Tag Archives: footing

Harpsy Cord falls at final fence in Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick

No laughing matter at Limerick as Harpsy Cord falls at the last having led from the front

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 27 December 2012

There was agony for backers of Harpsy Cord in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase as, after leading all the way, he crashed out at the final fence when five lengths clear and seemingly having the two mile three-and-a-half furlong race at his mercy.

That left course specialist Jack Absolute (16-1) in front and he had to be kept right up to his work to hold off Tullintain by a length-and-a-quarter and land the 21,000 prize.

It was not what Harpsy Cord deserved as he had jumped brilliantly in the hands of Keith Donoghue but after pecking on landing at the second-last he got in too tight to the final fence to gift victory to the John Walsh-trained nine-year-old in the hands of Brian O'Connell.

Going... Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going… Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going... Harpsy Cord clips the final fence at the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Steeplechase

Going... Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Going… Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Going... Donoghue is sent flying over the top of Harpsy Cord as he fails to regain his footing

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Gone: Both horse and jockey (who were OK after the fall) hit the deck and kiss goodbye to their hopes of winning

Walsh said: 'That's his eighth win and his sixth around here so it's definitely a case of horses for courses.

'Today was the plan and you can't beat a bit of luck!'

The Earl of Harrington Memorial Maiden Hunters Chase will also live long in the memory for the wrong reasons after the attritional conditions resulted in 13 of the 16 runners failing to complete the course.

The race was won by 11-2 chance Goonyella who slogged through mud best of all to come home a distance clear of Survival, with Thetalkisover (pictured) the only other finisher back in third. The win provided a welcome fillip for trainer Tom Dreaper who had been so luckless earlier in the afternoon with Harpsy Cord.

Conditions took their toll on John Gleeson-trained Thetalkisover who refused to jump the final fence at the first time of asking but finally consented to clamber over and take third place despite being exhausted.

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Third time lucky: Thetalkinisover initially refused to jump the final fence in the Hunters Steeplechase

Katie Walsh was feared to have suffered a shoulder injury when Pocketfullapennies came down at the seventh-last but later tweeted she was 'fine just sore!!'.

England beat India in second Twenty20 – Eoin Morgan scores six off last delivery

Final-ball drama in India as Morgan hammers maximum to hand England Twenty20 victory

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UPDATED:

18:01 GMT, 22 December 2012

Eoin Morgan hit the last ball for a straight six as England pulled off their highest Twenty20 run chase to conclude their 2012 schedule with a thrilling six-wicket victory over India.

It seemed Morgan (49no) had left it too late, with three still needed to win off the final ball from Ashok Dinda.

But the Irishman kept his cool, even after Dinda controversially pulled out of the delivery first time round with Morgan crouched in his stance.

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

Match winner: Morgan hit six off the final delivery to bring England level in the Twenty20 series

An apparent rethink then worked a treat for England as Morgan stood his ground to strike a perfect blow straight back over the seamer's head to tie the two-match series.

England had earlier struggled to contain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina's late onslaught and appeared to be up against it to better 177 for eight at the Wankhede Stadium.

But on a good batting surface, and with a heavy dew making life difficult for India after Morgan had won an important toss, Michael Lumb (50) and then the captain himself scrambled England home.

Even another three economical wickets from Yuvraj Singh could not quite tip the balance India's way this time.

Lumb shared an opening stand of 80 with Alex Hales – and then after Yuvraj had done his worst, Morgan finished the job in company with Jos Buttler.

Lumb counted four from the very first ball of England's chase, thanks to a hapless Parvinder Awana misfield as he lost his footing at third-man.

The same fielder, at deep square-leg, then let the greasy ball slip out of his hands as he dropped Hales when he had just seven.

Lumb also had some minor early fortune, mishooking Awana three times in his first over – for a six, a four and a two.

There were plenty more authentic shots in his 30-ball half-century, including a second six over an unguarded long-on during the powerplay off Ravichandran Ashwin.

As in the first match in Pune, the introduction of Yuvraj's left-arm spin was soon significant.

First, Lumb went walkabout and was stumped down the leg-side to end an opening stand of 80 in the ninth over; then Luke Wright got in a tangle and was hit in front, and finally Hales picked out deep square-leg with a sweep.

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

In the wickets: Dernbach took two key scalps

Yuvraj had taken three for 18 two days ago, and this time he improved his career-best with another three for one run fewer.

Samit Patel holed out in the chase off Dinda, but Morgan and Buttler got the target down to nine off the last over and got home right at the wire.

Wright's first over and Stuart Meaker's last earlier both cost 20 runs, and England had no answer during a 60-run sixth-wicket partnership in just 27 balls between Dhoni and Raina.

Jade Dernbach had struck in only the second over when Ajinkya Rahane carved a catch down to debutant Joe Root at third-man. But first-change Meaker began poorly, with five wides somehow hurled almost straight to fine-leg before he was pulled for four twice.

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

Hitting out: Dhoni was joint top scorer for India with 38 runs

England's outcricket took another turn for the worse when Wright overstepped for a big no-ball, and saw the free-hit slapped wide of mid-on by Virat Kohli for another boundary.

The upshot was a 50 stand for the second wicket in only 25 balls. Meaker redeemed himself with the wicket of Kohli, for the second match running, lbw pushing across the line to a ball which might have beaten leg-stump.

Wright switched ends to make amends too, with another big wicket when Yuvraj pulled to long-on to give Root some more catching practice.

Opener Gautam Gambhir was cast in the sheet-anchor role, but appeared to be taking the brief to extremes – and it was not clear to whose advantage it was when he mis-pulled Wright to be caught at a fine third-man for 17 off 27 balls.

Rohit Sharma missed a slog-sweep at
James Tredwell and was bowled but Raina was dropped on nine, a tough
chance to diving wicketkeeper Buttler off Tim Bresnan.

Then
just when it seemed England might be about to restrict India, the
left-hander went into overdrive in Meaker's last over – and Dhoni's
canny placement and power proved telling too.

England, however, had done just enough in the middle overs to give their batsmen the chance they needed.

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the Twenty 20 match in Mumbai due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Andy Carroll promises more goals to come

Carroll hopes first goal for West Ham will open floodgates ahead of trip to Man United

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UPDATED:

13:32 GMT, 26 November 2012

Andy Carroll believes there are plenty of goals to come after the West Ham striker broke his duck at Tottenham yesterday.

The England striker netted a consolation at White Hart Lane after a Jermain Defoe double and a neat Gareth Bale goal put West Ham three goals down.

Carroll climbed high to nod a perfectly weighted Joey O’Brien cross into the back of the net, wrong-footing Hugo Lloris in the process.

Gold rush Andy Carroll hopes his first strike for West Ham will open the flood gates

Gold rush Andy Carroll hopes his first strike for West Ham will open the flood gates

After a bittersweet trip to north London, Carroll hopes his first goal in a West Ham shirt will give him the impetus to score a couple more against Manchester United or Chelsea this week.

‘It was about time, to be honest,’ Carroll told West Ham TV. ‘I’m just grateful to have got off the mark and hopefully there will be more to come this week.

‘I think I’ve put myself about and been involved in our goals in previous matches. I think I’ve been doing well so it was about time one went in.

‘It was a great ball in by Joey O’Brien and I just had to get up and head it across the keeper. That’s what I did and thankfully it went in.’

Carroll was left to lament a number of mistakes by West Ham which a ruthless Tottenham side duly punished.

Spurs moved out of sight after Mohamed Diame was mugged by Aaron Lennon who squared to Defoe to put the hosts 3-0 up.

‘It was disappointing as we made mistakes for all three of their goals, really.

‘We should have done better, but they have taken their chances and obviously beat us.

Too late: Carroll's late goal came after Gareth Bale and Tottenham has put three past West Ham

Too late: Carroll's late goal came after Gareth Bale and Tottenham has put three past West Ham

Haunted: Old boy Jermain Defoe scored twice against his former club

Haunted: Old boy Jermain Defoe scored twice against his former club

‘Coming here we were up against a great team and they showed that tonight with the passing, the rhythm and the pace they have got in their team. I have to say we were just disappointed with our mistakes because they cost us.’

But Carroll is refusing to dwell on yesterday’s derby defeat, and is turning his attention towards a tricky visit to Old Trafford on Wednesday, before games against Chelsea and Liverpool further down the line.

Next up: Carroll and West Ham travel to Old Trafford

Next up: Carroll and West Ham travel to Old Trafford

‘We have got a tough week, obviously, with Manchester United and then Chelsea and Liverpool coming up. It’ll be tough so we just have to put this behind us now and focus on Wednesday.

“Of course, the big games are what everyone looks forward to, but tonight was disappointing and we just have to put it behind us now and get ready for the Manchester United game.

'This game is all gone now so we’re going to have to concentrate 100 per cent on Wednesday, which is going to be another tough game.’

Kevin Nolan's touches against Tottenham

Andy Carroll's touches against Tottenham

Spot the difference: Andy Carroll's touches against Tottenham (right) in comparison to team-mate Kevin Nolan's (left)

Liverpool are way off the pace thanks to Tom Hicks and George Gillett, says John W Henry

Anfailed! We're way off the pace thanks to Hicks and Gillett, says Henry

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 15 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

John W Henry has spoken of the enormous financial challenge facing Liverpool as he admitted Fenway Sports Group are still paying the price of the previous failed regime.

It is almost two years since FSG took ownership of Liverpool following the acrimonious reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillett that ended with a High Court battle and almost saw the club going into administration.

When Henry and Tom Werner conducted due diligence on Liverpool in October 2010, they were left asking serious questions as to whether it was wise to spend 300million due to the parlous state of the books and the extravagant contracts that some players were being paid.

New regime: Brendan Rodgers has brought the likes of Joe Allen and Fabio Borini to Anfield as Liverpool attempt to challenge for a Champions League place

New regime: Brendan Rodgers has brought the likes of Joe Allen and Fabio Borini to Anfield as Liverpool attempt to challenge for a Champions League place

Given they have not had any Champions League revenue for three years, Liverpool have had no option but to streamline costs this summer and Henry has bluntly revealed that the task of restoring former glories at Anfield will not come easily.

‘The best analogy is that you can’t turn an ocean liner around like you can turn a speedboat,’ said Henry. ‘You could say it was a bigger challenge than (when we bought) the Boston Red Sox.

‘When you look back from this vantage point: the rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United – Liverpool isn’t holding up its side of the rivalry.

Making his point: John W Henry (left), pictured with Tom Werner, has laid into Liverpool's previous owners

Making his point: John W Henry (left), pictured with Tom Werner, has laid into Liverpool's previous owners

‘That is the way it was with the Red Sox and the Yankees. The Yankees were just completely dominant when we arrived here 11 years ago. We knew we could never be on an equal footing financially with The Yankees.

‘But we had to do everything in our power to get on a level footing with them on the playing field. That was a tremendous challenge. As we started to close the gap, they built a new stadium. That was a quantum leap forward. This is an even bigger challenge.’

When Henry became Liverpool’s principal owner, he made a point of saying “I don’t have Sheikh in front of my name” – a clear sign that he would not be ploughing his own fortunes into the team with little worry about getting a return.

Personae non gratae: George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks left an indelible mark on Liverpool Football Club

Personae non gratae: George Gillett (left) and Tom Hicks left an indelible mark on Liverpool Football Club

Liverpool have made giant strides commercially since FSG came in and have just started a 25million a year kit deal with American firm Warrior but that is not a sign they have cleaned up the financial recklessness of the Hicks-Gillett era.

‘Looking back at the very first day, I was trying to make a point then about how much of a challenge it was going to be because of the issues we inherited,’ said Henry, who is an advocate of Financial Fair Play.

‘We had a lack of depth in the squad and some really high payrolls. We also had issues with the age of the players and so forth. We knew it was going to be very difficult. Tom and I went for a long walk and we had to make the decision “are we going to buy Liverpool”

Closing the gap: Liverpool begin the season in high spirits

Closing the gap: Liverpool begin the season in high spirits

‘We had to decide whether we really wanted to take this on, as we knew this was a huge challenge. A much larger challenge than any supporter could know. We had done due diligence and looked at how the situation was financially, with the player contracts and the youth system.

‘The further we went into it, the more sobered we were.’

Some Liverpool supporters have questioned whether Henry and FSG are serious about building for the future but when asked if they were here for the long-term, Chairman Tom Werner said: ‘Absolutely. I know there has been some speculation about that. We read that.

‘We feel that we have work to do. We feel that we are behind – but we are on it. Do we feel that it is possible to get on a level with (the top European) clubs Absolutely. We can close that gap and compete at the very highest level. Absolutely.’

Wakefield get go ahead for new stadium

New home for Wildcats: Wakefield get go ahead for new stadium

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UPDATED:

12:43 GMT, 21 June 2012

Wakefield have received the go-ahead for a new stadium.

The Wildcats were told that the Secretary of State has given his blessing for the development at Newmarket, which will include a 12,000-capacity community stadium.

The 19million development, on the site of an old colliery just off junction 30 of the M62, was the subject of a two-week public inquiry in December following objections from residents and Leeds City Council.

On the move: The Wakefield Wildcats hope to be in their new stadium by 2015

On the move: The Wakefield Wildcats hope to be in their new stadium by 2015

The stadium will be owned by the Wakefield & District Community Trust but the Wildcats will become anchor tenants.

It is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2015 season and before the start of the new Super League licensing period.

Wakefield will be hoping today's announcement brings to an end a long-running saga that threatened their future in Super League.

'This is fantastic news and is a decision that provides security for the club's long-term future, which now looks even brighter,' said chief executive James Elston.'

Wakefield Council leader Peter Box said: 'We welcome the Secretary of State's initial decision which supports what our planning committee was minded to do when we received this application.

'This step forward is excellent news for the regeneration of the district.

'Wakefield Trinity has long battled for a new stadium and this proposed decision gives the club a way forward and a more secure footing in the Super League.”

Andy Murray loses to Nicolas Mahut at AEGON Championships

Misery for Murray as defending champion slips to Mahut defeat at Queen's Club

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 13 June 2012

Andy Murray's grass court season got off to the worst possible start as he was knocked out of the AEGON Championships at Queen's with a three-set defeat to world No 65 Nicolas Mahut.

The Scot, handed a bye into the second round, never looked at his best and Mahut simply performed out of his skin to record a 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (7/1) win that puts him through to a last-16 tie with Grigor Dimitrov.

Murray appeared untroubled by the back injury that he suffered at the French Open and the British No 1 could offer no excuses for his defeat.

Marching on: Andy Murray is through to round three at Queen's Club

Marching on: Andy Murray is through to round three at Queen's Club

He was outclassed, out-manoeuvred and over-powered by his opponent from France in a defeat that will raise further doubts about his chances of winning Wimbledon this year.

There was no sign of a Murray struggle early on as he flew out of the traps, gaining two break points in the first game as a result of some powerful tennis.

Mahut showed remarkable resolve to see off the threat, however, winning both points despite the presence of a hugely partisan crowd on centre.

Murray took the fifth game to deuce after Mahut double-faulted, but the Frenchman recovered to win the game.

Murray was unhappy with the umpire after a line judge got in his way when he tried to return an overhead from his opponent, and also complained at losing his footing on a few occasions during the game.

Too god: Nicolas Mahut overpowered Murray

Too god: Nicolas Mahut overpowered Murray

Mahut made the breakthrough in the sixth game and Murray only had himself to blame.

The Scot attempted an audacious sliced lob that went long to give Mahut a 0-30 lead and the Frenchman followed it up by hitting a classy drop shot that earned him a break point.

Murray saved by powering down a passing forehand but he gave Mahut another opportunity and he did not waste it as he smacked down a powerful forehand of his own to move 4-2 ahead.

Both players then held, leaving Mahut to serve for the set. The big Angers-born player failed to take his first set point but was far more efficient with the second, hitting a sweet ace right on the line to move ahead.

That's my boy: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watched him face Nicolas Mahut

That's my boy: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears watched him face Nicolas Mahut

Murray was in danger of throwing away the match at the start of the second set, handing his opponent a break point in the first game, but a good first serve from the Scot forced Mahut into an error.

A brief Murray comeback then began. The 25-year-old broke Mahut after his opponent double-faulted and he held his own serve despite handing Mahut three break points to move 3-0 up in the second.

Mahut was not fazed, however, breaking back in Murray's next service game by forcing the British number one to go long from the baseline. Mahut recorded his eighth ace and held to love to move the set to 3-3.

Andy's off: Murray made a sharp exit after losing to Mahut

Andy's off: Murray made a sharp exit after losing to Mahut

The next four games went with serve to leave Mahut serving to stay in the set and he held his nerve to set up a tie-break.

Both players recorded a mini-break each before Murray earned a chance to clinch the set after dropping a clever volley at the net following an entertaining rally.

The Scot won the next point with an acute slice to take the set and ease home-crowd nerves on centre.

Murray then took control of the game by breaking Mahut in the first game of the decider but the Frenchman broke back in the following game, causing Murray to slam his racquet into the turf in frustration.

A bit slippery: Murray was sliding across the court during his defeat by Mahut

A bit slippery: Murray was sliding across the court during his defeat by Mahut

Mahut saved a break point in the fifth game when Murray carelessly flashed a forehand wide and the match tensely went with serve, leaving Murray to stay in the match at 4-5.

The game went to deuce after a great backhand return from Mahut but the favourite stayed strong. Mahut then held to love, leaving Murray once again serving for survival.

The Scot's experience shone through as he held to love to bring up a deciding tie-break, but he went to pieces in the showdown, losing six straight points before he netted a backhand slice to bow out of the tournament.

Paul Lambert in Aston Villa talks after Norwich resignation

Lambert holds talks with Aston Villa despite Norwich rejecting his resignation

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UPDATED:

14:02 GMT, 31 May 2012

Paul Lambert looks set to become Aston Villa’s new boss after he offered to resign from his position as Norwich manager.

It is understood Lambert had a bust-up with the Norwich board after they refused him permission to speak to Villa. They have rejected the Scot's resignation.

A statement on the Canaries' website read: 'The club regrets to confirm that Paul Lambert has offered his resignation from his position as Norwich City manager.

On his way Paul Lambert leaves Norwich's training ground on Thursday morning

On his way Paul Lambert leaves Norwich's training ground on Thursday morning

'We have fought hard to keep Paul at
Norwich City and have not accepted his resignation whilst discussions
with another club are taking place.

'However, whatever happens, we want
to place on record our sincere gratitude for everything Paul has done
for the club over the last three fantastic seasons.

'When Paul joined us in August 2009
we were in 66th position in the English football pyramid and the club
was on the brink of financial meltdown.

'Today we are a Barclays Premier League football club, on a financially sound footing and with a stadium full to capacity.

'Discussions with Paul throughout the
last few days have been professional and amicable. Paul has already
earned his place in Norwich City Football Club history and, no matter
what happens, will always have a friendly welcome at Carrow Road.

On the Paul: Aston Villa have made Lambert their No 1 priority

On the Paul: Aston Villa have made Lambert their No 1 priority

'Meanwhile, contrary to some media
speculation, the club does not need to sell any players and the finances
are in place to substantially strengthen the excellent squad which
helped us finish in 12th position in the Premier League last season.'

'Rest assured that everyone behind the scenes at Carrow Road remains absolutely focused on continuing to help the Club progress.

Lambert has been on the Villa’s
shortlist since Alex McLeish was sacked.Their first choice was Wigan
manager Roberto Martinez and there was a third candidate, believed to be
Brendan Rodgers, but Villa are happy with a choice that has been made
with the blessing of fans.

They have fall-back options, understood to be Brighton’s Gus Poyet and former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, if they cannot get Lambert.

But he is the top target after it became clear, as outlined in Sportsmail on Wednesday, that Martinez had lost ground when interviewed by Liverpool owner John W Henry last week. Martinez contacted Villa three days ago to say his interest was concrete but chief executive Paul Faulkner told him owner Randy Lerner would not wait.

Talks: Martinez held discussion with Liverpool's owners

Talks: Martinez held discussion with Liverpool's owners

Martinez contacted Villa three days ago to say that his interest in the position was concrete but he was informed by chief executive Paul Faulkner that Randy Lerner was not prepared to wait to get his man and had progressed with alternative plans.

Villa have used an intermediary to smooth a path to the Norfolk club and compensation for the 42-year-old should be agreed swiftly.

Lerner was anxious to re-connect with supporters following the ill-advised decision to appoint McLeish and Lambert appeared the most popular choice on fans' websites.

On Thursday Villa keeper Shay Given said he would welcome Lambert's appointment.

The 36-year-old, who is away in Italy
with the Republic of Ireland squad as they prepare for Euro 2012, said:
'If that's the case – I have no idea, because I am stuck in Italy
somewhere, about what's going on at Aston Villa – but if Paul was to
come in, he would be a great appointment because he is a fantastic
manager.

'Since he took the hot-seat at any club he has been at, he has just gone all the way up all the time, so hopefully if they can get that done, that would be great news for the club.

'The sooner the manager is in place for next season – because he will have targets and players he will want to get in himself – the sooner that's done, the better.'

It means Martinez has missed out on the chance to manage Villa for the second season in succession following his very public snub 12 months ago.

Not that the Wigan boss should worry. He still has two years left to run on his contract with the Lancashire club and Wigan owner Dave Whelan may even look to improve it.

Moving on: Rodgers is set to join Liverpool

Moving on: Rodgers is set to join Liverpool

He said: 'Roberto is staying at Wigan and, of course, I am absolutely delighted.

'He was never offered the job at Liverpool because he was not happy with the way that it was presented to him. He has had some talks with Villa but he's not going to go there either. Villa are a fantastic club with great supporters but I never thought they were big enough for him.

'I've said all along that I never thought he would end up there and, fortunately for us, that's how it has turned out.

'If Roberto is to go anywhere, it will be to one of the top clubs in Europe. We're just so pleased he's staying with us.'

Whelan added: 'During the course of our meeting, we discussed a lot of things and it was very productive. I've agreed to his request to up our spending on youth development and training facilities. That's going to be pretty costly as I've agreed to a full-sized indoor pitch – that will cost 1.5million. 'I have also agreed to bring in three or four new players.

'We want Roberto to be happy at Wigan and we will be aiming to make sure that we do everything we can to keep him.'

US bidder wants Ally McCoist at Rangers

US bidder wants Ally to be part of Rangers rescue package as scale of debt is revealed

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 6 April 2012

American would-be Rangers saviour Bill Miller has put his faith in manager Ally McCoist by insisting that the Ibrox great would be part of his rescue package.

The 65-year-old revealed that he was the sole bidder remaining from the consortium put together by Chicaco-based Club 9 Sports.

But, while expressing his intent to pursue a Company Voluntary Agreement with creditors, avoiding the dreaded newco option, he admitted that a ‘creative solution’ was being sought to tackle debts which could reach 134million.

Main man: Ally McCoist (centre) remains crucial to Bill Miller's plans

Main man: Ally McCoist (centre) remains crucial to Bill Miller's plans

Miller told Sportsmail that the involvement of manager McCoist was crucial to his plans for the club.

‘I will be speaking with Ally and he clearly fits into my plans for the future of Rangers,’ said the American.

‘I believe my plans are the best for Rangers Football Club’s long-term success. I can assure you that I would not be interested if I did not have the best interests of the fans, team and club at heart.

‘My aim is to save the club, put it on a stable footing — making profits and not losing money so it qualifies for European competition — and ensure it can have a strong future to match its history.

‘I am the sole bidder. Club 9 Sports contacted me to see if I wanted to be an investor in the consortium they were organising.’

Saviour Bill Miller hopes to take over at Rangers

Saviour Bill Miller hopes to take over at Rangers

The motor racing enthusiast, who owns a business making tow trucks and recovery equipment, has built up a decent reputation as a ‘turnaround specialist’ in the United States.

Miller, an engineering graduate who later gained an MBA, wouldn’t be pinned down on details about how he plans to haul Rangers out of their current mess.

Administrators Duff & Phelps maintain that the ‘nuclear option’ of liquidating assets and starting up a new company — earning a three-year European ban and running SPL penalties as the price of re-admission to the league — remains unlikely, although a Company Voluntary Arrangement will depend largely on the attitude of HMRC.

‘My preference is a CVA exit,’ said Miller, who has previously presided over a disastrous attempt to set up a rival to the popular NASCAR motor racing series.

‘It has not been determined yet as to how this or any other structure may work. I am currently working with the administrators and lawyers to find a creative solution that protects the history and future of the Rangers — but does not have the club hampered by large amounts of debt going forward.’
Singapore-based rival bidder Bill Ng, meanwhile, claimed to be a Rangers fan as he outlined his plans should he win control of the club.

The 52-year-old, who is a director at private equity firm Financial Frontiers, already owns Singapore league side Hougang United and has ploughed some of his money into the team.

Speaking from London, where he has been in talks with the administrators, he revealed plans for an exchange program that will see Singapore coaches and administrators move to Scotland to learn their trade.

On the up: Rangers celebrate beating Motherwell last weekend

On the up: Rangers celebrate beating Motherwell last weekend

Ng said: ‘The weakness lies in the people who run the club and I feel that we can do something better.

‘We’ve told the administrators that we’ll set aside 12m to be split among the creditors.

‘For every dollar of debt the club owes, about 20 cents will be paid back, the rest will be written off.

‘This is a chance for us to put Singapore on the world football map. We’re not just doing this deal for financial reasons. If we take over Rangers, we’ve got plans that will positively impact Singapore football in the long run.

‘Our population size is quite similar to Scotland’s, so there’s plenty for us to learn from them in terms of football development.

‘We aim to engage the Football Association of Singapore with more ideas that can benefit local football.’

One slight concern for Rangers fans is Ng’s current club, Hougang United, who have a chequered history. Since been formed in 1981 as Marine Castle United Football Club, they have changed their name three times, merged twice and gone out of business once.

It will be an emotional start for Britain"s Indy lady after Wheldon tragedy

It's an emotional start for Britain's Indy lady in the wake of Wheldon tragedy

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UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 23 March 2012

Katherine Legge of England

Katherine Legge of England

The IndyCar season gets underway in St Petersburg, Florida, once the home of British-born driver Dan Wheldon, who died aged 33 in a horrific crash in Las Vegas last October.

His sister Holly will start the race and the city has honoured Dan's memory by naming a street Dan Wheldon Way. Britain's Katherine Legge will be on the starting grid.

LAURA WILLIAMSON speaks to the 31-year-old Dragon Racing driver, the first woman to win an open-wheel race in America…

I had known Dan since I was nine. We raced go-karts together and I regret I didn't get to know him better.

It was difficult to believe the accident happened. It was just awful and my thoughts and prayers are with all the Wheldons.

As a driver you take risks knowingly and you prepare yourself and your friends and family for those risks – and how they would react if something happened. It's a selfish sport in that respect. Sunday will be tough and emotional.

I'm sure Bernie Ecclestone would love to have a fast female driver in F1. But do the people believe we can do it Has anybody actually proved we can do it Until somebody gets the opportunity in a competitive car – because most females only get chances in the slower ones – how will we know

I think there could be a female driver in F1 within the next decade. Why not Providing the right woman comes along. But unlike IndyCar it's a worldwide series and there would be different pressures on female drivers in places like the Middle East.

Katherine Legge

Katherine Legge

However, racing is the only sport in the world women can compete with men on an equal footing. There is absolutely no physical barrier. It's tough, of course. It's two hours of being battered inside a race car but it's about repetitive strength and not so much about power. You do need upper body strength and neck strength but it's not how much weight you have to cope with.

I drove a Champ Car in 2006-07 and a lot of people consider that more physical than F1. I think there's also been a study done on how people responded to G-force and it was proved women can sustain more G-force than men for longer.

It's part of the job that you don't really look very feminine. I've got big arms, a big neck and big shoulders. My fiance is a driver as well, although luckily he drives sports cars so we don't race against each other. That would be difficult!

IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon

Tragic loss: IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon

When I first came to America in 2003 I
was a bit of a novelty. There were more good opportunities at that stage
because I was female, but it ended up evening itself out. It helps to
open doors but when it comes to closing them it can be a hindrance. They
think again; it's a mentality factor. You are going to get more press
coverage because you are different but then a lot of people making the
decisions still don't know if a woman can actually do it. I hated it,
that novelty factor. You want to be a racing car driver, not a girl
racing driver.

I came back to the States because it's one of the only places you can compete on an equal footing. I love it; it's the land of opportunity. IndyCar is as close to F1 as you can get and I decided, before I got too old, I was going to try to make a career here.

I feel like here, in every aspect of life, there's equality.

It's pretty much the same in England but we don't see it in the rest of the world.

Here, I feel like if you want something to happen you can work hard to make it happen. It would be the ultimate dream to do well in IndyCar this year.

Brian McDermott rejects Wolves to stay at Reading

McDermott delivers latest snub to Wolves as boss search hits another wall

Brian McDermott has signed a new contract with Reading after rejecting an approach from Wolves.

The Royals at first appeared happy to give permission for the struggling Premier League club to talk to McDermott when they were approached on Monday.

But Reading’s new Russian owners have had a change of heart and have now tied McDermott to a new deal until 2015.

It leaves Wolves desperately searching for a new man to replace Mick McCarthy, who was sacked earlier this month.

Snub: Brian McDermott has decided to commit to Reading

Snub: Brian McDermott has decided to commit to Reading

Reading chairman Sir John Madejski said: 'I am absolutely delighted that Brian has signed and this is a very, very important day for our club. Everybody knows how highly we rate him and he has more than repaid the faith we showed when we appointed him. He is a top manager.

'In the space of two years he has not only taken us to the play-off final and to two quarter finals of the FA Cup, he has done so in a manner befitting Reading Football Club. He is extremely well respected by the staff, players and of course the supporters and I know this news will be very well received by our fans.

'From day one we wanted to secure Brian's services as it was only a matter of time before he was mentioned in connection with other clubs. These processes take time and we have today come to a fantastic agreement that puts our club on an even more secure footing going forward.

'With the team doing so well at the moment, it is truly a very exciting time to be a Reading fan and I for one cannot wait for the rest of the season.'