Tag Archives: annual

Robert Lewandowski set to sign for Manchester United

Man United set to add 18m Dortmund hotshot Lewandowski to their ranks on five-year deal

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UPDATED:

08:59 GMT, 27 December 2012


Goals galore: This mocked-up pic of Robert Lewandowski shows the Dortmund frontman in United colours

Goals galore: This mocked-up pic of Robert Lewandowski shows the Dortmund frontman in United colours

Robert Lewandowski will double his earnings as a Manchester United player after moving a step nearer landing his dream move to Old Trafford.

He is set to accept an offer of 20.5million in wages to join the Barclays Premier League side in the summer.

Borussia Dortmund have settled on an 18million fee for the Polish striker, who has long been pursued by Sir Alex Ferguson.

According to German newspaper Bild, the 24-year-old will sign a five-year contract at Old Trafford worth around 4.1m annually.

Sportsmail
has led the way with the transfer of Lewandowski to United, with our
exclusive story at the end of last month detailing how he had told
friends he would be leaving Dortmund.

The
striker’s contract with the club expires at the end of next season, and
it is believed he will double his wages with a move to the Premier
League.

Though he is widely acknowledged as Dortmund’s most potent attacking weapon, the Poland striker lags behind team-mates Marco Reus and Mario Goetze on the pay scale.

Fellow-forward Reus and attacking midfielder Goetze, another United target, both rake in 3.28m a year, while Lewandowski is on an annual salary of just over 2m.

Hotshot: The Polish forward is poised to sign for Man United

Hotshot: The Polish forward is poised to sign for Man United

All that is about to change, after a United initiative that seems certain to break Dortmund’s resolve over their prize asset.

General manager Hans-Joachim Watzke has consistently stated Dortmund have no intention of cashing in on him and will keep him for the remainder of his contract, even if it means losing him for nothing at the end of next season.

But his stance has been widely interpreted as a means of extracting the maximum amount from any buying club, after an acceptance that they will have to sell him in the summer.

Boost: Sir Alex Ferguson is on the verge of adding to his firepower

Boost: Sir Alex Ferguson is on the verge of adding to his firepower

United already have the best attack in the top-flight with 48 goals from 19 games but Ferguson, who watched Lewandowski when he played Manchester City at the Etihad earlier this season, wants the most potent strike force in Europe.

He believes pairing Lewandowski with Robin van Persie — and Wayne Rooney operating just behind — would give him that. The manager is also keen to re-united him with Shinji Kagawa, who formed a successful partnership before joining in the summer.

Lewandowski has scored 40 league goals in 83 games for the side and is in fearsome form, netting braces in each of his last three games for Dortmund.

He is a key reason they topped Real Madrid in the group stages of the Champions League.

Link up: Lewandowski could soon be lining up alongside Robin van Persie

Link up: Lewandowski could soon be lining up alongside Robin van Persie

Manchester City on course for Financial Fair Play despite losing 100m

Man City lose 100m… but insist they're still on course to meet financial fair play rules

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UPDATED:

17:20 GMT, 14 December 2012

Manchester City have revealed annual losses of almost 100million –
but insist they are still on course to fall in line with the new
financial fair play rules.

Although City's losses have been halved, they still posted a loss of 97.9m in the annual report for the 2011-12 season. City's overall wage bill rose from 151.6m to 178.1m.

Value for money: Manchester City have announced an interesting set of financial figures for the year

Value for money: Manchester City have announced an interesting set of financial figures for the year

The new financial fair play rules – that are introduced at the start of the next Barclays Premier League season – which require clubs to meet a series of stipulations.

City are confident as 15m of the losses comes from infrastructure and youth development costs, while approximately 80m comes from contracts that pre-date 2010, from which City expect to get some kind of relief.

A statement read: 'Whilst the 2011-12 financial results represent a
further step towards achieving the club’s objective of long-term
sustainability both on and off the field, the application of UEFA
allowable reliefs for certain categories of expenditure and investment
in 2011-12, position the club well for compliance with UEFA’s financial
fair play regulations which come into effect in season 2013-14.'

City's annual figures also revealed that they have recorded whopping
revenue of 231.1m – the first time they have smashed through the 200m
mark.

While the results show marginal increases in gate receipts and TV revenue, it is in the commercial sector where City are making huge gains.

Revenue went up from 64.7m to 121.1m, underlining City's increased growing global exposure, which is being shown in all areas, from merchandise to club tours.

The statement continued: 'This year’s report demonstrates the
tangible and positive impact of four years of strategic investment in
all operations since the acquisition of the Club by Sheikh Mansour bin
Zayed in September 2008.

Bright: City are able to put plenty of cash into their future, and announced plans for a new academy site

Bright: City are able to put plenty of cash into their future, and announced plans for a new academy site

Bright: City are able to put plenty of cash into their future, and announced plans for a new academy site

MANCHESTE CITY REPORT

Read City's annual report in full here

'Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak recognises the historic on field
achievements of 2011-12 and the impact on the club at home and
overseas. He also emphasises, following the securing of planning
permission, the importance of the City Football Academy (CFA) project to
the future of the Club and the community in which it resides, calling
it 'the most significant current initiative to secure the long-term
sustainability of the Club’s football operations'.

Chief executive officer Ferran Soriano, who arrived at the club
earlier this year after his time with Barcelona, said: 'What I have
found is a club on the verge of a historic transformation, reinforced by
a genuine commitment to doing things well. It is a club with a rich
history and the potential for an even brighter future.'

Liam Ridgewell pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

Ridgewell's bum note: West Brom star apologises after being pictured wiping his backside with pile of 20 notes

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UPDATED:

10:09 GMT, 2 December 2012

West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell has apologised after an embarrassing picture emerged of him wiping his backside with a wad of 20 notes.

The former Aston Villa and Birmingham defender claims the picture was taken to wind up a friend after he won a bet and he never intended on it becoming public.

Ridgewell told The Sun: 'The photo was taken in the privacy of my home around eight months ago as a joke to wind up a mate, who I had just won a personal bet with.

Blunder: Liam Ridgewell was pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

Blunder: Liam Ridgewell was pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

'I only intended him to see the photo but now it’s public, I can understand how it will be viewed. I am sorry for any offence it causes.'

The picture showed the 28-year-old squatting over a toilet with nearly 1000 worth of 20 notes scattered over the floor.

Apology: Ridgewell has said sorry for any offense caused

Apology: Ridgewell has said sorry for any offense caused

The West Brom player earns around
20,000-a-week and the picture is sure to anger fans – especially as
that is the average annual salary in the West Midlands – one of the most
deprived areas in the country.

The picture was sent to the newspaper by a fan who asked not to be named, he said: 'The people of West Bromwich earn a fraction of what this idiot earns yet he makes a mockery of his good fortune like this. It makes me sick.

'We’ve always thought footballers were arrogant, overpaid buffoons and this just proves it.’

The club distanced themselves from the issue saying it was a private matter.

They told The Sun: ‘This is a private issue for Liam that has become public.

'It does not put the club in a good light and we will deal with the matter internally.

'Since Liam joined us 11 months ago, his conduct on club duty has been exemplary.'

Arsenal 1 QPR 0 – match report

Arsenal 1 QPR 0: Relief as Arteta bundles home late winner to down 10-man Rangers

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UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 27 October 2012

Mikel Arteta's late goal gave Arsenal a much-needed 1-0 win over struggling QPR at the Emirates Stadium, where England midfielder Jack Wilshere returned for the Gunners after more than a year on the sidelines.

Arsenal had endured a difficult spell following the international break with successive defeats at Norwich and Schalke preceding a heated annual general meeting on Thursday.

It was, though, far from a vintage Arsenal display against a hard-working QPR side, who owed much to an inspired performance by goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Spain gain: Mikel Arteta poked home a late winner for Arsenal against 10-men QPR

Spain gain: Mikel Arteta poked home a late winner for Arsenal against 10-men QPR

Spain gain: Mikel Arteta poked home a late winner for Arsenal against 10-men QPR

MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL: Mannone, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Arteta, Wilshere (Walcott 67), Cazorla, Ramsey, Podolski (Gervinho 71), Giroud, Gervinho (Arshavin 81). Subs Not Used: Martinez, Koscielny, Coquelin, Jenkinson.

Booked: Giroud.

Goals: Arteta 84.

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Mbia, Nelsen, Traore (Onuoha 73), Wright-Phillips (Mackie 79), Diakite, Granero, Hoilett, Taarabt, Zamora (Cisse 72). Subs Not Used: Green, Ferdinand, Ephraim, Faurlin.

Sent Off: Mbia (80).

Booked: Granero, Taarabt.

Attendance: 60,103

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

Latest Premier League table and results

The Brazilian was finally beaten by
Arteta's scrambled effort with eight minutes left after QPR full-back
Stephane Mbia had been sent off for kicking out at Gunners defender
Thomas Vermaelen.

Wilshere's previous Arsenal league
appearance came in May 2011 and he missed the whole of the 2011-12
campaign with niggling ankle and knee problems, which ruled him out of
Euro 2012 and the London Olympics.

The 20-year-old's first touch was
greeted by huge cheers around the stadium, and it was a positive start
by the hosts. Mbia diverted Andre Santos' low cross goalwards, which
Cesar cleared with his legs.

In the 10th minute, a looping header from Aaron Ramsey dropped onto the top of the crossbar.

There was almost a dream return for
Wilshere when he collected the ball in midfield and charged to the edge
of the QPR penalty area before drilling in a low, left-foot shot which
Cesar spilled but then collected as Santi Cazorla looked for a rebound.

He's back: Jack Wilshere made his first appearance for the Gunners in 524 days

He's back: Jack Wilshere made his first appearance for the Gunners in 524 days

He's back: Jack Wilshere made his first appearance for the Gunners in 524 days

QPR, still without a Barclays Premier
League away win and bottom of the table, looked dangerous on the
counter-attack, especially through Shaun Wright-Phillips who stretched
Santos at every opportunity.

Arsenal threatened again on the
half-hour as Olivier Giroud's angled shot was parried away before Lukas
Podolski crashed a 25-yard free-kick into the defensive wall.

Wilshere then fed Santos out on the left, and the Brazilian cut back inside but curled a tame effort at Cesar.

He's Bac too: As well as Wilshere, Bacary Sagna was appearing for the first time this season

He's Bac too: As well as Wilshere, Bacary Sagna was appearing for the first time this season

At the start of the second half,
there was a moment of concern when QPR midfielder Esteban Granero stood
on Wilshere's foot and left the England man on the floor. He hobbled off
for some treatment but was able to rejoin the action.

In the 50th minute, a floated
free-kick from Arteta into the QPR penalty area was headed goalwards by
Per Mertesacker, but Cesar made a good save at full stretch.

At the other end, Junior Hoilett put
the ball in the Arsenal net, chipping Gunners goalkeeper Vito Mannone,
but play had already been stopped by an offside flag against three QPR
players.

Hooped: Aaron Ramsey continued to be deployed on the right before switching back to the middle

Hooped: Aaron Ramsey continued to be deployed on the right before switching back to the middle

Hooped: Aaron Ramsey continued to be deployed on the right before switching back to the middle

The match was becoming an
increasingly scrappy affair, as referee Anthony Taylor struggled to keep
order following a series of free-kicks.

With 25 minutes left, Wilshere was replaced by Theo Walcott and left the field to a standing ovation from the home support.

Podolski then came off for Gervinho as Arsene Wenger looked to inject some pace down the flanks.

QPR made a double change as Djibril Cisse and Nedum Onuoha replaced Bobby Zamora and the injured Armand Traore.

The best opening of the game fell to
Cazorla after good work from Walcott down the right, but the Spaniard,
who had been so impressive before the international break, blasted the
ball over from 12 yards.

Interested spectator: Stan Kroenke was in the stands for the second successive match

Interested spectator: Stan Kroenke was in the stands for the second successive match

Nervous: Both Arsene Wenger and Mark Hughes have been under pressure for different reasons

Nervous: Both Arsene Wenger and Mark Hughes have been under pressure for different reasons

Nervous: Both Arsene Wenger and Mark Hughes have been under pressure for different reasons

QPR were reduced to 10 men with 10
minutes left when Mbia was shown a red card for kicking out at Vermaelen
after he had been fouled by the Gunners skipper.

Gervinho picked up an injury, and was taken down the tunnel on a stretcher. He was replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

QPR continued to defend bravely, as Cesar clawed a deflected clearance onto the post.

The visitors' resolve, however, was finally broken in the 84th minute.

Arteta bundled the ball in after
Giroud's header was saved superbly by Cesar and the Spaniard's follow-up
header hit the crossbar.

Ramsey's shot was pushed wide by the
impressive QPR keeper, who also denied Cazorla as Arsenal continued to
press in the closing stages.

Mannone saved from QPR substitute Jamie Mackie in stoppage time to secure a welcome victory for Wenger's battle-weary Gunners.

Arsenal v Schalke: Gunners can compete, says Arsene Wenger

We can compete, insists Wenger as Arsenal chief faces probing 24 hours

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 23 October 2012

Arsenal's Champions League clash against Schalke on Wednesday night will begin what is likely to be a tough 24 hours for Arsene Wenger.

Wenger, who was 63 on Monday, believes victory over the Germans will '90 per cent' guarantee his side's passage into the knockout stages for a 13th successive season.

But the Frenchman will face an altogether different encounter on Thursday morning when the club hold their annual general meeting at the Emirates Stadium.

In charge: Wenger puts his side through their paces ahead of Wednesday's tie

In charge: Wenger puts his side through their paces ahead of Wednesday's tie

The club's trophy drought is now beyond the seven-year mark and given they sit 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, the chance of Barclays Premier League glory looks to be fading rapidly.

Arsenal's lack of silverware and the increasing cost of ticket prices will be just two bones of contention that are likely to be raised by shareholders.

But speaking from Arsenal's London Colney training base, Wenger claimed Arsenal supporters have various reasons to turn their frowns upside down.

Confident: Wenger insists Arsenal can still compete at the highest level

Confident: Wenger insists Arsenal can still compete at the highest level

'What will the mood be like at the AGM I don't know,' said Wenger.

'Yes, of course, I would love everybody to be happy. But I think overall the club is in a very strong position.

'The fans have a good team, they have fantastic players, they have a strong financial situation. People feel as well that the players have a good attitude. It's down to us now to make the maximum of this during the season. But there is no reason really to be doom and gloom. I understand every frustration.'

Saturday's shock defeat at Norwich would not have done much to appease those frustrated supporters who are intent on making their feelings known at the AGM.

But Wenger insists his side can still mix it with England's and Europe's elite, saying: 'I can understand when people say we can't compete, I share that concern.

'I believe we can. But of course, that defeat on Saturday was difficult to swallow. Because you go to West Ham and you win in a convincing way, then you go to Norwich and lose 1-0 without creating one goal chance.

'It's now four times that we have gone 1-0 down this season. Against Montpellier, against Chelsea, against Norwich and against West Ham.

'You can win once or twice – but one time you will lose because the team who is there to defend thinks: “Oh, now we are in a strong position, now we can really continue to focus on defending”.

'But we have just to focus to get closer now. For us, it's not the number of points only, it is that the margin of error we have now in front of us is very limited.

'And with a result like that we have put a huge pressure on our shoulders.'

Chelsea Academy players dance for John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and co in annual competition

Put your skills on show! Chelsea Academy players dance for Terry, Cole and co in annual contest

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UPDATED:

12:00 GMT, 20 August 2012

There was a time when a young Academy player would earn his keep by cleaning the first team's boots and laying out their kit.

Now it seems they have to keep them entertained as well.

At European champions Chelsea, one bizarre initiation is the annual Academy dance-off, where the youngsters queue up nervously to put their best moves on show in front of the entire first team squad.

Scroll down to watch the video

Nervous laughter: The Chelsea Academy players line-up before performing their routines

Nervous laughter: The Chelsea Academy players line-up before performing their routines

Building a bright future: Dabo shows off his best moves as the first team players look on

Building a bright future: Dabo shows off his best moves as the first team players look on

Their stage is daunting – a changing room at the club's Cobham training ground, lined with the seniors laughing, joking and judging.

In a video of the event, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are seen rating every move as dance tunes pump out the stereo.

They seem to approve of the winner, 16-year-old Fankaty Dabo, responding with broad smiles to a routine in which he shows off the fluidity that has earned him recognition at Under-17 level for England.

Reaching for the first team: Smiles all round as Dabo works towards his big finale

Reaching for the first team: Smiles all round as Dabo works towards his big finale

That's entertainment! (From left) John Terry, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran and Ashley Cole enjoy the show

That's entertainment! (From left) John Terry, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran and Ashley Cole enjoy the show

Aiming high: Dabo took the honours in the annual competition

Aiming high: Dabo took the honours in the annual competition

Dabo joined the Chelsea Academy as an Under-12 and made his debut for the Under-18 team three years early.

The youngster took to Twitter afterwards, asking Cole if his moves were memorable.

Cole replied that he was 'very good' but thought the overall standard of the team's dancing 'awful'.

Now watch the best bits

Liverpool to sell Alberto Aquilani and Brad Jones

Liverpool to free up transfer funds by offloading 7m Aquilani and Jones

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 29 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Liverpool are poised to boost their transfer funds by offloading Alberto Aquilani to Fiorentina and selling back-up goalkeeper Brad Jones to Norwich.

Aquilani, 28, who commands an annual salary of more than 6million, was left out of Liverpool’s squad for the final game of their North American tour in Baltimore as he discussed a 7m permanent move.

He has spent the previous two years on loan at Juventus and AC Milan.

Last hurrah: Alberto Aquilani (right) on Liverpool's pre-season tour of America

Last hurrah: Alberto Aquilani (right) on Liverpool's pre-season tour of America

Anfield exit: Liverpool reserve keeper Brad Jones could be Norwich-bound

Anfield exit: Liverpool reserve keeper Brad Jones could be Norwich-bound

The club are expected to step up their attempts to sign Swansea's Joe Allen if the deal is completed.

Jones, 30, has made just one league appearance for Liverpool since signing from Middlesbrough in 2010 for a 2.3m fee, but Chris Hughton believes Jones could put pressure on first choice John Ruddy.

Liverpool are keen on Wolves keeper Dorus de Vries, 31, and Birmingham’s Jack Butland, 19.

Great Britain 78 USA 118: LeBron James and Co too good for Olympic hosts

Great Britain 78 USA 118: Money men too flash for rookie Brits

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 19 July 2012

As the USA emerged, everyone in the sold-out Manchester Arena turned to their end of the court; camera phones flashed and messages were tweeted, recording the moment 160million worth of wage packets loped out in front of them.

Since the 1936 Olympics, the USA's men have won 13 gold medals in 16 attempts, losing only five of 127 games.

Great Britain, meanwhile, have not fielded an Olympic basketball team since 1948.

Stars and Stripes: The USA were just too good for the hosts in the Olympic warm-up match

Stars and Stripes: The USA were just too good for the hosts in the Olympic warm-up match

Lionel Price, 85, Britain's only surviving basketball Olympian, was present looking, understandably, a little bewildered. He was given a bus pass to get to Harringay Arena 64 years ago.

The USA may have won this exhibition match comfortably but, as all parties kept saying beforehand, it was certainly a 'big deal'.

British basketball started from nothing only five years ago, but last night hosted the defending Olympic champions just days before a home Olympics. That is a big deal.

Some of Britain's own famous sporting names, including Joleon Lescott, Fabr ice Muamba, Darren Fletcher and Amir Khan, were court-side.

Testing times: Great Britain were competitive but were outclassed by the NBA superstars

Testing times: Great Britain were competitive but were outclassed by the NBA superstars

Testing times: Great Britain were competitive but were outclassed by the NBA superstars

We think our Premier League stars are well paid, but the NBA is another level: Kobe Bryant earns around 19.6m a year, plus around 18m in sponsorship deals. LeBron James's annual salary is around 10.4m, with 21m coming in from other commercial interests.

King James could not have looked less interested in proceedings in the warm-up, but for the six minutes and 53 seconds he was on the court in the first quarter he was on another level: fizzing a pass out to the right and collecting rebounds at will.

In the second he coasted towards the basket quite brilliantly and he was showboating by the third, darting in from the right and hanging on the rim.

Court side: Stars including Jordan Henderson, Fabrice Muamba (above) and Danny Cipriani with Harry Kewell (below) were in attendance

Court side: Stars including Jordan Henderson, Fabrice Muamba (above) and Danny Cipriani with Harry Kewell (below) were in attendance

Court side: Stars including Jordan Henderson, Fabrice Muamba (above) and Danny Cipriani with Harry Kewell (below) were in attendance

James, 27, isn't the tallest – 7ft 1in Tyson Chandler takes that honour – but the Olympic Games may not see a more imposing athlete.

Great Britain could not quite match their female counterparts' lightning start on Wednesday night, but they did score first. Joel Freeland broke quickly to capitalise on Pops Mensah-Bonsu's rebound.

London-born Mensah-Bonsu has played 61 games for five NBA teams and certainly looked at home in such esteemed company, snapping up rebounds and yelling 'C'mon Kobe!' when he was penalised for fouling Bryant in the second quarter.

Full house: The manchester Arena was packed to watch Deng and Co take on the Americans

Full house: The manchester Arena was packed to watch Deng and Co take on the Americans

The 28-year-old Freeland and Chicago Bulls and NBA All-Star Luol Deng certainly hold the key to Great Britain's challenge in London.

There was no chance of the USA letting Great Britain off lightly. Maybe, just maybe, this was a 'big deal' for them, too.

David Southern dismisses Rangers" SPL hopes

Southern pours cold water on Rangers' SPL hopes ahead of crunch meeting

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UPDATED:

16:22 GMT, 14 July 2012

Hearts managing director David
Southern does not expect any meaningful discussion about the possibility
of accepting newco Rangers or forming a second tier when Scottish
Premier League clubs meet on Monday.

Reports today claimed that the
possibility of overturning the previous rejection of the Ibrox club
would be discussed at the league's annual general meeting after 25
Scottish Football League clubs voted against a plan to put them in the
Irn-Bru First Division.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster
has warned that relaunching Rangers in the Third Division would cost the
game about 16million in annual income.

Dedicated: Rangers fans hold up a banner praising boss Ally McCoist

Dedicated: Rangers fans hold up a banner praising boss Ally McCoist

Doubts remain over the destiny of Charles Green's Rangers despite the emphatic vote at Hampden yesterday but Southern does not expect any talk of a U-turn to be seriously entertained.

Hearts were among 10 SPL clubs to reject Sevco Scotland's application to acquire Rangers' share in the competition on July 4.

'Anything's possible for discussion but certainly nothing has been mentioned to us as a club that that is on the agenda for discussion,' Southern told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound programme.

'We think it would be a very, very short discussion indeed. We certainly do not plan to go over any old ground.

'The most important thing for Scottish football now is that we move on.

'We are focused on the new season. Rangers, as has been elected, will play in Division Three.

'That's how it stands at the moment and that's how we fully expect it to stand at five o'clock on Monday evening.'

Bearers of bad news: The Scottish FA and Scottish football league have said Rangers will start in the Third Division next season

Bearers of bad news: The Scottish FA and Scottish football league have said Rangers will start in the Third Division next season

SFL clubs were previously told that moves to form an SPL2 could follow any rejection of the First Division plan put forward by the football authorities.

But Southern said: 'It has certainly not been mentioned to us as a club and it's not particularly something we would be looking to entertain.'

Southern views the SFL decision as the 'beginning of the end' but some of those who attended the SFL meeting are not convinced.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan warned after the SPL vote that he could not allow the game to suffer a 'slow, lingering death' caused by making Rangers start again from the bottom tier.

And Third Division Clyde do not expect to be facing the Ibrox club next season.

Shadow of its former self: Rangers' future is uncertain

Shadow of its former self: Rangers' future is uncertain

A statement on the club's website read: 'We reported prior to the vote that Sevco Scotland Ltd will not be playing in the Third Division in the coming season. Nothing heard altered that opinion, in fact, it strengthened it.

'We were asked to respect the confidentiality of those presenting as only that agreement would allow them to be as candid as they were.

'We cannot therefore share what was said, however Mr Green left the SFL member clubs in no doubt about what he had been told by the SFA.

'The SFL saw a level of unity and unselfishness that owes significant credit to the First Division clubs who stated their intention to seek a 42-club solution and not to take part in a divisive alternative.

'This kind of unity, if maintained, will help deliver the change that the game so badly needs and the First Division clubs in particular will merit.

'If the SFA now act to support any process to undermine the clear views of the SFL members, who are also members of the SFA, then this club will join others in questioning those in leadership.

Long way back: Rangers boss Ally McCoist

Long way back: Rangers boss Ally McCoist

'Sadly for our game, this saga is not over, teams cannot plan and that includes Rangers, who may yet be denied the opportunity to play football in SFL3 because it suits the interests of others.'

Regan last night issued a statement calling for 'innovative thinking' to overcome the financial consequences of the decision and called for an outcome that enables the game to move on with 'consensus, clarity and confidence'.

But there was no reassurance that the SFA would accept the decision and the governing body will have a major say.

They have still to approve Green's application to assume Rangers' membership of the association with disciplinary action against the original company also unresolved. Annan Athletic, another of the potential opponents for newco Rangers next season, share Clyde's scepticism.

Better days: Paul Gascoigne in action for Rangers

Better days: Paul Gascoigne in action for Rangers

'Like many other clubs we are suspicious that the SFL's decision to place Rangers in Div 3 may not be final,' they said in a statement.

'We were delighted to hear the unanimous response from all 10 First Division clubs who stated that they are only interested in a 42-club resolution.

'For any CEOs or others who are unsure what that means, bluntly it is 'stick SPL2 where the sun don't shine and do not even attempt to pull a 16-team stunt move'.

'Another scenario that wouldn't astonish us is for Rangers to be invited back into the SPL.'

Annan added: 'The SFL clubs showed considerable strength, conviction and unity to reach their decisions, we now expect the SFA to support the decision of their member clubs, member clubs who through no fault of their own had the problem thrust upon us.'

Rio Ferdinand backing changes to youth games after Wembley vote

Ferdinand backing coaching changes after FA vote to move the goalposts

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UPDATED:

07:02 GMT, 29 May 2012

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand endorsed the proposed changes to coaching in this country after the FA voted to introduce new guidelines for children learning the game.

Matches with fewer players, on smaller pitches with more appropriate-sized goals will be compulsory from the start of the 2014-15 season after 87 per cent of FA Shareholders voted in favour of the new measures at their Annual General Meeting at Wembley.

Ferdinand said on Twitter: 'One thing our kids coaches don't do that foreign coaches do is teach them to pass the ball to a player under pressure…then coach one-two.

Forward thinking: Rio Ferdinand (right) has welcomed the changes to youth games

Forward thinking: Rio Ferdinand (right) has welcomed the changes to kids' games

'How to protect the ball under pressure..foreign players do that much better than us…one reason why they keep possession better.

'FA coaching courses need a right old shake up in my humble opinion if we are to move forward…some real good bits but some ancient bits too.'

Nick Levett, national development manager for the FA, said: 'It was fantastic to get the endorsement of the majority of the grassroots football community. These changes are a massive step forward for the future of children's football in this country.'

Future: The vote held at Wembley will change the way youth football is played

Future: The vote held at Wembley will change the way youth football is played

The FA's new rules mean five-a-side matches will become mandatory for Under 7s and 8s; Under 9s and 10s must play seven against seven and Under 11s and 12s nine versus nine.

Nine-a-side games will also be optional for Under 13s to Under 16s, who could also opt to play 11-a-side.

Pitches will be smaller, with games played box to box with coned-off areas on existing surfaces. Goals can also be smaller.

The FA have conducted a two-year review into grassroots football in England and delivered their recommendations based on a desire to encourage a more technical, passing game and close control and ultimately provide better players for the national team.

Study: Director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking has looked into the grassroots of English football

Study: Director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking has looked into the grassroots of English football

In England, children as young as 10 play on full-sized pitches, whereas European and world champions Spain do not allow youngsters to play on adult pitches until Under 14 level.

The FA's new guidelines also include a new competition strategy, which will see the season delivered in three blocks, rather than mirroring the eight-month adult campaign. It is designed to make football 'more competitive for more children'.

An FA statement said: 'The smaller pitch and number of players allow a greater number of touches of the ball and involvement in the game, helping develop greater technical skills at a lower age.

'The move will also bring a more child-friendly approach to competition, breaking up the eight-month-long, adult-based season into smaller periods of competition which encourage increased learning.'