Tag Archives: commercial

BT complain after SKY refuse to show adverts for new sport channel

Sky are a rottweiler and we are a newborn puppy! BT complain after rivals refuse to air their ads for new sport channel

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:48 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 8 April 2013

With all eyes on the Manchester derby a brand new Premier League rivalry is kicking off behind the scenes between rival networks Sky Sports and BT.

BT bosses have accused BSkyB of being a like a ‘rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy’ after the long-standing network refused to air BT’s new advertising campaign.

The adverts are for BT’s new multi-million-pound network to promote its coverage of the Premier League and other sports beginning in the summer.

Sky Sports

BT Sport

Rivalry: Sky refusing to show BT Sports' advert is like a 'rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy'

Signed up: Gareth Bale will be a pundit for BT once they get underway next season

Signed up: Gareth Bale will be a pundit for BT once they get underway next season

Jeff Stelling

Jake Humphrey

Famous faces: Jake Humphrey (right) will be presenting BT's content, rivaling the likes of Jeff Stelling (left)

BT have now lodged an official complaint with regulators Ofcom claiming that BSkyB have shown ‘undue discrimination’ against them by refusing to run the campaign of adverts.

John Petter, managing director of consumer for BT Retail, told the Guardian: ‘We are happy to take Sky’s advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours. It’s like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy.’

Host: BT will be home to some of the biggest games in the Premier League

Host: BT will be home to some of the biggest games in the Premier League

BT spent 738million to take 38 top-flight games next season after the channel launches in July and will also air Premiership Rugby and European Rugby.

But a key part of their strategy of growth is to raise awareness of their new channel by advertising on Sky Sports channels.

The broadcast code states that 'a radio broadcaster must not unduly discriminate between advertisers that seek to have any commercial communication included in its licensed service.'

COMPLAINT FROM BT AGAINST SKY

Ofcom has opened an investigation following a complaint from BT against Sky under Ofcom’s Code on the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers (“the Code”). Rule 4.1 of the Code states:

'A television broadcaster must not unduly discriminate between advertisers that seek to have advertising included in its licensed service.'

Under section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 ('the Act'), Ofcom has a duty to set standards for the content of programmes to be included in television and radio services, in one or more codes.

Under section 319(2)(k) of the Act, one of the standards objectives Ofcom must secure through such codes is that 'there is no undue discrimination between advertisers who seek to have advertisements included in television and radio services'.

F1 news: Timo Glock axed by Marussia

Glock shock! Marussia dump driver to leave rookie Chilton waiting for new team-mate

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

12:31 GMT, 21 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 21 January 2013

British Formula One rookie Max Chilton is on the lookout for a new team-mate after Timo Glock was surprisingly dumped by Marussia.

Reports gathered on Sunday evening that Glock, who has raced for Maurssia since the team made their debut in 2010, would leave.

And the news was confirmed today with the F1 team citing ‘commercial’ considerations behind their decision.

Your Timo's up: Glock has been axed by Marussia ahead of the new 2013 F1 season

Your Timo's up: Glock has been axed by Marussia ahead of the new 2013 F1 season

‘Timo is a fantastic driver and he has been a very popular member of the team,’ said Marussia chief John Booth.

‘Our team was founded on the principle of benefiting from proven experience while also providing opportunities for young emerging talent to progress to the pinnacle of motorsport.

‘Thus far, this philosophy has also been reflected in our commercial model.

‘And the ongoing challenges facing the industry mean that was have had to take steps to secure our long-term future.’

In a spin: Rookie Brit driver Max Chilton will be looking for a new team-mate after the German (right) was let go

In a spin: Rookie Brit driver Max Chilton will be looking for a new team-mate after the German (right) was let go

Phil Duncan F1 blog

Glock, who made his debut for Jordan in 2004 before spending two seasons at Toyota, wanted a bigger salary but Maurssia need a driver who can bring sponsorship to the cash-strapped team.

The British-based team suffered a hefty financial blow after conceding 10th place to Caterham in the closing stages of the season-finale in Brazil last year.

Bruno Senna, who was dropped by Williams, and Red Bull reserve driver Sebastien Buemi, are among the early favourites to replace Glock.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton will have a new boss at Mercedes next season after Williams shareholder Totto Wolff joined the team as an executive director.

The 41-year-old Austrian replaces Hamilton’s close ally Norbert Haug who left at the end of last season.

Starting out: Britain's Max Chilton will join the grid for the first time this season

Starting out: Britain's Max Chilton will join the grid for the first time this season

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton will have a new boss at Mercedes next season after Williams shareholder Toto Wolff joined the team as an executive director.

The 41-year-old Austrian replaces Hamilton's close ally Norbert Haug who left at the end of last season.

Arsene Wenger: Arsenal ready to "spend big" in transfer window after paying off Emirates Stadium

Wenger delivers the news Arsenal fans have been waiting for… I'm ready to spend big now the stadium is paid off

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

16:59 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:06 GMT, 15 January 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says the club are ready to 'spend big' again.

The Gunners slumped to a 2-0 home defeat by Manchester City on Sunday which saw them lose further ground on the top four of the Barclays Premier League.

Wenger insists Arsenal are in the market to bolster their squad during the January transfer window but will only do so if they can find the right quality.

Keeping watch: Arsene Wenger oversees training with assistant manager Steve Bould on Tuesday

Keeping watch: Arsene Wenger oversees training with assistant manager Steve Bould on Tuesday

The Gunners have been linked with a string of players across Europe, with Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff and West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame the latest rumoured to be on Wenger's radar.

But he is also keen to have a core of players who are already at the club – like Barcelona – with a new contract for Theo Walcott expected to be pushed through shortly.

With Arsenal set to see new commercial deals kick in following their 390million move to the Emirates Stadium and with plenty of cash in reserve – resources which were further boosted by last summer's 24m sale of captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United – Wenger insists he will be able to invest heavily in the playing staff.

Jack Wilshere

Santi Cazorla

In training: Jack Wilshere (left) and Santi Cazorla will feature for Arsenal in their Cup replay against Swansea

'My plan is to keep all of the players we have and then to add maybe, if possible, two new players to the squad. We will spend big (again) because we had restricted finances because we had built the stadium and had to pay that back,' Wenger said in an interview with Al Jazeera Sport recorded before the City defeat and broadcast on talkSPORT this morning.

'You look at any club who has done that, and they have gone down (in performance).

'We stayed at the top level, yes without winning the Premier League, but we were always at the top level.

'Now we have come out in a much stronger position financially again, so we can spend.

'But our way is a bit like Barcelona as well, to produce the core of the team from inside and add from outside the players who give really a plus.'

Wenger accepts Arsenal will always be an easy target for those who claim the board put the balance sheet ahead of success on the pitch.

'The biggest challenge so far is to convince people we have a good team, that we have good quality and that we lead the club in the right way, because many people doubt that,' the Frenchman continued.

'I am convinced this team has a
fantastic mentality, fantastic quality and with the right level of
confidence, if we can create the momentum, we can be a positive surprise
until the end of the season.'

Wenger may have transformed Arsenal's fortunes since taking
over at Highbury in September 1996, but he accepts his time
will soon 'be up' as the club must one day look for new leadership.

No deal: Theo Walcott is yet to sign a new contract with Arsenal

No deal: Theo Walcott is yet to sign a new contract with Arsenal

Arsenal v Swansea: Team News

Arsenal will be without suspended defender Laurent Koscielny and injured midfielder Mikel Arteta (calf) for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round replay against Swansea at Emirates Stadium.

Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky (calf) is also sidelined. Forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup with Ivory Coast.

Provisional Squad: Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Walcott, Mannone, Coquelin, Santos, Jenkinson, Diaby, Giroud, Arshavin.

'It is (time up), because I am 63 years old and will not work at 100. That, though, is not the most important, what is important is that when you are somewhere, you give your best,' said Wenger, whose side host Swansea in their FA Cup third-round replay tomorrow night, with Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla set to feature.

'How long will I stay I have a contract until 2014, and I always respected my contracts.

'It is important is that the club goes the right direction – we have a very young team who have fantastic qualities and (it is important) that I help them to get their qualities transformed into positive results.

'Let's not forget that last year we finished third (in the Premier League), as long as that is seen as a disaster, it is not too bad for the future of the club.'

Manchester City spend 200m a year on wages

200m a year! That's Man City's wage bill… plus disgraced Cook cashes in

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

Manchester City have become the first English football club to break the 200million-a-year barrier in staff wages.

The Barclays Premier League champions announced their annual figures for the 2011-12 season on Friday and, although the club have seen a noticeable decrease in annual losses and an impressive rise in commercial income and turnover, it is the wage bill that is most startling.

The recruitment of players of the stature of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri in the summer of last year increased the Etihad wage bill to an astonishing 550,000 every day.

It all adds up: Sergio Aguero (left and below) and Carlos Tevez (right) earn huge pay packets

It all adds up: Sergio Aguero (left and below) and Carlos Tevez (right) earn huge pay packets

Expensive: Players like Sergio Aguero are on huge salaries

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

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

The official figure in City’s accounts
is 178.1m, an increase on the previous 151.6m. However, if income tax
and National Insurance payments are taken into account, the annual
figure is exactly 201,789 as compared to 173m last time. The accounts
also show former chief executive Garry Cook astonishingly received
500,000 in compensation after leaving the club in controversial
circumstances last season.

Cook resigned after admitting ‘an
error of judgment’. He had mistakenly sent an email to defender Nedum
Onuoha’s mother mocking her struggle with cancer. She has since died.

City declared themselves satisfied
with their latest figures and indeed bullish about the increase in
revenues that cut annual losses from 197.5m last year to 97.9m this.

With City reporting turnover in the
2011-12 season of 231.1m, the highest in the club’s history, it
underlines how quickly they have moved to establish themselves as an
elite club.

The results show marginal increases in
gate receipts and TV revenue but it is in the commercial sector where
City are making gains. Revenue went up from 64.7m to 121.1m,
underlining City’s increased global exposure from merchandising to club
tours.

Nevertheless, the huge commitment to
paying players means they still face an enormous fight to comply with
UEFA’s new financial fair play guidelines.

Garry Cook

Nedum Onuoha

Cash in: Garry Cook (left) received compensation after he resigned for mocking Nedum Onuoha's (right) mother

The high cost of living: Samir Nasri is another who joined the club in the summer of 2011

The high cost of living: Samir Nasri is another who joined the club in the summer of 2011

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

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

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

MANCHESTE CITY REPORT

Read City's annual report in full here

The two-year FFP monitoring period, of
which the 2011-12 figures are the first year, allow for an overall
accumulative loss of 38m and City clearly face a tough task to be on
the right side of the line over the next 12 months.

City insisted last night they remain
confident of complying with FFP and UEFA have already stated they will
view with lenience those clubs who miss the targets in the first year
but can show their losses are moving in the right direction. Clearly,
City will be one of the clubs in that category.

Also, an estimated 15m of City’s
losses are ‘allowable’ under FFP because they reflect cash spent on
infrastructure and young players, which do not count in the final FFP
count-up. Money spent on wages in contracts negotiated before June 1,
2010 is also deductible. That, for example, allows them to take out
Carlos Tevez’s wages.

Despite all this, the scale of City’s
spending has been enormous. Across town at Manchester United, for
example, the Premier League leaders always try to keep the wage bill
less than 50 per cent of turnover. At City the two figures are almost
identical.

Failure to qualify for the second
phase of the Champions League last season didn’t help. It is thought to
have cost City in the region of 20m.

New City chief executive Ferran
Soriano said: ‘I have found is a club on the verge of a historic
transformation, reinforced by a genuine commitment to doing things well.
It is a club with a rich history and the potential for an even brighter
future.’

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

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

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UPDATED:

17:20 GMT, 14 December 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MANCHESTE CITY REPORT

Read City's annual report in full here

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

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

Jen Chang wants to be director of football at Monaco

Now former Liverpool media chief Chang wants to be director of football at Monaco

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UPDATED:

12:02 GMT, 28 November 2012

Jen Chang, Liverpool’s hapless former
media chief who was never suited to the post, has shown an even more
unlikely interest in becoming director of football at Monaco —
especially as one of the reasons given for his departure from Anfield
was that his family was still based in New York.

One link for Chang is that Bruce
Bundrant, Liverpool’s former head of partnerships, is commercial
director at Monaco. But he only overlapped with Chang at Anfield for a
few weeks.

French fancy: Former Liverpool chief Jen Chang (right)

French fancy: Former Liverpool chief Jen Chang (right)

Chang left the club following the Twitter storm with spoof blogger 'Duncan Jenkins'.

The club were forced to apologise to Jenkins, real name Sean Cummins, for the 'inappropriate actions' of Chang, after they met in a Manchester restaurant.

Chang wrongly believed inside information used by Cummins on Twitter had been fed to him by an Anfield mole.

The fan then alleged in a blog that Chang made a series of threats to him, which included revoking his shared season ticket.

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, Cummins pointed out that all his information was lifted from fans' forums.

Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed the turmoil at Liverpool

Exclusive: Sportsmail revealed the turmoil at Liverpool

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.

After Cummins complained, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre spoke to both men before apologising for Chang’s error.

In his letter to Cummins he wrote: ‘I acknowledge some of the elements you highlight were not appropriate. I would therefore like to apologise to you on behalf of Liverpool FC, for any upset and distress this caused you.’

'Clearly it is not appropriate for me to comment on how the club is managing this internally, and I trust you understand this.'

Chang has been in New York sorting out the family home after Hurricane Sandy.

Port Vale exit administration

Port Vale exit administration after 1.25m takeover is finalised for League Two promotion chasers

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UPDATED:

20:42 GMT, 20 November 2012

On song for promotion: Micky Adams has guided Port Vale to second in League Two

On song for promotion: Micky Adams has guided Port Vale to second in League Two

Port Vale are out of administration after Paul Wildes' takeover of the npower League Two club was finalised.

Supported by his business partner Norman Smurthwaite, Wildes' Alchemy Investment Group's 1.25million bid was approved by administrators Begbies Traynor on Tuesday.

The deal, which has also been approved by the Football League, sees the Valiants come out of administration, eight months after entering in March.

In a statement on the club's website, Wildes, who was named as the preferred bidder last month after Keith Ryder's summer-long bid ended, said: 'I would like to thank the Port Vale supporters, once again, for their ongoing patience and support.

'It has been a long process but we are delighted to have finally taken over the club and look forward to a long and successful association.

'As I have previously stated, our intention is to develop the club both on and off the field.

New dawn: Port Vale have exited administration after a 1.25m takeover was agreed

New dawn: Port Vale have exited administration after a 1.25m takeover was agreed

'On the pitch we're continuing to support [manager] Micky Adams and the squad as they push for promotion. Off the pitch we have made some key appointments to ensure the immediate and ongoing success of the club.'

Wildes will become club chairman and Smurthwaite has been named as chief executive, with Mike Aspinall taking up the role of operations director.

Financial director Robin Anderson will take responsibility for finance and IT departments and the club is also planning to appoint a commercial director.

David Beckham denies he will move to Australia

It's the first I've heard of it! Beckham denies all knowledge of move to Australia

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UPDATED:

09:26 GMT, 17 November 2012

David Beckham has dismissed the idea of making a short-term move to Australia's A-League.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder's representatives were rumoured to have approached Australia's Football Federation (FFA) over a switch from America.

Beckham, 37, spoke to deny any knowledge about a potential move Down Under during the MLS off-season.

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

That's news to me: David Beckham said the rumours were unfounded

'No, definitely not true,' he said.
'Bruce (Galaxy coach Bruce Arena) told me that this morning – the first
I'd heard about it. Like I said that's the first I'd heard of that, this
morning.'

Arena, also present, jokingly added: We've booked his tickets already.'

An FFA spokesperson had said: 'The
approach from David Beckham's people is another sign of how much the
Hyundai A-League has grown in stature on a global basis.

'Beckham is a superstar on the world
stage and he would be another massive signing for the Hyundai A-League
after the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Shinji Ono.

'But this approach remains at a very preliminary stage.'

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

Head boy: A spokesperson for Beckham has dismissed the story

A spokesman for Beckham, however,
refuted the claim, saying: 'David is completely focused on the MLS play
offs and winning another Championship with the Galaxy.

'There's always enormous interest from clubs across world in signing David. He has absolutely no plans to play in Australia.'

LA Galaxy play the Seattle Sounders in
the second leg of the Western Conference final on Sunday and lead 3-0
from the opening leg.

Lyall Gormal, executive chairman of
the Western Sydney Wanderers said the former Manchester United and Real
Madrid star would have obvious commercial appeal.

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

Centre of attention: Beckham was described as a 'fantastic commodity'

Big Emile: Heskey has moved to the A-League and is thriving there

Big Emile: Heskey has moved to the A-League and is thriving there

He told Sky Sports News: 'We haven't
had formal or informal contact over this, but clearly we are aware of
the iconic vale of David Beckham.

'Beckham is outstanding. We've seen
him here before on a couple of occasions. There was an 80,000 sell-out
at the Olympic Stadium and he was here with the Galaxy the year before
last for a game against the Newcastle Jets.

'He would be a fantastic commodity to bring to Australia.'

On the contradictory statements from the FFA and the Beckham camp, Gormal added: 'It is puzzling isn't it

'My understanding is there have been
informal approaches to other clubs. One or two have already come out and
talked about their interest. Clearly there has been some informal
discussions.'

Perth Glory chief executive Paul Kelly
said: 'We are always happy to speak to players of the calibre of David
Beckham, who would be great for the Hyundai A-League.

'At the end of the day it's the coach,
Ian Ferguson, who makes these decisions and we as a club, have a
process that we follow when recruiting players.

'But we would be mad not to seriously consider David Beckham.'

Yet Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou has ruled out making an approach for the football superstar.

'That's great if he is coming,' he said. 'Would we be interested Nah.'

Carl Froch three fights Lucian Bute Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler boxing Powell Sky pay per view

Froch lines up hat-trick of classy fights as Sky get ready to go back into the ring with pay per view boxing

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 1 November 2012

Carl Froch is planning an epic trilogy of fights next year which will cement his status as a ring legend.

Froch, not content with having come through the most demanding series of challenges in the history of British boxing, is closing in on deals to take on Lucian Bute, Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward, starting next March.

The centrepiece will be the rematch with Kessler at Nottingham Forest football ground in high summer. Not only could that well be the sporting highlight of 2013 – a year devoid of major football tournaments as well as being a post-Olympics anti-climax – but it is likely to bring back boxing as a major pay-per-view attraction on Sky Television.

Froch on his way to defeat - one of only two in his career - to the outstanding Andre Ward (right) in Atlantic City in 2011

Froch on his way to defeat – one of only two in his career – to the outstanding Andre Ward (right) in Atlantic City in 2011

Froch (right) on top against Canada's Jean Pascal during the WBC super-middleweight title bout at the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham in 2008

Froch (right) on top against Canada's Jean Pascal during the WBC super-middleweight title bout at the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham in 2008

Jermain Taylor feels the force of Froch's power during their WBC Super Middleweight Championship bout at the MGM Grand in 2009

Jermain Taylor feels the force of Froch's power during their WBC Super Middleweight Championship bout at the MGM Grand in 2009

Sky have shied away from the pay TV element since the chronic disappointment of David Hayes' surrender to Vladimir Klitschko. But the high earning commercial element of pay-per-view for fighters is important to this hard old game.

With all that on the line, Froch insists there will be 'no complacency' when he defends his IBF World Super middleweight title in his home town, Nottingham, on Saturday week, November 17.

His American opponent, Yusuf Mack, is not widely known here, but the Cobra says: 'He is quick and a better fighter than people might imagine. Obviously, with so much else at stake, I'm setting about the job properly but then again I never do anything else. It's not in my nature.

'The one time I took training just a little easy early in my career, I really had to struggle. I learned that night that there is no half way in getting ready for any fight. You either do the work or you don't and if you don't, you can walk into a nasty surprise.'

Froch trains in Nottingham ahead of his fight against Andre Dirrell

Froch trains in Nottingham ahead of his fight against Andre Dirrell

After his stunning defeat of Bute in Nottingham to win the IBF belt – and join the elite club of three-time World champions – Froch is happy to go to the Romanian's adopted Montreal for the return match he promised.

Bute will have almost 20,000 roaring home fans but is bound to be psychologically weakened by the beating he took in Nottingham.

After that, Froch is eager to avenge his marginal defeat to Kessler in Denmark, the first of his two losses in a warrior career.

That fight was a dramatic thriller and Froch says: 'The rematch is perfect for a huge open-air crowd and a massive TV audience. I know that I can beat Mikkel next time.'

That will bring him to the more complex return fight with Andre Ward, by whom he was outpointed in America in the final of the Super Six series.

Ward is now ranked in the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He is an exceptional defensive operator in the Floyd Mayweather idiom, and Froch says: 'I'm not stupid. I know that it will be the most difficult of all these fights, if not the most exciting spectacle because of his style.

It's not all about brute power: Froch at home with his son Rocco

It's not all about brute power: Froch at home with his son Rocco

Topless: Froch with his girlfriend Rachael in Nottingham

Topless: Froch with his girlfriend Rachael in Nottingham

'But although he is awkward, he is a world class fighter. However, I didn't perform at my best against him. If I am at the peak of my game, as I was against Bute, I believe I can avenge that defeat, also.'

Although 35, Froch adds: 'I didn't want to end my career on the defeat by Ward. Although people might say that it would be great to go out after winning these three fights we've got planned, I don't see it necessarily leading to my retirement.

'If I win and my body still feels good, I would want to defend the unified title. Why would I stop unless I have to I can look after my portfolio of properties in Nottingham and take the kids to school for plenty of years ahead.

'Like every other fighter, I can only box for so long. So the real question is why stop doing something you love'

With such a mouth-watering sequence of bouts now in the offing, the British public – who are at last giving Froch the recognition he deserves, we'll hope to see the Cobra spitting venom for two or three more years to come.

Froch talks at home to Sportsmail's boxing correspondent Jeff Powell.

Froch talks at home to Sportsmail's boxing correspondent Jeff Powell.

Leeds buy-out not affected by Chris Kirkland assault

Thug won’t halt Leeds buy-out as Bahraini investors plough on with deal

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UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 24 October 2012

The furore over Friday night’s assault on Chris Kirkland will not cost Leeds United the chance of a fresh start under prospective purchasers GFH Capital, Sportsmail can reveal.

Leeds chairman Ken Bates admitted he feared the Bahraini investment company may pull out of negotiations after seeing a fan run on from the away end at Hillsborough and floor Sheffield Wednesday keeper Kirkland with a double-handed blow to the head.

The intruder has since been arrested and jailed, but widespread condemnation of a flashpoint that once more put Leeds fans, as a whole, in the dock left Bates fearing the worst.

Assault: Chris Kirkland was attacked during Leeds' match with Sheffield Wednesday

Assault: Chris Kirkland was attacked during Leeds' match with Sheffield Wednesday

Writing in his programme notes for Tuesday night’s game with Charlton, he aired his misgivings that months of painstaking negotiations could have been scuppered, and said: ‘What message does that give to potential investors and commercial partners I don’t know what they must be thinking after watching Friday night’s events unfold.’

But Sportsmail understands GFH remain undeterred and are as determined as ever to conclude their discussions and assume control at Elland Road as soon as possible.

Though shocked by the images of Kirkland being struck to the ground, they evidently feel the actions of one individual do not represent Leeds’ fan base in its entirety.

Takeover talks have been underway since May, and Bates confirmed recently that the would-be buyers, a subsidiary of Gulf Finance House, had made an upfront payment of 2million in their quest to become Leeds’ new owners.

GFH wrote to the Bahrain stock exchange last month to inform them they were ‘leading the acquisition’ of Leeds and followed up by issuing a statement outlining their determination to steer the Elland Road club back into the Barclays Premier League.

That intent remains undimmed by the controversy surrounding a heated Yorkshire derby, and more talks are planned in an attempt to reach an agreement with majority shareholder Bates.