General Football News Round-up

According to reports appearing last week, just three years since being bought by American billionaire John Henry and the Fenway Sports Group (SG), Liverpool FC are being put up for sale again. The club has now said that the reports have no basis in fact.

According to Forbes, Real Madrid is now the world’s most valuable sports franchise, worth $3.3 billion, surpassing former No. 1 Manchester United. Los Blancos have the highest revenues of any team in sports ($650 million during the 2011-12 season), and revenues are up 62% over the last three years. Madrid’s operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and player trading) of $134 million is second only to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys among sports teams.

The Premier League is clamping down on pubs and clubs that show unauthorised live games on Saturday afternoons.   It is a hired a firm of corporate investigators from Glasgow to carry out spot checks. Last week the Premiership won a High Court action to require the six leading Internet Service Providers in the UK to block First Row Sports, the leading provider of unauthorised streaming.

UEFA gave out a total of €904.6m to last season's Champions League competitors.   Yet the most money (€65.3m) went to Juventus who got knocked out in the quarter finals by the eventual winners Bayern Munich who received €54.1m.

BT Group's new TV service has won a joint bid with the BBC to screen FA Cup football matches in the UK up to 2018. The winning bids are estimated to have cost close to £50m a year.

Cardiff City AFC owner Vincent Tan says he is 'days away' from an agreement with creditors Langston which would result in the club becoming debt-free.

The Football League's long search for a sponsor has culminated in a deal with Sky Bet that will last for the next five years. At the same time it has extended its broadcasting arrangement with Sky Sport. The dual agreement is worth about £300m. The extension of the Sky Sports deal is worth more than the £195m the League earned from the previous agreement.

Reading FC face a Companies House investigation into their finances. They have not provided all the financial information they should have done, but are claiming an exemption.

Coventry City Football Club Ltd are facing liquidation after a Company Voluntary Agreement was rejected at a creditors' meeting in London.

Ken Bates's five-decade career in football appears to have finally ended after his tenure as Leeds United president was brought to an abrupt end by the club's new owners. Ken Bates has said he was sacked by GFH from his role as club president after he committed Leeds United, for the next three years, to paying for a private jet to fly him from Monaco to Leeds whenever he needed. The cost to the club of the contract with the corporate aeroplane charter company 247 Jet is thought to be about £500,000 over the three years.

The Football Conference has found a new title sponsor for the next three seasons - global online payment company Skrill. The newly named leagues will now be known as The Skrill Premier, The Skrill North and The Skrill South.

Former Birmingham City director Sammy Yu is heading a consortium from Hong Kong and mainland China looking to buy Sheffield Wednesday.

Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside thinks that the Football League's new financial fair play rules hit them particularly hard in spite of the fact that they will receive an enhanced parachute payment this year. Wanderers saw a £30m drop in income last year following relegation and think that the new rules will affect their ability to invest.

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