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Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.

Arsenal News: Bukayo Saka signs new Gunners contract

Dash those reports that Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka as ready to lave the club. The 18-year-old star in the making with 33 appearances to his name has just signed a new “long-term” contract with the Gunners.

It was never in doubt. Well, not unless you’ve heeded some of the tosh written about Saka in the past few months. Get a load of this in the Express. The ‘stumbling block’ was ‘stumbling blocks’ – he didn’t want to leave and wasn’t for sale:

Such are the facts.

Posted: 1st, July 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Fantastic photographs of Manchester United and Manchester City fans in the 1970s

Iain S.P. Reid’s brilliant photographs of football fans in Manchester in the late 1970s are being shared. People are coming forward to say ‘That’s me in the picture’. And that’s great. A book of Iain’s pictures will feature your names and your stories. So please spread the word. We really want to hear if you or someone you know is in Iain’s pictures of Manchester United and Manchester City fans enjoying the carnival of match day.

As part of the project we’ve also got prints of many of the photos at the Flashbak Art Prints Shop.

See lots more of Ian’s photos on Facebook.

Posted: 30th, June 2020 | In: Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Ceballos won’t stay; Edu talks nonsense; Thomas Partey too expensive

How do you reward the player who scored the goal that took you into the FA Cup semi-finals? If you’re Arsenal, you assure Dani Ceballos, 23, for it is he, that you will not try to buy him when his loan deal from Real Madrid ends. So bad are Arsenal at player recruitment, so scattergun their transfer policy, that Ceballos should write a thank you letter to whoever it is who runs the club for not trying to sign him.

Incidentally, who does oversea transfers at Arsenal? Who actually identifies and picks players? Does anyone know who thought Lichsteiner, Xhaka, Mustafi and Denis Suarez were good investments?

Raul Sanllehi says Arsenal must “outsmart the market”. What doe that mean? Is Thomas Partey at £45m too expensive or smart?

Sanllehi is the club’s ‘head of football’ and should not be confused with the Arsenal ‘technical director’, Edu. And there’s the head coach, who might also be termed ‘head of football’ or technical director, Mikel Arteta. Says Edu: “Mikel has to be involved in recruitment, he must. We talk about what we need, the characteristics of the players, the system we’re going to play and then I start the process internally.” With whom? Who does Edu talk with internally to hire players? Is it Josh Kroenke, the absentee owner’s son, a marketing man possessed with less football acumen than a kitten with a beach ball?

There are four people on the Arsenal board and two of them are called Mr Kroenke. Here’s what the Arsenal website says about the owners:

Stan:

Mr. Kroenke is a well-regarded real-estate developer with a diverse international portfolio that includes commercial and residential real estate, ranches, vineyards, shopping centres, warehouse facilities and hotels.

Josh:

Josh works closely with Kroenke Sports & Entertainment executives on multiple business operation issues, ranging from finance to marketing.

Arsenal: the London office of a marketing and real estate empire.

Posted: 30th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: Luiz, Mari, Soares and Ceballos all sign up for a another year of misplaced unbearable hope

Good news, Gooners. And even better news for strikers playing against your club. Arsenal have beaten FC Desperado to secure the signature of David Luiz. The Brazilian will play for Arsenal for another season.

Joining him in the Premier League’s most over-priced defensive bunfight are Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares, who have also agreed to stay at the club.

Dani Ceballos has extended his loan deal from Real Madrid until the end of this season. And – who knows – the Spanish midfielder might prove to be a better defender than the lot of them.

As Arsenal fans wonder if the club’s recruitment policy is based on an attempt to make Xhaka and Mustafi look as good as their teammates, the club’s technical director Edu explains how it’s all part of the big plan.

“I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future,” says Edu. “They have been part of the long-term technical plan [manager] Mikel [Arteta] and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.” Luiz is 33. What long term plan is he part of?

“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team,” says Edu. “His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch – he helps everyone.” Just last week Luiz helped Manchester City to three points in a 25-minute spell that featured two bursts of hapless defending that led directly to two City goals and a red card.

Posted: 24th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Arsenal balls: The Bernd Leno miracle

Remember when Bernd Leno, the Arsenal goalkeeper, suffered a “horror injury (Mail) in a match with Brighton? So horrible was the injury that the Sun told us that BT Sport refused to show it in a replay.

Leno the sun
X-Rated Horror!

As I pointed out, Arsenal fans are made of sterner stuff than those BT softies and could watch the gore fest on their club’s family friendly official website.

Leno injury
Will Leno walk again?!

As the world prayed for Leno, the Sun looked at five goalies Arsenal could sign to cover for Leno should be be out for year with what could be cruciate knee ligament damage.

And then prayers were answered. It turns out that Leno had merely sprained his knee. He will walk again! There will medical journals telling of Leno’s knee. Religionist will will point to Bernd ‘Lazarus’ Leno as evidence of god’s love.

Amen.

Posted: 23rd, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports | Comment


Pray for Bernd Leno: watch the ‘horror’ injury before the watershed

Leno injury

Another days and with it another injury to an Arsenal player. This time it’s Bernd Leno, the talented Arsenal goalkeeper who jarred his knee in a match against Brighton. So bad was the “horror injury” that according to the Sun, broadcaster BT Sport “refused” to show it on the telly. Dead bodies, war, famine and George Floyd having his neck sat on by a policeman for nearly nine minutes in America (he was pronounced dead not long after) are all suitable items for tea-time watching. But the German goalie jarring his knee is unacceptable to Arsenal fans who have seen in recent years two players (Euduardo and Ramsay) carried from the pitch with badly broken legs and another (Diaby) badly hurt.

For anyone keen to see the incident help is at hand because you can watch Leno jarring his leg on the official Arsenal website. Elsewhere you can see Leno cussing at the Brighton player who clattered him, contributing to the injury and leaving the ground on crutches. We can assure viewers that Leno will walk again. In other news: 60,000 people are dead from Covid-19. As you were…

Posted: 21st, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Beat Lockdown with your own Backyard Golf Course

Beat the lockdown with this Backyard Golf Course from 1960. To make your own, you’ll need: a putter, golfball, string, tin cards, cardboard, a backyard and a more odds and sods from around the home. And because it’s your own golf club, you can set the rules and ban whoever you like:

Spotter: Collection Jim Linderman

Posted: 20th, June 2020 | In: Sports | Comment


Arsenal : Injured Mari, Hapless Luiz, Terrible Mustafi and the worst defensive crisis in living memory

When Arsenal’s Pablo Marí was injured just a few minutes into the restarted Premier League season, the obituaries were ready to be written. The defender’s injury sustained in a 3-0 hammering at Manchester City is as bad as you want it to be. The Sun says the player’s season is over and he will need surgery. The Mail says the player’s loss is a “huge blow”. It is a “serious injury”. The prognosis is better in the Mirror, which reports that Mari “could sideline him for several weeks”. Or to rephrase it, he might not be sidelined for several weeks.

The narrative is that Arsenal are in a state of “crisis” because of the injury. But that’s bunkum. The truth is that Arsenal have lots of centre backs: Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding are fit, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is back next week and Calum Chambers – arguably the club’s best centre-half – is nearing full fitness after a lengthy injury-induced layoff. Oh, and in two games time the Gunners can call on the services of David Luiz. There’s also Mavropranos, who can be recalled from loan. And William Saliba, who could arrive at a push.

The official word on Mari is that it is a “significant injury which is currently undergoing further specialist assessment”.

The unofficial observation is that Arsenal have lots and lots of players – and most of them are not fit to tie Tony Adams’ laces.

Posted: 19th, June 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports | Comment


Fabulous Photographs and Art Prints of Manchester United and Manchester City Football Fans 1976-1977

Manchester united fans art prints 1977

Thanks to the Flashbak art prints shop for showing us these brilliant photographs of football fans in Manchester in the late 1970s. They were taken by Iain S. P. Reid in 1976 and 1977. The photographs zoom in on Manchester derby games between Manchester United and Manchester City. Plans are for the photographs and the stories around them to appear in a book. So i you are in any of the photographs or know someone was is, please get in touch.

Manchester united fans 1977

Sadly Iain passed away in November 2000. He was cremated at Hazelhead Crematorium, Aberdeen on the 8th November 2000. The mourners were so many that some had to stand outside…. A testament to his life. He was much loved by many. His photographs are arguably the best images of British football culture in the 1970s. More from the Manchester series are being posted on Iain’s Facebook Page.

15% of all profits from prints and the book go to the charity Melanoma UK

You can buy the art prints here.

Please follow Iain’s Facebook Page for more of these great photos.

All images are the copyright the Estate of Iain S. P. Reid and must not be used without permission.

Posted: 2nd, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Coronavirus Club: what happens if Premier League players refuse to play?

We’ve heard a fair a bit about footballers testing positive – and most of them testing negative – for coronavirus. But what if they don’t want to work in an environment so unsafe that they need to be tested for a potentially life-threatening virus twice a week? No players or club staff tested positive from 1,130 tests conducted last Thursday and Friday. But they might have. So they’ll all be tested again next week. Does that sound safe to you, or an admittance that things are dangerous? Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings is unimpressed. He says players were the “last people to be consulted” over the Premier League’s “financially driven” Project Restart. Mings says players are just “commodities” and the Premier League lacks integrity. Yeah. Who knew?

“Project Restart is financially driven. I think everybody accepts that,” he tells the Mail. “I am all for playing again because we have no other choice. As players, we were the last people to be consulted about Project Restart and that is because of where we fall in football’s order of priority. That isn’t a problem. We got the option to come back to training and that’s fine because we didn’t have to but if the FA and the EFL and the government and Uefa and the Premier League all say you are going back to play, it really doesn’t make any difference what the players think because you are going back to play. It is get in or get out.”

So what happens if player decides to down tools and not play? Surely they’ll be in breach of contract with their club. But would their club fine them? We may well get to find out.

Posted: 31st, May 2020 | In: Sports | Comment


Football team populates stands with sex doll WAGs

South Korea sex doll

To South Korea, where FC Seoul being are being cheered on by a platoon of immaculate WAGs. But take a closer look and these women are entirely made of man-made fibres. Has Vicky overcooked the injections and filler? No. These are factory-fresh, coronavirus-proof sex dolls.

“We will think hard about what we need to do to ensure that something like this never happens again,” says an FC Seoul rep who mistook Bot345 for Victoria Beckham. “We want to sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused by the instalment of the mannequins. Our intention was to do something lighthearted in these difficult times. We will think hard about what we need to do to ensure that something like this never happens again.”

Said one player: “She never took her eyes off me nor even blinked. It filled me with energy and desire. Now I feel a bit deflated – which is how Bianca was looking after we left the hotel. Please don’t tell my wife.”

Posted: 26th, May 2020 | In: Sports, Strange But True | Comment


Cancel the Premier League season: AFC Bournemouth player tests positive for coronavirus

Why anyone still think it’s sane to resume the Premier League season is beyond most of us. The German Bundesliga has restarted but with no crowds it’s a moribund, soulless spectacle. And now an unnamed Bournemouth player is one of two new coronavirus cases discovered by the latest round of Premier League tests. The players will now self-isolate for a week.

Speaking on Friday, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said he was “as confident as we can be” about restarting in June. To which the question is: if it was you or your child a kicking ball around, perhaps with a young child or pregnant partner at home, would you be “confident” about playing contact sport?

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: Sports | Comment


Brighton players infected with Coronavirus spells end of Premier League season

Attempts to restart the Premier League have been hit with another problem: three Brighton players have tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19. “It is a concern,” says Brighton chief executive Paul Barber on Sky Sports. “Despite all of the measures that we’ve been taking over the past few weeks, where the players haven’t been involved in any significant training at all, we’ve still suffered another player testing positive for the virus.”

The Premier League was put into hibernation on 13 March. The people who run the league and are fretting about losing all those TV billions want to resume matters in June. Teams have nine of 10 games to play to complete the full fixture list. Can they all safely be crammed in before the next season begins in August? Players’ health is paramount, so too that of the non-playing staff around them. What if the players, coaches, coach drivers and kit washers don’t want to work? What then? At what point did an enjoyable leisure activity become essential and so self-regarding? That question to you, the people in the executive boxes talking to one another on Skype…

Posted: 10th, May 2020 | In: Sports | Comment


Transfer Balls: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stays at Arsenal, leaves for £30m and Chelsea swap him for Willian

No football, but no end of transfer balls as the BBC tells us that Arsenal “will sell Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 30, for £30m”. The team captain who scores around half of all Arsenal goals will be sold because next September he enters the final year of his current deal. The Sun agrees that £30m will get your club one of the world’s best strikers. Says the paper:

ARSENAL are looking to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for just £30million. Mikel Arteta is desperate not to lose his 20-goal top scorer for nothing next year.

Logic be damned. Arsenal manager Arteta wants Aubameyang to stay so will sell him. We’re also told Arsenal will swap Aubameyang for Chelsea’s Willian. “Arteta is facing a major issue to overhaul his squad — and with a severely restricted transfer budget,” says the paper. But the Sun told us Arsenal are lining up a £45m bid for Thomas Partey.

Partey arsenal

Maybe the Daily Express can shed some light on the facts? The paper’s headline screams: “Aubameyang ready to sign new Arsenal contract despite Man Utd, Chelsea transfer proposals.”

Aubameyang

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Sports | Comment


Transfer balls: Arsenal sanction Aubameyang exit in cavalcade of tabloid tosh

The BBC says Arsenal are no longer discussing a new contract with their captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Beeb’s source is the Daily Mirror, which says Arsenal have “pulled out” of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang contract talks before name-checking for SEO purposes a list of top clubs: “Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from the Emirates this summer, with Manchester United, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea all believed to be interested in signing him.” Believed by who, the Mirror (prop. Reach plc) does not say. But it does revels the source for its story: the Daily Express (prop. Reach plc).

Over to the Express, then, a paper known for churning out clickbait. Get a load of the scoop’s URL: “Arsenal-news-Aubameyang-contract-talks-Inter-Chelsea-Man-Utd-transfer-EXCLUSIVE.” Four clubs named in one burst of SEO. And now for the facts: “The Gunners are ready to listen to offers for the £56million star after pulling out of contract talks with him late last week.” And? And nothing. That’s it.

Posted: 26th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Liverpool finish first but don’t win Premier League title; Leicester, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United qualify for Champions League; Wolves, Sheffield United and Arsenal get Europa League

The Dutch have cancelled their domestic football season. And it’s bad news for Liverpool and very good news for Norwich and other teams facing relegation from the Premier League. There will no champion of the Eredivisie, the Netherlands’ top league. There will be no relegations. One option was to take an average of points scored so far and add them to games still to play. But that would have made no difference to the teams qualifying for the Champions League and Europa league, respectively. In the Premier League, it would – and it means Arsenal (currently in 9th spot) qualifying for the Europa League ahead of Spurs (8th).

Manchester City’s (2nd) ban from the European competition means Manchester United (5th) take their place in the Champions League, where they will be in the mix with Leicester City (3rd) and Chelsea (4th).

It is the most likely scenario. Already all football in England below the three divisions that make up the National League has ended and all results expunged.

It’s time for the upper tiers to follow suit and present a clear path ahead. The Dutch have set the agenda – and it’s the right one.

Posted: 24th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, manchester united, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Kick It Out: Newcastle United’s Saudi Arabia money is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

Newcastle United: Saudi Arabia money  is perfect for the greedy, moralising Premier League

The latest plot to make Newcastle United winners is under attack. beIn Sports wants the Premier League to stop Newcastle’s proposed £300million takeover from a Saudi Arabia-led consortium. The prospective buyers have funds from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – money controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Qatar media network beIN SPORTS has an exclusive deal to broadcast all Premier League football matches in the Middle East and North Africa for the three seasons 2019/20-2021/22. “Nothing brings people together and excites passions and emotions like sport; particularly football,” guffed beIn’s spots chairman as the £400m deal was signed. But sport can only do so much. The hand of friendship can be cut off at the wrist. The two countries are not on the best of terms:

Since 2017 Qatar has been subject to a boycott by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt (the Arab Quartet), creating a deep rift in a region already beset by civil wars and insurgencies

CityAm explains:

BeIN is locked in a bitter dispute with illegal Saudi-backed broadcaster BeoutQ, which it has accused of pirating its coverage of Premier League fixtures.

“In light of the Saudi Arabia government’s facilitation of the near three-year theft of the Premier League’s commercial rights — and in turn your club’s commercial revenues — through its backing of the huge scale BeoutQ pirate service, I would strongly suggest that you fully interrogate this deal, and ask the Premier League to do the same, as a matter of urgency,” al-Obaidly wrote.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the future economic model of football is at stake,” he added.

Pick a side: Qatar or Saudi Arabia? And don’t forget to pull on your rainbow laces. This is what Human Rights Watch says of each bastion of the beautiful game:

Qatari laws continue to discriminate against women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals

The Premier League says: “The Premier League, proudly stand alongside Stonewall in promoting equality and diversity… we ask that all fans support LGBT people in football and beyond by making them feel welcome.”

Premier LEague kick it out

Saudi Arabia faced unprecedented international criticism in 2019 for its human rights record, including continuing repression of dissidents and activists and the failure to provide accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in October 2018. Amid the criticism, Saudi authorities announced landmark reforms for Saudi women that, if fully implemented, represent a significant step forward, including allowing Saudi women over 21 years old to obtain passports and travel abroad without male guardian permission for the first time. However, women’s rights activists still remained in prison or on trial for their activism. In 2019, Saudi Arabia carried out 184 executions, 84 for non-violent drug crimes. Through 2019, the Saudi-led coalition continued a military campaign against the Houthi rebel group in Yemen that has included scores of unlawful airstrikes that have killed and wounded thousands of civilians.

Racism and sexism are the norm in Saudi Arabia. The moralising PL must be shocked. It support Kick It Out, stating:

The Premier League is making it clear there is No Room For Racism as we continue to work with all our clubs, fans, the FA, EFL, PFA, Kick It Out and the police to tackle discrimination across all areas of football.

The League’s No Room for Racism campaign demonstrates its continued commitment to equality and diversity, using the power and popularity of the League to oppose racism in football.

Racism is not acceptable in our competition or the wider sport.

The Saudi and Qataris are just the sort of people, then, that our moralising Premier League can do business with. Time for the PL to make a tough decision and stop using football to teach the fans how to think.

Posted: 23rd, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Sports | Comment


Arsenal show their class as players agree reduced salaries to help the club

How is your football club responding to the coronavirus crisis? Liverpool and Spurs got greedy. Their plan to milk the State for staff wages upset fans, whose vociferous reaction caused both clubs to change direction and pay their staff in full. Manchester United expressed their view that a pandemic presented the chance for them to hammer smaller clubs. And Arsenal? Their players are the first in the Premier League to agree to a pay cut. The board has already agreed a more than 33% wage cut for the next 12 months.

The Gunners players will take a 12.5% wage cut but be reimbursed if they qualify for next season’s Champions League or the 2021-22 competition. They will get a £100,000 bonus for reaching next year’s Champions League. They will each reportedly earn £500,000 for winning the 2021 Champions League or £100,000 for the Europa League.

The Gunners are eight points off of a Champions League place with 10 games remaining. Their chances of reaching the Champions League are slim. Those wages will never be made up.

Posted: 18th, April 2020 | In: Arsenal, Money, Sports | Comment


Spurs relinquish title of world’s greediest football club

Tottenham will not be milking the State, taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme for some non-playing staff during the coronavirus crisis. Following Liverpool’s belated relation that a corporation, sorry, football club, owned by a billionaire that makes millions in profits should not be seen to be so greedy, Spurs have seen the light. Says the Spurs chairman (pay: £7m a year):

“We regret any concern caused during an anxious time and hope the work our supporters will see us doing in the coming weeks, as our stadium takes on a whole new purpose, will make them proud of their club.”

More marketing guff dressed up as sport every day….

As for what the new Spurs stadium will be without football, how about a toilet paper silo?

Posted: 13th, April 2020 | In: Money, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Manchester United plan to use coronavirus to get players on the cheap

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer  coronavirus

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems like a decent bloke. But today the Mail tells us that the Manchester United manager has promised to behave with all the morals of, well, Spurs. “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns rivals that Manchester United will ‘exploit’ the coronavirus mayhem to poach top stars when football returns, with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish firmly in his sights,” says the Mail. In times of crisis the richest clean up. The story beings:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United can ‘exploit’ the mayhem caused by coronavirus to secure their summer transfer targets. The United manager believes some clubs need to offload players after taking a financial hit during the crisis and it could work in their favour.

Here’s what he told Sky Sports (which might like to refund their customers a few quid owing to the lack of football):

“Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens. We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans, we’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this.” Asked whether United can exploit the market when football returns, Solskjaer said: “Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players? There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United, we are one of the biggest, and financially well off. I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.”

Charming. So much for the ‘football family’. Manchester United is just another big business driven by greed.

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Matt Hancock wants us to hate footballers not him

UK health secretary Matt Hancock wants us to stop looking at him and look instead at footballers, those self-made, young athletes largely from working-class backgrounds. Says Matt Hancock: “Given the sacrifices that many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part”. Take a pay cut and pay less in taxes? Is that really going to work, Matt? And, Matt, mate, your colleagues are in the Tory Party and government not the NHS. You’re not a nurse or a hospital porter. Tucking your tie into your shirt does not make you a medical man.

Matt then went on the telly to add that “footballers [should] club together and support our hospices and support the national effort we’re all in”. Billionaire owners of football clubs, hedge fund managers and minted Tories can carry on regardless. It’s the footballers who need to dig deep and give until it hurts.

Like so many politicians before him, Hancock wants to portray footballers as role models and so deflect attention from his own worth. Some of the more slack-jawed players buy into the myth. Brighter players call it out for the utter tosh it is.

We call on poshos like the Matt Hancock family to take a pay cut, also: members of the royal family, everyone on the board of a FTSE 500 company and for our Olympic ‘heroes’ to sell their medals for the NHS. Anything less is treason.

Posted: 7th, April 2020 | In: Politicians, Sports | Comment


Liverpool back down leaving Spurs to win title of world’s greediest football club

Liverpool have listened to the fans and media who decried their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave and take advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme to let the taxpayer pay 80% of their wages. Liverpool – owned by a billionaire and posting profits last season of £43m – will muddle along some how. Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City are sticking with their plans to furlough some non-playing staff. Bournemouth and Norwich are not big clubs. Newcastle are a basket case. But Spurs with that swanky new stadium and billionaire owner can afford it, surely? With Liverpool no longer doing the wrong thing, Spurs might be the world’s greediest football club. Finally, they win something.

Posted: 7th, April 2020 | In: Liverpool, Money, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is not a role model – he’s just a gilded bellend

Kyle Walker

“I want to take this opportunity to issue a public apology for the choices I made last week,” says Manchester City and England footballer Kyle Walker. “I understand that my ­position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model.” No, Kyle, it really doesn’t. Your responsibility is to your employer and maybe your children, more of whom later.

Walker guffed out that apology after the Sun reported he’d allegedly hired two prostitutes to service him and a pal in his rented home a day before telling others how to fight the coronavirus. “Stay indoors, keep washing your hands, keep following the protocols and just protect the NHS,” said Walker. “It’s been tough, but first and foremost, we have to think about other people’s health and protecting the elderly and family members that can spread it.”

If Kyle is the role model he claims to be, right now thousands of his fans are pulling on gold-coloured Shine condoms and paying £2,200 in cash for on-the-clock sex with “classy” escort Louise McNamara, 21, and “a 24-year-old ­Brazilian call girl”. Although prices for both might have increased now they have scored a celebrity endorsement, men who wash their hands like Kyle and look to him for moral and medical guidance will be cracking open their piggybanks and gilding their knobs. Says Louise: “I didn’t know who he was at the time. But I took a few photos of him.” Thoughtfully, she shares them in the Sun.

Other things you can do to be like “role model” Kyle Walker, are, as the Sun also reports, to “split from long-term girlfriend Annie Kilner” after getting “model Lauryn Goodman pregnant”. Kyle is father to Annie’s three sons. He’s their role model.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Spurs and Liverpool compete to be world’s greediest football clubs

Who decides on your pay cut to help the struggle against the coronavirus? Your employer? You? If you’re a professional footballer should it be up to The Professional Footballers’ Union, the players’ trade body led by the absurdly well-paid chief executive Gordon Taylor? The Premier League wants elite players to take 30 per cent reduction in wages. For the same reason that politicians call footballers role models, health secretary Matt Hancock wants top footballers to “take a cut and play their part”. Why? And why them and not, say, firefighters, teachers at private schools or Matt Hancock?

The PFA says:

“The proposed 30 per cent salary deduction over a 12-month period equates to over £500m in wage reductions and a loss in tax contributions of over £200m to the government. What effect does this loss of earning to the government mean for the NHS? Was this considered in the Premier League proposal and did the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock factor this in when asking players to take a salary cut?”

Clubs like Norwich, Bournemouth, Newcastle, Spurs and Liverpool have applied to use the UK government’s furlough scheme to fund the wages of non-playing staff, without having first agreed cuts with their high-earning footballers.

David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, is not impressed. “The public rightly expect highly paid footballers at top clubs to be asked to shoulder the burden of football clubs’ financial losses over the coming months, ” he says, “rather than those on modest salaries in cleaning, catering or security having to be supported by the taxpayer.”

Spurs and Liverpool are owned by billionaires. The Spurs owner is, as the Sun bills him, “the billionaire Spurs owner that lives on a boat worth £112m, gave The Nolans their first ever gig and counts Tiger Woods and Sean Connery as mates.” He needs your help to pay the bills. Liverpool owner John W. Henry is also a billionaire.

Meanwhile… Her Majesty the Queen (worth: lots) says we’re all in it together. Maybe her grandson, Prince William, chairman of the FA, can chip in to the football clubs’ fighting fund?

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Liverpool, Sports, Spurs | Comment


Ben Stokes and a cat called Loki in The Ashes at Headingley 2019

Adrian Mirfakhrai (@AdyMirf) has put his Covid-19 times to fine use with this video of Loki the cat and Ben Stokes playing The Ashes at Headingley in 2019.

Posted: 2nd, April 2020 | In: Sports | Comment