Tag Archives: advance

Wilfried Zaha transfer latest: Manchester United to wrap up 12m deal

Man United set to beat Arsenal to Zaha with Fergie ready to wrap up 12m deal

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

10:25 GMT, 20 January 2013

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UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 20 January 2013

Manchester United hope to have a 12million deal to bring Wilfried Zaha to Old Trafford wrapped up early next week.

The transfer of the 20-year-old forward will represent the biggest cash advance from a Premier League club to a Championship club in history – bigger than the fees paid to Southampton by Arsenal for Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

On his way: Zaha is expected to complete his move to United next week

On his way: Zaha is expected to complete his move to United next week

Palace have always held out for 12m citing the fact Walcott had only played a few games for Saints in 2005 and that Oxlade-Chamberlain had not played at a higher level than League One before his move.

Zaha will earn 35,000-a-week at Old Trafford but will be sent back to Palace on loan until the end of the season. Arsenal are the other club in for him but he is expected to opt for United.

Star: Zaha has been in fine form this season for Palace

Star: Zaha has been in fine form this season for Palace

Zaha has been tracked by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson ever since he impressed in Palace's shock Carling Cup win at Old Trafford back in November 2011.

The Ivory Coast-born star has been in sensational form for Palace this season and made his England debut against Sweden in November.

Irish Open at Royal Portrush makes history by selling out

Portrush shows pulling power as Irish Open makes history by selling out

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 27 June 2012

The Irish Open starting on Thursday has made European Tour history by becoming their first regular event to sell out completely.

A total of 27,000 people each day will descend on Royal Portrush as Northern Ireland stages the tournament for the first time since 1953.

Over 4,000 people attended the opening practice round, while a crowd of 14,225 were at the eve-of-tournament pro-am.

Star attraction: Rory McIlroy in the pro-am at Royal Portrush on Wednesday

Star attraction: Rory McIlroy in the pro-am at Royal Portrush on Wednesday

'The 2012 Irish Open has exceeded all expectations in terms of advance ticket sales. Following the announcement that the last three days were sold out, we had a considerable up-take for Thursday, which has culminated in us putting up the “sold out” signs,' said Championship Director Antonia Beggs.

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'We urge spectators not to arrive at the gate in hope of purchasing tickets, as there will be no further sales.'

The Tour hope to make an announcement later this week about the sale of tickets for the 2013 Irish Open at Carton House near Dublin on June 27-30.

What a setting: McIlroy prepares for the tournament on the Dunluce Links

What a setting: McIlroy prepares for the tournament on the Dunluce Links

Irish Open featuring Rory McIlroy at Royal Portrush sold out

McIlory mania sweeps Portrush with over 100,000 fans set for sold out Irish Open

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UPDATED:

11:31 GMT, 21 June 2012

Next week's Irish Open at Royal Portrush will be the first sell-out the European Tour has ever had for a regular event.

No tickets are left for the final two rounds and none will be available for the opening two days after 5pm on Friday.

It is the first time the tournament has been held in Northern Ireland since 1953 and local heroes Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell are all taking part along with USPGA champion Keegan Bradley and three-major winner Padraig Harrington.

Sold out: Over 100,000 fans will flock to Royal Portrush next week for the Irish Open

Sold out: Over 100,000 fans will flock to Royal Portrush next week for the Irish Open

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'We are preparing for a crowd around the 100,000 mark for the week,' championship director Antonia Beggs said.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board chief executive Alan Clarke said: 'This year's Irish Open is sure to be one of the biggest in the competition's history with advance ticket sales reaching unprecedented levels and record crowds expected.

Homeward bound: Rory McIlroy will play in his native Northern Ireland

Homeward bound: Rory McIlroy will play in his native Northern Ireland

'While in previous years it may have been possible for spectators to turn up on the day and purchase tickets on the day, we would strongly urge people not to try this on Saturday and Sunday as the event is completely sold out at the weekend and there is absolutely no chance of being admitted without a ticket.'

In addition to normal scheduled services, extra trains will run from Belfast and Derry-Londonderry to Portrush and there are dedicated coaches from various locations.

Euro 2012: England"s security blunder as key tactics passed to rivals by spy

Revealed: England's security blunder as key tactics passed to rivals by spy

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UPDATED:

22:23 GMT, 16 June 2012

Giving the game away: Roy Hodgson was apparently spied upon

Giving the game away: Roy Hodgson was apparently spied upon

England will make an urgent security review of their pre-match preparations at Euro 2012 after a simple blunder involving a curtain almost led to curtains for Roy Hodgson's European Championship hopes.

A Swedish journalist revealed that he was able to spy on England's pre-match tactical team talk before England faced Sweden on Friday – and then pass secret details to the Swedish FA before the kick-off in Kiev.

The Swedes had advance knowledge of
England's tactics and Hodgson's plan to start the crucial group game
with Andy Carroll, a ploy designed to exploit Sweden's weakness against
headers.

They also knew that England would not begin with 18-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The Scandinavian snooper who broke
the news to his compatriots was able to do so because someone in the
England camp had simply forgotten to draw a blind across a window.

Ola Billger, of the Svenska Dagbladet
newspaper, was working in his room on the fourth floor of Kiev's Opera
Hotel when he realised that his window overlooked a skylight to a
third-floor meeting room where England manager Hodsgon was giving his
tactical talk.

'I grabbed my binoculars and along
with a colleague we were able to watch for about 40 minutes through the
skylight,' Billger told The Mail on Sunday.

'We were not able to hear anything
but it was clear England were talking about how to run through the
Swedish defence and how Sweden would attack through corners.

'It was also clear through videos and the tactics board what the lineup would be, with Carroll starting and Oxlade-Chamberlain not.'

Before the tactical session was over, a member of the hotel staff pulled a drape across the skylight to close off access to the 'spies'.

Billger added: 'I don't know if it was because they realised we'd been watching. But we had a great story for our paper and, of course, we called the Swedish FA for a comment and shared what we'd found.'

Billger says that the Swedish FA's tactical director, former international Reine Almqvist, was 'very pleased to hear the information, especially about the line-up'.

Head for heights: Carroll powered home to give England the lead

Head for heights: Carroll powered home to give England the lead

Carroll opened the scoring with a brilliant header but the Swedes then used the tactical insights supplied by Billger to go 2-1 up and threaten England's European Championship progress.

Adrian Bevington, managing director of Club England at the FA, said that there was 'no evidence whatsoever' of spying by anyone linked directly to the Sweden team.

He added: 'We're very relaxed about what happened and very pleased with the result we got in the match

'I can't say it's something that's causing us great consternation in the England camp.

'It certainly wasn't a security breach and it didn't affect the result thankfully.'

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claims England were fortunate to emerge victorious in Kiev.

Cruel result: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) said Sweden were the better team

Cruel result: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (right) said Sweden were the better team

'I think we were the better team against England. I really do,' said the AC Milan star.

'We should be proud of ourselves because we played a good game. We showed courage and were much better in dead-ball situations.'

Midfielder Sebastian Larsson agreed. 'We were definitely better than England. Their equaliser (by Theo Walcott) happens one time in a thousand. It was a shot I should have covered but it hit me and deflected past the goalkeeper.'

Wales 30 Barbarians 21: Two great Dragons give their final roar as Robinson points the way forward

Wales 30 Barbarians 21: Two great Dragons give their final roar as Robinson points the way forward

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 2 June 2012

Wales greats Shane Williams and
Martyn Williams bowed out of rugby at the Millennium Stadium – but their
thunder was stolen by a teenage Test debutant.

Harry Robinson proved the shining
light of an inconsistent Wales display, scoring a blistering try after
just 10 minutes that had Shane Williams' renowned finishing prowess
stamped all over it.

Wales, though, struggled to build on
the 19-year-old wing's dazzling effort and they only prevailed courtesy
of centre James Hook's 20-point haul from a try, three penalties and
three conversions, plus Aled Brew's late effort.

Old master: Martyn Williams leaves the field after winning his 100th cap for Wales

Old master: Martyn Williams leaves the field after winning his 100th cap for Wales

Half-backs Stephen Donald (two) and Richie Rees touched down for the Barbarians, with Bath number 10 Donald slotting all three conversions. Even though the game did not grip a bumper crowd of 57,000, they still had chance to bid wing Williams and flanker Williams farewell.

The pair – who boast 187 caps between them – had few chances to shine on their final Test outings as Shane retired in Baa-baas colours and Martyn went on early in the second period for his 100th Wales appearance before ending the game as Wales captain.

It was an emotional and nostalgic farewell for both players, but Wales must look at the bigger picture, and a scrappy showing was not what they wanted just seven days before tackling Australia in Brisbane.

Last hurrah: Shane Williams, in Barbarians colours for the day, took his bow at the Millennium Stadium

Last hurrah: Shane Williams, in Barbarians colours for the day, took his bow at the Millennium Stadium

An advance party of 16 players, featuring most of their Test regulars, are already Down Under preparing with assistant coach Shaun Edwards, but a further 18 players involved today will join them early next week.

Robinson, full-back Liam Williams and prop Rhodri Jones all made their Wales bows, yet caretaker coach Rob Howley was left with more questions than answers as he ponders his final tour squad make-up.

Williams led the Baa-baas out to a standing ovation, but he immediately found himself in defensive mode as Wales went through several attacking phases that ended with Hook booting a penalty.

It was a promising start by the reigning RBS 6 Nations champions, and they extended their lead after 10 minutes when flanker Justin Tipuric snaffled turnover ball and Robinson sprinted over from 60 metres.

One for the future: Harry Robinson celebrates his opening try for Wales

One for the future: Harry Robinson celebrates his opening try for Wales

Hook slotted the touchline conversion, and a 10-point lead was deserved reward for Wales' admirable sense of adventure as they looked to maintain a high tempo.

A second Hook penalty extended the advantage to 13 points, but the Barbarians replied just when it looked as if things were getting away from them.

Shane Williams was used cleverly as a decoy runner, and a slick move ended with lock Mick O'Driscoll sending Donald across for a try that the New Zealand World Cup winner converted.

The score gave Donald and company confidence to start attacking Wales, and the home side briefly lost their way after referee Alain Rolland sin-binned prop Rhys Gill.

Through the gap: Mark Chisholm is tackled by James Hook and Rhys Gill (left) of Wales

Through the gap: Mark Chisholm is tackled by James Hook and Rhys Gill (left) of Wales

It was Irish official Rolland's first
Millennium Stadium appearance since he sent off Wales skipper Sam
Warburton during the World Cup semi-final defeat against France in
Auckland last October, and once again he did not endear himself to Welsh
supporters.

Star man: James Hook kept the points ticking over for Wales

Star man: James Hook kept the points ticking over for Wales

The Baa-baas almost scored immediately following Gill's departure, but television match official Nigel Whitehouse ruled against number eight John Beattie, and then flanker Mamuka Gorgodze also went close.

Wales found themselves under sustained pressure after Gill departed, and they conceded a second try three minutes before half-time when Rees reacted quicker than his opposite number Lloyd Williams.

Donald again added the extras, and Wales trooped off 14-13 adrift, wondering how a comfortable lead could have evaporated so quickly. Martyn Williams arrived to a rapturous reception six minutes into the second period as he became the third Welsh cap centurion after Gareth Thomas and Stephen Jones.

And Wales regained the advantage soon
afterwards when Hook completed his penalty hat-trick before further
reinforcements arrived in scrum-half Rhys Webb and flanker Aaron
Shingler.

There was no
obvious pattern to the game, and its disjointed appearance suited the
Barbarians as Wales lacked much of their early structure and cohesion.

Donald
scored his second try midway through the half, and Wales knew they
needed to rouse themselves or face the prospect of a second successive
defeat against their invitational opponents.

But Hook and Brew then came up trumps during the closing minutes as World Cup semi-finalists and reigning European champions Wales made it six wins from six in 2012.

MLS All-Star game to be world"s first-ever "smart soccer match" with new adidas technology

Beckham and MLS set to stage world's first-ever 'smart soccer match'

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UPDATED:

16:55 GMT, 10 April 2012

David Beckham could take part in a ground-breaking football first with this summer's Major League Soccer All-Star game announced as the world's first-ever 'smart soccer match'.

First there was the 'boot with the brain'. Now adidas are set to unleash another technological advance for the game with the MLS showcase featuring the new team tracking system.

Like the F50 micoach boot, a small chip will be planted in the player's shirts that will allow bosses access to player performance metrics – during the game.

Vital statistics: The MLS All-Star game will provide coaches access to key player performance data in real-time

Vital statistics: The MLS All-Star game will provide coaches access to key player performance data in real-time

Coaches can monitor statistics such as heart rate, player position, power output, speed, distance covered, intensity of play, acceleration and GPS heat mapping, by using tablet devices on the bench.

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Beckham should feature in the July 25 showcase in Philadelphia – providing he is not on Olympic Games duty for Great Britain in London.

Arsenal legend and New York Red Bulls
striker Thierry Henry is another star set to be involved in the
innovative experiment, which will then be tested throughout the
remainder of the MLS season before going global.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber said: 'It is an honour that they have chosen to debut their new game-changing and revolutionary technology at this year’s AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Philadelphia.'

The heat is on for Strauss and England to remain the best

The heat is on for Strauss and England to remain the best

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UPDATED:

22:08 GMT, 25 March 2012

It may 'only' be a two-Test series, crammed in between the Asia Cup and the Indian Premier League, but England’s Sri Lankan mission is crucial for the legacy of Andrew Strauss and his side.

If England really are going to progress and become one of the best Test teams, as was their stated aim last summer, they cannot afford a repeat of the batting shambles that saw them crash 3-0 to Pakistan in the UAE.

This mini-series, which began here in Galle this morning and concludes in Colombo next week, is being played for the Just Retirement Cup and the sponsors might be appropriate for Strauss if both the captain and his team flounder in the extreme heat and humidity.

Concern: Stuart Broad has an ankle problem

Concern: Stuart Broad has an ankle problem

Strauss will not be pensioned off just yet if England fail here, but he might have to start looking at his retirement policy rather than planning ahead for the back-to-back Ashes series next year with which he hopes to conclude his outstanding career.

England should beat a Sri Lanka team who have won only one Test in their last 17 since Muttiah Muralitharan retired, not least because they went into this morning’s match better prepared than their hosts.

So unprepared are Sri Lanka, after being flogged in non-stop one-day cricket for the past few months by their impoverished board, that reluctant captain Mahela Jayawardene did not know until yesterday that the decision review system will be used in this series.

On guard: Ravi Bopara with Sri Lankan security

On guard: Ravi Bopara with Sri Lankan security

Jayawardene only arrived home with his team four days ago after the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. His side should not be in any fit state to play Test cricket.

Conversely, England were so stung at being caught cold by Pakistan that Andy Flower sent an advance party to Colombo ahead of the main squad.

Every step has been taken to ensure that England are ready for one of the toughest climactic challenges in cricket. Conditions here pose just as big a threat to England as a Sri Lanka side not only shorn of Murali but also other match-winners like Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis.

Mix up: England Coach Andy Flower was mistakenly introduced as his brother Grant

Mix up: England Coach Andy Flower was mistakenly introduced as his brother Grant

England had to cope with the Sri Lankan climate when they lost here under Michael Vaughan in 2007, but that series was played in December, not at the time of the year when the searing heat and suffocating humidity are close to their most extreme.

Providing England can withstand the heat they should be too powerful, even if Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara remain two of the best batsmen in the world in their own conditions.

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann should be a more potent spin partnership than Rangana Herath and Suraj Randiv, even if Swann’s poor form in the two warm-up wins here is a concern.

Spin king: Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar should prove more of a threat than the Sri Lanka attack

Spin king: Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar should prove more of a threat than the Sri Lanka attack

Also, with the exception of Ian Bell, the misfiring batsmen have all found form in the matches in Colombo, and even Bell should feel more at home against the orthodox spin of Herath and Randiv now Saeed Ajmal is not around to torment him.

Stuart Broad’s ankle survived the last net session, but the selectors were still pondering last night whether to hand Samit Patel his Test debut ahead of Ravi Bopara, who is unable to bowl due to a side strain. Tim Bresnan was also an option with Matt Prior promoted to six.

It was fascinating to see Flower — wrongly introduced firstly as Andy Fowler and then Grant Flower — sitting alongside Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford at a chaotic series launch.

Mentor: Sri Lanka's South African coach Graham Ford is a former coach of Kevin Pietersen

Mentor: Sri Lanka's South African coach Graham Ford is a former coach of Kevin Pietersen

South African Ford is Kevin Pietersen’s mentor.

He was the man who Pietersen wanted to replace Peter Moores as England coach rather than Flower when he staged his failed coup in 2008.

Test Match Essential

As it turned out, Pietersen was sacked as captain to be replaced by Strauss, while Moores was succeeded by Flower.

‘I first coached Kevin as a young kid and stayed in contact from there,’ confirmed Ford, who Pietersen still turns to whenever he has a fault with his game.

‘He’s got a fantastic record and has no glaring weaknesses. He seems to be playing pretty well and everybody studies the opposition pretty closely these days. I don’t think my relationship with him will be significant.’

Significant to supporters are the hugely inflated admission prices in Galle, exploiting the strong and unique worldwide support England enjoy.

Around 8,000 visiting fans are expected and it will cost the equivalent of 25 per day or more, as opposed to 5 per day when Australia were here last year. It’s clear no sport treats the paying customer as badly as cricket.

It can only be hoped that those present over the next two weeks — and many were threatening to watch from the fort overlooking the Galle ground rather than pay over the odds — see a much-improved performance from England. They should do. Weather permitting.

Rangers could play for free due to administration

Rangers to play for free Stars warned administration could mean no wages

Rangers stars were warned that they will have to play for free if the Ibrox crisis club is to limp on in administration.

As anxious players await showdown talks with administrators this morning, they have been told to brace themselves for bad news.

Out of sight: controversial chairman Craig Whyte in London on Wednesday night

Out of sight: controversial chairman
Craig Whyte in London on Wednesday night

That is the view of leading Scottish administrator Donald McGruther, who sees a club with no source of new income – after discredited owner Craig Whyte mortgaged four years of advance ticket cash for 24.4million from Ticketus, while under-fire previous owner Sir David Murray outsourced the Ibrox catering and sold off merchandising rights to JJB in 2006.

McGruther was administrator at Livingston in 2009 and provisional liquidator at Falkirk and Clydebank in the 1990s and each time he was forced to ask footballers to ply their trade without wages.

Speaking on the day that London-based administrators Duff & Phelps took over the running of Rangers, McGruther insisted that top earners, including captain Steve Davis (28,000 per week), goalkeeper Allan McGregor (26,000) and Steven Whittaker (20,000) could be asked to play for nothing.

But he also warned that the move would activate a breach of a player's contract and any disgruntled stars could walk away from the club.

'When I took over at Falkirk in 1997, the players had to go for the best part of two months without wages. At Livingston, it was three weeks,' said McGruther, who is director of insolvency at Glasgow firm Mazars.

Together we stand: McCoist rallies his troops

Together we stand: McCoist rallies his
troops

'Rangers are a far bigger club, of course, but they also have a far bigger wage bill and, given the lack of cash flow, my guess is that the administrator will have to ask the players to play for nothing.

'The big question here is how the heck is the administrator going to find the money to pay the Rangers players Where will that money come from

'The fans could rally round and there could be a full house at Ibrox on Saturday, but the vast majority of that is season tickets, which are already accounted for. Where are the other revenue streams to pay these players

'It's a real tightrope for an administrator: you are loath to lose your star players because they have saleable value but, if you can't afford to pay them, that's a breach of contract – and they could walk out.

'When I was working for Falkirk and Livingston, nobody walked because they weren't getting paid.

'In fact, the Falkirk players were seen as local heroes because they were pulling on the jersey for nothing to save the team, which was the first Scottish club to face liquidation since the demise of Third Lanark.

'But whether the Rangers players would be willing to do that kind of thing, I don't know.'

Shadows over Rangers: The club was plunged into administration this week

Shadows over Rangers: The club was plunged into administration this week

With PFA Scotland hoping to meet the
admininstrators as soon as possible, McGruther admits that he cannot
see a way out for Rangers.

Yet, there were optimistic noises
last night from Duff & Phelps, who described 'good progress' having
been made in their first 24 hours in charge of the crisis club.

In a statement attributed to Paul
Clark and David Whitehouse, Duff & Phelps said: 'In broad terms,
supporters can be reassured that Rangers will continue as a football
club and we hope to reach a stage as soon as possible where the club can
emerge from administration.

'We have had expressions of support
across the political spectrum in Scotland and there is clearly a desire
to see Rangers come through this situation successfully.'

Sir Alex
Ferguson, however, joined the chorus of concern at the black
cloud that has descended on his former club, describing the situation at
Rangers as 'a tragedy'.

Speaking ahead of Manchester
United's Europa League clash with Ajax tonight, Ferguson said: 'I'm not
surprised what happened at Rangers. That was on the cards for quite a
while from since that lad (Whyte) took over.

'It is a tragedy because it is a
great football club. It is one of the best clubs you could ever think
about. I don't know what will happen.

'As far as the rest of Europe is concerned, the top clubs have the ability to manage their affairs in the right way.

“You get the odd one that runs into trouble, like Portsmouth. But, in the main, you are talking about a small percentage.'

Manchester City flypast against Arsenal cancelled

Man City jet grounded as Etihad cancel flypast against Arsenal… who just happen to be backed by airline rivals Emirates

Plans to fly Manchester City”s jet over the Etihad Stadium at the weekend were scrapped after it was realised it would be too dark for supporters to see the stunt.

Etihad Airways, City”s main sponsor, had planned a flypast ahead of the clash with Arsenal on Sunday.

The plane stunt would have cost around 100,000 but the 4.10pm kick-off ensured Blue Moon Rising stayed on the ground.

Grounded: Manchester City fans will have to wait a bit longer for the flypast

Grounded: Manchester City fans will have to wait a bit longer for the flypast

City have had the plane since the summer but it has been suggested the Arsenal match – in which David Silva scored the only goal – was chosen to have a sly dig at Gunners” sponsors Emirates, although the Premier League leaders dismissed the claims.

The A330-200 aircraft, emblazoned with the club”s name and colours, was due to fly at about 2,500ft, directly over City”s home and air traffic bosses had provisionally given it the go-ahead. Manchester Airport was also backing the flypast.

But Etihad pulled the plug less than two weeks before the game. The flypast may go ahead later in the season when the days are a bit longer.

City slickers: David Silva (right) celebrates with Sergio Aguero after scoring the only goal of the game against Arsenal on Sunday evening

City slickers: David Silva (right) celebrates with Sergio Aguero after scoring the only goal of the game against Arsenal on Sunday evening

An airport spokesman said: “With plenty of advance warning for local residents and permission from air traffic control, a fly-past of the Manchester City stadium could have been an eye-catching spectacle.

“But the likelihood of Manchester”s low-lying, grey, December clouds combined with the nights drawing in risked lessening the impact, so the decision was made to postpone the idea for now.”

A City spokesman said: “The possibility of the branded City plane flying over the Etihad Stadium was explored for a Partnership event, not for the Arsenal or any other match fixture.

“It was shelved due to altitude limitations and the resulting reduced visibility.”