Monday 1 September
Abu Dhabi United, an investment vehicle for the United Arab Emirates royal family, buy Manchester City FC. The Victoria and Albert Museum pays £50,000 at auction for the designer’s original drawing of the Rolling Stones tongue logo. A search for an escaped lion are called off in Belfast after the animal in question was found to be a dog after all. Houses in the old town of Salemi in Sicily are offered for sale at one euro each on the condition that owners will renovate the historic but dilapidated buildings.

Tuesday 2 September
Representatives of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art have their day in court to defend charges of outraging public decency following the gallery’s display of a statue of Jesus with an erection; a private prosecution was brought by a Christian who lives in Essex and was offended. School inspectors warn that teachers need better training in working with pupils with learning difficulties and disabilities. Heritage Open Days confirm its biggest programme yet with 3,600 buildings open to the public next week. Abu Dhabi is planning a new museum quarter with branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim. Meanwhile in Manchester, Abu Dhabi County reckon they are going to put in a £135m bid for Ronaldo. Across the Pennines (and up a bit) King Kev edges towards the door of St James’ Park. The Doncaster Belles are reported to be on the brink of bankruptcy for the want of £60,000 a year to cover its running costs.

Wednesday 3 September
The AQA exam board asks schools to destroy a poetry anthology that includes a Carol Ann Duffy poem, Education for Leisure, on the grounds that it mentions knife-related violence. The first freerunning world championship is held in London, complete with a major credit card company as sponsor and Sky Sports coverage. The Tate announces as deal with P&O to promote Tate Cruises, arts-related trips abroad with a discerning arts audience aboard. The Abu Ghraib prison, a scene of torture under Sadaam and George Bush, is to be reopened as a museum by the Iraqi government. After much speculation Alan Curbishley resigns as West Ham manager. The Welsh Rugby Union announced a record turnover of £50m with a pre-tax profit of £3m.

Thursday 4 September
Sir Edward Lutyens’s smallest building, the Pimple, situated on the edge of Dartmoor, is sold with the new owner committed to its preservation. The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is unveiled with promises of the arts being central to London’s Games and a nationwide programme. It seems Mr Keegan has left the employ of the Toon, although no one is really quite sure.

Friday 5 September
Carol Ann Duffy responds in verse, noting that if her poem is banned most of Shakespeare will have to follow onto the pyre. The collapse of the construction industry and the housing market means that the 2012 Olympic village is facing a £250m shortfall. The UAE springs Grooverider, the DJ who had been jailed for drugs offences, as part of the pre-Ramadan amnesty. Nicaragua’s Sandinista government faces a concerted opposition from artists and intellectuals for its victimisation of Ernesto Cardenal, an 83-year-old poet. As predicted, Bernie warns Donington Park that he could move the British grand prix elsewhere if they fail to fulfil their contract; by ‘elsewhere’ he means the Middle East.

Saturday 6 September
England win a football game and Andy Murray wins a semi-final. The British Beer and Pub Association says that five pubs a day are closing in the UK. Bad news for Amir Khan who is knocked out in the first minute in Manchester.

Sunday 7 September
Robert Hughes, art critic extraordinaire and champion of modernism, is to lay the blame for the decline of contemporary art at the door of Damian Hirst. Hadrian’s Wall is to be lit up next year as part of an art installation by Northumberland Lights. The Paralympics opens in Beijing with plenty of spectacle and a no little fireworkage. Britain’s team numbers 206 athletes. The UN is said to be reconsidering the position of the Tower of London as a world heritage site in recognition of the damage being done to other sites such as Stonehenge, Bath and Edinburgh. Lewis Hamilton is stripped of victory in the Belgian grand prix following some chicanery. Andy Murray is pipped at the US Open post by Roger Federer. Four gold medals for GB on the first day of the Paralympics, including three in the velodrome.

Monday 8 September
The prime minister’s cabinet strikes a blow for inbound tourism by travelling to Birmingham to hold its first meeting outside London since 1921. Just up the road the National Sea Life Centre is guarding one of its snails around the clock owing to its ability to produce very rare pearls. Kevin Spacey is the latest to be spotted afloat on a narrowboat while the Zagat restaurant survey shows the average price of a meal in London to have risen 3.7% to £40.55 since last year. Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher has backed the Arts Council’s Take It Away scheme to encourage young people to play an instrument by inviting versions of new songs from the public. NICE guidelines suggest that some 60,000 people a year should be having gastric surgery to combat obesity; the figure is currently around 6,000. Andy Murray loses to Roger Federer in the final of the US Open. While Team GB continues its medal-winning ways in the Paralympics, Australia’s minister for sport, Kate Ellis, is seen keeping her side of the bargain with Gerry Sutcliffe by wearing a GB shirt in public. John Grogan MP puts his head above the sporting broadcast rights parapet by calling for the culture secretary to add England football matches to the list of free-to-air ‘crown jewel’ events.

Tuesday 9 September
For the purposes of the new immigration restrictions, among the professions of which Britain is deemed to be short is that of ballet dancer. Popular beat combo Elbow win the Mercury Prize and Fleetwood pier goes up in flames overnight. Leisure boats are said to be threatening a colony of seahorses currently thriving around Studland in Dorset, according to the Seahorse Trust. Upgrading and repairing the London Underground system is now going to cost £1.4bn more than it was to have done, making London 2012 appear even better value. The FA is thought to be considering selling off some of its stake in Wembley National Stadium Limited in an attempt to spread some of the risk. Lance Armstrong announces he is to have another crack at the Tour de France in 2009.

Wednesday 10 September
The Beautiful Game – A Football Ballet previews in London prior to its premiere next week in Europe’s capital of culture (it’s still Liverpool). Italian authorities recommend that Sabina Guzzanti, a noted satirist, is prosecuted for having a pop at the Pope; politicians on the left and the right have condemned the suggestion of indictment. A clear example of a cultural mismatch: the stylish, generous and genuine Gianfranco Zola, a man of charm and integrity, joins the English Premier League as a manager. Physicists from the University of Oslo reckon that Usain Bolt could have knocked 0.14 seconds off his 100m record if he had not stopped running after 75m. The $10bn Large Hadron Collider is switched on and the world doesn’t disappear. England win another match and are odds-on to win the world cup with everyone who has ever been in a pub.

Thursday 11 September
Culture secretary Andy Burnham warns the football authorities to sort themselves and the game out before it disappears down the plug hole. Team GB has now taken 43 medals in the Paralympics and  British Cycling continues its competitive dominance.

Friday 12 September
The RSPB says that red kite numbers are higher than any other point during the last century; there are now 1,200 breeding pairs. Now 69 Paralympic medals, 33 of them gold.

Saturday 13 September
Newcastle town centre fills with crowds wanting “Ashley out”; it seems like only yesterday they wanted him in. Volunteers get to work on rechalking the Cern Abbas giant. Great Britain’s basketball team beats Israel 96-86.

Sunday 14 September
Michael Kaiser, former Royal Opera chief executive, draws heavily on his experiences in London for a book offering ten rules of how to turn around failing arts organisations; but he does have nice things to say about Chris Smith. Cornwall is to campaign for status as European Region of Culture. Mike Ashley puts Newcastle United up for sale, saying he can no longer take his kids to the match; not being able to afford the tickets, however, is not the problem.

Monday 15 September
Olympic Price Watch prepares to retire with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and a $40bn rescue package for supposed insurance giant AIG. Just before OPW turns the lights out, the Ministry of Defence ponders a funding hole of £2bn, something to do with spending £4bn on two aircraft carriers that wasn’t in the budget. Pink Floyd’s keyboard player, Rick Wright, dies at the age of 65 following cancer. BBC director of sport, Roger Mosey, is to stand down to prepare the BBC’s assault on the Olympic Games. Freddy Shepherd reckons he left Newcastle United in fine shape and Chelsea’s long-time first team coach, Steve Clarke, joins West Ham following a £1m transfer fee. Mark Cavendish finishes the Tour of Missouri having racked up three stage wins.

Tuesday 16 September
Stella McCartney launches a new fashion line for Adidas “inspired by the Olympics”. The National Gallery is to host the installation of a historic Dutch red-light district the better to show off its Dutch masters. Dash Zhukova opens her new gallery in Moscow, backed, no doubt, by her partner, Roman Abromovich. Wheelchair racer Shelly Woods wins Great Britain’s one hundredth medal in the Paralympics. With immaculate timing the LTA announces a new £25m sponsorship deal with financial services company, Aegon. For Derek Draper it’s not enough: “It’s a big job, transforming British tennis. We’ll never have enough money to do all the things we want to do.” Shame.

Wednesday 17 September
Lifeguards at Sennen beach in Cornwall have asked the police to issue ASBOs to surfers who take their boards into swimming areas. Lloyds is to buy HBOS for £12bn; you could host the Olympics for that. It seems that Ofcom may be about to support Channel 4’s claim that it needs £100m funding so that it can offer a public service alternative to the BBC. London 2012 will feature the Olympics and the Paralympics on an equal footing, say 2012 organisers. The Arena opera house in Verona goes into bankruptcy, which means that 25% of all Italian opera houses are now technically insolvent. Great Britain’s basketball team qualifies for the European championship finals in Poland.

Friday 19 September
Mynydd Graig Goch in Snowdonia is promoted from ‘hill’ status to ‘mountain’ after new measurements confirm it is actually 30 inches higher than first thought and just over the essential 2,000 foot limit. A Damien Hirst oil painting is deemed worthless by Sotheby’s as it is not in the artist’s usual style. The Ryder Cup kicks off in the USA.

Saturday 20 September
It seems that Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s daughter, Pauline, fancies Tom Daley; she watched him dive in Germany, they’re the same age and he blushed when she was mentioned. The Chartered Institute of Marketing warns small businesses that they are in for a shock if they fall foul of the Olympic branding police. England football manager Hope Powell urges the FA to accept the proposal for summer football for the women’s game. It seems that there may have been some questionable results in snooker matches; the Gambling Commission is to investigate.

Sunday 21 September
The Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings point out the danger of losing the great British tradition of the pub sign as pub closures gather pace. Sales of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony have jumped by nearly 300% as a result of the BBC programme Maestro. John Dodd, the owner of the Glenogil estate in Scotland has his farming subsidy cut by £107,000 by the Scottish executive after pesticides suspected of being used to poison birds of prey were found on the estate. Albert Contador wins the Vuelta and becomes only the fifth rider to have won all three of professional cycling’s major tours. Can Alex Bogdanovic keep Great Britain in the Davis Cup? Er, no he can’t.

Monday 22 September
In full flow at the Labour Party conference in Manchester Olympics minister (and TLR contributor) Tessa Jowell claims the Olympics as the embodiment of “the triumph of hope over cynicism” but spoiling the idealism a bit by urging delegates to make sure David Cameron doesn’t get his hands on Labour’s 2012 success. The John Rylands Library in Manchester announces plans to put its celebrated collections of medieval manuscripts into a digital archive. An archaeological survey of Stonehenge suggests that the area may have been an important gathering place four thousand years before the first stone circle was built. Fall out from the gentle game of golf as the European side licks its collective wounds and moans about the partisan crowd at the Valhalla course that hosted the Ryder Cup. The Premier League is to investigate just who does own Portsmouth FC, an international arms dealer with a warrant for his arrest or, er, his lad. An FA tribunal finds in favour of Sheffield United’s claim for compensation over their demotion from the Premier League and, to cut a very long story short, West Ham are ordered to pay the Blades £30m.

Tuesday 23 September
Rumours suggest that some post-war pre-fabs in Catford are among buildings being proposed for listed status by English Heritage. Literary gurus (no, seriously) Richard and Judy are to include novels from new writers on their cable TV show. A small community cinema in Puglia, Italy is filling its seats as never before by screening the wedding videos of those locals recently married. M&B, Britain’s biggest pub operator, reports a notable growth in real ale consumption; a hand-pulled pint is one of the few pub experiences that cannot be replicated at home, they suggest. Culture secretary Andy Burnham is apparently keen to support the idea of the Royal Opera House developing a Manchester branch. UK Athletics finally names Charles van Commenee as new head coach and he immediately puts the track cat among the field pigeons by suggesting that Dwain Chambers would be welcome back to the Great Britain team now that he has served his doping ban. Manchester City’s new owner tells Mark Hughes that the board will not be interfering with the manager’s decisions. Start the clock.

Wednesday 24 September
Monty Python’s The Life of Brian will finally get a screening in Torbay, thirty years or so since councillors deemed it too offensive for the people of the town. The pistol used to assassinate Archduke Ferdinand, the so-called spark that set Europe ablaze in the horror of the First World War, goes on show at the Imperial War Museum in London. An initiative providing free school meals for all school pupils is to be piloted. The Israeli government claims Paul McCartney’s visit to Tel Aviv a victory for the Jewish state. The first bat used by Donald Bradman in Test cricket is sold at auction in Australia; it went for the equivalent of £66,000. Lance Armstrong confirms he is going to join the Astana team; it remains to be seen how quickly their current team leader, Alberto Contador, makes for the door.

Thursday 25 September
MySpace launches its online music service, prompting umbrage among record labels. Buster Rhymes, a rapper of some repute in hip hop circles, is arrested at London City airport owing to some recent convictions in the US. Prototypes of London Underground trains with air-conditioning are unveiled. The trains will be used from 2010 on the four oldest lines; these lines are close enough to the surface to provide ventilation. Dwain Chambers is, not surprisingly, pleased by Charles van Commenee’s suggestions that he might be welcomed back to the UK Athletics fold. Paul McCartney plays a gig in Tel Aviv, bring an instant end to generations of conflict.

Friday 26 September
Office of National Statistics figures show that 13.6 million men and the same number of women were working in Britain; around half of working women work part-time, compared with one in six men. Yves Rossy completes a cross-channel trip attached to a jet-propelled wing; it took about ten minutes. The Little Baron and other Olympians take their running shoes to the Tate to feature in Martin Creed’s Work No 850; it forms part of the launch of the cultural Olympiad for 2012. Mr Rhymes is sprung just in time to play his charity gig at the Albert Hall but irritates the authorities by being charming and complementary about the process and everyone involved. Joe Kinnear is named temporary manager of Newcastle United; people don’t even bother to laugh. Wembley will be hosting the 2011 Champions League final but this means that the FA Cup final will take place before the end of the Premier League season. Meanwhile UEFA has a list of 25 matches that are worthy of investigating for match-fixing.

Saturday 27 September
In response to a request under the Freedom of Information Act The National Gallery, the Tate and the V&A have revealed the extent to which their collections have been damaged in recent years; it seems that dozens of works have been damaged by inattentive visitors, cack-handed staff, clumsy movers and determined vandals. Durham win the County Championship for the first time, sixteen years after they achieved first class status. A Kate Moss self-portrait in lipstick sells for £33,600 at auction, a figure that might have been lower or higher were it not for the splash of Pete Doherty’s blood in the margin. Under an enterprising new initiative among stately home owners in Derbyshire visitors will be able to book in for a full a full dinner-bed-and-breakfast experience in the private quarters of the families throwing open their doors.

Sunday 28 September
Spurs could be the next Premier League club in line for a foreign takeover. The news does little to buoy the team, who lose and remain rooted to the foot of the table. Bernie Ecclestone turns on all the lights in Singapore so that he can race his cars at night while a European audience sits down to lunch. Coming soon: the British grand prix in Bogota. Frenchman Stephane Rousson fails to pedal his mini zeppelin across the Channel after become becalmed. The Soil Association urges the government to ban neonicotinoid pesticides to protect declining bee populations; four other European nations have already done so. Discord in La Serenissima: the new bridge, already contentious for its modernist design, is causing less-than-attentive visitors to trip on its irregularly spaced steps; Venetian authorities have asked the designers for their thoughts. England’s footballers beat the Czech Republic 5-1 thanks to the manager’s tactical nous: Hope Powell brought on a mid-fielder and moved captain Kelly Smith into an advance attacking role, all to great effect. Nicole Cooke wins the senior road race title at the worlds championships in Varese, Italy, only the sixth Briton, male or female, to claim the honour.

Monday 29 September
The world’s financial markets go into meltdown and suddenly no one is worried about the cost of London 2012 anymore. The Tories unveil plans to scrap plans for a third runway at Heathrow and invest £20 billion in a high-speed rail link between London and Manchester, while Salford Council appear to be embroiled in a debate regarding the relative merits of Aung San Suu Kyi, noted Burmese civil rights activist, and Ryan Giggs, noted footballer of Welsh extraction, over their suitability as freemen of the borough. Allegations of drugs and match-fixing? It seems that sumo is about to come of age as a modern sport. Alex Ferguson keeps up his ‘mad old granddad of football’ routine going by telling the media he won’t be helping them anymore (shame) and congratulates Rob Styles on admitting he made a refereeing mistake in United’s last game, commenting that “it helps in terms of him showing some humility towards the game” (hello Mr Pot, I’m Mr Kettle). Multiplex win a court battle with Cleveland Bridge over the steelwork in the construction of Wembley Stadium; they are awarded £6m in settlement but may be facing £10m of legal fees as the judge found against them on some issues. Can it be true: Sue Campbell to sit in the House of Lords as Baroness Sport? Thirty-eight gold medals for British Cycling this year is only the start, says Dave Brailsford.

Tuesday 30 September
The Turner Prize exhibition opens at the Tate. “The older you are, the more you like to be baffled,” says Tate directeur Stephen Deuchar. The Cutty Sark fire was probably started by an industrial vacuum cleaner left on over a weekend, say fire investigators. Greg Rusedski will not be coming out of retirement to play in the Davis Cup; apparently his role as talent scout for the LTA is taking up all his time.



the world of leisure
September 2008

Tuesday 2 September:
Abu Dhabi is planning a new museum quarter with branches of the Louvre and the Guggenheim. Meanwhile in Manchester, Abu Dhabi County reckon they are going to put in a £135m bid for Ronaldo.

last month


other news


an independent view for the leisure industry








about us

contact us