Tag Archives: confidentiality

Ken Bates says Leeds sale delay is not his fault

Don't blame me! Bates denies he's holding up Leeds sale as fans grow impatient

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

14:48 GMT, 6 October 2012

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UPDATED:

14:50 GMT, 6 October 2012

Leeds chairman Ken Bates has told fans not to place the blame for the drawn-out takeover of the Championship club at his door.

Bates opened negotiations with Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) in June but, despite a series of statements and counter-statements from both parties, a deal remains unsigned.

According to Bates, the delay is nothing to do with him, with the former Chelsea owner claiming he is ready to sign over a club he took control of seven years ago.

End in sight: Ken Bates has denied he is responsible for the hold up in Leeds' sale

End in sight: Ken Bates has denied he is responsible for the hold up in Leeds' sale

'I'd like to be able to say something but there is a confidentiality agreement which seems to be a bit one sided,' he said.

'It makes it difficult to say anything. The real problem is their lawyers because this is a straightforward deal, by anyone's standards. I don't know what the delay is, they appear to try and make complications when there is no need to do so.

'I understand the share purchase is 171 pages long and I question if they are acting in their client's best interests. GFH want to complete a deal and we are happy to do a deal with them, but when last-minute things are slipped in, it makes things very difficult.

'By GFH's standards this is not a big deal, so I say to Leeds fans, don't blame me.'

Leeds takeover talks continuing – Ken Bates

Slowly but surely: Bates confirms Leeds takeover talks are continuing

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UPDATED:

18:43 GMT, 18 September 2012

Leeds remain the subject of a takeover bid but it is only progressing slowly, according to chairman Ken Bates.

The Elland Road club announced on June 26 they had entered an exclusivity period with potential investors but 84 days later, the situation remains unresolved.

Leeds have only released a statement to confirm that the exclusivity period had ended but talks remain on going.

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

In talks: Ken Bates confirmed Leeds are the subject of a takeover bid

And 80-year-old Bates said: 'Despite the confidentiality agreement, stories keep appearing with varying degrees of accuracy as evidenced by the statements put out by LUST (Leeds United Supporters Trust).

'That included a TV interview that said a deal was 'imminent'. It wasn't then and is progressing slowly now. In football everybody expects everything now – but the real world is different.'

Writing in the club programme ahead of Tuesday's clash with Hull, Bates added: 'The current situation is that as I write, the appropriate documents have not been finalised between the lawyers.'

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

In charge: Leeds manager Neil Warnock hopes to win promotion

GFH Capital, who are working on the deal on behalf of a Middle Eastern consortium, have sent representatives to one of United's games this season but have not made any comment on the nature of the talks.

Disgruntled Leeds fans have arranged a protest against Bates, who they accuse of putting off-field investments before the purchase of players, ahead of and during Tuesday's game.

Aviva London Grand Prix 2012: Phillips Idowu sorry for withdrawing

Idowu renews Games injury worries as triple jumper apologises for withdrawing at London Grand Prix

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UPDATED:

17:32 GMT, 14 July 2012

Phillips Idowu has apologised for pulling out of the triple jump at the Aviva London Grand Prix – just three days after insisting injury was not behind his long lay-off this season.

Olympic silver medallist Idowu has competed just three times in 2012, with his last appearance coming in Oregon on June 1, when he took three jumps before sitting out the rest of the competition.

Apology: Phillips Idowu tweeted an apology for not competing

Apology: Phillips Idowu tweeted an apology for not competing

The 33-year-old subsequently withdrew from meetings in Oslo and Paris and the Olympic trials in Birmingham, with UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee declining to clarify Idowu's situation due to issues of 'medical confidentiality'.

Idowu claimed on Wednesday he had never mentioned an injury and was happy to let the 'rumour mill stir itself', but pulled out of the competition at Crystal Palace just 25 minutes before it was due to start with a hip problem he felt while warming up.

Injury problems Just days ago, Idowu moved to quash rumours that he was suffering with an injury

Injury problems Just days ago, Idowu moved to quash rumours that he was suffering with an injury

He wrote on Twitter: 'Hey guys, sorry to have to pull out of ALGP, slight bit of muscle tightness. I will be fine in a day or 2. Hope the other jumpers put on a great show for you. See you 7th aug. thanks for your support.'

August 7 is the date of triple jump qualifying at the London Olympics, meaning Idowu has just 23 days to get himself in top shape.

The Londoner said he pulled out of the competition in Oregon because slipping on the wet board had put 'the fear of God' into him, and Jonathan Edwards felt Idowu probably 'didn't fancy' facing similar conditions in London.

'When I turned up at the track this morning, I asked myself “Would I have wanted to jump today” and the answer was no,' the former Olympic champion and world record holder said on the BBC.

'Phillips probably didn't fancy it, but there is nothing to worry about. It's cold, damp and he doesn't want to take any risks. We will forgive him everything if he jumps well in London.'

Idowu's withdrawal came in a worrying 20-minute spell for Britain's Olympic medal hopes after Tiffany Porter broke down in tears after finishing last in her semi-final of the 100m hurdles.

Porter – one of the so-called 'plastic Brits' after switching allegiance from the United States – has been carrying a back injury and looked in pain as she slowed down from the seventh hurdle onwards before finishing in 14.19 seconds, more than 1.5secs behind winner Virginia Crawford.

Distraught: Tiffany Porter broke down in tears after finishing her 100m hurdles semi-final in last place

Distraught: Tiffany Porter broke down in tears after finishing her 100m hurdles semi-final in last place

American Danielle Carruthers, who finished third, comforted Porter on the track and said: 'She's a little dinged up and she is a little worried because the pressure of competing well and getting a medal in your home town is big.

'She is trying to run through it (thinking) I don't want to disappoint my country.

'I know how that feels to have a lot of pressure on you and I just wanted to let her know that even though things are hurting on you, you have a chance, your body is hurting but it doesn't mean you can't run fast.

'None of us think about silver and bronze medals, we think about gold medals. To think about pulling yourself out of that gold medal position is very upsetting.'

Another medal prospect, Robbie Grabarz, could only finish joint second alongside Tom Parsons in the high jump with a best of 2.22m, the 24-year-old labelling his own performance as 's***'.

'It was bad,' added the European champion, ranked joint third in the world this year with a best of 2.36m.

Disappointed: Robbie Grabarz was another GB hopeful unimpressed by his own performance in high jump

Disappointed: Robbie Grabarz was another GB hopeful unimpressed by his own performance in high jump

'It's nice to have a kick now and again to wake you up but I know I'm in great shape to jump high. I had a fantastic session on Wednesday and was great in warm up here but had 99 per cent concentration. You need 100 per cent. That's all it is.'

Better news saw Yamile Aldama finish third in the triple jump with a best of 14.37m, the 39-year-old world indoor champion continuing her recovery from a shoulder injury.

Marilyn Okoro had a point to prove in the 800m after being one of four athletes controversially overlooked for Olympic selection, which had prompted her to say she would quit the sport despite being named in the 4x400m relay squad for London.

But after finishing fourth in 2:01.32 today, Okoro said: 'I am really disappointed (about the 800m), but my focus is now the 4x400m. I am still going to get an Olympic chance in London and I have to build on that.'

Elsewhere, Ross Murray was an impressive second in the Emsley Carr mile in 3:52.77, while hurdles specialist Jack Green won the national 400m flat race in 45.99, a second personal best in the space of 24 hours.

Green was not thrilled with the time but added: 'I won the race though and beat the two guys in the relay pool so hopefully that stands me in good stead for the 4x400m relay in the Olympics.'

London 2012 Olympics: Philips Idowu pulls out of London Grand Prix with back problem

Idowu suffers Olympic injury scare after pulling out of London Grand Prix with back problem

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 14 July 2012

Phillips Idowu pulled out of the triple jump at the Aviva London Grand Prix – just three days after insisting injury was not behind his long lay-off this season.

Olympic silver medallist Idowu has competed just three times in 2012, with his last appearance coming in Eugene, Oregon on June 1. He struggled to hit top form in that event with leaps of 16.43 metres and 17.05m before a foul in the third round, after which he took no further part in the competition.

Scare: Phillips Idowu pulled out of the London Grand Prix

Scare: Phillips Idowu pulled out of the London Grand Prix

The 33-year-old subsequently withdrew from meetings in Oslo and Paris and the Olympic trials in Birmingham, with UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee declining to clarify Idowu's situation due to issues of 'medical confidentiality'.

Idowu claimed on Wednesday he had never mentioned an injury and was happen to let the 'rumour mill stir itself,' but today pulled out of the competition at Crystal Palace just 25 minutes before it was due to start with a hip problem.

The withdrawal of Idowu came shortly after British team-mate Tiffany Porter broke down in tears after finishing last in her semi-final of the 100m hurdles.

I'm ok: Phillips Idowu speaks to reporters, including Sportsmail's Jonathan McEvoy, and says he is over his injury problems

I'm ok: Phillips Idowu speaks to reporters, including Sportsmail's Jonathan McEvoy, and says he is over his injury problems

Porter has been carrying a back injury and looked in pain as she slowed down from the seventh hurdle onwards before finishing in 14.19 seconds, more than 1.5s behind winner Virginia Crawford.

Medal hope: Idowu is a per-Olympic favorite to win a medal

Medal hope: Idowu is a per-Olympic favorite to win a medal

American Danielle Carruthers, who finished third, comforted Porter on the track and said: “She's a little dinged up and she is a little worried because the pressure of competing well and getting a medal in your home town is big.

'I know how that feels to have a lot of pressure on you and I just wanted to let her know that even though things are hurting on you, you have a chance, your body is hurting but it doesn't mean you can't run fast.

'It's hard to get past it when you have some pain but last year at the World Championships my achilles was hurting me bad, a week before I was crying just like her thinking I was out of it, but we taped me up, had acupuncture, pieced me together and I got a medal.'

With Robbie Grabarz only finishing joint second alongside Tom Parsons in the high jump with a best of 2.22m, there was at least some good news in the women's javelin as Goldie Sayers improved her own British record.

Sayers threw 66.17m in the first round to better her previous best of 65.75m, which was set when finishing fourth in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

London 2012 Olympics: Phillips Idowu ready for Games

It's go for Idowu! Triple jumper says he's ready for Games amidst injury rumours

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 11 July 2012

Phillips Idowu has been spotted alive and walking without a limp. He is fit and ready to triple jump for gold at London 2012.

For 40 days and 40 nights, since his last competitive appearance, he had kept us – and Charles van Commenee, UK Athletics' head coach whose ego he loves to tweak – guessing about his injury status.

Yesterday, he boarded a river cruiser on the Thames aware of the furore his silence had created and acted as nonchalantly as you would expect from someone who has spent 33 years practising the art.

Confident: Phillips Idowu says he has let the rumour mill spin itself about his injury

Confident: Phillips Idowu says he has let the rumour mill spin itself about his injury

So what is his medical condition 'I'm well,' he said, confirming that he will compete at Crystal Palace this weekend.

'I'm good. I'm keeping my head down and getting on with my day job. They call me the invisible man.'

His head – be it up or down – was bejewelled in his customary ironmongery: studs and rings in ears and tongue. He chewed on a piece of fluorescent gum.

'I've not mentioned anything about an injury. Nobody has heard the words come out of my mouth, or from my coach's, or from any of my team's,' he added.

'I have let the rumour mill stir itself and it has given me an opportunity to focus on my preparations for the Games, which I feel have gone really well.'

The rumour mill may have been a reference to Van Commenee himself.

Wears it well: Idowu will represent Great Britain in the triple jump

Wears it well: Idowu will represent Great Britain in the triple jump

The Dutchman had said Idowu missed the Olympic trials through injury but that 'medical confidentiality' forbade him from supplying further explanation.

Then, when announcing the athletics team for the Olympics last week, Van Commenee admitted he had no idea whether the former world champion was still crocked, claiming he had been too busy to find out.

As we pointed out here, that seemed a trifle negligent considering that Idowu is among only a handful of British track-and-field gold medal prospects.

Van Commenee's ill-informed position reflected, at least in part, the fact that the two men do not speak directly but through intermediaries after a Twitter-based row last year: Idowu told his followers that he would not be taking part in the 2011 European Team Championships; Van Commenee thought it disrespectful not to have told him first; Idowu claimed he had informed UKA; Van Commenee later claimed they had spoken about the incident and made up; Idowu countered that they had not cleared the air and called Van Commenee a liar.

This sorry impasse continues, with Van Commenee of the opinion that Twitter devotees are 'clowns and attention seekers'.

Even though Idowu did not mention Van Commenee by name on the boat that he boarded at Westminster Pier, his every comment could be interpreted as an affront to his head coach's authority.

Idowu, who typically wore a lime green tracksuit as he travelled back from the World Championships in Korea last year when everyone else wore team kit, presented himself as a man who lives above Van Commenee's law.

Focused: Idowu in Daegu last year

Focused: Idowu in Daegu last year

Of his relationship with Van Commenee, Idowu said: 'That's not an issue. This year I have kept myself to myself.

'The people most important to me are my family, my representatives and my coach.

'That is the small circle of people I work with. Nobody else needs to be involved.'

So let's clear this up. Did he injure himself in his last competition, a Diamond League meet in Eugene, Oregon, on June 1

After all, he withdrew after landing awkwardly. 'It was precautionary,' he said. 'I slipped on the board – it happens. You hit the board, your foot slips and it kind of sends the fear of God through you.

'I didn't want to take any chances.'

He then withdrew from Oslo. Why, if he was not injured

'To prepare for the Games,' he replied. 'Every year I never compete in every meet I put down as scheduled.

'There are times when things are going really well and you feel like, “OK, I can take a step back” and there are times when you feel, “I may need to compete in more competitions than I expected”.'

Then he missed the trials. Why 'Precautionary.'

He added: 'There was a lot of fatigue in my system and I didn't want to jeopardise my chances at the Games by competing when I wasn't in tip-top form.

I have always said, if I am not in the best possible physical shape, then I won't compete because people pay hard-earned money to come to see me perform well.'

My guess is that he had a niggle-cum-foot injury after Eugene – a fact confirmed at the time by his people – then enjoyed keeping Van Commenee in the dark thereafter, merrily dancing in that grey area between precaution, niggle and injury.

We are happy to report he did not slip as he left the boat.

London 2012 Olympics: Phillips Idowu out of Birmingham trials

Idowu fuels injury fears as triple jumper pulls out of Olympic trial

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

16:32 GMT, 22 June 2012

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UPDATED:

16:32 GMT, 22 June 2012

Former world triple jump champion Phillips Idowu is the latest athlete to pull out of this weekend's Olympic trials in Birmingham, sparking injury fears just weeks ahead of the London Games.

Idowu has competed just three times in 2012 and suffered an unspecified injury on his last appearance, which was in the Diamond League meeting in Oregon on June 2.

The 33-year-old struggled to hit top form with leaps of 16.43 metres and 17.05m, before injuring himself when he fouled with his third attempt. He took no further part in the competition.

Concerns: Phillips Idowu has pulled out of the Olympic trials in Birmingham

Concerns: Phillips Idowu has pulled out of the Olympic trials in Birmingham

Idowu, who subsequently withdrew from the Bislett Games in Oslo, had previously been unbeaten this year with winning leaps of 17.24m and 17.31m in Shanghai and Hengelo.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said Idowu and fellow absentees Yamile Aldama – the world indoor triple jump champion – and world 1,500m silver medallist Hannah England were aiming to compete at the London Grand Prix on July 13-14, but declined to clarify Idowu's situation due to issues of 'medical confidentiality'.

By not competing at the trials, Idowu will have to rely on a discretionary place on the team, but that will be a formality if he is fit, with Van Commenee adding: 'It's not a worry. He is selectable.'

London 12 Olympics: Essex CCC bid for tenancy of Olympic Stadium

Hammers face competition from Essex CCC for Olympic Stadium tenancy

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UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 30 March 2012

Essex County Cricket Club, together with the University of East London, will compete with West Ham United to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium.

The club confirmed their bid but were unable to divuldge details, stating simply that they plan to 'utilise space in the Olympic stadium'.

Four parties submitted bids before last Friday's deadline with a decision expected in May.

Up for grabs: Four bidders are vying to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium

Up for grabs: Four bidders are vying to become tenants of the Olympic Stadium

Essex said in a statement to the BBC: 'We can confirm that the University of East London and Essex County Cricket Club have jointly put in a bid to the Olympic Park Legacy Company to utilise space in the Olympic stadium.

'We cannot provide any further detail at this stage, as we are bound by a legal confidentiality agreement.

'We can though state that both UEL and Essex Cricket see this as a fantastic opportunity. We are committed to supporting the achievement of the best possible outcomes from the Legacy operation of the Olympic Stadium.'

Bidding: West Ham hope to move into the Olympic Stadium

Bidding: West Ham hope to move into the Olympic Stadium

It is not known whether the proposal combines a cricket pitch with the athletics
track.

Championship side West Ham were initially awarded the stadium last year, but the deal fell through following complaints from Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

It was subsequently decided that the stadium would remain in public ownership.

Rugby clubs Saracens, Wasps and London Irish opted not to bid.

Tiger Woods is cheap, petty and ruthless, says former coach Hank Haney

Tiger He's cheap, petty and ruthless, claims former coach Haney

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UPDATED:

23:50 GMT, 22 March 2012

Obsessive: Tiger Woods

Obsessive: Tiger Woods

Sportsmail has been given a sneak preview of the book set to shock the sporting world by lifting the lid on the real Tiger Woods. In The Big Miss, former coach Hank Haney admires Tiger the golfer but is shocked by Woods the man…

What is Tiger Woods really like His former coach Hank Haney believes
this to be the most unsatisfactorily answered sports question of the
last 20 years.

In The Big Miss, the most eagerly-anticipated golf book to be published
for at least that long and which hits the streets next week, he becomes
the first man to step outside Tiger's inner circle and offer an honest
response.

It is hardly surprising the Woods camp are incandescent with rage. Haney
believes Tiger to be the best golfer who ever lived. But cheap, petty,
ruthless and selfish are also words he uses to describe him.

There has never been a golf book that
has divided opinion quite like this one. The juicy bits drip-fed on to
Golf Digest's website with all the salacious relish of a red-top has led
to other players recoiling with horror. They feel the relationship
between player and coach is akin to the pact of confidentiality any
doctor undertakes with a patient.

Perhaps it is just as well that Haney has no intention of working with another tournament pro. The feeling is mutual.

Happy days: Hank Haney (left) and Tiger Woods

Happy days: Hank Haney (left) and Tiger Woods

The tit-bits released suggested Haney had
undertaken the project as an exercise in revenge for the ending of
their six-year partnership in 2010. But the book does not read like
that.

At 250 or so pages it is not long and
vast screeds are spent analysing Woods's swing. But it is the insights
in between that offer the most value. Haney does not hide his admiration
for Woods the golfer, nor his alarm at Tiger the dysfunctional human
being.

The most jarring sentence in the whole book is the startling revelation
that not once during their time together did the pair have a substantive
conversation about anything but golf.

The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods, by Hank Haney

Long emails from Haney are routinely ignored. A 'no television' rule
introduced by Tiger's ex-wife Elin at meal-times fails to elicit the
desired effect of dinner conversation. Time and again Woods goes to the
fridge for a popsicle without ever once asking Haney if he'd like one.

Then there is the golfing obsessive. A man who spends more than four
hours looking at his swing in a mirror; who replies to the doctor who
has told him he has a broken leg and his anterior cruciate ligament is
about to snap: 'Just patch me up doc. I've got a US Open to win. I can
deal with the pain.'

Given there is no common bond between them but their chosen sport, it is
easy to take Haney at his word that he knew nothing about Tiger and his
extra-marital affairs. He was not there at the 2009 Open at Turnberry
when Elin was supposed to have shown up unannounced and the pair had a
blazing row because Haney was going through a divorce of his own.

There is a poignant scene when Woods decides to go back to work
following his celebrated mea culpa in February 2010 and they meet on the
practice ground. Elin is there, too, with their two small children.

Haney writes: 'After a bit of small talk about how the kids were
growing, she gave a wave and said she was taking them to a playground.
After she left, Tiger was visibly relieved.'

The end for Haney came about the same time as the marriage. When it was
over he could reflect on the six majors they won and a better overall
winning percentage than Woods had enjoyed during his more celebrated
period with Butch Harmon.

Happier times: Woods and former wife Elin Nordegren

Happier times: Woods and ex-wife Elin Nordegren

What is Tiger Woods really like Ultimately, Haney answers the question
with an unflinching page where he talks about 'the package', the sum of
all Woods's qualities, both good and bad.

'Those qualities, foremost among them an extraordinary ability to focus
and stay calm under stress, also included selfishness, obsessiveness,
stubbornness, coldness, ruthlessness, pettiness and cheapness,'
concludes Haney.

'When they were all at work in the competitive arena, they helped him
win. And winning gave him permission to remain a flawed and in some ways
immature person.'

The Big Miss will be just that among the players. But there is plenty to
interest anyone with a fascination about perhaps the most talked-about
sportsman of the age.

Manchester United take three Brazilians on trial

United invite three Brazilian teenagers on trial from feeder club Desportivo

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UPDATED:

10:23 GMT, 22 March 2012

Manchester United have summoned three of South America's brightest talents from their feeder club Desportivo Brazil for a two-week trial.

Lucas Evangelista, Bruno Gomes and Aguilar, who were last year pictured in the Old Trafford directors' box with two other team-mates, will hope to impress sufficiently to earn a deal ahead of their 18th birthdays.

The youngsters were part of the Desportivo Brasil Under 17 side which recently romped to glory in the Future Cup with victory, during which strikers Bruno Gomes and Aguilar enhanced their reputations considerably.

Impress me: Manchester United invite three Brazilian teenagers on trial from feeder club Desportivo - Aguilar (back row, first left), Lucas Evangelista (back row, second left) and Bruno Gomes (not pictured)

Impress me: Manchester United invite three Brazilian teenagers on trial from feeder club Desportivo – Aguilar (back row, first left), Lucas Evangelista (back row, second left) and Bruno Gomes (not pictured)

Impress me: Manchester United invite three Brazilian teenagers on trial from feeder club Desportivo

United's relationship with Desportivo is part of a painstaking two-and-a-half-year project by the Premier League leaders to develop their own talent in South America rather than splash out huge fees on the next generation of stars.

Confidentiality agreements prevented Desportivo Brasil from revealing which of their 100-plus teenagers have a pre-contract agreement with United, but last year Sportsmail learned the three trialists, along with Gladstony, now at FC Twente, and Rafael Leao, who has previously failed to impress, were among them.

The partnership was struck after United’s pursuit of the Da Silva twins. They were first spotted as 15-year-olds but could not be formally taken out of Brazil until their 18th birthday, meaning they risked being neglected in the Fluminense youth team and they never made a senior appearance in Brazil.

Betfair silent over Conor Murphy windfall, Charles Sale

Bookies silent over millionaire Murphy's Festival windfall

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 17 March 2012

The most surprising aspect of stable lad Conor Murphy’s 1million-winning gamble on his 50 five-horse accumulator at Cheltenham was the lack of publicity about it from Bet365, who paid out the money.

Other bookmakers would have milked every promotional opportunity from such a newsworthy story, which had more camera crews descending on Friday on trainer Nicky Henderson’s Lambourn yard – where Murphy is the assistant head lad – than turned up for the pre-Festival open day.

But Bet365 have a rule of strict confidentiality over all their clients’ wagers with their media spokesperson not even returning calls after details emerged about Murphy’s monster antepost bet struck last December, which he called ‘just pure luck’.

Millionaire: Nicky Henderson's stable lad Conor Murphy

Millionaire: Nicky Henderson's stable lad Conor Murphy

Peter Coates, owner of Bet365 and Stoke City, said: ‘Our policy is not to reveal anything about our clients’ bets, however big or small, and we have no intention of discussing individual accounts. Punters bet with us knowing they are assured of absolute confidentiality.’

Bet365’s stance bemused their attention-seeking competitors. Paddy Power said they would have revealed everything possible about the bet apart from the client’s account number and put his name in giant letters, Hollywood-style, on Cheltenham’s Cleeve Hill.

William Hill said they would have had an aeroplane trailing a banner about it.

Twist of fate for Smith

The vagaries of racing are such that owner Clive Smith bought national treasure Kauto Star, who has run his last Gold Cup, for €400,000 – with funds available only after he was outbid by Irish racing tycoon JP McManus for Garde Champetre, who died in Cheltenham’s cross-country race. Smith went to €490,000 before JP paid €530,000.

Twist of fate: Clive Smith bought Kauto Star (above) after being outbid for the tragic Garde Champetre

Twist of fate: Clive Smith bought Kauto Star (above) after being outbid for the tragic Garde Champetre

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Cheltenham security rein in Leicester's St Ledger
15/03/12

Charles Sale: One is not amused by racing on Four
14/03/12

Charles Sale: O'Sullevan slates 'ivory tower' BBC over racing coverage
13/03/12

Charles Sale: Beeb have a mare over racing rights
12/03/12

Charles Sale: It's every man for himself on the FA board, says Clarke
09/03/12

Charles Sale: Germans plan to scrap British seat on FIFA executive committee
08/03/12

Charles Sale: Major row at MCC is first-class mess
08/03/12

Charles Sale: Brazil slur not my fault, says Valcke
06/03/12

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Channel 4 enjoying monopoly

The relationship between Channel 4 and the Racecourse Media Group, who are set to award C4 a terrestrial monopoly, is close enough for the top brass of both organisations to be sharing a fifth-floor grandstand box at Cheltenham.

The deal, due to be announced on Monday, will switch off TV racing on BBC with the sport only being covered on 5 Live, who on Friday apologised for announcing Aussie bowler Merv Hughes had died, when it was Welsh rugby legend Mervyn Davies.

Zara in demand

Cheltenham racecourse chairman Robert Waley-Cohen wanted GB equestrian hopeful Zara Phillips to be the rider carrying the Olympic flame on horseback when the torch relay comes to Prestbury Park on May 23.
However, she is already committed to being part of Samsung’s sponsorship of the relay.

With a Friend like that…

Sir Alex Ferguson’s horse What A Friend fell at the second fence of a Cheltenham Gold Cup won by Synchronised – owned by JP McManus, who had a nuclear fall-out with Fergie over the breeding rights to Rock Of Gibraltar.

And JP also received jump racing’s most prestigious trophy from race sponsor Betfred’s boss Fred Done, whose brother Peter is part of Fergie’s racehorse ownership group. Fred’s wife Mo was so sure Synchronised would win she texted friend Jacqui O’Neill, wife of winning trainer Jonjo, on Friday morning to say she would see her in the winner’s enclosure at 3.40pm.

Good things come to those who wait

The arrival of talkSPORT’s bon viveur breakfast show host Alan Brazil in the Guinness Village at his beloved Cheltenham had been delayed until on Friday because – much to his upset – his programme wasn’t being broadcast from the course.

To further aggravate the thirsty Brazil, he was one of many who arrived at Cheltenham railway station on Friday to find no buses or taxis to the racecourse available. The reason given was gridlock caused by the arrival of Princess Anne.

Torres stirs up Nike-Adidas rivalry

Fernando Torres’s Chelsea travails include wearing a Nike headband when coming on against Napoli, in contravention of the club’s deal with adidas, who must supply all the kit apart from boots. Nike say it was not deliberate ambush marketing while adidas said: ‘We have a contract with the club and are confident they will manage this with the player.’

A Chelsea spokesperson said it ‘wasn’t ideal’, and that Torres wouldn’t be wearing the headwear again during the adidas contract.