News24

Stanford charges impact sport

2009-02-19 18:23

Washington - Texan billionaire Allen Stanford, charged with "massive" fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, was involved in a wide range of sports which are now left facing a large gulf in their funding.

Here are questions and answers about the impact on the sports and events he supported financially.

Q: What will happen to the planned Stanford-sponsored quadrangular Twenty20 cricket tournament at Lord's in May?

A: The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended negotiations with Stanford. ECB chairman Giles Clarke said this meant the tournament was unlikely to happen.

Q: What has happened to the money from the $20 million Stanford challenge held in November?

A: The ECB said the money had been paid but British media have reported several players may have been hit after reinvesting their winnings with Stanford.

Q: Have other cricket boards been hit?

A: The West Indies Cricket Board has also suspended sponsorship negotiations with Stanford. President Julian Hunte told the Telegraph newspaper the financial viability of West Indies cricket was not dependent on Stanford.

Q: Will golf's Stanford St Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee go ahead?

A: PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said the event which has Stanford as its title sponsor would go ahead in June.

Q: What will happen to Stanford's sponsorship of the Houston Rockets basketball venue?

A: No statement has been made about the multi-year deal but the Rockets have 70 other commercial partners so it is unlikely to be hard hit, the Telegraph reported.

Q: Will Stanford continue to sponsor the Stanford Charity Polo day at Sandhurst in July?

A: Organisers of the annual day at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, held in aid of the British Forces Foundation, declined to comment. Prince Harry competed in the 2008 event.

Q: What about Stanford's sponsorship of American polo?

A: John Wash, president of operations at the International Polo Club in Palm Beach, Florida, where Stanford sponsors a playing field, told Reuters they had already been paid until the end of the 2009 season and were not reliant on the money for next year as it was not a large amount.

Q: Will the Sony Ericsson Open go ahead next month?

A: The tennis tournament in Miami, Florida, which starts on March 25 and where Stanford is a host sponsor, will be unaffected, the Times newspaper reported.

Q: What will happen to Stanford's "global ambassadors", sportsmen and women who were being paid to make personal appearances and endorsements for the Stanford Financial Group?

A: Newcastle United captain Michael Owen is set to lose out as a result of the scandal, the Daily Mail newspaper reported, adding that Owen was thought to have invested in Stanford's empire and had some of his fortune managed by his companies.

Golfers Vijay Singh, Henrik Stenson, Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressel are also among Stanford's global ambassadors.

Singh told Reuters he was "just surprised by it all" but declined to comment on what it meant for his endorsement deal.

Q: Will the Stanford Antigua Sailing Week, of which Stanford assumed title sponsorship in 2007, still go ahead?

A: A statement on the event's website (www.sailingweek.com) said the regatta would go ahead as planned from April 25 to May 1 but said it would be "financially challenged" if it could not find the balance of the sponsorship.

Reuters