ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC): The West Indies Cricket Board said on Wednesday it plans to pump more than half a million United States dollars into the women’s game, a move that will see an increase in player-retainer contracts and fees starting next month. In a media release, the regional governing body for the sport said it would move the number of player retainer contracts from 11 to 15, and would also augment sponsorship payments, match fees and captains’ allowances. The increases are set to cost the board US$600,000, an injection of cash which chief executive Michael Muirhead believes will stimulate the women’s game. “We are hoping this new package will serve as an additional incentive for the current set of women, and will serve as a drawing card to more women to be attracted to cricket,” said the Jamaican, who relinquishes the post next month. The deal was hammered out along with the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and, according to the WICB, it will also benefit non-retained players as well. Former West Indies batsman Wavell Hinds, the current WIPA president and CEO, said the new compensation package for the women is “well deserved”. “Our women’s senior team has been a solid elite performing group over the last decade. As such, the improvement and security in their compensation package are well deserved,” Hinds said.
4. Dimitar Berbatov £30.75m (2008) – Click right to see Manchester United’s most expensive signings… – Having proved himself in the Premier League with Tottenham Hotspur, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to prise the languid Bulgarian from Spurs grasp. His calm nature, compared with Wayne Rooneys fiery attitude, Carlos Tevezs work ethic and Cristiano Ronaldos all-round ability gave Fergie the capability to rotate his strike forward line and tailor it to his opponents. Over four years he helped the Red Devils land two Premier League titles and shared the Golden Boot award with Tevez in 2011. 1. Angel di Maria £59.7m (2014) – Champions League winner and World Cup finalist, the only way was up for Argentine star Di Maria – until he joined Manchester United for a British record fee. After an initially promising start, the 27-year-old struggled with injuries and poor form culminating in a red card in the Red Devils FA Cup defeat to Arsenal. Hell have to improve next year if he is to live up to his huge transfer fee. 2. Juan Mata £37.1m (2014) – Click right to see Manchester United’s most expensive signings… – In desperate need of new personnel back in 2014, David Moyes turned to out of favour Chelsea midfielder Mata to boost his Red Devils squad. The Spaniard, a fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge, could only do so much though and wasnt able to stop the Scotsmans inevitable departure. He took time to get going in his first full campaign too but ended with 10 goals in 35 appearances under Louis van Gaals stewardship. 5. Luke Shaw £30m (2014) – Click right to see Manchester United’s four most expensive signings… – The most expensive teenager in the world, Shaw joined the Red Devils after a sensational first Premier League season with Southampton. His marauding charges down the left flank caught the eye and persuaded Man United to part with a sizeable sum for his services. Lack of fitness at the start of his time at the club irritated Louis van Gaal and injuries have not helped his cause but the Dutchman did reveal he has faith in the 19-year-old to succeed at Old Trafford. The original fee is thought to be £27m but will surpass this as he makes more appearances for the club. 5 It’s likely Manchester United will once again have a significant facelift this summer as Louis van Gaal makes his mark on the club.The Dutchman made more than £120million worth of signings last year, bringing in seven players to Old Trafford, who helped fire them to a fourth place finish.Having qualified for the Champions League again Van Gaal will want to add depth to his squad, which had to use several youngsters, like James Wilson, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair.And they might need to break the bank to land some of their transfer targets in the coming months given the nature of the players they’ll be looking at.But who are Manchester United’s most expensive signings ever? talkSPORT leafs through the annals.Click the right arrow above to find out… 3. Rio Ferdinand £34m (2002) – Click right to see Manchester United’s most expensive signings… – In July 2002, after a two-season stint at Leeds United, Ferdinand became the most expensive British footballer in history as Sir Alex Ferguson snapped him up. Originally thought to be a £30m signing, Man United eventually paid £34m for the defender as they reached a deal with Leeds to pay extra for add-ons early, saving them money and helping the financially stricken Whites. No matter the fee, he was worth every penny. In the 12 seasons he spent at Old Trafford, he won six Premier League titles, three League Cups and one Champions League. He is now retired after spending one season with Queens Park Rangers. 5 5 5 5
The American Soybean Association (ASA) supports the recent decision by the United States government to give the European Union (EU) more time to implement a science-based approval system for biotech-derived agricultural products, but warns of dire consequences for European livestock industries if the EU doesn’t speed up its approval process.”ASA supports the decision of U.S. trade officials to temporarily suspend action to withdraw concessions for the failures of the European Union to bring its biotech approval process into compliance with the WTO panel ruling,” said ASA First Vice President Johnny Dodson, a soybean producer from Halls, Tenn., who is the Chair of ASA’s Biotechnology Working Group.In May 2003, the United States filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against the EU’s failure to implement a timely, science-based approval system for food and feed products enhanced through biotechnology. Numerous other countries, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Uruguay joined the United States in the complaint because they also want to ensure that science-based determinations are applied to regulatory decisions. On September 29, 2006, the WTO ruled the EU had failed to meet its WTO obligations of implementing a timely, science-based system for the approval of biotech-enhanced agricultural products. The decision finalized a preliminary WTO ruling made in February 2006.”ASA has been in close contact with the U.S. Trade Representative urging this course of action,” Dodson said. “This is only a temporary suspension to allow the EU to demonstrate through action that it is making its system timely, and that decisions are being made on the basis of science, not politics.”The continuing failure of the EU to bring its biotech approval system into compliance not only will result in massive retaliation on EU exports to the U.S. market, but also will result in devastating consequences for the EU livestock and feed industries that are dependent on imported oilseeds and feedstuffs.The EU’s own agriculture department (DG Agriculture) produced a report in July 2007 that warned of the potential damage to the EU livestock and poultry industries unless its biotech approval process is speeded up. Numerous EU stakeholders, such as FEFAC, the European feed association, have campaigned strongly on this issue, pointing out the damage that could be caused if the EU is legally barred from importing crops already approved elsewhere but have not received European approval.”We hope the EU will respond quickly and positively to this latest gesture from the United States,” Dodson said.Currently, Bayer’s LibertyLink® soybean (LLS) and Monsanto’s Roundup RReady2Yield™ (RR2Y) soybean have been fully approved for cultivation in the U.S., and are going through the EU approval process. These soybean varieties, along with Pioneer’s Optimum® GAT® soybean (also going through the EU approval system) are targeted for commercialization in the U.S. in the spring of 2009.”These three varieties are only the start,” Dodson said. “Over the next 10 years or so there are likely to be more than 20 other varieties coming forward for commercialization. To avoid disruption of trade and resulting negative impacts on EU livestock production, the EU and its Member States need to provide timely and science-based approval of these soybean events.”The EU process is at least a year behind the U.S. and many other countries, such as China and Japan. It is an intolerable situation that must be rectified to allow trade to continue uninterrupted. So far, despite tremendous efforts by the European feed industry, farmers, the biotechnology industry and U.S. soybean growers, Europe’s politicians have yet to wake up and see the huge crisis developing around them.”Applications for both RR2Y and LLS in other major markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico and others either already have been approved by regulatory authorities or are moving ahead in a timely manner,” Dodson said. “It is the EU process that is out of step with the rest of the world, and as such, does a disservice not only to the EU farm industry, but also to consumers who can scarcely be blamed for being confused when the EU’s own scientists say a product is safe, but politicians hesitate over whether or not to agree with the scientific assessment.”With a full pipeline of new soybean events making their way toward commercialization over the coming years, ASA formed a Biotech Working Group in 2007 to provide a forum for U.S. soybean organizations to consult with biotechnology companies on their commercialization, domestic and international regulatory approvals status, and stewardship plans. ASA’s goals are to bring these new soy technologies to farmers just as quickly as possible, while at the same time safeguarding important export markets. To gain support among industry stakeholders, ASA has also been conducting advocacy missions to the EU to educate and motivate key livestock, feed industry, EU and Member State officials about the soy events now being developed.”Some EU officials and Member States are finally beginning to speak out publicly against the EU’s ill-functioning biotech approval system,” Dodson said. “ASA’s Biotech Working Group is serving an important function because we are finding stakeholders and officials that are very unaware of the issue and its possible consequences for the European feed and livestock industries. They have expressed appreciation for the briefings and asked for the continued support of U.S. soybean growers.”