Tag Archives: climate

League two team Morecambe open their turnstiles for free to local supporters as attendance numbers drop

League Two side Morecambe open their turnstiles for free to local fans

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

13:36 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:24 GMT, 7 January 2013

The economic climate has left some small football clubs in such dire need of support that they are having to offer free tickets to the locals.

League two side Morecambe have suffered low attendance rates all season, and are now allowing any supporters free entry to their tie with Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday.

‘It’s a chance to get the community behind the team and see if we can generate some atmosphere,’ club boss Jim Bentley told BBC Radio Lancashire.

Morecambe has had an average attendance of less than 2,000 this season

Struggling: Morecambe has had an average attendance of less than 2,000 this season

‘If we can get three points and play well, hopefully they’ll come back as paying customers.’

‘The situation that the club’s in is not ideal,’ said Bentley of the lack of funding that’s left him unable to search out additions to the squad.

‘Everyone’s feeling the pinch and attendances haven’t been what we predicted.

‘We’re not in a position to go out and get players. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got and we’ve got a squad that will give their all.

‘It will be great if we can get a good number (of fans) in and, as I say, they can come back as paying customers. It’s the town’s football club and we need more and more people to back it.’

The Globe Arena has had an average attendance of fewer than 2,000 this season. It comes close to being the least supported team in the League. The highest it’s reached this year has been 3, 635 for their draw with Bradford on New Year’s Day.

Those in attendance have had little to cheer for so far, with Morecambe currently sitting at 19th in the table.

Castleford seek to redevelop Wheldon Road after scrapping new stadium plan

Castleford seek to redevelop Wheldon Road after scrapping new stadium plan

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UPDATED:

10:28 GMT, 10 October 2012

Castleford are considering shelving plans for a new stadium and may instead re-develop their existing Wheldon Road ground.

Tigers chief executive Steve Ferres
made the revelation at a meeting at Castleford's Civic Hall on Tuesday night
which he called to update fans on the club's 'precarious' financial
position.

Cash-strapped Castleford need new investment

Cash-strapped Castleford need new investment

Castleford signed a deal last year with developers to sell and redevelop their ground as a supermarket, which would then fund a new 12million stadium at nearby Glasshoughton for which they have received full planning consent.

A move to a new stadium was said to be key to the club retaining their Super League status, especially with neighbours Wakefield making progress on their planned move to a new home.

However, Ferres, who until recently worked as a club support officer for the Rugby Football League, says RFL regulations are being relaxed because of the country's economic difficulties and admitted the club's efforts to build a new stadium had stalled.

'The board of directors agree we need to look at alternative stadium options, including re-development of the existing Wheldon Road site,' Ferres said.

'The RFL are mindful of the testing economic climate and how it is impacting on the game generally.

'As a result, licensing requirements are being relaxed to enable clubs to explore different routes to ensure they achieve Super League status.

'The redevelopment is, therefore, a realistic and much more cost effective option and, after the support we received for it from fans tonight, one which will be given serious consideration.'

Ferres, who is a former chief executive of Wakefield and succeeded Richard Wright at Castleford in July, told the meeting that the club urgently needed new investment and had targeted 5,000 season-ticket holders to ensure its survival.

'The current business model is not working,' he said. 'We are falling short of the Super League's model club and we, therefore, need to look at ways to work smarter and generate new revenue streams.

'We are working in extremely difficult times and it is clear that we aren't the only club to be facing difficulties. Hull KR is one example who has already given an honest assessment of their current challenges.

'Identifying a new investor is integral to the club's future and will be a priority for me as CEO.'

Castleford finished next to bottom of the 14-team Super League in coach Ian Millward's first season after ending the campaign with seven straight defeats and Ferres, a former head coach of Huddersfield, warned fans that the team face a potentially difficult year ahead.

The club have lost 11 members of their 2012 squad and signed new six new players and Ferres revealed that there is little prospect of further additions without extra outside investment.

Ferres admitted the club would be prepared to sell England international Rangi Chase, the 2011 Man of Steel, who has three years left on his contract, if the deal suited the Tigers.

A proposed move to Hull recently fell through but, speaking on the eve of his departure with England for their training camp in South Africa, Chase revealed there is still interest from his former Australian club St George Illawarra and claimed Castleford would be happy for him to go.

Ferres said: 'Any potential interest will be given due consideration and decisions will be made in the best interests of both parties.'

Lewis Hamilton to choose between McLaren and Mercedes before Japanese Grand Prix

Hamilton to decide whether to quit McLaren for Mercedes before Japanese Grand Prix

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UPDATED:

19:03 GMT, 27 September 2012

Lewis Hamilton is to make a decision on his Formula One future before next weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

Hamilton's answer, on whether he remains with McLaren or opts to move to Mercedes, could potentially come as early as Friday, although it is understood the situation is not 100 per cent finalised.

The likelihood is Hamilton will continue his partnership with McLaren that now stretches back 14 years after he was initially signed up as a 13-year-old.

Decision to make: McLaren star Lewis Hamilton's future remains unclear

Decision to make: McLaren star Lewis Hamilton's future remains unclear

A source close to McLaren said after the Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday that a contract to stay loyal to the Woking-based marque was '85-90 per cent' resolved.

Given the current economic climate, McLaren's initial offer saw them slash the 27-year-old's yearly salary by a third from 10million to around 6.75m and on a par with team-mate Jenson Button, resulting in the need to look elsewhere.

With management company, XIX Entertainment run by impresario Simon Fuller, known to have entered into negotiations with Mercedes, the German manufacturing giant then put in a sizeable bid.

It is understood Mercedes also offered Hamilton greater freedom with regard to his image rights and less impact on his personal time from corporate sponsorship appearances.

With McLaren's hand forced, they are believed to have increased their annual salary offer by a further 2m, and more in line with Mercedes.

Further negotiations have taken place behind the scenes these past few days since the race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit where team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Hamilton both appeared more relaxed.

Rollercoaster: Hamilton has had an up-and-down season at McLaren

Rollercoaster: Hamilton has had an up-and-down season at McLaren

It was in stark contrast to the tense atmosphere that pervaded the paddock at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix as Hamilton landed in hot water with the team for tweeting telemetry data from qualifying.

A few days later, when former team boss and current BBC television pundit Eddie Jordan remarked a deal with Mercedes was done and an announcement imminent, it sparked a feeding frenzy at Monza ahead of the race in Italy, with Hamilton bombarded with questions.

Hamilton, however, kept his cool on the track to win from pole and thrust himself back in the title hunt, following which McLaren began their concerted push to retain the 2008 world champion.

Another pole followed in Singapore, yet despite what Hamilton described as a 'heart-breaking' gearbox failure when comfortably leading, he was positive and upbeat when he spoke after the race.

It was similar with Whitmarsh who claimed McLaren and Hamilton 'are a good team together', with the latter dealing with his disappointment 'as a world champion'.

Flashing the cash: Mercedes have tried to tempt Hamilton to their team

Flashing the cash: Mercedes have tried to tempt Hamilton to their team

Whitmarsh refused to speculate on whether a deal would be done before Japan, which starts next Friday in Suzuka, but it now appears certain that will be the case, with McLaren seemingly beating Mercedes to Hamilton's signature.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn today indicated talks were ongoing with Michael Schumacher, whose three-year contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

'It's still under discussion, I'm afraid,' said Brawn on BBC Radio 5 Live.
'I can't comment very much on that, but Michael's been a huge asset to the team, he's really taken us forward.

'I do think Michael contributes an awful lot, so I think the decision for Michael to stay or not continue is a difficult one.

'Obviously he's very involved in that decision, and discussions are ongoing at the moment.'

Asked whether Hamilton could be joining Mercedes, Brawn naturally ducked the issue, adding: 'I think any ambitious team looks at the top drivers and we're an ambitious team.

'But I think there's an awful lot of speculation. We will have some things to say in the next few weeks, next few months, and then all will become clear.'

When contacted, McLaren issued a 'no comment'.

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal will soon win the title again

Wenger: New rules will make it much fairer in Premier League

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 1 September 2012

Arsene Wenger is convinced Arsenal are
about to have the last laugh over the Premier League big-spenders –
and will soon win the title again.

The manager is optimistic because he
believes that the tough economic climate and UEFA's Financial Fair Play
rules, which require clubs to only spend what they earn and break even
by the 2014-15 season, will now work in his club's favour.

Keep the faith: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Keep the faith: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

'Financial Fair Play will come through because big clubs who have been spending a lot are worrying now,' said Wenger. 'They ignored it until now, but finally we see that they are getting concerned.

'We are run in a very responsible way. We make a profit every year and I think that's where nearly everybody is struggling in Europe. We find ourselves in the situation of Germany in Europe.

'I'm convinced that society will force football to become more reasonable. The standard of living is dropping, and you cannot imagine that will happen in society while football continues to push up with inflation. That can't work together.'

That is why Wenger predicts that Arsenal will soon be back in a fair fight for trophies – and will also be able to keep their star players.

He explained how much it hurt to see Robin van Persie score against Fulham and then celebrate in a Manchester United shirt last week.

Wenger said 'It felt a bit strange. I was thinking, “He has the wrong shirt on. Why does he jump around like that in that shirt” Deep down I knew but I didn't like it too much”.'

Yet Van Persie has left a void at Arsenal, and Wenger said: 'If you lose a player who scores 30 League goals … there aren't 100 players in the world who could do that in England. So you need a solution.

'We are not completely at our best going forward, but it will happen quickly because we play as a team and fight together. This is a massive month and it will be a measure of how our season is likely to go.'

But even if Arsenal come off second best at Liverpool, or against Manchester City and Chelsea later in the month, Wenger will not quit. He has a young squad who will be in their prime when the Fair Play rules kick in.

'It never crosses my mind,' he said. 'I go into a game looking to win. And the aim is to win the title. I'm the first to be disappointed if it doesn't happen. But we have a fantastic squad with fantastic quality and I think it'll work out.'

Lewis Hamilton considering Lotus move as McLaren falter

Lotus in the mix for Hamilton as concerned McLaren star looks for new deal

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 9 July 2012

Lighting the flame: Hamilton, pictured carrying the Olympic Torch on Monday, could open talks with Lotus

Lighting the flame: Hamilton, pictured carrying the Olympic Torch, could open talks with Lotus

Lewis Hamilton is ready to discuss a move to Lotus after expressing concerns at McLaren's failure to keep pace with Formula One's frontrunners.

After a promising start to the campaign, McLaren have slipped to fourth in the constructors' championship behind Ferrari and Lotus.

And with Hamilton, 27, giving serious thought to where he will spend what should be the best years of his career, Sportsmail understands that the 2008 world champion would consider a move to Lotus now that they have returned to form which propelled Fernando Alonso to two world titles in their former guise as Renault.

Lotus currently employ 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean and moving out big earner Raikkonen halfway through a two-year deal would represent an issue – as would coming close to matching Hamilton's 15million-a-year contract which expires at the end of the season.

Off the pace: Hamilton is ready to open talks with Lotus over a possible move

Off the pace: Hamilton is ready to speak with Lotus over a possible move

But there is no guarantee that McLaren are prepared to match those terms after group executive chairman Ron Dennis stated Hamilton's deal was agreed when the economic climate was very different.

Even so, all the top teams are keeping a very close eye on developments between Hamilton and McLaren.

The Woking-based team are understandably desperate to improve their car for the upcoming races in Germany and Hungary.

Home favourite: But Hamilton could manage only eighth at the British GP

Home favourite: But Hamilton could manage only eighth at the British GP

But after Hamilton's disappointing eighth at the British Grand Prix, team-mate Jenson Button, who finished 10th, said: 'The amazing thing is that my team-mate is 37 points behind (in the drivers' championship) and he was leading it two races ago.

'I don't know what has gone wrong. The problem is that the car doesn't feel bad, so it is amazing to think what the rest of the guys are driving around in.'

Much more of this and Hamilton might decide to find out for himself.

Euro 2012: Greece focused on Germany rather than eurozone problems

It's about football! Eurozone strugglers Greece ignore financial gloom ahead of Germany quarter-final

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UPDATED:

14:00 GMT, 18 June 2012

Greece's Euro 2012 squad spent more time watching election results on Sunday than they did watching quarter-final opponents Germany defeat Denmark 2-1.

The Greeks were shock qualifiers ahead of Russia and Poland in Group A, and are to face an imperious German side on Friday in Gdansk.

It's about football! Greece hope to beat eurozone benefactors Germany on Friday

It's about football! Greece hope to beat eurozone benefactors Germany on Friday

The clash pits the eurozone's biggest strugglers against its wealthy pay-masters, but the Greeks believe the economic climate will not have any bearing on proceedings.

'No, this will not have an impact, its football we're talking about, its sport,' midfielder Giannis Maniatis said.

'The most important thing for us is to give some happiness to the Greek people, that's all, to make them celebrate in the street, given everything that is going on.'

Bailout: Greece got out of Group A after beating Russia 1-0

Bailout: Greece got out of Group A after beating Russia 1-0

New Democracy, a centre-right party, won the Greek election on Sunday, and quashed the prospect of an exit from the euro which may have profound consequences for the European financial system.

Next up: Greece prepare to face Germany

Next up: Greece prepare to face Germany

Still, there are some tensions between the two countries.

There is some anger in Athens at Germany's enforcing of strict conditions for its international bailout, which have crippled Greek households – or anger in Berlin at what many see as the country's irresponsible financial past.

'They (the Germans) have in their mind that the whole situation is about politics,' team spokesman Panos Korkodilos said.

'It is not. It is just football. This is their character, not ours, we are not saying anything about this.'

The Greeks, written off before squeezing through the group stages thanks to victory over one of the stronger teams in Group A, Russia, were also bullish about their chances against a German team who have won all their games.

'It is a major achievement. We fulfilled the first of our targets even after we had injuries and some other unfortunate incidents in the games,' midfielder Grigoris Makos said.

'Of course we respect them but we are not afraid of them. We will look them in the eyes and fight.'

London 2012 Olympics: Princess Anne would hate to compete

Compete at Olympics No, I would hate it! Princess Anne happy to accept watching brief

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UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 17 May 2012

Princess Anne has admitted she would 'hate' to compete at the London 2012 Games.

The Princess Royal is president of the British Olympic Association, an IOC member, and competed in at the 1976 Games in Montreal but says the pressure and media intrusion from competing in London would have been hard to cope with.

She also conceded that she understood why some people might view the 9.2billion cost of staging London 2012 as an extravagance in difficult economic times.

All Greek to me: Princess Anne greets President Karolos Papoulias during the Olympic flame hand over

All Greek to me: Princess Anne greets President Karolos Papoulias during the Olympic flame hand over

Asked about competing in London, the Princess told BBC Sport: 'I would have found it really difficult, I suspect, to do it on a home patch – much easier to have done it elsewhere. I'd hate to be doing it now – that's all I can tell you. It's got worse.'

Asked if that was because of the pressures, she replied: 'I think there's so much, yes, to everybody. Once upon a time it would have been for one or two of the athletes who were high profile and the BOA could help support and bring them on.

'All the things the electronic media have opened up, simply didn't exist when I was doing it. Some people do find it a help I am sure but I suspect for others that's a difficult level of intrusion to manage.'

Princess Anne insisted that the London Games have had a positive impact on people's lives despite the economic climate.

Final countdown: Greece is about to formally hands over the Olympic flame to the London delegation

Final countdown: Greece is about to formally hands over the Olympic flame to the London delegation

She added: 'When you think about the time when the decision was made and the bid was going through, how well everything was going and how well everyone thought they were – that's quite a dramatic difference.

'But having that focus of the games which isn't a moveable feast – it has to be done – there are also some advantages in having that.

'I understand that it looks like an extravagance but I think if they recognised the way a lot of that money has been spent, it has made quite a constructive impact on people's lives.'

Matt Diskin says Bradford Bulls players "scared" over club"s plight

Bulls skipper Diskin says Bradford players 'scared' over club's plight

PUBLISHED:

11:07 GMT, 6 April 2012

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UPDATED:

11:07 GMT, 6 April 2012

Bradford joint captain Matt Diskin admits some of the Bulls players are 'scared' over the club's predicament as they prepare to take on arch rivals Leeds in Friday night's Super League derby at Odsal.

The players received their wages for March before the Bulls went public over their dire financial state but whether they get this month's payments will depend on the success of the club's desperate appeal for 1million.

An auction of sporting memorabilia last night raised 28,000 towards the 500,000 the club say they need by 5pm on Friday to stave off the threat of administration and Diskin says the players are managing to remain positive despite the obvious uncertainty.

Finding it hard: Captain Matt Diskin (left) says some of the players are worried they don't know what the future holds

Finding it hard: Captain Matt Diskin (left) says some of the players are worried they don't know what the future holds

'The players have responded really positively,' he said.

'I'm not trying to pretend there is not an issue – there is – but as sportsmen you are sheltered from the economic climate in one sense. You just believe your wage is going to turn up every month.

'Some of the players are quite scared now because we're not footballers – we don't earn that kind of salary – and we've still got young families with mortgages and bills to pay.

Save the Bulls: The Bradford fans hope their club will be safe

Save the Bulls: The Bradford fans hope their club will be safe

'So it is daunting but, as players, we've got no control over what happens.
'We put our confidence in the club and concentrate on what we do best which is train exceptionally well and hopefully to a standard that picks some points up at the weekend.'

In tonight's other game former St Helens and Wigan boss Ian Millward will get his first taste of a Castleford-Wakefield derby.

'This has got all the desire and emotion that you're looking for in a derby,” said the Castleford head coach. 'I love derbies and I can't wait for the atmosphere and the passion.'

Wakefield full-back Richard Mathers played for Castleford in all three derbies in 2011 but will line up against his old team-mates after joining the Wildcats on a season-long loan.

'I know what it means to the people of both clubs,' he said. 'You take the emotions out of it, we're professional players and you've just got to do your job out there.

'I don't have a point to prove to anyone other than my coaching staff and my team-mates.'

Worcestershire to develop New Road

Worcestershire given green light for 10m development of New Road

Worcestershire have confirmed they have been granted planning permission to build a 120 bedroom hotel and restaurant at New Road as part of a 10million redevelopment of the ground.

The Premier Inn hotel and restaurant are part of a comprehensive upgrade of the ground which will also include the construction of new conference and executive facilities.

Redevelopment: Worcestershire have been granted planning permission

Redevelopment: Worcestershire have been granted planning permission

The project will create more than 45 full-time jobs in the town as well as additional jobs at the county club

Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: 'In this economic climate, businesses of all types need to use their resources effectively to survive.

'We are doing that by investing in our facilities to help secure the future of the club and drive success on the pitch.

Job opportunities: The plans are designed to help the local economy

Job opportunities: The plans are designed to help the local economy

'I am delighted that local councillors support our vision, and we will now be working hard to deliver a scheme which will benefit the city and county as a whole.'

Whitbread, Premier Inn's parent company, is investing 7.5m in the hotel and restaurant and Worcestershire are investing in excess of 2.5m in the new facilities.

A detailed planning application for the hotel and executive suites was submitted to Worcester City Council in December and was granted without conditions on Thursday night.

Mohammad Aamer released from prison

Cricket cheat Aamer released from prison after serving three months inside

Shamed Pakistan bowler Mohammad Aamer is understood to have been released from prison early.

The 19-year-old was due to be let out of Portland Prison in Dorset on Friday but the date was brought two days to avoid media attention.

Aamer, who was sentenced to six
months in prison for his role in the match-fixing scandal against
England, served just under half his sentence.

Getting out of jail: Mohammad was released from prison early

Getting out of jail: Mohammad was released from prison early

Those close to the player expect him to emerge into a climate of fear in which he will remain silent about his experience.

The timing of his release comes less than two days before England are due to take on Pakistan in the third Test in Dubai.

If he had not become mixed up in the
controversy, he would also certainly be playing in the Middle East heat
instead of rebuilding his life.

Aamer is free to stay in England until his visa expires – reportedly in March – but it is not known if he will do so.

Shamed: (L-R) Mohammad Aamer, captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif

Shamed: (L-R) Mohammad Aamer, captain Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif

He is expected to put together an
appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) against the five-year
ban handed to him by the ICC.

The other two cricketers convicted in
the case, Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif, are believed to be in
Canterbury Prison, serving terms of 30 months and a year respectively.

Asif has already launched an appeal to CAS over his seven-year cricketing ban.