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Spurs get stadium funding

Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium redevelopment is a significant step closer after the club agreed a £350 million funding package with three investment banks.

HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch will provide almost half of the money required to complete the £750 million rebuilding of White Hart Lane. The rest of the funding will come from advanced ticket sales, a ten-year ground rental arrangement with the NFL and a possible naming-rights deal.

Progress on new stadium for Bees

Work is underway on Brentford's new ground project at Lionel Road South.  Temporary hoardings have been put up and initial site preparation work has been carried out, including the start of essential demolition work.

The Bees plan to build a 20,000 capacity stadium by 2019 and believe it will help secure the long-term sustainability of the club.  The new stadium is situated next to Kew Bridge station, less than a mile away from the club's current home at Griffin Park.

It will also be home to the London Irish professional rugby team..

Big losses at Boro

Middlesbrough's push for promotion to the Premier League led to big losses in the year to 30 June 2016. The club lost £31.9m compared with £9m in the previous year.  Wages went up from £18.1m to £28.6m, well above 100 per cent of income when the recommended level is 50 per cent.

Parachute payments questioned

Established Premier League clubs want to tighten the system of parachute payments for relegated clubs to stop unscrupulous owners making off with the vast sums of money on offer. Changes and even cuts to parachute handouts are likely to be proposed at the Premier League’s annual meeting in the first week of June.

Spurs hesitate over Wembley move

Tottenham Hotspur have asked the FA for more time to confirm their intention to play at Wembley next season.  Brent Council gave them permission to host 27 matches at the stadium this week.  The present deadline is 31 March.

The club's hesitation arises from possibility to delays to the building work on their new stadium.  Delays on major building projects seem almost inevitable.  The club doesn't want to enter into a contract with the FA prematurely.   The FA has indicated that it is willing to be flexible.

Sky Blues mediation offer

At the instigation of sports minister Tracey Crouch, Daventry MP Chris Heaton-Harris has offered to act as a mediator in the Coventry City saga.   He is an assistant government whip.

There is no shortage of offers of mediation.   Sitting in Coventry Cathedral for the mayoral hustings on Wednesday evening, I heard Conservative Candidate Andy Street offer his services.  The question is whether the various parties will come to the table for talks.

Charlton is being sold

Despite denials by the club, Charlton Athletic fanzine editor Rick Everitt asserts that the club is being sold. The process is likely to be a long drawn out one of because of various complications such as loans owed to former directors of the club.  

However, various straws in the wind all seem to point in one direction.  Everitt is confident that it is the end of days for the regime of unpopular Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet.

Saints deal near

Southampton have received an improved offer from Lander Sports Development to buy a 100 per cent stake in the club for £190m.  The Chinese development company has proposed a phased takeover in which it would initially buy into the club before taking over full control.

Katharina Liebherr, the club's owner, rejected an offer of £180m in January.   Negotiations are now believed to be at an advanced stage.    The sale is being handled by the Zurich office of the international bank, UBS.

Billionaire bid for Pompey

American billionaire Michael Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney, is reported to be interested in launching a bid for Portsmouth FC.

A statement on the club's website said that if a bid was made it would be for shareholders to decide whether it was in the club's best interests.   Portsmouth Supporters' Trust is the largest shareholder.

Orient given June deadline

Leyton Orient's owner Francesco Becchetti has been given until June 12th by the High Court to settle all outstanding debts or sell the club.  The money owed to the Inland Revenue, thought to be around £250,000, which was the subject of today's hearing has been paid, but there are four other creditors.

Becchetti was not at the hearing, but his representatives said that he would inject £1m into the club to settle all outstanding debts, which include £6,000 owed to the club's photographer.