Tag Archives: networks

BT complain after SKY refuse to show adverts for new sport channel

Sky are a rottweiler and we are a newborn puppy! BT complain after rivals refuse to air their ads for new sport channel

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:48 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:29 GMT, 8 April 2013

With all eyes on the Manchester derby a brand new Premier League rivalry is kicking off behind the scenes between rival networks Sky Sports and BT.

BT bosses have accused BSkyB of being a like a ‘rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy’ after the long-standing network refused to air BT’s new advertising campaign.

The adverts are for BT’s new multi-million-pound network to promote its coverage of the Premier League and other sports beginning in the summer.

Sky Sports

BT Sport

Rivalry: Sky refusing to show BT Sports' advert is like a 'rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy'

Signed up: Gareth Bale will be a pundit for BT once they get underway next season

Signed up: Gareth Bale will be a pundit for BT once they get underway next season

Jeff Stelling

Jake Humphrey

Famous faces: Jake Humphrey (right) will be presenting BT's content, rivaling the likes of Jeff Stelling (left)

BT have now lodged an official complaint with regulators Ofcom claiming that BSkyB have shown ‘undue discrimination’ against them by refusing to run the campaign of adverts.

John Petter, managing director of consumer for BT Retail, told the Guardian: ‘We are happy to take Sky’s advertising but they seem afraid of taking ours. It’s like a rottweiler running away from a newborn puppy.’

Host: BT will be home to some of the biggest games in the Premier League

Host: BT will be home to some of the biggest games in the Premier League

BT spent 738million to take 38 top-flight games next season after the channel launches in July and will also air Premiership Rugby and European Rugby.

But a key part of their strategy of growth is to raise awareness of their new channel by advertising on Sky Sports channels.

The broadcast code states that 'a radio broadcaster must not unduly discriminate between advertisers that seek to have any commercial communication included in its licensed service.'

COMPLAINT FROM BT AGAINST SKY

Ofcom has opened an investigation following a complaint from BT against Sky under Ofcom’s Code on the Prevention of Undue Discrimination between Broadcast Advertisers (“the Code”). Rule 4.1 of the Code states:

'A television broadcaster must not unduly discriminate between advertisers that seek to have advertising included in its licensed service.'

Under section 319 of the Communications Act 2003 ('the Act'), Ofcom has a duty to set standards for the content of programmes to be included in television and radio services, in one or more codes.

Under section 319(2)(k) of the Act, one of the standards objectives Ofcom must secure through such codes is that 'there is no undue discrimination between advertisers who seek to have advertisements included in television and radio services'.

Joey Barton criticised by Paris Saint-Germain for ladyboy tweets aimed at Thiago Silva

PSG blast Marseille's Barton for 'ladyboy' tweets aimed at Brazilian defender Silva

By
James Cann, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:13 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:13 GMT, 3 April 2013

Paris Saint-Germain have criticised Joey Barton after the Marseille midfielder used social networking website Twitter to liken Thiago Silva to an 'overweight ladyboy'.

In a series of tweets published through his official account, the on-loan QPR player questioned whether Brazilian defender Silva was 'pre-op or post-op' and demanded an explanation why the 28-year-old had mentioned him in his pre-match press conference ahead of last night's Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona.

The Ligue 1 leaders tonight expressed their unhappiness with Barton's 'unacceptable remarks' and threatened to “take action” against the former England international.

Immense: Thiago Silva (right) played against Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday

Immense: Thiago Silva (right) played against Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday

A statement published on psg.fr read: 'In the last few hours, on social networks, unacceptable remarks have been made by Olympique Marseille player Joey Barton against Paris St Germain player Thiago Silva.

'These attacks are serious and go beyond mere verbal jousting. The directors of the club, the players and the coaching staff are supportive of Thiago Silva and cannot accept such statements.

'They reaffirm their unwavering commitment to the values of respect that should govern our sport.

'Thiago Silva and Paris St Germain reserve the right to take any action they deem necessary.'

PSG have taken issue with a series of tweets against the player which began to appear on Barton's account from yesterday afternoon.

Barton originally tweeted: 'Thiago Silva. That the same p**** thats been injured all season. Another over rated Brazilian. Sort your hamstrings out FatBoy…'

Blast: PSG have criticised the Marseille midfielder (right) for his tweets about their defender

Blast: PSG have criticised the Marseille midfielder (right) for his tweets about their defender

Joey Barton

Thiago Silva

Leap: Barton (left) demanded to know why Silva was discussing him in his pre-match press conference

The Liverpudlian was responding negatively to comments from Silva ahead of last night's game at the Parc des Princes, which finished 2-2 ahead of next week's second leg at the Nou Camp.

He continued tweeting during the game, adding: 'Have to take back what I said about Thiago Silva being over rated today. Been immense tonight. Still looks like a overweight ladyboy though!

'2 questions for Thiago Silva. Firstly, Why are YOU talking about ME, in your press conference before PSG v Barca Very strange.

'Secondly, Are you Pre-Op or Post-Op #transsexual #thiagosaladyboy

'Baffles me, which way he's going. Is he a man changing to a woman or a woman changing to a man Can't work it out.'

Inflammatory: Barton took to Twitter to slate the PSG defender

Inflammatory: Barton took to Twitter to slate the PSG defender

Speaking to L'Equipe on Monday, Silva had said: 'There is a Marseille player, I cannot remember his name, an Englishman, who has said bad things about Neymar and Brazilian football, and also about (David) Beckham and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic.

'Because no one is talking about him, it seems it is fun for him to criticise great players for people to know he exists.'

Jose Maria Olazabal warns his players to be careful on Twitter during Ryder Cup

Don't be Twits! Olazabal warns Ryder Cup colleagues to be careful on social networks

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 26 September 2012

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal has warned his players to be careful over their use of Twitter during the Ryder Cup in Chicago.

Olazabal has not attempted to issue a blanket ban over the use of social networking sites, but reminded his team to bear in mind how their comments can be interpreted.

Watch out: Jose Maria Olazabal has told his team to be cautious

Watch out: Jose Maria Olazabal has told his team to be cautious

'I'm not banning any member of the
team,' Olazabal said at Medinah, where Europe will attempt to retain the
trophy and make it five wins in the last six contests.

'What I've said to them is that they have to be careful on what they say, how they say it and when they say it. I'm sure that any comments that are made on Twitter are not intended in a bad way, but if you take the sentence out of context, it might look completely different.

Chat: Olazabal talks with Darren Clarke

Chat: Olazabal talks with Darren Clarke

'In that regard, the boys need to be a little bit cautious about it.'

Two years ago at Celtic Manor, there was some confusion over whether captain Colin Montgomerie had issued a ban, with the Scot then clarifying that he had asked players that 'respect is shown for what is said within the team room.'

Montgomerie added at the time: 'It's not a ban because if somebody does it how can you punish someone for it'

Ricky Hatton to return to boxing

The Hitman is back! Hatton poised for ring return after three-year exile

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 11 September 2012

The worst-kept secret in sport is out. The Hitman is back.

Ricky Hatton's return to the ring three years after he was knocked unconscious by Manny Pacquiao will be confirmed officially on Friday.

After weeks of hard training and soul searching, Hatton, 33, will shake off the ring rust against a journeyman opponent in Manchester – his fanatical army of fellow Mancunians are sure to turn out in force.

Ringside: Hatton will reveal his future plans at a press conference on Friday

Ringside: Hatton will reveal his future plans at a press conference on Friday

This is the plunge Hatton vowed never to take when he formally announced his retirement last year.

The U-turn has been driven by the
itch to fight again which gnaws at all great boxers, a nagging
reluctance to go out on his back after knockouts by Floyd Mayweather and
Pacquiao, and the need to find television exposure for the stable of
youngsters he promotes.

Personal money is not the lure.
Hatton is a multi-millionaire. The urge to fight again took on the
heated proportions of a crusade when Sky Sports pulled the plug on his
shows even though proteges like Scott Quigg are closing on world title
shots.

Naturally, the prospect of the Hitman himself climbing back into the prize-ring has attracted a queue of alternative networks.

Game over Hatton was destroyed by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas

Game over Hatton was destroyed by Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas

It is believed that a new TV deal has been brokered with Hatton committed to at least two or three fights.

In our recent poll a majority of
fight fans urged Hatton not to risk a comeback but the health issues are
not that simple in his case.

At 33 – even though those years have been lived high on the hog – he is still of a good fighting age.

Whether his punch resistance has been
weakened by his old binge-drinking and the heavy defeats by Pacquiao
and Mayweather is a question which only a return to action can answer.

The medical case in favour of him
boxing again is made by the dedication he has been pouring into his
training – rather than from a glass – during the last few months.

Ring rusty: Hatton hasn't fought competitively since he faced Pacquiao

Ring rusty: Hatton hasn't fought competitively since he faced Pacquiao

There can be no denying that Hatton's
lifestyle is much healthier when he is an active boxer. He has barely
touched hard drink while coming down to within less than a stone of his
world light-welterweight title winning poundage.

Ricky Fatton – as he humorously called himself between fights – said: 'I'm so slim now I nearly fell through a street grating.'

Clearly, that sharp-witted mind remains undamaged by the blows this warrior has taken while thrilling crowds around the world.

The duration of his comeback will be determined by the first couple of bouts.

But if his skills are undiminished
more big nights in Manchester and Vegas – even including returns matches
with Mayweather and Pacquiao – are not out of the question.

Since Hatton is more likely to damage
his well-being outside rather than inside the ring, the British Boxing
Board of Control have no grounds on which to refuse to re-license him.

And who does have the right to tell any athlete not to take part in the sport he loves

London 2012 Olympics: A message to the moaners… BELT UP! Des Kelly

A message to all the Olympic moaners… BELT UP!

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 20 July 2012

It's a crisis. It's a complete disaster. It's not just a shambles out there, people; it's an Olympic omnishambles. The Games are six days away and nothing works, absolutely everything is broken and the only solution is to cancel the event and send all those arriving at Heathrow straight back home on the next available flight.

Why Because according to reports, any fool venturing into London will die of carbon monoxide poisoning as they sit in month-long traffic jams. Or drown in their body sweat on overcrowded Tube trains. Or sink into oblivion trying to negotiate the mud flats otherwise known as the Olympic Park.

The mobile phone networks will fail, the internet will collapse into a black hole in cyberspace, pickpockets will steal everything, including your kidneys, and the entire country will end up bankrupt. It's a nightmare – and all because of the 2012 Games. You have been warned!

Stop moaning! Great Britain has lined-up a stunning Games, it's time we started enjoying it

Stop moaning! Great Britain has lined-up a stunning Games, it's time we started enjoying it

More from Des Kelly…

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06/07/12

Pearce got it right, and backing Beckham makes you a loser too!
29/06/12

Des Kelly: A victory made only in England
22/06/12

Des Kelly: The FA forced Levy to do the dirty on Harry… and Redknapp deserved better
15/06/12

Des Kelly: England don't stand a chance, right So just enjoy Euro 2012
08/06/12

Des Kelly: One great big football family Not when bigots rule it…
25/05/12

Des Kelly: This Anfield farce is like a reality show… welcome to Kop Idol!
18/05/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Welcome to the pre-opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, a spectacle staged under the Latin motto Nos faciem malignus fatum, which loosely translates as 'We're doomed'.

This is what Britain does before any major event. The country moans en masse. We predict the worst. We produce a Doomsday Book of impending disasters and then imagine extra problems just so we can moan a bit more. Read the papers, turn on the radio or try the television news and it's moan, moan, Olympics, moan. The outlook could not be gloomier if Huw Edwards were reading the weather forecast. Carping and whining is the order of the day. But can I just make one request of the Olympic complainers Shut up. That's right. Shut up. Cheer yourselves up or put a sock in it.

There are some aspects of the London Games that deserve scorn, such as the private security firm fiasco and the unresolved issue of what happens to the stadium after the Games. But the country has gone way beyond expressing reasonable doubts on specific issues.

People are now complaining for the sake of it, moaning on and on about every tiny aspect of daily life in London – and then blaming it all on the Olympics. The Games haven't started yet. There is a last-minute dash to make sure all the pieces are in place for the most complex, detailed and demanding party staged not just in sport, but anywhere.

A Royal wedding is a village fete by comparison. At a World Cup, everyone plays football. The Olympics is 36 different world championships being staged simultaneously. But because it hasn't started yet, and nature abhors a vacuum, the empty space has been filled with the sound of non-stop moaning.

Just look at some of the so-called 'calamities' that we are told 'threaten the Games'.

Final countdown: The venues are ready and the competitors are arriving in their droves

Final countdown: The venues are ready and the competitors are arriving in their droves

Transport crisis

A bus took a wrong turn this week. Yes, that's right. A driver with a faulty satellite navigation system went the wrong way while shuttling American athletes from Heathrow Airport to the Olympic Park. Somehow, this made it to the top of the news agenda and the front page of one newspaper.

Had the man behind the wheel driven his vehicle off the cliffs at Beachy Head in his confusion, I could have understood. Instead, he merely took the wrong exit road, stopped, looked at a map, found the correct route and completed his journey.

But when one athlete on board whined about this via Twitter the story took on a life of its own. Former world champion 400 metres hurdler Kerron Clement complained: 'Um, so we've been lost on the road for 4hrs. Not a good first impression London.'

Obviously, London only exists to impress Clement. But it transpired the journey took a little over two hours, not four. And the runner might not be the most reliable witness anyway, since a day later he announced: 'In Wales. I'm so loving this city…' Yes, welcome to the city of Wales, Kerron, in that great country of London.

So, one bus out of 100 or more took a wrong turn. One athlete out of around 10,500 from 204 nations landing in London during Britain's biggest peacetime transport operation complained. And this was enough for the moaners to say, 'See I told you so'!

Crisis What crisis London is undertaking a huge project, hosting 36 world championships at one time

Crisis What crisis London is undertaking a huge project, hosting 36 world championships at one time

Road crisis

London always has traffic jams. There was a stinker at the Blackwall Tunnel on Friday. There is always a jam at the Blackwall Tunnel, but the difference this time is that it was because of the Olympics and Mayor Boris Johnson.

And there'll be more jams during the three weeks of the 2012 Games. But so what Don't drive unless you have to. The public transport works. This week I timed how long it would take to get from the Houses of Parliament to the Olympic Park in east London. The Tube took 19 minutes to Stratford on the Jubilee Line.

On the way back, I jumped on the new Javelin train and I'd barely settled in my seat when we arrived at St Pancras seven minutes later. If that were Japan or France we'd be saying how brilliant it was. Here, we just grumble that it'll probably break down at some point.

When Sydney hosted the Games, more than a quarter of the city took annual leave, another quarter changed their working hours and more than a fifth worked from home. They enjoyed their Olympics. Try it too, London.

Go to the concerts, the festivals and in the parks and the different spectacles staged along the Thames. Put a prawn on the barbie. If you're in a flood zone, it'll probably swim right up to your door.

Best mode of transport The Stratford hub is served by road, rail... and water

Best mode of transport The Stratford hub is served by road, rail… and water

Olympic Lanes

No, you can't drive in them. Boo hoo. They are annoying, but they are a necessary evil. They've been at every Olympics and London is no different. Did you think staging the world's biggest sporting event would cause no disruption whatsoever

Or did you believe Usain Bolt really runs to the start line just like he does in that advert

Weather

It might rain. I believe there has been the odd spit and spot of the stuff lately. But if it does, try not to panic.

Wear a waterproof mac, or put on some wellies if you are heading to a field. But don't go on and on about it. We live in a country where it rains on occasion. Weather happens. And although the meteorological process is often considered page one news at the Daily Express, the rest of us can probably stay calm and carry on. The sun will come out for the Olympics anyway. Just so Londoners can then complain it's 'too hot'.

Blue sky approach: So what if it rains It rains quite a lot in London anyway

Blue sky approach: So what if it rains It rains quite a lot in London anyway

Opening Ceremony Fears

This will be the world's most-watched television event. One billion will tune in to Danny Boyle's curtain-raiser. But we hear the show has already been 'slashed' by 30 minutes. I know, it's unbelievable, isn't it What a disgrace.

A performance we have very little prior knowledge of is about to have some of those unknown scenes shortened to make sure it doesn't overrun. Now, we may never see what we didn't know we were going to see in the first place.

And I, for one, am furious. I'll have to make do with just the three hours and a finish time around midnight.

Insecurity

This certainly has, on the face of it, been a mess. Private security contractors G4S are short of around 1,500 temporary guards. If you're wondering why, it's because the recruits, mainly students and habitual part-timers, decided they could do without being paid the pittance on offer.

So our squaddies, who have no choice, are covering the deficit and sleeping on chairs shoved together on site. The Olympic Park is now filled with the incongruous sight of soldiers in full camouflage pulling on high-visibility vests. None of it is ideal. It's been bungled.

But, if anything, Olympic security is tighter with the military in place than it was when we relied on Colin, a student of international tourism management at the University of East London, to master the X-ray scanner.

Military precision: The armed forces have sprung into action after being let down by a private security firm

Military precision: The armed forces have sprung into action after being let down by a private security firm

Some have even moaned about the fact there are twice as many soldiers at the Olympics than in Afghanistan. Let's ask the 1st Battalion the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment where they would rather be deployed On patrol in Helmand Province, dodging snipers and landmines, or keeping an eye on proceedings at the women's beach volleyball on Horse Guards Parade.

Follow Des Kelly on Twitter

For further musings, click on: @DesKellyDM

Some mistakes have been made. For instance, the ground-to-air missiles stationed in east London seem superfluous. All the organisers had to do was ask the locals for help.

In the event of any security threat, residents in east London could have been alerted by text message and simply reached for their handguns and fired at any incoming object from their windows, as is traditional in many neighbourhoods. It would have saved a few bob.

So, if you can hear me above the deafening whine of moaning, shall we let the Games begin It is a wonderful spectacle and a chance to showcase some of the best of Britain to the world. Of course something will go wrong.

There'll be a glitch here and there, hopefully nothing more. Some idiot will undoubtedly try to disrupt an event, people will have to queue to get home, something will break – that stuff happens. I'll be among the first to report any genuine botches as they happen at the Games, too. But I'm not going in with a miserable scowl.

Refueling: There's plenty on offer at the Olympic site - including quiet a large McDonalds

Refueling: There's plenty on offer at the Olympic site – including quiet a large McDonalds

This is an enormous festival, a sporting and cultural event that will live in history for ever. If you believe everything is a complete waste of time, money and energy, then it's your right to say so. But you've pretty much done that, I'd say. So can you shut your face now and let the rest of us enjoy the bash

The truth is, Britain loves a grumble. But most moan and gripe right up to the point when the actual event begins – and then wave their Union flags like crazy in celebration. So come on. It's time. Let's enjoy ourselves.

London 2012 Olympics: Team GB athletics squad to be revealed

Cry all you want but I won't pick also-rans, slams Van Commenee ahead of Team GB unveiling

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UPDATED:

06:32 GMT, 3 July 2012

Tough stance: Van Commenee announces Team GB on Tuesday

Tough stance: Van Commenee announces Team GB on Tuesday

Floods of tears and heaps of appeals are head coach Charles van Commenee’s expectations for Tuesday’s announcement of Britain’s Olympic team.

Anyone told they have not been picked who then turns to social networks before the official announcement will find themselves in serious trouble. All have had to sign up to an official gagging order.

And anyone who misses out on selection should not seek his shoulder to cry on. He made plain when the European Championships ended in Helsinki, with few of the 80-strong team improving their cases for selection that he was not in his job to make friends.

‘If our policy was to be represented in every event in the Games you make different decisions. If it is about medals and performances you make choices and usually when you make choices you make other people unhappy,’ he said.

‘That comes with the job. It was the task given to me, performance, not keeping everybody happy.’

Every athlete given bad news on Tuesday can appeal but only on the grounds that the selectors had their facts wrong or did not properly employ their own published criteria.

‘I expect a heap of appeals because people are desperate. The fact that one (Jenny Meadows) has said “I will appeal” without knowing the reasoning of the selection panel I find very peculiar.

‘I would say, “Listen first to what the reasoning is and, if you think that the reasoning is not right, then appeal”.

Jumping the gun: Meadows does not expect to be selected

Jumping the gun: Meadows does not expect to be selected

‘A lot of athletes don’t want to understand the policy. It is the culture these days, a phenomenon in society that people find it more difficult to accept a decision, so they go to court or stick a middle finger up or start protesting.

‘I expect a lot of athletes to make a last, desperate attempt to get to a home Games,’ said Van Commenee, who warned that athletes who have just one A standard performance should not expect selection.

Performances in Helsinki confirmed his belief there should be no passengers on the Olympic team.

‘So many went out in the first round. That has a mental effect on the team’s performance. It’s not helpful for the profile of the sport,’ he added.

‘Keeping the bar high is a good thing for a team’s performances. Our selection criteria for the Games are based on athletes having to produce their standard twice, an indication that it is not a fluke.

‘I have always thought that should be the way and here, where we didn’t stick to it, I got confirmation. We have had many over the five days who went out prematurely.

Standard-bearer: Mo Farah (second right) enjoyed success in Helsinki

Standard-bearer: Mo Farah (second right) enjoyed success in Helsinki

‘I adopted the lowest possible standards here to make sure that in the last week of qualification people had a chance. It was the best thing to do given the calendar of this year.’

He made clear it will not happen again. There were athletes on this team, he said, that will neve compete in a major championship again. A team, as such, did not exist because athletes were flying in and out just to attempt qualifying performances.

‘There were no captains, no moment when the whole team were together. You could hardly call this a team,’ he said.

But he was glad he had not asked those he expects to be medal contenders in London to perform in Helsinki, with the exception of Mo Farah and Robbie Grabarz who asked to compete.

‘I’m happy we return home with the best athletes undamaged and healthy,’ he said.

London 2012 Olympics: Charles van Commenee won"t pick also-rans

Cry all you want but I won't pick also-rans, slams Van Commenee after Helsinki farce

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 2 July 2012

Tough stance: Van Commenee announces Team GB on Tuesday

Tough stance: Van Commenee announces Team GB on Tuesday

Floods of tears and heaps of appeals are head coach Charles van Commenee’s expectations for Tuesday’s announcement of Britain’s Olympic team.

Anyone told they have not been picked who then turns to social networks before the official announcement will find themselves in serious trouble. All have had to sign up to an official gagging order.

And anyone who misses out on selection should not seek his shoulder to cry on. He made plain when the European Championships ended in Helsinki, with few of the 80-strong team improving their cases for selection that he was not in his job to make friends.

‘If our policy was to be represented in every event in the Games you make different decisions. If it is about medals and performances you make choices and usually when you make choices you make other people unhappy,’ he said.

‘That comes with the job. It was the task given to me, performance, not keeping everybody happy.’

Every athlete given bad news on Tuesday can appeal but only on the grounds that the selectors had their facts wrong or did not properly employ their own published criteria.

‘I expect a heap of appeals because people are desperate. The fact that one (Jenny Meadows) has said “I will appeal” without knowing the reasoning of the selection panel I find very peculiar.

‘I would say, “Listen first to what the reasoning is and, if you think that the reasoning is not right, then appeal”.

Jumping the gun: Meadows does not expect to be selected

Jumping the gun: Meadows does not expect to be selected

‘A lot of athletes don’t want to understand the policy. It is the culture these days, a phenomenon in society that people find it more difficult to accept a decision, so they go to court or stick a middle finger up or start protesting.

‘I expect a lot of athletes to make a last, desperate attempt to get to a home Games,’ said Van Commenee, who warned that athletes who have just one A standard performance should not expect selection.

Performances in Helsinki confirmed his belief there should be no passengers on the Olympic team.

‘So many went out in the first round. That has a mental effect on the team’s performance. It’s not helpful for the profile of the sport,’ he added.

‘Keeping the bar high is a good thing for a team’s performances. Our selection criteria for the Games are based on athletes having to produce their standard twice, an indication that it is not a fluke.

‘I have always thought that should be the way and here, where we didn’t stick to it, I got confirmation. We have had many over the five days who went out prematurely.

Standard-bearer: Mo Farah (second right) enjoyed success in Helsinki

Standard-bearer: Mo Farah (second right) enjoyed success in Helsinki

‘I adopted the lowest possible standards here to make sure that in the last week of qualification people had a chance. It was the best thing to do given the calendar of this year.’

He made clear it will not happen again. There were athletes on this team, he said, that will neve compete in a major championship again. A team, as such, did not exist because athletes were flying in and out just to attempt qualifying performances.

‘There were no captains, no moment when the whole team were together. You could hardly call this a team,’ he said.

But he was glad he had not asked those he expects to be medal contenders in London to perform in Helsinki, with the exception of Mo Farah and Robbie Grabarz who asked to compete.

‘I’m happy we return home with the best athletes undamaged and healthy,’ he said.

Jack Wilshere calls cops over cocaine claim

Arsenal ace Wilshere calls in cops over Twitter cocaine claim

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UPDATED:

08:17 GMT, 13 June 2012

Jack Wilshere has called in the police and closed his Twitter account after internet trolls claimed he had tested positive for cocaine.

Wilshere has been out with an ankle injury since last summer but it was suggested last week his absence from Arsenal and England was down to a failed drugs test.

The 20-year-old’s partner Lauren Neal has also closed her account on the social networking site.

Sidelines: Jack Wilshere (left) has been out of action for almost a year

Sidelines: Jack Wilshere (left) has been out of action for almost a year

A friend of midfielder Wilshere told The Sun: ‘Someone is spreading hateful lies and he and Lauren have decided enough is enough.

‘Most of the abuse was the kind of stuff he hears on the terraces. But it has got more personal.

‘The stuff about the drug test was the final straw — he would never take drugs. ‘It’s upsetting that someone can be so vile.’

The claims were tweeted from two accounts and Wilshere, who has spoken to police but not made a formal complaint, has kept the messages and is ready to hand them over.

Arsenal have called in lawyers and said: ‘The rumoured reason on social networks behind Jack’s absence this past season is entirely fabricated and false.’

Euro 2012: Spain ban players from Twitter and Facebook

Spanish players banned from Twitter and Facebook during Euro 2012

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UPDATED:

12:21 GMT, 1 June 2012

Reigning European and World champions Spain have banned their players from using social networks during Euro 2012.

Manager Vincete del Bosque wants his players to be fully focused on the task at hand as they battle to retain their crown.

Barcelona player Cesc Fabregas tweeted in English on June 1: 'From today we are not allowed to use social networks, I wish that the next picture I post will be with the Euro Cup. See you soon!'

Shhhh: Spanish players will not be allowed to use social networks during the tournament

Shhhh: Spanish players will not be allowed to use social networks during the tournament

Euro 2012 email button

Chelsea's Juan Mata and Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso are other frequent users of Twitter and will have to curtail their networking whilst at the tournament.

Facebook is another popular social networking website which will players will not be permitted to update.

But Spain are not the first; Denmark's football federation (DBU) has also blocked the national team from updating while competing.

Concentrate: Vincente del Bosque wants his men to focus on the task at hand

Concentrate: Vincente del Bosque wants his men to focus on the task at hand

A spokesman for the DBU said they wanted the '24-7 open microphone' which Twitter and its ilk present needed to be shut down.

Danish Sports minister Uffe Elbaek's initial reaction was that it might be 'a violation of the freedom of speech'.

English players will be allowed to continue Tweeting during the Euros but the FA will give them guidelines to follow to ensure they do not cause any trouble during the tournament.

Jermaine Pennant was talking to "Herberts" on Twitter, says Tony Pulis

Pennant was talking to 'Herberts' on Twitter… but won't again, says Pulis

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UPDATED:

12:46 GMT, 5 April 2012

Stoke manager Tony Pulis is hoping Jermaine Pennant has learned his lesson this week after 'talking to a bunch of Herberts' on Twitter.

Following last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Wigan, Pennant used the social networking site to voice his frustration, in particular at playing at wing-back, adding: 'I've never ever been a full-back in my life.'

The winger then used Twitter to defend himself, insisting that 'not one bit of me was moaning'.

In the dock: Pennant was pulled up by Pulis over comments made on Twitter

In the dock: Pennant was pulled up by Pulis over comments made on Twitter

He added: 'I just stated where I spent most of game playing…I would play in goal if I had to.

'Nobody is happy with that performance…just as much as the fans we players get p***** off too…it's not like we go out there and not try.'

Pulis has at least exonerated Pennant of wrongdoing with regard to his comments, stating: 'What he said has been taken completely out of context, and that is what can happen.

'There are people out there who monitor these sites and they'll see something and they'll feed off it.

'It's great for the negativity of our press organisations up and down the country when people like Jermaine go on there and say things to whoever picks them up.'

However, Pulis is at a loss to understand why Pennant and others would want to use Twitter in the first place.

'The way I've been brought up, I've enough friends and family that I can pick up the phone and talk to them,' he added.

'I find it amazing the way these social networks run and people do what they do on them.

Twitter ye not: Pulis hopes Pennant has learned his lesson

Twitter ye not: Pulis hopes Pennant has learned his lesson

'They're talking to a bunch of Herberts they don't even know, and they are opening themselves up to these Herberts. For me, it is beyond my common sense to do that.

'But he (Pennant) has most probably learned a lesson by doing it because you are just waiting for people to pick things up and then twist and turn it the way they want to.'

Pulis concedes times have changed since he was a player, adding: 'The players know how I feel about these networks, but I'm not a young lad.

'I could play a game of football, go
down the pub and there would be supporters of my team in there, you'd
have a chat with them and go home.

'You have to move with the times, and they (today's players) live in an era where talking via computers is the norm, or becoming the norm. It's very sad in lots of respects.

'But I understand it. I've had to change my ways enormously over my management career to adapt to what people get up to today.

'But it's still beyond belief that you go on a computer page, or whatever it is, and tell people you are having a cup of tea or coffee somewhere.'

Pulis dismissed suggestions it is a way for fans to connect with the players.
He said: 'The best way of connecting with supporters is going out on a Saturday, playing fantastically well and winning a game of football.'

Asked whether he would consider banning his players from using Twitter, Pulis added: 'I'd have to speak to (chairman) Peter (Coates) and the family in respect of doing anything like that.'