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£500,000 upgrade for Erskine pool

Work has started on a £500,000 project to revamp a swimming pool in Erskine, Renfrewshire, as part of the local authority's wider £92m investment programme. Erskine Swimming Pool will include a new changing village, a poolside sauna, a vanity area and a reception and viewing area as part of the renovation, which is due for completion by June. The scheme will form part of Renfrewshire Council's Building Better Communities initiative, which will see the creation of sports hubs at Linwood Sports Centre (£24.1m) and the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley (£7.1m).

New adiZone opens in Gravesham

A new adiZone – an outdoor

multi-sport gym facility developed by sportswear company Adidas – has been unveiled by Gravesham Borough Council (GBC) in Gravesend, Kent. Located on the town's riverfront, the permanent installation boasts facilities for basketball, football, tennis and climbing. Initially installed within London 2012 host boroughs, the adiZone concept is now being rolled out across the country, with the Gravesend site the first in south east England.

Smith steps down as SFA chief executive

Scottish Football Association

(SFA) chief executive Gordon Smith has resigned from the position after a three-year tenure. In a statement, Smith revealed that a number of different factors – including family illness – were behind his decision to leave. Smith said: "There are external factors that need my attention. Stepping down, though, is something I have considered for some time."


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Cricket chiefs to revisit T20 overhaul?

Working party reportedly working on plans to transform the domestic structure

By Pete Hayman

England cricket chiefs are set to revisit proposals for city-based Twenty20 franchises as part of wider efforts to transform the domestic structure. According to the Telegraph, a

new working party comprising the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and county sides who currently own Test-standard venues has already convened for the first time. The newspaper reports that

the group has commissioned Deloitte to draw up a paper to be submitted to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) over the coming weeks. Proposals include a franchise

league incorporating nine teams based at each of the Test

A franchise-based format similar to the IPL is being mooted

venues – similar to the Indian Premier League (IPL). A source told the newspaper:

"The group is looking at the whole domestic structure and part of that will be Twenty20 cricket. We will also look at the bidding system in terms of how

that operates and whether the model we have at the moment is the best model or not." It is believed the franchise

format would encourage new investment to help larger grounds to sustain long-term development plans.

Manchester United declared 'most valuable' club

By Pete Hayman

Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) has been named as the world's most valuable football club by US business

magazine, Forbes.

The club is said to be worth

US$1.84bn (£1.2bn) – more than US$500m (£325.2m) ahead of second-placed Real Madrid, which has been valued at US$1.32bn (£858.6m). Arsenal, Liverpool and

Chelsea also form part of the

MUFC is worth around £1.2bn

Forbes list of the world's top 20 most valuable football clubs, although Manchester City and

Newcastle United have seen their worth decrease. The data used to compile the

list includes income from the sale of broadcast rights, tickets and merchandise, as well as sponsorship agreements. Player transfer sales are not included. However, the Forbes study

contrasts with a study pub- lished by Deloitte in March, which revealed Real Madrid as the first sports team to generate E400m (£346m, US$532m) in revenue.

Goals' expansion plans for 2010 remain 'on track'

Goals Soccer Centres has revealed that its plans to expand its UK portfolio remain on track, with three new sites due to open during the current financial year. The football centre operator has unveiled sites at Liverpool and Eltham, London, during the first

quarter of 2010, with work underway at Portsmouth, Ipswich and Gillette Corner, London. At the group's annual general meeting on 27 April, chair Sir Rodney Walker revealed that work

is due to start on three new five-a-side football facilities, while the first US Goals Soccer Centre – under development at South Gate Park, Los Angeles – will open in July.

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