ESPN’s Greg Garber examined the idea in a Hot Read piece on Wednesday, but to follow up on that, who better to ask than the Vikings players themselves? Much like the players quoted in Garber’s piece, the Vikings we talked to said they likely wouldn’t sign with a team here, mostly because of the travel issues involved with playing in London and having a transatlantic flight before and after every road game. “I think the fanbase could sustain it,” said Jared Allen, who came overseas to meet fans this spring on a promotional trip for the game. “But again, it’s a lot to ask for a player. Personally speaking, I probably wouldn’t sign over here because of the fact that every road trip is going to be three, four, five days away from your family. And then you start thinking, productivity-wise, about, ‘OK, now we’re going to play a West Coast game, and you’ve got an 11-hour plane ride.’ Logistically, it’s tough on players and family members and stuff like that, but obviously, it’d be fun as an experience, getting to hang out in Europe. But when you’re looking at a minimum of a six-hour flight every road trip, I don’t know.” Linebacker Chad Greenway also pointed out how difficult it would be to sign players in a salary-cap system, and that, ultimately, would be something I’d think the NFL would have to work out if it did put a team here. When teams in Texas and Florida are already able to tout their lack of state income tax in their meetings with free agents, how would a team in London compensate for higher taxes and the cost-of-living difference, especially if it had to pay players in dollars and ask them to spend their money in pounds? A team might be able to boost its bottom line thanks to the sizable difference between the two currencies, since it would be earning local revenues in pounds, but as much as that transaction would benefit an organization, it would hurt a player. As Garber writes, the march toward a team in London might be inevitable, especially with the interest in the game growing and the NFL running out of high-dollar U.S. markets that don’t have a team.
putting home ownership beyond the reach of young Britons, political parties are pledging to ease planning curbs and build more homes. The opposition Labour Party said this week it would allow local authorities to charge developers that dont build on land that has received building approval. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has been promoting home ownership by assisting buyers and making mortgages easier to obtain as he seeks to revive the U.K. economy. Despite those efforts, approvals to build new homes in London fell about 15 percent in the first half from a year earlier, according to data compiled by researcher Glenigan for the Home Builders Federation. Wider Margins Homebuilders were the main beneficiaries of the fall in land prices that followed the financial crisis as they boosted profit margins by developing plots acquired at a discount. Development land values for the country overall are 50 percent below their 2007 peak, Savills said. In London, land prices now exceed the previous high, according to the broker. The 87 percent jump since their trough in 2009 compares with an increase of more than 60 percent for London luxury homes and a 43 percent gain for all residences in the city, Knight Frank estimates. British Land Co. bought a site in Londons Mayfair district to develop luxury apartments last year, using the proceeds from a 400 million-pound ($640 million) bond issue . The convertible debt, which matures in 2017, has a 1.5 percent coupon. The Bank of England last expanded its stimulus program known as quantitative easing in July last year and investors are betting policy makers will raise the 0.5 percent benchmark interest rates as early as 2015 as the recovery gathers strength. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve will take the first step to reducing $85 billion in monthly bond purchases in December, according to 59 percent of 41 economists in a Sept.