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Brighton Make £123m Record Profit After Best Premier League Season

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Premier League club, Brighton and Hove Albion have announced a record profit of £122.8 million in the 2023/24 financial year, which was the most successful season in the club’s history.

The Seaguils finished 6th in the 2023–24 Premier League season, reached the FA Cup semi-finals, and earned immensely from transfer fees for several key players, such as Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez to Chelsea, Alexis Mac Allister to Liverpool, amongst others.

An overview of the club’s financial records shows that profit after tax increased annually by almost £100m from £24.1m, with turnover going up by 17.2% to a record £204.5m.

The figures can help make “significant progress” on the pitch, the club said.

“These accounts will of course catch the eye because of the headline number,” Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said.

“In a season when we made history on the pitch, we took a huge step forward in terms of the club’s long-held aim of becoming more sustainable and less reliant on [Brighton owner] Tony Bloom’s incredibly generous levels of investment.”

Brighton owner Tony Bloom took over the club in 2009, when they were playing in League One.

Barber added that Brighton have made a “substantial repayment” to Bloom for the first time.

This means the club reduced the balance on Bloom’s interest-free loan, given in 2007, to £373.3m from £406.5m.

Brighton’s record figures come at a time when several of their Premier League rivals, such as Nottingham Forest, Everton, and Championship side Leicester City, are facing sanctions for breaching rules by incurring heavy financial losses.

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Football Legend, David Beckham Wins £240m Legal Fight

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David Beckham has won a massive £240million legal battle against several counterfeiters who were selling fake versions of his designer gear online.

The former football legend, 48, who is the director of DB Ventures had been seeking a staggering £1.58billion from 150 internet sellers.

Case files revealed the fraudsters were selling the fake goods on sites including Amazon, eBay, and Etsy by firms or individuals based in China or elsewhere in Asia.

These items consisted of designer clothing, footwear, perfume, hair, and body products, posters, footballs, video games, eyewear, jewellery, and watches.

The complaint said: ‘Their sale poses a real threat to DBV’s brand, and affects the sustainability of its business.

‘It also affects individuals and companies who unwittingly purchase them.’

The paperwork filed in the US also claimed the dodgy sales ‘erode the brand’s reputation’ and cost the company ‘considerable lost sales and harm’.

But now after almost three months since initiating legal action, Beckham has won the case, according to The Sun.

Last summer a temporary injunction and asset freeze were granted to Becks, which have now been made permanent by the judge.

Additionally, DB Venture’s motion for a default judgment against 44 defendants was granted, awarding £8,000 for each infringement.

However, the total award of £352,000 is significantly lower than the £ 240 million sought by Beckham’s team from the 15 firms collectively.

The former England captain will be happy to know that the counterfeiters are required to stop selling and forfeit any profits they accumulated.

DB Ventures enlisted the expertise of trademark specialists, The Sladkus Law Group, to put an end to the illicit sales.

In the filing, partner Jeffrey Sladkus explained that tracking the sites was challenging due to their lack of accurate address or phone number information.

He emphasised that legal threats were the sole effective method to halt their activities.

Beckham allegedly sold a 55 per cent stake in the firm to Authentic Brands in 2022 for £200million, despite the company’s profitable turnover doubling to £72million in the same year.

The company owns fashion brands Juicy Couture and Forever 21.

A source previously told the publication: ‘Authentic Brands want to crack down on people ­making cash from flogging goods with David’s name attached to it.

‘David and the team pride themselves on the quality of what they sell, including their clothes and ­fragrances, and they don’t want ­people being unwittingly ripped off when they buy a fake.’

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Bayer Leverkusen win Bundesliga to end Bayern Munich’s 11-year title streak

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Bayer Leverkusen lifted the Bundesliga title for the first time in their 120-year history on Sunday, a 5-0 victory over Werder Bremen breaking Bayern Munich’s 11-year stranglehold on the German top flight.

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen knew victory would secure the title with five games to spare, and there were no signs of nerves in a dominant performance.

A hat-trick from Florian Wirtz and goals from Victor Boniface and Granit Xhaka extended their unbeaten run to a stunning 43 games in all competitions.

Leverkusen’s maiden title, coming after five second-place finishes in their history, keeps their dream of a remarkable treble alive while shedding their unwanted ‘Neverkusen’ nickname for good.

With 10 minutes to go, the long-suffering fans began making their way to the sidelines and a few jumped the gun, storming the pitch with the match still ongoing.

Leverkusen’s players ushered the fans back and some obliged, albeit briefly, with the stands swiftly emptying on the 90-minute mark as tearful fans made their way onto the grass to celebrate with the players.

Leverkusen are now on 79 points — the best tally after 29 games in German league history — and are 16 clear of second-placed Bayern and third-placed Stuttgart.

“It’s impossible to describe. Personally I can’t quite grasp what we did. I needed to go back to the locker room to clear my head,” Xhaka told DAZN.

“We’ve already started the party with the supporters.”

Xhaka, who arrived from Arsenal in summer having disappointingly missed out on the Premier League title after leading for much of last season, said the side “could not imagine what we would achieve at the start of the season.”

“It was when we started winning some matches, with a dominant style of play, that’s when I realised we could do a little better than just making the Champions League.”

-Sea of red and black –
The Bayer Leverkusen bus arrived at the stadium 90 minutes before kick-off, wading through a sea of fans clad in black and red on the way to the 30,000-capacity BayArena.

Normally known as Bismarck Street, fans had stuck temporary signs saying ‘Xabi Alonso Street’ along the main road in honour of the club’s coach.

Alonso looked ahead to Thursday’s Europa League trip to London to face West Ham, making seven changes to his starting XI and benching stars Wirtz, Jeremie Frimpong and Alex Grimaldo, the latter for the first time in the league this season.

Piero Hincapie, Grimaldo’s replacement, had an early effort at goal saved but it would be the fit-again Boniface, making his first start since mid-December, who put the home side in front.

With 22 minutes gone, Jonas Hofmann was felled in the box by Bremen’s Julian Malatini, with the referee pointing to the spot after VAR urged him to view the contact again on the monitor.

Boniface stepped up and nervelessly slotted the penalty past a helpless Michael Zetterer to send the home fans into raptures.

Hofmann was almost the provider again shortly before half-time, his pass finding Amine Adli who fired against the crossbar.

Bremen started the second-half strongly but their hopes of spoiling the party were snuffed out on the 60-minute mark, Boniface finding Xhaka who unleashed a long-range rocket before slapping his badge in front of the ecstatic home fans.

Wirtz, who came on at half-time for Adli, replicated Xhaka’s effort eight minutes later from almost the same spot on the pitch.

Wirtz added another with seven minutes remaining before sealing his hat-trick in the 90th minute as Bayer Leverkusen rid themselves of their nearly men tag in style.

Earlier on Sunday, a 36th-minute goal from Ritsu Doan took Freiburg to a 1-0 win at Darmstadt, pushing the last-placed hosts closer to immediate relegation.

Winless since October and with only two victories all year, the loss leaves Darmstadt dead last, eight points from second-last and 13 points from safety with five games remaining.

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Zambian legend, Rainford Kalaba is dead

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The football world is in mourning following the tragic death of Zambian football legend Rainford Kalaba, who died in a road traffic accident on April 13, 2024, in Kafue, Lusaka Province.

The accident also claimed the life of his partner, adding to the grief of Kalaba’s family and fans.

Kalaba, aged 37, was a celebrated striker for TP Mazembe and a national hero for Zambia.

He was a key player in Zambia’s 2012 Africa Cup of Nations victory and had a distinguished club career with TP Mazembe, winning the CAF Champions League, Confederation Cup, and Super Cup.

Making his national team debut in 2005, Kalaba scored 15 goals in 105 appearances.

His personal highlight was winning the Golden Boot at the 2016 CAF Confederations Cup, where TP Mazembe triumphed over Algeria’s MO Béjaïa.

Kalaba’s legacy extends beyond his accolades; he is remembered for his role in the Zambian team that defied expectations to win the 2012 AFCON.

His career also included stints with Zambian clubs Kitwe United and ZESCO United, as well as loan spells in Portugal with Gil Vicente and Leiria.

The African football community has expressed deep condolences to Kalaba’s family, honouring the memory of a player who brought glory to his nation and joy to fans across the continent.

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