The revelation that Barcelona paid over £20m more than they originally declared to tempt Neymar from the Brazilian seaside town of Santos to the more noble shores of Catalonia in May 2013 was noisy enough to bring down the then president Sandro Rosell and trigger an investigation into the finances of the striker’s father and main adviser, Neymar Sr.
It also shone a light on the complexity of the deal and the number of parties involved. In 2009, when Neymar Jr was aged 17 and was not even a regular in the first team, Santos already feared losing the boy’s services. To entice him to stay, the club put together a vastly improved contract negotiated by selling “chunks” of the player, accounting for 40% of his economic rights, to DIS, a fund belonging to a Brazilian supermarket mogul. By the time he was sold to Barcelona, Teisa, a group formed by some of the club’s directors, also owned a further 5% of the golden goose.
Neymar’s tale is emblematic of why Fifa’s decision to ban third-party ownership “within three or four years” will have a strong impact in Brazilian football. Without investors, Santos would have never been able to hold on to their biggest poster boy when big clubs, Chelsea included, came knocking – even though the process also included the club pretty much relinquishing any participation in the player’s image rights.
Worryingly, however, these types of deals are hardly restricted to top players. According to figures from the consultancy firm KPMG, 90% of the players in the Brazilian first division are involved in third-party ownership schemes and further reports by Brazilian media outlets show that even under-15 players have parts of their economic rights in the hand of investors.
Needless to say, Fifa’s announcement a fortnight ago sent shockwaves across the sporting sphere in Brazil. “The impact of his decision will be huge for Brazilian football because clubs have been heavily relying on partnerships with investors to make their signings,” says Eduardo Carlezzo, a Brazilian expert in international sporting legislation. “There is no control on how these deals are made and this excessive freedom now has a time to end”.
It is quite a paradoxical situation: over the last 10 years, even before the country was chosen to host the 2014 World Cup, Brazilian football experienced a financial windfall that saw total turnover by the 20 biggest clubs increase by 375%.
Sadly, debt rose at an even faster pace: the top 20 now collectively owe 475% more than 10 years ago. Protected by legislation that treats them like non-profit organisations, clubs have traditionally spent unwisely. Most of them either own decrepit arenas or nothing at all – six-times national champions and the club with the biggest fanbase, Flamengo, being the prime example. This chaotic scenario is an attractive opportunity for agents and investors looking for business.
DIS, for example, had a 300% return (£4.7m) for the £1.4m they paid for Neymar’s rights even before it came to light that Barcelona had in fact paid a much higher sum than they originally disclosed. At the time of the move, Barcelona said the transfer was worth £48.6m but, after questions were raised by a member of the club, they were forced to release documents showing the full cost to be more than £71m. DIS is now threatening court action to get a bigger slice of the transfer fee, much of which it has since been disclosed had been paid secretely to N&N, a company run by Neymar Sr, through a string of “consultancy deals” prompting tax investigations in both Brazil and Spain.
Apart from TV rights, sold individually, player transfers are the biggest source of income in Brazilian football and, according to Fifa, the country was the biggest net winner in the international transfer window between 2011 and 2014, pocketing £361m. It is quite likely that DIS and similar financial backers were left with the widest smiles.
“Investors are a necessary evil [for Brazilian football] because the financial pressures mean that few clubs can sign players without some external backing,” reckons Paulo Nobre, the president of Palmeiras, where 117 out of 195 players across first team and youth academies are not 100% owned by the club.
It looks immediately obvious that without outside investors Brazilian teams will be less able to attend to salary demands and therefore more vulnerable to poaching from overseas clubs. Fifa’s proposals could also affect the considerable number of repatriations that took place in the last few years.
What is certain is that Brazilian football could have done without another bombshell in 2014 – the year in which the were so unceremoniously torn apart by Germany in the World Cup semi-final in front of their own fans and where the Campeonato Brasileiro – the country’s premier competition – currently has an average attendance of 15,844. Hardly the massive post-tournament jump clubs had hoped for.
There are those who see the glass half-full. “It’s actually a very positive step for Brazilian football,” says Amir Somoggi, one of Brazil’s most respected football business experts. “Clubs will obviously take a financial hit in the short term but Fifa’s ban on third-party ownership should instead be seen as an opportunity. Clubs will have to focus more seriously on youth development and at least they will keep the money when their players are sold.
“The ruling will force Brazilian clubs to actually become more professional and modernise how they work their sponsorship and supporter service operations. Whoever has their feet on the ground will have financial and sporting success.”
However, some clubs sense a conspiracy orchestrated by Uefa to knock down transfer costs for European clubs when they go shopping. The Brazilian Football Confederation (whose elected president, Marco Polo Del Nero, has already said he would rather see tougher regulation in place instead of a complete ban on third-party ownership), led the South American lobbying against the decision in vain.
Brazilian clubs have a maximum of four years to shape up. Their bubble has been well and truly burst.
The zombie apocalypse continues to be lucrative for AMC— season five premiere hit new heights with 17.3 million viewers, the show's highest ratings ever. AMC's comic book adaptation also pulled in 11 million viewers in the coveted 18-49 demographic.
Season 5 of picked up following the events of the season four finale with the gang trapped in Terminus. A bloody and fiery battle ensued and thanks to Carol (Melissa McBride), Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and the rest of the gang were all nike air force tacchi scarpe reunited.
"It's a man's party. Who could ask for more?" Charlie Collier, AMC president, said in a statement. "Enormous thanks to our friends and executive producers Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Greg Nicotero—who also directed last night's terrific premiere—Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and Tom Luse and all of their fellow producers, cast and crew for everything they do to make the #1 show on television such a unique and incredible experience for the fans. is one of those increasingly rare shows today that can command a live audience not significantly cannibalized by time-shifted viewing. Who would have thought that cannibalized television could be curtailed by cannibal-ized television?"
MORE: What happened in 's epic premiere
also stars Chandler Riggs, Chad L. Coleman, Lauren Cohan, Emily Kinney, Steven Yeun, Christian Serratos, Alanna Masterson, Andrew J. West, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard Jr. and Michael Cudlitz.
In advance of the fifth season premiere, AMC renewed the drama for a sixth season.
"We could not be more excited for October 12th as we share new episodes of with fans around the globe," Collier said in a statement when the show was renewed. "In advance of Sunday's season five premiere, AMC proudly confirms a sixth season order of this extraordinary series. Thank you to Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, the terrific executive producers, and the entire team who brings this compelling world and these rich characters to life. There's plenty more ahead thanks to their impressive, collective effort."
The network is also working on a companion series set in a different location and following a new set of survivors. So far just a pilot has been ordered, but considering the pedigree, there's a good chance we'll be seeing pretty soon.
airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on AMC.
PHOTOS: Check outcast in and out of (dirty!) costume
Welcome to the world of parenthood, Ashton Kutcher!
As the star adjusts to life with a newborn baby, the 36-year-old stepped out over the weekend for some much-needed grocery shopping.
Wearing denim jeans, flip-flops and a blue T-shirt, the actor traveled to Ralphs supermarket in Los Angeles to pick up a few necessities. He also donned a blue baseball cap with the letter, nike air max ltd 4 W. Is someone paying tribute to baby Wyatt Isabelle Kutcher?
According to an eyewitness, Kutcher "looked tired" as he purchased two cartoons of Almond milk and one big bag of groceries.
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Although fans are still eagerly waiting for the first baby pic of Wyatt, both parents appear to be adjusting well to their growing family.
When not changing diapers, the couple is showing off their great sense of humor by having fans guess their baby.
"Here's your baby photo. Well, one of them is," Kutcher wrote on Facebook with a link to his little guessing game posted to theAplus.com site. "Now can the helicopter please stop hovering over our house, there is a baby sleeping inside! And she's super cute."
With eight different pictures to choose from, however, it may be a little tricky to guess the right one.
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Post by Ashton Kutcher.
Baby Wyatt was born Sept. 30 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. In the days and weeks leading up to the birth, Kutcher did his best to ensure a smooth and successful delivery.
"Ashton is not letting Mila out of his site," a source told E! News. "He's preparing for all scenarios and not leaving anything to chance. He wants everything to go smoothly!"
Looks like the hard work paid off!
—Additional reporting by Michelle Falls
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Here we are,” the cab driver laughed as he pulled up outside the Wainscott Memorial hall. “The arsehole of Kent.” That wasn’t quite the description David Cameron used when he arrived half an hour later to give a brief call-to-arms and introduce the two hopefuls, Anna Firth and Kelly Tolhurst, seeking the Tory nomination for the Rochester and Strood byelection precipitated by the defection of the sitting Conservative MP, Mark Reckless, to Ukip. Yet even Wainscott’s most loyal residents are hard pushed to describe their hall as anything other than basic; hope more usually comes here in the shape of WI and spiritualist meetings than the PM.
These are strange times: a referendum wrapped in two byelections inside an eight-month general election campaign. Stranger still that Cameron should be as toxic on the edges of Essex and Kent as he was in Scotland; he daren’t go out to do meet-and-greets in the streets in case he’s heckled or asked something tricky, – don’t mention Lord Freud anyone – so his appearance on Thursday was limited to a handful of local residents who could be relied on not to make trouble. A handful of retired Tory party members, including one man in knee-length woollen socks and faded khaki shorts; the sort of people on whom the empire has never set. Not forgetting a couple of black faces – a deal-breaker rider in every rentacrowd contract for the Dave Roadshow.
Cameron bustled into the hall and made a quick bid to reinvent himself as David Farage, Nigel’s more sober younger brother. He understood the concerns of local residents, he’d even driven through Kent several times to the Eurotunnel en route to the Dordogne, and, if they would just bear with him, he’d give them everything that Ukip had already promised. Last week it was Vote Ukip, Get Labour; now the message had shifted to Vote Tory, Get Ukip. A few Conservative old-timers nodded appreciatively at this, though they might just have been nodding off. It was nearly lunchtime, after all.
First up on the hustings after the prime minister’s introduction was Anna Firth, a local barrister. She lost her audience the moment she opened her mouth.
The Tories aren’t going to hold off Ukip with a candidate straight from central casting and a voice that sounds like a radio presenter from the 1950s. “This is the Home service,” she said. “Today I want to talk to you about hospitals, schools and preserving the village green … ” Radio static from decades past mercifully filled the airwaves and blocked out the rest of her address.
Then came Tolhurst, a larger than life local woman who talked as if she’d happily take Reckless out in under three rounds. She’d picked up her Brownie badge for pest control in this very hall. “I, too, want three things,” she insisted. They must have both been told by Tory High Command they were only allowed to want three things. “I want better hospitals. I want better schools. And secondly, I want ... ” Maths may not have been Kelly’s strong point.
The differences between the two candidates became even more marked when the audience was invited to ask questions. “Will you ever lie to us like Mark Reckless?” one man asked. “No, no, no, I have a theory ... ” said Anna, who had by now morphed into Monty Python’s Anne Elk. Kelly was rather more equivocal, with a cunning use of a possible double negative. “Absolutely not, I will not lie to you,” she said. As there has been some uncertainty about her age during the campaign she was probably wise to hedge her bets.
On policing they were both very much in favour of maximum force and SWAT teams. “I have another theory,” said Anne Elk. “The police are needed for the night-time economy,” said Kelly. “They are also needed for the daytime economy.” Dusk and daybreak didn’t get a mention. “The thing about drug dealers,” she continued, “is that you don’t often get to see them.” She will go far in Rochester: if not to Westminster then at least to seeing her name on the ballot paper.
Having competed with one another to deport as many immigrants as possible at a hustings from which the media had been barred the previous night, Cameron wisely decided not to let either Anna or Kelly take any questions on that subject. Instead, he fielded it himself.
“Can you reassure us that ethnic minorities won’t be singled out when we start throwing out immigrants?” asked one of the black men.
Dave’s face furrowed with a concern of the highest possible order as he channelled his “Some of my best friends are black” voice.
“I’m glad you mentioned this. I get constant phone calls from black people about this,” he said, implying there was a black person’s Downing Street helpline rather than an occasional call from Barack Obama. “Ethnic minorities absolutely will not become targets.”
To underline the point, and to re-establish his sensitivity for race relations, he later said: “There will be no lynching here.”
What there also wouldn’t be in Dave’s modern, Conservakipper world were any Brits being press-ganged into a European army. Nor a foreign flag flying over Downing Street. The Union Jack, which had drooped over Rochester Castle throughout the morning, fluttered briefly.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Brothers Prince Harry and Prince Williamare paying tribute to their late mother Princess Diana's charitable legacy.
In honor of the 15th anniversary of the Diana Awards, which recognizes young people who have contributed to society in a profound manner, the Duke of Cambridge and his younger sibling wrote a forward for a book celebrating the organization's successful decade and a half, noting that their mother would be "proud" of the charity.TheDiana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award was first established in 1999, two years after the tragic death of the beloved royal.
"We believe, when encouraged and supported, that young people have the ability to change society for the better," the royal siblings wrote (per the ). "We know that our mother—in whose memory this award was established—felt the same and would be proud of its achievements to date."
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Tim Graham/Getty Images
Since its inception, the Diana Award has recognized40,000 young people for being active campaigners, anti-bullying champions, notable fundraisers and more in addition to boasting both anti-bullying as well as mentorship programs.
"Having met young people working with the charity in Newcastle and in London, we were struck in both cases by their deep and lasting sense of social responsibility," William and Harry continued. "These young people were working hard to tackle the social issues that affected them—such as bullying or social exclusion—and the Diana Award empowered them to do more."
13-year-old Ellie Louise Harris-Beard was among the recipients honored with the highly coveted accolade for helping her family found the charity Cords4Life, which encourages umbilical cord donations. Her brother, Charlie, was being treated with stem cells from an umbilical cord before he lost his battle to leukemia last year.
The youngKidderminster native established the charity in memory of her brother to honor his legacy.
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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Bill Hader returned to Saturday Night Live and made his hosting debut on Saturday, where he brought back one of his most popular characters, Stefon, and was also joined by another SNL alum.
Kristen Wiig, who stars with the actor in the new filmThe Skeleton Twins, appeared in several skits, while Broadway star and Mrs. Doubtfire and Independence Day alum Harvey Fierstein also made a cameo.
Hader made his debut on SNLas a performer in 2005 and left the series officially in 2013, a year after Wiig, to concentrate on his acting career, although he did return for two cameos earlier this year.
WATCH:You need to see Bill Hader's amazing impressions ofSaturday Night Liveco-stars
Saturday's episode also featured a musical tribute to formerSNLcast memberJan Hooks, whodied at age 57 on Oct. 9, as well as a performance from Irish indie rock musicianHozier.
Check out five highlights from Hader'sSNLhosting debut.
1.Monologue: Bill Hader "sings"
Hader, joined by Wiig, talked about his ambition to sing onSNLand cited his lack of singing skills, which meant, naturally, that he would try anyway.
"Don't be scared," she coaxed, singing herself.
You, however, might be.
2. The Return of Stefon!
Hader reprised his popular character during "Weekend Update," expressing his approval of the show's casting shakeup to feature for the first time two male hosts—Colin Jost and Michael Che.
"Mmm. One of each," "Stefon" said.
As he detailed information about New York City hotspots to promote the fall tourist season ("If you are some dumb folks looking to just get murdered, I know just the place for you"), Hader appeared to keep breaking character while referencing former MTV personalityDan Cortese, who later responded to the tribute on Twitter.
Yo @nbcsnl & #stefon I would've responded sooner but me & Winger are killin' it #Rocknjock style at Hooters in Cleveland! See u next week!? Dan Cortese (@dancortese) October 12, 2014
Stefon also reveals some exciting personal news.
3. Traumatized Puppeteer
Hader played a war veteran and Purple Heart recipient with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder who takes an advanced puppet class and freaks everyone out with his doppelganger, who recalls horrific tales of battle during the United States' 1983 invasion of Grenada.
When coaxed by the teacher, played by Taran Killam, to tell a joke, he and his puppet replied, "Here's a joke. God."
WATCH: Reporter has super awkward interview with Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig
4. The Group Hopper
SNL newcomer Pete Davidson, who is 20 and the show's youngest performer, played the hero of a mock trailer spoofing several teen dystopian films—The Maze Runner, Divergent, The Giver and The Hunger Games. Hader dressed in drag to play a memorable character from the latter film.
5. 39 Cents not enough?
In a skit spoofing fundraising ads for impoverished people in an African village, Hader donned a white wig, mustache and beard to play star Charlie Daniels.
There, he is confronted on-camera by several residents, including one wearing a Buffalo Bills "1993 World Champions Shirt" (a gag at what happens to pre-made Super Bowl T-Shirts after a team loses, as they were defeated by the Dallas Cowboys that year) who point out that a donation of 39 cents a day is not enough to live on. Show writer, comedienne and occasional Weekend Update commentator Leslie Jones makes a cameo.
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Bonus:Jan Hooks Tribute: "Love Is But A Dream" waltz
As a tribute to Hooks, the show aired one of her most memorableSNLmoments, a musical fantasy short titled "Love Is But a Dream," starring her frequent show co-starPhil Hartman, who died in May 1998 at age 49.
The video was created bySNLcontributorTom Schiller. It is set to a 1932Bing Crosby song. Hooks plays an elderly woman who retrieves some family heirlooms, including a tiara, which triggers a flashback of a romantic memory of herself wearing a princess-style ball gown and dancing with a handsome soldier in a dress uniform, played by Hartman.
After Hartman died,SNLpaid tribute to him with a special episode and "Love Is But a Dream" was screened then as well. According toThe New York Daily News, it was Hooks who urged show writerRobert Smigelto include the video.
According to Mike Thomas' 2014 biography of the actor,You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman, Hooks also took part in another tribute show for him, which took place at Los Angeles' Paramount Theatre. She read a letter she had written to her late friend, whom she called Sandy, because of the color of his hair.
"My dear, sweet Sandy," she said. "How I wish I could have one more dance with you."
Next week's episode of SNL, which airs on Oct. 18, will be a rerun of Chris Pratt's hosting debut. Jim Carrey, who is promoting Dumb and Dumber To, will host the show on Oct. 25, which will mark his third time, while Iggy Azalea will perform.
(E! andNBCare both part of the NBCUniversalfamily)
PHOTOS: Check out theseSaturday Night Livealumni!
Home ISL franchise Atletico de Kolkata's co-owner Utsav Parekh today said the capacity had been reduced, but viewers' comfort experience would reach a new high, something which was never seen during a cramped East Bengal-Mohun Bagan derby.
"It was a deliberate move to give enough elbow room to the specators and also to facilitate smooth passage during the breaks," Parekh told reporters, adding that the breaks would be a 30-minute affair and there would be wholesome entertainment with a match spanning upto four hours.
"As a matter of fact even during a derby when about 55,000 tickets were sold there was in fact a one lakh-plus crowd of spectators watching the match.
Clarifying the four-hour duration, he said, the match would be a 90-minute affair plus entertainment programmes spanning up to four hours.
Briefing the media along with two other ATK officials, Parekh said viewers would be up for a never-before-experience in a transformed spick-and-span Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan keeping the FIFA U-17 World Cup in mind.
"Everything will be in tune with the European leagues like bucket seats, locker rooms, jacuzzi and ice bath for players and hospitality boxes.
"It's our venue and with ISL many international officials will come here and FIFA officials will also visit in due course. We want to showcase the stadium to the world which will be one of the veues of the U-17 World Cup," Parekh said.
The first edition of the ISL will kick off at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan with ATK taking on Mumbai City FC on October 12.
20,000 tickets have already been sold out or distributed while 10,000 across all categories have been earmarked for a 50 per cent concessions to students, IFA-associated footballers and members of three big clubs of East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting