Tag Archives: lifeline

Rio Ferdinand: I"m not losing any sleep over England snub

I'm not losing any sleep over England snub! Ferdinand focused on Man United's title challenge

qualifying match with Switzerland at Wembley.

Return Rio Ferdinand (left) has been offered a bizarre lifeline by England

Return Rio Ferdinand (left) has been offered a bizarre lifeline by England

That came under Fabio Capello, but
with the race row between John Terry and his brother Anton still
unresolved at the time Roy Hodgson took over, Ferdinand has remained
unselected by the current boss.

Hodgson insists the 81-cap man's
omission is for football reasons alone, while the player himself refuses
to even think about anything beyond his achievements at club level.

'I'm not sitting there thinking about trying to get back into the England team,' he told the Manchester Evening News.

'I'm just playing football for Manchester United. That's what I love doing and that is what's at the forefront of my mind.

'If that, in time, it ends up in me
getting a call-up for England, then great and fantastic. If it doesn't, I
won't really lose any sleep over it,' he added.

Commanding: Ferdinand has had a solid season at the back for Manchester United

Commanding: Ferdinand has had a solid season at the back for Manchester United

Inconclusive: England manager Roy Hodgson said England have 'moved on' from the centre-back pairing of Ferdinand and John Terry

Inconclusive: England manager Roy Hodgson said England have 'moved on' from the centre-back pairing of Ferdinand and John Terry

Ferdinand appeared to have been
thrown a bizarre international lifeline after the FA insisted he could
still return to Roy Hodgson's England squad.

Ferdinand,
who has not played for his country since a 2-2 draw with Switzerland in
June 2011, insists he will always be available to play international
football.

The 34-year-old has started 19 games in the Barclays Premier League for Manchester United this season and Sportsmail's Neil Ashton wrote this week about how England should recall the defender.

Although England sealed an impressive
2-1 win over Brazil on Wednesday, Ferdinand's absence from England duty
was highlighted at Wembley when Gary Cahill's mistake allowed Fred to
equalise.

After the game Hodgson seemed to
claim England had moved on from the Ferdinand era and were looking to
younger players for the 2014 World Cup.

Blunder: Gary Cahill's error led to Brazil's equaliser on Wednesday night

Blunder: Gary Cahill's error led to Brazil's equaliser on Wednesday night

'For
years England had a centre-back pairing (John Terry and Ferdinand)
everyone was satisfied with and they were two very good players,'
England's manager said.

'For
various reasons we've moved on from that and we have to try to solve
the problem. I'm not going to talk about Rio. It seems that every other
day I have to answer questions about Rio.

'We've just beaten Brazil for the first time in God knows how many years, the first time I've played against Brazil.

'We're
talking international football, England against Brazil and some of the
so-called very, very best players in the world. I think that whoever you
would play at centre back would have problems against that quality of
opposition.'

However,
despite Hodgson's comments the FA attempted to clarify the situation
yesterday and insisted the door will never be closed on any player.

Hereford racecourse given hope after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

Hereford racecourse given a lifeline after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 16 December 2012

It may not be all doom and gloom for the supporters of Hereford racecourse, which held its final meeting for the foreseeable future on Sunday.

Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone (due to race for the last time on Tuesday) claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open at some stage in the future.

Assistant racing director Jim Allen said: ‘There are still 17 years left on the lease and any racecourse or body can come and talk to us about it.

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

‘We’d like to see racing continue at
Hereford at some point in the future and we’ll do what we can to make
that happen. We’ll be maintaining it, it will stay as it is and there is
still every opportunity that some fixtures in 2014 will return here.’

Disputes with the local council over the lease have led to Arena deciding to curtail a business which it says is not financially viable.

Even if this is the case, any of the remaining races of even vague importance have long been transferred elsewhere and recent investment in the facilities at the venue is non-existent, with the bar for owners and trainers, for example, housed in a fairly dilapidated shack.

Richard Johnson, so often runner-up in the jockeys’ championship to Tony McCoy, was born just five miles away and rode his first ever winner at Hereford on his grandfather’s Rusty Bridge in 1994.

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

Appropriately Johnson took the opening race on the card when partnering Sammys Gone to victory.

He said: ‘I was 16 when I first rode here, so it’s very sad. I know a lot of people have said they are keen on trying to do something to keep it open, so I really hope they do.’

A decent crowd of 2,600 watched the last race in Hereford’s 241-year history, and it turned out to be a lucky one for Seymour Eric who was winning for the first time in his career and completed a double on the day for trainer Martin Keighley.

He said: ‘It’s a local track to me, it’s well run and it’s sad to see it go. Hopefully something can change.’

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

There might not have been any Cheltenham Festival candidates on show at Hereford yesterday, but across the Irish Sea Pont Alexandre looked a top-class hurdler in the making when landing the Navan Novice Hurdle.

The performance was good enough for the Willie Mullins-trained four-year-old to be installed as 6-1 favourite with Paddy Power for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Tottenham 3 Panathinaikos 1 – match report

Tottenham 3 Panathinaikos 1: AVB has pop at Chelsea lifeline as Spurs advance to knockout stages

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UPDATED:

00:13 GMT, 7 December 2012

Andre Villas-Boas aimed a sly dig at former club Chelsea, claiming it is ‘unfair’ they have been rewarded for their European failure.

After his Tottenham side cruised into the last 32, the Portuguese manager said his ex-employers should not have been given a place in the Europa League for finishing third in their Champions League group.

Rise: Clint Dempsey heads the ball towards goal and sees it bounce in off of the crossbar and the keeper

Rise: Clint Dempsey heads the ball towards goal and sees it bounce in off of the crossbar and the keeper

Dempsey's day: The American had a fine game as Spurs progressed

Dempsey's day: The American had a fine game as Spurs progressed

Match facts

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker, Caulker, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon (Livermore 87), Sandro, Carroll (Dembele 75), Dempsey (Sigurdsson 80), Defoe, Adebayor.

Subs not used: Cudicini, Huddlestone, Townsend, Stewart.

Booked: Naughton.

Goals: Adebayor 29, Karnezis o.g. 76, Defoe 83.

Panathinaikos: Karnezis, Seitaridis, Triantafyllopoulos, Vyntra, Spyropoulos, Vitolo, Sow (Christodoulopoulos 60), Sissoko, Zeca, Mavrias (Fornaroli 83), Toche (Petropoulos 78).

Subs not used: Kapino, Marinos, Chouchoumis, Velazquez.

Booked: Spyropoulos.

Goal: Zeca 54.

Att: 32,554.

Ref: Pawel Gil (Poland)

Europa League tables, fixtures and results

Villas-Boas said: ‘I’ve had this
situation in the Europa League when I was at Porto and I think it is
extremely unfair. You can’t give a bonus to teams that have failed.’

The earliest the two London clubs can meet is in the last 16, and
Villas-Boas added: ‘Sometimes it is destiny. Hopefully if we go through
we can meet each other. If we do meet they will be two magnificent
games.’

Emmanuel Adebayor scored his first European goal in nearly two years,
firing Spurs ahead before an own goal and an elegant finish by Jermain
Defoe clinched victory. Adebayor’s last goals were the two he scored for
Real Madrid against Spurs in the Spanish side’s 4-0 Champions League
win on April 5, 2011.

His strike could persuade Villas-Boas to reward the Togolese forward
with a Premier League return against Everton on Sunday now his
three-match domestic suspension for the red card against Arsenal is
over.

Spurs fielded a strong starting line-up, with Adebayor and Defoe up
front and highly rated midfielder Tom Carroll given another chance to
burnish his reputation.

After a slow start Tottenham took the lead in the 29th minute when Clint
Dempsey was afforded the time and space to find Adebayor with an
inch-perfect pass, leaving the striker with the simple task of slotting
past Orestis Karnezis from 10 yards.

Tucked away: Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring for Spurs

Tucked away: Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring for Spurs

How's that Adebayor celebrates his opener

How's that Adebayor celebrates his opener

Spurs hardly deserved their advantage but Villas-Boas would not have
cared an iota as his side took a step closer to the knockout stages.

Sandro thundered a long-ranger well over Karnezis’ bar soon after before
Ibrahim Sissoko sent a similar effort sky high. Defoe was
uncharacteristically wasteful in the 37th minute, ballooning a 12-yard
half-volley over the bar after Georgios Seitaridis failed to deal with
Aaron Lennon’s cross.

Spurs fans sensed their latest European adventure would run into the
second half of the season and began to mock Chelsea’s Champions League
exit with cries of: ‘Champions of Europe, you’re not any more.’

Good work: Andre Villas-Boas gives Spurs the thumbs up sign

Good work: Andre Villas-Boas gives Spurs the thumbs up sign

Back in it: Zeca nods past Brad Friedel

Back in it: Zeca nods past Brad Friedel

Level terms: Zeca struck for Panathinaikos to make it 1-1 on the night

Level terms: Zeca struck for Panathinaikos to make it 1-1 on the night

Defoe came within inches of scoring Tottenham’s second four minutes
after the break, hitting the post with a fierce left-foot drive from
inside the box after another beautiful pass from Dempsey.

Panathinaikos managed a shock 54th-minute equaliser when Nikos
Spyropoulos was left in acres of space down the left and his cross was
met beautifully by Zeca, who escaped the attentions of Kyle Naughton at
the far post and nodded expertly past Brad Friedel.

Attempt: Defoe tries to blast home on the volley

Attempt: Defoe tries to blast home on the volley

Heads up: Charalambos Mavrias controls the ball

Heads up: Charalambos Mavrias controls the ball

Tottenham’s Europa League hopes were back in the balance but Dempsey
helped settle tensions 14 minutes from time as his thunderbolt header
from Kyle Walker’s free-kick cannoned off the bar and back off Karnezis
to restore his side’s lead.

And Defoe clinched victory after 83 minutes with a beautiful chip over
Karnezis following a pass by Lennon that sprung the offside trap.

Chippy: Defoe lifts the ball over the keeper to make it 3-1

Chippy: Defoe lifts the ball over the keeper to make it 3-1

Mario Balotelli wins war with Borussia Dortmund keeper

Last word: Mario ignores keeper's taunts to rescue City but Mancini slams lacklustre side

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UPDATED:

11:06 GMT, 4 October 2012

Mario Balotelli won a war of words to hand Manchester City a Champions League lifeline with a late penalty equaliser.

Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller taunted Balotelli after City were awarded a 90th-minute spot-kick for handball. But the City substitute ignored the back-chat to wrong-foot Weidenfeller and make it 1-1 before exchanging more insults with the goalkeeper.

City boss Roberto Mancini slammed his side’s performance as 'very poor' and admitted only Joe Hart’s heroics prevented a damaging defeat.

Scroll down for video

1: Keeper Roman Weidenfeller tries to put off Mario Balotelli

1: Keeper Roman Weidenfeller tries to put off Mario Balotelli

2: Balotelli sends the mouthy Dortmund keeper the wrong way

2: Balotelli sends the mouthy Dortmund keeper the wrong way

3: Balotelli lets the Dortmund keeper know the score

3: Balotelli lets the Dortmund keeper know the score

4: And Mario can't resist having the last word in his exchange with stopper Weidenfelller

4: And Mario can't resist having the last word in his exchange with stopper Weidenfelller

Mancini said: ‘I know the problem and I will solve it very quickly. It’s my job to solve it.
‘If we don’t improve it could be difficult to qualify. We didn’t play well. I’m really disappointed. It was very poor. Joe Hart saved us from defeat. He did very well and saved everything.

'We deserved to conceded three or four goals. We didn't play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us.

Job well done: Joe Hart pulled off a number of crucial saves to keep City in the game

Job well done: Joe Hart pulled off a number of crucial saves to keep City in the game

Flying save: Hart made a number of top class saves

Flying save: Hart made a number of top class saves

'They probably at this moment are a better team than us. If we want to play in the Champions League we have to play better than tonight.

'We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just have quality.’

Hart made seven or eight top-class saves and was immediately hailed as the world’s best by England team-mate Wayne Rooney, who said on Twitter: ‘I have to say that Joe Hart has been fantastic. For me he is the best goalkeeper in the world.’

Not amused: Roberto Mancini said City were not good enough

Not amused: Roberto Mancini said City were not good enough

City now look as though they will need to win home and away against Ajax in the next month to have any chance of qualifying from Group D.

Group favourites Real Madrid beat Ajax 4-1 and top the group after two wins in two games.
Hart, criticised by Mancini for offering his opinion after last month’s defeat at Madrid, said: ‘It could have been 10-all tonight. I thought their keeper was fantastic. But Mario was never going to miss the penalty. I don’t know if it was a penalty, but we pushed hard and wanted a point.

Trouble at home: City's players look dejected as they fall behind

Trouble at home: City's players look dejected as they fall behind

‘We have come out of the game alive. Off the top of my head, I can’t ever remember making as many saves (as I did tonight). Dortmund were different class.

‘I hope this result is important and that it is not a waste of effort.

‘This game shows just how tough this group is.’

Mancini added: ‘We have to play better than tonight. It’s not enough to just pass. The Champions League is another situation — different from the (Premier League).’

City are yet to keep a clean sheet this season in any competition.

VIDEO: Praise for Joe Hart as he saves the day!

DM.has('rcpv1876835627001','BCVideo');

Roberto Mancini says Manchester City must improve to stay in the Champions League

Last word: Mario ignores keeper's taunts to rescue City but Mancini slams lacklustre side

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 3 October 2012

Mario Balotelli won a war of words to hand Manchester City a Champions League lifeline with a late penalty equaliser.

Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller taunted Balotelli after City were awarded a 90th-minute spot-kick for handball. But the City substitute ignored the back-chat to wrong-foot Weidenfeller and make it 1-1 before exchanging more insults with the goalkeeper.

City boss Roberto Mancini slammed his side’s performance as 'very poor' and admitted only Joe Hart’s heroics prevented a damaging defeat.

Who's laughing now Mario Balotelli gives Dortumund stopper Roman Weidenfelller a piece of his mind after levelling from the spot

Who's laughing now Mario Balotelli gives Dortumund stopper Roman Weidenfelller a piece of his mind after levelling from the spot

Mancini said: ‘I know the problem and I will solve it very quickly. It’s my job to solve it.
‘If we don’t improve it could be difficult to qualify. We didn’t play well. I’m really disappointed. It was very poor. Joe Hart saved us from defeat. He did very well and saved everything.

'We deserved to conceded three or four goals. We didn't play well because Borussia Dortmund played better than us.

Job well done: Joe Hart pulled off a number of crucial saves to keep City in the game

Job well done: Joe Hart pulled off a number of crucial saves to keep City in the game

Flying save: Hart made a number of top class saves

Flying save: Hart made a number of top class saves

'They probably at this moment are a better team than us. If we want to play in the Champions League we have to play better than tonight.

'We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just have quality.’

Hart made seven or eight top-class saves and was immediately hailed as the world’s best by England team-mate Wayne Rooney, who said on Twitter: ‘I have to say that Joe Hart has been fantastic. For me he is the best goalkeeper in the world.’

Not amused: Roberto Mancini said City were not good enough

Not amused: Roberto Mancini said City were not good enough

City now look as though they will need to win home and away against Ajax in the next month to have any chance of qualifying from Group D.

Group favourites Real Madrid beat Ajax 4-1 and top the group after two wins in two games.
Hart, criticised by Mancini for offering his opinion after last month’s defeat at Madrid, said: ‘It could have been 10-all tonight. I thought their keeper was fantastic. But Mario was never going to miss the penalty. I don’t know if it was a penalty, but we pushed hard and wanted a point.

Trouble at home: City's players look dejected as they fall behind

Trouble at home: City's players look dejected as they fall behind

‘We have come out of the game alive. Off the top of my head, I can’t ever remember making as many saves (as I did tonight). Dortmund were different class.

‘I hope this result is important and that it is not a waste of effort.

‘This game shows just how tough this group is.’

Mancini added: ‘We have to play better than tonight. It’s not enough to just pass. The Champions League is another situation — different from the (Premier League).’

City are yet to keep a clean sheet this season in any competition.

Mario Balotelli bust-up with Roberto Mancini denied by Manchester City boss

Me and Mario are fine… honest! Mancini gives Balotelli ANOTHER lifeline despite rift

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UPDATED:

10:40 GMT, 21 September 2012

Mario Balotelli has been handed another lifeline at Manchester City after manager Roberto Mancini insisted he has NOT had a bust-up with the controversial striker.

The Italy international was dropped from City's European squad in mid-week and was forced to watch their 3-2 Champions league defeat to Real Madrid from the stands.

It was believed that Mancini is fed up with Balotelli's wild ways – including his smoking habit – and is fast losing patience with the maverick 22-year-old.

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with striker Mario Balotelli

What row Roberto Mancini insists he is absolutely fine with striker Mario Balotelli

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid

Under pressure: Mario Balotelli takes his seat in the stand at Real Madrid after being axed

But speaking at his weekly press
conference at the club's Carrington training ground, Mancini played down
talk of a rift between the pair.

'There has been no argument, and no row. Absolutely not,' he said.

'Mario went in the stand only because
we started to play with Carlos Tevez in attack and we couldn't have
three strikers on the bench.'

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Bad habit: Balotelli has regularly been spotted smoking away from training and matches

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Good example: Balotelli has also been pictured smoking in his Man City gear

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Partying: Balotelli (right) was pictured with Amir Khan at the Circle Club on Saturday

Balotelli partied until the early
hours after Saturday's 1-1 draw at Stoke. He was pictured with boxer
Amir Khan on a night out at Circle Club in Manchester.

Mancini was said to be angry as he wanted the forward to rest ahead of their opening European match against the Spanish giants.

As a punishment, Balotelli was
ordered to travel to the Bernabeu despite reportedly being told he
wouldn't play a part before stepping on the plane.

Acting tough: Roberto Mancini pictured in Alderley Edge on Wednesday afternoon

Acting tough: Roberto Mancini pictured in Alderley Edge on Wednesday afternoon

Another growing concern for Mancini is Balotelli's smoking habit – infuriating for a club that pay him over 100,000 per week.

Although it is not known just how
much the former Inter Milan star smokes, he has regularly been pictured
puffing on a cigarette away from his job.

Despite his apparent frustrations,
Mancini appears intent on giving Balotelli yet another chance and the
striker is in contention to return to the City side for this Sunday's
Barclays Premier League visit of unbeaten Arsenal.

James McFadden hopes to join Sunderland

O'Neill ready to hand McFadden lifeline with short-term deal at Sunderland

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UPDATED:

10:11 GMT, 20 September 2012

Martin O'Neill is set to offer James McFadden the chance to resurrect his career at Sunderland.

All smiles: James McFadden is training with Sunderland

All smiles: James McFadden is training with Sunderland

The 29-year-old free agent hopes to earn a short-term deal after being invited to train with the Black Cats.

McFadden has been without a club since his release this summer by Everton.

The former Motherwell favourite turned down a chance to return to Fir Park and an offer to join Aberdeen in the hope of staying in the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Sunderland’s Titus Bramble is sweating on a new contract offer.

The defender’s current 30,000-a-week deal expires at the end of the season and talks on a new one are yet to start.

Bramble said: 'I’m very happy and I want to stay.

'If I’m playing games, I don’t see why I won’t get offered a new contract. The challenge is to play as many as possible.'

Everton consider move for Owen Hargreaves

Everton consider shock move for free agent Hargreaves as Moyes looks to boost midfield options

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UPDATED:

05:59 GMT, 20 September 2012

Everton are considering offering out of contract midfielder Owen Hargreaves a lifeline in the Premier League after a proposed move to Lille fell through.

Former England midfielder Hargreaves has been without a club since leaving Manchester City at the end of last season, after managing just four appearances for the Premier League champions.

Injury problems that have dogged the 31-year-old’s career but he had hoped to get his career back on track at the Etihad after leaved rivals Manchester United the summer before.

On the move: Everton are considering offering Owen Hargreaves a deal

On the move: Everton are considering offering Owen Hargreaves a deal

However, Hargreaves has had no shortage of offers since, and had looked set to sign a one-year contract at French club Lille a fortnight ago, following a training stint with the club.

The Canada-born midfielder had even been spotted in the stands at some of their recent matches, but after Lille pulled out of the deal at the last minute, Hargreaves is back at square one.

He has had some contact with a number of Championship clubs since, but the player is desperate to remain in the top flight, and Everton boss David Moyes is now said to be mulling over offering him a trial with a view to a permanent deal.

Moyes, who is looking to add to his options in defensive midfielder after losing out on Steven N’Zonzi to Stoke last month, could offer Hargreaves a pay-as-you-play contract, with a basic salary of just 10,000-a-week.

A decision will be made in the next few days, with Hargreaves also weighing up an offer from a leading MLS club.

Bradford Bulls given Super League go ahead for 12 months

Super League give Bradford 12 month lifeline but coach Potter leaves

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 14 September 2012

Bradford Bulls have been given the green light to continue in Super League but coach Mick Potter will not be part of the new-look club.

Uncertainty over the future of the four-times Super League champions was finally ended when the takeover by local restaurant owner Omar Khan was ratified by the Rugby Football League.

And the good news continued on Friday when the Bulls were told by the RFL's board of directors they will not be relegated to the part-time Championship and will not have to compete with the leading Championship clubs in a mini-round of licensing.

One more year: Bradford Bulls have been given the go ahead

One more year: Bradford Bulls have been given the go ahead

Instead the new owners have been
awarded a 12-month probationary Super League licence, effectively
putting them on trial throughout 2013.

Bradford's honorary chairman Gerry Sutcliffe, a former Sports Minister and local MP, welcomed the announcement.

'It's good news for the fans and for
Bradford and now it's all systems go,' he said. 'We can start to
implement our business plan and sell season tickets.'

Bradford effectively forfeited their
top-flight status in June when, unable to pay the bills after the bank
withdrew their overdraft, they went into administration.

That resulted in a six-point
deduction, which ultimately cost the Bulls a place in the play-offs, and
the threat of liquidation hung over the club right up to the last day
of August when Khan announced he had agreed a deal to buy the club from
the administrators.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood said:
'The board deliberated long and hard and took into consideration the
many views of the sport's various constituents before reaching a
decision which we believe is in the best interests of the whole game.

'A probationary licence allows us to
closely monitor the performance of Bradford Bulls next season and
develop a view on what direction we take in future years.

'The probationary licence also
precludes the need for a mini-licensing round, which the overwhelming
majority of clubs accept was impractical given the timeframes involved.'

The next round of licences are due to be awarded in the summer of 2014 and take effect from the start of the 2015 season.

The announcement brings to an end five
months of anguish and adversity but it came too late for Potter who,
after working unpaid for the last 10 weeks, has decided to return to
Australia.

The 48-year-old former Catalan Dragons
and St Helens boss opted not to take up the offer of a new contract
from the club's new owners and instead recommended his assistant Francis
Cummins be appointed as his successor.

That announcement will be made on Monday.

'I was always going to return to
Australia and I feel that now is the right time for me to go,' Potter
said. 'I have enjoyed my time at the Bulls and the supporters and people
at the club are second to none.

'I feel, too, that despite
circumstances out of our control the team, through the rugby league we
played, showed a lot of character in the midst of terrible adversity.

'Omar Khan and Gerry Sutcliffe have
come in and rescued the club and were very keen for me to stay for a
longer tenure and I made it clear to them that my decision has nothing
to do with their purchase of the club.

'It has been the things that have happened over the previous five months that have caused my decision.'

Potter, who was Super League Coach of
the Year after guiding the Catalans to a third-place finish in 2008,
endured a difficult first season at Odsal but his reputation soared
after guiding Bradford to the brink of their first play-off spot for
four years in the face of adversity.

Khan said: 'We are sorry Mick has
chosen to leave because we wanted him to stay longer with us after the
tremendous job he has done in difficult circumstances.

'He leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the club and we wish him well in the future.'

Cummins, who looks set to be handed
the job, will be faced with a major rebuilding task, with no fewer than
17 players out of contract, and will be well behind coaches of other
Super League clubs who have virtually completed their recruitment for
2013.

Tom Burgess and Olivier Elima have
already secured new clubs, Ian Sibbit and Ben Jeffries have announced
their departures and Craig Kopczak terminated his contract which had 12
months to run.

Roy Hodgson disappointed after Jermain Defoe goal disallowed

Hodgson furious at ref Cakir after Gerrard's sees red and Defoe has goal chalked off

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UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 11 September 2012

Roy Hodgson was aggrieved and relieved on Tuesday after a late Frank Lampard penalty saved England from a World Cup qualifying defeat by Ukraine.

England were trailing to a first-half screamer from Ukraine's Yevhen Konoplianka with three minutes to go and heading towards a loss that would have left them facing an uphill struggle to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as winners of Group H.

But Hodgson's team were handed a lifeline in the dying minutes as substitute Danny Welbeck won them a penalty.

Pointing the finger: Roy Hodgson shows his displeasure at referee Cakir after the final whistle

Pointing the finger: Roy Hodgson shows his displeasure at referee Cakir after the final whistle

Lampard scored the spot-kick to save his side from their first World Cup qualifying defeat at Wembley for 12 years.

England were annoyed that a
first-half Jermain Defoe goal was ruled out for a foul with the game at
0-0 and Hodgson went straight to the referee's room to protest after the
full-time whistle.

'I don't really know why Jermain's goal was disallowed as we couldn't see a foul on the bench,' said Hodgson.

Nevertheless, the England camp still
could not hide their relief at salvaging a point, even if a late sending
off for Steven Gerrard left a sour taste.

Hodgson said: 'I suppose you are
always relieved when you are one down late on. I am not sure I will
accept it was a poor performance.

Sent off: Steven Gerrard hands the armband to Lampard after his dismissal

Sent off: Steven Gerrard hands the armband to Lampard after his dismissal

'We went a goal down to a wonder
strike and you are always going to be up against it. But we kept going
and kept probing and deserved our equaliser.

'The post was made to work a few
times and we created some dangerous moments. I don't think there were
many bad fouls. There were too many yellow cards and Steven was unlucky.
He didn't deserve two yellow cards.'

England will be without Gerrard when
they face San Marino in their next qualifier in October but the captain
will be back for the tougher-looking meeting with Poland that follows.

Speaking about his penalty, Lampard
said: 'It's a bit nerveracking to take a penalty near end of the game,
so I was happy to see it go in the back of the net.

'No-one knows why Jermain's goal was
disallowed. We thought it was a free-kick and that the ref brought it
back too early. It wasn't a foul at all, so we are very disappointed.
Before the game, we wanted to win, but in the circumstances, after
having a goal disallowed, it showed great character to get a point.

Clinical: Frank Lampard dispatched his second penalty in as many England games to seal the points

Clinical: Frank Lampard dispatched his second penalty in as many England games to seal the points

'I don't think you can pin it all on
anxiety. It is a long group and this was not an easy game, so it was
good to get a point.'

Ukraine coach Oleh Blokhin was not his usual controversial self after the game but did feel that his team could have won.

He said: 'I can't imagine a better
start, we created lots of problems for England and we had really good
chances, particularly in the beginning.'

Montenegro took over top spot in Group H on goal difference following their 6-0 away thrashing of whipping boys San Marino.

Poland are third in the table – also with four points – following their 2-0 home win over Moldova.

Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski led Poland from the front, scoring one goal and setting up the other.

Blaszczykowski put the home team
ahead with a penalty in the 33rd minute after Lukasz Piszczek was
brought down by midfielder Arthur Patras.

Jakub Wawrzyniak then made the game safe after heading in a cross from the skipper.

The Poles are level with England on
points and coach Waldemar Fornalik said: 'We will have to get stronger
for the England match.'