GROUP DArgentinaIcelandCroatiaNigeriaThis may be considered one of the most competitive groups. It will certainly not come as any surprise if we should get this all wrong, as in my opinion, there’s no clear favorite in this group.ArgentinaArgentina have limped into this World Cup based solely on the magic of their number 10, Lionel Messi.Messi continues to be, in my opinion, the number one player in the world. However, his supporting cast have not helped him in the past to secure a South American Championship nor a World Cup title, having lost in the last two finals to Chile in 2010 and to Germany in 2014.This will be Messi last chance for redemption and he is certainly faced with a large mountain to climb if he hopes to finally lift the World Cup for his beloved Argentina.Argentina’s first hurdle will be to get out of this competitive group and Messi will be hoping for the likes of Angel Di Maria in mid-field; Sergio Aguero up-front and Nicholas Otamendi in defense, to turn up to the party. If these players come and perform to the best of their ability, then Argentina should take this Group and advance to the round of sixteen.IcelandIceland, one of the surprise countries at the last European Championship, should not be under estimated. Although they can be considered the minnows of the group, it would not be a surprise if they gain points that will be detrimental to others in the group. With no real household names in their line-up, Iceland relied upon country pride and team spirit to arrive in Russia.Croatia should know a lot about them and the great treat they provide, having finished runners up to Iceland in their European World Cup qualifying group. Iceland players to watch include: Gylfi Sirgurdsson in mid-field; Alfred Finnbogason up-front and Birkir Mar Saevarsson in defense.CroatiaCroatia is one of the dark horses of this World Cup, with a chance of going all the way. Having finished second in their Group behind Iceland, they defeated Greece by 4-1 on aggregate to advance to the big bash.Croatia’s strength lies in the mid-field and attack. Their team is blessed with talented and seasoned players such as Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, who are expected to provide control in the mid-field area and help the gifted attacking trio that Croatia possesses in Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Perisic and Ante Rebic.Croatia’s defense is led by Dejan Lovren and can be considered steady at best. But if the lessons learned from their qualification are adhered to, then they should advance from this group. It will be wise of all competing countries not to take this Croatian team as easy pickings, and if they do, they may do so at their own peril.NigeriaNigeria overcame a strong African qualifying group with the likes of Cameroon, Zambia and Algeria. But having reached the World Cup, they will need to be at their best to advance to the next round from this Group.Nigeria’s strength is in their mid-field, led by the experienced Jon Mikel Obi and with the talented pair of John Ogu and Alew Iwobi, the Nigerians can be a force to reckoned with. However, it is in attack that they seem lacking, not having a lethal goal scorer. Forwards Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo and company will need to be at their best to get the necessary goals for the Nigerians to advance from the group.Nigeria will depend heavily on the young and talented goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, behind a reasonable but not brilliant defense line, to see off their opponents’ attacks.My prediction is that when the dust is settled, is Argentina will be topping the group ahead of Croatia.GROUP EBrazilSwitzerlandCosta RicaSerbiaThis Group features the team that has the support of many Caribbean fans and the favorites to lift the cup, Brazil.BrazilBrazil advanced to the World Cup by easily topping the South American World Cup qualification.Brazil comes to the Word Cup with what can considered the best team. This squad is well balanced, has all-round strength and possess extremely talented players in every aspect of play.Brazil, aka the Samba Boys, are on a mission of redemption to reclaim their country’s pride, after suffering a 7-1 humiliated defeat at the hands to Germany on home territory at the last World Cup.Led by the skillful and super talented, Neymar Jr., a player who I consider the next king of the game, the Brazilians are expected to be too strong for their opponents and should make light work of the competition in this group.Neymar should be supported by an all -star cast of Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino in attack; Casemiro, Fernandinho, Philippe Coutinho and Douglas Costa in mid-field; Thiago Silva, Marcelo and Miranda, and in goal one of the best goalkeeper’s in the world, Alisson.The samba beat is playing, and expectations are high as the boys from Brazil begin their quest to gain their sixth hold on the World Cup.SwitzerlandSwitzerland are in contention to advance from the group but will have to be at their best. The Swiss finished second with the same number of points as group winners Portugal in their European qualifying group. They advanced by overcoming Ireland 1-0 on aggregate.The Swiss possess a strong, well-organized defensive unit that have only allowed 7 goals in qualification.The teams attacking treat lies with mid-fielders Granit Xhaka and the skillful playmaker, Granit Xhaka. The Swiss does not possess a lethal striker or consistent goal scorer and must rely on team play to get the necessary goals and get the job done.Costa RicaCosta Rica was one of the bright spots and surprise team at the last World Cup, making it to the quarter finals. In Keylor Navas, Costa Rica possesses one of the world’s top goalkeepers. The Costa Ricans advanced to the World Cup finishing second behind Mexico in the CONCACAF qualifying.The Ticos, as they are called by their fellow countrymen and fans, may not possess individual star players but as a unit are well organized and coached. This team is matured, and a number of these players are heading towards the end of their World Cup careers and will want to leave in a memorial and historic way.In mid-fielder Bryan Ruiz, forward Joel Campbell, and defender Oscar Duarte, the Ticos possess quality players and on field leadership. Along with captain, Keylor Navas, the Ticos should prove competitive in this group.SerbiaSerbia topped their European Group and gained automatic qualification to the World Cup. The Serbs come into the tournament under a cloud, having sacked Coach Slavoljub Muslin, who led the team to the World Cup. He has been replaced by Mladen Krstajić.With this change of coach, the team seems a little disjointed. However, The Serbs possess experienced players in every section of the field: Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanovic in defense; Nemanja Matic and Dusan Tadicin mid-field and Aleksandar Mitrovic in attack. With these players, along with the young and upcoming talented players selected in the squad and if Serbia can get their team structure right, they will have something to say.My prediction, however, is Brazil topping the group with Serbia as runners up.GROUP FGermanyMexicoSwedenSouth KoreaGermanyGermany, the defending champion, will try to do what only Brazil has done – win back-to-back World Cup titles.This will be asking a lot, but everyone should know by now that the Germans can never be counted out. Germany comes to the World Cup topping their qualifying European group and winning all their matches.The Germans are definitely one of the favorites to lift the World Cup and should have little problem in topping and advancing from this group. They possess a well balance squad with a blend of experience and youth.However, if there is a weakness, it the lack of a lethal goal scorer and a skillful forward to break down opposition in one-on-one situations.In Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the Germans possess two excellent world class goalkeepers.Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng are expected to anchor the defense, allowing the deadly German mid-fielders of Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Marco Reus to reap havoc on their opponents. They will be hard to beat.MexicoMexico are the CONCACAF kingpins and remain, in my opinion, CONCACAF’s only chance of advancing beyond the group stages. This won’t be an easy task and EL Trio, the name that their loving and supporting countrymen call them, are expected to battle with Sweden for the runners-up spot.Mexico has a pretty decent squad and should prove quite competitive. With Guillermo Ochoa in goal and the likes of Carlos Salcedo, Hector Moreno and Hugo Ayala in defense, El Trio will be well served in defense.It is in midfield that the Mexicans possess technically gifted players such as Hector Herrera, Andres Guardado, and brothers Jonathan Dos Santos and Giovani Dos Santos. These players can be a handful on any day.With Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez in attack, they pack enough power and class to advance.SwedenSweden finished second to France in their European qualifying group before knocking out the dangerous Italy, 1-0 in aggregate.With the retirement of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden no longer has a superstar. However, what this team has is a strong fighting spirit and a solid defensive unit. They are a well-organized and well-coached team that plays on the counter attack. This team will prove difficult to break down.In Marcus Berg, Sweden possesses a proven goal scorer and with the skillful and speedy wide mid-fielder Emil Forsberg expected to provide him with goal scoring opportunity, Sweden’s hopes remain high.South KoreaSouth Korea advanced to the World Cup from Group A of the Asian qualification, finishing runners up to Iran. The Koreans finds themselves the least fancied of the Group. It will provide extremely difficult for South Korea to advance from this group. Their hope will hinge on a victory in their opening game against Sweden.In Son Heung-Min, South Korea has a player with immense talent and South Korea’s slim hopes to advance from this group weighs heavily on his shoulders.My prediction is that Germany will top the group and Mexico will claim second spot.
Partnerships neededHolness told the conference, which is also being attended by several CARICOM leaders, that this would require partnership as ”well as using existing support more effectively and making new resources available for us to build the required resilience at the country, community and personal level”.Natural disasters cost Caribbean US$130 billion in 2017Holness noted that last year, natural disasters in the Caribbean set back the region to the tune of US$130 billion and urged the conference to think of resilience “beyond these natural disaster events or what we refer to as sudden events.He said there is a ‘more comprehensive picture that we must pay attention to,” adding that behind the scenes of the natural disasters “there are these slow growing events for which we have not yet even started to contemplate…the potential impact.Damage to reefs and sea life‘Specifically as SIDS we must begin more fruitful dialogue on building resilience to impact these slow unset events such as sea temperature rise, which according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is causing our reefs to bleach at an unprecedented rate”.He said while this situation is not unique to the CARICOM countries, countries like Mexico are implanting measures to deal with that and that there is need for the region to put in places measures to deal with the situation.He said the University of the West Indies is carrying out research to identify the DNA of coral reefs adaptable to sea temperature rises and other matters.In his address, Holness repeated the call by the Caribbean for developed countries to re-visit the criteria used for providing concessionary loans to developing countries, saying that the graduation of the region to high middle income status is seriously undermining the Caribbean’s socio-economic future.“And as such we are often times not considered as high priority for the allocation of donor support from the international community. It should be quite clear by now that GDP in and of itself is not a true indicator of development”.He said apart from indebtedness, “it does not take into consideration vulnerability to …factors including increased intensity and frequency of natural disasters”.“My point and hope is that we need to quickly find alternatives that are fair, practical, relevant and helpful to us as Small Island Developing States. Alternatives that will ultimately enhance our disaster risk management capacity and ability to respond to the increasing impacts of climate change”.He said the region is encouraged by the prospects of the Addis Abba Action Agenda and the financing for development “and note the progress being made in translating this agenda into action.Holness said the region as also taking note of new financing opportunities to assist “in our path to become more resilient.” Credit: Andrew Holness Twitter WASHINGTON, CMC – Jamaica on Monday called for a comprehensive review of the impact of climate change on the Caribbean, including the “cancers” not yet integrated into the process as it also reiterated a call for the international community to review its concessionary lending policies to Small island Developing States (SIDS).“As natural disaster become more frequent so do the adaptation costs impose on us as Small island Developing States, especially since we are on the front line of climate change impacts,” Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness told the high-level conference on building resilience to disasters and climate change in the Caribbean.The event, sponsored by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the World Bank, is a follow up on the 2017 high-level forum “Unleashing Growth and Strengthening Resilience”The IMF said it has brought together key stakeholders, including senior policymakers, multilateral development partners, and the private sector to “explore incentives to shift the focus of policies towards building resilience and innovative disaster risk financing policies and instruments that would help in the region.”Urbanization in coastal zones Holness, who is also the chairman of the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) grouping, said that the region is facing rapid urbanization in coastal zones with corresponding falling populations in rural areas and out islands.“Some more than others are facing the pending loss of limited land mass due to sea level rise,” he said, noting that one common theme is that the cost of repeated natural disasters has been underestimated “and this is making sustainable development and prosperity much harder to achieve, especially as we are confronted with many development challenges which affect our economic growth.“What is clear to many of us though is that meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and the goal of leaving no one behind will become increasingly costly, more challenging and likely not met unless measures are taken to reduce the vulnerabilities and build the resilience of Small island Developing States to the climate change impacts which continue to set us back.”
For the next few weeks the City of Lauderhill will be hosting a Caribbean Culinary Museum & Theater exhibit at the Lauderhill Historical Museum through a partnership with Island Syndicate. The exhibit opened last week with a successful grand opening . Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the traveling exhibit of artifacts carefully selected from several Caribbean islands.The various display of aspects of Caribbean culinary culture brought patrons back in time to a rich history of artifacts, cooking utensils and herbs used to prepare food decades ago. The collection was assembled from countries like the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and other islands.Attendees are also able to watch a theatrical presentation representing various cultural backgrounds including Haiti, Cuba, and Jamaica as actors on-screen give an aspiring story on the food history exhibited in the museum. The exhibit has been described as a walk down memory lane. For those who have never experienced the items displayed, the exhibit offers a rich education and stimulating learning environment. The culinary exhibit is not just for cooks or chefs, but for anyone who has eaten, prepared a meal, or just walked through a kitchen. The Caribbean Culinary Museum and Theater Exhibit is the first of its kind in South Florida and Lauderhill has become the flagship for this traveling presentation.“Seeing the Dutch pot and the cast iron brought back memories of home and my childhood. When I was young, my grandmother used those same pieces to stir up my family a delicious meal. What a great way to reminisce on the past,” said David Muir, Island Syndicate President. He continues, “Lauderhill Commissioner Howard Berger was a big part of this display coming to Lauderhill. As a big supporter of all cultural efforts in his City, he believed food has a way of bringing all people together – connecting us.”The Lauderhill Historical Museum is located at 1080 NW 47th Avenue, Lauderhill, FL 33313. The exhibition is only available for limited time, running from Thursday, February 28, 2019 to Saturday, March 16, 2019. Viewings will be limited to Tuesdays through Thursdays from 2pm-8pm, and on Saturdays from 10:00am-6:00pm. It is very family friendly and is free to the public. We especially love group tours!For more information, please contact the Lauderhill Historical Museum at 954-990-5785.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – The Barbados government is defending their recent decision to reverse the no-visa requirement for Haitians, saying that they did not have a choice because of the large influx of immigrants that enter the country.Large influx of HaitiansThe island’s Ambassador to CARICOM, David Comissiong, said Bridgetown was forced to reverse its decision to allow free movement of Haitian nationals into the country without a visa because of the “large influx of persons” of Haitian nationality coming from Panama and Chile who were not entitled to work here.Haitians are mistaken He said that this was compounded because “no one in Haiti had really explained to them the principles of this free movement program, and the vast majority of them were coming with this mistaken idea that they could simply come to Barbados to work and live, with many of them becoming stranded in Barbados.“We derived no pleasure from having to move away from the full visa-free regime, but we felt that we didn’t have a choice, and we communicated that to the Haitian Government and they understand that Barbados’ heart is with them, but we were compelled to make the change,” Comissiong said as he discussed the last week’s CARICOM summit in St. Lucia.“You will recall that when Barbados removed the visa requirements, almost simultaneously, through the Barbados Tourism Authority, COPA airlines started two flights a week out of Panama, and the two things just happened to coincide.“Those flights out of Panama then became available to Haitians – Haitians coming from Haiti itself, and also Haitians coming from Chile, where there is a large Haitian diaspora and those two weekly flights into Barbados came to be dominated by Haitian travelers,” Comissiong said.The diplomat said that the situation was becoming untenable, and a decision was made after extensive consultations with several stakeholders, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Immigration Department, the Ministries of Tourism, and Home Affairs, the airlines and the Grantley Adams International Airport.“We looked at every possible way in which we could solve the problem because what had started to happen is that you started to get a negative backlash from the Barbadian people because of Haitians being stranded here, and that was the last thing we wanted.“We did not want an initiative which was supposed to be a positive and constructive regional integration initiative descending into instability and chaos, and then generating a negative response from the Barbadian people,” he added.Comissiong said that although Haitians were not coming “with any devious intention”, they could only work and live in Barbados if they qualified under the CARICOM Skilled Nationals program or the Right of Establishment program.Maintain legal responsibility to admit HaitiansHe admitted that Barbados had a legal responsibility to admit Haitians on the same basis as any other CARICOM citizen, noting that Barbados’ Immigration Department would “accommodate any Haitian who legitimately wishes to come to Barbados”.“I can tell you any Haitian who legitimately needs to come to Barbados will have no problem with getting a visa, or getting permission or even getting permission to come into Barbados and to be granted a visa at the airport, so we will seek to accommodate our Haitian brothers and sisters as much as possible,” Comissiong said.Most, if not all, CARICOM countries have imposed visa restrictions on Haitians, even though the French-speaking country is a part of the 15-member grouping.
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which took place from September 4 to October 12, 2019, had a significant economic impact on the Caribbean, resulting from increased jobs and tourist arrivals during the event.YouGov Sport, an international sports research organization, calculated the economic gains as US$136,542,868 earned throughout the region, a 7.21% increase on the results from 2018. The figure has been calculated using organiser spend, visitor spend and media value.The 34 match tournament took place in six Caribbean countries, with games taking place in Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago. The tournament increased the positive economic impact it made on each of those countries in 2019 compared with the figures from 2018.In addition to that economic impact figure, the Hero CPL employed more than 1500 staff, filled 36,830 hotel rooms and saw an overall increase in arrivals into the host countries by those arriving to watch CPL matches.The CPL takes place at a time (August/September) when there are fewer tourist arrivals into the Caribbean and it is therefore pleasing to see the tournament help increase the in-bound numbers across all the markets where CPL is played. We are also delighted that Caribbean nationals who live overseas choose CPL as a time to combine visits home to see family and friends – reinforcing our objective of uniting local communities through their love of cricket and their country.Speaking about the report from YouGov Sport the Hero CPL Chief Executive Officer, Damien O’Donohoe said: “With Hero CPL showing the Caribbean in the best possible light in continues to be a wonderful way for the region to promote itself to the rest of the world. We have now had seven editions of the CPL and our total economic impact on the region is now worth hundreds of millions of US dollars. This shows we are making a positive impact in all the countries we host games in. We are here to stay, making a positive economic contribution, improving our environmental impact and developing cricketers who are going to succeed in West Indies colours.”CPL came to an exciting end on October 12, 2019, when the Barbados Tridents defeated favorites Guyana Amazon Warriors, at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad, to win their second CPL title.
Now for the news in the detail Today’s newscast is brought to you by the Florida Department of Health; To help stop the spread of COVID-19, The Florida Department of Health in Broward County reminds everyone to practice social distancing, wash your hands often with soap and water and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. For more information on these and other stories, visit CNWNETWORK.com. Remember to pick up this week’s copy of our Caribbean National Weekly at your nearest Caribbean – American outlet. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has outlined his plans for reopening of the state which will begin on May 4. During this phase, Florida restaurants and retail stores can reopen at 25% of their capacity. Restaurants can also use outdoor seating if the tables are six-feet apart. Bars, gyms, hair salons and movie theaters will remain closed until the next phase of reopening. Visits to nursing homes are also still prohibited. DeSantis also indicated that Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which comprise the South Florida region, are exempted from this phase of reopening. More testing sites are to be open in the region which is responsible for 60% of the state’s COVID-19 cases. In the meantime, Exactly one week after St. Lucia announced that all 15 positive cases had recovered, the island said it has recorded two more cases of the coronavirus. The new cases are of a 54-year-old diabetic female and a 20 year- old male. Just last week, the island was one of three countries in the world where there were no active cases of COVID-19. In Caribbean News, Jamaica’s Health Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton has confirmed that one of the 46 deportees who recently returned from the United States has tested positive for the COVID-19. The news comes after the United States embassy had assured Jamaica that the deportees were all confirmed COVID-19 negative. The island now has near 400 confirmed cases of the virus and the significant increase has affected all industries, including education. Speaking with CNW Prime Time last night, Jamaican Senator Damion Crawford said that the government has unfairly managed the impact of COVID-19 on the education system and has done a disservice to many of the nation’s children. With a look at some of the top stories making the news today, May 1 across your Caribbean-American community in South Florida, I’m…for CNW 90. Coming up in the newscast, Florida to begin reopening on May 4, Jamaican deportee from the U.S. tests positive for COVID-19 and St. Lucia reports new cases of COVID-19 after its 100% recovery. You’ve been watching CNW90, I’m…
Manchester United midfielder Juan Manuel Mata has called on other Premier League players to join him in his campaign for charity.Six players have so far joined him in the campaign to donate 1% of his salary to charity, but no Premier League player is among them.The 29-year old star, who reportedly earns £7m annually is hopeful some of his teammates at Manchester United would soon join him.Speaking with reporters, Mata said:“I have big news and good news coming up probably next week.”“I hope everyone will be happy.”“I am definitely convinced some of my team-mates can join.” he added.Speaking further, Mata said:“I just need to have further conversations and have more detailed conversations with them in order to try and explain to them what we are doing.”“It’s just a little matter of time and patience.“I am convinced we are going to get so many different players from around the world.“England, we hopefully have in next week.” he concluded. Germany and Bayern Munich star Mats Hummels was first player to match Mata’s pledge to donate 1% of his salary before others like US women’s World Cup winners Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan, Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini, former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry and Stuttgart’s Dennis Aogo joined.RelatedMatic Joins The List Of Players To Wear Both United And Chelsea ShirtsJuly 31, 2017In “England”Mata Signs One-Year Contract Extension At Manchester UnitedJanuary 31, 2018In “England”Pellegrini Secures Premier League Return With West Ham UnitedMay 23, 2018In “England”
GVC hires ‘comms pro’ Tessa Curtis to re-energise media profile August 25, 2020 Submit Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Playtech goes live in the US with bet365 August 7, 2020 Related Articles Share Alex LatnerFTSE-listed gambling technology provider Playtech Plc has confirmed that it has appointed long-term legal adviser Alex Latner as its new General Counsel. Latner has prior experience of working with Playtech governance, having advised the company as a partner of London law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) on several corporate acquisitions, important industry transactions and legal disputes.The appointment of Latner as General Counsel, sees Playtech find a replacement for David McLeish who departed the company last year.Playtech has confirmed that BLP London will remain as its legal representative, with partners Gareth Jones and Benjamin Lee acting as new client advisors.Latner commented on taking the position of Playtech General Counsel; It was a difficult decision to leave BLP after nearly 20 years having grown up there and cultivated many strong relationships but I am very excited by the new challenge.“Playtech is at another significant stage of its continued growth and development, which will provide some fascinating challenges for me and my team as the company’s strategy is implemented.’
Submit Golden Race’s virtual sports products get Swedish certification June 18, 2020 The industry wakes up to virtual sports potential June 26, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Share Golden Race gains ISO certification May 29, 2020 Golden Race has revealed that a floating video option will be one of the new mobile features for its ONLINE platform, the industry’s first all-in-one virtual betting sportsbook.The platform designed to be the same as a real sportsbook, only with virtual results, will see its mobile offering further boosted with improved navigation options, increased client-specific customisation, more statistics and additional games.This improved navigation will allow for faster browsing and switching between all sports, while the floating video option will enable users to navigate and bet while the video player remains visible.Feature highlights on the multi-currency and multi-lingual mobile platform, already includes support for slower connections, multi-game betting, hot picks and jackpot games.Martin Wachter, CEO at Golden Race, commented: “At Golden Race, we are excited about the summer developments to our online and mobile offering. The platform, which can be easily integrated into 3rd party betting systems, is compliant with the highest regulatory standards and will deliver the complete mobile experience, including virtual video quality adaptive to a player’s connection.“We shared details of this virtual sports revolution at the recent iGaming Super Show. For both our new online and mobile solutions, we designed them from the ground up to ensure that the look and feel are completely the same as anything a player would be familiar with from real sports betting, while maintaining the manageability and availability of virtual sports.”
Sky Sports grows American football offering with NFL channel August 14, 2020 EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Submit Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 From sponsorship to the ever-expanding world of football media coverage, when it comes to the business of football, SBC has you covered. This edition looks at “exploitative” ticket prices, Barcelona being reported to FIFA and an intriguing new owner at Barnsley. ____________________Getting the ‘Moneyball’ rolling at BarnsleyIt could be a big 2018 for Barnsley FC, after the Championship club were taken over by a consortium which includes Chinese billionaire, Chien Lee and the baseball pioneer Billy Beane, who was the inspiration behind the Hollywood film ‘Moneyball’.Chief Executive Gauthier Ganaye told the club website: “We would like to thank every member of our loyal fan base for their patience and continued support over recent months. An exciting chapter is opening for Barnsley Football Club and we are looking forward to the future together.”Beane was the mastermind behind the Oakland A’s transformation with the use of statistical, computer generated data to utilise undervalued players, a tactic that many have speculated could be translated to football. On the other hand, Lee has a track record in football as the co-owner of French Ligue 1 side Nice, who have enjoyed a lot of success in recent times including reaching the play-off stage in the Champions League and finishing third in the French top tier.Barnsley currently sit 20th in the Championship table and are just four points above the relegation zone. Barcelona reported to FIFA by Spanish rivals Barcelona have been reported to FIFA by Atletico Madrid, after the it was alleged that the Catalan club made an illegal approach for Manchester United target, Antoine Griezmann. Atletico have claimed that in spite of the 26-year-old France international signing a new contract, keeping him at the Wanda Metropolitano until the summer of 2021, Barcelona have made contact with the family of the player, eyeing up a potential transfer for the player. A spokesperson for FIFA confirmed earlier in the week, that football’s governing body had received a complaint from Atletico over the approach. Furthemore, Atletico were unable to sign players this summer after breaching FIFA rules over the signing of minors. A ruling that delayed the return of Diego Costa to the club, after he was frozen out by Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. At the time the club responded with a statement, claiming that: “This ruling is unfair and causes an irreparable damage to our club.”New takeover just the medicine for Belgian ChampionsMarc Coucke, Belgian pharmaceutical entrepreneur has agreed to buy Belgian champions, Anderlecht for a reported fee of up to 100 million euros (£88.6 million). Anderlecht, who were previously owned by a by a group of investors headed by the Vanden Stock family, are one of Belgium’s most prestigious clubs, having won numerous European titles in the 1970s. In a statement, Anderlecht president Roger Vanden Stock commented: “It pleases me to look back at the time when my father and my family owned the club, but it is time to pass on the baton, so RSC Anderlecht can always remain RSC Anderlecht.” Coucke founded over-the-counter medicines group Omega Pharma, which he went onto sell to U.S. company Perrigo in late 2014 for 3.6 billion euros, he also owns Belgian club KV Oostende and previously was on the board at France’s Ligue 1 Lille.Currently sitting in third place, Anderlecht are enduring a tough season, losing 5-0 to domestic rivals Club Bruges on Sunday has left them 13 points behind leaders Bruges.Sevilla deemed to be doing no wrong over “exploitative” ticket pricesUEFA have stated that La Liga club Sevilla are completely with their rights to charge Man United fans up to £133 for tickets for the Champions League last 16 tie at the Sanchez Pizjuan in February. United fans reacted with angrily when Sevilla announced that prices for the 2,450 standard seats would be £89 with 200 tickets deemed “category one” priced at £133. The Manchester United Supporters Trust branded the prices as “exploitative.”The price rise marks a 65% increase on tickets from when Liverpool took on the Spanish club in the group stages of the tournament, when travelling fans were charged £54.Nonetheless, article 19, subsection 3 of UEFA’s regulations states: “Unless the associations or clubs concerned agree otherwise, the price of tickets for supporters of the visiting team must not exceed the price paid for tickets of a comparable category that are sold to supporters of the home team.”Tech giants prepared for Premier League television rights battle. Tech giants such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix are all set to take part in the next round of bidding for Premier League television rights.From the 2019-20 season onwards, 200 live matches will be available each season, with the price of the UK package expected to rise above its current figure of £5.14 billion. Those games are divided into five packages of 32 matches and two packages of 20. No broadcaster will be allowed to acquire more than 148 per season.With this new competition from the world’s biggest digital media companies, Sky is faced with perhaps its biggest challenge to maintain its dominance of Premier League TV rights.To protect from these new challengers, Sky and BT have agreed a so-called cross supply deal. Under the terms of the deal, BT will market and sell Sky’s Now TV service – including the Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Sky Living, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema channels – to its customers. While BT will wholesale its BT Sport channels to Sky, allowing the firm to sell them directly to Sky customers._________________The Betting industry’s relationship with Football and its wider stakeholders will be discussed at the ‘Betting on Football 2018’ (#bofcon2018) conference. Click on the below banner for more information…