Tag Archives: assurances

Ally McCoist assured Craig Whyte will not return to Ibrox

McCoist receives assurances that Whyte will not return to Ibrox

PUBLISHED:

23:15 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 6 April 2013

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has held talks with Ally McCoist to assure the manager there was “never any possibility” of Craig Whyte returning to the club.

The move comes after the former owner apparently claimed he was behind the original Ibrox newco.

Whyte has threatened legal action against Green and former Rangers director Imran Ahmad, demanding 1million a year for life or 25 per cent of Green's shares.

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Talks: Rangers Chairman Charles Green (left) gave Ally McCoist (right) assurance

Whyte, whose own Rangers takeover remains the subject of a police inquiry, claims he was the main driver behind the Sevco 5088 company which purchased the assets and business of the oldco Rangers company he had put into administration.

Days later Green transferred the assets, which were bought for 5.5million in June last year, to a different company called Sevco Scotland which then became The Rangers Football Club.

Whyte's main argument appears to be that such a transfer was illegal and he remains the rightful owner of the club's assets.

Green released a statement last night in a bid to clarify the situation and has moved to explain things further this evening following talks with McCoist, who had asked the new owner for answers.

'I spoke with Ally McCoist today and we are agreed that, despite the wild and outlandish allegations tossed around by Craig Whyte, the one thing that matters most is the rebuilding of this club,' Green said.

'I am totally committed to that and Ally is exactly the same. Neither of us will be deflected from our task. We share the same goal and we will be successful no matter who or what attempts to get in our way.

Takeover talk: Craig Whyte

Takeover talk: Craig Whyte

'I made it absolutely clear to Ally that there was never any possibility of Whyte returning to Ibrox and I also stressed that this man has no claim on any of the club's shares or assets.

'I wanted to make sure he understood what Whyte is trying to do because, like every other fan, our manager has a right to know if the disgraced former owner still has any involvement in this club.

'I told Ally that is not the case and that there was never any possibility of Whyte being involved with my group.

'Ally knows and accepts that I cannot be held responsible for Whyte's ramblings or his ridiculous claims. But Ally is a fan and he would have been alarmed at the re-emergence of Whyte and his claims.

'Along with all the good and loyal Rangers fans Ally has lived through the brief but calamitous Whyte era and the very mention of this man's name is enough to have even the strongest of them concerned. But there is no need for any anxiety.

'Rangers FC, no part of it and none of the assets will ever fall into Whyte's hands. If I have to I will stand at the front door and deny him entry.

'I can guarantee every single fan that I will not let them down and that Whyte has no claim on any part of this great club.'

McCoist added: 'Yes we spoke and I'm glad we did. I never believed that Charles had entered into any kind of agreement but it was important to have a chat after what the former owner had been putting about in the papers.

'I am a fan and it would be devastating to have this man back anywhere near the club he almost destroyed.'

Theo Walcott to sign 25m Arsenal contract

EXCLUSIVE: 25m Theo deal! Arsenal confident of ending Walcott saga with five-year mega contract

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:00 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 8 January 2013

Arsenal will this week make an improved offer of 25million to Theo Walcott in a bid to resolve his contract saga.

The England forward will receive a five-year deal worth around 88,000 a week, plus a 3m signing-on bonus.

Sportsmail revealed last Wednesday that Arsenal were increasingly confident of winning Walcott round.

Pen to paper: Theo Walcott is poised to commit to Arsenal

Pen to paper: Theo Walcott is poised to commit to Arsenal

They hope the new offer will be
enough for the 23-year-old to commit long term to the club. His future
has been in doubt since he rejected an initial offer of 75,000 a week
on August 28.

That was followed by a breakdown in communications between the club and Walcott's representatives.

But manager Arsene Wenger has been hugely impressed by the player's professionalism during the stand-off.

No thanks: Walcott will snub Manchester United and stay at the Emirates

No thanks: Walcott will snub Manchester United and stay at the Emirates

Walcott is the club's top goalscorer with 14 and his impressive form has forced the club to change their stance.

As Sportsmail
revealed in December, the channels of communication between Walcott and
the club had reopened after peace talks between the player and Wenger
aimed at ending the dispute.

Walcott made it clear to his manager
that his preference has always been to stay at Arsenal, but he stressed
he was unhappy about the way he was treated during the early weeks of
the season.

The forward was left on the bench by Wenger, despite the fact he had played a regular role last season.

In addition to an improved cash
offer, Walcott also wanted assurances about his chances of playing as an
orthodox striker on a more regular basis. And negotiations now seem to
be heading in a positive direction, with Arsenal hoping to have
Walcott's signature secured sooner rather than later.

The uncertainty has alerted a string
of Premier League clubs. Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs
monitored the situation, with Brendan Rodgers reportedly planning a move
to take him to Anfield this month.

But while Arsenal are confident of
keeping Walcott, they are unlikely to land David Villa. Wenger is said
to be keen on the Barcelona striker, 31, but Barca president Sandro
Rosell said: 'I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the
winter market. He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season
left.' Villa joined Barcelona from Valencia in a 31m deal in 2010.

Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal deal as Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain follow

It's good to talk: Walcott makes peace as Arsenal agree deals with Wilshere, Gibbs, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jenkinson

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UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

Theo Walcott has held peace talks with Arsene Wenger as Arsenal close in on securing the futures of their British core.

It is the first time since August 28, when the England forward turned down a five-year contract worth 75,000 a week, that formal discussions between player and club have taken place.

And in further good news Sportsmail understands Arsenal are set to agree deals with five of their other young British stars by Friday.

Crisp finisher: Theo Walcott hit the fifth as Arsenal demolished Reading, and the 23-year-old looks set to end uncertainty about his future by extending his Arsenal deal

Crisp finisher: Theo Walcott hit the fifth as Arsenal demolished Reading, and the 23-year-old looks set to end uncertainty about his future by extending his Arsenal deal

Made up: Arsene Wenger and Walcott

Sources close to Walcott insist the 23-year-old wants to stay at Arsenal. However, he is said to have made it clear he is still currently unwilling to pen fresh terms.

As well as wanting a deal closer to 100,000 a week, Walcott also wants assurances over his role at the club.

The former Southampton man felt he was being treated unfairly by Wenger during the early weeks of the season and spent the majority of Arsenal’s opening games sat on the bench. This decision is understood to have been motivated by the contract dispute rather than footballing reasons.

In addition, Walcott also wants assurances that he will be given more opportunities to play as a central striker — where he played against Reading on Monday and scored in the 5-2 win.

The main man: Walcott wants to be utilised as a No 9

The main man: Walcott wants to be utilised as a No 9

And while it seems there will be no quick resolution to the contract saga, the latest discussions are viewed as a significant step towards persuading Walcott to stay.

It is believed that a compromise solution of an 85,000-a-week contract may be enough to persuade him to sign.

Walcott may be some way from signing but Arsenal are convinced they have agreed new deals with Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson and it is thought they will sign by the end of the week.

Sportsmail exclusively revealed on November 28 that England midfielder Wilshere was set to sign fresh terms — and he will put pen to paper on a new five-year contract worth 80,000 a week.

Staying power: Jack Wilshere will sign a new deal at the Emirates

Staying power: Jack Wilshere will sign a new deal at the Emirates

Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Gibbs and Jenkinson have agreed five-year deals worth between 40,000 and 60,000 a week.

Arsenal’s push to keep their best British talent indicates a deliberate shift in Wenger’s thinking.

After basing his sides around foreign players for years, the manager seems to have had a change of heart after the likes of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy all left the Emirates Stadium.

Speaking after the thumping win at Reading, Wenger said: ‘We have a core of good young English players and I hope we will be able to build a team around them and that they can achieve something together.’

Bright young things Oxlade-Chamberlain

Bright young things: Kieran Gibbs

Bright young things: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (left) and Kieran Gibbs have also signed new deals

QPR striker Bobby Zamora ruled out for three months

Zamora ruled out for three months with QPR striker set to undergo hip op

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UPDATED:

10:17 GMT, 21 November 2012

QPR striker Bobby Zamora is set to miss the next three months with a hip injury.

Sportsmail revealed on Monday that the 31 year-old striker was set to undergo an exploratory operation following a recent hip injury sustained in training and the club have now confirmed the news.

The injury is likely to see Zamora sidelined until early next year.

Crocked: Bobby Zamora looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines

Crocked: Bobby Zamora looks set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines

The news comes as a blow to manager Mark Hughes who is still without a win this season and whose side sit at the bottom of the Premier League.

Hughes' own future has been put in doubt after their winless start to the season.

And Sportsmail
understands Hughes was given no assurances over his job by Philip Beard during
the two-hour meeting, with co-owner Tony Fernandes still pondering his
manager's future.

In need of points: Mark Hughes' QPR are rooted to the foot of the table

In need of points: Mark Hughes' QPR are rooted to the foot of the table

The Malaysian was angered by the manner of Saturday's
defeat to Southampton and is refusing to ensure the manager will be in charge this for
the clash against Manchester United this weekend.

Wilfired Zaha and Raheem Sterling must be committed to England, says Roy Hodgson

Commit to England cause or it's on your bike, says Hodgson as Three Lions boss issues fierce warning to Zaha and Sterling

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 13 November 2012

Roy Hodgson has warned Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha that unless they commit to England he will pick players who are prepared to ‘cycle to training’ with senior stars.

Hodgson revealed here that he will hand international debuts to Sterling, Steven Caulker and Leon Osman against Sweden this evening, but he wants assurances from Sterling, Zaha and Carl Jenkinson that they see their future with his team.

Scroll down for video
Centre of attention: England's Wilfried Zaha warms up during a training session at the Friends Arena in Stockholm

Centre of attention: Wilfried Zaha warms up during a training session at the Friends Arena in Stockholm

Plenty to ponder: Zaha must choose between representing England or the Ivory Coast

Plenty to ponder: Zaha must choose between representing England or the Ivory Coast

The England manager was in combative
mood on the eve of the match, insisting that the trio – all eligible to
play for other countries – should feel honoured to receive his call.

Zaha has said he is torn between
playing for England and Ivory Coast after receiving a telephone call
from Didier Drogba, while Sterling could play for Jamaica and Jenkinson
for Finland.

Debut delight: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling trains with the England squad on Tuesday

Debut delight: Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling trains with the England squad on Tuesday

But Hodgson said: 'When people are
called up I expect them to come running, get on a bicycle and cycle to
the training session if they have to. Then they shake hands with
everyone and tell everyone how happy they are to be there.

'All this nonsense about players
receiving phone calls and being enticed away… if they are going to be
enticed away, they will be enticed away. But if they are being enticed
away they are not the right player for us.

In focus: Zaha trains alongside Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone and Stoke's Ryan Shawcross

In focus: Zaha trains alongside Spurs midfielder Tom Huddlestone and Stoke's Ryan Shawcross and, below, the boot he will wear against Sweden should he feature on Wednesday

Wilfried Zaha's boot

'To be asked to play for England is a major honour and a major feather in people's caps.

'I am not interested in people who
are deciding whether England is where they want to be or whether they
want to be somewhere else.

'I made it clear to Zaha that I am inviting him because I expect him to be an England player.

Training day: England's players are put through their paces ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Sweden

Training day: England's players are put through their paces ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Sweden

Grand opening: Wednesday's friendly takes place at the new Friends Arena in Stockholm

Grand opening: Wednesday's friendly takes place at the new Friends Arena in Stockholm

'If you are not sure you want to be an England player then you are better off telling me and I will pick someone else.

'We don't stand or fall on you. We
have chosen you because we think you are a good one. 'If our national
team and the chance to play for them is not a strong enough motivation
for players, they are not the type we want anyway.

Waiting game: Carl Jenkinson (far R) is awaiting international clearance, England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed

Waiting game: Jenkinson is awaiting international clearance, England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed

'I have spoken to Sterling and Zaha.
Both have assured me that they have started with England and that's
where they want to end up. Let's wait and see.'

England's clash with Sweden is
classified by FIFA as a non-competitive fixture and therefore a player
will not be tied to the Three Lions if they make their debut on
Wednesday night.

Good to talk: Hodgson is looking forward to Wednesday's clash in Stockholm

Good to talk: Hodgson is looking forward to Wednesday's clash in Stockholm

That applies to Liverpool winger
Sterling but Zaha, the Crystal Palace star who was called into the squad
on Sunday, and Arsenal defender Jenkinson, who is expected to receive
international clearance this morning, could also feature.

Jenkinson's team-mate Jack Wilshere
will be on the bench but the midfielder could play a part despite just
226 minutes for Arsene Wenger's side after a 17-month layoff.

Hodgson added: 'It is ridiculous to suggest Jack is not available for England and Arsene understands that too.'

VIDEO: Hodgson talks about his team selection and praises Gerrard

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Former batsman Greg Ritchie criticised for "racist" remarks

Former Australia batsman Ritchie criticised for 'racist' remarks during South Africa Test

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UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 11 November 2012


Criticised: Greg Ritchie, pictured in 1985, has been slated for comments at a lunch

Criticised: Greg Ritchie, pictured in 1985, has been slated for comments at a lunch

Former Test player Greg Ritchie has been criticised by Cricket Australia for making alleged racist remarks at a lunch during the first Test with South Africa.

Ritchie, a batsman who played for Australia between 1982 and 1987, made the remarks when speaking at a lunch held by the Gabba Members' Club on the first day of the first Test on Friday.

CA contacted Ritchie, who admitted making the comments, and he was reminded about the organisation's anti-racism policy.

CA has also stated it does not think it appropriate for Ritchie to speak at any of its international venues.

The governing body has also been given assurances by Queensland Cricket and the Gabba Members' Club that Ritchie is not due to speak at the venue for the remainder of the Test, which tomorrow enters its fourth day.

A CA spokesman said: 'We are very disappointed at comments Greg Ritchie has made at the luncheon.

'A senior CA official has contacted Greg Ritchie, who has admitted making the comments, and CA has made it clear to Mr Ritchie that it finds his comments totally unacceptable.

'QC and the Gabba has confirmed that Mr Ritchie is not booked to speak at the venue for the rest of this Test.

Comments: Ritchie made the remarks at a lunch during the Test between Australia and South Africa

Comments: Ritchie made the remarks at a lunch during the Test between Australia and South Africa

'We have spoken to QC and the Gabba Members' Club and reminded them of the obligations under the ICC Anti-Racism Policy for International Cricket and of the Australian community expectations of speakers that speak publicly within our venues.'

CA is also writing to remind all of its member states and venues about its support of anti-racism initiatives.

The spokesman continued: 'Cricket Australia believes there is no place for racism in sport, on or off the field.

'We fully support the ICC Anti-Racism Policy for International Cricket.

'We regularly carry messages as per the (policy) on our big screen at matches, so all our spectators clearly understand their obligations under it.

'CA believes that it is not appropriate for Mr Ritchie to be speaking at our international cricket venues at present.'

Ritchie, who played for Queensland for 12 years, scored 1,690 runs in 30 Tests with a top score of 146.

Hearts hit with transfer embargo by SPL

Hearts hit with transfer embargo by SPL after not guaranteeing wage payments

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UPDATED:

19:15 GMT, 24 October 2012

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has revealed Hearts have not provided assurances that they will pay wages on time in future.

However, he refused to speculate on whether the Edinburgh club could be hit with a points deduction if guilty of a third breach.

Doncaster was speaking after Hearts were placed under a transfer embargo until December 23 by the SPL over their failure to pay wages on time this month.

Punished: Neil Doncaster said Hearts had not guaranteed they would pay wages on time

Punished: Neil Doncaster said Hearts had not guaranteed they would pay wages on time

The decision was taken following a meeting of an SPL board sub-committee after the Jambos admitted to late payments for coaching staff and players for a second consecutive month.

Hearts claim all outstanding wages from October have now been paid but have been hit with a ban on signing any players for 60 days.

Doncaster told Sky Sports News: 'We didn't receive any guarantees that there wouldn't be a repeat.

'Ultimately we can only judge any breach of the rules as and when it arises – look at the circumstances, hear what the club has to say, and then form a view.

'We considered a whole range of different possibilities.

'We felt a sporting penalty was required because of the sporting advantage that had been obtained by Hearts by not having to pay players and coaches on time, and the appropriate sporting penalty we believed was a player registration embargo for 60 days.'

The hearing – after six players and manager John McGlynn were paid a week late – was the second in three days into the wage delays at Hearts.

Paid late: Manager John McGlynn and his players received their wages after they were due

Paid late: Manager John McGlynn and his players received their wages after they were due

The club were 'reprimanded and warned' by an SPL board sub-committee on Monday after paying some players and McGlynn late in September, while an automatic transfer embargo was continued.

Asked if a third instance of late payment of wages could result in a points deduction or suspended points deduction, Doncaster added: 'I don't think it's appropriate to speculate on what we might do in the future.

'What we have to do is judge each situation absolutely on its merits, and that's what we will do.

'Should there be any club in the future which fails to pay players or coaching staff on time then we will be looking very carefully at what the appropriate sanction should be at that point.'

An SPL statement confirmed: 'A sub-committee of the Scottish Premier League Board today considered a charge against Heart of Midlothian Football Club under SPL Rule A6.21, which concerned the club's failure to pay coaching staff and players on time in October.

'The club satisfied the sub-committee that all outstanding wages from October had now been paid and, accordingly, the player registration embargo, which arose from that failure, has now been lifted.

Blocked: Rudi Skacel will not be able to join as a free agent until after the embargo

Blocked: Rudi Skacel will not be able to join as a free agent until after the embargo

'The charge under SPL Rule A6.21 was admitted by the club. The decision of the sub-committee was to make Heart of Midlothian Football Club immediately subject to a further player registration embargo of 60 days.

'The club will be embargoed from registering any professional players up to, and including, 23 December 2012.'

The punishment effectively prevents Hearts from signing any free agents during the 60-day period, ruling out the prospect of a Gorgie return for Rudi Skacel for now.

Skacel has been training with his former club but would have to wait until the festive period before he would be able to sign for the Jambos again.

However, Hearts have opted to accept the punishment, confirming they had no plans to challenge the SPL sanctions.

A club spokesperson said: 'We are satisfied that this matter has now been resolved and accept the sanction imposed by the sub-committee.'

Theo Walcott wants to stay at Arsenal and emulate Thierry Henry

I want to stay at Arsenal and become a legend like Henry, says contract rebel Walcott

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UPDATED:

18:13 GMT, 24 September 2012

Theo Walcott wants to stay at Arsenal and become as big a legend with the North London club as Thierry Henry.

Gunners winger Walcott denied his delay in signing a new contract had anything to do with money but admitted agreeing a deal could be a 'slow process'.

Manager Arsene Wenger warned last week the club may be forced to sell Walcott – something they appeared close to doing this summer – if an agreement could not be reached before the transfer window reopens.

Staying put: Walcott wants to pen a new deal with the Gunners

Staying put: Walcott wants to pen a new deal with the Gunners

It has been suggested Walcott is seeking assurances of more playing time, especially up front.

Wenger converted Henry from a winger to Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer and Walcott, who inherited the Frenchman's No 14 jersey, told ESPN: 'I want to be an Arsenal legend. Thierry joined the club when he was 22 and I want to become an Arsenal legend like him, playing up front as well, which is a big factor for me.

'I've played on the right wing and had the opportunity to play up front a bit more so I think it's about time.'

Talks over extending the 23-year-old's contract, which expires at the end of the season, reached crisis point last month when he rejected a new five-year deal worth 75,000 a week.

All smiles: Walcott wants to emulate Arsenal legend Henry

All smiles: Walcott wants to emulate Arsenal legend Henry

It was reported Walcott was holding out for 100,000 a week, but he said: 'That speculation on the money side of it has never been me. That's not me.

'I'm not the sort of person who's influenced by money. I always make my decisions based on football and only football.

Reports: Walcott has been linked with a host of top clubs

Reports: Walcott has been linked with a host of top clubs

'Hopefully, something can be sorted out. I'll just wait for the club to get back to us now and go from there.'

He added: 'It's a slow process. 'My last contract took over six months to happen. Hopefully, it can be sorted out.

'I've never said I wanted to go, I've always wanted to stay.'

However, the England star refused to rule out leaving Arsenal completely.

'It's one of those things that happens in the game,' he said. 'If it comes to it, if the club had to sell me, I'd be disappointed but, like I said, hopefully something can be sorted.'

Lewis Hamilton told to commit to McLaren or go to Mercedes by Martin Whitmarsh

Commit to McLaren or go, Whitmarsh tells Hamilton after 60m Mercedes offer

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UPDATED:

10:37 GMT, 8 September 2012

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh has warned Lewis Hamilton: We want you to stay only if you’re 100 per cent committed.

Whitmarsh conceded Hamilton must prove he has not had his head turned by Mercedes’ offer to join them next season on a 60million, three-year deal.

‘Ultimately, a driver has to drive where he is happy to drive,’ said Whitmarsh. ‘So the team and I don’t want anyone who is not 100 per cent committed to it. You can’t work like that. I’ve made that clear from the outset.’

That's more like it: Lewis Hamilton impressed

That's more like it: Lewis Hamilton impressed

Hamilton has the edge in final practice

Hamilton edged home hero Alonso in final practice by the slenderest of margins on Saturday morning. Just one thousandth of a second separated Hamilton and championship leader Alonso.

Whitmarsh further admitted that, while he has received ‘assurances’ from Hamilton’s management company XIX Entertainment and while talks over a new contract are at an ‘advanced stage’, McLaren may yet be in for a nasty surprise.

‘Lots of very positive things have been said to me,’ said Whitmarsh ahead of Sunday’s Italian Grand Prix. ‘But then again, I’ve learned over the years that, until people support that by inking the paper, you don’t get too excited.’

Both Hamilton and McLaren have been happy to let self-imposed deadlines come and go. But Mercedes’ offer means McLaren cannot drag their heels for much longer.

Promising: Hamilton shrugged aside speculation to post the fastest time

Promising: Hamilton shrugged aside speculation to post the fastest time

‘It’s a fairly incestuous paddock,’ said Whitmarsh. ‘So you tend to know, certainly if you have been around over 20 years, what’s going on.’

There is also the small matter that, should Hamilton plump for Mercedes, he will leave with a host of secrets about next season’s McLaren.

Of a driver’s knowledge of their team’s designs for next season, Jenson Button said: ‘Unless they wear blinkers they have seen lots. We go through the whole season working on next season’s car.’

Such issues are further elements for McLaren to consider around the negotiating table. But Whitmarsh is adamant Hamilton’s future is not proving a distraction to either team or driver.

On the Button: Jenson was looking strong again

On the Button: Jenson was looking strong again at Monza amid the speculation surrounding his team-mate

On the Button: Jenson was second fastest on Friday morning

‘I don’t think it has unsettled the team actually,’ insisted Whitmarsh. ‘We are here trying to go motor racing.’

Button, who knows a thing or two about switching teams, agreed with his boss. He said: ‘I don’t think we can always put our bad performances down to our heads not being in the right place. You either do a good job or a bad job.

‘But you should, as a driver, be able to take yourself away, work with the engineers and focus on the important things.’

Italian Grand Prix

Trying to secure three McLaren wins on the trot is the most important thing for Whitmarsh this weekend. The signs are already promising, with Hamilton fastest in second practice on Friday, a whisker ahead of Button.

But, whether Hamilton bounces back from his first lap crash in Belgium with a first win at Monza or Button makes it back-to-back victories following his dominant display at Spa, the question, ‘Is there life after Lewis’ will not be far away.

Rafael van der Vaart Hamburg move scrapped

Van der Vaart homecoming on scrapheap after Hamburg chief cancels 9.5m deal

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UPDATED:

23:15 GMT, 23 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Rafael Van Der Vaart’s wish to return to Hamburg has been scuppered after the club’s billionaire benefactor decided against bankrolling it.

Encouraged by earlier assurances that they could count on financial backing from 75-year old local businessman Klaus-Michael Kuehne, Hamburg registered their interest in Tottenham midfielder Van der Vaart and were in advanced talks with about signing him for 9.5million.

But they were forced to ditch their interest after Kuehne, whose wealth from his transportation and logistics business makes him Germany’s seventh richest man, pulled the plug on the deal.

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

No go: Rafael van der Vaart's move has been scuppered

Club officials confirmed last night they couldn’t hope to proceed without Kuenhe’s input and that the transfer was off.

The about-turn is a setback for van
der Vaart, whose wife works near Hamburg and who admitted just two
months ago that he ‘still loves the club’ after spending three seasons
there, prior to joining Real Madrid.

Kuenhe seemed to be urging Hamburg to
follow up their long-standing interest in van der Vaart earlier this
summer when he said: ‘I am an investor for new players and definitely
available. Hamburg must land a big transfer, because that will attract
more top players and make us even stronger.’

Asked whether it was his intention to sell the Holland international, the Portuguese said: 'No, on the contrary. He's a player of great importance for us, a player I count on.

'I'm not sure if Hamburg are interested but he's a player who at the moment is not for sale. Anything can happen but he's a player we are counting on.'

Spurs put great effort into landing Gylfi Sigurdsson this summer amid strong interest from Liverpool.

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Plans: Andre Villas-Boas wants to keep Van der Vaart at the club

Villas-Boas seems to have a lot of faith in the former Hoffenheim player, but denied that Van der Vaart is no longer in his first-team plans.

'Rafa was very unlucky because when he came from his vacation after the Euros he got injured in the game against LA Galaxy so he missed most of our pre-season in America and Sigurdsson was with us all pre-season,' Villas-Boas said.

'He couldn't therefore play against Watford and Valencia so he came back late for selection and it was pretty straightforward to select Sigurdsson for the Newcastle game.

'Now Rafa has trained with us all week and he's looking strong and in contention.'