Can John Terry’s image get any worse?
Unbeaten Runs by Football teams, is your team in there?
4-3 victory over Mexico in the Homeless World Cup, and Tartan Army victorious.
That’s the simple phrase this Monday morning as the 2011 Homeless World Cup comes to a close, and of the 64 national teams that entered, Scotland have lifted the trophy.
Overcoming Romania (7-0) and Germany (15-2) in the opening games, they faced a nail biter with Poland in the quarter finals, finally winning 9-8. A Semi-final against Kenya (5-3) and the path to the final was open.
Mexico stood in the way of glory, but nothing would stop the boys in blue, and a push to victory
Oh and England? Lost 10-4 to Ireland, Lost 5-4 to Russia (but they did beat Lithuania 9-4).Read More
Fallout from the former Sky Sports pundit’s view on female referees continues as his digital voice duty stops at 11.
Sitting alongside Martin Tyler in a recording studio for three weeks will be Alan Smith, taking up the seat of Andy Gray – promptly followed by those sound samples being chopped up to amuse everyone as they play FIFA 12 later in the year.
Joining them will be a second team, with Clive Tyldesley and Andy Townsend popping up for alternative matches.
FIFA 12 is of course the "must have update to FIFA 11, 10, 09, 08, etc" and regarded as a tent-pole game in the calendar. It’ll be available at the end of September.
Hat tip to Digital Spy.Read More
If you thought classic BBC sitcom Terry and June was a non-stop rollercoaster of laughs, tears and thought-provoking plots, wait until you see Harry and June because as soon as the transfer window gets into gear Harry Redknapp intends to keep us as entertained as any TV show featuring a bungling middle-class fire extinguisher salesman and his patient wife. And that’s saying something.
What it’s saying is this: Redknapp is going to revamp his team, starting with the goalkeeper. That entails tussling with Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion for the services of Brad Friedel, or perhaps trying to convince Shay Given to turn down Celtic and possibly liberating Ben Foster from Birmingham City. Redknapp wants to buy a couple of players from Birmingham, which may be why Spurs were so determined to relegate them on the season’s last day: Roger Johnson could be on his way to White Hart Lane. Wolverhampton Wanderers, meanwhile, are testing Craig Gardner‘s loyalty to his boyhood club.
St Andrew has been the patron saint of boring football this season, which may be why the other Birmingham players attracting interest from Premier League clubs are:
One player definitely on his way out of Tottenham this summer is Niko Kranjcar, who may be on his way to Wolfsburg. The Bundesliga club want the Croatian to replace their schemer Diego, who’s heading to either Liverpool or Chelsea, depending on which paper he reads. Sunderland are preparing a £10m bid for Peter Crouch – someone at the Stadium of Light clearly has a deep love of beanpole strikers but the Mill can’t quite figure out who that could be. Perhaps we should repeatedly launch the question at the club’s chairman from 80 yards?
Tottenham also want the Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones, the Lille forward Eden Hazard, the other Lille forward Gervinho, relegated midfielder scurrier Scott Parker … and by now you have probably figured out that the Mill could meet its word quota every day for the next three months solely by speculating about Spurs activity, so let’s all move on, shall we?
Chelsea. They have no manager but they do have a player wish list and we are told that at the top of that there list are the two most talked-about Belgian teenagers of our times. Given that neither Hazard nor Tintin are teenagers (actually, can we be sure of that? What age is the intrepid boy reporter?) the Mill reasons that Roman Abramovich is preparing swoops for Anderlecht phenomenon Romelu Lukaku and the Genk striker Kevin De Bruyne.
Former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, meanwhile, will be invited to shuffle sideways in geographical terms but several floors downwards in football terms by taking up the reins of Queens Park Rangers. That spells bad news for Neil Warnock on the one hand, but on the other it’ll give him something else to moan about so he’ll probably be happy.
Liverpool, in addition to attempting to gazump most of Tottenham’s would-be signings, are going to lock horns with neighbours Everton over the signature of powerful Auxerre attacking midfielder Delvin Ndinga. Liverpool are also contemplating trying to revive the career of Lyon enigma Yoann Gourcuff, who fluctuates puzzlingly from being the new Zinédine Zidane to the new Bruno Cheyrou.
Finally, the Sun claims it knows the line-up that Sir Alex Ferguson will order to run around after Barcelona on Saturday. Apparently it’ll be the same one that started in Schalke, which notably means that Fabio will be chosen ahead of his brother Rafael. But who, really, will know?
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Manchester United’s owners have made it clear to Sir Alex Ferguson that he has a substantial transfer budget at his disposal for big-name targets during a summer in which the club’s bank account is expected to swell to more than £160m.
The £17m signing of the Atlético Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea will not be the last big signing during a close season in which the club will spend more than in recent years, and Ferguson has been given the green light to target the best players in the world.
The Glazers have consistently maintained that the manager has funds to spend, but fans have questioned the club’s ability to compete for the biggest names in recent years, amid concern at the club’s debt levels and interest commitments.
Having smashed the pay ceiling to give Wayne Rooney a contract worth around £200,000 a week in the wake of his threat to leave, the owners are said to be relaxed about the prospect of Ferguson breaking the bank to sign a marquee name.
It was the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80m in 2009, followed by the departure of Carlos Tevez to Manchester City weeks later, that raised concerns among Manchester United fans worried that the demands of servicing the loans loaded on to the club had left it unable to compete for the best players.
Club insiders say that any acquisitions will have to fit the template followed by Manchester United under the Glazers, with an emphasis on younger players who will retain value. The club has bought one player in the past 14 years who was over 27 and cost more than £3m – Dimitar Berbatov for £31m.
According to Manchester United’s most recent accounts, the club have £113m in the bank. That has fuelled suspicions that the owners will withdraw some of it in dividends but insiders claim it is there for transfers and to guard against unforeseen events.
That figure is expected to rise to more than £160m by the end of the summer, if it follows the pattern of previous seasons, once season-ticket revenue for the coming season is banked. Despite racking up a record pre-tax loss of £109m last year, much of that was attributable to one-off costs associated with a £500m bond issue.
The chief executive, David Gill, has repeatedly stated that the club will comfortably be able to pay the £45m annual interest on those bonds, especially as it bought back £26m itself, and still has about £60m in cash every year thanks to global growth in commercial and TV revenues.
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