BHF Spreading the Word at Rearranged Spurs Fixture


The British Heart Foundation will use Tuesday night’s FA Cup quarter final between Tottenham Hotspur and Bolton Wanderers to raise awareness of emergency CPR and heart health, with time and media space on the perimeter LED boards donated by Sports Revolution.

The game is being replayed having been abandoned when Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed during the initial fixture earlier this month. Muamba received emergency CPR and medical treatment from the staff of both clubs as well as Spurs fan Dr Andrew Deaner, a consultant cardiologist at the London Chest Hospital who was in the crowd, before being rushed to hospital.

In the event of cardiac arrest, CPR is vital to raise the chances of survival. That message will be highlighted by the British Heart Foundation and Sports Revolution on the White Hart Lane advertising boards during the match, with the advertising linked to the British Heart Foundation’s TV adverts, starring former Wimbledon midfielder Vinnie Jones, which demonstrate how to administer hands-only CPR.


New plans to redevelop Gloucestershire CCC in Bristol


A new planning application to redevelop Gloucestershire County Cricket Club has been put

forward by the club. Earlier this year, Bristol City Council refused an application to expand

the Nevil Road site due to the height of the flats included in the scheme.

Changes to the previous plans include removing one storey, so the central penthouse level

is six storeys high. The club had considered a move to Filton Airfield to continue to attract

international cricket to the city.

The expansion would ensure all 147 flats needed for the development can still go ahead.

Further improvements at Ashley Down include increasing the capacity of the stand to 17,000

seats, the building of a new media centre and a general upgrading of facilities.

It comes as the two organisations agreed a £400,000 bridging loan until the outcome of a

planning application is resolved.

The club said the temporary secured loan between itself and Bristol City Council would be

repaid regardless of any outcome of the planning application.


Keepmoat Stadium May be Sold

Doncaster’s Keepmoat may be sold

Doncaster Council could sell the 15,000-seater Keepmoat Stadium in a bid to cut costs after

a report shows the authority has lost more than £2.5m since it opened in 2006.

A scrutiny report written by the council’s director of finance suggests a number of options,

including new management or selling it off. Earlier this year Mayor Peter Davies said they

needed to find a solution “that does not involve ratepayers having their pockets picked”. The

council has this year approved a grant of £170,000 to help keep the stadium afloat.

In the report, Simon Wiles, director of finance for Doncaster Council, said the authority could

either selling the stadium, continue with its operators, Stadium Management Company

(SMC) or to find a new operator.

The report suggests Doncaster Rovers as a suitable company to replace SMC, as it

currently holds a 25 year lease to use the stadium. As part of its next step, Mr Wiles said a

consultation will take place throughout April with stadium users.



Barclays and Fulham help young people back to work

Fulham FC Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports (BS4S) have announced a new three-year partnership that sees the two organisations collaborating to provide a football and sport employability development programme for local people.

Targeting young people not in education, employment or training (NEETS), it aims to increase employment opportunities for 300 16-25 year olds by helping them develop life skills such as communication and team work, as well as giving them work related training.

With a £350,000 investment from Barclays, young people in Surrey and South, West and Central London will take part in a series of 10 week programmes providing the opportunity to improve employability skills and confidence and gain accreditations to help them enter or return to the labour market. Participants will benefit from a range of interventions, including: work related learning (through volunteering), CV writing workshops, careers talks and tours, money  management skills, literacy/numeracy/IT lessons alongside sporting activity. Barclays employees will be encouraged to volunteer to mentor participants in the programme.

Fulham FC Foundation has designed this bespoke football and sport employability programme in partnership with BS4S and will engage with local small and medium size businesses to facilitate employment opportunities for graduates of the programme.

David Wheldon, Head of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship, Barclays commented: “As part of our Citizenship agenda Barclays plays a broader role in the communities in which we live and work beyond what we deliver through our core business activities; we do this through community investment programmes and the direct efforts of our employees. By empowering young people with appropriate skills we can help them achieve economic independence and security now and in the future.  We are delighted to be partnering with Fulham FC Foundation on this unique programme which brings together the independent interests and expertise of each organisation to do just that.”

Steven Day, Chief Executive, Fulham FC Foundation said: “Fulham FC Foundation is very excited to be working with such a prestigious organisation as Barclays. This innovative new programme underlines the club’s philosophy of working alongside the local community to assist in ‘building better lives through sport’. This programme adds another element to our portfolio of sports and education activities, through which we engage with in excess of 6,000 young people a month.  We will use our expertise in this field to ensure that this project and partnership is a great success. We will hopefully start to see this through the development of the young people in and around London who are participating, gaining employability skills and are supported to get back into work or training.”

Danny Murphy, Fulham Football Club Captain added: “This fantastic new three-year project partnership between the Fulham FC Foundation and Barclays Spaces for Sports will help young people to enhance their skill sets to either get back into a training programme or to gain employment. To see two well-known organisations using the power of football to develop and deliver a rewarding programme is very encouraging, and I am delighted to support it.”

Champions League Quarter Final Draw

Chelsea have been handed a two-legged tie with Benfica in Friday’s Champions League quarter-final draw.

The Blues, who overturned a 3-1 first-leg deficit to knock out Napoli in order to reach the last eight of the competition, will be away in the first leg. Benfica advanced from the last-16 by knocking out Zenit St Petersburg.

Should Chelsea get past their Portuguese opposition, they face the prospect of a potential semi-final showdown with European champions Barcelona. The Catalans must first overcome AC Milan, whom they will host in the second leg.

Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho faces a trip to Cyprus after Real Madrid were paired with Apoel FC. If victorious, Madrid would then meet the winners of Marseille and Bayern Munich.

That means the prospect of an all-Spanish Champions League final between giants Barcelona and Madrid exists.

The quarter-final first-leg ties will be played on March 27 & 28, with the return legs scheduled for April 3 & 4. The semis begin two weeks later on April 17 & 18, before a quick turnaround for the decisive encounters on April 24 & 25.

This year’s Champions League final, which will be hosted in Munich, takes place on May 19.

Champions League quarter-final draw: Apoel FC v Real Madrid Marseille v Bayern Munich Benfica v Chelsea AC Milan v Barcelona

Semi-final draw: Marseille or Bayern Munich v Apoel FC or Real Madrid Benfica or Chelsea v AC Milan or Barcelona

Rotherham United’s new £17m stadium nears completion.

Steelwork for Rotherham United’s 12,000-seater stadium, which, it is planned, will also

include facilities for banqueting, weddings, conferences, a gym, hotel and pub, has been

erected, the roof is almost on and the pitch is being drained in preparation for new turf being


The new stadium occupies a central position in Rotherham town centre, on the site of the

former Guest and Chrimes foundry. Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart said the

central location made it ideal for access.

The formal opening is planned for 11 July.


London Olympics test on Cup Final day – May 5


The organisers of London 2012 are to stage a major test event in the Olympic Stadium on

the same day as the FA Cup final – providing a trial for transport networks. The plan, for a

sports and entertainment event dubbed 2012 Hours to Go on 5 May, will simulate the

conditions at Games time when major events will take place at either end of the Jubilee Line

– at Wembley and the Olympic Park in Stratford.

The event will follow the British Universities & Colleges Sport championships taking place in

the stadium on the same day, which will be the first opportunity to watch athletics on the

track apart from a public fun run.

Arriving at 7pm, ticket holders will watch the last hour of the athletics action – which will

include invitational events featuring Team GB hopefuls, who will use it as an opportunity to

acquaint themselves with the stadium.

An entertainment event, promising “stunts, games, challenges and prizes” hosted by bigname

celebrities will follow, during which an individual will be plucked from the 40,000 crowd

to officially open the stadium. The event will help test operations within the stadium and

allow organisers to meet licensing criteria and prepare for the 67,000 people who will fill it

during the Olympics.

The FA Cup final is expected to kick off at 5.15pm on the same day, putting a strain on the

Jubilee line which will act as the main public transport artery through London for spectators

during the Games.

London 2012 organisers and transport officials on Tuesday underlined their determination

that it would be remembered as a “public transport Games” as they unveiled plans for road

closures during the road cycling, marathon, race walking and triathlon events.

Road events will take place in London during seven of the 16 days of the Olympic Games

and on one day of the Paralympic Games. Drivers will be advised to avoid the areas on

competition days, but organisers promised that where possible restrictions would be

removed by the late afternoon or early evening and that no roads would be closed overnight,

apart from at Hampton Court for the cycling time trial.

Betfair to invest in Hollywood Park Racetrack Naming Rights

Betfair has signalled its intention to revitalise horse racing in the United States by sealing a groundbreaking naming rights partnership with the Hollywood Park racecourse.

The deal has been sealed by Betfair US, the Los Angeles-based subsidiary of the British betting and gaming giant which also owns TVG, America’s horse racing network, and Hollywood Park Racing Association, the operator of Hollywood Park Racetrack in the Los Angeles area. Under the terms of the five-year deal, the venue will be renamed Betfair Hollywood Park in the first naming rights agreement ever for a horse racing venue in the United States.

Building on the success of the Betfair Lounge at Ascot Racecourse in the UK, Betfair, subject to Hollywood Park receiving assurances regarding its historic racing dates for 2013, will make significant infrastructure investments and improvements at the facility. The introduction of a Betfair Club and Betfair Lounge will aim to offer customers modern surroundings, access to state-of-the-art technologies to interact with the racing product and contemporary enhanced food and beverage options. Meanwhile, TVG will produce the Hollywood Park simulcast signal and related TVG television programming. TVG will introduce advanced graphics packages similar to those used in network broadcasts of major US sporting events to enhance the user experience and data available from the product.

Betfair will also seek to drive a younger demographic to the venue and interest that demographic in wagering on horse races – which has proven elusive for the US racing industry.  “We are deeply committed to changing US horseracing for the better and are delighted to find a partner in Hollywood Park Racing Association willing to take the bold step of trying to change every facet of the racing experience to appeal to a broader, younger audience,” said Stephen Burn, CEO of Betfair US and TVG. “Horse racing is a wonderful sport, but it must embrace cultural change and utilise advancements in technology and presentation to survive and thrive just as other sports and entertainment industries have done.”

Currently, the California Horse Racing Board is considering regulations that would make possible the implementation of exchange wagering on horse racing by California residents for the first time anywhere in the United States. “We realise that US racing, and California racing in particular, simply cannot continue on as it has,” added Jack Liebau, president of Hollywood Park Racing Association. “We need to look at the way we do everything in presenting our product to the public and not be afraid to embrace change, particularly if we are going to generate a younger fan base.”

Liebau added: “We believe that partnering with Betfair to modernise the product will benefit California racing. Exchange wagering is another possibly transformative technological change for horseracing. However, it will only be introduced after a thorough consultation with our horsemen and horsewomen and, of course, its implementation is ultimately subject to the approval of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.”

Sainsburys join the new Spurs stadium team


Supermarket Giants Sainsburys have teamed up with Tottenham Hotspur to open a store at

the club’s new stadium development.

The 72,000 sq ft store, which will create 250 jobs, will be part of the Northumberland

Development Project, which includes a new football stadium, public space, homes and

offices. Work will begin in the coming months, with the opening planned for late 2013.

Sainsbury’s is also opening a convenience store on Tottenham High Road next month on a

site destroyed during the riots, creating around 25 new jobs.

“Our investment represents a real boost for Tottenham, bringing both new jobs and an

exciting place to shop,” said Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King.

“The opening of our local store on Tottenham High Road also reinforces our commitment to

a vibrant future for Tottenham’s high street. Sainsbury’s has been trading in Tottenham for

over a quarter of a century and we’re proud to invest in the area at this important time.”

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy added: “We are delighted that Sainsbury’s will become the

supermarket provider in the Northumberland Development Project. This will be one of the

largest supermarkets of its kind in London and will help bring a greater vibrancy and attract

new trade to the area.”



New hotel and conference venue for Worcestershire cricket HQ


Worcestershire County Cricket Club and Premier Inn have been granted planning

permission to develop a new 120-bedroom hotel and restaurant and new facilities for

Worcestershire County Cricket Club at the New Road ground.

The new hotel and restaurant is part of a comprehensive redevelopment of the ground which

will also include the construction of new conference and executive facilities. The new hotel

and restaurant will create more than 45 full time jobs in the town as well as additional jobs at

the Cricket Club.

John Bates, Head of Acquisitions for Whitbread Hotels and Restaurants (owners of Premier

Inns), said: “The New Road ground is an ideal location, right in the centre of Worcester and

a perfect spot for leisure and business visitors to the city. We will now press on to start

building the hotel in the autumn, so we can add another quality location for our customers

and invest to create jobs in Worcester.”

Whitbread is investing £7.5 million in the hotel and restaurant and Worcestershire County

Cricket Club is also investing over £2.5 million in the new facilities.

David Leatherdale, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Cricket Club, added: “In this

economic climate, businesses of all types need to use their resources effectively to survive.

We are doing just that at our New Road ground, investing in our facilities to help secure the

future of the club and drive success on the pitch. The new development will add further

facilities, to complement the Graeme Hick Pavilion completed some 2 ½ years ago making

us a 365/day destination, and helping to attract investment into the Worcester. I am

delighted that local councillors support our vision, and we will now be working hard to deliver

a scheme which will benefit the City and County as a whole.”