Tag Archives: fanbase

Leeds United takeover – fans happy with GFH Capital

Happy Leeds fans hail new era as GFH finally complete Elland Road takeover

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 21 December 2012

The chairman of the Leeds United Supporters Trust claims the club are ready for the start of a new era after GFH Capital completed their takeover.

GFH, a private equity firm based in Dubai, finally bought Leeds from Ken Bates on Friday and are ready to invest in Neil Warnock’s team to mount a promotion challenge this season.

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

All smiles: (left to right) David Haigh, Shaun Harvey and Salem Patel

Lifelong Leeds fan David Haigh and Salem Patel opened talks last May with Bates, who will remain as chairman until the end of the season.

They finalised the takeover after completing the Football League’s owners and directors test on Monday.

Gary Cooper, who formed LUST in 2010, said: ‘We were told to live the dream in the mid-1990s and that nearly sent the club out of existence.

‘What we need now is a board with sensible plans and commitment to making Leeds United great again.

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

All white on the night: Leeds celebrate taking the lead against Chelsea

‘We hope GFH are able to do that and everything they have said points to them being able to do so.

‘The board needs to reconnect with the people of Leeds and its supporters and they will come back in their thousands.

‘Attendances have dipped in recent years, but we saw against Chelsea on Wednesday we still have a huge fanbase.’

Arsenal modern football tragedy – Neil Ashton comment

NEIL ASHTON: No grounds for complaint. Arsenal are a modern football tragedy

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UPDATED:

11:16 GMT, 12 December 2012

In June 1995, Manchester United began one of the biggest stadium redevelopment projects in modern football.

The plan was for Sir Alex Ferguson to take care of the trophies and in return the money men would turn this iconic venue into the Theatre of Dreams.

United’s incredible redevelopment at Old Trafford, which was phased over an 11-year period, did not stop them winning trophies.

Entering the fray: Arsene Wenger walks onto the pitch before the match

Humiliated: Arsene Wenger (below) saw his Arsenal dumped out of the Capital One Cup to Bradford

Fall guys: Humiliated Arsenal were dumped out of the Capital One Cup to League Two side Bradford City

Fall guys: Humiliated Arsenal were dumped out of the Capital One Cup to League Two side Bradford City

Between 1995, when the old North Stand (now the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand) was knocked down, and the completion of the quadrants in the north east and north west of the stadium in 2006, United won nine major trophies.

Arsenal, their rivals at the time for the game’s big prizes, will have you believe it’s not possible to move to a new stadium and compete for silverware.

Don’t let them have you over. It’s simply not true.

United began to redevelop their stadium in June 1995 when the North Stand was demolished and replaced, over the course of a year, by a new stand that cost 18m.

It was completed in time for Old Trafford to host several games during Euro 1996, but United had designs on increasing the capacity even further.

Theatre of Dreams: Manchester United's re-building of Old Trafford has not dented their push for honours

Theatre of Dreams: Man United's re-building of Old Trafford has not dented their push for honours (below)

Champagne supernova: Ryan Giggs celebrates success at Old Trafford with United in 2009

They had been restricted when the full recommendations of the Taylor Report took effect and were down to a capacity of just 44,000 by 1992.

Once the team got going under Sir Alex Ferguson, winning Premier League titles in 1993 and 1994, plus FA Cup wins in 1994, they needed a far bigger stadium to accommodate their worldwide fanbase.

They were up to 55,000 in time for the team to win Premier League titles in 1996, 1997 and 1999, along with another FA Cup in 1996, before they began yet another programme of expansion.

In January 2000, the season United won their sixth Premier League title under Ferguson, work was completed on the second tier to the old Scoreboard End (East Stand).

Later they added a second tier to the West Stand, the famous Stretford End, as the team continued to win trophy after trophy.

/12/12/article-2246824-0950148A000005DC-883_634x301.jpg” width=”634″ height=”301″ alt=”Empty trophy room: Arsenal have not won any silverware since they moved in at the Emirates Stadium” class=”blkBorder” />

Empty trophy room: Arsenal have not won any silverware since they moved in at the Emirates Stadium

/12/12/article-2246824-047CC1090000044D-344_634x383.jpg” width=”634″ height=”383″ alt=”Past glories: The Gunners have not been able to emulate their Highbury highs since they switched to the Emirates” class=”blkBorder” />

Past glories: The Gunners have not been able to emulate their Highbury highs since they switched to the Emirates

ARSENAL'S LEAGUE FINISHES SINCE THEY MOVED TO THE EMIRATES…

2006/07: 4th (68 points)

2007/08: 3rd (83 points)

2008/09: 4th (72 points)

2009/10: 3rd (75 points)

2010/11: 4th (68 points)

2011/12: 3rd (70 points)

After moving to their new home at Ashburton Grove, they finished fourth in their first season at the 60,000-capacity stadium, 21 points behind champions United.

The following year they were third, four points off United at the top; in 2009 they finished fourth, 18 points shy of United; in 2010 they were third, 11 behind champions Chelsea; in 2011 they finished fourth, 12 points behind winners United; last season they finished third, 19 points short of champions Manchester City.

Forget the Champions League and the FA Cup since they moved from Highbury and it even seems cruel to mention the defeat in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham at Wembley in February 2011.

Incredibly, during United’s massive rebuilding project at Old Trafford, they didn’t manage to pick up a single League Cup.

After last night’s embarrassing and humiliating defeat against Bradford City at Valley Parade, it’s also beyond Arsenal.

Chelsea at the FIFA Club World Cup: VIDEO – Blues the new darlings of Japan? Graham Chadwick blog

Graham Chadwick's video blog: Are Chelsea set to replace United as darlings of the Far East

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UPDATED:

16:17 GMT, 11 December 2012

Sportsmail photographer Graham Chadwick has travelled to Japan with Chelsea as they prepare for their first game of the FIFA Club World Cup this Thursday.

Watch Graham's latest video blog as the Blues are given a rousing reception in Yokohama.

Chelsea were mobbed by legions of adoring fans at their hotel in Yokohama ahead of their FIFA Club World Cup entrance against Mexican side Monterrey on Thursday.

The back-in-form Fernando Torres appeared especially popular with the locals hunting autographs from their heroes.

And even Rafa Benitez's signature was in demand – a welcome change from the less than warm welcome he has received from Chelsea's fans back home in west London.

Chelsea's evident popularity in the Far East will be music to the ears of the money men at Stamford Bridge, who dream of emulating Manchester United's global fanbase and reaping the obvious financial rewards.

And it looks like United might have serious rivals for the hearts of Japanese fans if these scenes are anything to go by.

Watch the video…

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West Ham Premier League return with Tottenham chosen for Monday night kick-off

Fears over West Ham v Spurs as return match is moved to 8pm kick-off amid tensions over offensive chants

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UPDATED:

16:59 GMT, 4 December 2012

February's Premier League match between West Ham and Tottenham has been moved to a Monday evening, despite offensive and anti-semitic chanting by Hammers fans in the return fixture last month.

The match at Upton Park will be shown live Sky Sports at 8pm on Monday February 25.

The decision to move the fixture comes just a few weeks after a match between the sides at White Hart Lane, played at 4pm on a Sunday afternoon, was marred by offensive chanting from the away end.

Flashpoint:The last match between Tottenham and West Ham was marred by offensive chanting

Flashpoint:The last match between Tottenham and West Ham was marred by offensive chanting

West Ham fans chanted 'Viva Lazio' and sang songs about former Lazio and Hammers player Paolo Di Canio to taunt Tottenham fans in the week a group were brutally attacked before a Europa League tie in Rome.

They also made hissing noises to mimic the sounds of the death chambers at concentration camps during World War Two and sang about Adolf Hitler in reference to Tottenham's large Jewish fanbase.

There will be fears that a television-imposed late kick-off for the return match could lead to similar offensive chanting as a great deal of bad blood remains between the two sets of supporters.

It was also announced today that ITV One will screen West Ham's FA Cup third round tie with Manchester United at 5.15pm on Saturday January 5.

Newcastle United's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion will also be on ITV at 12.30pm on the Saturday, a repeat of last season's fourth round match that Brighton won 1-0.

Upset: Will Buckley scored the winner last season when Brighton knocked out Newcastle in the fourth round

Upset: Will Buckley scored the winner last season when Brighton knocked out Newcastle in the fourth round

ESPN have chosen three live matches for later in the weekend, starting with Swansea City vs. Arsenal on Sunday January 6 at 1.30pm.

Liverpool's trip to either Mansfield Town or Lincoln City will be screen on ESPN at 4pm on the Sunday, while Everton's game at either Cheltenham Town or Hereford United is live at 7.45pm on Monday January 7.

Mick McCarthy confirmed new Ipswich manager

McCarthy targets Premier League return after penning deal to take over at Ipswich

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UPDATED:

09:28 GMT, 1 November 2012

Mick McCarthy has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to take over as Ipswich Town's new manager.

McCarthy had been keen to make a return to the game after being sacked by Wolves back in February and the former Republic of Ireland manager revealed he was delighted to follow Paul Jewell, who left the club last week, into the hot seat at Portman Road.

'I’m obviously delighted to have been given the job as Ipswich Town manager and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead,' said McCarthy in a statement.

Back in business: Mick McCarthy is set to be named as new manager of Ipswich

Back in business: Mick McCarthy has been named as new manager of Ipswich

'It’s a fantastic football club, with a proud tradition and history and a terrific fanbase. While the long term ambition is to take the club back into the Premier League, it’s clear that the first priority is to get some confidence back into the team and start climbing the table.'

Town chief executive Simon Clegg added: 'I am delighted to welcome Mick and Terry to Portman Road.

'We are under no illusions of the challenge ahead for this Club given our position in the table but we feel we have the right manager to lead that challenge.

Bad start: The Tractor Boys are rooted to the foot of the Championship table

Bad start: The Tractor Boys are rooted to the foot of the Championship table

'Mick has a wealth of knowledge in the game and has shown that he knows how to compete successfully in the Championship in his time at both Sunderland and Wolves.

'While the first task is to guide the Club away from our current position, we believe Mick has all the credentials and drive to eventually bring success back to Ipswich Town.'

Ipswich are currently bottom of the Championship and have gone 12 games without a win.

Bad run: Ipswich sunk to bottom of the table under Paul Jewell

Sacked: Ipswich sank fast under Paul Jewell, who lost his job last week

Both Alan Curbishley and Alan Shearer were also linked with the position, but the Ipswich board felt McCarthy is the right choice to revive the club's fortunes and hope he can steer the club away from the danger zone.

McCarthy will take charge of his first game when Ipswich face Birmingham on Saturday.

Lance Armstrong sanctions ratified by UCI

Finally… UCI ratify Armstrong sanctions after years of ignorance over doping

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 22 October 2012

Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after
the sport's world governing body, the UCI, accepted the findings of the
United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation.

Armstrong refused to co-operate with USADA, who earlier this month published
a 1,000-page report which concluded the Texan and his United States Postal
Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping
programme that sport has ever seen'.

In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, the UCI had 21 days to
respond, until October 31, and president Pat McQuaid today announced the world
governing body would accept USADA's findings and ratified the sanctions imposed
on Armstrong.

It means the Texan has been stripped of all results since August 1, 1998 and
banned for life.

At a media conference in Geneva, McQuaid said: '(The UCI) will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and it will recognise the sanctions that USADA has imposed.

'The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.'

More to follow…

Shamed: Lance Armstrong, who finds out on Monday whether the USADA's report will be accepted by the UCI, spoke to participants at The Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin, Texas, on Sunday

Shamed: Lance Armstrong, who finds out on Monday whether the USADA's report will be accepted by the UCI, spoke to participants at The Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin, Texas, on Sunday


Fanbase: University of Texas college football fans sport Livestrong, Armstrong's cancer-fighting charity, t-shirts during their cancer-awareness game

Fanbase: University of Texas college football fans sport Livestrong, Armstrong's cancer-fighting charity, t-shirts during their cancer-awareness game

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'


Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Olympic Stadium could become white elephant – Sam Allardyce

Give us the Olympic Stadium or it'll become a white elephant, says West Ham boss Allardyce

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 13 August 2012

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has warned London's Olympic Stadium could become a 'white elephant' if his side are not allowed to relocate there.

The Stratford venue has been the centre of a glorious fortnight of sport, culminating in Sunday night's spectacular closing ceremony.

Spectacular: The Olympics went out with a bang on Sunday night

Spectacular: The Olympics went out with a bang on Sunday night

Spectacular: The Olympics went out with a bang on Sunday night

But its future has long been the subject of debate, with the Hammers initially denied tenancy last October following a legal dispute involving Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

The need to preserve a home for athletics at the stadium was central to London 2012's legacy aims, but Allardyce insists the stadium and surrounding park will fall into decline without the regular use provided by Premier League football.

Proposal: West Ham are looking to redevelop the Olympic Stadium

Proposal: West Ham are looking to redevelop the Olympic Stadium

He told the Times: 'If they keep it for athletics, the only time it will ever get a big crowd again after the Olympics is when they hold the World Championships there in five years' time.

'You only have to look around the world at some of the Olympic Stadiums that have been built. They're white elephants now. There are weeds growing there. Look at the 'Bird's Nest' in Beijing. Look at Athens.

Deserted: The clean-up operation begins on Monday

Deserted: The clean-up operation begins on Monday

Deserted: The clean-up operation begins on Monday

Derelict: The Athens taekwondo (above) and beach volleyball (below) stadiums

Derelict: The Athens taekwondo (above) and beach volleyball (below) stadiums

Derelict: The Athens taekwondo (above) and beach volleyball (below) stadiums

'The Olympic Park is a fantastic place, but it can't be left to rack and ruin. If a club with the history and fanbase and potential of West Ham don't go there, the concern would be that the park is left empty the vast majority of the time.

'I can understand some West Ham fans feeling that they don't want to leave the history and tradition of Upton Park, but it's an incredible opportunity for the club to move forward.'

Legacy: The future of the Olympic Stadium remains unresolved

Legacy: The future of the Olympic Stadium remains unresolved

Manchester United shares to trade at huge discount

United for sale at discount price! Red Devils' shares to trade for half a billion less than planned

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UPDATED:

09:35 GMT, 10 August 2012

Manchester United shares will start trading in New York on Friday at a big discount on the club's earlier expectations over its worth.

United's advisers will offer a 10% stake at a price of 14 US dollars (9), valuing it at around 1.5billion, but much lower than the range of 16 to 20 US dollars (10-12) it had hoped to achieve, worth up to 2.1billion.

The club, bought by the Glazer family in 2005 for about 800million, will raise about 233 million US dollars (149million) and this will be partly used to pay off some of its debt.

Say what Manchester United shares will go for less than first planned

Say what Manchester United shares will go for less than first planned

The lower flotation price comes after the Glazer family, which also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers NFL gridiron team, previously failed to garner sufficient support to sell shares on exchanges in Hong Kong and Singapore.

However, United, which claims to have a global fanbase of about 660million and has won a record 19 league titles, is still one of the world's most valuable sports teams.

Its shares will begin trading today under the stock market ticker Manu.

Richard Hunter, head of UK equities at Hargreaves Lansdown stockbrokers, said the lowering of the flotation price was 'disappointing but not unexpected'.

He added: 'As was the case with the UK experience, football clubs are notoriously difficult investments, ultimately tied to the fortunes of the club on the pitch. However, interest in the sport is taking off in the US and last night's Olympics victory for the women's football team is likely to fuel interest further.'

It had been expected that the Glazers would make about 90million from the deal, with the remaining proceeds raised in the initial public offering (IPO) used to pay down some of the 134-year-old club's debt, which was last reported to be around 423 million.

Although the listing has been planned for some time, the Glazer family originally claimed all the proceeds would go towards paying down United's debt, angering fans.

A successful IPO would reportedly result in investors owning 42% of the shares available but only carrying voting rights of 1.3%.

Earlier this month, a leading Manchester United fans' group called for a boycott of the club's expanding portfolio of sponsors in protest at the planned flotation.

A statement from the Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) read: 'The Manchester United Supporters Trust has today called for a worldwide boycott of Manchester United sponsors' products, with support across the UK, Europe, Asia and the US.

'The boycott strategy is intended to send a loud and clear message to the Glazer family and club sponsors that, without the support and purchasing power of the fans, the global strength of the Manchester United brand doesn't actually exist.'

MUST has tried such tactics before during the Glazer regime, although it has not prevented the Red Devils' territory-specific approach allowing them to become the first club to smash through the annual 100million barrier for commercial revenue alone.

Rangers crisis: Now summer tour to Germany is off

Rangers… the club where bad news just keeps on coming

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UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 5 July 2012

The bad news keeps on coming for Rangers. The club’s proposed summer tour to Germany was cancelled on Thursday. That follows the cancellation of friendlies against Le Havre and Southampton.

That followed last month’s liquidation, which followed February’s administration. It in turn followed Rangers’ bankruptcy — economic and, some say, moral. For Rangers fans, who sing of their determination to ‘follow on’, where this now leads is guesswork.

Waiting game: Longmuir has revealed the SFL plans to vote on Rangers

Waiting game: Longmuir has revealed the SFL plans to vote on Rangers

On Wednesday, Rangers’ unravelling present led them to Hampden Park, Scottish football’s headquarters. There they were informed by their peers in the Scottish Premier League that Rangers’ financial misdemeanours — including tax avoidance — meant they were no longer welcome. Their behaviour over a period of years had compromised the SPL’s sporting integrity.

Rangers’ new owners — the original company formed in 1872 died on June 12, 2012 — seemed shocked at this. If so, they badly misread a clear public mood in Scotland that says Rangers need punishment. Even among their own fanbase, this mood exists to varying degrees.

So here we are, 29 days before the next SPL season, and there is chaos.
Yet another week will slowly pass before a return to Hampden. Then the Scottish Football League will decide on which division Rangers enter.

The governing body, the SFA, have made apocalyptic statements regarding the possibility that anywhere other than the First Division would mean ‘meltdown’.

If Rangers are sent to the bottom, the Third Division, to start again, they would not be back in the Scottish top flight until August 2015 at the earliest, a year after the next World Cup. It is understood that small print enables Sky TV and ESPN to walk away from their agreements should this be next Friday’s decision. The SFA stress 15.7million would be lost instantly.

On Wednesday, SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said that TV could ‘live’ with Rangers in the First Division for the assumed one season because of the ‘theatre’ of it all.

Crisis: The Ibrox club's future remains uncertain

Crisis: The Ibrox club's future remains uncertain

Rangers, the new company romantically
called Sevco 5088, will still have to operate under a 12-month transfer
embargo and, while ‘we don’t do walking away’ became a springtime
catchphrase, Wylde, Davis, Lafferty, Naismith, Aluko, Whittaker, Ness
and other players have walked away since. Ally McCoist remains as
manager.

With an ad hoc squad there is no guarantee Rangers would win the First
Division but, if they did, it would mean only one season without
Celtic-Rangers games and, as Regan said: ‘It’s no secret that the media
value of TV contracts is predicated on Old Firm derbies.

‘Without Old Firm derbies the value takes a substantial drop. The
overseas rights are almost exclusively about Old Firm derbies, they’re
the only matches overseas want to take.

‘I think it’s fair to say that the broadcasters would live without a
year (of the Old Firm), knowing that there is a chance that year could
be of terrific interest — “How are this team going to do” There will be
a galvanising of fans, a siege mentality, the broadcasters see that as a
positive.

‘But, beyond that, you start to think that media value will be less and
less. They cannot possibly agree to a five-year contract when a
substantial period of that contract does not contain games they thought
they’d bought.’

Rangers

A hazard for this argument is that Livingston were relegated to the
Third Division, from the First, three years ago after liquidation. They
are the precedent. If ‘sporting integrity’ is the aim, then Rangers
should follow Livingston and Sky TV can join those walking away.

Emotionally, this is popular. It ties in with a public mood that wants
the powerful, whether they be bankers, politicians or football club
owners, punished — not bailed out.

Rangers have accumulated debt of 130m and anxious creditors. Many fans
in Scotland feel trapped. Dick Advocaat, the Ibrox Imelda Marcos, spent
92m on players — 12m on Tore Andre Flo — and a strong feeling is that
Rangers bought their success. Ibrox lived beyond its means and opponents
think they paid for it, once then, now a second time.

The chairmen of the Scottish First Division clubs know this is the angry will of their people. It has shaped their thoughts.

In the midst of this, though, it is worth asking if Livingston really
are a suitable precedent. Formerly Meadowbank Thistle, Livingston have
been in their town only since 1995. The capacity of Almondvale is
10,000. When Livingston entered the Third Division, their first home
game attracted 632 spectators. In an English sense it’s like comparing
Manchester United to Stevenage.

Against that stand principles of fairness, justice, sporting integrity.
Scotland is one of the homes of the game but the place is a mess. Celtic
are 1-33 to win the SPL next season, which would make it 28 years since
a club outside the Old Firm won the league title. If Rangers are
guilty of looking after themselves, Scottish football is guilty of not
doing so.

No rush for Kell Brook world title fight, says promoter

Brook aiming for world title shot this year… but promoter Hearn says there is no rush

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UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 3 July 2012

Promoter Eddie Hearn has called for patience as the clamour for emerging star Kell Brook to fight for a world title intensifies.

Unbeaten Sheffield welterweight Brook rose through the ranks steadily before seeing his profile soar since teaming up with Hearn's Matchroom firm.

A number of big wins over the past year, coupled with a rapidly growing fanbase, has given Brook, his supporters and the media itchy feet as he inches towards a world title shot.

Face off: Kell Brook and Carson Jones go head to head before their fight as promoter Eddie Hearn stands in the middle

Face off: Kell Brook and Carson Jones go head to head before their fight as promoter Eddie Hearn stands in the middle

However, Brook must beat American Carson Jones on Saturday before meeting Argentinian Hector Saldivia in a final eliminator for a shot at the title, which is currently held by Randall Bailey.

Hearn insists the process must take time in order to secure a mandatory title shot.

'I know everybody wants Kell Brook to go and fight Floyd Mayweather tomorrow but the guy is 26 years of age,' he said.

'There is no tearing rush. I want to make sure we're in a position this year to fight for a world title but what is so important to us is that Kell Brook becomes a mandatory challenger for a world title.

Unbeaten: Brook has a perfect record so far

Unbeaten: Brook has a perfect record so far

'We're not prepared to take two or three-fight options for small money in return for a voluntary shot. We want to work our way into a mandatory position. So if that takes an extra fight or an extra two months, it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

'I hear Devon Alexander is going to fight Randall Bailey, the champion, at the beginning of September. So that's fine.

'We'll take the winner, but we'll take them as a mandatory, so there are no ties, we don't have to take a ridiculous purse and meaning we can go and win the world title and then effectively we're a free agent.

'It's so difficult to manufacture a world title shot, particularly in this division. That's why we want to become a mandatory.

Title shot: Brook is aiming for a world title fight before the end of the year

Title shot: Brook is aiming for a world title fight before the end of the year

'It's a big fight anyway. I expect Alexander to beat Bailey so Brook v Alexander, probably some time in December, is going to be a huge fight.

'He's got to beat Saldivia first – he's got to beat Carson Jones even before that – but we're confident of winning both.'

Brook (27-0, 18KOs) and Jones (34-8-2, 24KO wins) came face to face again today for the first time since a fractious meeting when the fight was announced. And the Yorkshireman continued to try to get under Jones' skin at the final pre-fight press conference.

'I notice Carson's slimmed down and looks trim but that big head of his hasn't shrunk down,' he said. 'We're going to be hitting that big head on Saturday and hurting him.”

Addressing Jones directly, he added: 'I don't like the kid. I can't wait to knock you out. You've been beaten before whereas I don't think I've even lost a round.

'You sure aren't going to touch me. You're going to get smoked!'

Oklahoma native Jones unsurprisingly claimed his preparations have been perfect and said: 'I don't care who I'm fighting, I'm going to train like I'm fighting Floyd Mayweather.

'This guy has never been in with anybody as bad as I am.'

Demanding Brook's attention, Jones added: 'Look at me – I feel sorry for you on Saturday.'