Tag Archives: association

UEFA take 1 million pounds from English TV money pot for Champions League fixture clashes

UEFA take more than 1MILLION quid from the English TV money pot for scheduling fixtures on Champions League nights

PUBLISHED:

16:09 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 26 April 2013

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UEFA have taken more than a million pounds from the English clubs' pot of Champions League television money for scheduling domestic matches against the competition.

The 1.3million euro fine was imposed after UEFA's disciplinary panel found 'clashes relating to the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons.'

The cash, which relates to 10 per cent of payments that were due to The Football Association in 2010-2011, was previously withheld.

Fine: UEFA have fined English clubs more than a million pounds for scheduling domestic matches against the Champions League. UEFA President Michel Platini stands with the trophy

Fine: UEFA have fined English clubs more than a million pounds for scheduling domestic matches against the Champions League. UEFA President Michel Platini stands with the trophy

Heartbreak: The fines relate to the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in the former, and Leo Messi (centre) broke Manchester United hearts at Wembley the following year

Heartbreak: The fines relate to the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons. Inter Milan beat Bayern Munich in the former, and Leo Messi (centre) broke Manchester United hearts at Wembley the following year

UEFA says the money will be spread among clubs in other countries, with the majority of it to be spent on youth training.

The FA have also been fined 50,000 euros (42,000) for their involvement.

English officials are said to have been repeatedly warned about league and cup matches clashing with the Champions League.

A UEFA statement said it will 'establish a working group, which will involve representatives of the FA, in order to avoid calendar clashes in future.'

Return of the Special One: Jose Mourinho (centre) returned to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea in 2010 - his Inter side went on to win the competition

Return of the Special One: Jose Mourinho (centre) returned to Stamford Bridge with Chelsea in 2010 – his Inter side went on to win the competition

One fixture that invoked UEFA's anger was Liverpool's 3-0 derby win in March 2012, the game Steven Gerrard scored a hat-trick.

At the time the Premier League said that clashes are sometimes unavoidable and refused to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Speaking in April 2012, Dan Johnson, the Premier League's communications director, said: 'We have refused to sign the MOU because although we would never seek to go head-to-head with European games, sometimes it's inevitable.

'We don't believe Uefa have the right to say when domestic leagues can and can't schedule their fixtures, especially when Uefa have themselves increased the number of European nights by spreading out their match days and moving the Champions League final to a Saturday.'

Fixture clash: Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Everton in March 2012, a night when Champions League matches were taking place

Fixture clash: Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring a hat-trick against Everton in March 2012, a night when Champions League matches were taking place

Luis Suarez latest Liverpool will NOT appeal ten-match ban for bite

Suarez will NOT appeal 10-match FA ban for biting Ivanovic… and it's his own decision

PUBLISHED:

12:40 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Luis Suarez will not appeal the 10-match ban handed to him by the FA for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic.

Suarez had until midday today to lodge an appeal, with the club reportedly leaving the decision to the Uruguayan himself.

The 26-year-old had already accepted the three-match suspension for violent conduct, but will not contest the additional punishment.

Scroll down for video of Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

Appeal: Suarez has decided to fight against the 10-match ban he was handed by the Football Association

A three-person Independent Regulatory Commission upheld The FA’s claim that a suspension of three matches was clearly insufficient and the player will now serve a further seven first-team matches in addition to the standard three.

The suspension begins with immediate effect and applies to Liverpool's next ten domestic first-team fixtures.

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Closed: Suarez during a training session at Melwood Training Ground on Wednesday

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Blame game: Graham Poll is relieved referee Kevin Friend (right) was not blamed for missing the incident

Prime Minister David Cameron said today that Suarez's bite on Ivanovic set an 'appalling example' to his seven-year-old son.

Cameron told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that his intervention in the matter was merely that of a concerned father.

'I made my own views clear just as a dad watching the game,' he said.

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

Prime criticism: Even Prime Minister David Cameron, seen here appearing on BBC Breakfast this morning, told BBC Radio Five Live this morning that players behaving like this sets an 'appalling example'

'I've got a seven-year-old son who just loves watching football and when players behave like this it just sets the most appalling example to young people in our country.'

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers yesterday accused the FA of double standards and throwing Suarez out with the ‘garbage’.

Rodgers spoke publicly
yesterday for the first time since Suarez was banned for 10 games for
biting Ivanovic.

And he did not hold back,
insisting the punishment was ‘not right’ and ‘too severe’.

Goalkeeper
Pepe Reina went even further, saying it was ‘absurd, out of proportion
and unfair’ and that the authorities had ‘got it in for Luis’.

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

He needs help: Suarez has launched an impassioned defence of his under-fire striker

Brendan Rodgers 'shocked' by length of Suarez ban

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Rodgers believes the three-person Independent Regulatory Committee that imposed the ban were prejudiced by the fact the FA had already announced they considered the offence worthy of more than a three-match ban.

Further to that, he claimed the FA’s disciplinary procedures were inconsistent and said he was mystified by the Prime Minister’s decision to enter the debate.

Rodgers said: ‘Luis has not let me down one bit. He is a player who fell well below the standards of this football club but that doesn’t mean he should be thrown to the garbage, which is what has happened from a lot of people these last few days.

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

Luis Suarez is seen laughing and joking with his team-mates

In the mix: Suarez looked in high spirits during this afternoon's training session on Merseyside

‘I certainly won’t be prepared to do
that. I don’t believe the sanction fits with what he did. There’s no
doubt if you have those high-profile figures making those sorts of
statements, there will be a bias.

‘It’s human nature. If you have people reading and listening to things,
when they sit down to talk about it supposedly for the first time,
people would argue whether they already had a decision in their minds.
That process, for me, would need to change.

‘You have an FA council member, an FA county representative and an
ex-player, so I don’t know how it is independent. That has to be looked
at and this is probably not the first time it’s been said.

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

All smiles: Luis Suarez trains with Liverpool the day after he was hit with a ten-game ban

‘I felt Luis would maybe get more than three games. But we had hoped
there would be something in there that would allow him a greater
opportunity to rehabilitate. The bigger thing in all of this is to try
to make sure it doesn’t happen again.’

Rodgers made a clumsy analogy yesterday in comparing Suarez’s moment of madness to a tennis player smashing his racket.

But he argued that the length of the punishment was unfair in comparison
to two similar cases in 2006; one saw Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe escape
punishment for biting West Ham’s Javier Mascherano, while the other saw
Chester’s Sean Hessey receive five matches for biting Stockport’s Liam
Dickinson.

‘I feel the punishment has been against the man rather than the
incident,’ Rodgers said. ‘That is my underlying feeling. There was
euphoria around the time that it happened. Everyone has their opinion.
That’s fine. But when you come away and assess it in the cold light of
day, it was violent conduct.’

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

Bite club: Suarez sunk his teeth into Branislav Ivanovic during the Premier League match at Anfield

JAMIE CARRAGHER'S VERDICT

CLICK HERE: Luis was wrong, but before we hound him out let's remember other Liverpool legends were not exactly saints

Again, of course, there is a flaw in Rodgers’ argument. The FA stated
their case that a three-game ban for Suarez was insufficient on the same
day it was revealed Suarez felt three games was ample.

Both sides
stated their positions and it was then left to the independent committee
to make a decision.

The committee can take into consideration past misdemeanours and the
fact Suarez had been banned for 10 games in his Liverpool career, not to
mention his seven-match suspension at Ajax for biting PSV Eindhoven’s
Otman Bakkal, would have counted against him.

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

tasty: The bizarre clash was missed by referee Kevin Friend, who had to be told the specifics by Ivanovic

The FA have also not always been successful in arguing for longer
suspensions. In January, an independent panel decided a three-game ban
for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard was sufficient after he tangled with a
Swansea ball boy. On that occasion the FA had called for a longer ban,
too.

Pardew baffled by FA action

Alan Pardew has branded the FA’s disciplinary system flawed and wants the organisation’s decisions to be more consistent.

The Newcastle manager hit out after Wigan’s Callum McManaman escaped a ban for his horror challenge on Toon defender Massadio Hadaira but Liverpool’s Luis Suarez was banned for 10 games after biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea.

‘I don’t think that’s reasonable,’ Pardew said. ‘That is a flaw in the system. All Premier League managers are looking for that committee to give us the answers as to why. You’re always going to have grey areas when it comes to discipline and fines but at least have some consistency. It’s consistency of punishments we’re looking for.

‘The FA need to answer why it was 10 games for Suarez. It’s interesting why it was.’

Suarez serves the first game of his ban when Liverpool play at Newcastle on Saturday.

Liverpool have promised to stand by Suarez, regardless of whether he
appeals, but they are aware his ban could be increased at a new hearing.
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann said yesterday Suarez should
‘accept it and get on with it’.

Rodgers, in a club suit at the Melwood training ground rather than his
customary tracksuit, has spoken several times with Suarez and his agent,
Pere Guardiola, in recent days. There will be more discussions and
Suarez will train as normal. But Rodgers admitted the club’s greatest
asset may consider whether he wants to continue playing in England.

‘This is a guy who I see on a daily basis trying very hard,’ said
Rodgers. ‘His passions in life are his family and Liverpool Football
Club. It is part of his make-up, you can’t change that. But he is trying
to adapt the traits he has grown up with to the culture here.

‘Each time he makes a step forward we beat him with a stick and beat him
down. I can understand if he felt like that in a moment of reflection.

‘Am I worried he will knock on my door I am not thinking about that. I
can guide him, like I’ve done this year, and will tell him when he’s
done wrong. We will plan for the future with Luis. There is no other
thought. Luis is very much a player I believe will be here.’

Bayern Munich, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with
Suarez but Rodgers added: ‘I’ve had a lot of discussions with Pere
Guardiola that have been very strong. They are very happy with what the
club has done, not only to protect the player but to support him.

‘The objective is to make sure it doesn’t happen again and that is at the forefront of our minds.’

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

Follows him: Suarez's clash with Patrice Evra in 2011 resulted in an eight-game ban for the Liverpool man

VIDEO Liverpool's Managing Director on Suarez controversy

Liverpool to stand by Suarez

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Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Look, ref: Ivanovic shows his arm to referee Kevin Friend following the biting incident at Anfield yesterday

Luis Suarez appears to bite Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic

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Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Previous: Suarez bites Otman Bakkal of PSV while playing for Ajax

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

Repeat The PSV star was as perplexed as Ivanovic by Suarez's behaviour

It's not the first time Suarez has used his teeth

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OTHER SUAREZ CONTROVERSIES

Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is back in the spotlight after appearing to bite Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic on the arm during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Anfield, going on to score a late equaliser.

Here are some of the previous controversies surrounding the Uruguayan forward.

February 2007: Suarez made his international debut for Uruguay against Colombia but was sent off in the final minutes after being shown a second yellow card for dissent.

November 2007: Joined Ajax from Uruguayan side Nacional but he was later suspended by the Dutch giants after a half-time dressing-room altercation with team-mate Albert Luque.

July 2010: During the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals, Suarez prevented Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah from scoring in the final minute with a deliberate handball on the line and was subsequently sent off. A penalty was awarded but missed by Asamoah Gyan and footage showed Suarez celebrating on the sidelines. Uruguay eventually went through to the last four on penalties.

November 2010: Suarez was handed a seven-match ban by the Dutch FA and fined by his club for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal during an Eredivisie match.

October 2011: Following his move to Liverpool in January 2011, he was involved in a tackle with Everton's Jack Rodwell and goes down with apparent minimal contact. Rodwell was then sent off.

October 2011: Suarez was alleged to have racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra during a Premier League match. Suarez was later found guilty by an independent regulatory commission and banned for eight matches and fined 40,000.

December 2011: Was seen making an offensive gesture towards Fulham fans. At this time he had already been charged by the Football Association over the racism incident, although not yet punished, but was handed a further one-match ban for the gesture.

February 2012: United and Liverpool met again at Old Trafford, but more controversy blew up as Suarez refused to shake Evra's hand before kick-off.

October 2012: Celebrated a goal against Everton by diving in front of Toffees boss David Moyes who had earlier claimed that 'divers' such as Suarez were putting fans off the English game.

January 2013: Handles the ball prior to scoring Liverpool's winner in the FA Cup third round tie at Mansfield.

April 2013: Bites Branislav Ivanovic on the arm but
escapes punishment on the pitch as the referee fails to see it, and
scores Liverpool's equaliser seven minutes into stoppage time as they
draw 2-2 with Chelsea at Anfield. Fined by club the following day and
charged with violent conduct by the FA. Subsequently handed a 10-match
ban by an independent regulatory commission.

WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP 2013: Barry Hearn complains to BBC over Ronnie O"Sullivan coverage

We deserve better than this, BBC! Hearn complains after coverage of O'Sullivan ends… for Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

By
Nick Metcalfe

PUBLISHED:

15:04 GMT, 21 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 21 April 2013

World Snooker Chairman Barry Hearn has complained to the BBC, after they left the climax of Ronnie O'Sullivan's first round match at the World Championship to show a 1970s comedy.

O'Sullivan, making his return to snooker after pulling out of virtually the whole season, was about to complete a 10-4 win over Marcus Campbell on Saturday night when BBC2 switched to the Michael Crawford sitcom Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

On the black: Ronnie O'Sulivan impressed during his snooker return at the Crucible

On the black: Ronnie O'Sulivan impressed during his snooker return at the Crucible

There were various complaints made by fans on social networking sites, and Hearn responded on Sunday by writing on Twitter: 'Sorry to all snooker fans for the poor BBC coverage last night. Letter of complaint sent to BBC today.'

The complaint from Hearn is surprising when you consider how much praise he has heaped on the BBC in recent times for their coverage of the sport.

The corporation, which has covered snooker for decades, has recently signed up as host broadcaster of the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters tournaments until 2017.

Having his say: Barry Hearn with Ronnie O'Sullivan at a special media event ahead of the World Championship

Having his say: Barry Hearn with Ronnie O'Sullivan at a special media event ahead of the World Championship

Jason Ferguson, chairman of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, welcomed the public response to the BBC's scheduling decision, saying on Twitter: 'Snooker Fans, World Snooker letter of complaint has been filed with the BBC over yesterdays coverage, thanks everyone for your comments.'

The BBC hasn't yet responded to Hearn's comments. They are almost certain to point towards their coverage on the 'red button' service, which showed the end of O'Sullivan's match.

Some fans of the sport might speculate on the timing of Hearn's complaints. The BBC have regularly left their coverage of more significant matches, at later stages of the tournament, in years gone by.

The overall picture on the opening weekend of the tournament is a positive one, with plenty of column inches accompanying O'Sullivan's win, as snooker fights its corner among other sporting attractions like key football matches, the London Marathon and Bahrain Grand Prix.

Enlarge

Some mothers do 'ave 'em

Classic comedy: Millions of viewers watched Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em on the BBC when it was first screened between 1973 and 1978

Watch a classic clip from Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em…

VIDEO: Martin Fitzmaurice, voice of BBC darts, forced to apologise over racist jokes at tournament

Voice of BBC darts faces investigation after shocking audience with vile racist jokes

BBC 'appalled' by vile jokes

Compere Martin Fitzmaurice apologies and claims it was 'banter'

Asian teenage prodigy Jordan Singh was in the crowd in Fife, Scotland

British Darts Organisation launch investigation

PUBLISHED:

06:34 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:14 GMT, 10 April 2013

The British Darts Organisation (BDO) have vowed to investigate vile racist jokes by the man dubbed the voice of BBC darts.

Compere Martin Fitzmaurice – famous for his catchphrase 'Let's play
darts' – was forced to apologise after he shocked an audience with remarks about Asians and black people.

Scroll down for video

Controversy: Darts Compere Martin Fitzmaurice

Controversy: Darts compere Martin Fitzmaurice

Out of order: Fitzmaurice has apologised for his vile remarks

Out of order: Fitzmaurice has apologised for his vile remarks

The 73-year-old's offensive comments came when he thought cameras were
off during a break at the British International between Scotland and England in Fife, Scotland on Sunday.

Among the audience was 14-year-old British Asian prodigy Jordan Singh.

Fitzmaurice told The Sun: 'It was banter. I apologise if I offended anybody.'

The BDO have launched an investigation

Under investigation: The BDO have launched a probe

Best of British: Martin Adams was part of the England team that beat Scotland 7-5 on Sunday

Best of British: Martin Adams was part of the England team that beat Scotland 7-5 on Sunday

Both the BDO and the Scottish Darts Association (SDA) condemned the 'offensive comments'.

In
a statement, the BDO said: 'The British Darts Organisation apologises
unreservedly for the fact that racially offensive comments were made by
MC Martin Fitzmaurice at the BDO British Internationals in Scotland on
Sunday, April 7th and streamed over the internet.

'The
BDO wishes to make it clear that it does not tolerate racism in any
shape or form, and a full enquiry is already taking place into this
regrettable incident.

'In
accordance with BDO rules on racism, Martin Fitzmaurice has been made
fully aware of the seriousness of his actions and will be required to
face a disciplinary hearing in front of the BDO Board.'

A BBC spokesman said: 'As someone who has appeared in previous
tournaments we have televised we are appalled by the alleged remarks.'

Match up: Fitzmaurice was at the international between England (above) and Scotland (below)

Match up: Fitzmaurice was at the international between England (above) and Scotland (below)

Image taken from the Scottish Darts Association of the Scotland Men's team.

Image taken from the Scottish Darts Association of the Scotland Men's team. Photo: Evert Zomer/www.evertzomer.nl

VIDEO: Fitzmaurice caught on camera making offensive comments

Commentator Martin Fitzmaurice makes remarks about Asians and…

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Southampton 2 Chelsea 1: Rafael Benitez stays calm and insists there is a long way to go in race for Champions League qualification

There's a long way to go: Chelsea boss Benitez stays calm despite top-four setback

By
Mark Bryans, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:35 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:36 GMT, 30 March 2013

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez maintains the race for a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League will run until the end of the season despite seeing his much-changed side slip to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton.

First-half goals from Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert handed Mauricio Pochettino another prized scalp, with Chelsea briefly drawing level courtesy of a John Terry header.

The Blues have now lost three successive away games in the league and dropped below Tottenham into fourth place, with fellow London rivals Arsenal just two points adrift in fifth.

Undone: Rafa Benitez's Chelsea side were defeated 2-1 by Southampton at St Mary's

Undone: Rafa Benitez's Chelsea side were defeated 2-1 by Southampton at St Mary's

Despite the result Benitez, who was again the victim of jeers and negative chanting from the travelling Chelsea support, reckons no-one will be certain of a Champions League position until the very end of the campaign.

'It is the same situation, if we had three points more it would be easier,' he said. 'We still have one game in hand and we have to carry on and concentrate and move on and start thinking about Monday (FA Cup quarter-final replay v Manchester United).

'In the league you still have a lot of games and I think it (the battle for a top-four finish) will run for the rest of the season.'

Opener: Jay Rodriguez slotted the ball past Petr Cech to give Southampton the lead

Opener: Jay Rodriguez slotted the ball past Petr Cech to give Southampton the lead

Back on level terms: John Terry headed home from a corner to equalise for Chelsea

Back on level terms: John Terry headed home from a corner to equalise for Chelsea

This was Chelsea's first game in a run of six matches in a 16-day period and Benitez made no fewer than seven changes from the team that won against West Ham before the international break.

The former Liverpool boss said the fixture pile-up is something the Football Association needs to 'look at' in the future but did not regret rotating his players.

'We had to manage the squad,' he said. 'We didn't have many options in some positions so we had the players we had to use. You have to approach every game like it is the most important and we thought with these players we would be fine.

'I think that you could see that in the first half we didn't have the intensity we were expecting.

'We improved in the second half, made more chances, but still we didn't make the right decisions in the final third but at least we were there and made the chances.'

Sublime: Rickie Lambert scored a beautiful free-kick to put the Saints back ahead

Sublime: Rickie Lambert scored a beautiful free-kick to put the Saints back ahead

Pochettino, who has now won three, drawn three and lost three games since replacing Nigel Adkins as Saints manager in January was quick to defend his Chelsea counterpart following the game.

'I have a lot of sympathy (for Benitez's position),' he said.

'I fully recognise the job that he has done. For me he is one of the best managers in the world and he has my full respect for what he has achieved in football.'

Going places: Mauricio Pochettino believes his Southampton side are on the right path

Going places: Mauricio Pochettino believes his Southampton side are on the right path

The win against Chelsea follows earlier home successes against Manchester City and Liverpool and Pochettino believes beating some of the league's biggest names can only boost the morale around the club.

'Victories like those of today prove that we are on the right path,' he said.

'It is very important for the confidence of my players and especially the people surrounding our club – the technical staff.

'It is important that we believe we can achieve results as we saw today and we can continue achieving them in the future.'

England players sneak headphones back on despite FA ban

Those cans are banned! England strugglers sneak headphones on despite crackdown

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:11 GMT, 28 March 2013

England stars' shameless tactic of wearing headphones to avoid requests for interviews from reporters following international matches appears to be creeping back in.

Ashley Young was the latest star to cover his ears after England's 1-1 draw in Montenegro – despite Football Association rules specifically outlawing the practice.

In the aftermath of games, players pass through an area known as the mixed zone where journalists wait to talk about matters of importance and interest.

Ashley Cole

Wayne Rooney

Can you hear us Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Young show off their oversized headphones last summer on England duty. They are often worn to dodge post-match interviews

Theo Walcott

Steven Gerrard

Ashley Young

There was a time when these discussions would be open and frank but then came the trend for certain players to wear headphones in order to swerve any post-game chat.

Last October, the FA issued wide-sweeping guidelines on player conduct and included a directive aimed specifically at stopping the practice. If there was a breach, it said, an investigation would be carried out by Club England.

The media clauses led to FA personnel ensuring England players did not go through the interview zone after England's match against Poland that month wearing headphones.

Mario Balotelli

It's not just England players who wear them: Mario Balotelli, Rio Ferdinand and Sergio Ramos with their cans

Rio Ferdinand

Sergio Ramos

Young, however, shuffled through following the disappointing draw in Podgorica on Tuesday. Ashley Cole has also been known to employ the tactic.

This latest headphone headache comes after last year’s Olympics ambush by Dr Dre’s popular brand of Beats headphones.

Customised versions with Union flag colours were delivered to members of Team GB, despite strict IOC rules regarding any non-rights holder advertising. Goalkeeper Jack Butland sent an ill-advised tweet praising the gear, leading to a reprimand from senior BOA officials.

Montenegro stick boot into England over long balls and weak defence

England are SCARED of us! You complain about the pitch when you play long ball. You should forget about our fans and worry about your 'weak' defence instead, blast Montenegro

qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011″ class=”blkBorder” />

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Meanwhile, the president of Montenegro’s football association has begged his own supporters to behave during England’s crunch World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Dejan Savicevic awarded Mirko Vucinic with the Montenegro Player of the Year award at Podgorica but took the opportunity to appeal for good behaviour from his own fans.

The Montenegro FA were fined 30,000 for a pitch invasion the last time England visited Montenegro.

He said: ‘I would like our journalists in Montenegro to appeal to our fans to cheer on the team in a sporting manner.

‘During
the last year and a half, our association has to pay penalties for up
to 90,000 Euros we had to bear for the behaviour of our supporters on
this ground.’

Vucinic
himself said he did not believe there would be any crowd trouble
tomorrow night, saying: ‘I expect a beautiful, wonderful atmosphere.

'Our
audience is great and they lift us and carry us on their wings like a
12th player. I am only sorry the stadium is not larger.’

Asked
whether Montenegro will try to play on Rooney’s temperament and wind
him up to get him sent off, Vucinic said: ‘It will not be our tactics to
make him lose his temper.

‘It
will be in our favour if he is given a red card but we will not be
doing anything to provoke him or make him lose his temper.’

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott (above) is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling (below)

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Vucinic added: ‘We feel well considering we played a difficult game in Moldova which we won with 10 men. This victory inspires us with self-confidence and hope against strong opponents like England who we are not scared of at all.

‘From the moment I run onto the field I think of victory. That is my way of thinking when I play in Italy and this is the way I think now. What I can say about tomorrow evening is that we keep fingers crossed for Montenegro to win but what we can say is that it will not be as big a thing as it will be if England fail.

'If England fail, it will cost them more. If I’m not wrong, they will be five points behind if they lose tomorrow.’

Greg Dyke announced as new FA Chairman

Former Man United director Dyke voted as new FA chairman, replacing outgoing Bernstein

By
Charles Sale

PUBLISHED:

11:30 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 21 March 2013

Former Manchester United director and TV mogul Greg Dyke has been voted through as the next FA chairman, replacing the outgoing incumbent David Bernstein.

Dyke, 65, will replace Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – and takes the helm from Saturday July 13.

Dyke told the FA website: 'Football has always been a big part of my life whether playing 11-a-side on Sunday mornings or six-a-side on Thursday evenings.

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

Main man: Former United director Dyke will take the helm at the FA

'I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.

'I still turn out to play six-a-side some Thursday evenings although at my age I seem to spend more time injured than playing.

'I supported my local team Brentford as a kid where my elder brother was a junior, watched York City while at university and followed Manchester United whenever I could.

'I got involved in how the game was run
when I was first involved in buying sports rights as Chairman of ITV
Sport in the late eighties and later at the BBC.

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

Game over: Bernstein's (left) tenure at the FA will soon come to an end

'I learnt a lot in the years when I was on the Board of Manchester United and have seen the other side of the professional game at Brentford.'

The FA said in a statement: 'The Football Association Board has today unanimously approved the nomination for Greg Dyke to be appointed independent FA chairman.

'Dyke, 65, will take over as chairman from David Bernstein when he leaves the post after two-and-a-half years in July – subject to approval by the FA council. The appointment will take effect from Saturday, July 13.

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford – where he became non-executive chairman in 2006

Football man: Dyke's local team while growing up was Brentford

'This follows a recruitment process led
by FA independent director Roger Devlin (chairman of the nominations
committee) with fellow board members Roger Burden and Keith Lamb.

'In a high-profile broadcasting industry career, Dyke has worked as director general of the BBC and managing director of London Weekend Television.

'Dyke has had a long background in football. He was a director of Manchester United in the late nineties and since 2006 he has been non-executive chairman of Brentford Football Club, the team he supported as a boy. He will relinquish this role at the end of the season to take up his new post at the FA.'

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Red alert: United director Gill (seen with Dyke) is also on the FA board

Roger Draper to leave role as LTA chief in September

LTA chief Draper to stand down in September after seven years at the helm

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

15:50 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 13 March 2013

Roger Draper will depart the Lawn Tennis Association in September a wealthy man, leaving the leadership role of a sport that is still massively short of realising its potential at elite level or in terms of growing grass-roots participation.

The key to his departure, officially dressed up as a resignation, goes back several months with two significant factors: the arrival of a new independent Chairman at the LTA and the revelation for the first time of Draper’s extraordinary 640,000 salary and bonus package, that caused consternation both in tennis and British sport in general.

At the beginning of January David Gregson, a highly successful businessman whose public roles also include being a Director of the Olympic Legacy Board, was brought in from the outside to provide a sharper edge to the organisation’s governance.

On his way: Roger Draper will leave his role with the LTA in Septermber

On his way: Roger Draper will leave his role with the LTA in Septermber

He made it his first priority to
assess the position of Draper, who since his arrival in 2006 has been a
polarising figure in the British game and overseen a huge turnover in
staff but not a reduction in numbers, with a staggering 315 now
employed.

His many critics – and even a few
supporters – were stunned when December’s accounts showed that he was
paid a basic salary of 400,000, plus a pension contribution of 40,000
and, most controversially of all, a bonus of just over 200,000.

It was subsequently explained by LTA
President Peter Bretherton that this was for meeting certain targets.
Yet participation in recent years has flatlined overall and the rankings
of professional players have also been broadly been stagnant, bar the
exceptions of Andy Murray, Laura Robson and Heather Watson, none of whom
could be termed products of a repeatedly failed centralised system.

Active: Draper playing with Lord Rothermere at the LTA Tennis Centre

Active: Draper playing with Lord Rothermere at the LTA Tennis Centre

The reason for Draper’s remuneration
becoming public was a technical change to the corporate status of the
organisation which meant, for the first time, that the pay of the
highest earning director needed to be published.

The wheels of change in British
tennis usually turn painfully slowly but Gregson, who made his fortune
in the private equity business, has moved uncommonly fast in bringing
about the change of leadership, which will happen in September.

I understand there was a gathering of the LTA’s main board directors last week at which his future was discussed and he will be paid up until the expiry of his contract,
which was at the end of this year. It is also believed there was concern
from Wimbledon, which pumps its annual profits that exceed 30 million
into the British game, about what was happening at an organisation whose
annual salary costs under Draper have shot to more than 15 million.

Success: Andy Murray became a grand slam winner during Draper's time

Success: Andy Murray became a grand slam winner during Draper's time

Draper can take some credit for the
LTA’s commercial and sponsorship operation being considerably enhanced
over his tenure, and for bringing more of a certain energy to the place.
There have been some encouraging junior results but these have yet to
come close to any broader upswing in the performances at elite level.
Britain’s men’s number two, James Ward is ranked 209. The policy of
employing high profile and expensive foreign coaches brought no results
has been completely reversed.

Grass roots participation has been
level at best despite the huge funding from Wimbledon and government,
and the corrosive sense of ‘them and us’ between people in and outside
the LTA system is probably worse than ever.

But make no mistake, while there will
be many applicants for the Chief Executive’s position at a rich and
high-profile organisation, in a sport with so much potential for growth,
it is a very difficult job. The issues facing British tennis are deep
rooted, and the faint hearted should not apply.

Progress The British women's game, led by Laura Robson, has also improved

Progress The British women's game, led by Laura Robson, has also improved

West Ham to wear shirts paying tribute to Bobby Moore for clash against Tottenham

West Ham to wear shirts paying tribute to Moore for clash against Tottenham

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 25 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 25 February 2013

West Ham will unveil a special tribute to Bobby Moore on their shirts this evening for their Premier League match with Tottenham.

Last Sunday marked 20 years since the former England captain, who spent the majority of his career at Upton Park, passed away following a battle with cancer.

Tribute: West Ham players will wear a match shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Tribute: West Ham players will wear a match shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

The Hammers, as well as the Football Association, marked the weekend with their respective tributes and now the West Ham players will wear a match strip with the words ‘Bobby Moore OBE, 20 YEARS GONE, NEVER FORGOTTEN’ stitched on the front.

West Ham stars have already been seen training in shirts paying tribute to Moore last week, and the meeting against London rivals Spurs will see the club pay further respects to the defender who played over 500 games for the Hammers and featured 108 times for England – lifting the World Cup in 1966.

There will be a minute’s applause before kick-off and a 100-page programme also on sale with 50p from each one sold going towards the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Fans in the Bobby Moore stand will also be invited to take part in displaying a mosaic depicting his famous No 6 shirt before kick-off.

Raise awareness: West Ham's Andy Carroll trains in a Bobby Moore shirt

Raise awareness: West Ham's Andy Carroll trains in a Bobby Moore shirt

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham