Tag Archives: aintree

Grand National 2013: Last year"s fatalities put jump racing under the microscope

Grand National faces biggest test with fatalities putting jump racing under the microscope

By
Marcus Townend

PUBLISHED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 3 April 2013

Four Grade One races of rare quality grace today’s opening day of Aintree’s Grand National meeting while tomorrow the clash between steeplechase superstar Sprinter Sacre, Cue Card and Flemenstar is being billed as the race of the season.

But which horses pass the winning line first over the next three days won’t matter a jot if Saturday’s big race turns into another visceral examination of jump racing.

Twelve months ago, when two horses were killed for a second year running, including Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised, the joy was squeezed out of the victory of Neptune Collonges.

Scroll down for Peter Scudamore's inside track on Aintree's new fences

Preparations: Aintree ground staff were tending to the new safer fences ahead of the three-day meeting

Preparations: Aintree ground staff were tending to the new safer fences ahead of the three-day meeting

The deaths of Synchronised and According To Pete raised questions as to whether the race could even survive in its present form.

RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant called the deaths ‘totally unacceptable’ while branding the famous Becher’s Brook, where According To Pete was brought down before being hit by another horse, a ‘killer fence’. A nervous calm precedes this year’s race but a major modification to the fences’ construction has been welcomed (see graphic above).

Spokesmen for the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare deny the race is on trial but another body blow would be serious given a sponsor is being sought with John Smiths leaving after Saturday’s race.

Finishing touch: The grass on the Grand National finish line was cut this week before the Aintree showpiece

Finishing touch: The grass on the Grand National finish line was cut this week before the Aintree showpiece

WHW chief executive Roly Owers said: ‘There is still huge support for the race but there also are increasing voices within racing questioning whether the National is doing the sport any good. The warning bells have sounded and Aintree have recognised that.

‘Our biggest issue with the National is the number of fallers. It is five times higher than a normal steeplechase. The fewer fallers, the less chance of injury. The changes to the fence core are a real step forward and we also welcome the improvements in irrigation.

‘We recognise you can’t eliminate risk. The responsibility is to minimise it.’

WHW have repeated a call to reduce the number of starters.Owers said: ‘We believe there should be a trial reduction of three years. We recognise it has to be a great test but you can’t just accept the regular death of horses.’

Scrutiny: Last year's Grand National (above) saw the fatalities of According to Pete and Synchronised

Scrutiny: Last year's Grand National (above) saw the fatalities of According to Pete and Synchronised

RSPCA equine consultant David Muir added: ‘With 40 runners, you have 40 chances of things going wrong. I’d like to see them reduce it to 30 but we don’t run racing.’

Jockeys have been asked to moderate their speed to the first fence and the run-up to it has been shortened by 90 yards by moving the start further away from the unsettling cauldron of noise coming from of the grandstands.

Jamie Stier, BHA director of raceday operations, said: ‘The changes are all designed for horse welfare but at the same time we have maintained the shape, size and character of the fences.

Fences

‘People have to understand the position of the race within the fabric of society. Attendance figures last year were 155,000 at the meeting and more people watch the Grand National on TV than the FA Cup final — more than 11million — with a global audience of 600m in 140 countries.

‘We don’t feel it is on trial. It is down to the BHA and Aintree to find a way forward.’

Still, a lot of people will be holding their breath on Saturday.

Peter Scudamore looks at the major fences at this year's Grand…

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Cambridge maths expert devises Grand National formula and is backing Seabass

And this year's Grand National winner is… Cambridge maths whizz reveals winning formula ahead of Aintree race

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

10:48 GMT, 2 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:17 GMT, 2 April 2013

A University of Cambridge maths whizz is backing Seabass in Saturday’s Grand National – after creating a formula that predicts the winning horse.

William Hartston, 65, forensically examined the names and ages of all victorious nags from the event’s 174 year history.

And he discovered winners are most likely to have names that are just one word, and begin with S, R, M, or C.

Racing ahead: Seabass, with Katie Walsh on board, is methematician William Hartson's pick for the National

Racing ahead: Seabass, with Katie Walsh on board, is methematician William Hartson's pick for the National

THE FORMULA IN FULL

Number of letters in the horse’s name
8, 10 = 4 points
7 = 3 points
6, 11 = 2 points
9, 12 = 1 point

First letter of horse’s name
R = 4 points
A, S, M = 3 points
C, T = 2 points
G, B, W = 1 point

Number of words in horse’s name
1 = 4 points
2 = 3 points
3 = 2 points
4 = 1 point

Age of horse
9 = 4 points
10 = 3 points
8, 11 = 2 points
12 = 1 point

The 9 highest-scoring horses based on the William Hartston scoring system
1. Seabass 13/16 (consistently high in all categories)
2. Tatenen 13/16
3. Teaforthree 12/16
4. Rare Bob 12/16
5. Mr Moonshine 12/16
6. Romanesco 11/16
7. Sunnyhillboy 11/16
8. Quel Esprit 11/16
9. Any Currency 11/16

Furthermore, the names usually consist of eight or ten letters – closely followed by seven or 11 – and the horses are typically nine or ten years old.

Mr Hartston used these results to develop a scoring system, which allowed him to rate the 40 horses that will line-up at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday.

He will now back the bookies’ 9/1 second favourite Seabass after it scored an impressive 13 points out of a maximum 16 on his scale.

The Ted Walsh-trained Irish racehorse begins with S, is a one-word name, aged ten years, and has seven letters.

It was followed by Tatenen and Teaforthree in the study commissioned by bookies William Hill.

Mr Hartston – author of several books, including The Book of Numbers – graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MA or Master of Maths.

The mathematician examined four criteria – number of letters in the horse’s name, first letter of name, number of words in the name, and age.

He then awarded each horse a maximum of four points for each of these criteria, depending on how closely they fit the historic results.

For example, a horse whose name is eight or ten letters long – the most successful in the history of the race – are awarded four points.

But a horse with nine or twelve letters – historically less successfully – are awarded just one point.

Mr Hartston said: 'Seabass is the only horse with consistently high scores across all four criteria. It begins with S, is a one-word name, aged ten years and has seven letters, which is only slightly short of the preferred eight.

'Tatenen scored an impressive 13/16 while Teaforthree scored 12/16 and

shouldn’t be ruled out – but their scoring pattern is less consistent.'

Ready and waiting: 14/1 shot Teaforthree, in training last week, also features highly on Hartson's list

Ready and waiting: 14/1 shot Teaforthree, in training last week, also features highly on Hartson's list

Sprinter Sacre wins Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown

Sprinter Sacre storms to Tingle Creek Chase victory at Sandown on seasonal debut

PUBLISHED:

16:02 GMT, 8 December 2012

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 8 December 2012

Sprinter Sacre ran out a hugely-impressive winner of the the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase on his seasonal bow at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson's charge arrived unbeaten in five chase starts last term and he extended that run to six in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Deeply impressive: Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty jump the last

Deeply impressive: Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty jump the last

Assuming control from the Pond Fence, the 4-11 favourite accelerated away to claim the Grade One prize by 15 lengths.

Sprinter Sacre ran out a hugely-impressive winner of the the Sportingbet Tingle Creek Chase on his seasonal bow at Sandown.

Nicky Henderson's charge arrived
unbeaten in five chase starts last term and he extended that run to six
in the hands of Barry Geraghty.

Assuming control from the Pond Fence, the 4-11 favourite accelerated away to claim the Grade One prize by 15 lengths.

Henderson said: 'He has got the 'wow'
factor. It's been a long time since Aintree and I admit to being
petrified about Sanctuaire.

All too easy: Barry Geraghty takes a peek over his shoulder

All too easy: Barry Geraghty takes a peek over his shoulder

'I knew that horse had got pace and
would put it into the race which would stretch anybody and it was as
soft as our fellow would ever want to go on. “He's just class isn't he

'I knew that I had something a bit special and I just wanted it to stay that way.

'That's as good a two-mile chase as you'll ever see.

'He will probably go for the Victor
Chandler and Cheltenham, I don't know for sure, but there aren't that
many options and then on to Aintree or Punchestown.'

Sprinter scores: Barry Geraghty shows his delight after Tingle Creek success

Sprinter scores: Barry Geraghty shows his delight after Tingle Creek success

Geraghty partnered Moscow Flyer to
win 10 Grade One chases, including two Queen Mother Champion Chases, and
he believes Sprinter Sacre compares favourably.

He added: 'He's the closest I have ridden to Moscow. Time will tell (if he will be as good) but he's going the right way. “He's the most natural I have ever ridden and so far, so good.'

All smiles: Geraghty (right) and trainer Nicky Henderson

All smiles: Geraghty (right) and trainer Nicky Henderson

David Price knocks out Matt Skelton to retain British heavyweight title

The Price is right as rapid-fire knockout keeps David on course for world title shot

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 30 November 2012

David Price took the next step on the road that could lead to a shot at the world title with a two-round demolition of Matt Skelton.

This has been a year to remember for the towering Liverpudlian and he finished it in the best possible fashion, taking his unbeaten record to a perfect 15-0 and giving himself the platform for a crack at the European crown.

Back at Aintree racecourse, where he had brushed Sam Sexton aside in May to win the vacant British and Commonwealth belts, Price produced his most accomplished display of 2012, pulverising Skelton with a flurry of unstoppable blows.

Too strong: David Price knocks out Matt Skelton (below) and celebrates his victory (above)

Too strong: David Price knocks out Matt Skelton (below) and celebrates his victory (above)

Too strong: David Price knocks out Matt Skelton (below) and celebrates his victory (above)

First to the punch: Price rains blows on Skelton

First to the punch: Price rains blows on Skelton

Though Skelton tried to grapple and impose himself on Price to make this a war of attrition from the outset, Price landed the first telling blows – a right jab and a right hook to rattle his 45-year-old opponent – and he never looked like losing.

This was expected to be a significantly sterner test for Price than one he faced when dispossessing of Audley Harrison in the blink of an eye six weeks ago. Gnarled, experienced and a former World title challenger, he had the tools to take any advantage of any chinks in Price’s armour.

But Skelton simply had no answer to the bombardment that came his way in the second round. A left jab followed by a right-hook was enough to get a partisan crowd on its feet early on and set the alarm bells ringing in Skelton’s corner.

Sensing the opportunity to finish things quickly, Price unleashed a barrage of body shots to pole-axe Skleton, with a short left-hook into his midriff enough to send him crashing to the canvas and prompt the towel to be hurled in after two minutes and 56 seconds.

It was the heaviest defeat Skelton has ever suffered and now Price can start thinking about world dominance. First, however, there maybe a clash with Tyson Fury.

Dodge this: Price aims an uppercut at the Bedford Bear

Dodge this: Price aims an uppercut at the Bedford Bear

Down for the count: Skelton goes to the canvas after a heavy barrage of body blows

Down for the count: Skelton goes to the canvas after a heavy barrage of body blows

Cakewalk: Price (right) turns back to his corner as Skelton is counted out at Aintree Equestrian Centre

Cakewalk: Price (right) turns back to his corner as Skelton is counted out at Aintree Equestrian Centre

David Price ready for Matt Skelton

I won't be Mr Nice in the ring, insists Price ahead of Skelton challenge

|

UPDATED:

18:37 GMT, 28 November 2012

Nice guy David Price is happy to keep nurturing his nasty streak as he builds his growing reputation as the hottest property in heavyweight boxing.

The genial Liverpudlian's stock has continued to rise in 2012 with a series of brutal wins brought about by his devastating punching power.

Price, 29, hopes to finish a successful year in style when he defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against tough veteran Matt Skelton at Aintree on Friday.

Head to head: David Price (left) takes on Matt Skelton in Liverpool on Friday

Head to head: David Price (left) takes on Matt Skelton in Liverpool on Friday

After destroying other British rivals such as Tom Dallas, John McDermott, Sam Sexton and Audley Harrison in brutal style, the pressure is on for Price to repeat such ferocity.

And the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist admits even he has been taken aback by his explosive power.

'I've surprised myself with my progress at times,' he said. 'I've expected the fights to be a bit more difficult.

'It's the punch power which surprises me because in training I know I can punch, but it's when I put the 10oz gloves on, get in the ring and start punching then that it produces results which I didn't think were possible.

'I have got that nastiness in there. It's something that people always thought I never had. I've heard a lot of people say to me 'you're too nice'.

'But being nice is one thing and being soft is another and I'm not soft.'

Knockout: Price destroyed Audley Harrison in the first round in his last fight

Knockout: Price destroyed Audley Harrison in the first round in his last fight

Price added: 'I might be a nice person but when I'm in that ring a completely different persona comes out. It's heavyweight boxing, at the end of the day.

'If I don't finish the job it can give them an opportunity to take me out. It only takes one punch. So I want to get them out of there as quickly as possible and when I hit someone, I make sure they stay hit.

'That's what boxing is about. It's the noble art. For all the trash talking involved in boxing – which there is a place for, because people get excited about it, but it's not for me – there's always room for gentlemanly conduct as well.

'I just be myself and be normal and it comes across well to the fans as someone they can relate to.

'There's also a market for the trash talk as well, so it creates a nice balance.'

After such progress this year, the selection of Skelton (28-6) as challenger has drawn criticism from some quarters.

On the rise: Price remains unbeaten as he looks to dominate the heavyweight scene

On the rise: Price remains unbeaten as he looks to dominate the heavyweight scene

But while the 45-year-old Bedford brawler's age has unsurprisingly raised eyebrows, the former kickboxing champion arguably poses more of a threat than the timid Harrison managed last time out.

'Matt Skelton's a fighter a lot of fighters would prefer to avoid because he's a tough opponent who can make guys look bad,' said Price (14-0, 12KOs).

'He's fit, he's durable and he's a fighter. I think it's a significant fight for me.

'I haven't been getting many rounds under my belt and I think Skelton will be able to take my punches. If he doesn't then he doesn't and it's a confidence boost for me and if he does, then it's good rounds in the bank for me.'

John Smith"s call time on Grand National sponsorship

John Smith's call time on Grand National sponsorship

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 24 November 2012

Aintree is seeking a new sponsor for the Grand National after the shock decision of John Smith's to pull their backing after next year's race in April.

Those in charge at Aintree have had to deal with negative publicity following the deaths of two horses in each of the last two Nationals.

Thrill of the chase: Neptune Collonges (right) jumps The Chair on the way to winning the Grand National

Thrill of the chase: Neptune Collonges (right) jumps The Chair on the way to winning the Grand National

Last summer the course's managing
director, Julian Thick, departed unexpectedly and at least one more
senior figure is set to leave.

Now Aintree has lost the backing of
the brewing giant John Smith's, who have invested heavily in the
three-day National meeting over nine years, with the prize money almost
doubling to just under 1million since 2005.

John Baker, new regional director for
Jockey Club Northern Racecourses, said: 'We are finalising new
sponsorship to ensure the event remains one of the crown jewels in the
sporting calendar.'

One of the leading bookmakers could
step in, since betting during the build-up to the National reaches an
annual peak on the day of the race.

But bookies are unlikely to provide the significant depth of funding delivered by John Smith's and, before them, Martell.

Lord Daresbury rode winners over the famous Aintree fences as an amateur.

Yesterday, as chairman of the
racecourse, he said: 'This news comes at a bad time but I am confident
the race will attract plenty of interest from potential sponsors.'

Becher"s Brook on trial after Grand National fatalities prompt safety review

Becher's Brook on trial after Grand National fatalities prompt safety changes

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UPDATED:

20:05 GMT, 20 September 2012

The RSPCA have issued a thinly-veiled threat to the British Horseracing
Authority by saying the future of Becher's Brook will be on trial in
next year's Grand National.

Britain's most important animal welfare group was reacting to the
announcement of only minor changes to the most iconic fence in jump
racing following the safety review prompted by two fatalities in last
year's race.

Carnage: Several runners fall at Bechers Brook last year

Carnage: Several runners fall at Bechers Brook last year

It was the second year running two horses have died in the most-watched steeplechase of the year.

As expected, the most significant move announced by Aintree and BHA
concentrated on the start which will be 90 yards nearer the first fence,
reducing the four mile four furlong race by nearly half a furlong.

Other changes include:

Doubling the size of the' no-go' zone between horses and a more visible starting tape to 30 yards

Trialling prototype fences with a more forgiving 'core' at the Becher Chase meeting in December:

Spending an additional 100,000 of improving watering capacity

Additional efforts to catch riderless horses.

But there will be no reduction in the 40-runner field.

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised fell at Becher's last year
before galloping on riderless and breaking a leg while the second 2012
fatality of According To Pete occurred when he was brought down at
Becher's on the second circuit.

The RSPCA issued a statement saying: 'While the proposed improvement at
Becher's by the additional levelling of the adverse slope on the landing
zone can only be beneficial, we belief that the remaining many
complexities of this fence mean that it continues to pose a serious and
unacceptable threat to horse welfare.

Changes: The 2012 Grand National brought more chaotic scenes

Changes: The 2012 Grand National brought more chaotic scenes

'We will watch carefully the impact of this change at Becher's at the
2013 Grand National. This is the BHA's last chance to show that this
fence can pose a fair and safe challenge to horse and jockey.'

The BHA and Aintree hope that by moving the start 90 yards away from the
buzz of the grandstands, it will create a more 'controlled atmosphere'
for a starting procedure that has been intermittently chaotic since the
1993 void race. Last year there were two false starts.

Director of Raceday Operations Jamie Stier added: 'It could have the
effect of reducing the early speed of the race. If this were to be the
case, it would be an added benefit.'

Stier repeated the findings of the preliminary investigations that the
two 2012 deaths were neither 'foreseeable or predictable'.

The BHA had introduced a number of changes for the race in April, which
included reducing the height of the fourth fence, reducing the
magnititude of the drop on the landing side of Becher's and beefing up
the entry qualification for runners.

He added: 'There has only been one Grand National since these changes
were made and there has to be time to assess the effect of them.

'Following this year's race, our priorities were to establish the facts
surrounding the incidents that occurred during the running of the race
and, secondly, to review the events which led to what was an
unsatisfactory start to the race.

'We have worked closely with Aintree and consulted widely with jockeys,
trainers and legitimate welfare organisations – the RSPCA and World
Horse Welfare – on a range of elements related to the race.'

John Baker, the newly installed supremo at Aintree, added: 'Balancing
the Grand National's enduring appeal whilst working to reduce risk in
the race is a delicate but important balance to strike.

'In recent years, we have made significant investments in safety and
believe today's announcement demonstrates we will continue to do so
whilst preserving the unique character and appeal of the nation's
favourite race.'

Former champion jockey and Racemail columnist Peter Scudamore, welcoming
the changes, said: 'Animal welfare has always got to be the priority. I
think the vast majority of the public accept there is a risk with the
race that is acceptable as long as the people in charge strive and are
seen to be striving to make the National as safe as possible.'

The truth is that for all their work, Aintree and the BHA could be undone by a few moments bad luck, just as they were in April.

The future of the Grand National has become as hot an annual topic as who wins the race.

David Price takes step towards world title

David ready to be Goliath as Price takes another step towards world title

By
Jeff Powell

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 21 May 2012

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 21 May 2012

Britain’s next world heavyweight champion is unlikely to be on view at West Ham’s football ground on July 14 when David Haye meets Dereck Chisora in a flurry of controversy.

David Price was pushed back close to midnight by Chelsea’s long, late show in Munich, his latest KO obscured by the blue haze which followed.

But as the smoke cleared from Saturday, the giant Liverpudlian could be seen standing very tall as potentially this country’s best heavyweight since Lennox Lewis.

Price is right: David Price celebrates winning the British and Commonwealth belts

Price is right: David Price celebrates winning the British and Commonwealth belts

Price’s four-round demolition of the usually durable Sam Sexton at Aintree racecourse confirmed his late-developing transition from Olympic bronze-medal amateur to fully weighed-in professional.

Price worked in the finest tradition of the ring. His left jab ramrodded his opponent, while his defensive skills offered little hope of a lucky shot at a chin not as suspect as was first alleged.

He is also fast of hand and has alacrity of movement for such a big man, but carries a punch like a 10-tonne truck careening down a mountain.

Once Sexton had been opened up by the jab, that right came thundering at him in the form of hooks, crosses, and uppercuts until the flickering lights went out.

Hammer blow: Price dominated Sam Sexton over four rounds in Liverpool

Hammer blow: Price dominated Sam Sexton over four rounds in Liverpool

It is no coincidence Price is under the guidance of Frank Maloney, the London promoter who brought Lewis home from Canada and manoeuvred him shrewdly not only to the world title, but on to a period of multi-million-pound dominance over the heavyweight division.

Maloney refused to rush Lewis. Similarly, he encouraged Price to delay turning professional until he had deepened his pool of first-rate amateur experience at the Beijing games.

Now, at 29 and newly crowned by his victory over Sexton as British and Commonwealth champion, Price has 11 knockouts to his credit in a perfect 13-win overture to his pro career.

This is a traditional route to the summit — some hurry-up merchants might say old- fashioned — which brings him to prominence not only ready for the bigger challenges but still fresh. That is a combination as dangerous as his right hand.

Out cold: Sexton had no answer to Price's power last weekend

Out cold: Sexton had no answer to Price's power last weekend

It may be that Tyson Fury, his leading rival among the new wave of British heavyweights but one Price beat in the amateurs, was wise to vacate those British and Commonwealth belts in the hope of getting a world title ahead of him. Nor are Haye or Chisora likely to be in any rush to challenge Price for his domestic title.

Price’s rapid development has been helped by sparring with Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, and there are echoes of the style which has given the Ukrainian brothers a duopoly of the world titles in his upright stance, piston-like jab and swift gear change into smothering defence.

By the time Maloney considers him ready, probably in the middle of next year, the Klitschkos may begin to regret Price becoming a monster of their own creation.

Fans" fury as Roberto Martinez emerges as front runner for vacant Liverpool job

Fans' fury as Martinez emerges as front runner for vacant Liverpool job

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 19 May 2012

Liverpool fans have rounded on the club's decision-makers for considering Wigan's Roberto Martinez as a managerial successor to Kenny Dalglish.

Supporters abused managing director Ian Ayre at a race meeting at Aintree on Friday night and chanted the name of previous Anfield boss Rafael Benitez.

The general response from the club's followers to the prospect of Martinez being appointed has been underwhelming, and that is a concern after Roy Hodgson's ill-fated time at Anfield.

Unpopular choice; Liverpool fans have made their displeasure over Roberto Martinez known

Unpopular choice; Liverpool fans have made their displeasure over Roberto Martinez known

Liverpool fans never accepted Hodgson and his reign was the shortest in the club's history, lasting just 31 games.

The club have been widely criticised for their scattergun approach to replacing the sacked Dalglish.

Anfield owner John W Henry insists they will appoint a young up-and-coming manager to replace the Scot, fired on Wednesday despite reaching two cup finals this season.

That means Martinez, Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers, former Chelsea boss Andre Villas- Boas and Dane Michael Laudrup could be in, but Benitez and former England manager Fabio Capello are out.

Out: Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is unlikely to return to Anfield

Out: Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is unlikely to return to Anfield

Liverpool would have to pay Wigan only 1million compensation for 38-year-old Martinez, who had renegotiated his contract last summer after turning down Aston Villa.

Villas-Boas, sacked by Chelsea in March, is free to take the job. Spaniard Martinez, also coveted by Villa again, has still not spoken formally to Liverpool but is believed to be keen on starting a new challenge after saving Wigan from relegation with seven wins in the club's last nine games.

He relationship with Dave Whelan was one of the closest chairman-manager bonds in the league but it became strained when the owner questioned his manager's team selection following a home defeat by Swansea in early March.

sg

Liverpool have been rattled by the fans' reaction to Martinez.

They have been left open to ridicule for failing to make a quick appointment after Dalglish was sacked in Boston during a review with his bosses into a Premier League season in which the club finished eighth, 37 points behind champions Manchester City.

/05/19/article-0-1312E079000005DC-290_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Out: Brendan Rodgers has ruled himself out for the Liverpool job” class=”blkBorder” />

Out: Brendan Rodgers has ruled himself out for the Liverpool job

Having felt Dalglish's approach was old-fashioned, the Anfield hierarchy do not view Capello as a serious contender given his difficulties getting the best out of England players at the last World Cup.

Benitez, who took Liverpool to Champions League finals in 2005 and 2007, is hurt he is not being considered given the lack of experience among the other candidates but Henry does not want a manager who is almost a cult figure among the fans, as Dalglish was.

With Henry and chairman Tom Werner in America, under-fire Ayre has had to bear the brunt of the fans' frustrations.

Possible: Marseille coach Didier Deschamps may be a contender for the vacant post

Possible: Marseille coach Didier Deschamps may be a contender for the vacant post

Liverpool have no manager, chief executive or head of sports science, while director of communications Ian Cotton has been replaced by American Jen Chang, who has no experience in football.

They hope, however, to announce a ground naming deal soon to give their next manager much-needed funds in the market.

Charles Sale: Hills close book on PFA award after big bet for Walker

Hills close book on PFA award after money comes in for Walker

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UPDATED:

23:27 GMT, 17 April 2012

MORE CHARLES SALE

Beckham survives the cut for Team GB

Bookmakers William Hill have closed their betting market on the PFA Young Player of the Year.

This follows punters trying to place bets of 1,000 on 5-6 favourite Kyle Walker, with the Tottenham defender being backed down from 33-1.

Hills, who upset rival firms during the Aintree Grand National meeting with their excessive hype, fear the result has leaked before the union awards night on Sunday.

Big bet: William Hill closed the book on the PFA Young Player of the Year after punters tried to place 1000 bets on Kyle Walker

Big bet: William Hill closed the book on the PFA Young Player of the Year after punters tried to place 1000 bets on Kyle Walker

A breakaway of sorts is being discussed by the middle and lower-tier clubs in the Premier League in an effort to increase their commercial revenue from perimeter advertising.

The 14 clubs outside the top six of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, who make more money going it alone, are talking about aggregating their rights from the boards.

More from Charles Sale…

Beckham survives the cut for Team GB – former England captain set for Olympics
17/04/12

Charles Sale: Chelsea snub FA top brass at Wembley over fixture farce
16/04/12

Charles Sale: Believe the hype You bet, say Hills
15/04/12

Charles Sale: Redknapp talks with Tottenham stall as England prepare move
13/04/12

Charles Sale: Former chairman Broughton keeps mum over Kenny's Liverpool future
12/04/12

Charles Sale: FA delay makes it tough for Pearce
30/03/12

Charles Sale: Sir Dave Richards fiasco has come to Parliament
29/03/12

Charles Sale: Ball in FA's court over UEFA deal
28/03/12

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It’s hoped an agency would make an offer to sell the advertising properties with a minimum guarantee worth more to the clubs than their individual average of around 2million a season from perimeter sales. The issue is expected to be on the agenda at the Premier League’s annual summer meeting.

Henry's Liverpool no-show

Liverpool’s strange owners John Henry and Tom Werner turn up for matches less often than their despised American predecessors Tom Hicks and George Gillett. And it hardly helped promote the Fenway Sports Group creed of engaging with fans that Henry and Werner returned to Boston after their sacking spree before not only the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, but also the Hillsborough anniversary service at Anfield. Worryingly for Liverpool personnel after last week’s cull, FSG are due back this week.

Platini puts his foot in it

UEFA
president Michel Platini is causing upset in Olympic circles three
years ahead of his expected membership of the International Olympic
Committee. Platini, heir-apparent to FIFA chief Sepp Blatter, has made
clear his strong support for Turkey to host the European Championship in
2020, even before the May 15 deadline for bidders.

And
with Istanbul challenging to stage the Olympics that year as well, it’s
alleged Platini is encouraging the Turks to concentrate solely on their
football ambitions.

Man of opinions: Michel Platini has backed Turkey to host Euro 2020 despite them also going for Olympics

Man of opinions: Michel Platini has backed Turkey to host Euro 2020 despite them also going for Olympics

Beeb not at the races

The BBC’s botched revamp of their now hopeless sports website, run by Stuart Rowson, may have contributed to the Corporation losing all their horseracing coverage.

It didn’t help the Beeb’s cause, according to insiders, that racing doesn’t even merit a place among the main sports at the top of the home page.

These are, in order, football, F1, cricket, rugby union, rugby league, tennis, golf and the Olympics. Surely racing, Britain’s second biggest spectator sport, should have more prominence.

Blackett role at risk

RFU disciplinary officer Jeff Blackett, the pivotal figure during the fighting between the Twickenham blazers, is in danger of losing his all-powerful position if a vote at Friday’s council meeting goes against him.

The board have recommended the disciplinary process be split between the in-house legal team and an independent judiciary, as suggested by the Slaughter & May governance reform report which would leave Armed Forces judge advocate Blackett without a role.