Tag Archives: internal

Australia stars Kurtley Beale and Cooper Vuna suspended after Melbourne Rebels team bus brawl

Two Wallaby stars suspended for punch-up on team bus after embarrassing club loss

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

12:48 GMT, 24 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 24 March 2013

Australia utility back Kurtley Beale and fellow Wallaby Cooper Vuna have been suspended by the Melbourne Rebels after an incident on their team bus.

It followed the side's embarrassing 64-7 loss to the Durban-based Sharks in South Africa on Saturday.

The Rebels said in a statement Sunday that an internal investigation resulted in Beale, who did not play in the match due to a broken left hand, and winger Vuna being ordered to return to Australia.

Punching above their weight: Rebels were torn apart by Sharks in Durban

Punching above their weight: The Rebels were torn apart by Sharks in Durban

Kurtley Beale

Cooper Vuna of the Rebels

Suspended: Kurtley Beale (left) and Cooper Vuna (right, white shirt) will not play until the matter is resolved

Rebels coach Damien Hill said both Beale and Vuna had broken team protocols and as a result cannot be part of the team 'until the disciplinary process is complete.'

He added: 'The club will not tolerate this type of behavior and I am embarrassed for everyone associated.'

The Rebels launched a probe after it emerged that Beale may have punched Vuna in an altercation on the team bus.

Officials initially refused to name the individuals involved but tweets subsequently deleted by Vuna suggested Beale had assaulted him.

'I need to leave right now, this ain't for me! I tried to help someone but got punched so instead of putting him in hospital il [sic] leave!' Vuna posted in the early hours of the morning.

Catch up: Rebels are currently third bottom of the Super 15 league

Catch up: Rebels are currently third from bottom of the Super 15 league

But Hill added: 'The Club will not tolerate this type of behaviour and I am embarrassed for everyone associated with building this Club.'

Reports of the confrontation came after Hill had questioned whether his players had pride in the jersey.

'Our guys just didn't show up and it's quite embarrassing to be honest,' he said after his side's mauling at the ABSA Stadium.

'It's probably the worst defeat I've ever been associated with through the club, and I'm really questioning the pride these guys have in the jersey.

'Even though it's a new team, you've got to be prepared to leave blood on the field when you're playing a team like the Sharks. And our guys didn't.'

Mario Balotelli tribunal off as striker agrees to pay 340k fine

Balotelli backs down over 340k fine! Tribunal called off as striker agrees to pay Manchester City

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UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 19 December 2012

Mario Balotelli has shown signs of maturity for the first time in months as he decided not to face Manchester City at a Premier League tribunal.

City were due to meet with their errant striker at a Premier League showdown today (Wednesday) after he contested a fine of two weeks' wages – 340,000 – imposed for accumulating too many red and yellow cards last season.

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

However, after talks between Balotelli’s lawyers and the league champions late last night and this morning, the 22-year-old agreed to drop the action and pay the fine.

A City statement – released just after midday – said: 'After amicable talks between the parties, as a sign of respect for Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two-week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal, which was due to be heard by a Premier League panel today.

Why always him Balotelli landed in trouble over his poor discipline last season

Why always him Balotelli landed in trouble over his poor discipline last season

'Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures.'

City imposed the fine at the end of last season after working out that Balotelli had missed 20 per cent of his team’s games through suspension.

However, Balotelli was informed by his legal team that there is no provision in guidelines drawn up by the Premier League and the PFA Players’ Union for that kind of fine.

He originally appealed to an internal panel at City and, after losing that, chose to take his case to the Premier League.

Balotelli missed training on Tuesday after being sent home with a virus. He will not be involved when City face Reading at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as manager Mancini does not think he is fit enough.

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

Cricket match-fixing: Sussex confirm 2011 approach

Sussex confirm their own players rejected bribe to fix CB40 match in 2011

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UPDATED:

01:13 GMT, 18 November 2012

Sussex have confirmed their players were offered money to fix a televised Clydesdale Bank 40 match against Kent in 2011.

The county carried out an internal investigation after several players were approached by phone, but found no evidence of wrongdoing and immediately reported their findings to the England and Wales Cricket Board.

In a fix: Sussex, who play at the County Ground, Hove, have revealed their players rejected an approach to fix a match back in 2011

In a fix: Sussex, who play at the County Ground, Hove, have revealed their players rejected an approach to fix a match back in 2011

Sussex chief executive Dave Brookes said: ‘The players were approached via phone. They turned down the approach, contacted the club and informed us of it. It’s not something I’ve come across at Sussex in my time and we’ve had no reports since either.’

Kent beat Sussex by 14 runs in the game at Hove, which was televised live.

A Sussex statement added: ‘In conjunction with the ICC (International Cricket Council), a full investigation was undertaken with nothing untoward coming to light, and the club’s prompt action receiving praise.’

Essex pace bowler Mervyn Westfield was jailed for four months in February this year after admitting a corruption charge relating to a 2009 game against Durham in the same domestic competition.

Peterborough transfer-listed captain Gaby Zakuani defender by nightclub boss

Nightclub boss DEFENDS Zakuani after Posh transfer list skipper over alleged incident

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UPDATED:

08:50 GMT, 13 November 2012

The manager of a nightclub at the centre of an incident involving four Peterborough United players has spoken out in defence of club captain Gaby Zakuani.

The Posh defender, along with three of his colleagues, is the subject of an internal investigation into an evening out following Saturday's defeat to Crystal Palace.

Zakuani, along with 1.1million club record signing Tyrone Barnett, Emile Sinclair and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing have been placed on the transfer-list and fined.

On your way: Club captain Gabriel Zakuani has been fined and placed on the transfer list

On your way: Nathaniel Mendez Laing had been put up for sale too

On your way: Captain Gabby Zakuani (left) and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (right) have been fined and put on the transfer list for breaching club discipline in an alleged incident at the Halo nightclub (below)

Halo nightclub, Peterborough

Halo nightclub, Peterborough

Posh centre-half Zakuani, who was
named among the substitutes for the game against the Championship
high-fliers, has already taken to Twitter to protest his innocence in
any wrong-doing.

He has admitted being out until 2am
on Sunday morning but claims he was not drunk and attended a church
service a few hours later.

And now the manager of Peterborough's
'Halo' nightclub has spoken out in defence of the DR Congo
international. The players concerned spent part of their evening at the
venue.

Dave Keetley, the club's manager,
also took to the social media platform to back the player, saying: 'Gaby
Zakuani has visited Halo on several occasions ALWAYS (sic) acts the
perfect gentleman NEVER (sic) done anything to the detriment of
Peterborough United.'

You too: Tyrone Barnett was also involved

You too: Emile Sinclair was also implemented in the breach of club discipline

You too: Tyrone Barnett (left) and Emile Sinclair (right) were also involved, but the club would not elaborate further

Posh owner and chairman Darragh MacAnthony said he had been bombarded by messages on twitter about the four.

But in a series of tweets, Zakuani,
26, wrote: 'I went out on a weekend whether there's no midweek game,
those that know me know I don't drink or smoke, I was up at 8am for
church the next day.

'Honestly, at the time I didn't feel I
did anything wrong as I was home around 2am, I wasn't arrested, no
fighting or anti social behaviour.

'I understand the club are not happy
as we are at the wrong end of the table and I have nothing but total
respect for the gaffer and staff.

'I'm hurt its come to this as we have
made a lot of history in the past five seasons and I love the club to
bits, sorry to all my fans.'

Gabby Zakuani, Tyrone Barnett, Emile Sinclair and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fined and transfer-listed by Peterborough

Peterborough put captain Zakuani and three others on transfer list for breaching club discipline

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UPDATED:

15:47 GMT, 12 November 2012

Peterborough United have fined and transfer-listed four players, including their club captain, for breaching club discipline.

Captain Gabby Zakuani, Tyrone Barnett, Emile Sinclair and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing were all put up for sale following an internal investigation by the npower Championship club.

Peterborough refused to elaborate on why the players are to be sold, but the club seem prepared to settle for a loss on the record 1million they spent on striker Barnett this summer.

On your way: Club captain Gabriel Zakuani has been fined and placed on the transfer list

On your way: Nathaniel Mendez Laing had been put up for sale too

On your way: Captain Gabby Zakuani (left) and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (right) have been fined and put on the transfer list for breaching club discipline

SInce joining from Crawley in May, the 27-year-old has made 10 appearances for the Posh, scoring only once.

Zakuani, meanwhile, has played 160 games
since joining the club from Fulham in 2009.

The loss of the 26-year-old could be particularly damaging for the Posh, as he was instrumental in the side’s two promotions, as well as their relegation escape last season.

Not one of the players started Saturday’s home defeat to Crystal Palace, although Barnett did come off the bench in the second half, having little impact.

A club statement released today read: ‘Peterborough United are disappointed to report that Gabriel Zakuani, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Emile Sinclair and Tyrone Barnett have been transfer listed and fined by the football club following an internal investigation into a breach of club discipline.

‘The club will be making no further comment on the matter.’

You too: Tyrone Barnett was also involved

You too: Emile Sinclair was also implemented in the breach of club discipline

You too: Tyrone Barnett (left) and Emile Sinclair (right) were also involved, but the club would not elaborate further

Mark Clattenburg latest: Chelsea race case in jeopardy as John Mikel Obi faces disrepute charge

Chelsea race case against Clattenburg in jeopardy with Mikel facing disrepute charge

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UPDATED:

00:50 GMT, 31 October 2012

Chelsea's race case against Mark
Clattenburg is in danger of collapsing after it emerged that the club
have employed independent lawyers to investigate the claims of their
players.

The club are expected to conclude
their internal investigation into allegations that the referee racially
abused John Mikel Obi and called Juan Mata a ‘Spanish t***’.

The external lawyers will then
provide Chelsea with legal opinion as to whether their case will be
successful. Despite issues over the available evidence, Chelsea remained
robust.

In the spotlight: John Obi Mikel leaves Chelsea training on Tuesday as the row hangs over the club

In the spotlight: John Obi Mikel leaves Chelsea training on Tuesday as the row hangs over the club

Clattenburg, who has been taken off
the Premier League match list this weekend, has protested his innocence
since his controversial handling of Chelsea’s 3-2 defeat by Manchester
United on Sunday.

Rio tweets with interest..

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand

Manchester
United defender Rio Ferdinand (right), who has been outspoken on racism in
football, tweeted on Tuesday morning: 'Will be interesting to see how
this alleged 'race' or 'insulting' language episode pans out, our game
is under the microscope like never before.'Mikel was among the Chelsea players back
at training on Tuesday morning ahead of the rematch with United in the
Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Now it has emerged that Chelsea are
fearful of the backlash if the players have misheard or misjudged
Clattenburg’s conversations during the stormy clash against United.

Chelsea will proceed with the case
against the referee only if they are satisfied the claims made by the
players after the game will stand up to the FA’s burden of proof.

It means they will
need to satisfy an FA commission ‘on the balance of probability’, but
they also have to negotiate the complexities of the Metropolitan
Police’s investigation into the affair.

If the case breaks down, it will
reflect badly on Chelsea, who made their claims of inappropriate
language against Clattenburg in a strongly worded statement on Sunday,
two hours after the final whistle.

All smiles: Mikel was back with his team-mates in training amid the race row

All smiles: Mikel was back with his team-mates in training amid the race row

Eyes on the ball: Juan Mata (centre) and John Terry (right) during training on Tuesday morning

Eyes on the ball: Juan Mata (centre) and John Terry (right) during training on Tuesday morning

GRAHAM POLL WRITES…

GRAHAM POLL, EX-REFEREE AND DAILY MAIL COLUMNIST.

Lee Mason enjoyed his 41st birthday on Monday but his thoughts will have been dominated by his appointment to referee Wednesday's Capital One Cup game between Chelsea and Manchester United.

Click here to read more…

Earlier it emerged that the club and
Mikel could be charged with misconduct by the FA after the midfielder
had to be restrained from manhandling the referee in his dressing room
following the clash.

Clattenburg did not mention the
behaviour in the ‘extraordinary incident’ report he filed on Sunday, but
he now has to make a detailed statement to the FA. Clattenburg’s
assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon Long, and fourth official Mike
Jones have filed reports in which they say they did not hear the Durham
official say anything inappropriate.

All four were in the referee’s room when Mikel burst in with Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay and manager Roberto Di Matteo.

Mikel’s aggressive manner, along with
the behaviour of other Chelsea officials, raises the possibility of FA
action against the club.

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

Both Mikel and Mata claim they have a
witness to Clattenburg’s comments, and PFA chief executive Gordon
Taylor, who has assessed both complaints, told Sportsmail the
pair have his ‘100 per cent support’.

However, it has emerged that the
allegations about the referee’s comments were made only after a debate
in the Chelsea dressing room. Mikel and Ramires were discussing the
alleged use of racist language and were then quizzed by senior Chelsea
players about what they had heard before the matter was taken further.

Sunday’s controversy is also the
subject of a police investigation and Clattenburg will be interviewed by
them as well as the FA, who are conducting a separate inquiry into his
handling of the clash.

The PFA had a delegate at the game
and he has discussed the matter with Taylor, who said: ‘The main thing
is that the police investigation will not affect the process at the FA.

‘We are supportive of the players and
they have our 100 per cent backing. I find it difficult to believe that
Chelsea’s players would make something like this up. At the same time I
find it hard to conclude that a referee could say something of this
nature.’

Clattenburg found an unlikely ally in
Leeds manager Neil Warnock, who said he was disgusted with Chelsea for
‘trying to kill’ the official.

Warnock, preparing for Leeds’ Capital
One Cup win over Southampton last night, was critical of the
accusations against Clattenburg, who enraged Chelsea by sending off
Fernando Torres for diving when replays showed he had been fouled.


Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

Warnock said: ‘You know my
relationship with referees but I have to say I am disgusted with what’s
gone on. I’m on Clattenburg’s side. We ask referees to man-manage and
that’s what he does. I’m sure he might have said a few things but are
you telling me if Chelsea had won that game that there would have been
one iota of a complaint

‘I hope if it is proved wrong, that
the players, whatever they alleged Mark to have said, get done as well. I
think he made a mistake but they are trying to kill him and I don’t
agree with that.’

In a further development, police
chiefs upgraded security at Stamford Bridge for the Capital One Cup tie
against United as tension between the teams threatens to escalate.

In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

DM.has('rcpv1930696868001','BCVideo');

England players charged by Serbian police over brawl – but no action on racist abuse

The final insult! Serbian police charge England players attacked in mass brawl… but there's still no action on racist abuse

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UPDATED:

19:31 GMT, 30 October 2012

Serbian police have charged two England Under 21 players following the on-pitch melee at the end of this month's European Championship qualifier in Krusevac.

Serbian media have claimed that police in the central Serbian town have charged 12 people including two unnamed England Under 21 players.

A further two officials from Stuart Pearce's backroom staff are also said to have been charged after the match erupted following the final whistle.

Players and officials from both teams clashed on the pitch after Connor Wickham's late goal secured England's passage to next year's finals.

The unsavoury scenes were played out amid allegations of racist chanting from the stands directed at England Under 21 full-back Danny Rose.

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s on Tuesday night

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s after the match on October 16

Brawl: The fight breaks out between England and Serbia Under 21s on Tuesday night

Video footage appeared to reveal the
crowd targeting Rose, who was red-carded after the whistle, and who has
subsequently complained about the treatment he received.

In the days after the game UEFA
charged both countries while the Football Association reported 'a number
of incidents of racism' to the governing body in a dossier of evidence
including the video footage.

The Serbian football association's
response was to hand down lengthy bans to two players and two officials
following an internal investigation.

Ognjen Mudrinski and Nikola Ninkovic,
who clashed with Rose as the full-back attempted to leave the pitch,
were given one-year suspensions while coaches Srdjan Maksimovic and
Andreja Milutinovic were handed two-year bans.

The FSS also issued a qualified
apology for the on-field trouble but denied any racism towards the
England team had taken place in a bizarre statement. In it they claimed
Rose had acted in an 'inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner'
towards their fans.

The cases will be dealt with at a
meeting of UEFA's control and disciplinary body on November 22.

Reaction: Danny Rose (right) made a monkey gesture to the crowd after allegedly receiving racist abuse

Reaction: Danny Rose (right) made a gesture to the crowd after allegedly receiving racist abuse

Assault: England coach Martin Thomas is headbutted by a member of the Serbian coaching team (right) as Stuart Pearce looks on

Assault: England coach Martin Thomas was headbutted by a member of the Serbian coaching team (right)

Racism and violence marred a
record-breaking night for England’s Under 21s as Stuart Pearce branded
Serbia's actions 'a disgrace'.

A
number of England’s black players, including Rose, were subjected to
racist chants as the visitors won 1-0 with a late Connor Wickham goal
to secure a 2-0 aggregate win and a trip to Israel next summer. It will
be their fourth straight European Championship finals appearance, the
first time any nation has achieved that.

Rose, sent off after the final whistle
for a second bookable offence, made gestures to Serbia fans after being
racially abused and pelted with stones. He was inconsolable afterwards.

There were horrendous scenes at the end, as a mass brawl erupted between players and coaches.

England goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas was butted and assistant head coach Steve Wigley was kicked in the stomach. England goalkeeper Jack Butland also had a seat thrown at him.

The FA demanded UEFA take action and head coach Pearce was appalled. He said after the match: ‘It was quite disgraceful. The scenes at the end were very sad.

Ganging up: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) is thrown to the ground by Serbia players and coaches

Ganging up: England coach Steve Wigley (centre) was thrown to the ground by Serbia players and coaches

Turning ugly: Wigley fights back as the situation escalates at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac

Turning ugly: Wigley fought back as the situation escalated at the Mladost Stadium in Krusevac

'One or two of the technical staff
from the opposition, and I don't include their manager in that, didn't
cover themselves in glory on the pitch at the end.

'Punches, headbutts were thrown, and God knows what else. We will let the authorities deal with this at UEFA.

'I’m very proud of the way my players
behaved. It got very volatile very quickly. But you could see the
collectiveness among the staff and the players in the way we all looked
out for each other.'

Trouble starts: A fireman removes a flare thrown onto the pitch by Serbian fans

Trouble starts: A fireman removes a flare thrown onto the pitch by Serbian fans

Tempers frayed: Serbia and England players come together in ugly scenes after the match

Tempers frayed: Serbia and England players came together in ugly scenes after the match

The FA statement said: ‘The FA
condemns both the scenes of racism and the confrontation at the final
whistle during which time our players and staff were under extreme
provocation. The FA has reported a number of incidents of racism to
UEFA. These were seemingly aimed at a number of England’s black players
by the crowd.’

Fury: England striker Marvin Sordell (right) gives his Serbian counterparts a piece of his mind

Fury: England striker Marvin Sordell (right) gave his Serbian counterparts a piece of his mind

Peacemaker: Andros Townsend (centre) separates Danny Rose (left) from Sasa Markovic

Peacemaker: Andros Townsend (centre) separated Danny Rose (left) from Sasa Markovic

Serbia are repeat offenders. In 2007, when England and Serbia met at
this level at the finals in Holland, Nedum Onuoha was subjected to
racial abuse.

Serbia players also brawled with England at the final whistle, charging at England’s bench when Matt Derbyshire had made it 2-0.

Punch: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic (centre) raises his fist during a scuffle

Punch: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic (centre) raised his fist during a scuffle

Rage: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica (centre) attempts to keep the opposing players apart

Rage: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica (centre) attempted to keep the opposing players apart

Stan Kroenke to watch Arsenal twice in four days – Charles Sale

Silent Stan finally makes it back into the Arsenal stands

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 24 October 2012

Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke is expected — over four days this week — to double the number of times he has watched the team play since his takeover 17 months ago.

Silent Stan was at the Champions League game against Schalke and is due at the Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers Premier League fixture on Saturday, having previously been at only two matches since he became the controlling majority shareholder.

However, Kroenke has not just come over from his Denver base to see his side in action. Conveniently, Arsenal have their annual meeting on Thursday morning and the Kroenke-owned St Louis Rams play an American football game at Wembley against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Rare show: Stan Kroenke not only watched Arsenal play but, what's more, he's coming back

Rare show: Stan Kroenke not only watched Arsenal play but, what's more, he's coming back

Rare show: Stan Kroenke not only watched Arsenal play but, what's more, he's coming back

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: No purple patch for quirky Mancini as Manchester City boss ditches unlucky colour
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Charles Sale: Why the blazers ousted FA chairman Bernstein
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Charles Sale: England's hot date with Brazil at the new Maracana
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Kroenke’s absence from Arsenal games is all the more mystifying when a club spokesman said on Wednesday the amount of time the owner spends in London over the year adds up to around a month.

Kroenke is likely to be asked at Thursday’s shareholder summit about his intentions for buying the club. He will also be questioned over why he has yet to meet supporter groups, having made a written commitment to do so.

Arsenal’s 76-year-old chairman Peter Hill-Wood will preside over the annual meeting in his usual vague manner. But the club say Kroenke, who announced last year that fans would be seeing a lot of him because his family love coming to London, will answer questions directed at him.

Ref rules

The bizarre regulations of the Professional Game Match Officials are such that top referees including Howard Webb are allowed to do after-dinner speeches during the season but can’t do media activity. Mark Halsey was prevented by the PGMO from contributing to a Jose Mourinho ITV tribute for that reason, yet Webb is allowed to joke during his dinner act about his perceived bias towards Manchester United and that his sons are called Wayne and Rio.

A PGMO spokesman said private dinners were not media-facing events. Meanwhile, Halsey turned down his invitation to the North West Football Writers’ awards dinner last weekend when he discovered that former elite referee Graham Poll was the speaker. Halsey and Poll have long-standing differences.

Not a laughing matter: Howard Webb made jokes about his alleged Man United bias

Not a laughing matter: Howard Webb made jokes about his alleged Man United bias

Racing away

The Jockey Club’s strategy under Simon Bazalgette, to put their 14 individually managed racecourses into four regional commands, has coincided with their two best-known racecourse bosses departing.

Cheltenham’s Edward Gillespie leaves next week after 32 acclaimed years at the helm and Aintree’s Julian Thick has lost his job in re-structuring. A Jockey Club spokesman said: ‘We’re very happy with our senior staff.’ But it is known Lord Daresbury, chairman of Aintree, did not want Thick to go.

Miller's muddle

Maria Miller, the new Culture Secretary, had an unfortunate start to her welcome drinks with the media when she muddled up St James’ Park with St George’s Park.

However, Miller’s arrival has seen an upgrade in the quality of wine served to the media at her cash-strapped department. After bargain basement vino and crisps at recent austerity gatherings, 7.99 bottles of Argentinian red and white were on the table, as well as olives and nuts.

Oops: Maria Miller muddled up St James' and St George's

Oops: Maria Miller muddled up St James' and St George's

Hugh are you kidding

There is a battle looming between Whitehall and Wembley after the FA council gave a thumbs-down to proposed governance reforms that would dilute their influence. FA vice-chairman Roger Burden reported it was now ‘very clear council will find it difficult to support anything that appears to diminish their authority’.

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson is understood to be livid about the snub, which he described as a ‘massive’ disappointment. And it is expected Robertson will warn of more legislation and the FA being bypassed in grass-roots funding if councillors keep blocking changes.

Yet councillors do not see why the Government should meddle with football if they are not doing so in other sports. Former FA chairman Geoff Thompson brought up FIFA’s strong opposition to Government interference at a Football Regulatory Authority meeting last week.

Manchester United line up 1bn Nike kit deal

Man United line up whopping 1bn Nike extension to boost the coffers

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UPDATED:

08:04 GMT, 24 October 2012

Manchester United will be looking to negotiate sports merchandising giants Nike's biggest-ever sponsorship deal when they begin renewal talks over Old Trafford kit supply in February.

The 13-year Nike agreement with United that expires in 2015 is worth 303million, plus a profit share on retail sales.

And United chief of staff Ed Woodward, who presides over the club's extraordinary commercial operation, is looking for a 'major increase' from Nike.

A new deal: Manchester United are eyeing a bumper extension from kit sponsors Nike

A new deal: Manchester United are eyeing a bumper extension from kit sponsors Nike

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: No purple patch for quirky Mancini as Manchester City boss ditches unlucky colour
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18/10/12

Charles Sale: No extra time for FA chief Bernstein's regime
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Charles Sale: England's hot date with Brazil at the new Maracana
16/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool PR man Chang faces internal probe over Duncan Jenkins claims
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Charles Sale: Liverpool see red over Chang bullying claims
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

They have a six-month window of exclusive talks with United. Woodward would not say what stratospheric number United are chasing.

But they are sure to remind Nike that shirt sponsorship has risen more than six fold in the same period – from Vodafone's 8m to the 52m a year Chevrolet will be forking out from the 2014-15 season.

These potential figures – which could even see a 1billion deal if Nike sign up for a similar length of time – dwarf the 156m over 10 years the US company are reportedly going to pay Rory McIlroy to have the swoosh on his golf equipment and clothing from 2013.

FA botch Bernstein extension

Chairman David Bernstein all but admitted that the FA botched attempts to extend his time in office past his age-limit 70th birthday next May – including alienating councillors by asking for unregulated proxy votes to count in the ballot.

Bernstein, a 'little frustrated' to be leaving in the middle of the 150th anniversary celebrations, said the FA 'didn't organise things as well as they might have done'.

The FA council, having blocked Bernstein, are now turning their guns on the staff-run Club England wanting more representation from the marginalised FA international committee.

But Bernstein said he would 'unequivocally oppose any changes' in his eight months left.

Beckham in his briefs

David Beckham was spotted in his underwear emerging from bushes during a film-shoot by a busload of sight-seers reportedly on a Hollywood tour of celebrity homes.

Now it transpires the coach was full of film extras and the sighting was staged as part of the Guy Ritchie-directed Beckham H&M commercial to be aired next year.

Neville juggling TV and United commitments

Gary Neville – England coach and Sky football pundit – also has to juggle the extra conflicts from his paid position as a Manchester United ambassador alongside Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Andy Cole.

Man of many talents: Gary Neville is juggling between England duties (left), TV work, and his commitments as a Manchester United ambassador

Man of many talents: Gary Neville is juggling between England duties (left), TV work, and his commitments as a Manchester United ambassador

United are likely to add to their ambassadors as well as 'legends' – including Lee Sharpe, Dion Dublin, Quinton Fortune and Gary Pallister – to help service ever-burgeoning sponsorship partners currently totalling 77 worldwide.

These brought in 117million in the last financial year.

No wonder commercial director Richard Arnold says United are carving up their rights with a 'scalpel not a spade'.

They have 70 staff alone working the phones in their sponsorship search hot-house next door to Langan's Brasserie in London's Mayfair.

The owning Glazer family are said to have been instrumental in separating United's training-gear rights in their shirt deal with Aon, allowing for another 10m a year to be extracted from DHL for practice kit branding.

Sky slow on Armstrong

Disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories as part of his exorcism from cycling's history.

But the official website of Team Sky, who boast of zero tolerance towards drugs, was still promoting Armstrong on Tuesday.

Sluggish: Team Sky's official website took their time to remove comments about disgraced drug cheat Lance Armstrong

Sluggish: Team Sky's official website took their time to remove comments about disgraced drug cheat Lance Armstrong

The on-line biography of Team Sky's senior sports director Sean Yates stated how he helped mentor 'one particularly talented young rider called Lance Armstrong . . . who often mentioned his debt to Yates for the advice he provided'.

It added that Yates worked with Armstrong at two teams before joining Sky.

However, all Armstrong mentions were deleted from the Yates biog around the time Sky were asked to comment.

Sheepshanks heads for Onside

Sports specialist lawyers Onside Law, who negotiated Alan Pardew's eight-year deal with Newcastle and TV sports presenter Jake Humphrey's contract with BT Vision, have appointed St George's Park chairman David Sheepshanks as a consultant to help build their football business.

Onside, set up by former IMG golf lawyer Oliver Hunt, represent Rory McIlroy.

Manchester United lien up 1bn Nike kit deal

Man United line up whopping 1bn Nike extension to boost the coffers

|

UPDATED:

06:39 GMT, 24 October 2012

Manchester United will be looking to negotiate sports merchandising giants Nike's biggest-ever sponsorship deal when they begin renewal talks over Old Trafford kit supply in February.

The 13-year Nike agreement with United that expires in 2015 is worth 303million, plus a profit share on retail sales.

And United chief of staff Ed Woodward, who presides over the club's extraordinary commercial operation, is looking for a 'major increase' from Nike.

A new deal: Manchester United are eyeing a bumper extension from kit sponsors Nike

A new deal: Manchester United are eyeing a bumper extension from kit sponsors Nike

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They have a six-month window of exclusive talks with United. Woodward would not say what stratospheric number United are chasing.

But they are sure to remind Nike that shirt sponsorship has risen more than six fold in the same period – from Vodafone's 8m to the 52m a year Chevrolet will be forking out from the 2014-15 season.

These potential figures – which could even see a 1billion deal if Nike sign up for a similar length of time – dwarf the 156m over 10 years the US company are reportedly going to pay Rory McIlroy to have the swoosh on his golf equipment and clothing from 2013.

FA botch Bernstein extension

Chairman David Bernstein all but admitted that the FA botched attempts to extend his time in office past his age-limit 70th birthday next May – including alienating councillors by asking for unregulated proxy votes to count in the ballot.

Bernstein, a 'little frustrated' to be leaving in the middle of the 150th anniversary celebrations, said the FA 'didn't organise things as well as they might have done'.

The FA council, having blocked Bernstein, are now turning their guns on the staff-run Club England wanting more representation from the marginalised FA international committee.

But Bernstein said he would 'unequivocally oppose any changes' in his eight months left.

Beckham in his briefs

David Beckham was spotted in his underwear emerging from bushes during a film-shoot by a busload of sight-seers reportedly on a Hollywood tour of celebrity homes.

Now it transpires the coach was full of film extras and the sighting was staged as part of the Guy Ritchie-directed Beckham H&M commercial to be aired next year.

Neville juggling TV and United commitments

Gary Neville – England coach and Sky football pundit – also has to juggle the extra conflicts from his paid position as a Manchester United ambassador alongside Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson and Andy Cole.

Man of many talents: Gary Neville is juggling between England duties (left), TV work, and his commitments as a Manchester United ambassador

Man of many talents: Gary Neville is juggling between England duties (left), TV work, and his commitments as a Manchester United ambassador

United are likely to add to their ambassadors as well as 'legends' – including Lee Sharpe, Dion Dublin, Quinton Fortune and Gary Pallister – to help service ever-burgeoning sponsorship partners currently totalling 77 worldwide.

These brought in 117million in the last financial year.

No wonder commercial director Richard Arnold says United are carving up their rights with a 'scalpel not a spade'.

They have 70 staff alone working the phones in their sponsorship search hot-house next door to Langan's Brasserie in London's Mayfair.

The owning Glazer family are said to have been instrumental in separating United's training-gear rights in their shirt deal with Aon, allowing for another 10m a year to be extracted from DHL for practice kit branding.

Sky slow on Armstrong

Disgraced drugs cheat Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France victories as part of his exorcism from cycling's history.

But the official website of Team Sky, who boast of zero tolerance towards drugs, was still promoting Armstrong on Tuesday.

Sluggish: Team Sky's official website took their time to remove comments about disgraced drug cheat Lance Armstrong

Sluggish: Team Sky's official website took their time to remove comments about disgraced drug cheat Lance Armstrong

The on-line biography of Team Sky's senior sports director Sean Yates stated how he helped mentor 'one particularly talented young rider called Lance Armstrong . . . who often mentioned his debt to Yates for the advice he provided'.

It added that Yates worked with Armstrong at two teams before joining Sky.

However, all Armstrong mentions were deleted from the Yates biog around the time Sky were asked to comment.

Sheepshanks heads for Onside

Sports specialist lawyers Onside Law, who negotiated Alan Pardew's eight-year deal with Newcastle and TV sports presenter Jake Humphrey's contract with BT Vision, have appointed St George's Park chairman David Sheepshanks as a consultant to help build their football business.

Onside, set up by former IMG golf lawyer Oliver Hunt, represent Rory McIlroy.