Warwickshire CCC extend its partnership with Leukaemia Charity

Warwickshire CCC has announced an extension to its partnership with Birmingham-based charity Cure Leukaemia for a further four years until 2016.

 The partnership will see the club support the blood cancer charity’s work across a range of events, including the opening day of this summer’s Test Match between England and West Indies at Edgbaston on 7th June.

Last year’s inaugural ‘Cure Leukaemia Day’ at the England v India Test Match raised £75,000.

Warwickshire’s director of cricket Ashley Giles and coach Dougie Brown are both patrons of Cure Leukaemia. This summer’s Cure Leukaemia Day will see the cricket club donate £1.50 from every ticket sold for the first day of the Test. It is hoped to raise enough money to fund three new research nurses.
In addition, every junior entrant to the charity’s ‘Run For A Nurse’ 5k Fun Run on 27th May in Sutton Park, supported by BBC WM’s Red Alert Appeal, will receive a free kids’ ticket for Cure Leukaemia Day at Edgbaston on 7th June.

Colin Povey, chief executive of Warwickshire CCC, said: ‘We’ve been working with Cure Leukaemia on a number of initiatives since 2005 and have seen it experience phenomenal growth. It’s now one of the best known charities in the Midlands with the potential to extend its lifesaving work further afield.’
‘The fact that the charity invests every pound that it raises directly into funding research nurses that administer its lifesaving treatments make it a great local cause that we want to continue supporting.’
‘Raising £75,000 through the Test Match between England and India last summer was a great achievement, and we are delighted to be able to extend our partnership through to at least 2016.’
Cure Leukaemia chairman Ian Allen added: ‘This partnership and the generosity of Warwickshire will make a monumental impact on our work in the future. With the combined support of England and West Indies fans on June 7, we can take a giant stride towards curing leukaemia.’

The pioneering treatments administered by research nurses funded by Cure Leukaemia, which is based at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, can offer a lifeline for leukaemia patients, who have explored all other options, and ultimately can save lives.

Two teams in Sydney A-League for 2012-13

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has unveiled plans for a new A-League club in Western Sydney.


The announcement on Wednesday will allow the new franchise to become a rival of the existing Sydney FC team ahead of its entrance into the A-League for the 2012-13 season. The development will also give football an increasing presence in rugby league’s biggest market in the country. FFA’s plans have been backed by an A$8 million (US$8.2 million) government funding package for the club in the Western Sydney market. The new team’s name, colours and logo will be determined following a public consultation.

“From day one of its existence the new club will have a core focus on community engagement,” said FFA CEO Ben Buckley. “The community will have a say in the culture, colours, name and logo of the new entity and we will explore a model that would allow for community ownership. In partnership with Football NSW, FFA will ensure the club is truly integrated in community football, schools programs and the elite player pathway. We intend to build a model that will be driven by the passion of the football people in Sydney’s west. This represents a major investment by FFA in the future of the game and aligns with FFA’s Strategic Plan endorsed by the recent Smith Review.”

The announcement of the expansion franchise comes amidst concern over the long-term future of the Gold Coast United team. FFA recently decided to strip Clive Palmer’s licence to run the team due to serious breaches of the club participation agreement. Meanwhile, the North Queensland Fury team folded in March 2011 due to financial problems.

Blackcaps sign long term sponsorship & media deal

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has signed a long-term sponsorship and media rights agreement with Pitch International, with the organisation claiming the deal will “safeguard” the future of the sport in the country.


Media rights agency Pitch has secured all of NZC’s media rights for international matches played by the national team in New Zealand for the 2012-13 to 2019-20 seasons. The agreement grants Pitch the worldwide rights to distribute the matches across various platforms including television, radio, mobile and internet, while NZC retains the rights to matches broadcast in New Zealand, along with its domestic competitions.

NZC stated that an attractive Future Tours Programme, the scheme that organises cricket’s global calendar, had helped to secure the deal, with New Zealand set to host all of the world’s leading teams, including India and Australia twice and England three times, over the next eight years. “New Zealand Cricket is delighted to secure the length and value of this extremely important relationship with Pitch,” said NZC chief executive David White.

“We are thrilled that Pitch will be helping put the Blackcaps in front of so many fans around the world,” White added. “This agreement puts NZC in a position to safeguard the future of our game by allowing us to concentrate on driving participation and support of cricket. Media rights provide revenue that enables us to fund grassroots and community cricket investments, domestic cricket competitions and retain our best professional players in New Zealand.”

Jon Owen, founding partner at Pitch International, added: “We are delighted to announce this exciting partnership with NZ Cricket. We look forward to representing the Blackcaps brand around the world and building long-term value for New Zealand Cricket and its commercial partners.”

4 Bidders for Rangers

Rangers administrator Duff and Phelps has revealed that the club received four takeover bids by Wednesday’s deadline, with the surprise package coming in the shape of an offer from Germany.

While Duff and Phelps did not confirm the identity of the bidders, they are widely reported to be the Blue Knights group headed by former Rangers director Paul Murray, American and Singapore-based parties and the German group, which had previously remained out of the media spotlight. Rangers joint administrator David Whitehouse said officials hope to accept an offer next week with the intention of completing a deal before the end of the season.

“The bids are structured in various ways but I would describe them as positive and constructive,” he said. “The administration team will now analyse these bids over the forthcoming days and hold discussions with relevant parties to gain further understanding of the details of their bids. It will be our intention to accept an offer next week and this will be followed by a period of due diligence and exclusivity. At this stage, we cannot be precise in timescale but estimate that an exit from administration before the end of the season is achievable. We appreciate the need to conclude this process as quickly as possible. It is, however, most important to secure the best possible outcome for creditors, Rangers Football Club and its supporters.”

The reigning Scottish Premier League (SPL) champion entered administration in February as a result of an unpaid tax bill of reportedly £15 million, which had been accrued since owner Craig Whyte acquired Sir David Murray’s majority stake in the Glasgow club. Whitehouse, speaking ahead of Wednesday’s announcement, said the options on the table include an exit from administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), but also an asset sale which would result in a new limited company taking over the club. Whitehouse confirmed that this approach would not result in the closure of the club in its current guise, but admitted that it could entail domestic sanctions and possible exemption from European football.

Sport England reduces LTA Funding


Sport England has announced six-figure cuts to the Lawn Tennis Association budget, following disappointing participation figures, while the British Judo Association has also been hit.

The LTA funding has been reduced by £530,000, reportedly after a decline of nearly 25% in adults playing the sport since 2008.

Judo has received a £353,000 cut after the amount of people participating in the last two years remained static.

Both judo and lawn tennis were part of 46 sports that applied for targeted Sport England funding between April 2009 and March 2013.

The amount of money channelled to each sport is reviewed every six months in-line with how well they are developing youngsters, catering to current participants and increasing the number of those taking part.

Last October, cycling, netball and canoeing all received increases after they proved their on-going success in those areas.

Judo and lawn tennis have both been given new participation targets to meet.


Murdoch’s Star TV secures rights for India cricket matches

Star TV, an Asian TV broadcaster, has revealed they have secured crucial broadcast rights for India cricket matches in a six-year deal.

Star TV, who are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, are split into four units with STAR India, STAR Greater China, STAR Select and Fox International Channels Asia making up the structure.

The rights include all India national team Test, one-day international and Twenty20 matches held in the country and some domestic tournaments are also included in the package, which starts immediately and will run until 2018. The deal is reported to be worth Rs38.51 billion (US$770 million), or just over Rs400 million per match – a significant increase on the previous deal with Nimbus, which was worth Rs312.5 million per fixture but was cancelled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) earlier this year due to a dispute over rights fee payments.

Despite reports of at least five interested parties, Sony, the current Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket competition rights-holder, was the only other serious bidder, under the name of its Multi Screen Media brand.

“This is a substantial improvement and the BCCI is very happy the media rights have been fully evaluated and now I think fully priced,” BCCI president N. Srinivasan told reporters, according to Reuters. “Bids were submitted by Star and Multi Screen Media and after following a transparent process of verifying the eligibility of each bidder, bids were opened in front of both the parties and the winner chosen.”

Star India CEO Uday Shankar added: “Star India will work collaboratively with ESPN Star Sports to exploit the rights. Right now we have three sports channels – (ESPN) Star Sports, ESPN and Star Cricket – to broadcast the cricket on. However if required we could explore the launch of new channels.”

Barclays Spaces for Sports & Beyond Sport extend partnership

Barclays Spaces for Sports, the community-based sports programme, has extended its partnership with Beyond Sport, the organisation that works with inspirational sports projects, people and organisations that drive positive change.

The co-operation between Barclays Spaces for Sports and Beyond Sport has centred around the Beyond Sport Summit and Awards – previously held in London, Chicago and Cape Town and returning to London this summer in the week before the Olympic Games – and the Beyond Sport Foundation, which supports outstanding projects all around the world.

“Beyond Sport’s belief that the corporate world can bring about positive social change through sport is embodied nowhere better than by Barclays Spaces for Sports,” said Nick Keller, Founder of Beyond Sport. “For almost a decade the programme has provided a standout model of what true investment in this area can bring about. We are delighted to be continuing this partnership and look forward to seeing what we can achieve together in the years to come.”

“Barclays aims to play a broader role in the communities in which we live and work beyond what we deliver through our core business activities,” added David Wheldon, Head of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship at Barclays. “Our community investment programmes, such as Barclays Spaces for Sports, help empower young people with the appropriate skills to become more employable and financially independent.

“Our partnership with Beyond Sport is born of our joint recognition that sport can have a social impact at a local and global level. We are delighted to continue our partnership and increase the opportunities to celebrate, promote and drive forward sport-led social change.”