Scott Longley – The Football Pools: Swimming Against the Tide!

first_img Scott Longley – Confusion reigns over FDC’s second betting rights deal July 14, 2020 Scott LongleySeeing its active player numbers dwindle to around the quarter of a million mark, Scott Longley examines whether ‘The Football Pools’ can be updated for modern consumers. One of the UK oldest betting brands and the subject of multiple acquisition rumours, what role does ‘The Pools’ have in today’s industry. We are a long way away now from the days when football pools winner Viv Nicholson once famously declared to the newspapers she was going to “spend, spend, spend” after winning £152,319 in 1961. Nicholson subsequently became the pin-up for a British form of schadenfreude as she and her husband Keith duly frittered away their fortune in a very public spending spree. By 1965 after Keith died in a car crash, she was declared bankrupt and the morality tale was apparently made complete.Over the subsequent 50 years, football pools winners have been replaced by lottery winners as the canvasses on which the wider population paints its hopes and fears about lucking their way towards extraordinary wealth. Yet despite being largely eclipsed, the football pools remains with us albeit in a much-diminished status and with none of the front-page headlines that previously accompanied the news of a prize winner.According to the current operator Sportech – which spent the 2000s collecting together the various pools brands under a single Football Pools umbrella – from a peak of 10 million players just before the launch of the National Lottery in 1994, numbers have dwindled to around the quarter of a million mark.Source: SportechGiven this history of decline it may seem surprising that the Football Pools are currently the subject of a bidding battle. First, Canadian-listed Contagious Gaming failed last summer with a bid for the whole of Sportech; subsequently NetPlay (reported by UK news sources to be part-funded by Teddy Sagi) put in a bid to buy the pools unit (the same company having previously bought the Vernons online gaming elements from Sportech in October 2013).Now an unnamed consortium led by former Sportech chief operating officer Ian Hogg has emerged as the most likely buyer of the pools business with a bid rumoured to be worth circa £100m. Hogg stepped down from Sportech in 2014, and it is thought that he would take current division head Conleth Byrne to head up the business under the new stewardship. It is also thought the new venture would list on the stock exchange.The value of the Football Pools lies in the rump subscriber customer base. The customer numbers decline in recent years has been largely as issue with the collections channel where, almost quite literally, the customers have been dying off. But the carrot for any buyer lies in the subscription channel where in its 2015 final-year results Sportech said revenues fell only slightly to £27.3m from £28.1m. Although subscriber numbers fell 8% to 221,000, the business is in the envious position of having over 60% of them tied in long-term via direct debit. As one City analyst put it, these customers are “astonishingly sticky”.Still the £100m price-tap remains something of a gamble. The division achieved an operating profit of £15.2m this year, compared with £16.6m in 2014 or an 8.4% decline, meaning the buyout multiple is around 6.5 times.Sportech says the player numbers decline has stabilized, and it is true the rate of decline has slowed. But the subscriber numbers are still falling, from over 420,000 when Sportech bought Vernons to 221,000 as of the end of 2015. The revenue decline is less steep, largely because some of the fall in player number has been offset by 2.4% rise in weekly spend per customer to £2.89.But Hogg and his bid team will be hoping they can do more than just mitigate losses or persuade the current customers to spend a few more pennies very week. Most obviously, the business is behind the curve on mobile and has yet to hit the market with a mobile app, though the recent results said the launch was imminent. The company also spoke about a newly reconfigured website.The timing might also be right to re-launch the product with a new, younger and more football-savvy audience. The success of daily fantasy sports (DFS) in the US and closer to home Sky Bet’s popular Super 6 free-to-enter prediction game has encouraged the emergence of a variety of social betting and tipping-type products in recent months including Fenway Games’ ‘Snapbet’ instant betting product and start-up tipping social network WantMyBet.If the Football Pools can move away successfully move to a model of small stakes and regular modest wins – and engineer a product which provides just that outcome – then it might stand a chance of maintaining its current subscriber base while at the same time re-engineering itself for a new audience. The £100m outlay might come to be seen as a bargain.______________________Football betting and industry governance/leadership strategies will be discussed and debated at the ‘Betting on Football Conference’ 21 April Stamford Bridge Chelsea Stadium…book your tickets now! StumbleUpon Share Share Ian Hogg joins RPM Gaming as Chairman May 5, 2020 Sportech highlights new client wins under lockdown June 26, 2020 Submit Related Articleslast_img read more

Girona will spend pre-season training as Manchester City’s football academy

first_imgGirona will spend some time at Manchester City this summer, as they did, for the first time, last summer.   While in England, Girona will play against Oldham Athletic on July 27, before returning to Catalonia for a game against Brighton in Palamos.  The Catalan club revealed their plans for preseason late on Monday, with preparations for their first season in La Liga beginning on July 17.  CEST IN SPORT.ES Upd. at 11:49 The agreement is a basis of the excellent relationship between the two clubs and the result of talks sporting director Quique Carcel and coach Pablo Machin held in Manchester last week.  City’s base is hectares, 16 pitches and the residence for the young players who play for the club. center_img In the coming days more announcements are expected, such as the signing of various players from City.  27/06/2017 Juventany El Girona repetirá stage en las instalaciones del City Three days later, on July 20 (Thursday), they will travel to Manchester and will work at the ‘City Football Academy’ until July 28.  They plan to arrange a number of other friendlies, too.last_img read more

Bosses busted for underpayments

first_imgTwo Gippsland businesses have been busted for underpaying staff by the Fair Work Ombudsman. As a result of the Fair…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Bad News weekend for Nelson Leafs

first_imgSam Swanson, Nolan Percival and Peace sandwiched goals around a marker by Leafs Keenan Crossman to give the defending KIJHL Champs the one-goal advantage.Nelson sniper Ryan Cooper tied the game with six minutes remaining before Peace pieced the hearts of the Leafs with the late-game tally.Nelson outshot the Hawks 36-30 in the contest with Liam Coulter in the Beaver Valley nets registering a second win over the Leafs.Williams, who had registered shutouts in four previous games, took the loss in goal for Nelson.Despite the setback, Nelson remains tied for top spot in the Murdoch Division with Castlegar Rebels, each team with 57 points.Beaver Valley, which has won six straight games, closes the gap on the leaders and now trails top spot by eight points.Nelson will have a week to lick their wounds before taking to the road for a pair of Murdoch Division games.Friday, the Leafs travel to Spokane to meet the Braves before venturing west on Highway 3 to play the Border Bruins on Grand Forks.ICE CHIPS: Nelson bounced back after Friday’s loss to Beaver Valley by edging Grand Forks 4-1 Saturday at the NDCC Arena. Game Star Ryan Cooper scored twice while Ryan Piva and Logun Wullum added singles. Reese Tambellini scored the lone goal for Grand Forks, which trailed 1-0 after 40 minutes. Caiden Kreitz was in goal to pick up the win for Nelson. . . . After winning five consecutive games before the Prospects Games weekend in Kelowna, Nelson has dropped two of three. The good news, if there is any when a team drops two of three games during a three-game weekend, is the Nelson Leafs won’t see the Beaver Valley Nitehawks until the final game of the season.The bad news is the Hawks stole the Leafs thunder for the second time in three days, scoring the winning goal in the final minute of the game to edge Nelson 4-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Sunday afternoon in Fruitvale.The game was rescheduled from December 29th when a power outage postponed the contest in the first period with Nelson leading 1-0.Morgan Peace provided the heroics for the home side, scoring an unassisted tally past Josh Williams in the Leaf nets.Friday, Beaver Valley ended Nelson’s five-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory in the Heritage City.Trailing 1-0 after one period on a goal by Leafs Sawyer Hunt, Beaver Valley outscored the Leafs 3-1 to grab a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes.last_img read more

Whitewater’s Woodward finishes second at Freeride Junior World Championships

first_imgBen Woodward of Whitewater placed second Thursday at the Freeride Junior World Championships at Kappl, Austria.Woodward finished second to Dylan Lavenex of Switzerland with Abel Moga of Spain third in the men’s ski event.According to the FJWC website Woodward put together a textbook run, fluidly linking-up three critical airs, which included a stylish 360 and a big stomp to close out a solid performance. The FWT is the worldwide circuit of freeride snowboarding and skiing with the best riders in the world competing on the most legendary and challenging alpine faces and the most renowned ski resorts across the world.Woodward was one of four athletes representing Canada at the Freeride World Jr Championships this Thursday in Austria.last_img read more

Gaelic Games Coming Home this year

first_imgA total of 87 teams from 20 countries will travel to Dublin for a week-long festival of Gaelic games activity between August 7 and 14 at UCD’s Belfield campus, with the finals being played at Croke Park. More than 1,700 Gaelic footballers, hurlers and camogie players from 10 regions around the globe are bringing Gaelic games home to Ireland for the 2016 Etihad Airways GAA World Games in Dublin this August. Teams from as far away as Australia, South Africa and Argentina will be present, as well as teams from China, Canada, the Middle East, the US, Europe and Britain. It is expected that as many as 7,000 people will be involved in the Etihad Airways GAA World Games festival in Dublin between players, team officials, administrators, families and supporters.The GAA will host the visiting teams in a grand opening ceremony at Croke Park before the All – Ireland senior hurling semi-final on August 7, an event that will have a massive TV audience through RTE, Sky and GAAGo.More than 500 games will be played over the course of the week-long festival.The visiting teams will also take part in a major cultural heritage night and concert at the Helix Theatre in DCU and a dedicated coaching forum before a closing ceremony at Croke Park at the end of the week.Aogán Ó Fearghail, Uachtarán CLG, said: “The success of last year’s Etihad Airways GAA World Games in Abu Dhabi is still fresh in the memory and everyone involved in the GAA is very eager to see that we continue to develop this exciting initiative.“In the years immediately after the formation of the GAA in 1884, Michael Cusack described the growth and expansion of Gaelic games activity as “being like a prairie fire.” This event will showcase the extent to which the passion and participation for Gaelic games has now spread far beyond our shores and will acknowledge the keepers of this flame.“It is an event that simply would not be possible without the support and commitment of Etihad Airways which has played an integral part in making the dream of a GAA World Games become a reality.“It is also important to recognise the support of Tony Towell and all in O’Neill’s for ensuring that every team that competes here in August will really look the part.”Beatrice Cosgrove, General Manager for Ireland at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Airways is delighted to be a part of the continuing success story that is the GAA World Games. Through the Etihad Partners’ expansive network of routes we are constantly reminded of the global reach of the Irish diaspora and of the integral part that the GAA and Gaelic Games play in the lives of the Irish communities overseas.“Just as our sponsorship of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland championship is a chance for us to be part of something special, we are excited that the GAA World Games is a competition that will grow and has the potential to be an integral part of the GAA calendar.”The scale of the 2016 Etihad Airways GAA World Games represents a tripling in size of the inaugural GAA World Games which was hosted by Etihad Airways and successfully staged in Abu Dhabi last summer.It is planned to twin each of the visiting teams with a host club from Dublin, Kildare and Meath which will enable them to forge new links with Ireland and also gain expert coaching while they are here. It will also increase their support base.This event is being held in Dublin this August to highlight the phenomenal global expansion of GAA clubs overseas with more than 400 GAA clubs now in existence outside of Ireland.From Abu Dhabi to Zambia, the games that are played in every corner of Ireland are now being played in every corner of the world. It means that the GAA now has an active world-wide club presence from Montreal to Madrid, Mullingar to Moscow and Melbourne.A key feature of the 2016 World Games event will be that the  growing number of new GAA clubs made up of non-native Irish people who have discovered Gaelic games and have made it their sport of choice.Among others, this diversity will be evidence by a native Chinese ladies football team and a native South African men’s football team who have confirmed that they will travel to take part.The GAA will support the event with a major publicity campaign, as well as providing an army of volunteers who will help run the event over 10 pitches out in Belfield.The finals will then be played at Croke Park on August 11 in football, ladies football, hurling and camogie with eight finals covering the four codes and with a decider for Irish born and also non-Irish competing teams.print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

Weekly Athletics Report

first_imgGalwayCombined Events In the Girls events, at U12 level, Juno Hayes of Galway City Harriers took the honours in the quadrathlon, while in the U13 event, Danielle Moynihan of Tuam AC emerged victorious. Caoimhe Farrell of Loughrea AC won the U15 Girls Pentathlon, with Aoife Waldron of GCH winning at U16 level. Aoibhin Farrell of Loughrea claimed the U 17 title with Eilis Keogh of Corrib AC winning the U18 Girls title. In the Boys events, the multi-talented Darragh Fahy of Loughrea won the U13 Boys quadrathlon over four events, while at U14 level, Oisin Phelan of Tuam AC claimed gold. In the U15 competition Liam Shaw of Athenry AC pipped Matthieu Madden of GCH to gold after a very competitive pentathlon, while Samuel Madden of GCH won the U18 Boys Pentathlon.Pictured are Medal winners at the Galway combined events championships held in Dangan last weekend. L to R Oisin Phelan of Tuam AC, Matthieu Madden of GCh and Liam Shaw of Athenry AC GalwayCross Country The 2019 Galway Cross Countrychampionships will take place over two days, on October 6th and October 20thnext, with the Uneven Ages at Juvenile level for U9 to U19 athletes being heldin the Palace Grounds in Tuam next Sunday along with the Adult Senior and Masterschampionships.Among the favorites in the Seniorraces next weekend will be the likes of Rob Lennon of Castlegar and Mark Davisand Jack Miskella of Craughwell, with Kathryn Casserly and Niamh Hennelly ofGCH, along with Aine O Farrell and Edel Kelly of Athenry, all likely tochallenge for honours in the Ladies sectionThe programmed next Sunday starts at 1pm, with the U9 races first off. The Juvenile Even ages championships from U10 to U18 age groups will be held in Bushfield, Loughrea on day two, 20th October alongside the adult Intermediate championships. GalwayCross Country fixturesThe Galway Primary Schools Cross Country championships Finals for 2019 takes place this Tuesday 1st October next, in Renmore, Galway City. The Semi finals were held last week with 2,000 school children from over 100 schools in Galway taking part in what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting events on the athletics calendar.LoughreaGrey Lake 10kLocal athlete Cathal O Reilly took the honours at The Loughrea AC hosted Grey Lake 10k held Sunday last 29th September. O Reilly stormed home to victory in a great time of 34.51 on the testing 10k circuit, continuing his great run of form this season. Second place went to Arkadius Skupin with Ian Killy of West Limerick AC third. First lady over the line was Denise Barrett in 43.11, with Yvonne Fehilly of Athenry AC second and Nicola Egan third.MarathonCiaran Faherty of GCH put in anotherhugely impressive performance last Sunday at the famed Berlin Marathon. Fahertywho is now based in New Zealand ran a superb time of 2:19:05.There were other good performancesfrom Galway athletes, with David Keaney of GCH clocking 2.53, and the evergreenMartin Kearney of GCH breaking three hours yet again with a fantastic time of 2.59.40FixturesGalwayBay racesThe Galway Bay series of road races takes place in Salthill, in Galway City,  next Saturday 5th October. There are three events on the card; a full marathon over 26.2 miles which starts at 8.30 am, the 10k which commences at 10.30 am and the half marathon which kicks off at 12.15 pm. Over 3,000 entrants are expected to compete on what is one of the biggest days of road racing in the West annually. print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Email The Galway Combined Events championships took place last Saturday in Dangan, with athletes competing over four events at U12 and U13 level, and five events from U14 level upwards.last_img read more

36 Students Receive Tryall Scholarships

first_img The Tryall Scholarship Fund has been developed and supported by management and staff of the hotel The awardees were chosen based on their ability to achieve and maintain good grades Story Highlights Thirty-six students of educational institutions, including high schools, colleges and universities, have been presented with scholarships worth $4.2 million, by the Tryall Scholarship Fund.The presentation ceremony was held at the Tryall Great House in Sandy Bay, Hanover, on August 8.The awardees were chosen based on their ability to achieve and maintain good grades. This year’s recipient of the Louise Cullman Scholarship is Ricardo Graham, a member of staff at the hotel. This scholarship was named in memory of the late member of staff.Addressing recipients at the ceremony, 2011 winner of Louise Cullman Scholarship, Anthia Williamson, encouraged them to always focus on their vision, in order to conquer failure and eventually reap success.“I implore you awardees to take your studies very seriously and use this great opportunity, not only to advance yourselves to achieve your academic goals, but to be role models to yourselves and others.   With this investment that has been made in us, it is only fair that we repay it in abundance by helping to create a better society and a better world,” she said.Miss Williamson said that her decision to continue her studies was not easy, but she was deeply humbled and proud of her accomplishments.“Over the past two years, my decision to go back to school has reinforced in me the fact that knowledge is power and education has the key to liberate the mind.  I therefore challenge you, every single one of you, to give back to this initiative in whatever way you can,” she urged.The Tryall Scholarship Fund has been developed and supported by management and staff of the hotel and is aimed at improving the lives of children and families in the parish of Hanover, through its education, health and welfare projects. This year’s recipient of the Louise Cullman Scholarship is Ricardo Grahamlast_img read more

9 get life for murder in Jessore

first_imgA Jessore court on Wednesday convicted nine people and sentenced them to life term imprisonment for killing an UP member in Jessore in 2005, reports UNB.Among the convicts, three accused were present in the dock during the hearing while six others—Enamul Haque, Kabir, Anis, Biplob Mia, Kamarul Mandal, Ajam Fakir—remained absconding. According to the case statement, Insanul Haque, a member of Deyara union parishad in Sadar upazila, was killed by the convicts during a robbery on 8 July in 2005. Ijarul Haque Jewel, son of the victim, filed a murder and robbery case accusing unnamed people. After examining the records and witnesses, Md Iman Ali Sheikh of the Additional District and Sessions Judge Court-1, handed down the verdict.last_img read more

ACC chief says officials irregularities wont be tolerated

first_imgIqbal MahmoodIn an effort to put his own house in order, chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Iqbal Mahmood on Thursday warned its officials that no irregularity, nepotism, partiality and laxity will be tolerated in investigation into any complaint, reports UNB.He came up with the warning while addressing an urgent meeting with directors of all ACC divisional offices, deputy directors of all district coordinated offices, and secretary, director general and directors of the head office on how to ensure more transparency and accountability in the process of investigation and enquiry.”Every officer will be dearer to us as long as you carry out your duties honestly and transparently,” the ACC chairman said. “No mercy will be shown to those who will fail to fulfill the duties.”Talking about the timeline of enquiry, he said, “From now on, those who will fail to follow the timeline should switch to another institution as the ACC rules allow this.”Expressing his dismay over the delay in enquiry in the name of queries, Iqbal Mahmood said this will not be allowed from now on. “No query can be given without the approval of the commission. We’re trying our best to make this organisation a symbol of people’s confidence. We can’t allow that the image of the institution is tarnished for negligence and authoritarianism of anyone.”Mentioning that there were allegations of rude behaviour against some officials, he urged them to behave well with people. “Be careful of your behaviour and responsibility.”ACC commissioner Mozammel Haque Khan said the legal mandate of the commission will be implemented. “So, any rude behaviour is not desirable. If you respect the law, you can’t be arrogant,” he said.last_img read more