BBC BLOGS - David Bond

Archives for September 2011

Why Arsenal need Kroenke to do more than just talk

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David Bond | 16:33 UK time, Friday, 30 September 2011

Silent Stan Kroenke finally broke his silence on Arsenal's troubled start to the season telling the Daily Telegraph in an interview this morning that he has full confidence in manager Arsene Wenger and that he has a long term vision to try and emulate Manchester United's commercial success.

But a look at their latest financial results for the year ended May 31 2011 tells you just how far they have to go.

On the face of it Arsenal Holdings Group's performance is very impressive. Turnover of £255m and a group operating profit of £50.5m.

But this includes the proceeds from the property side of the business associated with the move from Highbury to Emirates back in 2006. These reached their peak in 2010. Strip that out and there is a very different story.

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Tevez saga will boil down to money, not principle

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David Bond | 12:02 UK time, Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez claims he "never refused to play" when asked to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

The Argentine international says "the time is not right to go into the specific details" but claims there was "confusion" on the bench when manager Roberto Mancini finally called for him to go on 35 minutes from the end of the 2-0 Champions League defeat in Germany.

If Tevez was misunderstood, then his team-mates sitting alongside him will surely back him up. But his claims appear to be at odds with an interview he gave to Sky Sports immediately after the match had finished.

Here is what he said: "I was not feeling good mentally or physically so I told the manager."

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Cycling on track in delivering value for money for GB

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David Bond | 18:01 UK time, Tuesday, 27 September 2011

With Mark Cavendish delivering Britain's first world title in road cycling for 46 years, is the sport now Britain's most successful?

UK Sport certainly seems to think so.

The government agency responsible for funding our elite Olympic athletes told me that in medal terms alone cycling is the best performer since the introduction of lottery funding in 1997.

Here are some statistics which back up that argument.

Since 2001 British Cycling has won a total of 103 world championship and Olympic medals on the track and on the road.

The only sports which come close to that level of success are rowing and sailing, with Britain's rowers winning 51 senior world championship medals over the same period.

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Should Premier League clubs get even richer?

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David Bond | 20:51 UK time, Monday, 26 September 2011

Sir Alex Ferguson's first full interview with the BBC since he stopped talking to the corporation in 2004 because of a documentary on his son Jason will inevitably reopen the debate about TV and its influence over football.

The Manchester United manager has spoken frequently to other media outlets in the past about the way broadcasters dictate fixture scheduling leaving his team with less time to prepare for big matches in Champions League weeks.

That's not new - although many may wonder why he seems prepared to bite the hand that has kept his club so well fed down the years.

Look at how TV revenues have grown since he took charge in 1986. Back then the total deal for all 92 Football League clubs was £3.15m. This season United will share a deal worth £1.2bn. United's take for winning the title in May was £60m.

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Moynihan voices London 2012 legacy doubts

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David Bond | 15:11 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

They might come from different ends of the political spectrum, but Tory peer and British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan has joined former Labour sports minister Richard Caborn in criticising the current strategy to deliver on London's grand sporting legacy promises.

Caborn is giving a well-trailed speech to the Sports and Recreation Trust Association in Birmingham on Wednesday in which he will describe the plans as "disastrous" and warn that unless there is a change of direction the country will 'fail completely'.

In my interview with Moynihan on Monday, he echoed those concerns, repeating long held fears that the nation is running out of time to deliver on the promises that played such a big part in London's victory over Paris and Madrid back in 2005.

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Manchester United's Singapore share sale cleared

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David Bond | 12:51 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

It was no surprise that Manchester United received approval from the Singapore Stock Exchange today to launch their $1bn (£650m) share sell off.

The decision was always going to be a formality.

But what the club must now decide is whether they can realistically raise the money they are seeking to help reduce their debts (net debt is just over £300m according to the most recent set of accounts). Although details of United's plans are sketchy to say the least - they haven't even publically admitted any of this is happening - there are already questions over the valuation.

The club's owners, the Glazer family, are aiming to raise £650m from selling off between 25% and 30%. That values United at more than £2bn. City sources say this is way too ambitious.

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Bin Hammam vows to fight on

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David Bond | 19:13 UK time, Thursday, 15 September 2011

Mohamed bin Hammam may have lost his appeal against his Fifa lifetime ban but don't expect that to be the end of the story.

The former head of Asian football is determined to clear his name and told me in a text exchange on Thursday night that he was relieved that he would now have "the chance to look for justice".

Earlier and less than half an hour after the announcement from Fifa, his American lawyer Eugene Gulland released a statement confirming Bin Hammam would now take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Even if that fails, Bin Hammam has talked about bringing an action in the Swiss courts.

As he said in his quite extraordinary outburst against Petrus Damaseb, the Namibian judge who chaired the ethics committee which banned him back in July: "I am capable financially and otherwise to defend myself for years, if necessary."

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Van Commenee claims "mission accomplished"

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David Bond | 17:43 UK time, Sunday, 4 September 2011

At the end of these World Championships, Charles Van Commenee stood in the mixed zone of the Daegu Stadium and declared "mission accomplished". Seven medals won - two of them gold. If anything he could argue that his expectations were exceeded as before the team flew to South Korea he had conservatively predicted just one of the seven would be gold.

After the disappointing start when Mo Farah was pipped in the 10,000 metres and Jessica Ennis had to settle for silver in the heptathlon, Van Commenee might have wondered if that target was deliverable.

Half way through the week, I bumped into Van Commenee at the athletes' village. He dismissed any such suggestions and insisted there was no need to panic. "We have three medals (thanks to Andy Turner's surprise bronze in the 110metres hurdles)," he told me. "I only expected two."

Van Commenee always said there was a chance Britain would finish the championships strongly because of the way the timetable was organised. And so it proved.

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Aldama set to divide opinion

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David Bond | 05:51 UK time, Thursday, 1 September 2011

Yamile Aldama will be aiming to win her first World Championship medal for Great Britain in the triple jump this morning. If she can pull it off - and it's a long shot considering she didn't even start training until the spring - then expect her achievement to spark another debate about sporting flags of convenience.

Aldama was born in Cuba and won her only silver medal at these championships for her country of origin back in 1999. But she has also competed for Sudan in the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Now she is in Korea as part of the British team having finally got clearance from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) at the start of August.

For Aldama it is the end of a long and extraordinary journey which began when she met and fell in love with her Scottish husband, Andrew Dodds, while he was studying in Havana. The pair married and moved to Wembley, north London in 2001.

But her attempts to compete for Britain were first thwarted by the Cuban authorities who were angry at her defection having invested so much in her development.

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