England Netball is "struggling to fund the national team" past '19 -- a concern that CEO Joanna Adams said "keeps her awake at night," according to Gwilliam & Currie of the BBC. Sport England awarded the governing body a total of £16.9M in '17, with £3M of that for the national side. Adams said that this funding will "only" keep the full-time athlete program -- launched in '16 -- going until '19, when England hosts a home World Cup. Adams: "It's a huge worry. We've got to boost our commercial revenue. ... No one wants to think that under their control the England team did not survive. And we just won't let that happen." She said that the £3M allocated for the national side "will fund their full-time athletes for two-and-a-half years," after which the sport "must create" its own revenue. Adams said, "We need to have sell-out arenas and we really need to model exactly how male sport commercializes their sport. It's going to be a mixture of ticket income, sponsorship revenue and actually looking at how we deliver netball. Certainly post-2019 it will be a challenge for us as a sport" (BBC, 1/20).
Leagues and Governing Bodies
The upcoming edition of the Pakistan Super League could be jeopardized "due to paucity of funds since as many as five out of the total six franchises have failed to clear their dues" with the Pakistan Cricket Board "despite the expiry of the given deadline" of November 15, 2017, according to Mohammad Yaqoob of DAWN. The PCB is reportedly facing a "huge financial deficit" of $5M-$6M required to complete the arrangements for hosting the event in the UAE and Pakistan from Feb. 22-March 25. Sources said that a high-level meeting on the issue was held at the PCB’s offices on Friday, "where measures to deal with the crisis and chalking out a new strategy to overcome the financial crunch were discussed as the time is running out fast." Sources said that the PCB "has a legal option to take over all the defaulting franchises and to sell them again through a new bidding process" in the next few weeks in case the owners "continue to delay the clearance of their dues." However, sources added that "such a step will be the last resort for the PCB" (DAWN, 1/20).
The Rugby League Players Association wants the National Rugby League and clubs to "enforce a clear and consistent heat policy for training across all teams to combat extreme conditions and protect player welfare." Heat rules currently "only apply to matches." The RLPA would also like to "enforce a minimum standard for training" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 1/22).
Seventeen cricketers from England's ODI squad will be part of the Indian Premier League auction, which is set to take place in Mumbai this weekend. Twenty-four English players are part of the final auction pool that has been trimmed to 578 from 1,122. Ben Stokes and Joe Root are the only England players to have been designated as "marquee" players, alongside 14 others (LONDON TIMES, 1/22).
Ladbrokes Coral warned that a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals would "endanger" the U.K.'s horse racing industry and "cause tens of thousands of job losses," in an attempt to "bolster support for bookmakers amid reports the government will announce severe restrictions on the controversial machines." The Department for Culture, Media & Sport has been "consulting on new rules for FOBTs" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 1/22).
There are fears that a "controversial new employment law" in relation to hours worked by stable staff could impact Ireland's racing program "and Sunday fixtures in particular." Horse Racing Ireland officials will meet with government officials this week and are seeking a "derogation from working time legislation that has removed agricultural worker status from stable staff." Widespread "concern about the impact of any loss of flexibility" in relation to working practices has been expressed by trainers (IRISH TIMES, 1/21).