Tag Archives: awards

SJA awards: Lawrence Booth wins scoop of the year for Kevin Pietersen texts

Sportsmail's Booth wins scoop of the year at SJA awards for revealing Pietersen texts

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth picked up a prestigious gong at this year's Sports Journalists' Association awards.

Our cricket reporter – who is also the editor of Wisden – led the way with his brilliant story about Kevin Pietersen's text-message scandal last summer.

This was recognised as the scoop of the year at the awards night in London on Monday night.

LAWRENCE BOOTH

Neil Ashton

Recognition: Sportsmail cricket writer Lawrence Booth (left) won the scoop of the year and Neil Ashton (right), Jeff Powell (bottom left) and Jonathan McEvoy (bottom right) were highly commended in their categories

JEFF POWELL

Jonathan McEvoy

Pietersen was revealed to have sent text
messages to members of the South African dressing room about his then
captain Andrew Strauss – later described by Pietersen himself as
'provocative' – which caused an almighty schism in the team's dressing
room.

The scandal led to England's star
batsman being exiled from the squad for the rest of the Test series
defeat against the Proteas. It was also the final straw for Strauss, who
resigned the England captaincy soon after and retired from all cricket.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail's football news correspondent Neil Ashton was highly commended in the specialist correspondent category at the awards, while Jonathan McEvoy was highly commended as a sports news reporter. Boxing correspondent Jeff Powell was highly commended in the feature writer award.

The Mail on Sunday also picked up two prestigious awards, with Patrick Collins named as the columnist of year, while Martha Kelner won the young sports writer award.

Read Lawrence Booth's scoop of the year and his latest Top Spin column
EXCLUSIVE: KP text alert! Pietersen sent messages to opposition during Test

CLICK HERE to read the full award-winning story

The Top Spin: It's the end of an era as throwback Blackwell calls it a day (and ensures he will be a permanent one-cap wonder)

CLICK HERE to read the full column

And don't forget to read Lawrence Booth's latest Top Spin column on Tuesday morning at www.dailymail.co.uk/sport

Ballon d"Or: the making of the trophy Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andreas Iniesta want

World's oldest jewellers employs six-a-side team to make the Ballon d'Or trophy… but can we see the name they're engraving

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UPDATED:

10:46 GMT, 21 December 2012

The battle has been raging fiercely across the globe since the shortlist of three was announced. Some say Andres Iniesta, a few more back Cristiano Ronaldo, while the majority are firmly in the camp of the three-time winner Lionel Messi.

But tucked away in the basement of a 400-year old family-run Paris jewellers a six-a-side team are quietly beavering away making exactly what it is the world of football is fighting over.

Golden balls: The world's oldest jewellers have a team of six working on the Ballon d'Or trophy

Golden balls: The world's oldest jewellers have a team of six working on the Ballon d'Or trophy

Golden balls: The world's oldest jewellers have a team of six working on the Ballon d'Or trophy

Golden balls: The world's oldest jewellers have a team of six working on the Ballon d'Or trophy

The Ballon d'Or trophy, a brass football dipped in gold, resting on a rocky base of pyrite, has remained largely the same since the original awards ceremony in 1956, won by Englishman Sir Stanley Matthews.

'It's something we're happy be a part of,' Francois Mellerio, who along with his brother Olivier are the 14th generation to run the firm, told AFP.

The jewellers currently employs 12 artisans at its store on Rue de la Paix, six of whom have worked on this year's trophy.

Piece by piece: The same family-run store in Paris have built the trophy every year since 1956

Piece by piece: The same family-run store in Paris have built the trophy every year since 1956

Piece by piece: The same family-run store in Paris have built the trophy every year since 1956

Using a real football as a guide, the
masters of their art weld two brass disks together and painstakingly
chisel the seam lines by hand.

It is then engraved with the award logo and dipped in gold before being attached to the base, which Mellerio explains is the unique part of the design.

'No two rocks are identical, no two emeralds, no two rubies – there's always a difference, that's nature,' he said.

Previously, the jewellers, who also craft the Musketeers' Trophy for the men's singles champion at the French Open, would be given the name of the winner before the big night. Now, though, plaques are engraved with all three names before being attached at the last minute.

Craftsman: All the finishing touches are applied by hand... but who will get their hands on the trophy

Craftsman: All the finishing touches are applied by hand... but who will get their hands on the trophy

Craftsman: All the finishing touches are applied by hand… but who will get their hands on the trophy

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta

The 2012 gong is to be handed out in the first week of next year at a special gala evening celebrating the great and good of the last 12 months.

Barcelona's Messi, whose triumph last year put him on a par with Michel Platini with three, is hot favourite again this time around, though the argument is strong for both team-mate Iniesta and Real Madrid's Ronaldo.

Roberto Di Matteo wins Credit Suisse coach of the year

Look who's won another trophy, Roman… as Benitez blows it in Japan, Di Matteo is named coach of the year in Switzerland

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UPDATED:

14:05 GMT, 17 December 2012

On the same day Rafael Benitez's Chelsea were beaten in the Club World Cup final his predecessor Roberto Di Matteo was seen smiling again after being named coach of the year in Switzerland.

Italian tactician Di Matteo was sacked last month by Blues owner Roman Abramovich despite winning both the Champions League and the FA Cup in his short spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.

All smiles: Di Matteo collects the award in Zurich on Sunday night

All smiles: Di Matteo collects the award in Zurich on Sunday night

All smiles: Di Matteo collects the award in Zurich on Sunday night

All smiles: Di Matteo collects the award in Zurich on Sunday night

While Di Matteo's exploits were clearly not appreciated by the Russian oligarch, football experts in the country of his birth stood to applaud the 42-year-old as he was honoured at the Credit Suisse Sports Awards in Zurich on Sunday night.

Benitez finds himself under enormous pressure at Stamford Bridge already just eight games into his seemingly doomed reign as interim manager. The Spaniard is hugely unpopular with club's fans having replaced club legend Di Matteo and he has won just three of his eight games in charge.

Outfoxed: Benitez's Chelsea were beaten by Corinthians in Japan on Sunday

Outfoxed: Benitez's Chelsea were beaten by Corinthians in Japan on Sunday

Outfoxed: Benitez's Chelsea were beaten by Corinthians in Japan on Sunday

Chelsea, off the pace in the Premier League, have lost three of the six games Benitez has taken charge of so far and blew their best chance of silverware with a 1-0 defeat to Corinthians in Yokohama, Japan on Sunday.

Although an Italian international Di Matteo was born and brought up in Schaffhausen in the north of Switzerland.

Stellar year: Di Matteo won both the FA Cup (above) and the Champions League (below)

Stellar year: Di Matteo won both the FA Cup (above) and the Champions League (below)

Stellar year: Di Matteo won both the FA Cup (above) and the Champions League (below)

P.S. There were no surprises when Roger Federer was named as Swiss sportsman of the year. The 31-year-old tennis star is the country's greatest ever athlete, having won 17 Grand Slams.

Legend: Federer picked up yet another gong

Legend: Federer picked up yet another gong

Wayne Rooney voted best current Premier League player by fans, Ryan Giggs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also win awards

You love Rooney! United striker voted best in Premier League while Giggs and the Ox also win fan awards

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UPDATED:

17:18 GMT, 13 December 2012

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been voted the best player currently plying his trade in the Barclays Premier League.

In a poll of over 30,000 fans from over 200 different territories, 20 per cent of supporters declared that Wayne Rooney would be the first name on their team sheet.

The Barclays Global fans survey saw Rooney come out on top, ahead of his Manchester United team-mate Robin van Persie, who secured 14 per cent of the public vote, while Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was voted into third place, with 10 per cent of the public support.

Wayne Rooney

Ryan Giggs

Popular: Wayne Rooney was voted best current player in the league while Ryan Giggs the best of all time

Fourth and fifth were Ryan Giggs and Luis Suarez respectively.

Manchester United and England star Rooney said: 'It's great to be recognised by the fans in this survey. I get messages from fans all over the world so I know how popular the Barclays Premier League is outside of the UK.'

Interestingly, Wayne Rooney succeeds Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, who was voted as the Premier League’s most popular player in the 2008 survey.

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs was voted as the best Barclays Premier League player of all time, ahead of former Arsenal hero Thierry Henry, with Steven Gerrard once again coming in third place.

Steven Gerrard

Thierry Henry

Write caption here

Come back: Fans want Jose Mourinho to return to the Premier League

Come back: Fans want Jose Mourinho to return to the Premier League

Giggs’ Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson retained his place as football fans’ favourite boss, gaining 41 per cent of the public vote, although 38 per cent of those questioned admitted that Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is the manager that they would most like to see back in the Barclays Premier League.

The survey also revealed that Arsenal starlet Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is considered the brightest new prospect for the next five years, with the winger gathering 17 per cent of the public vote, edging ahead of fellow England and Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere on 13 per cent and Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley on 8 per cent.

On a more light-hearted note, Rio Ferdinand gained the accolade of being named as the Premier League’s top Tweeter, followed by Wayne Rooney.

Steve Clarke wins Premier League manager of the month and Marouane Fellaini wins player of the month

Winter warmers: Everton star Fellaini and Baggies boss Clarke pick up Premier League awards for November

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 11 December 2012

Steve Clarke has won the Barclays Premier League manager of the month award after guiding West Bromwich Albion to four victories in their five league games in November.

Marouane Fellaini picked up the player of the month award as a reward for scoring four goals for Everton last month, taking his goal tally to seven for the season by the end of November.

West Brom manager Clarke oversaw four consecutive wins for West Brom, including a memorable 2-1 victory over Chelsea at the Hawthorns.

His side also secured victories over Wigan, Southampton and Sunderland in November, and Clarke was pleased to see his team’s efforts recognised.

Scroll down for video

Clarke has got off to a flying start in his managerial career with West Brom 6th in the Premier League

Clarke has got off to a flying start in his managerial career with West Brom 6th in the Premier League

WEST BROM IN NOVEMBER

Mon 5 Nov (H) 2-0 v Southampton

Sat 10 Nov (A) 2-1 v Wigan

Sat 17 Nov (H) 2-1 v Chelsea

Sat 24 Nov (A) 4-2 v Sunderland

Wed 28 Nov (A) 1-3 v Swansea

He said: 'It’s a good reward for a good
month in November. It’s a good reward to pick up, but it’s a reward for
the work of my staff and the players.

'The players have done exceptionally well in November. We had a great run and four victories in a row in the Premier League is difficult to do. We managed to do that.

'This trophy is a little reward for them. We wanted to start well and try to build on it. Up until November, we have done really well.'

However, the Baggies’ boss is aware that his team ended the month with a 3-1 defeat to Swansea, which has been followed up by defeats at home to Stoke and away to Arsenal. Nonetheless, West Brom remain 6th in the Premier League and Clarke remains relaxed about the club’s change of fortunes.

He added: 'We have now lost a couple and it’s a different challenge for us and a different pressure. We’ve always said that there will be good moments in the season and there will be bad moments and you have to stay level-headed and remain objective over the course of the season.'

For Everton, Fellaini has been integral to another impressive month for the Merseyside club, scoring two goals in the draw at Fulham, as well as the equalisers in the draw at home to Arsenal and the 2-1 win over Sunderland at Goodison Park.

The Belgian midfielder celebrates scoring against Everton in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage

The Belgian midfielder celebrates scoring against Everton in a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage

Fellaini's four goals this month have been vital for Everton's European aspirations and the Toffees lie 4th in the table

Fellaini's four goals this month have been vital for Everton's European aspirations and the Toffees lie 4th in the table

And Fellaini is keen for his team to continue their progress, revealing that the squad are desperate for a shot at the Champions League.

The Belgian midfielder said: 'I work hard. I work every day. I try to give my maximum every game. I’m happy but the most important for me is the team.

'Everybody wants to play in the Champions League next season so everybody works hard for this and I hope that at the end of the season we can finish in the top four.'

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Rory McIlroy"s year to remember has just one major blip – Derek Lawrenson

McIlroy's year to remember has just one major blip

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 19 November 2012

The fact he will be receiving end-of-season awards left, right and centre says everything about Rory McIlroy's wonderful campaign. But, on the eve of the grand finale at the Dubai World Championship, does his stellar year rank as the best ever by a European golfer

It is certainly right up there. It is better than any managed by Colin Montgomerie, for example, and he won eight orders of merit. Better than any mustered by Lee Westwood, and he won six tournaments in 2000.

Not even some of the greats of the past could claim a season like Rory's. A major, and finishing No 1 on both sides of the Atlantic Bernhard Langer never had a season like that. Neither did Ian Woosnam, during some admittedly great years from 1987 to 1991.

Year of years: Rory McIlroy has tasted success on both sides of the Atlantic in 2012

Year of years: Rory McIlroy has tasted success on both sides of the Atlantic in 2012

More from Derek Lawrenson…

EXCLUSIVE: Westwood ditches injured caddie Foster and gives job to Kerr
15/11/12

Rory checks out with double top as McIlroy follows in Donald's footsteps
11/11/12

Fourteen-year-old Chinese schoolboy Guan earns place at Masters by winning Asia-Pacific Championship
04/11/12

Fourteen-year-old Chinese prodigy in line to win place at the Masters next year
02/11/12

Rory's 156m deal with Nike cleared to go as Titleist admit they won't renew contract
30/10/12

Rose almost 1m richer after invoking Ryder Cup miracle to beat Westwood in Turkey
12/10/12

Rose and Westwood face final showdown as beach boy McIlroy enjoys 187,000 break
11/10/12

Thunder blow to McIlroy's Turkey hopes and soaks beach trip plans with Wozniacki
10/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

What about the outgoing Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal In 1994 he won the Masters, Europe's flagship event at Wentworth, and ran away with the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone. But better than a major, two money list titles plus a couple of other big wins

Let's salute Sandy Lyle and what he achieved in 1988. Three wins in America, including the Masters, and two big wins in Europe at the British Masters and the World Match Play Championship. But does fifth on the European order of merit and seventh in America stand muster against numero uno on both tours

Then there's Seve. In 1983 he won the Masters plus regular tournament victories on three different continents. It was the year he first starred in the Ryder Cup. But his annus mirabilus still ranks a hair's breath below a year McIlroy started by becoming world No 1 at the age of just 22 and finished head and shoulders above the No 2, Luke Donald.

So to the top three. We've got Rory. We've got Sir Nick Faldo in 1990. And we've got Padraig Harrington in 2008. In terms of consistency, it isn't a contest. Faldo only managed half a dozen top 10s all year in 1990; McIlroy had 10 in America alone. In 2008, Harrington had only two top 10s in 14 starts in Europe; McIlroy had more than that by March.

But it isn't just about consistency at their level, is it If you asked McIlroy would he swap his season for either of the other two contenders, he'd snap your hand off. That, of course, is because they each won two majors during their year of years, with Faldo winning the Masters and the Open, and Harrington the Open and the PGA.

Trip down memory lane: Faldo finished third in the US Open in 1990, and won in Hong Kong

Trip down Memory Lane: Faldo won the Masters and the Open in 1990

Third on the list of all-time great seasons for McIlroy, then, with the exciting thought there is room for improvement. What about that stodgy middle when he was distracted, and how much better will he be when he trims his schedule from 26 events to a more manageable 22 My hunch is he might have three of the top five all-time great seasons by the time he is through.

As for the current top two, let's give the nod to Sir Nick, who also finished third in the US Open in 1990, and won in Hong Kong.

Westwood taking American Dream seriously

No-one can say there's anything half-hearted about Lee Westwood's impending move to America. He will leave these shores in the middle of next month to defend the Thailand Open. The next time he will touch down on British soil will be the middle of May.

On the move: Westwood won't touch down in Britain until the middle of May

On the move: Westwood won't touch down in Britain until the middle of May

Quote of the Week

'Today was the difference between going back to the Challenge Tour or staying on the European Tour and it was probably the most stressful day of my life. But to pull it off and stay on the main tour, it feels better than a win.'

Highly-rated Englishman Tommy Fleetwood might not have fulfilled his promise this year but the gutsy manner in which he kept his card in South Africa on Sunday suggests that the man who was my 'one to watch' this season really will be worth keeping an eye on in 2013.

Henrik proves class is permanent

Not a great weekend for the doomsayers who think the European Tour is a busted flush. One week after a victory for 19 year old Matteo Manassero, Miguel Angel Jimenez, who is almost 30 years his senior, won in Hong Kong to become the oldest winner. Then there was a win in South Africa for another of the tour's great characters, Henrik Stenson.

Success: Henrik Stenson won in South Africa

Success: Henrik Stenson won in South Africa

Not too many come back from completely misplacing their muse, in the manner that Lee Westwood did, or Paul Lawrie. But Stenson is well on his way to completing his second comeback from the dead.

The first time he went from almost literally not being able to keep the ball on a golf course to the world's top five. This time, he's fighting back after losing millions in the Allen Stanford financial scandal. Last year he played more than a dozen events on each of the two main tours and managed just one top-10 finish. Now he's got his first win in over three years.

His career might be the embodiment of that time-honoured saying: form is temporary but class is permanent.

Usain Bolt"s secret to success: running up stairs

Sprint king Bolt reveals secret to success… steps! Not the cheesy pop group, staircases

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 15 November 2012

The fastest man in the world has revealed his best-kept training secret — running up stairs.

Usain Bolt, who became the first man in history to defend his gold medals in both the men's 100m and 200m at the London Olympics, has tweeted pictures of him running up and down the stairs at his training stadium in his native Jamaica.

With the pictures, tweeted by Bolt to his 2.3million followers, the sprinter said: 'Another element of my training.. Steps'

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

One step at a time: Usain has revealed the secret to his sprint success

He then posted the video of his final sprint up hill with the words: 'Paparazzi run in on my training.. Lol'

Earlier this week Bolt was nominated for the World Athlete of the Year award by the International Association of Athletics Federation for the fourth year running. Aries Meritt and David Rudisha were also nominated.

Previously named ‘Athlete of the Year’ by the IAAF in 2008, 2009 and 2011, there was no surprise that the London triple-gold medalist was one of the nominees.

Bolt retained his title as the fastest man on earth by winning the 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold medals during the London Olympics.

Bolt from the blue: The double Olympic champion during training in Jamaica

Bolt from the blue: The double Olympic champion during training in Jamaica

Bolt from the blue: The treble Olympic gold medallist at the London Games trains in Jamaica

He set a new Olympic record for the 100m with a time of 9.63 seconds and became the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic Sprint titles.

This year’s winner will be announced live at the World Athlete of the Year Awards, on stage in Barcelona, during a Special Awards Ceremony as part of the IAAF Centenary Celebrations.

Roberto Mancini should be Manchester City boss for next five years, claims Patrick Vieira

'Fantastic' Mancini should be Manchester City boss for next five years, claims Vieira

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UPDATED:

11:47 GMT, 13 November 2012

Patrick Vieira has backed Roberto Mancini to stay on at Manchester City for five more years.

The Italian has been under-fire over their dismal
Champions League form and revelations that he held discussions with
Monaco last season.

And former Man City midfielder Vieira,
now football development executive at the Etihad Stadium, believes the questions
over Mancini's future are an inevitable consequence of the club's
success

Under-fire: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

Under-fire: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini

'People are like that and you people, journalists, try to find the little things that will sell more papers and will get more people listening to the news,' said Vieira.

'But this is a part of our game and we accept it, no problem at all.'

At Monday's North West Football Awards, Mancini was named Manager of the Year and Vieira pointed to the five-year contract his former Inter Milan boss penned at the end of last season as evidence of the security he enjoys in east Manchester.

Additionally, the 36-year-old insists City need not look far to see the benefits of long-term continuity.

He said: 'I hope (he is here in five years) because I believe that stability will bring success to the football club, to any football club.

'When you look Man United is a perfect example to follow, so why not

Star appeal: Patrick Vieira at the North West Football Awards

Star appeal: Patrick Vieira at the North West Football Awards

'I think Mancini, since he's been at this football club his record has been fantastic.

'So credit to him – you're not winning the cup and winning the league as an average manager. You have to be good.

'He's a winner. He's working hard all week in training, trying to make the team focused and is really aware of the tactical aspect of awareness of the game.

'He is looking for the perfect game and he's really demanding. I think this is why he's so successful.'

Vieira collected the Goal of the Year award on behalf of Sergio Aguero last night for the Argentina international's unforgettable injury-time strike to clinch City's first league title for 44 years against QPR in May.

Vital last-gasp goals have become something of a trademark for City of late, with Edin Dzeko leaving it until the 88th minute to sink Spurs at the weekend.

'I think it just shows the spirit of the team – never give up until the referee ends the game,' Vieira added.

'That is a strength of the football club, a strength of the team – always believe and always find the resources to fight and score the last goal.

'When you look at Edin, Sergio, Carlos (Tevez) and Mario (Balotelli) there's so many players who can score at any time. They just need half a chance to score the goal. I think that's really important for us.'

Despite adding the Barclays Premier League title to 2011's FA Cup
triumph, Mancini has come under scrutiny in recent weeks over City's
poor Champions League form and revelations that he held discussions with
Monaco last season.

A flurry of goals conceded from set-pieces have shone a light on the
potentially unsettling effects of Mancini dabbling with a 3-5-2
formation this term, although a second-half switch to the system sparked
Sunday's 2-1 win over Tottenham that maintained City's unbeaten record
in the league and left them two points behind Manchester United at the
summit.

'That is a part of the game,' said Vieira, who holds the position of football development executive at the Etihad Stadium.

Lyle follows Torrance, Montgomerie and Lawrie into Scottish Hall of Fame

Lyle follows Torrance, Montgomerie and Lawrie into Scottish Hall of Fame

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 2 November 2012

Two-time major champion Sandy Lyle will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Scottish Golf Awards.

Lyle will be granted the honour at a
celebration of Scottish Golf's achievements over the past 12 months on
March 1, 2013 in Glasgow, 25 years after winning The Masters at Augusta.

Top man: Sandy Lyle

Top man: Sandy Lyle

The 54-year-old, who also won the 1985 Open and featured in five Ryder Cup tournaments, said: 'It is an honour to receive such a prestigious award from the Scottish golfing public.'

Lyle will follow Sam Torrance, Colin Montgomerie and Paul Lawrie into the Hall of Fame.

Liverpool Duncan Jenkins debacle: Jen Chang"s future in doubt as Ian Ayre meets Twitter prankster

Chang's Liverpool future in doubt as Ayre meets Twitter prankster Duncan Jenkins

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UPDATED:

10:43 GMT, 23 October 2012

HOW THE STORY STARTED…
Click here to read the full allegations from Duncan Jenkins

Liverpool PR chief Jen Chang has gone to ground amid the fall-out of the 'Duncan Jenkins' Twitter fiasco.

Chang withdrew his place at the Press Association's table at Sunday's Northern Managers Awards Dinner in Manchester after the club launched a probe into allegations of serious harassment by the club’s director of communications.

Caught on CCTV: Liverpool Director of Communications Jen Chang is pictured meeting 'Duncan Jenkins' - fan Sean Cummins - at a Manchester restaurant

Caught on CCTV: Liverpool director of communications Jen Chang is
pictured meeting 'Duncan Jenkins' – fan Sean Cummins – at Manchester
restaurant Evuna in August

JUST WHO IS DUNCAN JENKINS

@DuncanJenkinsFC is an amusing fake Twitter account of a wannabe football journalist.

It
is the work of Sean Cummins, a 35-year-old who lives in Manchester. The
Duncan Jenkins character originally started on Facebook – someone who
was inept and delusional in equal measure, as well as being obsessed
with The Bill.

Just
under a year ago, he relaunched on Twitter as a 'perspiring journalist'.
Dotted with misspellings and dodgy cliches, it also oddly predicted the
correct Liverpool team well before anyone else ahead of each game.

Cummins later admitted he just pinched it off a fans' forum and published it instantly, as he had done with transfer gossip.

Liverpool have refused to comment on the affair, which revolves around a blogger, Sean Cummins, describing
himself as a 'perspiring football journo', and it pretended to have
inside knowledge about transfers at Anfield under the parody moniker Duncan Jenkins.

But managing director Ian
Ayre met Cummins on Monday. Liverpool's head of human resources also attended the 85 minute meeting at the club's Chapel Street offices, reports the Independent.

Afterwards Cummins said he felt he was given a fair hearing as he outlined the chain of events.

Ayre decided to
speak to Cummins as well as Chang and others involved in an unseemly
episode which began when Jenkins started publicising information Chang
believed must have come from inside Anfield.

Chang describes Jenkins’s allegations
about threats made at a genuine meeting in Manchester as ‘fictitious
nonsense’ but his position looks vulnerable if Ayre decides otherwise.

Cummins published his version of his communication and meeting with Chang in an explosive blog post on Friday.

In it, he claims that Chang demanded
to know who his alleged mole inside Anfield is. Cummins has denied that
he has an insider at the club leaking information – instead pointing out
that all his information was lifted from fans’ forums.

Chang set up a meeting with Cummins
at the Evuna restaurant in Manchester in August – but Cummins alleges
this was the start of the meltdown in the relations between the pair.

After accusing Cummins of costing the
club 300,000 extra in the Fabio Borini transfer from Roma this summer
because of ‘information’ posted on the Jenkins Twitter feed, it is then
alleged that Chang demanded he tweet under the fake account to ‘confess’
there was no mole and the whole account was made up.

Bully claims: Chang, who joined Liverpool in the summer, denies allegations made by 'Jenkins'

Bully claims: Chang, who joined Liverpool in the summer, denies allegations made by 'Jenkins'

Duncan Jenkins is followed by thousands on social networking site Twitter

Liverpool

Headlines: Duncan Jenkins (L), followed by thousands on social networking site Twitter, posted about Liverpool

At this point, Cummins asked Change what would happen if he didn’t agree to the deal.

According to the blog post, Chang
claimed he would be banned from Anfield along with the other man he
shares a season-ticket with.

Chang, it is claimed, also threatened
to hand over his dossier on Cummins to journalist who could ‘run smear
stories on me in the tabloid press’.

Internal investigation: Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre will now probe the claims

Internal investigation: Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre will now probe the claims

And, perhaps most shockingly, Chang
is also alleged to have told Cummins: ‘You know how crazy football fans
are. You’ll have dog shit coming through your letterbox, you’ll have to
take your Facebook page down, you might even have to move house.’

Chang, who has confirmed that he did meet the self-styled Slam Dunc in Manchester, has already denied the claims.

He said: ‘I will not be responding to
total nonsense. The contents of my tweets that are included in the blog
bear no relation whatsoever to the false accusations made by a
fictional character. There was never any investigation by Liverpool over
the tweets.’

However, that has not stopped Liverpool launching an investigation into their own PR chief.

Chang was brought in to Liverpool this summer to boost their PR drive after last season’s troubles with the Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra race row. He replaced long-serving Ian Cotton, who was forced out after 16 years at the club.