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The Troublemaker – Football bosses feast on huge profits from another World Cup

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Issue 2609
Robbie Williams message to fans at the World Cup opening ceremony
Robbie Williams’ message to fans at the World Cup opening ceremony

The Fifa World Cup of advertising kicked off last week.

Fifa, football’s organisation around the world, rakes in billions of dollars in revenue every four years.

Construction and preparation for the tournament cost an estimated £9 billion, mostly to be paid by Russia, with more than 70 percent coming from public funding.

Fifa is designated legally as a non-profit association, even though it brings in profits upwards of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Investigations in 2015 saw allegations of corruption and bribery against the highest-ranking officials.

The US Department of Justice in 2015 indicted 41 officials, government leaders and corporate executives with charges of racketeering, wire fraud and money laundering. It said they were involved “in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer.”

Part of the allegations against Fifa include ­awarding Russia with the 2018 World Cup and Qatar with the 2022 competition.

The association completed an internal investigation in 2014, which it did not release.

The 2018 World Cup is expected to rake in about £5 billion in revenue for Fifa, up 25 percent from 2014.

The broadcast revenue alone is expected to rise to £2.5 billion.

Fifa requires bids to host the World Cup to include massive tax exemptions for the association.

The agreements ­establish tax-free zones for the World Cup venues, with Fifa’s corporate partners being exempt from both income and sales taxes.

At the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the most expensive stadium built exclusively for the Cup, the Mane Garrincha, cost around £500 million.

Today it is used as a parking lot for buses.

As Russia played its first World Cup game, news broke of an increase in the national retirement age by five years, to 65 for men and 63 for women.

Prime minister Dmitry Medvedev also announced a 2 percent raise in VAT.

Stickers are unstuck by Panini scam

What happens when you buy 1,000 packets of World Cup stickers?

The number of World Cup competing nations this year—32—is the same as in South Africa four years ago. But Panini has conjured up an extra 41 stickers. Panini is very good at making money—over £650 million a year.

In an effort to discover just how much money it would cost to complete a set, 5,000 stickers were bought to see how many it would take to finish the book.

With individual packets priced at 80p in newsagents and supermarkets, a total of 1,000 packets were bought for £800.

A total of 682 stickers are required to complete the album. From the 1,000 packs 681 were found leaving a total of 4,319 “swaps”.

Belgium’s Radja Nainggolan failed to make his national side’s squad.

His card didn’t emerge.

Tory delay means bookies win millions

Gambling firms will rake in around £7 billion from fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) thanks to the Tories dithering over setting a £2 stake cap—then delaying its launch.

The Treasury has now agreed to postpone the implementation of the new rules until 2020.

A deal has been struck under pressure from the industry.

Shops will rake in £4 billion from units during the delay and, since the inquiry into FOBTs launched in June 2016, £3 billion was lost on them.

At the moment, people can gamble £100 every 20 seconds.

The cost of being posh is going up by more than twice the rate of inflation.

Those who take exotic holidays, buy suits from Savile Row and pay school fees face a 5.5 percent annual rise, according to posh people’s bank Coutts.

Coutts’ Sven Balzer said, “Inflation in luxury goods is still much higher than the average return on cash and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.”

No planes and no ships to impress Trump

Plans to wow Donald Trump with Britain’s military kit when he visits next month have been torn up.

Downing Street wanted to show the US president HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier.

But the plan has been torpedoed because it has no aircraft.

Officials feared the sight of Trump’s helicopter landing on an empty flight deck would provoke ridicule.

Six £1 billion warships described as the backbone of the Royal Navy spent 80 percent of last year in dock.

The Type 45 destroyers need a multi?million pound refit after repeatedly breaking down since being introduced in 2008.

Two of the ships, HMS Dauntless and HMS Defender, did not even go to sea for a year. All six of the ships have an engine that cuts out in warm seas.

Fraud charge for Tony donor

A Tory donor has been charged with fraud after his firm, which advised people how to legally avoid paying tax, collapsed owing £13 million.

Freddy David, boss of HBFS Financial Services Limited, is also accused of deception.

Hannah, his wife and co?owner of HBFS, failed to become a Tory MP last June but is head of the Conservative Policy Forum.

David gave £2,000 to the Tories while HBFS donated £15,685.

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