A Sarkozy lunch, PSG and beIN sports: questions for Platini over Qatar 2022


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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Why was Michel Platini detained by French investigators? What are they looking for? And could Qatar lose the 2022 World Cup?

France’s Parquet National Financier, which investigates serious financial crime, has since 2017 been looking into possible French corruption in the vote that made Qatar the hosts for the 2022 World Cup. Platini was the Uefa president at the time and, as one of the 22 voting Fifa executive committee members in December 2010, he has acknowledged that he voted for Qatar.

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‘We never got that money’: the inside story of Bury’s road to financial ruin


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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As the club face a winding-up petition, we show how loans, a car park and a collapsed business helped drive them to the brinkBury’s historic 6-0 win in the 1903 FA Cup final was remembered last month when Manchester City eviscerated Watford by the same score, a jolting reminder of the gulf between these neighbouring clubs now, and what they represent about English football and modern Britain. While City have become a vehicle for Abu Dhabi oil wealth to harness the Premier League’s global power, Bury are in financial ruins, at the centre of a collapsed business which built student flats with fringe and fragile borrowings.

Bury face a winding-up petition again on Wednesday, with the owner, Steve Dale, not having paid the players since February and been late paying the club’s other staff, complaining about the dire finances he took over but bullishly vowing to avoid administration.

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Police continue to hunt missing £10m loaned to Northampton Town


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Borough council made the loan for improvements at Sixfields
• ‘A complex financial and corruption investigation,’ police sayPolice investigating what happened to £10.25m of public money loaned to Northampton Town for a new east stand which was never completed have said that potential offences being considered include theft, fraud, money laundering, bribery and misconduct in public office.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire police explicitly described the case, Operation Tuckhill, as in the category of “complex financial and corruption investigations”.

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South Yorkshire police to change approach to football after heavy criticism


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Force accused of violent, dangerous policing at Sheffield derby
• Launch of new policy seen by experts as nationally significantSouth Yorkshire police is to change its approach to policing football after an internal review following its operation at the Sheffield derby in March, which was heavily criticised by supporters as heavy-handed, violent and dangerous.

Some supporters at the match between Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United complained that they had been held in a crush outside the Leppings Lane turnstiles at Hillsborough, and that police officers had indiscriminately hit people caught in the crush with their batons.

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Oyston out: Blackpool sold to fan and financier Simon Sadler for around £10m


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• League One club finally draw a line under Owen Oyston years
• Supporters’ trust representative to act as adviser to the board

Blackpool have been sold by their receivers to Simon Sadler, a financier based in Hong Kong, a deal which brings to a conclusion years under the toxic ownership of Owen Oyston.

In a statement, the League One club said that Sadler had bought 96.2% of the club shares, the Bloomfield Road stadium, which was in a separate company, the club’s training ground and the hotel at the ground.

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Manchester City’s Cas appeal against Uefa FFP referral likely to fail


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Uefa’s rules do not allow for an appeal against FFP referral
• Clubs are permitted to appeal against only a final decisionManchester City’s appeal to the court of arbitration for sport against the referral of the club to Uefa’s financial fair play disciplinary body looks likely to fail because Uefa’s rules do not allow for an appeal against such a referral.

The Uefa rules governing the club financial control body (CFCB), which administers compliance with FFP, provide for clubs’ right to appeal against “a final decision of the CFCB”. City have not yet had a final decision, the case having at this stage been referred by the investigatory chamber (IC) to the adjudicatory chamber (AC).

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Manchester City lodge appeal with Cas over Uefa’s FFP referral


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Uefa sent case to adjudication after two-month inquiry
• City have denied allegations and said emails were stolen
Manchester City have appealed to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) against the decision at Uefa to refer the club to a disciplinary body for alleged violation of financial fair play procedures.

City’s appeal follows the club’s furious reaction last month after the investigatory chamber of Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB) referred the club to its adjudicatory chamber, which in effect means City have been accused of providing misleading information.

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African football president under questioning over corruption allegations


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Ahmad Ahmad being questioned by French authorities
• Official escorted from Paris hotel on Thursday morning

Fifa has confirmed that the Confederation of African Football president, Ahmad Ahmad, is being questioned by French authorities investigating corruption allegations, following reports that he had been arrested at his hotel in Paris on Thursday morning. Football’s world governing body also suggested that its ethics committee has been investigating allegations made against Ahmad.

The news website jeuneafrique reported on Thursday morning that Ahmad had been escorted from the Berri Hotel by officials from France’s central office for combatting corruption and financial and tax crimes (OCLCIFF).

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Liverpool to play December ‘test’ match in Qatar for 2022 World Cup


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Liverpool head for Gulf in Club World Cup
• Qatar’s facilities to be given World Cup dry run

Fifa has awarded Qatar the next two Club World Cups, for this December when Liverpool will represent Europe as champions, and 2020. Both will be “tests” for the World Cup being held in the Gulf state in 2022.

Explaining the decision on behalf of the Fifa council following their meeting before Wednesday’s annual congress in Paris, Victor Montagliani, the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, said: “I think it’s a great opportunity to test the facilities. I think it hits all the marks. It will be good for Qatar to have those events over the next two years and test out their transportation, their accommodation, their stadiums. I think it’s a good exercise.”

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Top clubs accused over ‘dangerous’ plans to reshape Champions League


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• European Leagues head says clubs trying to form super league
• Lars-Christer Olsson urges Uefa to reject plans and take actionThe plans drawn up by top clubs to reshape the Champions League after 2024 would create a “super league” motivated by greed that Uefa should firmly reject, the president of Europe’s football leagues’ association said.

Lars-Christer Olsson, who heads the European Leagues, the collective body that includes the Premier League, said Uefa should instead be looking to improve “competitive balance” so that success is not so concentrated among rich clubs. Olsson called for 20% of Champions League revenues to be redistributed outside the participating clubs and for Europe’s leagues to share money more equally.

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Bury financial crisis deepens amid pressure over £4.2m loan


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Loan is from former owner Stewart Day’s property company
• Club face winding-up petition and owner says debt is £8mBury football club, already in the grip of a financial crisis, are facing further pressure for the repayment of £4.2m in loans from their former owner’s property company, which has collapsed into administration owing a similar sum to creditors.

The loan was recorded in Bury’s last published accounts, for the year to 31 May 2017, from Mederco Ltd, a company which built student accommodation in Bradford and is owned by Stewart Day.

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Arsenal’s ongoing Champions League absence has not been so costly | David Conn


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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Even if the Gunners miss out in the Europa League for the third year running, Uefa’s ‘market pool’ will soften the blow for now

For Arsenal, victory in the Europa League final in Baku – Uefa’s widely condemned choice of venue – carries the greater significance of qualification for next season’s Champions League than for Chelsea, who finished third in the Premier League and are thus qualified. Although the margin was fine for Unai Emery in his first season as manager, finishing fifth by a point behind Spurs, defeat in the final would mean a third consecutive failure to qualify for Arsenal, a continuing blow to football status and financial heft.

Cash consequences of missing out on the Champions League can be exaggerated, informed by a vague perception that Uefa’s euros mark the divide between the Premier League’s richest clubs and the rest. Arsenal themselves stated in their 2017-18 annual Continue reading “Arsenal’s ongoing Champions League absence has not been so costly | David Conn”

Bolton move closer to administration after Brentford match cancelled


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Laurence Bassini still maintains he has funds for takeover
• EFL cancels match and raises prospect of administrationExpectation is growing at Bolton Wanderers that the club will go into administration after the owner, Ken Anderson, called off the proposed takeover by the former Watford owner Laurence Bassini and the English Football League cancelled the postponed Championship match at home to Brentford.

The EFL itself raised the prospect of administration in a statement on Thursday, which said that if it happened the league would not insist the Brentford game be played. On Friday the EFL cancelled the game, awarding Brentford a 1-0 win, after Bolton’s safety advisory group blocked it from being played at their stadium, as rescheduled, next Tuesday. The club’s staff are understood not to have been paid their wages for last month, which were due on 30 April.

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Promotion and relegation part of explosive Champions League plans


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Juventus’s Agnelli unveils proposed changes from 2024
• European Club Association want ‘pyramidal’ structureThe European Club Association has set out potentially explosive plans to revamp the Champions League to include more matches and some form of promotion and relegation when the agreed format and football calendar concludes in 2024.

The ECA and Juventus chairman, Andrea Agnelli, spelled out the principles informing the top clubs’ push to reshape European football in a letter inviting all the ECA’s 232 clubs to discuss them at a special general assembly in Malta on 6 and 7 June.

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EFL vote on Coventry City’s potential expulsion postponed until May


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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• Club make assurances that it is in talks over Ricoh Arena
• City also have agreement to groundshare elsewhere if neededThe planned vote of EFL clubs on Thursday about whether to expel Coventry City has been postponed until May, after the club gave assurances that it is in talks to agree a deal to continue playing at the Ricoh Arena next season.

The vote of all 72 clubs had been called to consider expulsion because City had not concluded an arrangement for any home ground beyond this season, while its owner, the London-based hedge fund Sisu, has pursued a series of legal actions relating to the Ricoh, which it has lost.

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Toxic tactics behind Coventry’s slide from FA Cup glory to brink of oblivion


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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The litigious, intransigent hedge fund that owns the club is bringing a proud institution to its knees

There are a couple of signposts to help navigate the barmy situation at Coventry City, to understand how a club can be about to make itself homeless again, and face a vote this Thursday to be actually expelled from the EFL, exactly 100 years since it first joined the Football League in 1919.

Most important is to be clear that the owner, the Mayfair-based hedge fund Sisu, has no need to move the club from the Ricoh Arena, the home Coventry city council built for it in 2005, to groundshare with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, Coventry Rugby Club at their Butts Park ground (capacity 4,000), or any other unsuitable couch-surf.

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Toxic tactics behind Coventry’s slide from FA Cup glory to brink of oblivion


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




The litigious, intransigent hedge fund that owns the club is bringing a proud institution to its knees

There are a couple of signposts to help navigate the barmy situation at Coventry City, to understand how a club can be about to make itself homeless again, and face a vote this Thursday to be actually expelled from the EFL, exactly 100 years since it first joined the Football League in 1919.

Most important is to be clear that the owner, the Mayfair-based hedge fund Sisu, has no need to move the club from the Ricoh Arena, the home Coventry city council built for it in 2005, to groundshare with Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, Coventry Rugby Club at their Butts Park ground (capacity 4,000), or any other unsuitable couch-surf.

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Never forgotten: Liverpool marks 30 years since Hillsborough disaster


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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City falls silent as pictures of all 96 victims are shown on banner at St George’s Hall

The bells on Liverpool’s town hall tolled 96 times and the city stood silent on Monday to mark 30 years since 96 men, women and children were killed at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground on 15 April 1989.

The pictures of all 96 were displayed on a banner across the front of the St George’s Hall, which proclaimed “Never Forgotten.” A lantern for each was laid on the steps and people paid respects throughout the day, laying wreaths and Liverpool football club scarves.

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Never forgotten: Liverpool marks 30 years since Hillsborough disaster


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




City falls silent as pictures of all 96 victims are shown on banner at St George’s Hall

The bells on Liverpool’s town hall tolled 96 times and the city stood silent on Monday to mark 30 years since 96 men, women and children were killed at the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough football ground on 15 April 1989.

The pictures of all 96 were displayed on a banner across the front of the St George’s Hall, which proclaimed “Never Forgotten.” A lantern for each was laid on the steps and people paid respects throughout the day, laying wreaths and Liverpool football club scarves.

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Liverpool remembers Hillsborough victims on 30th anniversary of disaster


This post is by David Conn from Football | The Guardian


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A minute’s silence will be observed at 3.06pm and town hall bells will toll 96 times

Liverpool will fall silent at 3.06pm on Monday to mark 30 years since the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough was stopped because of the crush that killed 96 men, women and children.

The anniversary comes 12 days after a jury at Preston crown court failed to reach a verdict on the prosecution of the match commander, Ch Supt David Duckenfield, who was accused of gross negligence manslaughter.

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