West Ham co-owner David Gold and Karren Brady (Getty)

(WFI) World Football INSIDER rounds up the 10 things you need to know about the global football business today.

Brady: Olympic Stadium will be a destination for the nation
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said today that the club “will not let anyone down” when it takes over the London 2012 Olympic Stadium after the Games. The Hammers were unanimously chosen by the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) board on Friday, beating off a bid from Tottenham Hotspur. In an open letter to London in the city’s Evening Standard newspaper, Brady thanked all those who had supported the Hammers’ joint bid for the stadium with Newham Council.

“West Ham United and the London Borough of Newham may be seen as the main beneficiaries of the decision by the Olympic Park Legacy Company last Friday but everyone will win as a result of keeping the bulldozers away – including, let’s not forget, the loyal supporters of Tottenham Hotspur,” she said.

“This will be a stadium that will attract people eager to experience the very best in sport, culture and live events. Whether you are a supporter or player from Arsenal or Accrington, this will be a destination for the nation. London is on the up and, in summer 2012, the world will be watching as the capital stages the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever. The legacy will then be entrusted to us. We will not let anyone down.”

Ronaldo announces retirement
Ronaldo, the two-time World Cup-winning
Brazilian football legend, confirmed his retirement from football on
Monday. “I wanted to continue, but I can’t. I think of an action, but I
can’t do it the way I want to. It’s time,” the Corinthians player told
the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper. The 34-year-old helped his country
win the 1994 and 2002 FIFA trophies. With 15 goals in three World Cups,
he remains the tournament’s top scorer. Ronaldo won the FIFA World
Player of the Year three times: 1996, 1997 and 2002. In a glittering
career, he played for seven clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona,
Real Madrid, AC Milan and Inter Milan. Ronaldo’s strike rate was truly
astonishing: 62 goals in 97 internationals and a total of 326 goals in
466 club appearances.

Abramovich slides in Russian rich list
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has dropped out of the top three in the latest ranking of Russian billionaires that reveals the country’s leading businessmen and industrialists are on the up after the worldwide financial recession. Russia’s Finans magazine put Abramovich’s wealth at $17.1 billion and fifth place in its rich list. Arsenal’s biggest stakeholder Alisher Usmanov is said to have be worth $19.9 billion. Vladimir Lisin, the owner of Novolipetsk Steel, is at number one in the rankings.

Argentina fail to qualify for London 2012
Reigning Olympic champions Argentina will not get the chance to defend their football title at London 2012 after Brazil and Uruguay secured the two South American qualifying places. Brazil became the South America U-20 champions for the 11th time at the weekend to book their berth at the Olympic football tournament in London. Runners-up Uruguay qualified for the Olympics for the first time

Ronaldo with the World Cup trophy after Brazil beat Germany 2-0 in the 2002 final (Getty)

in 84 years; the 1924 Games in Paris and 1928 Amsterdam Olympics were their only two previous appearances. Argentina, the 2004 and 2008 Olympic football champions, could only come third at the U-20 tournament in Peru, dashing their hopes of defending their crown.

Wenger confident ahead of Arsenal v Barcelona clash
Arsenal entertain Barcelona on Wednesday, the pick of this week’s
Champions League round of 16 matches. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says
his team are in better shape to take on the La Liga giants than last
season when Lionel Messi scored four goals at the Nou Camp to knock
Arsenal out of the competition. Arsenal are currently unbeaten in the
Premier League since December. “We had many uncertainties [last year],
the team for me had less confidence. Now we have matured better and we
can certainly compete technically better with them,” Wenger told the
Arsenal website.

FA boss meets Platini
David Bernstein, the English FA’s new chairman, has held talks with UEFA president Michel Platini for the first time since his appointment last month. “I’ve made it an early point, on my eleventh day as chairman of the FA, to come over and see UEFA’s president and key executives,” Bernstein was quoted by UEFA.com. “I feel it is vitally important that the FA develops and progresses relationships with UEFA and other bodies. There are a lot of pressing issues, a lot of which we can develop together.” Apart from tackling domestic issues such as improving the governance of the FA, Bernstein said he was also focused on building a good England team to restore national pride after the embarrassment of the World Cup. “To see us win a major competition [being one key objective]… it’s been a long while since we’ve had that sort of success, and there is a great national desire for it.”

Socceroos players rewarded for Cup success
Australia’s success in the Asian Cup where they were runners-up to Japan has allowed its players to command bigger match fees and earn a larger slice of Football Federation Australia revenues. The FFA has struck a deal with the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) for the next four years. “Whilst the amounts paid to the players are modest compared to salaries paid to some players in some of the top leagues in Europe, they are significant boosts to young players and players from the A-League in the Socceroos squad,” FFA chief executive Ben Buckley was quoted by AFP on Monday.

Icelandic FA chief re-elected
Geir Thorsteinsson has been re-elected to serve a third term as president of the Football Association of Iceland. Elections were held on Saturday at the KSÍ’s annual congress in Reykjavik. His term of office will run until 2013. Among Thorsteinsson’s aims are to strengthen the men’s national team and reinforce football unity in Iceland. “The unity in the football movement is good. Our association is strong, and the progress made in recent years has given us many promising players – we will continue that good work,” he told UEFA.com.

Barca record ends
Sporting Gijon put an end to Barcelona’s record 16 successive victories on the bounce. Barca had to battle back from a goal down to rescue a point. David Villa scoring the equaliser.

Euro 2012 customer services company
UEFA names Contact Center as the first ticketing customer services provider for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. It is the biggest call centre company in Poland with 17 sites all over the country and extensive experience in providing customer services in sports. It will be responsible for the operational implementation and maintenance of the first line general public support for the upcoming Euro 2012. The deal does not include the sales of the tickets, which will be carried out exclusively by UEFA through the Euro 2012 ticketing section of UEFA.com. Ticket sales will launch on March 1 and conclude at the end of the month.

By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson

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