Tag Archives: businessman

Simon Hughes, cricket pundit, on Guardian Soulmates website

Cricket pundit Hughes on a sticky wicket in love match



10:09 GMT, 16 November 2012

Simon Hughes

Channel Five cricket pundit Simon Hughes (right) is looking for love via newspaper internet dating site Guardian Soulmates.

'Yozzer 50-year-old male' announces himself as 'warm, passionate, good company, versatile, generous, imaginative and occasionally outrageous'.

The twice married broadcaster adds: 'My friends would say I'm bright, energetic, interesting, good fun and not a bad cook.'

However, prospective girlfriends should note that Wisden lists Hughes as having his 53rd birthday next month, in contrast to the Soulmates site.

Eriksson chasing his 10m in court

Former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson is due a High Court date next summer for his gross negligence case against the financial adviser whom it is alleged duped the Swede out of around 10million.

Eriksson has long been one of world football's highest-paid managers but it is claimed that he has lost the majority of his fortune in his dealings with Samir Khan.

Khan was given unlimited access to Eriksson's money after he started to act for him in 2003, when Sven was employed by the FA for around 4m a year. Court documents lodged in April 2011 allege that Khan 'misappropriated money for a variety of improper purposes' that included losing speculation on foreign currency markets and art.

Another rash investment saw Khan put Eriksson's cash into fellow manager Harry Redknapp's troubled luxury flats property development in Southsea, Hampshire which is reported to have losses of at least 4m.

Eriksson, at home in Sweden as he waits for his next managerial opening, is said to be 'knocked for six' by the unravelling of his dealings with Khan. The adviser has denied the claims, calling Eriksson an 'astute businessman' who is highly motivated by making money.

Ashley Young

The England players' recently introduced code of conduct, which was rolled out to the Under 21 side as well this week, specifies respecting the media – with the expectation that the team will not wear headphones when they go through the interview zone after a match. The improved attitude was demonstrated by Ashley Young (right), the chief headphone culprit at Euro 2012, carrying his set through the media area after the Sweden game rather than wearing them.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is understood to have given an interview to ITV for their tribute programme in January to mark Jose Mourinho's 50th birthday. Documentary maker Gabriel Clarke is too good an inquisitor not to have taken the opportunity to ask Fergie whether he can see Mourinho succeeding him at Old Trafford.

Roy still a man of the fans

ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson's encounter with passengers on the London Underground – in which he revealed Rio Ferdinand did not have an international future – has not put him off interacting with fans. Hodgson is speaking with FA clearance at a 75-a-head corporate dinner at Norwich tonight, organised by majority shareholder and celebrity chef Delia Smith. This should ensure the potted crab and boeuf bourguignon on the menu are of a certain standard. Hodgson is a friend of Delia and Norwich chief executive David McNally. Next Tuesday, Hodgson is also addressing the Oxford Union before taking questions from students. England's demolition at the hands of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his wonder goal will still be fresh in the memory.

The FA have identified their preferred 2014 World Cup base in Rio. The hotel is situated on the sea front not far from the Copacabana and Ipanema beaches.

The Rio attractions should ensure there is little likelihood of the boredom factor that was a big problem with the team's isolated Rustenburg hideaway at the World Cup in South Africa. After their city-centre experience in Krakow during Euro 2012, the FA are happy to have their England headquarters in Rio.

Manchester City, West Brom, Aston Villa and Fulham – who have been the big opponents of financial fair play regulations – again voiced opposition at yesterday's chairmen's summit discussing introduction of the rules next season.

David Beckham nearly joined Botafogo

Beckham wanted samba sabbatical at Botafogo, claims Alberto



16:48 GMT, 9 November 2012

David Beckham came close to taking a year-long sabbatical from LA Galaxy to soak up the samba style with Brazilian club Botafogo.

Becks penned a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January, but it has now been revealed he was on the verge of jetting to Brazil for a season.

Botafogo landed their top transfer target Clarence Seedorf, but were also negotiating the signature of the former England international.

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Samba beat: Beckham came close to moving to Brazil for a year

Carlos Alberto was in Holland while the Seedorf deal was being finalised, and details of Beck's interest in the Brazilian club was revealed.

'When the negotiation was about to close, I spoke with the president – he and I have a pretty cool relationship,' Carlos Alberto told ESPN Brasil.

'I was in Amsterdam in May and an influential businessman, a famous player, came to me at the hotel, saying there was a player interested in playing for a year in Brazil: David Beckham.

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

Clearance, Clarence: Seedorf did make the move to South America

'If it did not work with Seedorf, he had this player to come to Brazil.'

Botafogo president Mauricio Assumpcao later confirmed that Beckham was prepared to make the switch.

'That's exactly what happened, there really was this interest,' Assumpcao told Lancenet.

Portsmouth fans given go-ahead to take over stricken club after Chainrai snub

Portsmouth fans given go-ahead to take over stricken club after Chainrai snubbed



17:24 GMT, 18 October 2012

Portsmouth's administrators have
nominated Portsmouth Supporters Trust (PST) as their preferred bidder to
take over the npower League One club.

Administrators PKF have been seeking a
new buyer for the club since it was placed under its control in
February with debts of 61million.

Troubles: Portsmouth are down in League One

Troubles: Portsmouth are down in League One

Trevor Birch, PKF partner and joint administrator of Portsmouth, said in a statement: 'After extensive discussions over the past few weeks, we have today nominated Portsmouth Supporters Trust as the preferred bidder for Portsmouth football club.

'We will be working with the Trust, the Football League and the Professional Footballers' Association to conclude the sale of the club as soon as possible.'

PST's emergence as the favoured bidder appears to rule out Balram Chainrai's claims that his company, Portpin, will be the club's new owners.

The Hong Kong-based businessman spoke out last week to deny claims that the Football League had expressed concerns over his suitability.

He said in a statement: 'Our discussions with the Football League have been positive and are progressing.

'As far as we are aware we have satisfied the majority of the criteria and we expect now to work through the last remaining points with the Football League in the coming days.

'We are very confident that we are in a position to complete the acquisition of Portsmouth Football club in the near future.'

Chainrai was at the helm when Pompey went into administration in 2010 and it is thought he could have been involved when they were placed back in administration eight months ago.

The rules of the Owners and Directors test stipulates that a person who has twice been involved with a club going into administration cannot become an owner or director.

Despite the PST's new position as the administrators' preferred bidder, it is likely Chainrai will contest any takeover as he is owed 18million by the south coast club and holds Fratton Park as security.

Iain McInnes, proposed chairman of Portsmouth under the PST bid, said in a statement: 'We are energised that our bid, by the fans and for the fans, has been preferred by the club's administrators.

'Although there remains a huge amount of work to be done to ensure the right outcome for the club, we are confident we will succeed.

'We believe our bid is realistic and credible, which is a view shared by the administrator. We will be working closely with Trevor Birch and his team in the coming days and weeks to ensure our bid will meet all legal and financial requirements.'

A statement from a Portpin spokesman said: 'We continue to work with the Football League to ensure we are ready to complete the acquisition of Portsmouth.

'Our discussions remain productive and we have been given no reason to believe there are any remaining obstacles to our bid.

'Whilst we note PKF's decision, we recognise that preferred bidder status has no basis in law.

'We are confident that our bid offers both the best deal for creditors and is the only fully funded offer to provide Portsmouth FC with a financially sound and sustainable future.'

"Rangers in peril" claim rubbished by Malcolm Murray as scaremongering

'Rangers in peril' claim rubbished by chairman Murray as scaremongering



22:11 GMT, 9 October 2012

Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray angrily hit out at what he insisted were 'scandalous' claims that the Ibrox club could face administration for the second time this year.

The dire warning was made in an article for respected business publication Forbes Magazine by John Pritchett, CEO of Chicago-based investment firm Club 9 Sports, which acted on behalf of US businessman Bill Miller in his short-lived bid to take over troubled Rangers in May.

Revealing that Miller had come ‘within an eyelash’ of buying the club, Pritchett claimed his friend had walked away because the ‘numbers did not add up’ and warned that was still the case at Ibrox — alleging Rangers would face fresh financial peril unless current Ibrox chief executive Charles Green oversaw a drastic programme of downsizing and cuts at the club.

Warning: An article in Forbes magazine predicted financial peril for Rangers

Warning: An article in Forbes magazine predicted financial peril for Rangers

Pritchett said: ‘Upon full inspection, Rangers was not a “turnaround” opportunity. It was (and is) an opportunity for someone with great wealth and a love of football and/or Scotland to give away tens and tens of millions of pounds … until bold action is taken, the future for Rangers remains in serious jeopardy.’

Tennessee truck tycoon Miller withdrew his offer for the Ibrox club a week after being named preferred bidder amid a hostile reaction to his takeover attempt by Rangers fans, with one banner at Ibrox reading: ‘Truck Off Miller — Yanks No Thanks’ being unfurled at Ibrox.

But Pritchett said the deal breaker was always that the numbers at Ibrox just did not stack up.

‘Revenues were in a freefall,’ he recalled. ‘The most important revenue stream to Rangers, season tickets, was projected to be down by 20 per cent. The club expected to lose nearly 10million in 2012/13.

‘Cash-flow from sponsorships was minimal and the administrators had already pulled out the cash from player wages, kit sponsorship and future payments due the club from the sale of several players.

Angry: Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray

Angry: Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray

‘Worse, because the administrators had to make a deal to cut player wages to keep the club afloat, the new owner of Rangers would lose a substantial portion of asset value.’

Pritchett estimated that Green’s consortium, which bought the club and assets for 5.5m and transferred them to a newco, saved 3m in wage cuts but lost up to 15m as highly-rated stars like Steven Naismith and Allan McGregor were able to leave without a transfer fee.

The American business expert also warned that Rangers must ‘cut the fat from every department and rebuild an organisation that values every pound and demands a return on any and all expenses’.

Rangers have sold a remarkable 36,000 season tickets since Green took charge, however, while he has also taken back control of club merchandising from JJB Sport and there are plans to float on the stock exchange later this month.

Furious chairman Murray last night accused Pritchett of ignorance of current goings on at Ibrox and vowed Rangers would never go to the wall again under current ownership.

He said: ‘The last time Mr Pritchett had sight of any financial information about Rangers was many months ago and, as a result, his article in Forbes Magazine is ill-informed, misleading and scaremongering.

‘For the avoidance of doubt, there is no risk of the club going into administration and any suggestion otherwise is scandalous and appears written to attract headlines. Projections Mr Pritchett had sight of have not been relevant since May and, from the day I became chairman, I have been committed to ensuring this club lives within its means and never again comes to the brink of collapse.

‘We have already secured significant investment in the club from the individuals and organisations who are part of our consortium and the successful Initial Public Offering later this month will generate many millions in additional revenue.

‘It does not take a genius to work out that costs needed to be cut at the club and this has happened, with the first-team wage bill being reduced significantly.

‘However, we also have a plan to maximise commercial revenues and develop many areas of the club that, historically, were under utilised.

‘It is my understanding that Mr Miller’s plans were based purely on cost-cutting and little additional investment in the club.

‘What is also clear from his article is that Mr Pritchett completely underestimated the loyalty and commitment of the Rangers fans. In addition to the 36,000 season-ticket holders so far this season, the attendances at our home matches have surpassed many of the top clubs in England and the rest of Europe.

‘We have a clear plan to rebuild this great club and believe that, with solid business practices and the ongoing tremendous support from the fans, this will be achieved.’

Amir Khan wants Ricky Hatton fight

Khan looking to set up Hatton showdown as Hitman nears comeback



08:45 GMT, 13 September 2012

Close friends: Hatton (left) with Khan

Close friends: Hatton (left) with Khan

Amir Khan has moved swiftly to sound out a fight with Ricky Hatton, with his fellow Briton expected to confirm his ring return on Friday.

Hatton, 33, has been in retirement for three-and-a-half years since a mauling at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

But with the welterweight set to announce his comeback, Khan's manager Asif Vali has told the Daily Mirror that the Olympic silver medalist may move up in weight in order to fight his close friend Hatton.

‘I’ve spoken to Amir about this before and while he and Ricky are good friends, he knows boxing is a business,’ said Vali.

‘A fight between Amir and Ricky would be huge. It would be a massive super-fight. It could sell 100,000 at Wembley and everyone would want to see it.

‘I’m sure they could put their friendship to one side for 12 weeks for this fight.

bound to be asked that question at his press conference on Friday, and
if the opportunity for them to fight arises, then who knows what will

Last time out: Hatton before his 2009 fight against Pacquiao

Last time out: Hatton before his 2009 fight against Pacquiao

‘Close friends have fought before and it has not affected their friendships.’

Vali also hailed Hatton's return as great boost for British boxing.

‘It’s great for British boxing,’ said Vali.

‘As a boxing fan, I’m excited he’s coming back. I’ve always been a Ricky Hatton fan. As a boxing businessman, I’m also excited because it presents some interesting opportunities.

‘At 33, he’s still young, and he’s
still got it. He’s got that enthusiasm back. I think he’s been bitten by
the bug again because he’s training the young fighters at his gym.

‘That’s fired him up.’

application for his fighter's licence to be renewed is expected to be
approved quickly as the British Boxing Board of Control feel that he has
served his punishment for taking cocaine in 2010.

return is booked for November 24 at Manchester’s MEN Arena, but it
remains to be seen whether it will be against former IBF and WBA
light-welterweight champion Khan.

Waiting in the wings: Khan is hoping for a 'Battle of Britain' fight

Waiting in the wings: Khan is hoping for a 'Battle of Britain' fight

Domestic welterweight rival Junior Witter, who consistently tried and failed to lure Hatton into a bout, is also hoping to set up a fight with the Mancunian.

Witter also took the opportunity to state that he thinks Hatton's return is a bad move. 'I don't see what is in it for him,' he told the Daily Express. 'You have to come back for a reason and I don't see what the reason is.

'Ricky achieved what he did in a brilliant career, but he is not the type of kid who likes to stay fit and in shape.

'Ricky likes to go out for a beer. His lifestyle is just not suited to be a professional boxer and it is a mistake for him to come back.

'Ricky doesn't need to prove anything,' he added. 'He had a great career, did remarkably well out of it and should leave it at that, unless there is a purpose behind him coming back – like fighting me.

'We never boxed because Ricky never wanted it, even when I was the WBC world champion and he held the IBF and WBA belts.

'If he came back to fight me then I could see the point in it.'

Bradford Bulls are saved as takeover completed for Super League club

Bradford Bulls are saved as takeover completed for Super League club



21:04 GMT, 31 August 2012

The long-running saga over the future
of ailing Bradford Bulls was brought to a successful conclusion on
Friday night when the administrators confirmed the sale of the Super
League club to local businessman Omar Khan.

Brendan Guilfoyle, partner at the
Leeds-based P&A Partnership and joint administrator at Bradford
since June 26, revealed in a statement that he had completed the sale of
Bradford Bulls Holdings Limited to OK Bulls Limited for an undisclosed

Uncertain future: Bradford Bulls

Uncertain future: Bradford Bulls

The sole director of OK Bulls Limited is Omar Khan, who owns the award-winning Bradford restaurants and catering business under his name.
Gerry Sutcliffe, MP for Bradford South and a former Sports Minister, is also involved with the business.

Khan tweeted: 'Omar Khan's and Gerry Sutcliffe Save the Bradford Bulls and are the new owners of the club.'

The RFL also fielded a bid from Bradford Park Avenue football club, while Super League (Europe) Ltd's offer to buy the Bulls was also on the table but this was always seen as a last resort.

Sutcliffe also took to Twitter to say: 'Thanks to all BradfordBulls fans for your incredible patience and support. Hard work starts now. See you all tomorrow coyb.

'And thanks also to (coach) Mick Potter, coaching staff, players and all club staff. Shown devotion above and beyond the call BradfordBulls.'

Khan is thought to have paid around 150,000 to take the club out of administration but it will obviously cost a great deal more to take the club forward and they are still waiting to discover if they will retain their place in Super League.

Guilfoyle said: 'This is a great achievement for Bradford Bulls, the players, fans and the city of Bradford.

'My main duty as administrator is to get the best return for creditors – and this was the best deal on the table.

'Omar Khan has also passed the Rugby Football League's test as being a 'fit and proper person' to run a rugby club as well as being a passionate fan of the Bulls.'

Guilfoyle was originally brought in by former chairman Chris Caisley in April to conduct an independent financial review following the resignation of directors Peter Hood and Andrew Bennett and has been in charge of the four-times Super League champions for the last two months.

One of his first acts was to lay off 16 full-time staff, including head coach Potter and his assistants Francis Cummins and Lee St Hilaire, although all three have continued to work unpaid.

Guilfoyle added: 'I am really pleased that we were able to retain the playing squad without selling off young stars – which in the end was a crucial decision to achieve the sale.

'There are many people to thank in making this deal possible, not least employees, coaches and the interim chief executive who have all been working without pay.

'But I'm sure they would join me in saying the fans' support has been outstanding and they have played a major part in this rescue.

'And through all this the players have won an extraordinary string of matches.”.

Portsmouth Supporters" Trust bid for club

Battle to save Portsmouth hots up as Supporters' Trust enters bidding



22:15 GMT, 24 August 2012

The Pompey Supporters' Trust have made a revised offer for Portsmouth Football Club.

The news comes a day after former owner Balram Chainrai re-entered the running to buy back the club eight days after his company Portpin announced their interest was at an end.

That decision appeared to pave the way for fans' group PST, backed by a loan from the local council, to complete their rescue of the club who remain in administration and in danger of liquidation.

Bidding war: Balram Chainrai is also in the running to buy the club

Bidding war: Balram Chainrai is also in the running to buy the club

Yet Hong Kong businessman Chainrai remains Portsmouth's biggest creditor and, having expressed doubts about the viability of the PST's bid, he submitted a fresh offer to administrator Trevor Birch.

However, Birch announced PST have also made a fresh offer and said: 'We have received a revised offer from the Trust and will study the documents in detail over the next few days.

'There will be aspects that need further clarification and we will work with the Trust to achieve that clarity before deciding how best to proceed with the Trust and Portpin offers.'

Tough task: Portsmouth's young squad face a difficult season in League One

Tough task: Portsmouth's young squad face a difficult season in League One

Rafael van der Vaart Hamburg move scrapped

Van der Vaart homecoming on scrapheap after Hamburg chief cancels 9.5m deal



23:15 GMT, 23 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Rafael Van Der Vaart’s wish to return to Hamburg has been scuppered after the club’s billionaire benefactor decided against bankrolling it.

Encouraged by earlier assurances that they could count on financial backing from 75-year old local businessman Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Hamburg registered their interest in Tottenham midfielder Van der Vaart and were in advanced talks with about signing him for 9.5million.

But they were forced to ditch their interest after Kuehne, whose wealth from his transportation and logistics business makes him Germany’s seventh richest man, pulled the plug on the deal.

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

Club officials confirmed last night they couldn’t hope to proceed without Kuenhe’s input and that the transfer was off.

The about-turn is a setback for van
der Vaart, whose wife works near Hamburg and who admitted just two
months ago that he ‘still loves the club’ after spending three seasons
there, prior to joining Real Madrid.

Kuenhe seemed to be urging Hamburg to
follow up their long-standing interest in van der Vaart earlier this
summer when he said: ‘I am an investor for new players and definitely
available. Hamburg must land a big transfer, because that will attract
more top players and make us even stronger.’

Asked whether it was his intention to sell the Holland international, the Portuguese said: 'No, on the contrary. He's a player of great importance for us, a player I count on.

'I'm not sure if Hamburg are interested but he's a player who at the moment is not for sale. Anything can happen but he's a player we are counting on.'

Spurs put great effort into landing Gylfi Sigurdsson this summer amid strong interest from Liverpool.

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Villas-Boas seems to have a lot of faith in the former Hoffenheim player, but denied that Van der Vaart is no longer in his first-team plans.

'Rafa was very unlucky because when he came from his vacation after the Euros he got injured in the game against LA Galaxy so he missed most of our pre-season in America and Sigurdsson was with us all pre-season,' Villas-Boas said.

'He couldn't therefore play against Watford and Valencia so he came back late for selection and it was pretty straightforward to select Sigurdsson for the Newcastle game.

'Now Rafa has trained with us all week and he's looking strong and in contention.'

Portsmouth fans appeal to Balram Chainrai over takeover

Portsmouth fans call on Chainrai to re-enter takeover talks and save crisis club



12:24 GMT, 18 August 2012

No deal: Former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai

No deal: Former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai

Portsmouth fans have appealed to Balram Chainrai to help them save the stricken club.

Former owner Chainrai this week withdrew his offer to buy back Portsmouth, leaving the Pompey Supporters' Trust as the only remaining bidder.

But Hong Kong businessman Chainrai's company Portpin remains Pompey's biggest creditor and the PST have urged him to negotiate with them over the value of the club's ground, Fratton Park.

In an open letter to Chainrai, the PST said: 'We now believe the only stumbling block to the trust achieving an acceptable deal is the difference over our valuation of the ground.

'Therefore we respectfully ask you to provide us with a valuation supported by a least two independent commercial valuers which we will then enable us to consider our position in the hope of responding with an acceptable offer.'

Emergency steps: Portsmouth have signed 10 players on one-month loans

Emergency steps: Portsmouth have signed 10 players on one-month loans

Meanwhile manager Michael Appleton, who signed 10 players on one-month contracts on Thursday, has added another four loan signings to his squad.

Reading goalkeeper Mikkel Andersen, Chelsea midfielder Conor Clifford and defenders Paul Connolly, of Leeds, and Burnley's Kevin Long have agreed one-month loan deals.

Randy Lerner to sell Cleveland Browns stake

Lerner to sell stake in NFL side… but Villa chief tells Lambert not to expect transfer boost



13:13 GMT, 28 July 2012

Owner: Lerner is giving up his stake in the Browns

Owner: Lerner is giving up his stake in the Browns

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is selling a 70 per cent controlling stake in his NFL team Cleveland Browns which is set to make him 600million.

But the American has told Villa boss Paul Lambert not to expect a healthy transfer kitty ahead of his first campaign with the Midlands club.

Lambert has spent only once this summer, with Matthew Lowton arriving on a 3m deal from Sheffield United.

Lerner has been forced to cool spending at Villa Park after running up an 80m wage bill.

The businessman took control of the
Browns when his father Al died in 2002 – the NFL outfit failing to make
the play-offs since then.

Lerner is speaking to Tennessee-based businessman Jimmy Haslam over selling his stake in the Browns.

Pre-season: Aston Villa are touring North America

Pre-season: Aston Villa are touring North America