Tag Archives: hierarchy

Tony Fernandes tweets support for QPR boss Mark Hughes

QPR chief Fernandes issues dreaded vote of confidence for Hughes despite mounting pressure to sack boss

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UPDATED:

14:22 GMT, 29 October 2012

Queens Park Rangers chairman Tony Fernandes has given his full support to struggling manager Mark Hughes.

QPR lost again at the weekend and are without a win this season, and the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal left the R's rooted to the bottom of the table with just three points.

But Fernandes took to Twitter on Monday to lend his support to the former Manchester City and Fulham boss ahead of Sunday's game with Reading.

Running out of time: Queens Park Rangers are without a win this season

Running out of time: Queens Park Rangers are without a win this season

He Tweeted: 'I honestly believe we have one of the best managers in the premier league. And we are in for the long term.

'Whatever
happens. We love QPR. I'll be there at reading so rangers fans I'll be
available to meet and chat. Trust me on this one. Keep the faith.
Stability is the key.'

Earlier Sportsmail revealed that the pressure is mounting on Hughes and he must deal with the very real possibility of being sacked if he cannot win against Reading.

Sportsmail understands that a number of senior Loftus Road officials have lost patience with the manager.

The same QPR chiefs feel the club's start to the season simply is not good enough.

Members of the Rangers hierarchy do not feel the team's performances represent value for money after the significant transfer funds given to the ex-Manchester City boss.

And the opinion among influential members of the club's top brass is that the visit of Reading will be a make-or-break game for Hughes.

The final decision will be left to co-owners Fernandes and Amit Bhatia. Fernandes has remained loyal to his first managerial appointment, despite calls from other QPR officials to end Hughes's tenure.

Phone a friend: The final decision on Hughes' future will rest with Fernandes

Phone a friend: The final decision on Hughes' future will rest with Fernandes

Fernandes feels a sense of loyalty to Hughes and is desperate to see his appointment succeed, but the growing disquiet at Loftus Road could see the tycoon change his mind next weekend.

The cost of appointing a new boss will become a key issue. Hughes is only eight months into a two-and-a-half-year contract and compensation packages for him and his back-room staff will not come cheaply.

Out-of-work Harry Redknapp is understood to be high on the list of contenders to replace Hughes, but Fernandes is fully aware that the appointment of a new manager is likely to lead to further heavy investment in January.

Roberto Mancini not under threat from Pep Guardiola, say Manchester City

Manchester City deny Guardiola is primed to replace Mancini after arrival of pal Begiristain

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UPDATED:

09:50 GMT, 29 October 2012

Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola after the club lured Barcelona's former technical director Txiki Begiristain to the Etihad as director of football.

Begiristain's arrival, combined with that of recently appointed chief executive Ferran Soriano, another to have worked at the Nou Camp, had led to speculation that the currently-out-of-work Guardiola would be approached.

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials at the Etihad

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials at the Etihad

No pressure: Manchester City have denied Roberto Mancini's job is under threat from Pep Guardiola following the arrival of two former senior Barcelona officials

Mancini, who signed a five-year contract
in the summer to become the highest paid manager in the Premier League,
is safe, according to club sources.

'Roberto has won three trophies in
two-and-a-half years and was given a new five-year contract in the
summer, and that would not have happened if the powers that be thought
they had the wrong manager,' the source told ESPN.

'No,
this is not about the manager, as some mischief-makers might assume.
The possible recruitment of another former Barcelona man, that is just
not what is going on here.

'We
have a monster of a project with our new academy and Brian is going to
oversee that while Txiki comes in as we need a division of roles.

Welcome aboard: Txiki Begiristain (left) is now City's director of football

Welcome aboard: Txiki Begiristain (left) is now City's director of football

MANCHESTER CITY HIERARCHY

Owner: Sheikh Mansour

Chairman: Khaldoon al Mubarak

Chief executive: Ferran Soriano

DoF: Txiki Begiristain Boss: Roberto Mancini

Academy director: Brian Marwood

'Brian [Marwood] met up with Txiki on Thursday and Friday and Brian has the respect of the chairman and has been a constant in all that has been going on with some big changes and the creation of a philosophy and everyone is working together toward that end.'

Guardiola has also been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, while clubs in Italy are among those monitoring his situation while he takes a sabbatical from the game.

Privately Mancini has told close associates he is relieved that more than two years of struggle with Brian Marwood – who was taken up the role of academy director – are now at an end. He is also said to be ‘open minded’ about the prospect of working with a director of football.

Pushed out Brian Marwood

Pushed out Brian Marwood

Marwood never actually carried that title after Mancini’s predecessor Mark Hughes objected to it when the former Arsenal winger was appointed four years ago.

It is clear that Begiristain’s role in the recruitment of players will be central to his day-to-day involvement at the Etihad Stadium. Whether Mancini will see that as helpful or obstructive will be interesting. The one thing he will not tolerate is being told which players he should or should not try to buy.

Mancini's season has not been without its problems so far, however, and he is currently trying to contain the mutterings of dissent from a small group of players in his dressing room.

Begiristain, 48, has been on City’s radar for some time and was finally lured from Barcelona at the end of last week by Soriano.

The two men worked successfully at the Nou Camp and City hope that the pairing of such experienced and talented men can help lead the group forwards as they look to build on last season’s Barclays Premier League win.

City were keen to stress that Marwood has not been demoted, claiming that the former Arsenal player retains the support of chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak and underlining that the success of the club’s academy will be vital to the future of the club. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that this is a role Marwood would have chosen.

Indifferent: City's form in Europe has been dismal, and they aren't convincing at home, either

Indifferent: City's form in Europe has been dismal, and they aren't convincing at home, either

Begiristain, who played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona during his playing career, said: ‘I am very pleased indeed to have been offered such an exciting opportunity.

‘The progress and on-field achievements at Manchester City are plain for all to see and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to their future success.

‘I am very much looking forward to working with Brian Marwood, Roberto Mancini and Ferran Soriano in continuing to build a football team and philosophy which will serve Manchester City well in the near and long-term future.’

Jack Butland on Everton and Southampton radar as Birmingham consider sale

Everton and Southampton on alert as Birmingham consider Butland sale

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UPDATED:

05:36 GMT, 18 October 2012

Everton and Southampton are ready to swoop for Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland.

The England youngster could be sold by the npower Championship club during the January transfer window to help ease their financial plight.

Birmingham are actively seeking a new owner and are in talks with two parties.

In demand: Southampton and Everton are interested in Butland (right)

In demand: Southampton and Everton are interested in Butland (right)

Former QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is among those interested in buying the Midlands club but his 25milllion offer is way below the 40m wanted by the Birmingham hierarchy.

Butland, 19, has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in English football, and although Birmingham insisted earlier this year that they didn't want to sell one of their most-valued assets, their hand could be forced in January.

Manchester City are also monitoring the situation.

Gareth Bale should join Real Madrid, says Luka Modric

Come and join me! Modric tells former Spurs team-mate Bale to move to Real Madrid

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UPDATED:

14:13 GMT, 17 October 2012

Former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric has revealed that he wants Gareth Bale to join him at Real Madrid.

Spurs winger Bale, 23, has emerged as one of the most sought-after players in world football after setting the Premier League alight for the past couple of years.

And Modric, who left Spurs for Real in a 33million deal this summer, believes that the Welshman has the ability to fit in at the nine-time European Cup winners.

Old friends: Bale and Modric (right) chat on Tuesday night

Old friends: Bale and Modric (right) chat on Tuesday night

Forward burst: Bale gets past Croatia's Ivan Strinic in the World Cup qualifier

Forward burst: Bale gets past Croatia's Ivan Strinic in the World Cup qualifier

'He should play for Real Madrid and I
hope he’ll come,' said Modric, who played for Croatia on Tuesday night
as they beat Bale and Wales 2-0 in Osijek.

'It would be amazing and I think he can [play for Real Madrid],' he added. 'He’s a good enough player.'

Bale's
contract with Spurs runs to 2015 but the partnership that the club
signed with Real in the summer has fuelled speculation that he could
leave in a 40m deal at the end of the season.

Spurs have insisted that the partnership
does not allow Real first refusal on the club's players, but Modric's
transfer suggests a clear hierarchy in the deal.

Eyes on the ball: Andy King of Wales tries to pinch the ball from Modric

Eyes on the ball: Andy King of Wales tries to pinch the ball from Modric

Bale had netted six goals in his previous eight games for his country, but he was unable to find a way past the Croats on Tuesday night.

The former Southampton man accepts that his rise to fame now makes his a marked man.

'It is normal now I think,' Bale said after the match.

'I’m never going to stop doing what I do and hopefully I can continue to play well.'

Leighton Baines ready to fight Ashley Cole for England left back spot

Baines warns Cole he is not ready to give up England left back spot without a fight

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 13 October 2012

Leighton Baines admits he is ready to battle Ashley Cole for the England left-back role and feels he is good enough to be a regular under Roy Hodgson.

Baines has waited patiently for his chance as Cole has closed in on 100 caps.

But the Chelsea defender’s relationship with the England hierarchy has been affected by his Twitter outburst against the Football Association, which led to him being charged.

Ready for battle: Leighton Baines wants to keep his spot in the England team

Ready for battle: Leighton Baines wants to keep his spot in the England team

Cole Baines

Cole was left on the bench for the 5-0 win over San Marino on Friday and Baines showed again he is good enough to compete on the international stage.

Cole will probably regain his place against Poland on Tuesday but Baines says he is ready to do everything to show Hodgson he should be first-choice left-back.

Baines said: ‘Ashley is a terrific player but in the games I’ve played I’ve shown I can come in and do a job as well.

‘Of course you want to play more. All I can do is play as well as I can for Everton, and that’s all I’m focused on.

‘I’ll just keep playing as well as I can.’

Liverpool and Manchester City join 12m race for Arsenal target Wilfried Zaha

Liverpool and Manchester City join 12m race for Zaha

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UPDATED:

07:57 GMT, 10 October 2012

Liverpool and Manchester City are ready to rival Arsenal for Crystal Palace sensation Wilfried Zaha.

The Gunners lead the 12million race
for the 19-year-old winger and former No 2 Pat Rice watched him score
twice in a 4-3 victory over Burnley last weekend.

Teen sensation: Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha

Teen sensation: Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha

Arsenal see Zaha as a potential replacement for unsettled Theo Walcott, a target for both Manchester City and Liverpool.

Walcott's representatives will hold talks with the Arsenal hierarchy during the international break in a bid to thrash out a new agreement.

Walcott — who has less than 12 months left on his current deal — rejected a contract extension worth 75,000-per-week.

Arsenal want Wilfried Zaha to replace Theo Walcott: EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: Gunners turn to Palace's Zaha as Walcott contract wrangle continues

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 8 October 2012

Arsenal are lining up a swoop for Theo Walcott's potential replacement after joining the race to land Crystal Palace prospect Wilfried Zaha.

Former Gunners assistant manager Pat Rice – who still works for the club despite retiring in the summer – watched the 19-year-old forward score twice in the Eagles' 4-3 win over Burnley on Saturday.

Arsenal have sent scouts to a clutch of
Palace’s games primarily to watch Zaha and are now emerging as serious
contenders to land the youngster.

In and out: Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha could replace Theo Walcott at Arsenal

In and out: Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha could replace Theo Walcott at Arsenal

In and out: Crystal Palace's Wilfred Zaha could replace Theo Walcott at Arsenal

Zaha – rated at 12million – could be the latest player to join the Gunners from lower leagues, particularly if the club fail in their attempts to sign Walcott to a new contract.

The England forward's representatives will hold talks with the Arsenal hierarchy during the international break in a bid to thrash out a new agreement.

Walcott — who has less than 12 months left on his current deal — rejected a contract extension worth 75,000-per-week.

Steve Kean was a dead man walking – Michael Walker on the road

Kean a dead man walking – away from the madness

By
Michael Walker

PUBLISHED:

21:00 GMT, 30 September 2012

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 30 September 2012

The call they had been expecting for months came as a surprise. The players of Blackburn Rovers were midway through their evening meal on Friday at the team’s hotel when they were informed that knives and forks had to be put down, that then-manager Steve Kean wanted to speak to them.

‘We knew something was wrong,’ explained the young Rovers midfielder Jason Lowe.

‘We were halfway through our dinner when the team meeting was called. Then we had an idea. It wasn’t very nice – a horrible way to do it.’

Dead man walking: Steve Kean had been on borrowed time at Blackburn

Dead man walking: Steve Kean had been on borrowed time at Blackburn

Kean told the Blackburn players that, after almost two years in position at Ewood Park, if not in charge, he was no longer their manager. In a later statement, Kean used the word ‘untenable’.

Eric Black, Kean’s assistant, took on the caretaker role that used to be Tony Parkes’ domain at Ewood and Black said: ‘Steve wanted to speak to everybody at the same time. It was a sombre atmosphere. The players were disappointed. They all shook his hand.’

Black had to pick a team for Saturday’s game at Charlton, which may well have been the same one that Kean would have selected.

Black, 49 on Monday, has managed Motherwell and Coventry and did not rule himself out of the Blackburn job, but one imagines he is considered too close to Kean by the hierarchy and supporters to be a contender.

Besides, Black has seen Blackburn from the inside and, however messy it appears from afar, you can bet it will look worse from within.

All square: Blackburn couldn't hold on to their lead at Charlton

All square: Blackburn couldn't hold on to their lead at Charlton

‘I’ve seen things which I didn’t think I would see,’ said Black. ‘I won’t elaborate. It’s the crazy world of football.’

Gael Givet, for example, did not reappear for the second half against Charlton. Givet looked irritated as he walked towards the tunnel at half-time, removing his shirt.

Black was asked if Givet, who suffered heart palpitations last season, had an injury.

‘No,’ replied Black. ‘It wasn’t an injury.’ Was it a tactical decision ‘No, it wasn’t a tactical decision.’

Hmmm.

Lowe spoke of the ‘great spirit brewing in that dressing room’ and there was no lack of commitment in a most average match. But it would be no shock to discover that, with the influx of nationalities and signings (some not made by Kean), there are divisions.

Shebby Singh, Blackburn’s ‘global advisor’ as appointed by the Venky’s ownership, was at the Valley to see Dickson Etuhu give Rovers the lead and Johnnie Jackson’s home equaliser. Singh was thought to be seeking a meeting with Black on Sunday.

Mystery: Givet (left) storms off at half-time shadowed by Black (right)

Mystery: Givet (left) storms off at half-time shadowed by Black (right)

It may well have entailed confirmation that Black will be in charge for Wednesday’s trip to Nottingham Forest because, unless Tim Sherwood resigns from his coaching job at Tottenham, getting the former Rovers captain from White Hart Lane may take time. If Spurs chairman Daniel Levy gets his way, it may also take money.

But Sherwood is a solid favourite to be Blackburn’s fourth manager since Mark Hughes left in 2008. It is thought he wants the job and it is now about getting matters across the line. On Sunday, as is the way of things, Sherwood played it down. ‘Just rumours,’ he said.

In the meantime, the club have been inundated with applications. Dozens apparently, from all across the continent, including from former Chelsea full back Albert Ferrer, who had a one-season stint as manager of Vitesse Arnhem.

Italian Silvio Baldini, last seen at Vicenza in Serie B, is another believed to have expressed an interest. Then there is Mick McCarthy, experienced and available. Craig Short, briefly manager of Notts County, had six years as a player at Ewood and has been mentioned. As has Alan Shearer.

In contention: Shearer (left) has been mooted as a potential replacement for Kean

In contention: Shearer (left) has been mooted as a potential replacement for Kean

Shearer would certainly fit the ‘global’ aspect of Singh’s remit. He, like Sherwood, would also spark a local reaction and sell tickets. Rovers have had only one Saturday home game this season and there were 14,000 to see Leicester.

On Saturday Wolves are the visitors. The last time Rovers and Wolves met at this level on a Saturday, in November 2000, there were 20,380 present.
Crowds above 20,000 would show how many have stayed away during Kean’s sour era. It was his 45th birthday on Sunday. By doing what he did on Friday night, at least Kean was spared shaking hands with the referee at Charlton, Darren Deadman.

What about fans' abuse

Charlton Athletic have a warm, family reputation and there was a happy-clappy, half-time greeting for former player Allan Simonsen, the former European Footballer of the Year who somehow left Barcelona for Charlton in 1982 – arguably the strangest transfer in history.

Simonsen’s reception contrasted with that of another former player, Danny Murphy. Blackburn’s Murphy had 18 months at Charlton in between his Liverpool and Tottenham phases.

It is hard to imagine Murphy being awful at Charlton and yet the abuse he received on Saturday was just that. It was personal and, while some of the abusers might say it was ‘banter’, Murphy cannot have heard it that way.

Footballers are lectured about their behaviour; what about the fans

Warren Gatland, new British and Irish Lions boss, to be tough on discipline

Gatland vows to be tough on discipline as Wales chief is unveiled as Lions boss

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 4 September 2012

The Lions will use England’s World Cup controversies as a cautionary tale about the need to avoid damaging off-field episodes during next summer’s tour of Australia.

Once the formal appointment of Warren Gatland as head coach had been confirmed in London on Tuesday, attention turned to his vision – and that of the other members of the Lions hierarchy – on how to make the class of 2013 successful Down Under.

Scroll down for video

Aussie rules: Wales coach Gatland will lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Oz

Aussie rules: Wales coach Gatland will lead the British and Irish Lions on their tour of Oz

A vital factor was the ability to
steer clear of the kind of trouble which stalked Martin Johnson’s
England team during their stay in New Zealand a year ago. That campaign
degenerated amid a torrent of unseemly sagas involving heavy drinking,
dwarf- tossing and ferry-jumping.

‘Those are massively important
things,’ said Gatland, when asked about discipline. ‘Our conduct on and
particularly off the field will be paramount. We’re all aware of what
happened in the World Cup (with England). It is important we address
that and try not to get ourselves into any trouble off the field.’

Tour manager Andy Irvine was emphatic
in his belief that in Gatland the Lions have the best man for the job.
Yet he made a special point about professional conduct and the Kiwi’s
track record in enforcing it.

‘It is a problem,’ said Irvine. ‘In
the amateur days, some of the antics were probably worse. But these
players are professionals, they have their reputations at stake, the
reputations of their clubs, their countries and the Lions. They have a
huge responsibility. We also know that some of them will be targeted.

‘It is something Warren is to be
congratulated on. Wales have had one or two interesting moments in years
gone by but they have had an exemplary record in the last two years.’

Into battle: Tour manager Andy Irvine with Lions head coach Gatland at the announcement

Into battle: Tour manager Andy Irvine with Lions head coach Gatland at the announcement

Lions Tour Fixtures 2013

Barbarians – June 1, Hong Kong

Western Force – June 5, Perth

Queensland Reds – June 8, Brisbane

Comb NSW-Queensland Country – June 12, Newcastle

NSW Waratahs – June 15, Sydney

ACT Brumbies – June 18, Canberra

Australia – June 22, Brisbane

Melbourne Rebels – June 25, Melbourne Jun

Australia – June 29, Melbourne

Australia – July 6, Sydney

One of Gatland’s more pressing
problems is the French-based players facing a fixture clash. There are
several prominent Welshmen with Top 14 clubs — Gethin Jenkins at Toulon
and Mike Phillips at Bayonne, James Hook and Luke Charteris at
Perpignan and Lee /09/04/article-2198066-008E396900000258-899_634x466.jpg” width=”634″ height=”466″ alt=”Revenge: The Lions – under Sir Graham Henry and Martin Johnson – lost the 2001 series 2-1″ class=”blkBorder” />

Revenge: The Lions – under Sir Graham Henry and Martin Johnson – lost the 2001 series 2-1

Warren Gatland- factfile

1963: Born September 17 in Waikato, New Zealand

1986: Made his debut for Waikato in the New Zealand provincial championship as a hooker, having switched from a number eight at the age of 21.

1988: Helped Waikato beat the touring Wales team and won his first All Blacks call-up, for the tour to Australia in 1988 and became a regular in the squad.

1994: Retired from playing having made a record number of appearances for Waikato (140) and 17 for the All Blacks, although he never won a Test cap, with his path blocked by Shaun Fitzpatrick.

1996: Coached Connacht for two seasons.

1998: Appointed Ireland head coach.

2001: Appointed Wasps director of rugby and kept the club in the Premiership.

2003: Wasps won Premiership title and Parker Pen European Shield.

2004: Wasps won Premiership title and the Heineken Cup.

2005: Wasps won Premiership title.

2006: Coached Waikato to the New Zealand provincial championship.

2007: Appointed Wales head coach, replacing Gareth Jenkins after Wales had crashed out in the pool stages of the World Cup.

2008: Coached Wales to the Six Nations, including their first win against England at Twickenham for 20 years.

2009: Appointed British and Irish Lions forwards coach for the tour of South Africa. The Lions were beaten 2-1.

2010: Signed a new four-year contract with the Welsh Rugby Union that included a sabbatical to cover the summer of 2013.

2011: Coached Wales to the semi-finals of the World Cup, their best performance since the inaugural tournament in 1987.

2012: Wales won their second Grand Slam in Gatland's tenure.
September 4 – Confirmed as British and Irish Lions head coach for 2013 tour of Australia.

Liverpool could recall Andy Carroll, fear West Ham

West Ham call on legal team as fears grow over Carroll recall to solve Liverpool's striker crisis

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UPDATED:

08:09 GMT, 4 September 2012

Fantasy football 2012

The West Ham hierarchy are in talks with their legal team to ensure they retain the services of Andy Carroll as Liverpool continue to search for a front man.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is light up top after allowing Carroll to join West Ham on loan last week and failing to land a replacement before the transfer window closed on Friday.

Staying put West Ham hope to retain the services of Andy Carroll

Staying put West Ham hope to retain the services of Andy Carroll

There is speculation that Liverpool could recall their 35million loan striker in January, but the Hammers believe they have a watertight deal that will scupper such plans.

The Londoners also believe the deal protects them from Liverpool selling Carroll to anyone other than themselves.

It is reported that there is a clause in the contract that states the initial agreement with Carroll depends on the Hammers 'not being relegated'.

A source at West Ham told The Sun: 'We have a deal which allows us to buy him tomorrow at around 17-18million if we chose to.

'We
are convinced Andy cannot be sold to any other club. We have him on a
year’s loan with the first option to buy but have called in the legal
eagles to check everything.'

Rodgers is desperate to fill the void
left by Carroll at Anfield. The club have been linked with free agents
such as Emile Heskey and Michael Owen – both of whom would be returning
to the club.

Handful: Carroll was in great form against Fulham on Saturday before he was injured later on

Handful: Carroll was in great form against Fulham on Saturday before he was injured later on

Handful: Carroll was in great form against Fulham on Saturday before he was injured later on

Carroll, meanwhile, made his debut in West Ham's impressive 3-0 victory over Fulham.

The 23-year-old was in devastating form as her ran centre halves Brede Hangeland and Aaron Hughes ragged before being substituted through injury in the second half.