Tag Archives: payments

Gianfranco Zola interested in Chelsea role but remains committed to Watford

Zola coy on Chelsea job as Blues legend admits club are still 'special' to him

having sold the Hornets to the Pozzo family.

The Hertfordshire outfit have this season sustained a serious bid for promotion to the Barclays Premier League and are currently third in the npower Championship table, just two points off the automatic promotion places, safe in the knowledge they have not received a points deduction.

They have, however, been hit with a transfer embargo of sorts, which still allows them to buy and sell players but only with prior authorisation of football authorities.

Irregular payments: Danny Graham was sold to Swansea in 2011

Irregular payments: Danny Graham was sold to Swansea in 2011

A statement on the Football League
website read: 'A Football Disciplinary Commission, in the case of The
Football League vs Watford Football Club and Mr Laurence Bassini, has
determined that both defendants breached Football League regulations
regarding the securitisation of future transfer fees and central
distributions.'

A further club statement on Watford's official website read: 'Following the publication today of the independent Football Disciplinary Commission's judgement, Watford FC is pleased to confirm that it has not received a points deduction or a fine.

'Former owner and director Mr Laurence Bassini has been banned from any participation in football for three years.'

Punished: Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini (left)

Punished: Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini (left)

The statement continued: 'The club has been made the subject of a transfer embargo, but wishes to emphasise that the embargo referred to falls under Regulation 19 of the Football League Regulations.

'This is not an absolute bar on transfers, but rather a mechanism by which transfer business can be conducted by the club provided that the prior authorisation of the relevant football authorities has been obtained.

'It is clear from the decision of the Football Disciplinary Commission that the offences which the club has been found guilty of were committed by one or two individuals who are no longer associated with the club – and without the knowledge of the full board of the club.'

Emmanuel Adebayor says quitting Togo squad has nothing to do with money

Money has nothing to do with it! Adebayor lashes out at critics after pulling out of Togo squad

|

UPDATED:

12:52 GMT, 23 December 2012

Emmanuel Adebayor has defended his position on staying away from the African Cup of Nations despite criticism from his countrymen.

The Tottenham striker has withdrawn from Togo's squad for the tournament which begins in January in South Africa.

Adebayor, 28, was on the Togo team bus when it was attacked by gunmen when the tournament was held in Angola in 2010.

Issue: Emmanuel Adebayor says money has nothing to do with refusing to play for Togo

Issue: Emmanuel Adebayor says money has nothing to do with refusing to play for Togo

He is still worried about the organisation and unprofessionalism of his country's football association.

Adebayor refuted claims from detractors that the reason he is missing the tournament is because of unpaid bonus payments.

'I am hearing people saying I do not want to go to the African Nations Cup because of unpaid bonuses,' he told The Sun Sunday.

'I do not need a bonus from Togo — it is 1,000 per game.

'I would not refuse to play for my country over money. It is all about the organisation — or lack of it.

'I was on the bus in Angola when people died in front of me. I held them as they died.

'Even the government do not want to pay for the treatment for the people who survived. It is not right.

'It is a terrible situation. After we qualified for South Africa I told them we had to sort things out.

'I said we needed a good organisation otherwise I was not going. Now we are going to South Africa and nothing has changed.

Clash: Adebayor is unimpressed with Togo's organisation and safety standards

Clash: Adebayor is unimpressed with Togo's organisation and safety standards

'South Africa is a good place but you never know what will happen so we need to be organised — but Togo will not be. That is why I am not going.'

He continued: 'When I go back to play for Togo, most of the time they never even pay me back for the air fare.

'That does not matter. This is not about money as I am lucky to earn a good living. This is about the safety.

'I have paid for other players as well as they often go to an airport in another country to fly home but there is no ticket waiting for them.

Horror: Adebayor is still fearful for his safety when travelling with Togo

Horror: Adebayor is still fearful for his safety when travelling with Togo

'Or we go to a hotel for a game and no one has booked the rooms. Sometimes there are only 10 rooms booked for the entire travelling squad.

'There should be 20 rooms booked, not 10, so we have to pay the extra. We could be in a hotel where the toilets do not work.'

Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City and Liverpool pay highest agents" fees

EXCLUSIVE: Man City, Liverpool and rock bottom QPR top chart of highest fees paid to agents

|

UPDATED:

18:03 GMT, 30 November 2012

The Premier League club payments to agents over the last two transfer windows demonstrate the extent of the desperate financial gamble to keep QPR in the Premier League.

QPR paid out an astonishing 6.8million to the middle men – the third largest figure behind PL champions Manchester City (10.5m) and Liverpool (8.6m) – and a rise of 300 per cent from the last agents accounts (2.5m) which has still left them marooned at the bottom of the table.

Sky high: Julio Cesar joined Queens Park Rangers this summer after Inter Milan sought to offload him because of his lavish wage packet

Sky high: Julio Cesar joined Queens Park Rangers this summer after Inter Milan sought to offload him because of his lavish wage packet

New boy: Javi Garcia joined Manchester City from Benfica

New boy: Javi Garcia joined Manchester City from Benfica

THE FULL LIST OF CLUBS' FEES TO PLAYERS' AGENTS

1. Man City 10,537,982
2. Liverpool 8,600,444
3. QPR 6,818,688
4. Tottenham 6,595,905
5. Chelsea 6,490,382
6. Arsenal 5,580,873
7. West Ham Utd 4,436,992
8. Manchester Utd 3,681,580
9. Newcastle Utd 3,485,503
10. Everton 3,092,891
11. Aston Villa 2,730,539
12. Fulham 2,581,208
13. Sunderland 2,173,762
14. Reading 2,167,833
15. Wigan Athletic 1,974,305
16. Stoke City 1,717,266
17. West Brom 1,341,301
18. Norwich City 1,248,725
19. Swansea City 1,100,845
20. Southampton 646,106

TOTAL………………. 77,003,130

The combined 20-club fortune ending
up in the pockets of agents from October 2011 to September 2012 was 77million
-an increase from the 71.8million going out of the game from the previous
two windows.

During the elapsed period, there were 806 transactions in the English top-flight, however not all of which would have included agents' fees.

There is not much surprise that the
Abu Dhabi-owned Manchester City head the agents fee table.

But more so
that Liverpool outspent Chelsea (6.4m) and Manchester United (3.6m)
by considerable amounts.

Tottenham, who just
missed out on Champions League football were the fourth biggest
beneficiaries to the agents with a 6.6m outlay.

In contrast to the clubs bankrolling
the agents to the tune of multi-millions, Southampton only handed over
646.106 whose chairman Nicola Cortese is the hardest of negotiators.

Surprised Tottenham came in fourth in the agents' fees list after signing the likes of Mousa Dembele

Surprised Tottenham came in fourth in the agents' fees list after signing the likes of Mousa Dembele

Import: Esteban Granero joined Rangers from Real Madrid

Import: Esteban Granero joined Rangers from Real Madrid

Another one: Brazil right back Maicon (left) also left Inter for the Premier League

Another one: Brazil right back Maicon (left) also left Inter for the Premier League

Hearts hit with transfer embargo by SPL

Hearts hit with transfer embargo by SPL after not guaranteeing wage payments

|

UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 24 October 2012

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has revealed Hearts have not provided assurances that they will pay wages on time in future.

However, he refused to speculate on whether the Edinburgh club could be hit with a points deduction if guilty of a third breach.

Doncaster was speaking after Hearts were placed under a transfer embargo until December 23 by the SPL over their failure to pay wages on time this month.

Punished: Neil Doncaster said Hearts had not guaranteed they would pay wages on time

Punished: Neil Doncaster said Hearts had not guaranteed they would pay wages on time

The decision was taken following a meeting of an SPL board sub-committee after the Jambos admitted to late payments for coaching staff and players for a second consecutive month.

Hearts claim all outstanding wages from October have now been paid but have been hit with a ban on signing any players for 60 days.

Doncaster told Sky Sports News: 'We didn't receive any guarantees that there wouldn't be a repeat.

'Ultimately we can only judge any breach of the rules as and when it arises – look at the circumstances, hear what the club has to say, and then form a view.

'We considered a whole range of different possibilities.

'We felt a sporting penalty was required because of the sporting advantage that had been obtained by Hearts by not having to pay players and coaches on time, and the appropriate sporting penalty we believed was a player registration embargo for 60 days.'

The hearing – after six players and manager John McGlynn were paid a week late – was the second in three days into the wage delays at Hearts.

Paid late: Manager John McGlynn and his players received their wages after they were due

Paid late: Manager John McGlynn and his players received their wages after they were due

The club were 'reprimanded and warned' by an SPL board sub-committee on Monday after paying some players and McGlynn late in September, while an automatic transfer embargo was continued.

Asked if a third instance of late payment of wages could result in a points deduction or suspended points deduction, Doncaster added: 'I don't think it's appropriate to speculate on what we might do in the future.

'What we have to do is judge each situation absolutely on its merits, and that's what we will do.

'Should there be any club in the future which fails to pay players or coaching staff on time then we will be looking very carefully at what the appropriate sanction should be at that point.'

An SPL statement confirmed: 'A sub-committee of the Scottish Premier League Board today considered a charge against Heart of Midlothian Football Club under SPL Rule A6.21, which concerned the club's failure to pay coaching staff and players on time in October.

'The club satisfied the sub-committee that all outstanding wages from October had now been paid and, accordingly, the player registration embargo, which arose from that failure, has now been lifted.

Blocked: Rudi Skacel will not be able to join as a free agent until after the embargo

Blocked: Rudi Skacel will not be able to join as a free agent until after the embargo

'The charge under SPL Rule A6.21 was admitted by the club. The decision of the sub-committee was to make Heart of Midlothian Football Club immediately subject to a further player registration embargo of 60 days.

'The club will be embargoed from registering any professional players up to, and including, 23 December 2012.'

The punishment effectively prevents Hearts from signing any free agents during the 60-day period, ruling out the prospect of a Gorgie return for Rudi Skacel for now.

Skacel has been training with his former club but would have to wait until the festive period before he would be able to sign for the Jambos again.

However, Hearts have opted to accept the punishment, confirming they had no plans to challenge the SPL sanctions.

A club spokesperson said: 'We are satisfied that this matter has now been resolved and accept the sanction imposed by the sub-committee.'

Swansea make 14.6m profit after debut Premier League campaign

Swansea net 15m profit after debut Premier League season… including 5m from Liverpool

|

UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 16 October 2012

Swansea City are set to announce a 14.6million profit from their debut season in the Barclays Premier League.

The club, which finished 11th in the top flight last season, had a turnover of 65.2million for the year ending May 31, 2012, according to a statement on the club's official website.

The strong set of figures showed the Swans received 5million in compensation payments from Liverpool for the departure of manager Brendan Rodgers and his staff, with the club in the black despite increased operating costs and higher wage bill as a result of their promotion to the Premier League.

All white on the night: Swansea have recorded close to 15m in profit

All white on the night: Swansea have recorded close to 15m in profit

The statement said: 'The directors' review of the business is set to reveal a turnover of 65.2million, which aptly demonstrates the reward of achieving Premier League status, and a net profit after taxation of 14.6million despite operating costs, particularly wages, being double those of the previous year.

'The net profit, which was boosted by the 5million received from Liverpool for the loss of management staff, more than counteracts the net loss of 8.3million incurred as a result of the cost of the promotion push in the previous financial year.

'The directors will reiterate their resolve to continue to manage budgets which should produce a level of profit capable of generating sufficient cash to fund future growth and capital investment plans.'

Kop that: Liverpool paid Swansea 5m for Rodgers and his backroom staff

Kop that: Liverpool paid Swansea 5m for Rodgers and his backroom staff

The statement also revealed the future strategy of the club directors, which could include redevelopment of the Liberty Stadium.

It said: 'Work is well under way on the 2.5million Landore training ground development and the creation of a partnership with Swansea University which involves the acquisition of a long-term lease of the playing fields at Fairwood, which will result in a first-class training complex befitting a Premier League club.

'Plans to increase the capacity of the Liberty Stadium are already being discussed with the idea of a phased development over a two-year period when the timing is right.'

Lance Armstrong doping case: 11 team-mates testify against him

Armstrong's team-mates reveal former champion was involved in 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme in sport'

|

UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 10 October 2012

Lance Armstrong's US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team 'ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen', the United States Anti-Doping Agency said.

USADA chief executive Travis T Tygart said in a statement that there was 'conclusive and undeniable proof' of a team-run doping conspiracy.

Eleven of Armstrong's former team-mates testified against him, Tygart said.

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

USADA are sending their 'reasoned decision' in the Armstrong case to the International Cycling Union, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the World Triathlon Corporation.

This will be the explanation for their decision to strip the retired cyclist, who now competes in triathlons, of his seven Tour de France titles and hand him a lifetime ban.

The evidence, Tygart said, was 'overwhelming' and 'in excess over 1000 pages'.

'The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.'

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

He said it contains 'direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding'.

Tygart also claimed the team's doping
conspiracy 'was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes
to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and
ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping
practices'.

Twenty-six people in total, he said, gave sworn testimony.

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

Among the former team-mates who did so were Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis.

The other team-mates who gave evidence against Armstrong were Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Tygart praised those riders involved in the 'doping conspiracy' for having 'tremendous courage' to come forward and 'stop perpetuating the sporting fraud'.

He said: 'I have personally talked
with and heard these athletes' stories and firmly believe that,
collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to
leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they
ever did on a bike.

'Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.

Floyd Landis

Tyler Hamilton

Testifying: Armstrong's former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton

'Instead he exercised his legal right
not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a
ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his
competitive results from 1998 forward.'

The USADA chief also called on the
International Cycling Union (UCI) to 'act on its own recent suggestion
for a meaningful Truth and Reconciliation programme'.

He said such a scheme might be the only way the sport can 'unshackle itself from the past'.

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Tygart added: 'We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair
dilemma – dope, or don't compete at the highest levels of the sport.
Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused
to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic
choice no athlete should have to make.'

USADA confirmed two other members of
the USPS team, Dr Michele Ferrari and Dr Garcia del Moral, also received
lifetime bans for their part in the doping conspiracy.

Three further members, team director
Johan Bruyneel, a team doctor Dr Pedro Celaya and team trainer Jose
Marti have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to
arbitration.

FULL STATEMENT FROM USADA

Today, we are sending the 'Reasoned Decision' in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.

The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1,000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants' doping activities.

The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.

Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalised team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org.

The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. A programme organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.

The evidence demonstrates that the 'code of silence' of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do. From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling's history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.

Of course, no-one wants to be chained to the past forever, and I would call on the UCI to act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful truth and reconciliation programme. While we appreciate the arguments that weigh in favour of and against such a program, we believe that allowing individuals like the riders mentioned today to come forward and acknowledge the truth about their past doping may be the only way to truly dismantle the remaining system that allowed this 'EPO and blood doping era' to flourish. Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future.

Our mission is to protect clean athletes by preserving the integrity of competition not only for today's athletes but also the athletes of tomorrow. We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair dilemma – dope, or don't compete at the highest levels of the sport. Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic choice no athlete should have to make.

It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully. It is not easy to admit your mistakes and accept your punishment. But that is what these riders have done for the good of the sport, and for the young riders who hope to one day reach their dreams without using dangerous drugs or methods.

These eleven (11) team-mates of Lance Armstrong, in alphabetical order, are Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly. In addition to the public revelations, the active riders have been suspended and disqualified appropriately in line with the rules.

In some part, it would have been easier for them if it all would just go away; however, they love the sport, and they want to help young athletes have hope that they are not put in the position they were – to face the reality that in order to climb to the heights of their sport they had to sink to the depths of dangerous cheating.

I have personally talked with and heard these athletes' stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike.

Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.

Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward.

The entire factual and legal basis on the outcome in his case and the other six active riders' cases will be provided in the materials made available online later today. Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr Michele Ferrari and Dr Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy.

Three other members of the USPS Team have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration: Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose 'Pepe' Marti, the team trainer. These three individuals will receive a full hearing before independent judges, where they will have the opportunity to present and confront the evidence, cross-examine witnesses and testify under oath in a public proceeding.

From day one in this case, as in every potential case, the USADA board of directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport. We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE

1971: Born September 18, in Dallas.

1991: Signs with Subaru-Montgomery and becomes US national amateur champion.

1993: Crowned US national champion. Wins first stage in Tour de France but fails to finish. Beats Miguel Indurain to win world championship.

1994: Wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege spring classic.

1996: October 2 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer. The disease later spreads through his whole body. Founds Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer.

1997: Declared cancer-free after brain surgery and chemotherapy. Signs with US Postal Service team after being dropped by Cofidis.

1998: Wins Tours of Holland and Luxembourg.

1999: Claims first Tour de France title, winning four stages.

2000: Wins second Tour. Secures time-trial bronze in Sydney Olympics.

2001: Victorious in Tour of Switzerland.

July 29: Becomes only the fifth rider to win three Tour de France titles in a row.

2002: Wins Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre.

July 28: Becomes only the fourth person to win four successive Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis

2003: Equals the record of five victories in the Tour de France, but is pushed to his limit by German Jan Ullrich, who finishes just 61 seconds off the pace.

2004: July 25 – Clinches record sixth Tour de France victory.

2005: July 24 – Wins his seventh Tour de France, two more than anyone else, before retiring.

September 6 – Claims he is considering coming out of retirement after being angered by drug allegations against him.

2008: September 9 – Announces he will return to professional cycling and will attempt to win his eighth Tour de France in 2009.

2009: March 23 – Suffers a broken right collarbone when he crashes out on stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.

May – Appears in first Giro d'Italia, finishing 12th. Tour is somewhat marred by financial cloud over Armstrong's Astana team and the American is linked to a takeover.

June – Astana's financial issues are resolved and Armstrong is named in the Tour de France team, but with 2007 champion Alberto Contador of Spain as leader.

July – Contador and Armstrong endure a fractious relationship. Contador claims a second Tour title, while Armstrong finishes third. Armstrong announces he will launch his own squad in 2010, Team Radio Shack.

2010: January – Team Radio Shack make their debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Armstrong finishes 25th overall.

Lance Armstrong riding on the Champs Elysees

May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, launches allegations at the Texan.

June 28 – Announces that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last.

July – Finishes final Tour in 23rd place, 39 minutes and 20 seconds behind winner Contador.

2011: February 16 – Announces retirement for second time.

May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.

2012: February 4 – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.

June 13 – The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they have initiated legal proceedings over allegations of doping against Armstrong.

June 30 – The USADA confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.

July 9 – Armstrong files a lawsuit in a US federal court asking for a temporary restraining order against the agency. Armstrong also claims the USADA offered “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.

July 11 – Armstrong refiles lawsuit against the USADA after initial lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a “lengthy and bitter polemic”, designed to attract media attention and public sympathy.

August 20 – Armstrong's legal action against the USADA dismissed in court.

August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight the doping charges filed against him by the USADA, saying in a statement he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisting he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles banned for life from cycling by USADA.

October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him. The organisation say the US Postal Service team “ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”, with “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.

Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka China future in doubt

Boardroom strife set to cut Drogba and Anelka's Chinese adventure short

|

UPDATED:

07:53 GMT, 28 August 2012

Former Chelsea pair Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka could be sold by China's Shanghai Shenhua due to an escalating equity stake row among shareholders.

Chairman Zhu Jun, who holds a 28.5 per cent stake, would only pay his share of the club's daily costs if his demands for greater control were not met.

Zhu currently controls the club along with five state-owned enterprises after becoming a shareholder in 2007.

End of the road: Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba could be forced of China

End of the road: Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba could be forced of China

The agreement was that if he invested 15million over two years, his stake would increase to more than 70 per cent.#

Local media say Zhu has ploughed more than 60m into the club in the past five-and-a-half years, while the state-owned companies had spent nothing. The transfer of shares stalled in 2009 and again last year.

'It is annoying and has had a bad effect on many of our tasks,' a club official said. 'The biggest problem is that the operation and financing work of the club cannot be carried out normally.

'The equity stakes issue has become the biggest bottleneck for the development of Shenhua.'

Harder than he thought: Drogba hasn't been able to lift his new team

Harder than he thought: Drogba hasn't been able to lift his new team

If unresolved, Zhu, who has been signing all the cheques, could decide to cough up just 28.5 per cent of the club's expenditure, potentially affecting player salaries.

Colombian Giovanni Moreno missed the match against Shandong Luneng at the weekend amid speculation Shenhua had fallen short on his transfer fee with Argentina's Racing Club.

The futures of Drogba and Anelka could be in the balance if Shenhua fail to make their salary payments. Both earn close to 250,000 a week.

Despite investing heavily in big-name foreign players, Shenhua sit 10th in the 16-team Chinese Super League on 27 points from 23 matches. Leaders Guangzhou Evergrande are on 47 points.

Bernie Ecclestone casts doubt over New York F1 race

Ecclestone casts doubt over next season's inaugural New York Grand Prix

|

UPDATED:

16:31 GMT, 30 May 2012

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has thrown the prospect of next year's proposed Grand Prix of America into serious doubt.

The race, on a street circuit in New Jersey with the Manhattan skyline serving as a backdrop, is scheduled to make its debut next year.

In doubt: Bernie has thrown the future of the Grand Prix of America into doubt

In doubt: Bernie has thrown the future of the Grand Prix of America into doubt

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Although the event was announced in October, it is understood to have run into financial, and in turn, contractual difficulties with Ecclestone.

Ecclestone said: 'I don't know if it is going to happen.

'I hope everything will be okay. They are sorting things out internally with some of their funds. If they are ready for 2013 we will have them.'

Ecclestone's dream has long been to hold a race in New York, but he has confirmed the organisers 'are late' with initial payments.

The 81-year-old, speaking to ESPN, added: 'We are waiting for different parts of the contract to be agreed.'

A race spokesman, however, has refused to confirm Ecclestone's remarks as he said: 'We don't comment on our contractual relationship with Formula One or its details.

'We are on track for a June 2013 race, with all course engineering and construction progressing precisely on schedule, a strong management team in place, and strong ongoing support from New Jersey, New York City and the local communities involved.

'We are very confident the 2013 F1 Grand Prix of America will be a great event.'

Manchester United net debt rises 26m

Manchester United net debt up 26m as Glazers spend 71m on buyback of bonds and interest

|

UPDATED:

13:27 GMT, 17 May 2012

Manchester United's quarterly figures have revealed their net debt has risen by 26million with total revenue down 5.8 per cent.

The Glazer family who own United have spent what equates to more than 250,000 a day on a 71m buyback of bonds and on interest payments.

Gross debt has dropped from 484.5m to 423.3m – 12.6 per cent – but the club's cash has fallen from 113m to 25.6m.

Money matters: Manchester United's net debt has risen by 26m

Money matters: Manchester United's net debt has risen by 26m

A surge in United's commercial revenues helped soften the blow of a drop in matchday and media income due to the club's failure to progress in the Champions League and FA Cup last season.

The results show that revenues dropped in the three months ending March 31 by 4.4million from 2011, 70.8m compared to 75.2m, but that drop would have been greater had there not been increased sponsorship income of 3.5m.

The commercial deals have helped keep United on track for a significant revenue increase over the course of the whole season – over the nine-month period total revenues were 245.8m compared to 231.6m for the same period a year previously. Wages have also risen by 9.9 per cent compared to 2011.

'This increase largely relates to growth in player remuneration, driven by new player acquisitions and further contractual negotiations together with increased costs and headcount arising from the continued growth in our sponsorship and commercial operations,' says United's quarterly financial report.

The report confirms that the exit from the Champions League in the group stage and from the FA Cup in the fourth round had affected media and matchday revenues for the three-month period.

Swiss miss: Man United lost 2-1 in Basel to crash out of the Champions League

Swiss miss: Man United lost 2-1 in Basel to crash out of the Champions League

It states: 'Media income has been impacted by our exit from the UCL, thus no Round of 16 match played and our subsequent participation in the UEL [Europa League], for which, despite one extra game, the income per game is lower than for the UCL.

'In addition, we earned lower revenues for the FA Cup in 2011/12 due to our fourth-round exit, compared with reaching the semi-final in 2010/11.'

Over the three-month period, media revenue dropped 3.8m to 16.9m, matchday revenue by 4.1m to 26.6m and commercial revenue rose by 3.5m to 27.3m.

The increase in commercial revenue is due to part to higher income from United's profit share sponsorship agreement with Nike, their new training kit deal with DHL, and other sponsorship deals.

Rangers crisis: Campbell Ogilvie received 95k EBT cash

SFA president Ogilvie admits to receiving 95k EBT cash from Rangers

|

UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 18 March 2012

Scottish Football Association president Campbell Ogilvie has admitted receiving 95,000 from Rangers' controversial Employee Benefit Trust scheme and admitted he might have asked more questions of the way the club was run under Sir David Murray.

The Scottish Premier League are investigating alleged undisclosed payments to Rangers players from 1998, which centre on the EBT scheme, now the subject of a potential 49million tax tribunal.

Former Rangers director and company secretary Ogilvie had already denied any role in drafting player contracts after the mid-1990s.

Revelation: Ogilivie received EBT payments from Rangers

Revelation: Ogilivie received EBT payments from Rangers

Ogilvie, who became general secretary in 2002 and left Ibrox in 2005 after 27 years, told Sunday newspapers: “I knew the EBT scheme was in place, but I didn't know the extent of it and which players had them.

'I didn't believe they were risky as the Murray Group took a lot of legal and tax advice when the scheme started.

'I don't know how Rangers used them with players but I was in the scheme.

'In my case it was an offer of a discretionary bonus or a contribution into the trust. I chose to pay in and then apply for a loan. That's how it works.

'I got three payments between 2001 and 2003. It was 5,000 each time and as part of my settlement when I left the club I got a figure of 80,000.

'It was a discretionary contribution into the trust and then I applied for a loan. I don't want to get into intricacies but you have to repay the loans over a period of time.

Plenty to explain: Rangers' crisis continues to rumble on

Plenty to explain: Rangers' crisis continues to rumble on

'There was nothing illegal about it. I have to stress that. I've a clear conscience.

Former director Hugh Adam has claimed players were given supplementary paperwork in addition to registered contracts, but Murray has denied the existence of dual contracts.

'I have no knowledge of any side contracts and I would be very surprised if that was the case,' Ogilvie said. 'If anything comes up that I'm not aware of then I'll put my hands up.

'You know the way the club was run. I was a director and we had a controlling shareholder who ran the club.

'I don't know what I could have done. Maybe I should have questioned things more.'