Archive for English Premier League

Outraged Arsenal fan takes extreme measures

cesc

Cesc Fabregas’s £30m move to Chelsea has left many fans heartbroken. But the bad guy, according to one long time Arsenal fan, is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal had first option to bring the Spain international back to the Emirates, but even though Fabregas wanted to return to North London, Arsene Wenger felt he already had enough players in that position.

This decision has prompted long-term Arsenal supporter John Eastman to take drastic measures.

The 55-year-old Eastman, who has been a Gunners supporter for the last 45 years, was so outraged by Wenger that he had an Arsenal crest tattoo on his chest covered with another design before binning club memorabilia.

After Fabregas completed his move to Chelsea, Mr Eastman decided that he no longer wanted the tattoo or club souvenirs that he had collected over the many decades of supporting Arsenal.

‘Wenger won’t put his hand in his pocket to buy players, he’s too tight,’ Mr Eastman said.

‘He’s broken my heart.’

Love hurts…

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David Beckham and the transfer window 2013: Signings

mariobecks

The transfer window deadline day has come and gone. As one circus leaves the UK another one comes rushing in to take its place. Mario Balotelli and his antics will henceforth be reported from Milan where the striker has gone on a £17m deal. Fear not though Posh and the kids are back in the UK while David Beckham is just across the channel in Paris plying his trade at Paris Saint Germain.The Parisian club and David Beckham do have the makings of a match made in  heaven. Becks has announced that he will be donating all his PSG wages. So not only is David Beckham back in Europe, he is back with an absolute PR bang. Welcome back Becks, we’ve missed you. Here are the other confirmed transfer deals.

Permanent deals

  • Mario Balotelli:  Manchester City to Milan – £17m, plus £5m add-ons
  • Christopher Samba:  Anzhi Makhachkala to QPR – £12.5m
  • Danny Graham:  Swansea City to Sunderland – £5m
  • John Stones:  Barnsley to Everton – £3m
  • Brek Shea:  FC Dallas to Stoke City – £2.5m
  • Yacouba Sylla:  Clermont Foot to Aston Villa – £2m
  • Kevin Mbabu:  Servette to Newcastle – £1m
  • David Beckham:  Free agent to Paris St-Germain
  • Luciano Becchio:  Leeds United to Norwich City – swap deal
  • Steve Morison:   Norwich City to Leeds United – swap deal
  • Godsway Donyoh:  Right to Dream Academy to Manchester City – undisclosed
  • Alexander Doni:  Liverpool to Botafogo
  • Stephen Warnock:  Aston Villa to Leeds United
  • Nacho Monreal:  Málaga to Arsenal – £8.5m
  • Jack Butland:  Birmingham to Stoke City – £4m
  • Jermaine Jenas:  Tottenham to QPR – undisclosed

Loans

  • Alou Diarra:  West Ham to Stade Rennais
  • Paul Scharner:  Hamburg to Wigan – until end of season
  • Urby Emanuelson:  Milan to Fulham – end of season
  • Stanislav Manolev:  PSV Eindhoven to Fulham – end of season
  • Alejandro Faurlín:  QPR to Palermo – end of season
  • Dani Pacheco:  Liverpool to SD Huesca – end of season
  • Rory Delap:  Stoke to Barnsley – end of season
  • Chris O’Grady:  Sheffield Wednesday to Barnsley – end of season
  • Heurelho Gomes:  Spurs to Hoffenheim – end of season
  • Asa Hall:  Shrewsbury to Aldershot – end of season
  • Ahmed Elmohamady:  Sunderland to Hull – end of season
  • Gedo:  Al Ahly to Hull – end of season
  • Ahmed Fathi:  Al Ahly to Hull – end of season
  • Patrick Bamford:  Chelsea to MK Dons – end of season
  • David Morgan:  Nottingham Forest to Dundee – end of season
  • Anton Robinson:  Huddersfield to Gillingham – end of season
  • Jordan Obita:  Reading to Oldham – one month
  • Godsway Donyoh:  Manchester City to Djurgardens – rest of year
  • Matthew Upson:  Stoke City to Brighton – end of season
  • Eyong Enoh:  Ajax to Fulham – end of season
  • Andros Townsend:  Tottenham to QPR – end of season

Released

  • Louis Saha:  Sunderland
  • Lorenzo Davids:  Bournemouth

Did your club sign that game-changing player?

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Blackburn Rovers: Fowl play

Although Blackburn lost 1-0 to Wigan and are now certain to be relegated this season. They won big points on the creative protests scale.

In November, they showed their arts and crafts abilities by rendering a protest ban completely useless.

Then their weapon of choice was an airplane which had been instructed to fly over the stadium during the game with the fans’ current mantra ‘Kean Out’ attached to it.

Yesterday, a live chicken was their weapon of choice. Wearing the  Blackburn flag as a cape, the proud fowl invaded the pitch early in the first half of  Blackburn’s relegation battle again Wigan.

He succeeded to stop the game until he was caught in the Wigan goal net by the Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi and Blackburn’s Yakubu.

The chicken was released as a protest against Blackburn’s unpopular owners, the Indian poultry giants, Venkys. Thus answering the age old question of ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’

Move over Anfield cat, there is a new animal hero in the premier league — The Blackburn chicken.

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Swansea City FC: Elvises in the building

Swansea City lost to Manchester United 2-0 last night but this hasn’t deterred the Swansea manager, Brendon Rodgers, from making a strange request to the club’s fans.

Swansea, who were promoted to the premier league this season, have had a good year. They have played good football and have stayed clear of the relegation zone.

In celebration of this and perhaps wanting not be outdone by Hartlepool, the Swansea manager has requested the club’s fans to wear a specific something for their final match of the season at home against Liverpool.

According to the BBC:

“Next week is going to be brilliant. I will be asking all the fans if they can wear as many Elvis Presley costumes as we can because when we got promoted the bookies said there was a greater chance of seeing Elvis Presley than us staying at this level. As a show of our achievement and a bit of fun we’ll ask for our supporters for that and we’ll see what their reaction is.”

Rogers didn’t specify which Elvis he wanted his club’s fans to impersonate – the young sexy Elvis or the bloated Rhinestone wearing version. It will be interesting to see how many start off as the young Elvis and take the one-too-many-pies route into the Rhinestone suit.

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Manchester City win: Don’t believe the hype

ESPN.com gives the title to Man City

ESPN, the self proclaimed worldwide leader in sport, handed the Premier League title to Manchester City last night.  It seems last night’s game between Manchester City and their city rivals Manchester United was so hyped up that even the experienced sports network got carried away.

The Manchester derby is always one of the most-talked about games and one could argue that all matches in the long run are ‘title deciders’. But this year, the build-up to the game was inflated to ridiculous levels. It was called the ‘biggest Manchester derby‘, ‘the ‘title-decider‘, and a ‘match like no other‘. It was compared to the Super Bowl and the Premier League estimated a world record audience.

Well, the cagey, somewhat boring match ended 1-0 when Vincent Kompany’s header in the added time of the first half sent City fans into a delirium and put both clubs at 83 points with two matches left to play.

As soon as the referee blew the whistle, the top story on ESPN.com’s frontpage announced that “Manchester City claimed its first first [sic] EPL title since 1968, defeating Man U thanks to Vincent Kompany’s goal…”

May be it was ESPN’s psychic powers going full throttle or may be the sports media giant got played at its own game.

ESPN  quickly changed the caption to read “Manchester City, seeking its first EPL title since 1968, defeated Manchester United thanks to Vincent Kompany’s goal, the only one of the match, just before the half.”

But there is a lesson to be learnt — Don’t believe the hype.

And check your facts.

Technically, it wasn’t the “EPL” when Man City won in 1968.

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Tables turned: Skysports apologises to John Terry

Photo by: Александр Мысякин.

‘I am too lazy for revenge, I just wait for karma to kick in’ could have been John Terry’s facebook status today.

Karma really is shinning down on JT who has often been the victim of unfair media coverage. In February last year, media organisations the world over scrambled to publish details about John Terry’s alleged affair with ex-teammate John Bridge’s former wife.

These alleged revelations splashed on front pages of publications all over the world lead to the footballer losing the England captaincy and almost/ nearly ended his marriage.

Leading the brigade was New of the World. The 168-year old tabloid was forced to shut-down after a Guardian investigation revealed a shocking, soul-less culture and turned the tables on the dirt-digging publication.

Today, Sky Sports apologised for misquoting John Terry in an interview about Tottenham midfielder Luca Modric. I suspect, John Terry and most celebs can look forward to deluge of apologies coming their way in the following weeks as media organisations go into a NOTW spurred extra-cautious mode.

Photo by: Gene Hunt.

Although, the NOTW revelations make it impossible to argue in the tabloid’s favour. Romantics among us might have felt some remorse for a 168-year old establishment to have come to such a terrible and bitter end. Others who remember times when tabloids were publications that got some of the best scoops and set the tone for political debate and weren’t synonymous with dirty, sensationalist, (and now criminal) news reporting might go further and blame Rupert Murdoch for ruining a British tabloid.

But, there is no denying that the tabloid culture and the news culture as a whole needs to change. If a sesquicentennial publication has to die to set this change in motion, so be it.

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Will John W. Henry be denied Liverpool FC?

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For most football clubs, the fight on the pitch is more important than what goes on behind the scenes in the boardroom. But for Liverpool FC, it is the fights in the boardroom that have become crucial for their survival.

So when it was understood that there were two “credible” bids, one from John W Henry, the multi-millionaire  owner of Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team and the other from business interests in Asia to buy the debt-ridden club off the current American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, everyone should have breathed a collective sigh of relief.

However, this set the stage for another low  for a club that has always prided itself  for keeping internal matters private. The boardroom war between the American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and the three other directors came into the full public view when an official statement from Liverpool said the board was preparing to approve the sale yesterday. However, Hicks and Gillett sought to block that decision by ousting the managing director, Christian Purslow, and commercial director, Ian Ayre, and appointing instead Hicks’s son and a close ally.

Hicks and Gillett both reiterated “commitment to finding a buyer” but said that they will not accept bids which in their view “dramatically undervalue” the club, which they say had nearly doubled its revenues since they took over.

What this whole mess  most likely means is that while both the offers commit to clearing the £237m Liverpool owe Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia (which is due for repayment in nine days’ time), they were not prepared to give Hicks and Gillett much for their shares.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton thinks  that the attempt by the club’s owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to block the sale of the club to John W Henry’s New England Sports Ventures group by changing the board, is a “flagrant abuse” of “written undertakings” and that he is the only person entitled to do such a thing.

In an interview on the Liverpool website the chairman said, “We don’t think it was valid to do it. Essentially when I took the role they gave a couple of written undertakings to Royal Bank of Scotland. Those written undertakings included that I was the only person entitled to change the board and that was written into the articles of the covenant, and also that they would take no action to frustrate any reasonable sale.”

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Broughton also believes that the proposed owners were committed to getting the winning mentality back into the team: “I think the demonstration is: let’s look at what they have done at Boston, what they said in Boston, what they have done in terms of investing in players – and I think you get a high degree of confidence of their willingness to do that.”

The iconic Fenway Park stadium and two championship wins for the Boston Red Sox under John W. Henry’s ownership does seem to suggest that he is the right man to lead Liverpool back to winning ways.

However, Liverpool fans cannot be blamed for being sceptical of any US bid after their bitter experience with Hicks and Gillett’s “leveraged buy-out”.

Article first published as Will John W. Henry be denied Liverpool FC? on Technorati.

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