Tag Archives: deals

Alex McLeish"s position at Nottingham forest under threat

EXCLUSIVE: McLeish's position at Forest under threat after bust-up with Kuwaiti owners

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 January 2013

Alex McLeish’s position at Nottingham Forest is unclear following a bust-up with the club’s new owners over transfer funds.

The former Scotland manager has had a row with the Kuwaiti owners of the east Midlands club after a tense five weeks since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Matters have been bubbling under ever since O’Driscoll’s sacking with chief executive Mark Arthur, head of player recruitment Keith Burt and Forest ambassador Frank Clark all being asked to leave.

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

After 14 years of service to Forest, Arthur was handed a letter informing him of his cessation of duties and Burt found out he was being axed after his wife read out a similar missive from the club while he was hosting a scouts’ meeting.

Forest were taken over by the Al-Hasawi family last summer and McLeish was appointed in bizarre circumstances after O’Driscoll was sacked following a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on Boxing Day, a victory which left Forest just one point from the play-offs.

McLeish was promised a significant kitty to use during the transfer window. However, the club’s technical advisor Dr Tariq Aljalahmah, has held a series of meetings this week with several key figures including McLeish and the remaining members of the club’s scouting team.

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

The Scot was told that the club was reticent to sanction any cash deals, with Forest preferring instead to do business in the loan market.

McLeish stood his ground, asking for the money that he believed he was getting after agreeing to take on the job late last month.

The matter had been left in abeyance but some progress looked to have been made last night as Forest mounted a bid to swipe Peterborough United’s George Boyd from under Crystal Palace’s noses.

Gareth Bale is sensational for Tottenham but how long can they keep him from Barcelona or Real Madrid? Martin Keown column

Chelsea must stand up and be counted for Rafa or their season is over

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UPDATED:

10:01 GMT, 29 November 2012

Gareth
Bale gets me out of my seat every time I watch him. He is getting
better. How long can Spurs keep him out of the clutches of Barcelona or Real Madrid He
is an explosive match-winner.

Force of nature: Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is tearing apart Premier League defences

Force of nature: Tottenham winger Gareth Bale is tearing apart Premier League defences

Chelsea must stand up and be counted – or their season is over

The mess at Chelsea stands out to me. They haven't won for six games, the players seem to be feeling sorry for themselves. They need new leaders to stand up and stop hiding. They have to forget about the noise from the fans, or else their season will be over.

Flat: Cesar Azpilicueta, Fernando Torres, Ramires and Ashley Cole during Chelsea's draw with Fulham

Flat: Cesar Azpilicueta, Fernando Torres, Ramires and Ashley Cole during Chelsea's draw with Fulham

The sign of champions

Manchester United are winning ugly. They have 16 wins this season and 11 have been by one goal. Sir Alex is top and they haven’t really got going yet! It’s ominous for the rest. It looks like only two teams are in this title race, both from Manchester.

Effective: Robin van Persie's winning goal wasn't pretty but it was enough to see off West Ham

Effective: Robin van Persie's winning goal wasn't pretty but it was enough to see off West Ham

What a bargain: Swansea's Michu (right)

What a bargain: Swansea's Michu (right)

The hunt for Michu mk II

Only
Luis Suarez has scored more league goals than Michu. The Swansea
striker scored 15 goals in the top league in Spain last season and now
has eight league goals here. What a good bit of business at 2m.

I wonder, with the Spanish economy in tatters, if there are more cheap deals to be had in January.

City improve without Javi

Manchester City won too but I’m not impressed with Javi Garcia. He doesn’t move the ball quickly enough and looks well short.

They improved at Wigan when he came off and they changed their tactics, using the width of the pitch and creating the opening that saw them score twice.

Roberto Mancini seems to take longer to get it right, but they got there eventually.

Manchester United confirm fall in revenue after Champions League failure

Manchester United confirm fall in revenue after Champions League failure

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UPDATED:

13:53 GMT, 18 September 2012

Manchester United's total income fell by 3.3 per cent to 320.3m for the year ending June 30 2012, the club's annual results have revealed.

The fall in revenue had been expected after United's failure to make the knockout stages of the Champions League last season.

Downturn: Manchester United are to announce a reduction in profits on Tuesday

Downturn: Manchester United are to announce a reduction in profits on Tuesday

For the first time however, revenue from commercial income exceeded that from broadcast and matchday income.

A United spokesman told the Press Association: 'The results are consistent with what we expected. We strongly believe the outstanding results in the commercial sector demonstrate the huge potential the club has, and the financial outlook is very positive.”

The growth in income from sponsorship and commercial deals has certainly cushioned the blow of the shortfall from the Champions League and FA Cup compared to the previous season. Commercial revenue was up 13.7 per cent to 117.6m, while broadcast revenue was down 11.3 per cent to 104m and matchday revenue down 10.9 per cent to 98.7m.

A Manchester United plc statement said: 'Broadcasting revenues for the year decreased… primarily as a result of our elimination at the group stages of the Champions League.

'For the fourth quarter, revenues decreased 37.4 per cent to 27.5 million as no participation fees were earned compared to Champions League participation fees from the quarter-final, semi-final and final in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

'In addition, we earned minimal revenues from the FA Cup following our fourth round exit, compared with reaching the semi-final in the previous year.

'Matchday revenues for the year decreased… as a result of having played four fewer home games compared with the prior season when we also received a share of the gate receipts from the Champions League final and FA Cup semi-final, both of which were held at Wembley Stadium.'

United were taken over by Glazer family in 2005, which was met by opposition from the fans

United were taken over by Glazer family in 2005, which was met by opposition from the fans

United were taken over by Glazer family in 2005, which was met by opposition from the fans

Despite the drop in turnover, United actually recorded a profit of 23m, although that was entirely due to a tax credit of 28m – without that credit there would have been a 5m loss.

Ed Woodward, United's executive vice-chairman said in a statement: 'We are delighted to announce our first results as a NYSE [New York Stock Exchange] listed company; fiscal 2012 was the best year ever for Manchester United's commercial business.

'Our world-record shirt sponsorship deal with Chevrolet and the Premier League's new 1bn a year UK television rights deal (a 70 per cent increase) highlight the outstanding growth prospects for the future.

'We also expect a substantial increase in the value of the Premier League's international television contracts scheduled to be announced later this year.

'In addition, we continued to strengthen our team by signing world-class players such as Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa over the summer.'

London 2012 Olympics Des Kelly wears Pepsi T-shirt

Olympic daily: There's a real fizz in this fab fortnight

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 8 August 2012

This was a different kind of Pepsi Challenge. Before the London Olympics, Lord Coe declared that anyone turning up in a Pepsi T-shirt risked being turned away at the gate.

Quizzed on BBC Radio 4 about the Draconian protection of the Games’ main sponsors, Today presenter Evan Davies wondered if ticket-holders would be allowed to wear clothing that conflicted with those big-money deals.

‘Are people wearing Nike trainers allowed in even though rival adidas is a sponsor he asked.
Coe replied: ‘I think you probably could…’ Pressed again, Coe continued: ‘Let’s put some reality in this. You probably would be able to walk through with Nike trainers. Does that satisfy you’ Davies said: ‘Would I be allowed in wearing a Pepsi T-shirt’

Coe replied: ‘No, you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors and they have put millions of pounds into this project — but also millions of pounds into grassroots sport. It is important to protect these sponsors.’

Off to a T: Our man sports his illicit shirt

Off to a T: Our man sports his illicit shirt

To adapt a phrase from the old advert, this seemed ‘gob-smacking, joy quenching, unforgiving, foul tasting, bad buzzing, cash talking, double dealing, embezzling … insert the name of a certain soft drink here.

So I wore a Pepsi T-Shirt to the Olympics. Not on purpose, you understand. After 12 days of duty in a hotel, the supply of clean clothes runs low and all I had left at the bottom of the suitcase was this old thing you see here.

Yes, it had the dreaded ‘Pepsi’ name on the front, but it was the only option. This might sound as convincing as an Algerian middle distance runner’s sicknote, but legal advisors will confirm this if my accreditation suddenly beeps ‘invalid’ at the gate.

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: Welcome to ladies of Cirque de l'Eau… but why do they do it
07/08/12

Des Kelly: Let's not forget to celebrate spirit of a Sundial Sprinter
06/08/12

Des Kelly's Olympic Diary: Say it loud and clear, we're on crest of a wave
05/08/12

Des Kelly: Cheating It's all foreign to us
03/08/12

Des Kelly's Olympic Diary: Saudi girl's courage is pure gold
03/08/12

Des Kelly: Welcome to the people's sport (As long as the people are millionaires)
02/08/12

Des Kelly: Perdue, the bin girl who's far from rubbish
01/08/12

Olympic diary: It's all for one… but none for all as GB's Musketeers flop
31/07/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Nobody threw me out, though. Not at the security gates; not walking through the Park. Nobody ordered that I cover up this unofficial brand on the concourse, the food hall, the press box, or the media mixed zone.

None of the ‘brand police’ that stalked Britain’s high streets before the Olympic torch passed through, demanding displays of bagels or flowers arranged in the shape of the five rings be removed, pounced on me.

A couple of journalists took pictures and chuckled at the joke. I was even sat behind the finish line and might have popped up as a pixel or two in the background of a television shot.

But the common sense view was that Coca-Cola’s enormous multi-billion pound global marketing campaign could probably withstand little me wearing a tatty top in an 80,000-seater stadium. The London Organising Committee had previously confirmed this after Coe’s off-guard remark.

Coca-Cola are just one of 11 global Olympic sponsors, including Visa, McDonald’s and Omega, who jointly paid the International Olympic Committee 612million for exclusive rights.

Another 42 companies, such as British Airways, BT and BMW, contribute 700m more in hard cash and services to the 2012 organisers for the privilege of having their stamp on the Games.

But beyond the logos, the meanings of words begin to blur. One of the great contradictions of modern sport is that it embraces the purveyors of fatty, processed foods and sugary fizzy drinks.

Coca-Cola and McDonald’s tip money into the pockets of sport because it is a stupendous public relations exercise. The idea is for people to make an automatic, often unconscious, link between gold medals and the golden arches of a burger bar.

Food for thought: Olympic athletes queue up inside the Athletes' Village

Food for thought: Olympic athletes queue up inside the Athletes' Village

But if London is to ‘Inspire A Generation’, herding them towards the largest fast-food outlet in the world for a Big Mac, Coke and fries might not be ideal, unless we’re inspiring them to get a bit fatter.
One in four children is overweight and there are many reasons for that, but a diet of processed food is chief among them. One day we will regard these deals with the same disdain we have for the tobacco industry’s previous ties with sport. But right now we’re too busy counting out the shiny medals.

To be fair to London 2012, there are vast swathes of the Olympic Park that carry very little branding. The big corporations have their temples, which are as unsubtle as you might expect for the mega-millions they have paid.

impossible not to love.

Magic Mo: Farah wins GB's third track gold on Saturday night

Magic Mo: Farah wins GB's third track gold on Saturday night

When people who have paid a fortune for tickets grumble the food in the park is too expensive and empty their wallets for a small pie that cost 8 or 10 pieces of sushi and one drink at 22.50, they console themselves with the reality that this is a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’.

And of course it is. Truly. An incredible one, too. I’d just like to know where all this money goes The IOC claims to be a ‘non-profit organisation’. If so, someone’s doing the books incorrectly or some staggering expense accounts are being covered. The IOC state 92 per cent of their income is used to support the staging of the Games (I thought taxpayers did that) or promote the worldwide development of sport. They say they keep eight per cent to cover their own costs.

The Romans used to keep the masses happy with ‘bread and circuses’. I’m afraid there’s no free bread here, but if you are prepared to queue, a Big Mac is 2.69 and a 500ml Coke is 2.30.

Usain Bolt will only appear in Britain at Olympics because of tax laws

A taxing issue: Exactly why has Bolt done a runner from Crystal Palace

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UPDATED:

22:06 GMT, 12 July 2012

Usain Bolt decided not to take part in any competition on these shores, except the Olympics, because of our government’s tax law.

Typical. What does the law say

Sports stars competing in the UK pay tax on their winnings — so-called ‘active income’ and also on any sponsorship deals they have — ‘passive income’.

Non-appearance: Bolt

Non-appearance: Bolt

So, sports people are liable depending on the length of time they compete in the UK

That was the old system, where a one-week stay meant 1/52 of their overall annual income would be taxed. Now it is determined by the number of events in which they perform.

What numbers are we talking

Any earnings above 150,000 are taxed at 50 per cent. So, the vast majority of what Bolt makes.

Are there any other examples of people who won’t be competing in the UK as a result

Plenty. Rafael Nadal ditched Queen’s this year, instead deciding to play in Germany before Wimbledon.

Why aren’t any sport stars challenging this law

Andre Agassi lost a court ruling in 2006 regarding the same matter. He was hit with a 27,500 tax bill in 1998-99 because he endorsed Nike and Head at Wimbledon.

Are there any events that are exempt from this

Yes. The Champions League final at Wembley last year was exempt, and London 2012 will be too, as long as certain guidelines regarding sponsors are met.

SPL to announce 16-team top-flight league to come into play by 2015

SPL to announce 16-team top-flight league to come into play by 2015

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 10 July 2012

The SPL are set to promise to set up a 16-team top flight within three years in return for newco Rangers being parachuted into next season's First Division.

The plan, which will be discussed at an SFL board meeting at Hampden on Wednesday, represents a last-gasp bid by the league to safeguard its lucrative television deals in the wake of the Ibrox club's collapse.

Winners: Celtic hold the SPL currently

Winners: Celtic hold the SPL currently

Sportsmail understands the proposal would see a move from the current four divisions to three by 2015, but with no play-offs planned between the top and second tiers.

While not certain to be voted through in what promises to be a fractious meeting of all 30 SFL members on Friday, the deal is being perceived in SPL circles as a breakthrough for lower-league clubs who are seeking radical reform of the Scottish game as the price for allowing newco Rangers to drop just one league.

The proposed solution is also being seen as a bid to stave off a total implosion of the Scottish game after SFA chief executive Stewart Regan warned of 'a slow, lingering death' if the Ibrox club were banished to the Third Division – thereby threatening existing TV deals with Sky and ESPN.

Lifeline: Rangers will be parachuted into the First Division

Lifeline: Rangers will be parachuted into the First Division

Last night's development came as more lower-league clubs turned their fire on Regan and his SPL counterpart, Neil Doncaster.

Morton chairman Douglas Rae accused Doncaster of 'mammoth failure' in his handling of the crisis and of having 'lost his way' during the long-running saga.

He further alleged that Regan had lied over claims the SFA would have blocked newco Rangers gaining entry to the SPL, even if top-flight clubs had not voted 10-1 against admitting them on July 4.

Clyde, meanwhile, called on the SFL to clarify exactly what is being voted for on Friday — amid growing fears that newco Rangers will be 'railroaded' into the First Division regardless of how the voting goes.

Describing the overall situation as an 'unholy mess', Raith Rovers chairman Turnbull Hutton last night claimed Doncaster and Regan were now living on borrowed time.

He told Sportsmail: 'Their positions are becoming untenable. I don't know who will wield the axe or whether they will choose to fall on their swords, but the pair of them have presided over an unholy mess.

Under fire: SPL chief Neil Doncaster has been criticised for his handling of the situation

Under fire: SPL chief Neil Doncaster has been criticised for his handling of the situation

'Rangers went into administration in February — it's July and people are still asking what is going to happen. The honest answer ahead of Friday's SFL meeting is I haven't a bloody clue — and neither does anyone else.

It's an almighty shambles.' Morton counterpart Rae had earlier accused the SPL and SFA of 'bullying' and 'deceiving' SFL clubs during a meeting last week, warning of dire consequences if they did not vote Rangers into the First Division.

'Doncaster was totally unable to get his (SPL) clubs to accept the decision going forward that he wanted,' said Rae.

'Following that mammoth failure, he now expects the SFL clubs to bail him out, which would mean ignoring the views of our supporters.

'Quite frankly, Neil Doncaster seemed to many to be a man who had lost his way and is unable to get back on the right road.

'The most concerning point about Regan's presentation was he departed from truth as he became increasingly desperate to get his viewpoints accepted.

Red card: Rangers will have to play their football in the First Division

Red card: Rangers will have to play their football in the First Division

'When asked what would have happened if SPL clubs had voted newco Rangers entry to the Premier League, he stated that the SFA would block it.

'The following day, Stewart countermanded in the press what he had told the SFL meeting the previous day.

'It is extremely disappointing the chief executive of the SFA was unable to give a truthful response to SFL chairmen.'

Now Clyde are seeking changes to Friday's resolutions after claiming the clubs no longer seem to have a clear choice between sending the newco to the First or Third divisions.

The club said in a statement: 'We are being asked to make one of the most important decisions for Scottish football in a vacuum devoid of factual information, that vacuum having been filled with unhelpful rhetoric and scaremongering by the chief executives of the SFA and SPL.'

As Scottish football's civil war raged on, former SFA president George Peat last night insisted the game had 'hit a brick wall' and that he was now glad to be on the outside looking in.

Peat, who stepped down from his Hampden post last summer after four years in the job — and having commissioned Henry McLeish's Review of Scottish Football — said: 'I am happy to be outside of it all now. It is sad what has happened at Rangers.

'After the McLeish report came out, we were all working together on the way forward . When I left the SFA, the relationship between the SPL and the SFL was very good.

Owner: Charles Green owns newco Rangers

Owner: Charles Green owns newco Rangers

'People were looking at things from the same point of view. Nobody could foresee what was going to happen.

'I hope that what has happened at Rangers hasn't blown it all apart but, from an administration point of view, Scottish football has hit a brick wall.'

Peat admitted he had sympathy for Regan, who he insisted had a responsibility to act for the greater good of the game. 'I believe Stewart has been unfairly criticised,' he said.

'Someone has to take the lead and that's what he did. He is not going to please everybody.

'All he has done is to spell out the road the game could go down and what will happen.

'Perhaps it didn't make good reading for some but, in all of it, somebody has to explain the facts of the situation, whether they are pretty or not.

'He might have gone too far in some people's eyes but this is a situation that has far-reaching consequences.

'SFL clubs have been put in an invidious position. It is SFL clubs who are suffering and they feel they have had the problem dumped on them.

'The clubs are never all going to agree but what is important right now is that people look at what is right for the long-term future of the game.'

Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani heading back to Liverpool

Kop flops Cole and Aquilani heading back to Anfield as transfers hit snags

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UPDATED:

07:43 GMT, 25 April 2012

Liverpool's forgotten men Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani are set to rejoin Kenny Dalglish's squad this summer when their respective loan deals at Lille and AC Milan expire.

Dalglish took the decision to farm out the midfield duo last summer, but neither Lille nor Milan are willing to pay the money required to secure the permanent services of the pair.

Not wanted: Dalglish sent Cole (right) out on loan to Lille

Not wanted: Dalglish sent Cole (right) out on loan to Lille

Cole's 90,000-a-week wages are the stumbling block for the Lille, with president Michel Seydoux this week admitting that the club could only afford the former England international if they were to win the Ligue 1 title for the second year in a row – but they currently lie in third place.

'It’s rare that an England international comes to France and that he then publicly declares he wants to stay,' said Seydoux of the 30-year-old.

'We will see. I haven’t found a machine yet that lets you make beautiful bank notes by pedalling.

'It’s true that the league table will have a bearing on Lille’s recruitment.'

Frozen out: Milan want to make sure that Aquilani (right) does not make 25 starts

Frozen out: Milan want to make sure that Aquilani (right) does not make 25 starts

Aquilani, 27, cost the Reds 20million back in 2009, but is on loan in Italy for a second successive season, having spent last year at Juventus.

Were the Italian international to make 25 starts for Milan this season then a 7m transfer fee would be automatically triggered, but the Rossoneri are keen to see that the former Roma man does not reach that mark.

Aquilani has started just 17 times this season and only once in the last eight games. He started just 14 games for Liverpool in his only season in the first-team back in 2009-10.

Milan are believed to be interested in signing Italian international midfielder Riccardo Montolivo from Fiorentina, who would be a cheaper option than Aquilani, who earns just south of 100,000-a-week.

Arsenal flop Park targeted by Belgian outfit Anderlecht

Arsenal flop Park targeted by Belgian side Anderlecht

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 16 March 2012

Anderlecht want Arsenal striker Park Chu-young, who was demoted to the reserves after scoring one goal in six appearances.

Arsenal are expected to listen to offers for the striker in the summer with Fulham and Monaco also interested.

Out of favour: Arsenal striker Park

Out of favour: Arsenal striker Park

Park has had his compulsory military service in South Korea delayed for 10 years.

The South Korea's Military Manpower Administration said on Friday that Park's 10-year residency visa from Monaco means he can put off his service until 2022.

In loan deals, West Ham have signed Portsmouth keeper Stephen Henderson,.

Wigan defender Rob Kiernan has joined Accrington and Leicester's Franck Moussa has signed for Chesterfield.

Rangers accused of misleading SFA on secret deals

A new twist in Rangers controversy: Club accused of misleading SFA on secret deals

Rangers stand accused of failing to properly register players after a former director revealed secretive payments had been consistently excluded from contracts lodged with the SFA.

The embattled Ibrox club are awaiting the outcome of the First Tier Tax Tribunal which will determine the legality or otherwise of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

Regardless of whether Rangers are hit with an additional bill of 49million from the so-called 'big tax case', it appears such payments were kept 'off the books' – in direct contravention of SFA registration rules.

It never rains but it pours: More accusations have been directed at the beleaguered Ibrox club

It never rains but it pours: More accusations have been directed at the beleaguered Ibrox club

Former Ibrox director Hugh Adam, who had a 30-year association with the club until 2002, has told Sportsmail that the club's directors were aware of the arrangement – one he believes could have started as early as the mid-1990s.

'They weren't included in the contracts. They definitely weren't. That was the whole point of them,' he said. 'If they'd been included in the contracts, they would have had to have paid tax on them.

'I don't think a lot of the other directors knew an awful lot about it. David Murray kept everything to himself.

'The directors just wanted to sit in the directors' box. That's all. When I was on the board, I knew all about them.

'I just didn't know the details of them. They became accepted. 'The revenue were seriously challenging them at that point when I was a director.

Out: Ali Russell has been released from his role at the club

Out: Ali Russell has been released from his role at the club

'People never really asked serious questions about them. “It's perfectly legal” was what they thought.

'It wasn't happening in Britain, so had nothing to do with Britain. All the directors heard about them but didn't take them seriously because they didn't appear in the books.'

Adam's revelation suggests a clear breach of the SFA rulebook – and is a potential embarrassment to current SFA president Campbell Ogilvie, who had a 27-year association with Rangers, many of them spent as secretary.

The SFA rule on registration states: 'All payments made to a player relating to his playing activities must be clearly recorded upon the relevant contract and/or agreement.

'No payment for his playing activities may be made to the player through a third party.'

Adam, the man who funded the redevelopment of Ibrox through Rangers pools, believes payments into discretionary trusts may have gone on well before the turn of the millennium.

It's understood the 'big tax case' relates to EBT payments from 2000 until 2009 but, when questioned if he heard of similar payments in the mid- 1990s, Adam confirmed: 'Without having any specialist knowledge, I'm pretty sure.

Bleak future: The Ibrox club are battling for survival

Bleak future: The Ibrox club are battling for survival

'People didn't want to know about them. There was a lot of that (EBTs) going on at the time (I was there).

'You knew it was cheating but some of them not only hoped but believed it was above board. 'It's this thing that when something happens it has to have a beginning and an end, but that wasn't the case with the overseas things.

'It was just something that crept up. It was considered important but not crucial. The fans didn't give a damn one way or another. You could argue that they knew about it but didn't think it was important.

'Maybe they never thought it was as much as it really was. And maybe it wasn't. I don't know if you remember radio stations from ships.

'I don't think they were making a fortune but they weren't costing a lot of money, so no one bothered.

'When I was asked for my opinion on the way the club had been run, I said it was quite obvious how it had got into trouble.'They were doing things they shouldn't have been doing.

'They (EBTs) were always regarded in my time as a bit of a joke. They were getting away with it but nobody really thought they'd get away wi th i t forever. '

It would be an offshore trust – almost like a boat. You could dodge your taxes that way. It wasn't something that you picked up the paper and read about. It was one at a time then grew on a gradual basis.

'The players were very naive. Few of them were the Brain of Britain, of course. If they get the money, they don't give a damn where it's coming from.'

Nedum Onuoha close to QPR move

Onuoha closing in on move to QPR as Hughes looks to strengthen his squad

Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha will have a medical in the next 24 hours ahead of his move to QPR.

The 25-year-old has been little more than a fringe player at City and now looks set to link up with former manager Mark Hughes at Loftus Road.

Onuoha is driving down from the north-west to have a medical on Wednesday night or Thursday morning and it is understood the move is fairly close to completion.

QPR were given permission to speak to the defender last week after agreeing a fee understood to be 2.5million.

Time to leave this City: Nedum Onuoha is heading to QPR

Time to leave this City: Nedum Onuoha is heading to QPR

There have been reports of the fee being as high as 4million fee and wages of up to 80,000 per week, but it is understood that Onuoha would earn significantly less than reported.

The former Sunderland loanee will be looking to get his season back on track should he complete the move to west London, having made just three appearances this season.

Hughes knows Onuoha well from his time at the City helm and, speaking last week, said he would give him time build up his fitness.

'The lack of playing time would be factored in,' Hughes said. 'We would be mindful of that.

Joining up: Mark Hughes looks set to sign Nedum Onuoha at QPR

Joining up: Mark Hughes looks set to sign Nedum Onuoha at QPR

'We have to understand he has not had a lot of game time but he is a player I know and as an individual as well.

'I am sure he will be very keen to make an impression very quickly.'
Should Onuoha sign, he would become QPR's third signing of the January transfer window – and second of Hughes' reign – following loan deals for Manchester United striker Federico Macheda and AC Milan's Taye Taiwo.