Tag Archives: draper

Arsene Wenger will decide if Theo Walcott stays at Arsenal

What are you waiting for Arsene weighing up Theo contract decision

By
Rob Draper

PUBLISHED:

22:33 GMT, 5 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 5 January 2013

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he will decide if Theo Walcott wants to stay at Arsenal.

The manager is weighing up whether to recommend an 85,000-a-week deal to his board that would break the impasse in contract talks and see the England attacker sign for another four years.

Wenger, whose team take on Swansea in the FA Cup on Sunday, has almost unprecedented power as a manager at a club.

I'm in charge: Arsene Wenger (pictured) has said he will make the final decision over Theo Walcott's future at Arsenal

I'm in charge: Arsene Wenger (pictured) has said he will make the final decision over Theo Walcott's future at Arsenal

And he admits the current wage structure at Arsenal, which many fans feel undervalues their top stars even though the 143million the salary bill is the fourth highest in the Premier League, is directed by him.

Though Arsenal executive Dick Law would conduct negotiations with Walcott’s representatives, he acts on Wenger’s recommendations on salaries.

The manager is given a wages budget by the board, but then it is up to him how high or low the salaries are for individual players.

Wenger added: ‘I don’t know how it works at other clubs. But it’s not only me: it’s in cooperation with the board.

On fire: Theo Walcott (left) has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games

On fire: Theo Walcott (left) has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games

'When I want to go far [in setting a higher salary for a player], I ask the authorisation of the board.’

No substantial talks on Walcott’s contract were held last week other than the usual courtesy conversation between Law and Walcott’s representatives, so the issue is no closer to resolution.

But both parties hope this coming week will be more productive with detailed discussions.

Not losing Walcott is Wenger’s priority now, since the player has scored 14 goals after starting the season isolated and on the bench, when Arsenal attempted to pressure him into signing a 75,000-a-week contract.

Walcott held firm and might have paid for it by starting the season outside the starting XI.

But he has proved his worth since then and the club now realise it would be a public relations disaster to lose him in the wake of the recent departures of Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Alex Song.

Stand-off: Walcott (right) started the season on the bench but has become a key play for Arsenal in recent weeks

Stand-off: Walcott (right) started the season on the bench but has become a key play for Arsenal in recent weeks

Andrew Strauss set for ECB role – Charles Sale

Strauss touted for ECB's top job after Test series victory

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 18 December 2012

England cricket, fresh from the momentous series win in India, are planning for the long term with former captain Andrew Strauss set to take a consultancy role with the national team.

Strauss, who stepped down as Test skipper last summer, still has to make up his mind about his future and has a number of options. But he wants to stay involved in the game and the ECB are keen for him to do so.

So much so that Strauss will spend time over the next year working with England managing director Hugh Morris — at Morris’s instigation — to gain more understanding of his role.

Join us: Andrew Strauss is set to take an ECB consultancy role

Join us: Andrew Strauss is set to take an ECB consultancy role

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Top flight divided on financial fair play ahead of summit
17/12/12

Charles Sale: Fight against the Hammers' Olympic stadium occupation will continue, says Hearn
15/12/12

Charles Sale: Net gain for Draper as LTA chief pockets 640k… four times more than the Prime Minister
13/12/12

Charles Sale: Arsenal follow United's lead by claiming packed stadium despite rows of empty seats at Emirates
12/12/12

Charles Sale: Leeds anxious as buyers GFH Capital fail to pay on time
12/12/12

Charles Sale: Portsmouth's court date with destiny could end in extinction
07/12/12

Charles Sale: Diamond League can add some sparkle to Stratford before the bulldozers move in
06/12/12

Charles Sale: Hearn is ready to throw in the towel over West Ham's Olympic Stadium move
05/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

And there is hope at the ECB that Strauss will enjoy the experience enough to want to eventually succeed Morris. That would ensure, in time, as seamless a transition off the pitch as Strauss handing over to Alastair Cook has proved on it.

Strauss, with Morris and team director Andy Flower – limited-overs coach Ashley Giles is in line to be his future replacement — were responsible for taking England’s Test side to No 1 in the world. An ECB spokesperson said: ‘We do not want to lose Andrew from cricket.’

Draper's not around to talk about funding cut

Roger Draper, 640,000-a-year Lawn Tennis Association chief executive, wasn’t even available to take a call from Sport England explaining why most of his dysfunctional organisation’s grass-roots funding had been frozen. Draper, who this year added 15 staff to an extraordinary 300-plus workforce, was in Miami at a tennis training camp. But Draper and his LTA are ‘in the shop window like never before’ according to Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson, who described the cut as ‘pretty humiliating’ for tennis.

Robertson backs Sir Keith

Meanwhile, Robertson is getting behind Sir Keith Mills’s attempts to establish a British Sports Marketing Bureau to attract sports sponsorships. Robertson has written to the major professional sports resistant to the project. But he said: ‘Who do you want negotiating your sponsorships — an in-house team or Sir Keith’

Backed: Hugh Robertson is behind Sir Keith Mills's attempts to gain sponsors

Backed: Hugh Robertson is behind Sir Keith Mills's attempts to gain sponsors

British Basketball up in arms

British Basketball, whose men’s team won just one of their five group games at London 2012 and whose women won none, are understood to have been more surprised than UK Sport believe they should have been to find out they had lost their 8.5million of elite funding due to having little chance of qualifying for Rio 2016, let alone any medal prospects.

FFP common ground

The Premier League clubs have found enough in common over financial fair play for them to at least agree yesterday to further discuss UEFA’s break-even model and a short-term wage cap. Manchester City, Fulham and Aston Villa and West Bromwich remain opposed to any restrictions, but there was the necessary support of 14 clubs to take FFP forward to the next PL summit, in February.

Scotland and Wales complaining again

Scotland and Wales, who caused the most fuss over the Team GB football team, are predictably the home countries who have the most objections to a British Amateur Boxing Association board being the lead body in charge of the sport’s 44 per cent increase in UK Sport funding — now 13.8million — for the next Olympic cycle. Only one year of the monies will be given until the governance issue is resolved.

Differing opinions: Ken Bates is confident the Leeds deal will go ahead

Differing opinions: Ken Bates is confident the Leeds deal will go ahead

Leeds situation still in doubt

Leeds owner Ken Bates says ‘hopefully everything is on course’ for Gulf Finance House’s takeover to be completed on Friday as scheduled, despite a recent missed payment. But there are some, with varying knowledge of the deal, who doubt it will happen — even at this stage. The Football League’s talks with Leeds over the fit-and-proper-persons test for the new owners and directors are ongoing.

Terry and Ferdinand families unite

The Ferdinand and Terry families, so opposed during John Terry’s racism case, came together to pay their respects to Mitchell Cole, brother-in-law of Liverpool’s Joe Cole. Anton Ferdinand and Terry’s brother Paul were at Harwood Park Crematorium in Knebworth for the funeral of Mitchell, 27, a former Southend and Stevenage midfielder who died of a heart condition.

EURO 2012: No scapegoats for England

No hype, no hysteria, no expectations and, for now, no scapegoats

By
Rob Draper

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 9 June 2012

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 9 June 2012

Gone are the hopeful headlines and the vain boasts about world-class players performing in the game’s greatest league. Tickets remain unsold and the collective hysteria that once gripped a nation, and which quickly transformed into a search for a scapegoat is, for once, absent.

England no longer expects much from its footballers. With good reason, it might be said, given their record of reaching just two semi-finals and five quarter-finals in major tournaments since that famous home win of 1966.

Since then we have celebrated home draws with Greece or exciting evenings in Munich as though they were the herald of a new age. Even a 0-0 draw in Rome was transformed into a great result.

No pressure: England aren't expected to come close to winning Euro 2012

No pressure: England aren't expected to come close to winning Euro 2012

But these were World Cup qualifying games and Gary Neville, now an England coach, refers to the furore that followed them as the ‘madness of Rome and Munich and Greece’.

Football’s Coming Home, which still blares out embarrassingly at Wembley, speaks of ‘30 years of hurt’. Make that 46 years and counting. Except that it no longer hurts because we no longer expect.

In reality, the squad of players who will embark on their quest on Monday, or at least the first XI, are probably better than the team that started at the World Cup in South Africa.

Defensively, they will be as fragile against pace and true quality as ever, but they have a first-class goalkeeper in Joe Hart and a considerably better centre-forward than Emile Heskey in Danny Welbeck.

In Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain there is some genuine craft and while Wayne Rooney may be suspended for two games, he may as well have been for all four in South Africa. One day we might add Jack Wilshere to this mix, too.

Dig below the surface and even more progress is apparent with the FA’s work in setting out a proper coaching structure, revolutionising youth football with small-sided games and appropriately-sized goals, and in finally building a centre for study and training at St George’s Park.

Ready to go: England kick off their campaign on Monday

Ready to go: England kick off their campaign on Monday

All that, though, might yield results in 10 years. For now, we are stuck with the England of old.

At Euro 2012 we are more likely to marvel at Germany’s Mesut Ozil, re-acquaint ourselves with the joy of Spain’s Xavi and Andres Iniesta and the exquisite skills of Holland’s Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben.

And on Monday we may well witness a new France emerging as Karim Benzema, Yohan Cabaye and Samir Nasri combine.

The connection All three nations have taken youth development and coaching seriously for the past 20 years, while the English game just grew fat and lazy on Sky’s money.

While Roy Hodgson may not excite, at least the FA have managed to avoid indulging in the cult of the personality that fooled English football for so long. Hodgson is dependable and England are well organised.

It may not sound inspiring but it is a start. It would be facile, in any case, to expect Hodgson to correct ancient failings after 40 days in the job. In the past week we have watched a poor Norway side and a decent Belgium team out-pass England. Neither qualified for this tournament.

When was the last time England played with panache and flair at a major tournament

Heartache: England last reached a major semi-final in 1996

Heartache: England last reached a major semi-final in 1996

The 1990 World Cup semi-final against Germany Euro 96’s famous 4-1 victory against Holland, followed by another epic semi-final against the Germans The heroic failure against Argentina in 1998 That lamentable record is unlikely to change here.

Neville, prior to his appointment to Hodgson’s team, spoke about the grid of straight-line, 4-4-2 football that bedevils England.

By conceding possession to technically superior teams, England end up compressed deep in their half. Forwards then drop deep looking for the ball and midfielders who rampage in the Premier League instead find themselves playing a yard in front of their centre-halves.

When England finally win the ball, they cannot get into a creative attacking shape so lose the ball again and the process repeats.

The team end up chasing shadows and the nation grows ever more dispirited. Most international teams play in between those straight lines and rotate positions constantly. England have rarely done so.

Hodgson and Neville know England have to correct that and, in time, they may prevail. But this is likely to be a tournament too soon. Solidity may be the most we can hope for; expansion will have to wait.

Roger Draper defiant after bad week concludes with Great Britain"s Davis Cup defeat

Draper defiant after bad week concludes with Britain's chastening Davis Cup defeat

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UPDATED:

21:37 GMT, 8 April 2012

A dispiriting week for British tennis ended with defeat in the Davis Cup and the game’s domestic hierarchy batting away any suggestion that under-pressure chief executive Roger Draper should be replaced.

Predictably enough, a 3-1 defeat was sealed at Glasgow’s Braehead Arena on Sunday when Josh Goodall was beaten 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 by Belgium’s David Goffin, thus ending any hopes of Britain returning to the World Group next year.

It came on the back of poor participation figures being released that led to the Lawn Tennis Association being docked 500,000 in its funding from Sport England, bringing renewed focus on Draper’s position.

Tough times: Roger Draper (right) watches Davis Cup defeat

Tough times: Roger Draper (right) watches Davis Cup defeat

Yet there appears to be no internal pressure from the LTA’s main board, with both he and president Peter Bretherton insisting that the wealthy and underachieving sport is heading in the right direction.

While accepting Sport England’s figures, the governing body point to other measurements suggesting more people are playing in the UK, and Draper would not countenance the idea of resigning.

‘We’re six years into a 10-year programme,’ he said. ‘Whether it’s commercial, our events or on the performance side I actually think progress is being made.’

While he can point to a promising crop of players emerging from the juniors, the senior men’s rankings, for instance, have gone backwards since he took over in April 2006. Top 100 players have gone down from three to one, top 300 players from nine to four and top 500 from 18 to 14.

Out of reach: Josh Goodall lost to David Goffin

Out of reach: Josh Goodall lost to David Goffin

Bretherton came out with a mangled explanation of the board’s position: ‘The board has a strategy. We know what the strategy is,’ he said. ‘The putting into practice of the strategy is part of that strategy and the board is satisfied with the strategy and the way it is being put into effect. Until the board decides otherwise, that’s where we are.’

Progress in the women’s Fed Cup and February’s win over Slovakia in the Davis Cup have been among the brighter spots of 2012 but there was little chance of that being added to when the Great Britain team, without Andy Murray, met Belgium.

They replaced their injured No 1 Olivier Rochus with promising world No 112 Goffin and in the dead rubber Dan Evans lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to Ruben Bemelmans.

Sport England cut tennis funding by over 500k due to poor participation figures

Sport England cut tennis funding by over 500k due to poor participation figures

PUBLISHED:

12:51 GMT, 3 April 2012

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 3 April 2012

Sport England have cut their funding of tennis by 530,000 due to disappointing participation figures.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have paid the price for an almost 25 per cent drop in the number of adults playing the sport since 2008.

The British Judo Association (BJA) have also had their funding cut, by 353,000, and both sports have been given new participation targets.

Poor figures: The LTA have had their funding cut by Sport England

Poor figures: The LTA have had their funding cut by Sport England

Sport England's Active People survey showed that the average number of adults playing tennis at least once a week declined from 487,500 in 2007-08 to 375,800 at the latest update.

Sport England's chief executive Jennie Price said: 'The decisions announced today follow lengthy discussions with each of the governing bodies.

'No decision to reduce funding is taken lightly, but Sport England has been clear that failure to achieve the agreed growth in a sport would lead to a governing body's overall funding levels being reviewed.'

The LTA's funding award for 2009 to 2013 now stands at 24.5million – they were also hit in the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Roger Draper, the LTA's chief executive said: 'We recognise that the Active People Survey results are disappointing and accept this reduction in funding.

'We continue to work closely with Sport England in order to grow tennis. Like other sports we face a huge challenge to increase the numbers playing tennis regularly in challenging economic times but participation is our top priority.'

In relation to judo, participation numbers have been flat over the past two years both in terms of the number of people doing the sport at least once a week and once a month.