Broadcast Amendment Billone day after private broadcast companies came out to criticise the Government over the proposed Broadcast Amendment Bill and asked for the deferral of the debate and passage of a recently-tabled bill, the Guyana Press Association (GPA)President of the GPA, Neil Markshas come out in support of these companies.“We stand in solidarity with local broadcasters on this issue and will be seeking further legal advice to convince the Government of the need to halt or reverse this process given the severe consequences these amendments pose to freedom of the press in Guyana and the commercial viability of private radio and television stations,” the GPA said in a strongly worded statement.The press body claimed that the amendments being sought will essentially introduce an unwarranted “programme manager” position by the State in the daily schedules of radio and television stations. It said, “The overall provision for the allocation of 60 minutes for public service programmes will disrupt and violate contractual obligations that stations will have with advertisers and programme sponsors.”While recognising that private broadcasters have an important role to play in cases of emergencies and disasters, including matters of public health, the GPA said it out-rightly opposed the actual allocation of times or the need to inform the authority about this or for the authority to dictate time slots if it does not agree with those allocated by the stations.“The GPA strongly objects to the Guyana Government seeking to redefine what constitutes “public service programmes” as this is in direct contradiction and a violation of the letter and spirit of the definition of public service broadcasting as laid down by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) of which Guyana is a member,” it explained.In referring to one of UNESCO’s factors in determining public service broadcasting is independent and free from State and political control, the Press Association asserted that public broadcasting is a forum where ideas should be expressed freely, where information, opinions and criticisms can circulate.This is, according to the body, possible only if the broadcaster is independent, thereby allowing the freedom of public broadcasting to be maintained against commercial or political influence.“If the information provided by the public broadcaster was influenced by the Government, people are less likely to believe the content. Likewise, if the public broadcaster’s programming were designed for commercial ends, people would not understand why they are being asked to finance a service providing programming that is not substantially different from those provided by commercial broadcasters.”The GPA also thinks President David Granger and the rest of the Cabinet may have been ill-advised by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo of what constitutes “public service programmes.” Nagamootoo holds the portfolio of Broadcasting and Information Minister.Further legal advice from local and international experts is being sought by the GPA. The Association also plans on raising this matter with its affiliates such as the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the International Press Institute (IPI), and other global press freedom bodies.Several private media owners and operators have expressed several concerns about the Bill. Most of them have said that this Bill could negatively impact their operations, particularly as it relates to the licensing fee structure, the imposition on property and infringement to determine broadcast content. They also claimed that they were not consulted on the amendments.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the Bill in its current form is a direct attack on press freedom while urging broadcasters not to sit idly by and allow the Government, through its one-seat majority, to get its way with the passage of the Bill; but rather seek recourse through the courts.Part two of the Bill sets out that broadcast agencies will be mandated to broadcast public service programmes for a total of up to one hour daily. Broadcast agencies will be airing these public service programmes free of cost and as requested by the Government between 06:00h and 22:00h.It is also states that the GNBA reserves the right to direct a broadcasting agency to broadcast emergency notices or disaster warnings for any length of time, and regularly during peak or prime advertising time periods, depending on the nature of the emergency and having regard to public safety.Revoking the 2014 broadcasting regulations, the Act also puts those broadcasters who are already licensed at the mercy of the Authority. It mandates that any licensed entity carrying out broadcast services immediately before the act went into effect will have no choice but to reapply within 30 days for a licence in accordance with the amended law, and plethora of other restrictions.
Antonio Conte is likely to stay at Chelsea beyond this season as he will be keen to lead the club in the Champions League.That’s the verdict of Roma chief executive Umberto Gandini, who joined talkSPORT on Tuesday to reflect on the Italian manager’s dream debut season in the Premier League.Conte is on the brink of seeing his Chelsea side being crowned champions in his first year in English football, after their 3-0 win over Middlesbrough meant they need just three points from their final three games to claim the title.But there are fears the Blues could lose their boss, with reports over the past number of months linking Conte with a shock return to Italy.Newly-minted Inter Milan are supposedly plotting an audacious contract offer to tempt Conte back to his homeland this summer, as their new Chinese owners looks to get the club back challenging for top honours.However, Gandini – who has known Conte since the early days of his playing career at Juventus – believes it is unlikely the manager would want to leave Chelsea now having sealed the Blues’ spot in next season’s Champions League.Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White, he said: “There are very few coaches who are able to totally change the destiny of a club, and if you go through the speculation in the newspapers, yes, there are a few clubs who are looking at Antonio.“Antonio is going to make a fantastic statement by winning the Premier League in his first year and I tend to think he would like to play with Chelsea in the Champions League, but you never know.”Another Italian who could soon be on his way to the Premier League, if speculation is to be believed, is Massimiliano Allegri.Juventus have gone from strength to strength under the 49-year-old’s stewardship, and he has been hailed as the man destined to take over from Arsene Wenger when he eventually ends his long Arsenal reign.The Turin giants are poised to lift their third consecutive Serie A title under Allegri, having also won the previous three campaigns under now-Chelsea boss Conte.And Gandini says Arsenal will have their work cut out for them to tempt the manager to leave Juventus and take over at the Emirates Stadium.“Massimiliano is a very, very good coach – I worked with him at AC Milan and we won a league together,” he added.“He’s doing exceptionally well at Juventus. He’s definitely in the same class [as Conte].“I think Massimiliano would be successful [in the Premier League] but I think Juventus will be very strong to keep him.”
A year later, Der Spiegel claims, the club had to fill a £9.9million hole in their budget to meet FFP’s ‘break even’ requirement because of severance payments to sacked manager Roberto Mancini.The club’s solution, according to the German magazine, was to get three of its main backers – investment firm Aabar, the Abu Dhabi tourism authority and airline Etihad – to make up-front payments totalling £7.5million for increases in their sponsorship deals.And in a series of emails quoted from by Der Spiegel, dated between 2010 and 2015, club directors appear to state that Sheikh Mansour is the real source of a large chunk of the money that is purportedly flowing to East Manchester from Aabar, the tourism authority, Etihad and telecoms firm Etisalat.Der Spiegel’s report referred to an internal email which it says was sent by director Simon Pearce, who is quoted as saying that Aabar’s contribution is £3million, with £12million coming from “alternative sources provided by His Highness”.In December 2013, Pearce is reported by the German magazine to have written in an internal email that Etihad’s contribution “remains constant at 8m” despite it being officially listed at £35million.Der Spiegel reports that by 2015, the “supplement” had grown to a staggering £59.5million, according to an email it claims to have seen from City’s chief financial officer Jorge Chumillas. 3 Manchester City broke a host of records as they won the Premier League title last season – but could a transfer ban halt their period of dominance? City said at the time the original magazine article was published that they would not be commenting and that the attempt to damage their reputation was “organised and clear”.On Monday, Der Spiegel published a new article on what it alleges are City’s attempts to deceive UEFA by channelling millions of pounds of their owner Sheikh Mansour’s immense wealth into the club via their Abu Dhabi-based sponsors.City repeated the statement they issued last week, defending their position and referring to “out of context materials purportedly hacked or stolen from City Football Group and Manchester City personnel and associated people”.The club are likely to face more questions throughout the week.Citing emails between City bosses that it claims to have obtained, Der Spiegel alleges that Sheikh Mansour, a senior member of Abu Dhabi’s royal family, has been topping up City’s already lucrative sponsorship deals with Emirati companies with his own money – which if true would be a clear breach of FFP’s rules against “related parties” pumping cash into clubs.According to the emails, Sheikh Mansour had “supplemented” City’s “Abu Dhabi partnership deals” by £149.5million by the time the club won the first of three Premier League titles under his ownership in 2012. City recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Sheikh Mansour’s takeover Manchester City have again defended themselves from accusations they have tried to cheat Financial Fair Play rules, by hiding millions of pounds of owner Sheikh Mansour’s private fortune from their books.Last week, German magazine Der Spiegel published a story which claimed the Premier League champions struck a secret deal with European football’s governing body UEFA in 2014 to avoid a potential Champions League ban for breaching FFP regulations. Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour 3 3 A spokesperson for Etihad denied the airline was not the real source of the money it paid to City.“The airline’s financial obligations, associated with the partnership of the club and the broader City Football Group, have always been, and remain, the sole liability and responsibility of Etihad Airways,” the statement said.“This is reflected in the airline’s audited accounts. Our partnership with Manchester City and the broader City Football Group continues to deliver important ongoing and accumulative returns on our investments.”The second part of Der Spiegel’s series was released on Tuesday and alleged that City set up a project group to circumvent FFP rules. City responded to Der Spiegel with the statement issued last week.UEFA said it “cannot comment on specific cases due to confidentiality obligations” but the governing body is certain to come under pressure in the coming weeks to reopen its FFP investigation into City’s finances.