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Volume 6 No. 235

International Football

English football clubs have "begun privately assessing possible financial ramifications of the game's sexual abuse scandal," which some legal sources believe could cost the industry £100M ($128.5M) in compensation payments, according to Nick Harris of the London DAILY MAIL. Between 150 and 200 claims for financial compensation "could eventually materialise," after "some of the 31 alleged victims of a single deceased coach" have begun financial proceedings against League One side Blackpool. The latest official figures released on June 30 by police show there were "714 alleged victims of historic abuse in football by that date, at the hands of 276 alleged suspects across 328 clubs at all levels." Support organization Offside Trust co-Founder Steve Walters said, "It has already grown beyond that and will continue to grow." Walters, 45, a former League Two side Crewe Alexandra midfielder, went public last year with his own experiences of alleged abuse at the hands of a coach against whom legal action is ongoing. The Trust was established to "support victims of abuse and their families," and while it is not currently advocating compensation claims as an organization, Walters confirmed he knows "some victims are pursuing such action." There remains the prospect of legal action against the FA if an ongoing independent inquiry by Clive Sheldon QC concludes it was "negligent" in its duty of care to players in historic cases. But no current such action has been confirmed (DAILY MAIL, 8/19).

With Premier League clubs set to vote to bring in their own transfer window that would shut before the start of the season, the issue "was a hot topic" last week when managers faced the media, according to Charlie Wood of the LONDON TIMES. It will be discussed at the next meeting of Premier League chairs on Sept. 7 and sources close to the negotiations are "confident" that the vast majority of the 20 clubs will vote for the change. The reaction from the managers "appears to support that notion." 

  • Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger: "I support [the idea of moving the window], of course. For the regularity of the season, it’s better because you can have a player who you could play against three times if the transfer window is not closed when you start the season." 
  • ManU Manager Jose Mourinho: "As a football manager and not a marketing man, I would prefer the window to close as soon as possible. People ask, ‘If other leagues don’t close at the same time are we in danger of losing players in the last couple of weeks?’ My question is how many clubs in the world are powerful enough to buy the best players in the Premier League?"
  • Stoke City Manager Mark Hughes: "From a manager’s point of view I would be in favor of the window closing before the season starts because of the disruption it causes."
  • Liverpool Manager Jürgen Klopp: "In general, it makes sense that when the season starts that the planning is over -- it would’ve helped us this year.” However, Klopp, was "more philosophical than many of his rivals" in saying, "I understand that things take a little more time -- the whole market has changed." 
  • Man City Manager Pep Guardiola: "It would be nice. We will start the season with the squad that we’ll work with until the winter window, when the market is open again." 
  • West Bromwich Albion Manager Tony Pulis: "The transfer market should close before the season starts. It has been a disease that has grown over the past years, people have protracted deals to the last minute and unsettled players. The good thing this year is that there are a couple of clubs at the top of the tree struggling to keep their players, so they now know what teams in the middle and at bottom of the table go through" (LONDON TIMES, 8/18).

Qatar’s 2022 World Cup preparations have been "inconvenienced but not delayed by the political and economic boycott by its neighbours," Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Secretary General Hassan Al-Thawadi said. He added that alternative suppliers outside those countries involved in the ongoing dispute "have been found for tournament-related construction projects" (AFP, 8/20).

The Chinese FA signed an agreement with the German FA (DFB) that will allow the China U20 Olympic team to "compete in Germany's fourth-tier." The Chinese side will play in the Regional liga Südwest from the start of the '17-18 season as part of its preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Games (SOCCEREX, 8/18).

Brazil's Federal Police have called for the indictment of 21 people, including two ex-governors of Brasília, for allegedly overcharging R$559M "in the renovation of the stadium used in the 2014 World Cup." The Mané Garrincha Stadium in Brasília was originally scheduled to cost around R$600M but ended up costing closer to R$1.57B, officials said (REUTERS, 8/18).

In homage and in solidarity with the victims of the Barcelona attack, the French Professional Football League (LFP) decided to observe a minute of silence across all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches (LFP).