Tag Archives: npower

Coventry City deducted 10 points

Sky Blues falling down! Crisis club Coventry deducted 10 points by Football League

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

15:54 GMT, 28 March 2013

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 28 March 2013

Coventry City have been deducted 10 points after entering administration.

The deduction leaves the Sky Blues in 15th place in League One.

A statement from the Football League read: 'The Football League can confirm that Coventry City Football Club have been deducted 10 points, in accordance with its rules and regulations.

Tough task: Steven Pressley (left) recently took over as Coventry manager

Tough task: Steven Pressley (left) recently took over as Coventry manager

'This Sporting Sanction has been implemented with immediate effect. Coventry City have seven days in which to appeal.

'The League has now begun discussions with the administrator aimed at achieving a sustainable future for the club within The Football League.'

Coventry had earlier reached a short-term agreement to play their three remaining home games this season at the Ricoh Arena.

Amid an ongoing row between the Sky Blues and Arena Coventry Limited (ACL), who manage the stadium and claim to be owed over 1.3million in unpaid rent stretching back 12 months, the npower League One outfit last week placed a non-operating subsidiary of the club into administration.

That subsidiary, Coventry City Football Club Limited, held the lease and licence for the Ricoh Arena, covering permission to play home matches at the stadium as well as the rental of the club shop and offices, which have already been emptied, with all staff having moved to their Ryton training ground.

Up against it: The Sky Blues have been deducted 10 points

Up against it: The Sky Blues have been deducted 10 points

It sparked speculation and uncertainty over where City would play their remaining home fixtures this term, starting with tomorrow’s visit of league leaders Doncaster.

But a statement released this morning read: “Coventry City Football Club Holdings Ltd are pleased that an agreement has been reached with ACL and the administrator that enables us to play our last three remaining home matches at the Ricoh Arena.

'We apologise profusely to our fans about the confusion surrounding these fixtures and are delighted that this has now been resolved.

'We can now look forward to playing current league leaders Doncaster on Friday 29th March in the hope of doing the double over them.

'Moving forward we hope that we can continue a constructive dialogue with ACL with the aim of securing a sustainable future for the club at the Ricoh Arena.'

The final line of Coventry's statement suggests the club's long-term future may still lie at the venue, which is jointly owned by the Alan Edward Higgs Charity and Coventry City Council.

The lengthy row centres around Coventry's refusal to pay an annual rental fee of 1.28m, the highest in both League One and the Championship by some considerable distance, while also bemoaning the fact they do not get access to 100 per cent of matchday revenue.

After negotiations collapsed, Coventry and hedge fund owners Sisu found themselves in the High Court in London last Friday battling against an application for administration submitted by ACL.

That initial hearing was adjourned, just hours after City placed their non-operating subsidiary into administration – although insisting it is business as usual as Coventry City Football Club (Holdings), which they claim holds the crucial 'golden shares' which provide membership to the Football League and FA, operates as normal.

ACL on Tuesday returned to the High Court and asked for their own application for an administration order to be dismissed.

They claim to have it on good authority from the Football League and the Football Association that Coventry's 'golden shares' do in fact still lie with Coventry City Football Club Ltd, which has already gone into administration, hence the withdrawal of their application.

All eyes are now on the Football League, who are yet to make an official verdict on the matter, with Coventry appearing to face the prospect of a 10-point deduction.

The Sky Blues are currently 10th in League One, five points off the play-offs, with a 10-point penalty certain to end their promotion hopes for this term.

Mark Halsey referee Callum McManaman tackle Massadio Haidara pulled from Premier League

Ref Halsey DROPPED to League One after Haidara horror tackle at Wigan

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

01:43 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:59 GMT, 26 March 2013

Mark Halsey, the official who did not send off Callum McManaman for his high tackle on Massadio Haidara, has not been given a Barclays Premier League game to referee this weekend.

Halsey did not issue a red card to Wigan striker McManaman during his side's 2-1 win over Newcastle on March 17 because, he said later, his view of the challenge on Haidara was blocked.

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Because of the international break, this weekend will be the first round of Premier League fixtures since the incident, and Halsey's only top-flight outing will be as the fourth official for Reading's trip to Arsenal.

McManaman's tackle was greeted with outrage, but could not be punished in retrospect by the Football Association because one of Halsey's two assistants saw the incident, provoking a debate about the merits of disciplinary system.

Halsey will referee Friday's npower League One game between Coventry and Doncaster.

Swindon appoint Kevin MacDonald as manager

Swindon announce former Aston Villa caretaker MacDonald as Di Canio replacement

By
Jonathan Veal, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:35 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 28 February 2013

Maiden voyage: MacDonald becomes a permanent manager for the first time

Maiden voyage: MacDonald becomes a permanent manager for the first time

Swindon have appointed former Republic of Ireland assistant Kevin MacDonald as their new manager.

The 52-year-old, who was caretaker manager at Aston Villa in 2010, has been handed the reigns at the County Ground after Paolo Di Canio resigned last week.

MacDonald inherits a Swindon side who are fourth in npower League One and just three points behind leaders Doncaster and will be in charge of Saturday's trip to Coventry.

'This is a hugely important appointment at a significant moment in Swindon's recent history and we are delighted to appoint a football man of Kevin's calibre as our new manager,' said chairman Jed McCrory, who took over the Wiltshire club this month.

'This is a clear message that the new board is determined to drive on for promotion this season and continue to try and bring success to Swindon.

'Kevin has fantastic football credentials as a double-winner with Liverpool during his playing days and he is an excellent coach.

Stuttering: Swindon were beaten by lowly Bury in midweek and have picked up just one point from their last two games

Stuttering: Swindon were beaten at home by lowly Bury in midweek and have picked up just one point from their last two games

'He has great connections with top players and he is a proper football man. We have every faith for Kevin now to lead Swindon from the front at a pivotal moment in the campaign.

'It is a new start for Kevin and for our new board of Directors and we move forward together with every confidence.'

MacDonald, a midfielder in his playing days, was a member of the 1986 double-winning side at Liverpool, while he was involved with the Ireland set-up during Steve Staunton's reign.

FA Cup fifth round draw

Leeds face daunting trip to Premier League champions City… but Chelsea face a fixture pile-up

By
Guy Aspin, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:23 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 28 January 2013

Leeds were rewarded for their victory over Tottenham with a trip to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Neil Warnock's men knocked out Spurs 2-1 at Elland Road to book a trip to the Etihad Stadium in the pick of the ties.

Non-league Luton, who claimed a famous 1-0 win at Norwich yesterday, missed out on a plum draw with a top Premier League side as they got Millwall at home.

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Marching on: Leeds will now play Manchester City after beating Tottenham

Oldham, the npower League One side
who stunned Liverpool 3-2 this afternoon, were handed their Merseyside
rivals Everton at home in the next round.

Manchester United were drawn to face
Reading at Old Trafford, while Arsenal also got a home tie, against
Championship outfit Blackburn.

Chelsea, should they see off
Brentford in a replay after the two sides drew 2-2 at Griffin Park
today, can look forward to a trip to Middlesbrough.

However, the Blues could face some serious fixture congestion if they progress. The replay at Stamford Bridge has been provisionally arranged for the Saturday February 16 – the fifth round weekend.

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

Busy times ahead: Chelsea, and Fernando Torres, will face a fixture pile-up as a result of only getting a draw at Brentford yesterday

CHELSEA'S BUSY FEBRUARY

Jan 30 Reading (A) PL
Feb 2 Newcastle (A) PL
Feb 5-6 Internationals
Feb 9 Wigan (H) PL
Feb 14 Sparta Prague (A) EL
Feb 16-17 Brentford (H) FAC
Feb 21 Sparta Prague (H) EL
Feb 24 Man City (A)
Feb 26-27 poss Middlesbrough (A) FAC
Mar 2 West Brom (H) PL

This is necessary because Chelsea have a Barclays Premier League match at Reading this Wednesday, will lose a number of players to international duty next week and then have home and away legs in the Europa League with Sparta Prague the following two midweeks.

It is then necessary to play Chelsea or Brentford's fifth round trip to Middlesbrough in midweek to catch up, meaning a very long journey for London-based fans for a night match.

A possible replay in that tie, should Chelsea get that far, would trigger a fixture pile-up, especially as they get through in the Europa League.

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

Upset: Luton sparked wild celebrations when they beat Norwich on Saturday

QPR's conquerors MK Dons were drawn at home to Barnsley, while Wigan will travel to Huddersfield or Leicester.

The ties will be played on the weekend of February 16.

FA Cup draw (Ties to be played weekend Feb 16)

Huddersfield/Leicester v Wigan

MK Dons v Barnsley

Oldham v Everton

Luton v Millwall

Arsenal v Blackburn

Man City v Leeds

Man Utd v Reading

M'brough v Brentford/Chelsea

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2:

Brentford 2 Chelsea 2: Torres spares Rafa's blushes as holders are taken to replay

PUBLISHED:

13:54 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

14:14 GMT, 27 January 2013

Fernando Torres rescued Chelsea and Rafael Benitez from FA Cup humiliation today as the holders denied Brentford arguably the biggest scalp of all in this season of shocks.

Torres broke his latest miserable run in front of goal with his first of 2013, and one of the most important of his Blues career, to prevent the European champions crashing out of their second competition in five days and sixth in just six months.

It also stopped Brentford becoming the latest lower-league team to upset Barclays Premier League opponents this season, something they were seven minutes away from doing after a magnificent performance at Griffin Park.

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Relief: John Terry celebrates as Chelsea earn a replay against Brentford

Match facts

Brentford:
Moore, Hodson, Craig, Dean, Logan, Forshaw (Saunders 84), Douglas,
Diagouraga, Donaldson, Trotta (Adeyemi 70), Forrester (Barron 80).

Subs not used: Lee, Dallas, Reeves, Hayes.

Goals: Trotta 43, Forrester pen 73.

Chelsea: Turnbull, Ivanovic (Azpilicueta 79), Cahill, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Marin (Mata 46), Oscar, Bertrand (Ba 82), Torres.

Subs not used: Hilario, Mata, Ferreira, Benayoun, Ake.

Goals: Oscar 55, Torres 83.

Booked: Cahill

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

The npower League One high-fliers were one in a line of sides to completely outmuscle Chelsea since Benitez took charge, Marcello Trotta firing them in front moments before half-time and Harry Forrester restoring their lead with a penalty after Oscar had equalised.

They might even have clung on had Ross Turnbull been sent off instead of cautioned for conceding the spot-kick, having already been lucky to escape a booking for holding on to the ball in a bizarre repeat of Wednesday's ball boy incident at Swansea.

As if to drive home the point that their own ball boys had come in peace, Brentford had them form a guard of honour as the European champions took the field, each of them waving a large white flag.

But there was no surrender from the 11 on the field as they tore into a Chelsea side interim manager Benitez admitted may be running on empty.

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Over the rainbow: Marcelo Trotta opened the scoring for Brentford at home to Chelsea

Running on sand was hardly going to
help their energy levels or the passing game Benitez admitted was their
only way of playing, but that was exactly the kind of surface that
awaited them in what was the archetype of the old-fashioned cup tie.

Ironically, the European champions'
millions helped pay for the pitch, as part of an agreement for them to
play under-21 games at Griffin Park.

Torres, whose 50million transfer fee could probably buy Brentford Football Club, was recalled today.

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Mob rule: Brentford celebrate their shock goal against Chelsea in the FA Cup

Fit-again John Terry also started his first game under Benitez but it was almost a nightmare return when Turnbull was penalised for clutching his captain's backpass.

Turnbull's refusal to release the ball for a quick indirect free-kick could hardly have been more ironic in the wake of the Eden Hazard saga, Forrester eventually blazing over the crossbar.

Terry and Turnbull continued to look like strangers, with Chelsea knocked out of their stride by relentless Brentford pressing and lightning breaks.

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

Spot kick: Tom Adeyemi is fouled by Ross Turnbull to earn Brentford a penalty which Harry Forrester scored

It almost led to a goal on the half-hour mark when Shaleum Logan won the ball and squared for Adam Forshaw, who drove narrowly wide.

There seemed only one outcome if Brentford could add incision to their industry, and they did just that three minutes from half-time.

Forshaw's sliding tackle robbed Frank Lampard and Forrester unleashed a shot Turbull needlessly parried straight to Trotta, who fired in the rebound.

The Italian delayed his own celebration in fear of an offside flag but the stadium was already in raptures.

Gary Cahill was booked for upending Logan before the break, which saw Marko Marin hauled off and Juan Mata tasked with orchestrating a comeback.

There was plenty of time for Chelsea to get their act together and it took them only 10 minutes to do so, Oscar pouncing on a loose clearance and bamboozling the Brentford defence before drilling into the top corner.

Mata almost finished off a sweeping move and Lampard's header from a corner was kept out by Simon Moore as the visitors began to show the kind of fight completely lacking in the first half.

But Brentford refused to panic, drawing Chelsea's sting before withdrawing Trotta for Tom Adeyemi with 20 minutes remaining.

It was inspired, the substitute winning a penalty almost immediately after being upended by Turnbull racing on to Clayton Donaldson's brilliant through ball.

Turnbull might have seen red but escaped with a booking before Forrester buried the spot-kick right in the bottom-left corner.

Chelsea briefly laid siege to the home goal, Branislav Ivanovic denied by Moore before being taken off for Cesar Azpilicueta.

Forrester followed for Scott Barron with Demba Ba finally arriving for Ryan Bertrand, who had just wasted a glorious headed chance to equalise.

Ba made the difference, challenging for an 83rd-minute ball that fell to Torres, who instinctively curled it into the top corner from 18 yards.

Lampard went close to a winner and Mata appealed furiously for handball in the box against Harlee Dean but that would have been a travesty of justice.

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Match report

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Hanson header kills off Villans as Bantams secure historic Wembley date

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 22 January 2013

James Hanson was the hero for Bradford City who secured a place in the Capital One Cup final despite defeat on the night, courtesy of an aggregate victory over Aston Villa.

The hosts flew out of the traps and seemed to be overwhelming the npower League Two side in the early stages of the first half and took a deserved lead through Christian Benteke in the 24th minute.

The Bantams held on and Hanson's header in the 55th minute sent the masses from South Yorkshire wild, the first team from the fourth tier in 51 years to reach a major final.

Andreas Weimann scored a late goal, but it was a mere consolation for Villa who now only have a relegation battle to face this season.

Phil Parkinson's side will face either Chelsea or Swansea in the final on February 24.

More to follow…

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

Match facts

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett (Weimann 70), Ireland, Delph, Bannan (Bent 62), N'Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor.

Subs not used: Guzan, Holman, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Booked: Clark, N'Zogbia, Delph.

Goals: Benteke 24, Weimann 89.

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good, Hines (Thompson 71), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells (Turgott 87).

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Nelson.

Goals: Hanson 55.

Aggregate: (3-4)

Attendance: 40,193

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Twitter reaction

Shaun Teale: I'm embarrassed that these players will walk off the pitch and go home while the fans will be distraught . To many players not good enough

Michael Owen: Villa devoid of ideas. Resorting to knocking it long. No width at all. Bradford fully deserve to be heading to Wembley.

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

League One round-up: Tranmere go top after Sheffield United slip-up

League One round-up: Tranmere go top after Blades slip-up

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 29 December 2012

Tranmere went top of npower League One by a point as they claimed a 1-0 victory over struggling Scunthorpe.

Cole Stockton grabbed the only goal of the game just before the hour mark at Prenton Park as Rovers took advantage of a slip-up by Sheffield United.

The Blades lost 3-2 at home to bottom club Hartlepool, who picked up just their second win of the season.

Top dogs: Tranmere beat Scunthorpe 1-0 to leapfrog Sheffield United

Top dogs: Tranmere beat Scunthorpe 1-0 to leapfrog Sheffield United

Steve Howard put the visitors ahead only for Michael Doyle to level.

But a Ritchie Humphreys strike and Howard's second put Hartlepool clear, and Harry Maguire's late effort was not enough for United.

Doncaster are now level on points with their second-placed Yorkshire rivals after a 3-0 win at Preston.

David Syers opened the scoring inside the first minute, with David Cotterill and a Billy Paynter penalty completing the scoring.

Surprise: Harry Maguire's injury-time goal wasn't enough for Sheffield United as they lost to bottom club Hartlepool

Surprise: Harry Maguire's injury-time goal wasn't enough for Sheffield United as they lost to bottom club Hartlepool

Brentford dropped to fourth after a goalless draw at Shrewsbury while Bournemouth were 3-0 victors over Crawley thanks to a Gary Alexander own goal and further strikes from Brett Pitman and Eunan O'Kane.

Portsmouth remain in the bottom four after a 2-1 home defeat against Yeovil.

Dominic Blizzard and /12/29/article-0-16AF9EB1000005DC-948_468x362.jpg” width=”468″ height=”362″ alt=”Comeback: Coventry came from behind twice to beat MK Dons” class=”blkBorder” />

Comeback: Coventry came from behind twice to beat MK Dons

Daniel Powell and Ryan Lowe netted for the Dons but Franck Moussa and Stephen Elliott pegged them back before the Irish striker bagged the winner.

Moses Odubajo struck three minutes from time to help Leyton Orient beat Walsall 2-1.

David Mooney put Orient ahead only for Sam Mantom to level for the visitors. But Odubajo popped up the claim the points for his side.
Two early goals were enough to give Carlisle a 2-1 win over Bury.

A Lee Miller penalty and a Matty Robson effort put Carlisle in control with Stephen Schumacher getting one back for the visitors.

The games between Colchester and Swindon and Stevenage and Notts County were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

League Two round-up: Port Vale top after 3-2 win at Dagenham and Redbridge

League Two round-up: Port Vale hit summit after 3-2 win over the Daggers

PUBLISHED:

20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

Port Vale won 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge to move to the top of npower League Two.

With Gillingham's fixture against Northampton falling foul of the weather, Vale took full advantage thanks to goals from Tom Pope, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Louis Dodds. A Sam Williams penalty and Scott Doe found the net for the hosts.

Southend missed out on the chance to move into the top three as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Burton.

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Goals from Calvin Zola and Lee Bell gave Albion, who had Nathan Stanton sent off, a win which moves them into the play-off spots.

Oxford United claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom side Wimbledon thanks to goals from Sean Rigg, Alfie Potter and Tom Craddock, although they also had James Constable sent off late on.

Rochdale claimed a 4-2 win at Bradford with all the goals coming in the first half.

Terry Gornell put Dale ahead but Alan Connell struck from the spot to equalise.

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Andrew Tutte put the visitors back ahead and Ashley Grimes extended their advantage, before Connell's second penalty made it 3-2. But Gornell netted his second to complete the scoring.

Conor Townsend scored his first goal for Chesterfield but was later sent off in their 1-1 draw with Morecambe.

Christopher McCready put Morecambe ahead but Townsend levelled before being dismissed for using his elbow.

Andy Iro struck in the eighth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for Barnet as they drew 2-2 at Exeter in Edgar Davids' first game in sole charge.

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Danny Coles and Scot Bennett looked to have set Exeter on their way to the three points, but Jonathan Nurse pulled one back before Iro's dramatic leveller.

Matt McClure got the only goal as Wycombe won 1-0 at Plymouth, while Fleetwood and York played out a goalless draw.

Rotherham beat Accrington 4-1 thanks to a brace from substitute Daniel Nardiello.

Tom Eckersley's own goal put the Millers a goal to the good, only for Craig Lindfield to level.

But Nardiello's double and a Michael O'Connor strike sealed Rotherham's victory,

The fixtures between Cheltenham and Bristol Rovers and Aldershot and Torquay were also postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

Judan Ali denies Blackburn Roves links

Ali forced to deny Blackburn links as Rovers continue search for new boss

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UPDATED:

13:34 GMT, 29 December 2012

Judan Ali has denied he is set to become part of the coaching set-up at Blackburn.

Ali, a 39-year-old amateur and youth coach, became a figure of intrigue yesterday following reports himself and former Aston Villa assistant boss Kevin MacDonald were set to take up roles at Ewood Park in the wake of Henning Berg's sacking as manager.

Rovers' global advisory Shebby Singh was forced to deny these claims and rejected the notion that he took training alongside Ali ahead of today's npower Championship trip to Barnsley, despite both men being present at the club's Brockhall training base.

Ali bye bye: Rovers are looking elsewhere for their new boss

Ali bye bye: Rovers are looking elsewhere for their new boss

Having arranged a watching brief with Singh and controversial owners Venky's to further his education as a coach – a journey that has seen him work in locations as diverse as India, St Kitts and Latvia – Ali insists he simply finds himself in the middle of the latest storm to engulf Blackburn.

When asked whether he was being lined up for a position at Rovers, Ali said: 'Not at all. I've had no intentions of coaching here.

'It's for my personal development, observing how a professional club is operated and structured for elite players.

'I want to see how it compares with those I've been with in eastern Europe, in India and in the Caribbean.

'For me it's almost a once in a blue moon opportunity to be at a professional outfit such as Blackburn Rovers.

'I've not come here to look at the playing side of the business at all. It's to see how the club is, the facilities, the sports science.

'I've not come in to critique, judge or even take notes on how the training sessions are delivered by any members of the coaching team.'

Singh when you're winning: The Rovers chief has denied links with Ali

Singh when you're winning: The Rovers chief has denied links with Ali

On whether he was involved in any discussions regarding MacDonald or any other potential candidates, Ali added: 'I'm not privy to any of this information. I don't have any input on the playing side of the club and I strictly can say that I'm being transparent.

'It's a time of volatility or controversy or whatever you want to call it and I happen to be at the centre of it all.'

In reports linking him with Blackburn, Ali found himself referred to as a Bollywood actor owing to his part in 2007's 'Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal' – a label he is amused by given he has never taken on a conventional acting role.

The film is based on his experiences as a youngster in London from an ethnic minority background trying to make the grade as a professional footballer.

Ali was a trainee at Arsenal and failed to find a club in England following his release, eventually joining Spanish minnows Murcia.

'I ended up working on the movie to recruit and coach and train the footballers and the actors in the movie,' he explained.

'I found myself being part of the cast by default, purely because I was on the pitch most of the time.

'The directors and producers agreed with each other it would be more beneficial to put me in the football kit and film me while I was on the ground rather than me coming on and going off.

'I was never against that, I enjoyed it. It was a great experience.'

MATCHES OFF: Manchester United v West Brom survives late inspection

MATCHES OFF: Football League and Conference games fall foul of the weather

|

UPDATED:

14:15 GMT, 29 December 2012

A number of Saturday's fixtures have been postponed due to waterlogged pitches but Manchester United's home clash with West Brom was given the go-ahead after a 1.15pm pitch inspection.

In the Championship, there was doubt over Alex McLeish's first game in charge at Nottingham Forest but the City Ground test against Crystal Palace was given the green light after a second inspection at lunchtime.

In League 1, Stevenage Borough's match with Notts County at Broadhall Way has been called off.

Colchester United's match with Swindon Town was postponed on Friday evening after match official Adam Crysell deemed the playing surface unfit.

Wet and wild: Ground staff get to work at Old Trafford on Saturday morning

Wet and wild: Ground staff get to work at Old Trafford on Saturday morning

WHAT'S OFF…

npower League 1
Stevenage v Notts County

npower League 2
Aldershot v Torquay – Postponed due to waterlogged pitch – no new date
Gillingham v Northampton – Postponed due to waterlogged pitch – no new date
Cheltenham v Bristol Rovers – Postponed due to waterlogged pitch – no new date

Blue Square Bet Premier
Hereford v Newport County
Braintree Town v Woking
Mansfield v Grimsby

Nuneaton v Alfreton

SPL
Ross County v Hearts

In League 2, three matches – Aldershot v Torquay, Gillingham v Northampton and Cheltenham v Bristol Rovers – have been cancelled.

Macclesfield's FA Cup second round replay with Barrow is going ahead after a pitch inspection.

North of the border, the SPL encounter at Dingwall between Ross County and Hearts has been postponed.

In the Conference, the matches at Hereford United, Nuneaton, Braintree Town and Mansfield Town have also fallen victim to heavy overnight rain.

Stockport's match with Telford is going ahead after a 1pm pitch inspection.

The programme in the Conference North and South has also been badly affected.

In the North, the matches at FC Halifax Town, Guiseley, Histon, Vauxhall Motors and Worcester are OFF.

In the South, the games at Bath City, Eastleigh, Hayes and Sutton United are OFF.