost-cutting." While he did not want to "speculate on an actual savings target, Gidley admitted the focus since the NRL took control of the club after Tinkler relinquished ownership has been to bring costs significantly down." Gidley: "I'm not going to put a figure on it but we have spent the past three or four months getting the business model right and looking very closely at our budgets. ... But that won't impact directly on the players. We will be spending the salary cap limit which could be as high as A$6.4 million next season if the NRL agrees to roll in marquee player allowances which is a strong possibility." Knights staff across the board have reportedly "been asked to take pay cuts but the biggest single saving was made when the club didn’t have to renew" coach Wayne Bennett’s A$1M-plus contract (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 8/26).

Boxer Manny Pacquiao "won round one in his battle against the Philippines tax authorities," according to Unus Alladin of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. Pacquiao has been "waging a year-long war with Philippines authorities on charges of tax evasion, even though the 35-year-old Filipino insists his income taxes have been fully paid in the United States." Pacquiao has won a "tax reprieve from the Philippines Supreme Court, meaning he will not be asked to pay" a $75M cash bond -- at least temporarily. It also means the Philippine government has been "banned from freezing any of his assets." His tax case is "still ongoing." Pacquiao: "God has answered my prayers with the Supreme Court giving us a chance to explain ourselves. It's a good result. I am honest" (SCMP, 8/25).

Cantabria, Spain President Ignacio Diego said that Spanish second division side Racing Santander "has two businesses interested in participating in a capital increase," according to the EP. Diego "indicated that both have signed confidential agreements to review the club's economic and athletic situation." Both companies "are in contact with Racing's administrative council" and Racing President Tuto Sañudo. Diego added that "the papers that we have are very clear" and explained that the Cantabria government supports the club. However it "is the Racing administrative council that will have to announce, if it wants," the names of these two businesses, and this is "not the responsibility" of Diego, he added (EP, 8/25).