Tag Archives: labour

Nigel Doughty: Tributes for Nottingham Forest owner after sudden death

Tributes to Forest owner Doughty after his sudden death at home aged 54

Nottingham Forest's clash with Derby is due to go ahead on Sunday despite the sudden death of their owner Nigel Doughty.

Tributes to Doughty are expected to take place before the lunchtime clash after the 54-year-old was found dead in his gym at his Lincolnshire home.

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.

Tragedy: Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty

Tragedy: Nottingham Forest owner Nigel Doughty

'It is with enormous sadness that Nottingham Forest announce the death of the club's owner Nigel Doughty,' the club said in a statement.

Labour leader Ed Miliband led the tributes to a man who was one of the party's biggest individual donors and led a Small Business Taskforce making recommendations to Labour late last year.

Miliband said on Twitter: 'I am shocked and saddened to hear of Nigel Doughty's death.

'I was with him only a week ago and he was full of life, enthusiasm and vigour.

'He was a kind, generous man with a deep desire to make the world a better place. My heart goes out to his wife Lucy and his children. We will sorely miss him.'

Shock: Forest were stunned to learn the news of their owner's death

Shock: Forest were stunned to learn the news of their owner's death

Matt Derbyshire was one of a number of
Forest players to express shock on Twitter, saying: 'Oh my God. Can't
believe the sad, sad news about Nigel Doughty. My thoughts go to his
family.'

Doughty, a lifelong Forest fan, stepped down as chairman in October after taking responsibility for the failure of former England manager Steve McClaren. He had not attended a game since.

Doughty saved Forest from administration when he bought the club for 11m in 1999 and became chairman two years later, investing almost 75m of his fortune in the club.

They won promotion back to the Championship in 2008 but have been unable to fulfil Doughty's ambition of returning them to the top flight. Instead, they are second from bottom going into Sunday's game.

Doughty leaves four children, including Michael, a midfielder with QPR on loan at Crawley.

Jose Mourinho could return to Premier League

Mourinho plots Premier League return next season as pressure mounts on Madrid boss

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho will reportedly return to the Premier League next season.

Although Real are seven points clear at the top of the Primera Division, Mourinho's position is by no means secure with controversy never far away ever since his move from Inter Milan in May 2010.

The 49-year-old has not managed to break Barcelona's dominance in matches between the two rivals while he has attracted negative headlines for a number of unsavoury episodes.

Pressure: Jose Mourinho (right) could leave Madrid in the summer

Pressure: Jose Mourinho (right) could leave Madrid in the summer

Last weekend he was booed and whistled by some Real fans responding to others chanting his name although he professed to be unconcerned.

Last month Real president Florentino Perez insisted the Portuguese was the man to usurp Barca, saying: 'Signing Jose Mourinho has been my best decision as president of Real Madrid.'

Over Christmas Mourinho reiterated his desire to return to England 'in a couple of years' – although he later clarified his comments, explaining he had not literally meant two years, but a few.

Leaders: Real came from behind to beat Zaragoza on Saturday

Leaders: Real came from behind to beat Zaragoza on Saturday

He insisted he wanted to see the fruit of his labour at the Bernabeu, saying: 'I don't see the moment when I'm going to leave nor do I want to leave.'

However, reports are claiming he will choose to leave Real and return England once the current season is over.

Mourinho spent a little over three years at Chelsea from June 2004, twice winning the league and league cup as well as the FA Cup before his sudden exit in September 2007.

Gary Cahill signs for Chelsea

I couldn't turn this down, says Chelsea new boy Cahill (who will be paid 80k a week until 2017)

Gary Cahill has set his sights on winning trophies after finally completing his move to Chelsea.

The England defender, 26, becomes manager Andre Villas-Boas' first January recruit.

Cahill's capture, for a fee of 7million, follows a fortnight of wrangling over the player's personal terms.

Done deal: Gary Cahill has completed his move to Chelsea from Bolton

Done deal: Gary Cahill has completed his move to Chelsea from Bolton

'Chelsea is a massive club,' Cahill told Chelsea's official website. 'It is a club that looks to
win trophies season in, season out and it is a big opportunity for me
to be a part of that.

'Opportunities like this, you can't turn down.'

The parties reportedly settled on wages of 80,000-per-week on Friday, 20,000 less than Cahill was said to be demanding.

New boy: Cahill watched Chelsea labour to victory over Sunderland

New boy: Cahill watched Chelsea labour to victory over Sunderland

The player then travelled to London
to undergo a medical and watched his new club's 1-0 Barclays Premier
League win over Sunderland on Saturday.

Chelsea
were once again far from convincing at the back and supporters will be
hoping Cahill can provide the much-needed solidity for which they were
long renowned.

Despite being part of a Bolton defence among the worst in the Premier League this season, Cahill has performed well alongside Chelsea captain John Terry at international level.

For club and country: Cahill could be reunited with John Terry at Chelsea

For club and country: Cahill could be reunited with John Terry at Chelsea

There were no shortage of admirers for the defender, with Arsenal seeing a bid rejected last summer and Tottenham also going close to landing him.

But Chelsea were the only serious January transfer window bidders, with Bolton opting to cash in on a player in the final six months of his contract.

A fee was agreed at the end of last month but negotiations with the player immediately hit a snag when Villas-Boas revealed club and player were 'miles apart' in terms of Cahill's salary.

Farewell: Cahill made his final appearance for Bolton earlier this month

Farewell: Cahill made his final appearance for Bolton earlier this month

Reports suggested that gap was 30,000, with Chelsea determined not to be held to ransom as they seek to slash their overall wage budget in the era of Financial Fair Play.

Villas-Boas last week refused to criticise Cahill or his representatives for the delay, saying: 'It's part of negotiation.'

The Chelsea boss has previously said he is looking to sign one more player in the transfer market, probably a striker, although he has since suggested Cahill may be the only arrival.

Replacement David Luiz has come in for criticism for his recent performances

Replacement David Luiz has come in for criticism for his recent performances

Speaking about Cahill's impending arrival on Saturday evening, Villas-Boas said: 'He has good technical abilities which is important in the way we want to play and to implement our philosophy.

'Our passing philosophy in building from the back. He has speed of anticipation, is an English international of course.

'Competition will be tight for him but we brought him in to become better as a team.'

The Midlander: The fall of Coventry City

How the Sky Blues have come crashing down since THAT magical FA Cup win in 1987

One of the joys of doing an internet column is the fact that you are not confined by space, as you are with newsprint.

This week”s labour of love has been a look at Coventry City”s plight, which will appear in Saturday”s Daily Mail (fingers crossed).

When you are asked to put together a piece like this, you obviously ask those past and present for their views etc.

Unforgettable: Coventry players celebrate their 1987 FA Cup triumph

Unforgettable: Coventry players celebrate their 1987 FA Cup triumph

Not all of this is used. It won”t be on Saturday, for instance, because I don”t have the space.

And 900 words I could have written 9,000. But, it seems a shame that all this work should go to waste – not least because it throws up interesting nuggets that would otherwise get lost.

For instance, before I kicked off this piece – I put together a timeline of what has happened to the club since 1987 – the 25th anniversary of that FA Cup win.

It contains the bare essentials. Most Sky Blues fans will know it anyway, but it just highlights what has happened to the club since then.

I can”t include everything but it”s a snapshot if you like of what has happened.

I would ask at this point not to have any subjective opinions on what is laid before you.

Try and look at it with an open mind. I think it”s impossible to escape the obvious conclusion.

Coventry City timeline

1987 – The “team with no stars” wins the FA Cup for the first time in the Sky Blues” history following an epic 3-2 victory over Spurs.

1989 – Coventry, lying third in the First Division, are at the centre of one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup history, losing 2-1 to Sutton United in the third round.

1991 – Managers John Sillett and Terry Butcher come and go. At the dawn of the new Premier League, David Speedie is the highest-paid player on 1,200-per-week. Coventry remain in the top flight.

Diving into history: Everybody remembers Keith Houchen

Diving into history: Everybody remembers Keith Houchen”s brilliant goal in the 1987 FA Cup final victory over Tottenham at Wembley

1992 – Former Warwickshire cricketer Bryan Richardson joins the board. Don Howe and Bobby Gould are both appointed as managers before making way for Phil Neal.

1994 – Richardson assumes board control from Derrick Robins. His mantra “We”re going to have a punt.”

1995 – Ron Atkinson takes over from Neal.

1996 – Gordon Strachan becomes the seventh manager in nine years after Atkinson declines director of football role. Coventry North-West MP Geoffrey Robinson joins the board.

1998 – Debt reported to be 20m. Gary McAllister is now among the highest-paid players on 20,000-a-week.

1999 – Robbie Keane is signed for a club record 6m from Wolves – and is sold one year later to Inter Milan for 13m.

Shocking: Minnows Sutton United ended Coventry

Shocking: Minnows Sutton United ended Coventry”s hopes of another FA Cup win when they pulled off a giant-killing in the third round in 1989

2001 – Coventry”s 34-year stay in the top flight ends at Villa Park with a 3-2 defeat.

2002 – Richardson makes way for Mike McGinnity as chairman. The former shop-fitter inherits a crippling debt of 59.7m.

2003 – Coventry City Council give the green light for the Ricoh Arena to be built with Coventry City as sitting tenants. Highfield Road is sold off to developers.

2004 – After a fire-sale of players, McGinnity chops debt to 23m. However, the club has few assets, save for the the training ground at Ryton-on-Dunsmore.

Manager McAllister battles gamely to protect the Sky Blues” championship status. As does Eric Black. And Peter Reid.

2005 – Ricoh Arena opens with Micky Adams having secured safety the previous season. Robinson succeeds McGinnity who stands down due to ill-health.

2006 – Coventry”s final position of eighth under Adams is their highest in any league since they finished seventh in the First Division in 1989.

2007 – Adams is forced to sell Gary McSheffrey and James Scowcroft. Dennis Wise joins Leeds. Robinson announces three-year plan for the Premier League.

2008 – Club teeters on the brink of administration. Ray Ranson, backed by hedge fund SISU, promises to plough in 20m to return club to the top flight. Iain Dowie is sacked, Chris Coleman takes over.

Ups and downs: Robbie Keane (left) was bought for 6m and sold for 13m while Gary McAllister played for and managed the Sky Blues

Ups and downs: Robbie Keane (left) was bought for 6m and sold for 13m while Gary McAllister played for and managed the Sky Blues

2010 – Coleman is sacked. Aidy Boothroyd is the latest man in the hot-seat. He is ousted, shortly before Ranson resigns, leaving SISU nursing a monthly loss of 500,000 just to keep the club afloat.

2011 – Andy Thorn becomes the 14th manager since 1987. After two wins in 19 matches, the club is bottom of the Championship and facing administration once more.

……………………………………………………….

I cannot be alone in thinking that the over-riding flavour of this worrying timeline is chronic mismanagement

It starts with Bryan Richardson. On the face of it an utterly charming man. American author Rick Gekoski”s brilliant account of life behind the scenes at Coventry in 1997 is worth its weight in gold.

More from Neil Moxley…

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The Midlander: The secret to success Reid, Moore and Agbonlahor all have different stories
01/12/11

The Midlander: Case for the defence crumbles as McLeish bids to stave off backlash
25/11/11

The Midlander: Pearson”s back in familiar surroundings but it”s all change for returning boss at Leicester
17/11/11

The Midlander: Wolves hierachy can stand behind McCarthy, but they don”t hold the aces
04/11/11

The Midlander: The solution to Coventry”s financial woe Kissing frogs!
19/10/11

The Midlander: Clark”s comforting presence has already lifted Forest
14/10/11

The Midlander: Who should fans blame for Forest”s free-fall Everyone, actually…
07/10/11

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The blurb on the back, written by Gordon Strachan, who was manager at the time, says it”s about as close as you can get to actually being there.

Having worked in and around professional football clubs for the best part of 20 years, I would urge Sky Blues supporters to read it.

The early chapters, given what we now know, are chilling.

Anyway, the rot starts with Richardson. He took over the club, “had a punt” (his words, not mine) and it ended with a 59.7m debt and no stake in Ricoh Arena.

There are some good guys out there. I think Mike McGinnity, who invested 2m of his own cash subsequently keeping the club afloat, is one of them.

Clearly, Geoffrey Robinson was well-meaning. But, having written off 23m, you have to wonder as to why he was allowed to become paymaster-general…

Paul Fletcher was enthusiastic but there was little real sign of improvement under his leadership, either on or off the pitch.

And then we turn to SISU, brought to the table by Ranson who paid himself 300,000 per year for the privilege of being chief executive of the club.

His mismanagement has led directly to this latest mess although SISU should know, being a hedge fund, that if you play high-value games there is a chance you will lose them.

I spoke with a couple of managers this week. Peter Reid was one, Micky Adams the other.

Stuck: Peter Reid knew the players he wanted but the money wasn

Stuck: Peter Reid knew the players he wanted but the money wasn”t there

So, I”m just going to give an overview of what has faced Reid – and probably one dozen of the 13 other managers since John Sillett.

“We were sixth or seventh at the turn of the year and Callum Davenport”s contract was running out at the end of the season,” he said. “The club – for reasons I now understand – didn”t want to wait for the money as it would have gone to tribunal at the end of the season.

“So, I agreed to sell Davenport on the proviso that I had the money to reinvest. So, on that basis, I started looking about.

“I brought Stern John in and had Stephen Hunt over on trial from Ireland.

“What”s more, Niall Quinn had tipped me off about Kevin Doyle. I was certain that if I could have got to the lad, I”d have signed him as well.

“I needed someone at the back to fill the gap left by Davenport and I”d lined up Malky Mackay who I felt would do a good job for us.

“What happened We couldn”t afford Hunt”s 1,500-a-week wages. When I saw what was going on, I didn”t follow up my interest in Doyle. Mackay went to West Ham.

“I asked the chairman: (Mike McGinnity) “Where”s the money gone”

“He looked at me and said: “Sorry Peter, the bank”s taken it.””

Speak to Adams and he will speak out in defence of a succession of bosses. But he too, has his tale to tell. Bear in mind that Adams had just orchestrated the highest league finish since 1989, albeit in the Championship (eighth).

Up against it: Micky Adams succeeded Reid but lost experienced players

Up against it: Micky Adams succeeded Reid but lost experienced players

“I didn”t think we were far off. Only what happens We lose Gary McSheffrey and James Scowcroft, two of our most influential players. Dennis Wise is allowed to leave for Leeds,” he said.

“Results Well, they start dropping off in the following season and everyone is looking at the manager.

“But don”t look at me. Look at the rest of the bosses who followed.

“Are we all bad I would suggest some are better than others but the law of averages says you should pick one or two good ones. How many is it in 25 years Fourteen Fifteen

“The problem with Coventry City is when the fans start calling for the managers” head, the board cave in.

“What does that do It takes the emphasis off them. All the best clubs stand by their managers when it gets sticky. Coventry City don”t.

“What”s the answer when the supporters moan Fire the manager, bring in a new one. The board stays put. It”s just been repeated. Time and again.

Not enough: One of Coventry

Not enough: One of Coventry”s two wins this season was against Forest

“Also the Ricoh Arena is a millstone around the club”s neck. Until they get that sorted out, they aren”t going anywhere.

“Fantastic city, great supporters who deserve better. After playing for and managing the club it broke my heart that I couldn”t give them the success they crave. It really did.

“I phoned Aidy Boothroyd when he got the job, marked his card on a couple of issues and said: “If you get it right, you”ll go down in history. They have had nothing to shout about.””

It was almost painful, going down to Ryton on Thursday for Andy Thorn”s pre-match press conference.

I have never felt such an air of desolation. The place stank of defeatism. Everywhere but in the room set aside for Thorn”s musings.

He said all the right things: “We”ll stick together, I”ve got faith in the kids.”

But I”m not even sure he believed what he was saying.

Peter Ward, holder of four season-tickets and chairman of the Sky Blues” supporters consulation group, said: “I keep repeating myself – but I”ll say again to the board: “What is the plan Please tell us.””

I”ve sat across a table not long ago – about seven weeks to be precise – and interviewed Ken Dulieu.

No home comforts: Coventry

No home comforts: Coventry”s latest outing in front of their own supporters at the Ricoh Arena ended in a 1-0 defeat against Hull

He was plausible. But then he goes and shoots himself in the foot by sitting on the bench last week.

Ken, mate, we are all football wannabes. Sadly, we have to let those that can do it get on with it.

The owners of the club, a hedge fund called SISU, do not exist to sustain losses.

They are supposed to take investors” cash and turn it into more cash via sensible business purchases.

Coventry City is losing money hand over fist. Best estimates Well, it was losing 500,000 a month.

Those debts have been reduced, according to Dulieu, by about 40 per cent. Which means 300,000 is still draining away ever four weeks. It is a situation that cannot continue ad infinitum.

In my opinion, any investors are waiting to see whether the club goes into administration and hoping to pick it up for a song with SISU writing off their investment.

It”s a game of brinkmanship because there is no easy way out for SISU.

They clearly do not have deep enough pockets to buy the Arena site because they would have done so by now. It is, after all, the sensible way out.

But the city council, no doubt aware of the above timeline and mismanagement, aren”t going to hand a prime asset like the Arena to just anyone. Why should they

Back to Ward. “It”s a mess and it”s incredibly painful,” he said.

My best guess at the future Looking logically, if SISU wanted out they could sell what few remaining playing assets there are in the transfer window, grab that money and call it quits. Otherwise, the losses will accumulate and the situation will worsen.

Huge job: Andy Thorn has a task on his hands with Coventry bottom of the table

Huge job: Andy Thorn has a task on his hands with Coventry bottom of the table

SISU”s shareholders must already be asking questions.

On the pitch, relegation, I”m afraid, is an inevitability if nothing happens.

Extrapolate the season over 46 games. Coventry City have won two in 19 so far.

It”s not Andy Thorn”s fault. It”s certainly not that of this group of players, either, as long as they keep trying.

SISU are in a difficult position. But the least the supporters deserve is a full and detailed explanation of what the plans are.

They are planning a boycott in protest at the FA Cup game against Southampton.

That”s the last thing the club needs. The conclusion is that someone, somewhere needs to come up with a plausible plan.

Otherwise this horrible pain is going to carry on.

NBA London games cancelled

NBA London games cancelled as New Jersey v Orlando falls victim to labour dispute

The planned NBA games in London ahead of next summer”s Olympics have been cancelled.

The New Jersey Nets and Orlando Magic had been due to play regular-season games at the O2 Arena as part of an effort to promote basketball in the lead up to the Olympics.

No return: New Jersey Nets played the Toronto Raptors at London

No return: New Jersey Nets played the Toronto Raptors at London”s O2 Arena earlier this year but they will not be back before next summer”s Olympics

But the fixtures have fallen victim to the labour dispute that led to much of the NBA season being cancelled.

A shortened 66-game schedule, starting on Christmas Day, was released by the league on Tuesday night, and there was no room for the London dates, which had been scheduled for March 7 and 8.

It is still planned for the NBA to return to the UK for pre-season games in 2012 and 2013.