Wrexham AFC’s Ambitious Plan

Blue Square Conference side Wrexham has revealed an ambitious £40m investment plan designed to transform the former league club’s finances and lead to the rebuilding of the historic Kop. The club has lodged revised plans for a £40m Glyndwr University village with space for 800 students, the income from which it is hoped will clear the club’s massive £3m-£4m debts. Any further profit would then be used to finance the rebuilding of the historic Kop stand, which is currently out of action.

More Financial Worries At Hearts

Once again there are rumours that the Edinburgh club are up for sale as uncertainty persists over the finances and intentions of their backers. Twice this season the Ukio Bankas Investment Group (UBIG) has failed to pay players’ wages on times and there has been a private admission from within the club that they have a serious cash flow problem. The finances of UBIG and Vladimir Romanov have always appeared complex. News that another club they claim to subsidise, MTZ-Ripo of Belarus, have failed to pay some staff in six months has renewed concerns.

Bigger Hit For Scottish Football From Credit Crunch

Many of those involved in Scottish football think that it will take a bigger hit from the credit crunch than the game south of the border. Charles Barnett, the author of PFK’s annual report on football club finances, thinks that with the exception of Celtic and Rangers, crowds will suffer. ‘The Old Firm have sold out their stadia through season ticket sales,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t affect them so much. It will impact more on the clubs who rely on ticket sales.’ St.

Liverpool Lose Their Sheikh

It looks as if the ruler of Dubai is no longer interested in buying Liverpool who are having difficulty in raising funds for their new stadium. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has told the club’s owners that he has dropped his interest after an unsuccessful two-year pursuit. Intermediary Amanda Staveley, who has been negotiating on Sheikh Mohammed’s behalf since the turn of the year, has told Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. that he is no longer interested because of the financial climate and their refusal to lower an ‘unrealistic’ £600m valuation.

Mawhinney’s Salary Cap Plan

Lord Mawhinney, chairman of the Football League, is proposing to extend the salary cap that already operates in Coca-Cola League Two. It is linked to the percentage of turnover. Thus, a club arriving from the Premiership with parachute payments, would have the best part of £12.5m to spend on wages, while the likes of Doncaster Rovers would have roughly £3.5m. So the three relegated clubs would very likely to be returned to the Premiership each season because the others are effectively handicapped.

Pay-TV Football Boom in Africa

GTV is pan-African pay-TV company which is building its offer around football, although it also has news and entertainment channels. Getting Premiership rights in a $30m three-year deal was crucial because of the prominence of so many African players in the competition. The studios of the channel are actually in Camden, North London, but this helps in terms of getting top players in for interview.

Controversial Chester City FC Bid Rejected

A controversial bid for League 2 outfit Chester City has been rejected by owner Stephen Vaughan. Maverick businessman John Batchelor had the funds in place to purchase the club for a figure believed to be in the region of £2m. The major stumbling block was over Batchelor’s plans to completely re-brand the club, including, according to Sky Sports News, re-naming after fictitious television team Harchester Rovers.

Supporters Takeover At Berwick Nears

Berwick Rangers is a unique club as it is located in the English borders towns (which has had a convoluted and turbulent history) but plays in the Scottish League. The club has been through a difficult phase and negotiations for a takeover by a consortium headed by the Supporters’ Trust have been protracted. Initial offers of £20,000 and £30,000 to secure a 51 per cent stake were rejected. The Supporters Trust has invested £30,000 in the club since 2003. It is thought that if the deal goes through current chairman Robert Wilson could invest in another club.

Rangers Supremo Awaits Right Offer

Glasgow Rangers owner Sir David Murray has made it clear that he is ready to sell the club which he purchased for £6m in 1988, inheriting a debt of roughly the same amount. He admitted that he would not get the money he had invested back: ‘I’ve put over £100 million into this club and I’m not going to get anything like that back.’ He added that it was still his prime objective to keep Rangers in Scottish hands ‘but there aren’t too many wealthy ones left.

Britain Defeats French Threat To Premiership

Britain has fought off an attempt by France to use its rotating presidency of the European Union to impose a French-style regulatory system on British clubs. The real target was the English Premiership and the prime mover was not French president Nicolas Sarkozy or even sports minister Bernard Laporte but Uefa president Michel Platini who has made no secret of his hostility towards English football. The French plan was to establish a supranational body modelled on the French regulator, the Direction Nationale du Controle de Gestion (DCNG).

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