Manchester City accounts show Sheikh Mansour has put £1.3bn into club

• Total in addition to £150m Mansour paid to buy the club
• Club recorded £500.5m turnover and profit of £10m last year Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi ruling family has spent more than £1.3bn directly investing into Manchester City since he took over in 2008, the club’s latest accounts have stated. That fortune has been in addition to the £150m Mansour is understood to have paid City’s then owner, Thaksin Shinawatra, to buy the club, taking the total spent by Mansour to more than £1.45bn. Continue reading...

Everton’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri increases stake in club to 68.6%

• Monaco-based investor purchases further 18.7% of shares
• Expected to increase stake to 77.2% ‘no later than July 2019’Everton’s major shareholder and investor, Monaco-based Farhad Moshiri, has taken his ownership of the club above 50% with the purchase of a further 18.7% of the shares, the club has announced. The club confirmed in a statement that Iranian-born Moshiri had agreed to extend his shareholding, which is held via his Isle of Man registered company Blue Heaven Holdings, when he first bought 49.9% of the club in March 2016. At that time, documents registered in the Isle of Man showed that Everton’s three remaining substantial shareholders, the chairman Bill Kenwright, director Jon Woods and long-term shareholder Arthur Abercromby, had agreed to sell further shares to Moshiri. The club said Moshiri expects to purchase further shares and take his ownership above 75%, effectively the threshold for Continue reading "Everton’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri increases stake in club to 68.6%"

Hillsborough officer pleads not guilty to manslaughter charges

David Duckenfield formally enters plea over 95 charges relating to 1989 disaster David Duckenfield, who was in command of the 1989 FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough stadium when 96 people were killed, has formally pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges at Preston crown court. The former South Yorkshire police chief superintendent, wearing a blue suit and tie, made his plea by video link. Continue reading...

Safe-standing under spotlight as the government looks for answers

• Research to be done into practice of standing regardless
• Hillsborough support group remains opposed to reversal of banThe government’s review of the legal ban on standing at Premier League and Championship matches will consider new research into all aspects of the prohibition, including the safety of modern standing areas and whether their introduction really will lead to clubs lowering their ticket prices. Research will also be conducted into the widespread practice of many supporters standing for long periods in areas with ordinary seats and how safe this is. Continue reading...

Kick It Out at 25: progress made but lots still to do in anti-racism fight | David Conn

The campaign is 25 years old this season and chairman Lord Ouseley feels the job in hand is to promote more optimistic aims for coaches, fans and administratorsFootball people of a certain vintage will have felt a wince of disbelief that the game’s anti-racism campaign, Kick It Out, is 25 years old this season, marking a generation of struggle and remarkable progress. Reflecting on how profoundly attitudes have changed over the quarter century, the campaign’s chairman throughout, Lord Herman Ouseley, points to the outpouring of admiration for Cyrille Regis when the former West Bromwich Albion trailblazer died in January at the age of 59. Continue reading...

Premier League’s power shown by spending of clubs outside elite | David Conn

TV riches fund ever more overseas recruitment and make England’s inspiring World Cup campaign seem a long time ago When most of England was glued to the World Cup and gleefully chucking beer around in feverish fanzones, club football seemed to recede into some proper perspective, where the national team’s success would always be the highest priority. Yet one month later, as this summer’s transfer window closed, it seemed almost party‑pooping even to mention that the overwhelming majority of Premier League signings are from overseas and to wonder at the effect this will have on opportunities for English players. Related: Transfer window 2018 – every summer deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

Gary Neville condemns ‘ridiculous’ FA plans to sell Wembley to Fulham owner

• ‘Don’t sell Wembley when you can place a levy on agents’ fees’
• Sports minister has backed scheme to sell stadium for £600mGary Neville has criticised as “ridiculous” the Football Association’s plan to sell Wembley stadium for the funding of grassroots facilities, saying the money should come from the wealthy Premier League clubs or via a 25% levy on agents’ fees. The former Manchester United and England defender said that £70m more grassroots funding annually could be found from the 20 Premier League clubs paying £3.5m each, and that the government should also invest more in sports facilities. Appearing at a House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee hearing into the proposed Wembley sale, Neville described £70m a year as “a pittance in football … a pittance in government”. He said: “I despair at the thought that the FA board and management are sitting there Continue reading "Gary Neville condemns ‘ridiculous’ FA plans to sell Wembley to Fulham owner"

Wembley stadium sale is backed if £600m investment goes to grassroots

• Sport England expresses conditional support
• World Cup strengthens FA’s resolve to sell The Football Association’s proposed sale of Wembley stadium has become more likely to gain the necessary approvals of public bodies after the grant-giving agency Sport England expressed conditional support. In written evidence submitted to the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee before a hearing on Wednesday about the Wembley sale, Sport England stated that it sees benefits in the FA’s plan to invest the projected £600m proceeds in grassroots facilities, as long as Wembley’s sporting status is protected. Related: FA says sale of Wembley could pump £1bn into grassroots game Continue reading...

FA deserves a pat on the back for England’s progress under Southgate | David Conn

Ruling body has been trying to raise playing standards for more than 20 years and its overhaul finally bore fruit in Russia One of the early dates in the diary for the Football Association’s management team after their unexpectedly heartening World Cup campaign is with the parliamentary committee which has serially bashed England’s governing body over the years. The chairman, the Conservative MP Damian Collins, who led a vote of no confidence in the FA only last year – attended by just 17 MPs – has called them to account for the proposed sale of Wembley Stadium. But the mood in the room should be different this time from the habitual, ritual excoriation. Continue reading...

Ex-Newcastle manager did not take action on abuse claims right away

John Carver tells trial of former coach George Ormond: ‘I needed to digest’ allegations A former Newcastle United manager did not take immediate action when he was told that sexual abuse allegations had been made against the club’s then coaching assistant George Ormond, a court has heard. John Carver, Newcastle’s manager from January to May 2015, was in the late 1990s a senior coach in the club’s youth system when a physiotherapist, Paul Ferris, told him that the former Newcastle player Derek Bell had made the allegations against Ormond. Continue reading...

Ex-Newcastle manager did not take action on abuse claims right away

John Carver tells trial of former coach George Ormond: ‘I needed to digest’ allegations A former Newcastle United manager did not take immediate action when he was told that sexual abuse allegations had been made against the club’s then coaching assistant George Ormond, a court has heard. John Carver, Newcastle’s manager from January to May 2015, was in the late 1990s a senior coach in the club’s youth system when a physiotherapist, Paul Ferris, told him that the former Newcastle player Derek Bell had made the allegations against Ormond. Continue reading...

Money talks for Fifa as Morocco pays price for Infantino’s expansion plan | David Conn

North American bid was the rational choice to host the 2026 World Cup but it is difficult to see less privileged countries ever getting the opportunity nowSafe, rational and bountifully lucrative as the Fifa decision is to have the 2026 World Cup hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico, it is also disappointing for romantics fancying another tournament in Africa – and laced with contradictions, too. Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, looked opportunistically quick to immediately put himself forward for re-election next year, and he was followed by US president Donald Trump with a self-congratulatory tweet. Hosting World Cups and Olympic Games is openly a politicians’ prestige-burnishing project now, not only for Russia’s president Vladimir Putin or Qatar’s Emir, seeking soft power from hosting in 2022. Continue reading...

Fifa’s Gianni Infantino hits rocky ground on 2018 World Cup eve | David Conn

Infantino is threatened by resistance within his own ranks and political volatility worldwide – not least in the ramifications of a vote to host the 2026 tournament The World Cup in Russia has sailed into view with a new Fifa captain at the helm, two and a half years since Sepp Blatter’s presidency crashed on the rocks of corruption and ethics breaches. Gianni Infantino seemed a callow, unlikely president when he was elevated to succeed the banned Blatter in February 2016 as, his tie slightly askew, he tapped his heart in wonderment at winning the vote of the Fifa congress. Yet the better clue to how Infantino would operate has turned out not to be that moment of youthful elation but the ferocious ambition with which he had seized his opportunity. He had seemed a steady, bureaucratic type in his former blazer as the Uefa general secretary but he has Continue reading "Fifa’s Gianni Infantino hits rocky ground on 2018 World Cup eve | David Conn"

Judge asked to lift prosecution ban on Hillsborough officer

David Duckenfield not in court for start of CPS application to bring manslaughter charges An application by the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute David Duckenfield, the South Yorkshire police officer who was in command at the FA Cup semi-final at Hillsborough in 1989 when 96 people were killed, has begun at Preston crown court. Duckenfield, and the five other men already charged with criminal offences in relation to the disaster at the stadium and its aftermath, are also applying to have the prosecutions dismissed on legal grounds. Continue reading...

Russia basks in a World Cup even MI6 could not deny Vladimir Putin | David Conn

Hosts are hoping to clean up their image eight years after trouncing England in a controversial Fifa voteAs the World Cup finally dawns in the east, many of the Football Association chiefs packing their wheelie suitcases for Russia will have been reflecting wistfully that this was the tournament they bid for Fifa to locate in England, and lost. When the vote was taken in December 2010, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, famously arrived nonchalantly in Zurich to collect his prize and now the world will broadcast the greatest of sporting events from the country he rules absolutely. England in their bid spent £21m and an enthusiastic but ultimately hapless two years seeking votes from a 24-man Fifa executive committee since found to have contained 17 members found guilty or accused of corruption or ethics rule breaches. Criminal investigations have started in Switzerland, France and the US into the process by Continue reading "Russia basks in a World Cup even MI6 could not deny Vladimir Putin | David Conn"

Richard Scudamore: the ‘devil you know’ quits while he’s still ahead | David Conn

Though he helped Premier League clubs generate billions, the EFL may have cause to rue the executive chairman’s departure After two decades carving out total dominance for the Premier League, Richard Scudamore was able to announce his surprise resignation at a high point of his own choosing – a happy position not enjoyed by some who challenged that supremacy over the years. The arc of his stellar career serving the 20 clubs which form the Premier League in any given season is pockmarked with the early departures of other talented chief executives, particularly at the Football Association, whose authority he was repeatedly determined to resist. As a chief executive entrusted by the top clubs with great authority, his record is a reflection of the Premier League’s development itself: its glittering achievements and for many, glaring frustrations. The official farewell thanks to Scudamore from his friend Bruce Buck, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea Continue reading "Richard Scudamore: the ‘devil you know’ quits while he’s still ahead | David Conn"

Championship clubs feel the strain as financial gap to Premier League grows

• Accounts reveal 19 of 24 clubs made losses in 2016-17 season
• TV revenue still tiny compared with latest Premier League dealThe Championship continues to be a financially punishing league, with 19 of the 24 clubs having made losses in 2016-17, according to an analysis of their most recently published accounts by the consultant Deloitte. The enormous financial gap with the Premier League has for years led Championship clubs to overspend on players’ wages and make losses, in the effort to claim the bonanza of promotion. This is despite financial fair play rules, introduced to try to staunch the losses clubs have historically made in the EFL’s top division. Continue reading...

Premier League finances: the full club-by-club breakdown and verdict

The 2016-17 accounts of all top-flight clubs and what the figures say about their health. Manchester United top the charts again with a £581m income and £57m profit Financial figures for 2016-17, for the 20 clubs that were in the Premier League during 2016-17. All details from the most recently published annual reports at Companies House. Crystal Palace have missed the deadline for filing their accounts; as a consequence, all rankings of clubs are out of 19, not 20. Net debt is as stated in the accounts; debts minus cash held at the bank. The separate categories of turnover are listed according to the wording in individual club’s accounts and are each rounded up or down, so added together they do not always tally with the total turnover figure. Continue reading...

Premier League clubs soar into profit with record £4.5bn revenues

• 2016-17 accounts show 17 top-flight clubs making money
• First year of new TV deal and new regulations fuel boomThe first year of the Premier League’s record £8.4bn television deals, combined with financial regulations aimed at preventing the bulk of the money being paid to players and agents, has transformed England’s top 20 clubs overwhelmingly into profit. The Guardian’s analysis of the clubs’ most recently published accounts, for the 2016-17 season and financial year, found that 17 clubs made a profit, on record revenues of more than £4.5bn. The clubs’ booming financial health under the 2016-19 broadcasting deals puts into perspective the current demands of the richest six clubs for yet more money, from a greater share of the international TV income, which is shared equally among all 20. That demand, led by Liverpool and Manchester City and said to be supported by Manchester United, Continue reading "Premier League clubs soar into profit with record £4.5bn revenues"