Tag Archives: music

I"m going nowhere! Lampard commits future to Chelsea after Galaxy link

I'm going nowhere! Lampard commits future to Chelsea after Galaxy link

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UPDATED:

07:18 GMT, 8 July 2012

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has played down talk of a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy and pledged his future to the London club.

The 34-year-old, whose Blues contract expires next summer, sparked talk of a switch to the United States when he and agent Steve Kutner were pictured sitting with Galaxy midfielder David Beckham at a recent Major League Soccer match.

But Lampard said in The Sun: 'There's nothing in that at all. I'm here in Los Angeles on holiday with [fiancee] Christine. We got engaged here last year and we love it over here.

Just visiting: Frank Lampard (right) has played down talk of a move to Los Angeles

Just visiting: Frank Lampard (right) has played down talk of a move to Los Angeles

'Steve's over here a lot on music and football business. He organised a box so we could go to see the Galaxy game.

'Becks was suspended for the match, so he came and sat with us and we had a good laugh – that's all.'

After missing England's Euro 2012 campaign due to injury, Lampard cannot wait to get back to action with his club.

Raring to go: Lampard is feeling rested after missing Euro 2012 through injury

Raring to go: Lampard is feeling rested after missing Euro 2012 through injury

'Now I'm really looking forward to getting back to Chelsea,' he added. 'I'm feeling fit and fresh and I'm raring to go.

'My thigh strain is completely healed now and maybe missing the Euros was a blessing in disguise for me.

'I had a full summer off and I'm ready to go back to start the hard work for the new season.'

NFL Draft 2012: Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III headline picks

Quarterbacks Luck and Griffin III headline 2012 NFL Draft

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UPDATED:

10:45 GMT, 27 April 2012

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III headlined the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday as expected but after that a flurry of wheeling and dealing marked the first-round of the prime-time event.

The Indianapolis Colts kicked off the annual draft party that filled three balconies at the venerable Manhattan theater with fans decked out in their team colors by taking Luck, the celebrated Stanford quarterback, with the No 1 pick.

After the Washington Redskins followed, as expected, by selecting Griffin, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Baylor, a string of four trades shook up the first half of the proceedings as teams jockeyed into position to nab the players they coveted.

Pick up: Indianapolis Colts nabbed Andrew Luck

Pick up: Indianapolis Colts nabbed Andrew Luck

NFL FIRST DRAFT PICKS

1 Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford

2 Washington Redskins (from Rams) – Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor

3 Cleveland Browns (from Vikings) – Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama

4 Minnesota Vikings (from Browns) – Matt Kalil, offensive tackle, Southern California

5 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Buccaneers) – Justin Blackmon, wide receiver, Oklahoma State

6 Dallas Cowboys (from Redskins via Rams) – Morris Claiborne, defensive back, Louisiana State

7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Jaguars) – Mark Barron, defensive back, Alabama

8 Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill, quarterback, Texas A&M

9 Carolina Panthers – Luke Kuechly, linebacker, Boston College

10 Buffalo Bills – Stephon Gilmore, defensive back, South Carolina

11 Kansas City Chiefs – Dontari Poe, nose tackle, Memphis

12 Philadelphia Eagles (from Seahawks) – Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle, Mississippi State

13 Arizona Cardinals – Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Notre Dame

14 St. Louis Rams (from Cowboys) – Michael Brockers, defensive tackle, Louisiana State

15 Seattle Seahawks (from Eagles) – Bruce Irvin, defensive end, West Virginia

16 New York Jets – Quinton Coples, defensive end, North Carolina

Four more trades, including two made by the New England Patriots to move up, highlighted the second half of the draft, which is the lifeblood by which NFL teams restock their teams and address weaknesses.

The top of the draft offered no suspense as Luck and Griffin went one-two as undisputed top of the 2012 draft class.

Luck, considered one of the most polished quarterback prospects in recent years, will be taking over the reins of the Colts’ offense from four-time NFL Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning.

'Yeah, Peyton Manning, arguably the greatest ever,' Luck said about the 11-time Pro Bowler, who signed a five-year, $96million (59m) deal to play with the Denver Broncos after the Colts decided to embark on a rebuilding plan.

'He was my football hero growing up. I realize you don’t really replace a guy like that. Those shoes to fill are huge.

'If one day I can be mentioned alongside Peyton in quarterback history, it would be a football dream come true.'

Luck was handed a No 12 Indianapolis jersey, to match the uniform number he wore at Stanford.

'That’s the number I’m wearing this year and hopefully for many years to come,' said Luck, a drop-back passer who completed 67 percent of his passes at Stanford, throwing for 82 touchdowns and 22 interceptions in compiling a 31-7 record as a starter.

Griffin, popularly known as RG3, is a running threat as well as a strong-armed passer and edged out Luck as winner of the Heisman in December as the top US college player.

We want you: Robert Griffin III, left, is joined by his father Robert Griffin Jr. after being selected by the Washington Redskins

We want you: Robert Griffin III, left, is joined by his father Robert Griffin Jr. after being selected by the Washington Redskins

NFL FIRST DRAFT PICKS

17 Cincinnati Bengals (from Raiders) – Dre Kirkpatrick, defensive back, Alabama

18 San Diego Chargers – Melvin Ingram, linebacker, South Carolina

19 Chicago Bears – Shea McClellin, defensive end, Boise State

20 Tennessee Titans – Kendall Wright, wide receiver, Baylor

21 New England (from Bengals) – Chandler Jones, defensive end, Syracuse

22 Cleveland Browns (from Falcons) – Brandon Weeden, quarterback, Oklahoma State

23 Detroit Lions – Riley Reiff, offensive tackle, Iowa

24 Pittsburgh Steelers – David DeCastro, guard, Stanford

25 New England (from Broncos) – Dont'a Hightower, linebacker, Alabama

26 Houston Texans – Whitney Mercilus, linebacker, Illinois

27 Cincinnati (from Saints via Patriots) – Kevin Zeitler, guard, Wisconsin

28 Green Bay Packers – Nick Perry, linebacker, Southern California

29 Minnesota Vikings (from Ravens) – Harrison Smith, defensive back, Notre Dame

30 San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Jenkins, wide receiver, Illinois

31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Patriots via Broncos) – Doug Martin, running back, Boise State

32 New York Giants – David Wilson, running back, Virginia Tech

The Redskins so coveted Griffin, they traded their No 6 overall pick along with a second-rounder this season and No. 1 picks in 2013 and 2014 to the St. Louis Rams in order to move up to No 2 in the draft so they could claim him.

'I don’t look at it as any added pressure,' Griffin said. 'If anything, it makes me want to go out and get to work even sooner. They believe in me.'

After the selection of those two blue chip quarterbacks, who will be linked as quarterbacking headliners of the 2012 draft, a flurry of trades followed.

The Cleveland Browns swapped picks with the Minnesota Vikings to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the third pick.

Minnesota, enriched by added picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds, took offensive tackle Matt Kalil of Southern California.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded the fifth pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

The Dallas Cowboys jumped to the sixth spot after a trade with St. Louis and took Louisiana State defensive back Morris Claiborne.

Moving up three places after a swap with the Seattle Seahawks, the Philadelphia Eagles took Fletcher Cox, a defensive tackle from Mississippi State, with the 12th pick.

Capping off the three-hour-long opening round with teams picking in reverse order of their 2011 records, the Super Bowl champion New York Giants took running back David Wilson of Virginia Tech.

The second and third rounds of the draft will be held on Friday, with rounds four through seven conducted on Saturday.

Hired: Trent Richardson was snapped up by the Cleveland Browns

Hired: Trent Richardson was snapped up by the Cleveland Browns

Cheltenham Festival 2012: Noel Fehily hits a high on day one

It's all Rock 'n' roll as Noel hits a high on day one at Cheltenham

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 14 March 2012

A Ruby won the Champion Hurdle, but not the one most punters were clamouring for on an emotional rollercoaster of a day marred by the deaths of three horses.

Rock On Ruby's 11-1 victory was just one highlight of the day as he left crowd favourite Ruby Walsh trailing in third on hot favourite Hurricane Fly.

There was also a breathtaking victory for Nicky Henderson's Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Chase and an historic fourth consecutive win in the David Nicholson Mares Hurdle for Willie Mullins-trained Quevega.

Smiles ahead: Noel Fehily signals his joy after Rock on Ruby's triumph

Smiles ahead: Noel Fehily signals his
joy after Rock on Ruby's triumph

But that was countered with the the deaths of dual Festival winner Garde Champetre and Scotsirish in the cross-country chase and Educated Evans in the Pulteney Land Investment Chase, all after suffering leg fractures.

With nine horses having died at the meeting in the previous five years, the loss of three on the first day drew unwanted attention from stirring action centered on Rock On Ruby.

He is named after a boutique in the Dorset town of Sherbourne and owned by a bunch of friends known as The Festival Goers after the annual music-fest and mudbath that is Glastonbury.

Rock On Ruby simply galloped his nine rivals into the ground, beating Overturn by three-and-ahalf lengths to give champion trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Noel Fehily their first wins in the race. Defending champion Hurricane Fly finished a further length-and-a-quarter back.

With the day's other two 'bankers bets' – Sprinter Sacre and Quevega – delivering, bookmakers were claiming the defeat of 4-6 Hurricane Fly had saved the betting industry an estimated 10million pay-out.

Race to the line: The riders turn the corner as they head for home

Race to the line: The riders turn the corner as they head for home

Race to the line: The riders turn the corner as they head for home

Ironically, the two Rubys could have
been a team. Walsh is stable jockey to Nicholls, but there had never
been any inclination for him to desert Hurricane Fly despite Rock On
Ruby's upwardly mobile profile.

That is in part because the seven-year-old, running for the first time since just being beaten by Binocular in Kempton's Christmas Hurdle, was actually prepared for the big race at the trainer's satellite stable in Dorset.

Nicholls handed credit for his big win to the two men in charge, Richard Barber, who helped get him started in training at his brother Paul's stable, and his 25-year-old assistant, Harry Fry.

It was also a rewarding success for Fehily, 37, who has missed the last two Festivals because of injury. While 4-7 favourite Quevega and Walsh did her usual trick of treating her fellow mares with contempt to set up the possibility of returning next year to do it all again for a fifth time, the most spectacular show came from Sprinter Sacre (8-11).

His victory under Barry Geraghty never looked in doubt and he freewheeled away from toiling rivals after jumping to the front three fences from home to beat Cue Card by seven lengths.

The big one: How the Champion Hurdle finished

On Tuesday, Geraghty had told Racemail readers of his admiration for the chaser, whose victory enabled trainer Nicky Henderson to move level with Fulke Walwyn's record 40 Festival winners.

The deaths of the three horses appeared to be tragic accidents and track officials were adamant they were unrelated to the drought-like conditions that have prompted heavy watering of the track in the run-up to the meeting.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: 'We watered out any firm ground (on the cross-country track) and good to firm is a surface we have had there on a number of occasions.

'The cross country race has been run on much quicker ground including at our November meeting last year.'

Tim Morris, the British Horseracing Authority Director of Equine Science and Welfare, said: 'The injuries occurred at different parts of the course.

'As far as we are aware the cross country is not a problem race. The injuries were not sustained jumping. The ground on the course was within our criteria for jump racing.'

What's the score The Cheltenham tallies so far

London 2012 Olympics: Take That director promises star-studded line-up for closing ceremony

Take That director promises star-studded extravaganza for Olympic closing ceremony

The closing ceremony for the Olympic
Games will be an 'elegant mash-up of British music,' the team planning
the multimillion pound show have revealed.

The sign-off for London 2012 will
tell the history of British culture, including everything from 'Elgar to
Adele' – but organisers stopped short of confirming this week's Brit
Award-winner has been booked to perform.

Star name: Her music will feature but will Adele be there in person

Star name: Her music will feature but will Adele be there in person

A significant portion of the 81m budget for the four ceremonies surrounding the Olympics and Paralympics will be spent on the August 12 spectacular, executive producer Stephen Daldry confirmed.

Artists stepping on stage won't see much of that, however. They will be paid only a nominal fee of 1, it was revealed.

Choreographer and creative director Kim Gavin, the man behind Take That's successful comeback shows, promised an extravaganza involving 'our most globally successful musicians' and future musical talent.

'Music has been Britain's strongest cultural export of the last 50 years and we intend to produce an Olympic closing ceremony that will be a unique promotion of great British popular music,' he said.

'For the closing ceremony, which will be titled A Symphony Of British Music, we will not only be working with our most globally successful musicians, but we also want to use this opportunity to showcase our stars of tomorrow.'

Gavin described it as the 'after-show party' to the main event of sporting competition, adding it would be a 'fabulous emotional experience, something that everyone will remember for years to come.'

Kim Gavin: the man behind Take That's successful comeback show

Kim Gavin: the man behind Take That's successful comeback show

The team, which includes designer Es Devlin, music director David Arnold and lighting designer Patrick Woodroofe, were guarded on most of the detail, saying they wanted to save some surprises for the night.

They promised that, unlike at recent Olympics, many performers would sing live and said elements of protocol set out by the IOC, such as speeches and the handover of flags, would be woven into the entertainment. A segment dedicated to Rio 2016 will be included as well.

Staff will have a race against time to prepare the ceremony – there are just 17 hours from the final athletic event in the 80,000-seater Olympic Stadium ending to the start of the 7.30pm show. Indeed, the presentation of the medals for the men's marathon, which finishes earlier in the day, will need to be fitted in.

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) is to record the core orchestral soundtrack for the London 2012 opening and closing ceremonies, it was also announced.

The LSO boasts successful work that spans the high-brow to Hollywood with Twilight: New Moon, and Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2) among its recently recorded soundtracks.

Director Stephen Daldry

High hopes: Director Stephen Daldry

On the closing ceremony, Arnold said: 'It encompasses everything, without saying that we've booked anyone, from Elgar to Adele in terms of the journey we take.

'It does have a story and hopefully by the time the fireworks go off at the end you get some idea of what this country is about, not only in the past but where we are now. ' Devlin added: 'It's as if we've been given the keys to all the British art galleries and museums and been allowed in at night to claw our way through all the jewels that have been created.'

No individual acts for closing ceremony have been announced but it is being set up as an action-packed affair featuring more than 4,100 volunteer and youth performers, 250 professionals and a line-up of 'top talent', London 2012 said.

The 4,100 performers will include 3,500 adult volunteers and 380 schoolchildren from the six host boroughs. The 10,500 athletes who have competed at the Games will also be there.

Rangers: HMRC want club in administration

Rangers on the brink as HMRC apply for club to be placed in administration

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have applied for Rangers to be placed in administration.

The legal move counters the club's bid on Monday to file for protection against its creditors.

And HMRC hope a hearing can take place at the Court of Sessionn in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Facing the music: Whyte reads his statement from outside Ibrox

Facing the music: Whyte reads his statement from outside Ibrox

On Monday, Rangers owner Craig Whyte admitted
the club will enter administration and blamed an astonishing 75million
tax demand for pushing the SPL champions to the brink of insolvency.

Job cuts across the board – including
to Ally McCoist's playing squad – may be the sporting price to pay for
placating creditors.

Sportsmail understands that a number
of Rangers players, fearing their contracts may be torn up, have already
sought advice from PFA Scotland.

Whyte, heckled as he read out a
prepared statement on the steps of Ibrox, met with manager
McCoist at Murray Park, as it was revealed that the club had posted
notice of their intention to appoint administrators.

While that effectively gave them a
10-day window in which to avoid a fate carrying an immediate 10-point
penalty, killing their title challenge stone dead, Whyte admitted he saw no alternative to administration.

HAVE YOUR SAY…

WHO IS TO BLAME FOR RANGERS' FINANCIAL PROBLEMS
Owner Craig Whyte admitted the club will enter administration and blamed a 75million tax demand for pushing the SPL champions to the brink of insolvency.

Rangers Football Club

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK

'I think we have to face that
Rangers will be in administration – and will come out the other side a
fitter and stronger business,' said Whyte. 'We've been working very hard
behind the scenes and we’ve still got two weeks in which to try to
avoid administration. But we’ve tried very hard and, so far, we’ve been
rejected by HMRC.’

Asked if there was hope of the tax
man agreeing to a ‘moratorium’ on a bill dating back to 2001, when Sir
David Murray was in charge, Whyte told Rangers TV: ‘It’s a possibility
but, I have to say, it’s a very slim possibility.

Meanwhile, former Rangers manager Graeme Souness fears the club will cease to exist in their current form as they prepare to pay the price for 'chasing the dream'.

'I think they will go into administration and reappear as Rangers 2012 or something, sadly,' he told talkSPORT.

'It is just a tragedy that has happened to them. I think they will come out of it. I think there will be an addition to the name, Rangers whatever.

'They will come out without their debt and start again.'

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

Souness was at the forefront of Rangers' big-spending revolution, signing the likes of Terry Butcher and Chris Woods after becoming the club's manager in 1986.

He then worked closely with Sir David Murray after the latter's takeover in 1988, before leaving for Liverpool in 1991.

The big spending continued under Walter Smith and Dick Advocaat, forcing Murray to underwrite a 57million share issue in 2004.

But it was the use of employee benefit trusts from 2001 which looks likely to trigger the club's descent into administration.

Up against it: Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

Up against it: Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

Souness added: 'Without pointing the fingers at anyone in particular, people have to hold their hands up and say they got their sums wrong in a very large way.

'They are not alone. I think it could easily happen to clubs in the Premiership who don't have an individual benefactor, who don't have someone who is stinking rich who can fund it going forward and take loss after loss.

'I just think it is a case of chasing the dream, trying to give the supporters what they want and it has all come home to roost, unfortunately.'

Rangers face 10 point penalty and European ban as administration beckons

Doomsday: 10-point penalty and Euro ban beckon for Rangers after 75m tax bill is revealed

Rangers owner Craig Whyte admitted
the club will enter administration and blamed an astonishing 75million
tax demand for pushing the SPL champions to the brink of insolvency.

Job cuts across the board – including
to Ally McCoist's playing squad – may be the sporting price to pay for
placating creditors.

Sportsmail understands that a number
of Rangers players, fearing their contracts may be torn up, have already
sought advice from PFA Scotland.

Facing the music: Whyte reads his statement from outside Ibrox

Facing the music: Whyte reads his statement from outside Ibrox

Whyte, heckled as he read out a
prepared statement on the steps of Ibrox last night, met with manager
McCoist at Murray Park, as it was revealed that the club had posted
notice of their intention to appoint administrators.

While that effectively gave them a
10-day window in which to avoid a fate carrying an immediate 10-point
penalty, killing their title challenge stone dead, Whyte admitted last
night that he saw no alternative to administration.

'I think we have to face that
Rangers will be in administration – and will come out the other side a
fitter and stronger business,' said Whyte. 'We've been working very hard
behind the scenes and we’ve still got two weeks in which to try to
avoid administration. But we’ve tried very hard and, so far, we’ve been
rejected by HMRC.’

Asked if there was hope of the tax
man agreeing to a ‘moratorium’ on a bill dating back to 2001, when Sir
David Murray was in charge, Whyte told Rangers TV: ‘It’s a possibility
but, I have to say, it’s a very slim possibility.’

Speaking earlier on Sky Sports, Whyte
revealed the potentially crippling cost of the HMRC demand was far in
excess of what was previously expected, and claimed: ‘The 49m often
quoted is the tax bill and interest but they can charge you a penalty on
the tax bill so we could have been up at 75m.

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

Troubled times: Rangers have had a miserable start to 2012

‘It is a shocking figure and there is no way we could pay it.’

As well as the automatic points
deduction, going into administration would see Rangers banned from
European competition next season unless they reach an agreement with
all creditors before the end of March. And, with Whyte admitting that a
‘winding up order’ from the tax man remains a possibility, Rangers could
yet be forced to start all over again as a brand new company.

The new Rangers would have to apply
for membership of both the SFA and SPL — and rivals Celtic are by no
means certain to back their re-admission to the top league.

Up against it: Gers boss Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

Up against it: Gers boss Ally McCoist has watched Celtic take over in the title race

The man
who bought out Sir David Murray’s controlling interest for 1 last
summer, clearing the club’s bank debt but installing himself as the
main creditor, was adamant that the financial mess he inherited had left
him with no option but to take drastic action.

The chairman said: ‘We have avoided
the worst-case scenario. It’s a bad day for every Rangers fan. It’s a
very bad day, there’s no getting away from that. But administration will
happen within two weeks if we’re not able to get a sensible deal with
HMRC. This is the last thing I wanted to do — but this is the best thing
for the long-term survival of the club.

At the helm: Rangers chairman Whyte took over from David Murray in May last year

At the helm: Rangers chairman Whyte took over from David Murray in May last year

‘If we do not take action now, the consequences and the risks to the club are too great.

‘There is no realistic or practical
alternative to our approach as HMRC has made it plain to the club that,
should we be successful in the forthcoming tax tribunal decision, they
will “appeal, appeal and appeal again” the decision.

‘This would leave the club facing years of uncertainty — and also having to pay immediately a range of liabilities to HMRC.

‘Even if the club were to succeed in the tax tribunal … zero liability will not happen.
‘If
HMRC were to agree, even at this late stage, a manageable agreement
with the club, then a formal insolvency procedure could yet be averted.
That would be our preferred outcome.

‘If not, further investment in the club would be impossible as the threat of winding up by HMRC cannot be removed.

Fighting talk: Celtic chief has said the SPL would survive without Rangers

Fighting talk: Celtic chief has said the SPL would survive without Rangers

‘It has been decided to seek the
protection of a moratorium from HMRC action whilst a Company Voluntary
Arrangement (CVA) proposal is made to creditors. This, if approved by
creditors within a month, would minimise any points deduction and allow
the club to participate in European football.

'In short, if the club proceeds into
administration then it will have to emerge from that process, with the
agreement of creditors, within a month or so in order to be able to play
in Europe next season.

‘An administration process will,
regrettably, lead to a cost-cutting programme and the potential loss of
jobs across the business.’

Bizarrely, despite the prospect of
having to write-off debts and tear-up contracts, Rangers managed to
bring a player in yesterday, re-signing free-agent forward Daniel
Cousin on a five-month deal. Should the club enter administration, they
will be banned from registering players.

Rangers also have a number of
football debts still outstanding, with Dundee United reporting that they
are owed 100,000 in gate money from their recent Scottish Cup tie at
Ibrox.