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EU investigates top Spanish football clubs

The European Commission has opened three distinct in-depth investigations to verify whether various public support measures in favour of certain Spanish professional football clubs are in line with EU state aid rules. None of the measures was notified to the Commission, who was alerted by concerned citizens.

The Commission has concerns that these measures provided significant advantages to the beneficiary clubs to the detriment of the clubs which have to operate without such support.

Sisu wins judicial review over Ricoh

Coventry City owners Sisu have won their application for a full judicial review into Coventry City Council's 14m 'bailout' of the Ricoh Arena, reversing a decision made in August.

A High Court judge this morning delivered her decision which could have great significance for the prospects of the Sky Blues returning to the council-owned stadium soon . Mrs Justice Thirlwall said she was satisfied there were grounds to grant Sisu companies leave to apply for a full judicial review. She said she was satisfied the case merited a full hearing with all the relevant evidence.

Setback for Coventry City owners

Coventry City's owners, Sisu, have suffered a setback in court in their battle with Coventry City Council over the bailout of the Ricoh Arena.   The judge ruled that they could not have the full disclosure of documents they had requested, stating that they could make a 'respectable case' without them.  It was unprecedented to provide disclosure before a judicial review had been granted.

Blues owner in court

Birmingham City fans had the disappointment of being knocked out of the Capital One cup by Stoke City on penalties last night in a thrilling match at St. Andrews.   Meanwhile, their owner Carson Yeung, seen by many Blues fans as the architect of their current misfortunes, has been standing trial in Hong Kong on money laundering charges.

Sky Blues owners go back to High Court

Coventry City's owners, hedge fund Sisu, have returned to the High Court to pursue their claim that Coventry City Council's £14m bailout of the Ricoh Arena was illegal.   Their latest move is designed to secure the release of documents they consider to be relevant to the case.

The cost of rescheduling Qatar

Although Fifa is now going to engage in a period of 'deep consultation', it seems inevitable that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be rescheduled either to November and December or January and February. Dates later in the spring have been mentioned, but would cause even more disruption to league programmes.

Air conditioning would cost tens of millions of dollars per match if the tournament was held in the summer. It would also be difficult to provide safe conditions for fans.

'Bosman' style ruling on financial fair play?

A challenge to Uefa's financial fair play rules has now reached the European Union's Court of First Instance.   However, given that legal wheels grind slowly, all that is happening is the establishment of a schedule for a hearing.

Sky Blues companies behind with filing accounts

The filing of company accounts with Companies House is a legal requirement. It assists transparency as it is possible to access the accounts for a small fee. This is particularly important when companies are mired in controversy.

EU targets clubs over competition breaches

It is well known that the European Commission has been investigating a number of clubs to see whether they are in breach of the state aid rules established by the Treaty of Rome.   Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven are among the clubs under investigation.

Financial fair play faces an obstacle course

In a recent issue, The Economist confidently asserted, 'the days of clubs living beyond their means are coming to [an] end.  From this season, premier league clubs will be found by two sets of "financial fair play" rules'.   The Economist never makes any judgment that it is not a confident assertion, but the reality is more complex than this throwaway line would suggest.