World Sports News in Brief

Premier League clubs post record revenue but face COVID-19 impact - report

Premier League clubs enjoyed a record 5.2 billion pounds (US$6.65 billion) of revenue in the 2018-19 season, according to data released by Deloitte on Thursday (June 11), but income is expected to decline in the short-term due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raindrops are seen on a Premier League logo prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo: Getty Images)
Raindrops are seen on a Premier League logo prior to the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Brighton and Hove Albion at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2017 in Bournemouth, England. (Photo: Getty Images)

The novel coronavirus outbreak, however, has disrupted the 2019-20 season for the major European leagues. The report anticipates the Premier League to lose around 1 billion pounds in revenue this season, despite plans to restart the competition on June 17.

* Mexican midfielder Jesus Corona scored for the second match in a row as 10-man Porto returned to winning ways and moved to the top of the Portuguese Primeira Liga with a 1-0 home win over Maritimo on Wednesday. Porto now have 63 points from 26 matches, two clear of second-placed Benfica with eight rounds remaining in this season’s championship in a two-horse race for the title.

* Robert Lewandowski netted a second-half winner as holders Bayern Munich remained on course for a domestic double after beating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 on Wednesday to reach the German Cup final for the third straight year. Bayern will now play Bayer Leverkusen, who cruised past fourth tier Saarbruecken 3-0 on Tuesday, in the final in Berlin on Jul 4.

* Junior Tavares scored a stunning equaliser 13 minutes from fulltime as hosts Portimonense came from two goals down to draw 2-2 and compound the recent woes of title-chasing Benfica in their Portuguese top-flight clash on Wednesday.

* Olympic champion rower Mahe Drysdale has confirmed he will attempt to win a third successive single sculls gold medal at next year's postponed Tokyo Olympics at the age of 42.

* Edinburgh-based philanthropist James Anderson has agreed to donate 3.125 million pounds (US$3.98 million) to Scottish football clubs and their communities in order to help ease the financial strain of the COVID-19 crisis. The money will be distributed through the SPFL Trust, with each of the 42 Scottish professional clubs allowed to apply for a grant of 50,000 pounds.

* Rayo Vallecano beat Albacete 1-0 on Wednesday in the first Spanish football match to take place in three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Holders Partizan Belgrade beat bitter city rivals Red Star 1-0 on Wednesday to reach the Serbian Cup final as fans were allowed to attend games in unrestricted numbers for the first time since the coronavirus halted soccer in the Balkan nation in mid-March.

* There was one positive result from the Premier League's latest round of tests for the novel coronavirus, the league said on Wednesday. A total of 1,213 tests were carried out among players and club staff on Monday and Tuesday, the seventh round of tests since players from England's 20 top-flight clubs returned to training.

* Everton forward Theo Walcott will miss the restart of the Premier League season after undergoing abdominal surgery, the Merseyside club said on Wednesday. The 31-year-old had an operation on Monday evening, having developed symptoms following the first team's return to training.

* Manchester City will have to wait until "the first half of July" to find out whether their appeal against a two-year ban from European football has been successful. A three day hearing of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, held over video-conference, concluded on Wednesday and the Lausanne-based court said they would now begin deliberations.

* This year's European Badminton Championships have been cancelled due to the unavailability of dates in a revamped calendar following disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Badminton World Federation said on Wednesday. The tournament, which was originally scheduled for April 21-26 in Kiev, was postponed after the badminton season was suspended in March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

* Newly crowned Women's Super League (WSL) champions Chelsea will donate their prize money of 100,000 pounds (US$127,830) to UK charity Refuge to support women and children experiencing domestic abuse during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Chelsea were awarded the 2019-20 WSL title by the English Football Association last week on a basic points-per-game basis after the campaign was ended due to the COVID-19 crisis.

* World soccer's governing body FIFA has rated the joint Australia/New Zealand bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup as the best to host the tournament. FIFA said in a statement on Wednesday that it had received official 'bid books' from three contenders - Colombia, Japan and the joint Australia-New Zealand bid.

* The Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool in the Premier League this month will be held behind closed-doors at Everton's Goodison Park stadium, despite concerns the venue may attract supporters. Media reports had suggested that the fixture on Sunday June 21 could be held at a neutral venue if authorities felt there was a risk of lockdown restrictions on public gatherings being broken.

* Roger Federer will miss the rest of the 2020 season after undergoing a second procedure on his right knee, the 20-times Grand Slam singles champion said on Wednesday. Federer struggled with injury at this year's Australian Open in Melbourne, where he lost in the semi-finals to eventual champion Novak Djokovic, and subsequently underwent surgery on the knee in February.

* Australia's domestic "Super Rugby AU" schedule has been confirmed for July 3 to Sept. 19 after getting approval from broadcasters, Rugby Australia said on Wednesday. The competition, featuring the country's four Super Rugby teams and Perth-based Western Force, will have 10 weeks of round robin play before a two-week playoff series.