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Category: Finances

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Said & Done: ‘There’s zero tolerance on doping. We always expect fair play’

The week in football – also featuring: Ivan Gazidis, Barça and a human moment Alexei Sorokin, Russia’s Fifa executive, on 2018 World Cup head Vitaly Mutko’s IOC life ban for “an unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport”: “It has no connection to …

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Manchester City announce record revenues for 2016-17 but wage bill soars

• Premier League leaders’ turnover reaches new high of £473.4m• Profit down to £1.1m as wage bill rises from £197.6m to £264.1mManchester City posted record revenues of £473.4m in the 2016-17 financial year, with profits down from £20.5m to £1.1m, thou…

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Arsenal shareholders send message to club’s board with protest votes at AGM

• Resolutions to re-elect Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke voted down• Stan Kroenke’s votes keep pair on board as Arsène Wenger addresses fansArsenal shareholders used the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday to voice their displeasure at the cu…

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Arsenal shareholders send message to club’s board with protest votes at AGM

• Resolutions to re-elect Sir Chips Keswick and Josh Kroenke voted down• Stan Kroenke’s votes keep pair on board as Arsène Wenger addresses fansArsenal shareholders used the club’s annual general meeting on Thursday to voice their displeasure at the cu…

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Newcastle United up for sale – but is Mike Ashley asking too high a price?

After 11 years the controversial owner wants out yet he is also seeking a profit of more than £100m for a Premier League club relegated twice during his tenureA guide to how swimmingly Mike Ashley’s sale of Newcastle United has been proceeding is that …

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Newcastle United investigated over ‘systemic abuse of tax system’

  • Court papers show extent of allegations against Premier League club
  • HMRC alleges Newcastle used ‘sham’ contracts when signing players

Newcastle United are under investigation over alleged “extensive” tax evasion on player transfers, court papers have shown.

Details of the allegations have emerged as the club failed in a legal challenge against search warrants issued to HM Revenue and Customs during Operation Loom, which saw dawn raids by HMRC on premises including St James’ Park as part of a £5m tax investigation involving Premier League and French clubs. The papers show HMRC investigators suspect Newcastle, owned by the billionaire Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley, of involvement in an elaborate scheme to evade income tax, VAT and national insurance.

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Facebook is not ruling out bidding for Premier League live matches

• The Premier League is a very important partner of ours, says Facebook chief • Major tech companies expected to join rights battle for 2019-2022

Facebook has refused to rule out entering the bidding to stream live Premier League matches following mounting speculation over a looming rights battle.

Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s vice-chairman, told investors in New York last week that Facebook and Amazon were interested in the last round of Premier League rights deals for 2016-19, which were sold primarily to BSkyB and BT for £8.4bn, and predicted that the tech companies will enter the next auction, which covers the 2019-22 period.

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Dulwich Hamlet to donate money from Isthmian League’s betting deal to charity

• League has agreed a sponsorship deal with Betting.net
• Dulwich Hamlet: ‘Our club does not support the betting industry’

Dulwich Hamlet have promised that any money the club receives from their league’s new sponsorship deal with a betting company will be donated to charities tackling gambling addiction.

Last month the Isthmian League, made up of clubs in the seventh and eighth tiers of English football in London and the south-east, agreed a deal with Betting.net to sponsor their performance of the month and fair play awards.

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Gianluca Vialli: ‘I look out for things that are going to make football a better game’

The former Chelsea striker and manager has cofounded a company that is looking to strengthen the ties between fans and clubs through crowdfunding

“We Italians need to feel like we’re under pressure, we need to see an enemy,” says Gianluca Vialli. “The pressure is a combination of expectation, scrutiny and consequences. That’s why we’re so good at managing, because we grew up experiencing pressure all the time. When Antonio came to England I think he almost felt it was easier but exciting at the same time.”

Vialli is well-placed to discuss the success of Antonio Conte (was he surprised when his old Juventus team-mate won the Premier League at the first time of asking? “No, no and no”). The former Chelsea manager, the first Italian to manage in the Premier League, had won everything in the club game by the time he moved to London in 1996. He became a star of the English game too, winning fans first with his pugnacious style of play, later with his urbane personality.

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Disillusioned Arsène Wenger calls for end to FFP in major U-turn

• Arsenal manager says rules on spending have become unenforceable
• Wenger suggests financial limits will put off Chinese and US investors

Arsène Wenger has lost faith in one of his guiding principles and called for financial fair play to be scrapped. The Arsenal manager says clubs have found a way to bluff around Uefa’s regulations and it has effectively rendered them unenforceable. He feels that if the Premier League is to “remain the best league in the world” the decision must be taken to revert to no financial limits.

Wenger reflected on a wild summer transfer window in which he suggested that Liverpool had most likely tapped up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain before taking him from Arsenal for an initial £35m on 31 August. Four days earlier, the midfielder had played for Arsenal in the club’s 4-0 defeat at Anfield. Wenger said he did not know whether Liverpool had spoken to Oxlade-Chamberlain in the hours leading up to kick-off. He hoped they had not.

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PSG accused of ‘peeing in the pool’ on FFP rules over Neymar’s £200m move

• La Liga president Javier Tebas says French club ‘laughing’ at the FFP rules
• He adds that the Brazilian player ‘is peeing off the diving board’

The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas, has accused Paris Saint-Germain of “laughing” at football’s financial fair play rules. Referring to the French club’s £198m signing of Neymar from Barcelona, Tebas said: “We’ve caught [PSG] peeing in the swimming pool and Neymar is peeing off the diving board.”

The Spanish league president was speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention on Wednesday, two days after it emerged he had written to Uefa to ask for an investigation into what he described as PSG’s “history of non-compliance” with FFP. Tebas expanded on this at Soccerex, saying clubs backed by national gas and oil revenues were inflating costs for all clubs and destroying the industry.

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Supporters Direct lobbies for tougher ‘fit and proper people test’ for owners

• National fan roadshow kicks off on Tuesday in Blackpool
• Proposals a reaction to matters at Leyton Orient, Coventry and Blackpool

The Football Association should introduce a rule requiring owners of clubs to comply with “basic standards of good stewardship” or face a range of sanctions including fines or ultimately a ban, according to proposals by the campaigning organisation Supporters Direct.

Under the proposal, contained in detailed recommendations to be presented at a series of national fan events starting on Tuesday in Blackpool, owners would have a duty “to safeguard and protect the identity and existence of their club and to promote good relations, and a positive contribution, to the local community”.

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Danny Rose the rebel causes thorny problem for Daniel Levy and Spurs

The Tottenham chairman, renowned as a tough negotiator, risks a major mutiny if he does not increase wages significantly

They tell a story at Manchester United that probably sums up why the previous regime at Old Trafford had a policy never to do business with Tottenham Hotspur and Sir Alex Ferguson once remarked that hip surgery was more enjoyable than trying to find common ground with Daniel Levy when it came to money. It goes back to Luka Modric’s final season at White Hart Lane when Ferguson was tipped off that the Croat would be keen on a move to Manchester to fill the void left by Paul Scholes’s retirement. In ordinary circumstances, Modric would have been the ideal fit. These, however, were not ordinary circumstances. Ferguson had never forgotten what it was like dealing with Levy in the protracted transfer saga he referred to as “the Dimitar Berbatov carry-on” and when he raised the matter with David Gill, United’s chief executive, the two men agreed they didn’t have the stomach to go though the same again. As good as Modric was, they simply couldn’t countenance another negotiation involving the Spurs chairman.

As football administrators go, it is certainly difficult to think of anybody else with Levy’s reputation for driving the people with whom he is negotiating to the point of spontaneous combustion. Ferguson, to put it into context, regarded Modric as one of the finest passers in the business and, five years on, probably still thinks the same. Yet he and Gill preferred to watch the player join Real Madrid rather than reopen lines of communication with Spurs. Gill had been there before with Levy and, to borrow a line from Billy Wilder: “I’ve met a lot of hardboiled eggs in my time, but you’re 20 minutes.”

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The ‘kidnapping’ of Jesús Navas: football’s summer of bizarre transfer videos

In an attempt to hype their latest signings, clubs are running amok with shareable content. A treat for the fans or just a money-wasting wheeze?

The best way for football clubs to get rid of the massive wads of cash thrown in their direction by benighted supporters and unimaginative TV companies has traditionally been to pay £50m for a half-decent right back who can’t cross. But wealthy teams are always innovating and this summer they have found a new way of blowing their loot: social media content.

The big clubs with a marketing department (ie all of them) and a brand (all of them bar Burnley) have been hiring a load of over-enthusiastic millennials to make stuff for Facebook, Twitter and the rest. I had the misfortune to sit in front of Arsenal’s Snapchat crew last season and let me tell you they made a humdrum 2-0 victory over Hull sound like the second coming of the Christ.

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‘An electrifying jolt’: how Agüero’s goal sealed Premier League’s global rise

Not just a moment to remember, Manchester City’s thrilling late title win in 2012 embodied the Premier League’s ascent to international dominance

The big bang: how the Premier League was born

It’s 4.53pm BST on 13 May 2012. The score at the Etihad Stadium is 2-2 between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers and the game is into a fourth minute of added time. The Italian international Mario Balotelli has the ball on the edge of the QPR area. Slipping, he pokes a pass beyond two defenders into the box. His team-mate, a £38m recruit from Atlético Madrid the previous summer, manages to read the pass. With one touch, Sergio Agüero eludes a despairing final challenge. With a second, he fires the ball past Paddy Kenny. Flying into the near corner of the net, Agüero’s goal wins the game in the final second. It also means the 20th Premier League title goes to City, ahead of Manchester United on goal difference.

Related: Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

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Ángel María Villar resigns from Uefa and Fifa positions after arrest in Spain

• Suspended Spanish FA president quits as vice-president of both bodies
• Villar being held in jail on suspicion of corruption, which he denies

Ángel María Villar, who is being held in jail in Spain on suspicion of corruption, has resigned from his positions with Uefa and Fifa.

European football’s governing body said in a statement on Thursday that Villar had offered his resignation a day earlier “as vice-president of Uefa and member of the Uefa executive committee with immediate effect”. The 67-year-old, who has denied all allegations, has also stepped down as the senior vice-president of Fifa. He was the most senior of eight vice-presidents behind the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino.

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Ángel María Villar resigns from Uefa and Fifa positions after arrest in Spain

• Suspended Spanish FA president quits as vice-president of both bodies
• Villar being held in jail on suspicion of corruption, which he denies

Ángel María Villar, who is being held in jail in Spain on suspicion of corruption, has resigned from his positions with Uefa and Fifa.

European football’s governing body said in a statement on Thursday that Villar had offered his resignation a day earlier “as vice-president of Uefa and member of the Uefa executive committee with immediate effect”. The 67-year-old, who has denied all allegations, has also stepped down as the senior vice-president of Fifa. He was the most senior of eight vice-presidents behind the Fifa president, Gianni Infantino.

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Deceit, determination and Murdoch’s millions: how Premier League was born

Twenty-five years ago Rick Parry, David Dein and Greg Dyke turned British football on its head. Here the men behind the revolutionary deal retell the story

Rick Parry is showing me the most important document in the recent history of British sport. He has a photo of it on his phone. “Here it is in my handwriting,” he says. “Graham was upstairs, waiting for me to tell him, and I’d forgotten to put FA. So that’s Graham’s writing on the top going ‘by the way, that’s the FA Premier League’.”

“Graham” is Graham Kelly, the former chief executive of the Football Association. In 1991 he hired Parry to help him with a problem. Out of that problem was born a football competition that has become a global brand, a sporting hegemon and a form of soft power for the United Kingdom in the 21st century. But visible even in its totemic “founders’ agreement”, the document on Parry’s phone, were the tensions that would make the Premier League sometimes as reviled as it was beloved.

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Spanish FA president Ángel María Villar Llona arrested on corruption charges

• Villar Llona and four others held after raid on RFEF headquarters
• Arrests follow investigation into finances of Spanish federations

Police in Spain say they have arrested Ángel María Villar Llona, the president of Spain’s football association, Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF).

Villar Llona, who is also a senior vice-president at Fifa and Uefa, was arrested on Tuesday morning along with his son and three other federation executives as part of an anti-corruption investigation.

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Premier League remains world’s richest courtesy of huge TV revenue growth

• Total earnings of 20 top-flight clubs in 2016-17 expected to exceed £4.5bn
• Premier League earned almost €2bn more than any other European league

The Premier League is set to remain by far the world’s richest football league, its clubs earning approximately €2bn (£1.7bn) more collectively than those in Europe’s second richest, the German Bundesliga, according to the annual review of football finances by the consultants Deloitte.

The total £3.6bn earnings of Premier League clubs in 2015-16, as reported by the Guardian’s own review of the clubs’ most recently published accounts are projected to have increased to £4.5bn last season, the first of the league’s vastly more lucrative 2016-19 TV deals.

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