Tag Archives: objective

Liverpool transfer latest: Brendan Rodgers to wait until summer for big spree

Sturridge and Ince set to sign but Kop boss Rodgers plans to save spree until summer

|

UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 28 December 2012

Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince remain Anfield-bound in January, but Brendan Rodgers is adamant his main transfer strategy for reviving Liverpool’s fortunes will be played out at the end of the season.

Chelsea striker Sturridge has already had a medical on Merseyside, while Blackpool forward Ince will follow him into Anfield, as Rodgers looks to give his team more attacking impetus.

But the additions Rodgers sees as vital to restoring Liverpool to their former status as regulars in the Champions’ League will be made after he completes an in-depth review of his first season in charge.

Waiting game: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he plans to his big spending in the summer - not in January when the transfer window re-opens

Waiting game: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he plans to his big spending in the summer – not in January when the transfer window re-opens

Rodgers cites instilling greater consistency as his main objective, and, much as Sturridge and Ince are expected to add energy and drive to the second half of Liverpool’s season, he admitted he will be looking for proven top-flight performers when the window reopens in the summer.

‘We have enquired about some players and hope to be able to do something in January,’ said the Liverpool manager.

‘There are a lot of names being mentioned, but we should be able to make some additions and make them pretty early.

Kop that: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge is set to join Liverpool

Going back: Tom Ince is set to re-join Liverpool in January from Blackpool

At the double: Liverpool are set to sign Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince (R) in the January transfer window

‘But the main review will take place in the summer, and it is clear we need that bit of experience up at the top end of the field.

'The best and most important period will be between now and the end of the season, when we can look at what needs to be done, in terms of progressing the club further, and then go again.’

Roy Hodgson says England needs to stop asking what has gone wrong and instead look to the future

Hodgson urges England to forget the failures since '66 and look to the future

|

UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 15 December 2012

Roy Hodgson cannot see the point in England handicapping themselves by constantly lamenting what has gone wrong since 1966.

After a solid start to their World Cup qualifying campaign, the Three Lions visit San Marino and Montenegro next March before an autumn push towards the World Cup in Brazil.

If England do achieve their first objective, Hodgson knows references to their sole World Cup win are bound to be raised, plus the inevitable debate about why progress has been so slow since that memorable occasion.

England boss Roy Hodgson says England need to stop lamenting past failures and focus on the present and future

England boss Roy Hodgson says England need to stop worrying about what has gone wrong since 1966 and focus on the present and future of the team

But England's coach feels that assessment is counter-productive.

'One of my concerns for England has always been that we're not trying to win in the present, we're trying to win in the past and we can't do that,' Hodgson told FATV.

'I know there's 1966 and that it's 50 years and that we've failed here and there and missed penalty shoot-outs, but unfortunately there's not very much I can do now to change anything that's historical.

England manager Roy Hodgson

'You can't turn back the clock and you can't win yesterday. You can only win today and while winning today, you can only have an eye on how we can win tomorrow.'

Hodgson cannot be faulted for the number of younger players he has introduced to the Three Lions fold since he took charge in May.

Raheem Sterling and Carl Jenkinson were amongst those to make their debuts in Sweden last month, whilst others, including Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were part of his Euro 2012 squad despite their limited experience.

With the exception of Sterling, none of that quartet could be regarded as first-choice for their clubs in a league where so many of its top men are foreign.

Hodgson sees little point arguing against the mass continental influx.

Instead he feels the onus is on those young English players to prove themselves indispensable.

'Clubs will do what they have to do and I can't expect that a manager who is under pressure to get results is thinking long-term for the benefits of the English national side,' he said.

'If he thinks his interests are best served by getting a player from Montenegro, Russia or Israel, they're entitled to do that.

'Rather than complain that there are a lot of foreign players, let's turn it on its head and make certain that our players do better.

'Take Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for example, who plays some games but not others. He has got to become so good that Arsene Wenger doesn't want to look elsewhere.

'That's what I've got to hope for and that's got to be their ambition.'

Challenge: Hodgson has said that players like Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (pictured) have to 'become so good that Arsene Wenger doesn't want to look elsewhere'

Challenge: Hodgson said that players like Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (pictured) have to be 'so good that Arsene Wenger doesn't want to look elsewhere'

Ched Evans: Appeal against rape conviction blocked

Evans refused application to appeal against rape conviction

|

UPDATED:

10:30 GMT, 21 August 2012


Blocked: Evans' appeal route has slammed shut

Blocked: Evans' appeal route has slammed shut

Welsh footballer Ched Evans has lost the first stage of his appeal against his rape conviction, his lawyers said.

The 23-year-old striker was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room.

A spokesman for law firm Brabners Chaffe Street in Manchester said they had received notification from the Court of Appeal that the judge had refused Evans' application for leave to appeal against his conviction.

The spokesman added: 'We wish to
confirm that Ched Evans continues to maintain his innocence in this
matter and, as he is entitled to do so, he shall continue with his
appeal to the full Court of Appeal where he believes that a
comprehensive and objective analysis of the case will ultimately lead to
his conviction being overturned.'

Evans was found guilty of raping the woman at a hotel in North Wales last May by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

He admitted having sex with her, but the woman told the jury that she had no memory of the incident – and the prosecution argued that she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.

Evans was released by Sheffield United at the end of last season.

Jailed: Evans was a Sheffield United regular and represented his country

Jailed: Evans was a Sheffield United regular and represented his country

Jose Mourinho aiming for Champions League not La Liga

Mourinho aiming to be first manager ever to win Champions League with three clubs

|

UPDATED:

12:18 GMT, 14 June 2012

Jose Mourinho has insisted his primary target with Real Madrid for next season is to become the first manager to win the Champions League with three clubs.

The former Chelsea boss helped Real break Barcelona's dominance at the top of Spanish football by winning the Primera Division title for the first time in four years this season, but they fell at the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second consecutive season since Mourinho took charge.

And he is now looking to make history by recreating his success with Porto and Inter Milan and claiming Real's 10th European crown.

Ole: Jose Mourinho is tossed up and down after winning La Liga

Ole: Jose Mourinho is tossed up and down after winning La Liga

He told AS: 'I want to win the Champions League with three distinct teams. Now Real Madrid has won the league, the objective for next season is to win the Champions League.'

However, Mourinho denied that should he succeed in achieving that goal he could take charge of the Portuguese national team in the near future.

'I don't believe I could manage a national team that only plays a game every two months and an official tournament every two years. I need the pressure of facing two or three games every week.'

Champions League final: Juan Mata refuses to consider Europa League

No Champions League No chance! Mata refuses to consider life in Europa League

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 17 May 2012

Juan Mata has refused to even contemplate the prospect of playing in the Europa League next season ahead of Chelsea's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Spain star Mata joined the Blues from Valencia last summer after rejecting the advances of both Arsenal and Tottenham, the winger declaring at the time that his new club were better equipped to challenge for the Barclays Premier League title.

That proved not to be the case this season, with Chelsea finishing below both their London rivals in sixth place, despite their astonishing run to Saturday's Champions League showpiece.

Heads up! Chelsea are entering the final stages of their preparation for Saturday's final

Heads up! Chelsea are entering the final stages of their preparation for Saturday's final

They must now beat Bayern in the German giants' own back yard to avoid being out of the competition next term for the first time since 2002 and in the Europa League instead.

Asked what it would mean to be in Europe's second-tier competition next season, Mata said: 'We want to play in the Champions League and we want to win this year to play next season.'

Pressed further, he added: 'Our objective is to play in the Champions League. We're only thinking of winning and, after that, let's see.'

Despite their Premier League travails, Chelsea have outstripped their domestic rivals by a considerable distance in Europe this season.

Indeed, were it not for caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo's remarkable rescue act, English football would have suffered its most humiliating continental campaign since 1996.

Mata declared Chelsea were proud of having flown the flag for England in such sensational style since their historic last-16 comeback against Napoli.

'Yes, we are, we are,' he said. 'A lot of good teams like Tottenham, Arsenal, Man United played in European tournaments but now we are going to play in the Champions League final, representing England as well.'

Nail biter: Chelsea need to win on Saturday or they will not play in next season's Champions League

Nail biter: Chelsea need to win on Saturday or they will not play in next season's Champions League

Nail biter: Chelsea need to win on Saturday or they will not play in next season's Champions League

However, Mata acknowledged Chelsea's performances have been up and down.

He said: 'We won the FA Cup. It's true that in the Premier League, it hasn't been an easy season for us.

'But now we have the chance to play in the Champions League next year by winning the trophy, so it will be amazing for us to win it.'

Mata has been anything but inconsistent, becoming the first man to win the club's Player of the Year prize in his debut season since Ruud Gullit in 1996.

The 24-year-old, who was rightly rewarded for his 12 goals and astonishing 24 assists, said: 'I feel so proud. I feel so proud and so happy – even more because it's my first season here I'm so grateful to all the supporters.'

Having featured in every one of Chelsea's punishing run of fixtures since Di Matteo took charge 10 and a half weeks ago, Mata has been wrapped in cotton wool since the FA Cup final.

No rehearsals: Chelsea head to Munich where they will face Bayern on home soil

No rehearsals: Chelsea head to Munich where they will face Bayern on home soil

No rehearsals: Chelsea head to Munich where they will face Bayern on home soil

The Blues cannot afford him to be anything other than 100 per cent fit this weekend, especially with fellow midfielders Ramires and Raul Meireles suspended and Florent Malouda struggling with a hamstring injury.

Also banned are Branislav Ivanovic and captain John Terry, who is reportedly lined up to deliver a typically tub-thumping pre-match team talk on Saturday night.

He and the other suspended trio will be powerless to influence proceedings on the field, but Mata insisted whoever filled the void at the Allianz Arena would do Chelsea proud.

'I have a lot of confidence in them,' he said. 'I think no matter who plays, we are Chelsea. We have 24, 25 players ready to play.'

Saturday's match is also currently set to be Di Matteo's final match in charge, regardless of the outcome.

Pep Guardiola is said to be Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's number one managerial target, while reports in Italy have claimed former England boss Fabio Capello has spoken to the Russian about the vacancy at Stamford Bridge.

Breaking ground: Chelsea can go one better after they were beaten finalists in 2008

Breaking ground: Chelsea can go one better after they were beaten finalists in 2008

Mata insisted the uncertainty over Di Matteo's future would not have a negative impact this weekend.

He said: 'No, I think it's not a problem now. We are only thinking of the final. We are all happy with Robbie – he's a very, very good manager – but we don't know (what will happen).'

Papiss Cisse staying at Newcastle

I'm going nowhere! Cisse plans Newcastle stay despite missing out on Champions League

|

UPDATED:

09:52 GMT, 14 May 2012

Papiss Cisse has pledged his future to Newcastle United despite missing out on Champions League football.

The Magpies finished an impressive fifth under manager Alan Pardew but had a chance of qualifying for Europe's premier competition going into the final day.

In the event, wins for Arsenal and Tottenham ensured Newcastle had to settle for the Europa League after they were beaten 3-1 at Everton.

Flying high: Papiss Cisse has been a revelation since signing for Newcastle

Flying high: Papiss Cisse has been a revelation since signing for Newcastle

But Cisse, who is considering legal action over claims he wants to join Real Madrid, insists he is looking forward to making his mark in Europe despite

'I hope to continue scoring goals for Newcastle next season,' the 13-goal striker told the Chronicle. 'I’m looking forward to playing in the Europa League.

'We wanted to play in the Champions League, but we can be very happy with what we have achieved this season.'

'It’s good to be in Europe next season, but I’m sorry for the supporters, we wanted to give them Champions League football.

Fine finish: Nikica Jelavic helped Everton beat Newcastle on Sunday

Fine finish: Nikica Jelavic helped Everton beat Newcastle on Sunday

'That was our objective. We are in the Europa League, and I thank God for the season I have had. But we are still a little disappointed.'

Cisse was denied a goal in the second half at Goodison Park when Tim Howard clawed away his goal-bound header.

He reflected: 'It was a difficult game.

'We wanted to beat Everton, and finish as high as we could, and we’re disappointed to lose.

'It was one of those days. I had a chance early in the second half, but I didn’t score, and now the season is finished.'

Is Kenny Dalglish a spent force at Liverpool?

Think you're doing a good job, Kenny You have spent 113.3m and you're 28 points behind United

|

UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 22 March 2012

Kenny Dalglish has accused his critics of lacking intelligence and not understanding what he is trying to achieve at Anfield, pointing to the success of the academy and Liverpool’s Carling Cup triumph, as well as the FA Cup semi-final to come.

But, after Wednesday’s implosion at Loftus Road, when they lost a Premier League game after leading 2-0 for the first time in 11-and-a-half years, and after buying nearly 115million worth of players in just over a year, the club sit seventh, a place above Swansea (who have spent around 10m in that time). So, we ask Sportsmail’s experts — has King Kenny delivered

Matt Lawton: Only a top-four finish will be good enough

After spending more than 100million on players, Kenny Dalglish must realise his Liverpool side have seriously under-performed this season. Six defeats in the last 10 Barclays Premier League games, nine in all, as well as eight draws at home, is simply not good enough.

The widely-held view that the Carling Cup would be enough to satisfy the club’s American owners this season is not shared by many inside Anfield. Not even a Carling Cup and FA Cup double will keep them completely happy when the main objective was to qualify for the Champions League.

Kop legend: But with Liverpool 12 points off the Champions League spot, Kenny Dalglish does not seem to know how to turn around the club's League fortunes

Kop legend: But with Liverpool 12 points off the Champions League spot, Kenny Dalglish does not
seem to know how to turn around
the club's League fortunes

But that does not mean Dalglish will
be sacked, or indeed should be sacked, particularly when it has never
been more difficult to secure a place in the top four and particularly
when we are talking about Dalglish here. These Americans are not half as
daft as their predecessors.

The pressure, however, will be on next season, with so much more required from those marquee signings.

Andy Carroll has been a disaster so
far, while Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam just don’t look like
Liverpool players; nothing like as good as Xabi Alonso or Fernando
Torres, prior to the latter getting injured, anyway.

Stewart Downing has had his moments but needs to perform with more consistency, especially for 20million.

Costly: Andy Carroll

Costly: Jordan Henderson

Dodgy deals: Liverpool spent 55million to secure the services of Andy Carroll (left) and Jordan Henderson

Luis Suarez is the one success story.
On the pitch he has been terrific. But he has also been the cause of a
situation that has inflicted so much damage on the club, with Dalglish’s
blinkered view of the same Patrice Evra race row damaging Liverpool’s
reputation further.

On and off the field, the Suarez
affair has taken its toll and that is probably another reason why
Dalglish deserves a second full season.

But he needs to deliver. The Europa
League might just about do for next season but a top-four finish has to
follow. Otherwise a decision will have to be made.

Star performer: Luis Suarez has shone on the pitch, but Dalglish's handling of the Evra affair left a lot to be desired

Star performer: Luis Suarez has shone on the pitch, but Dalglish's handling of the Evra affair left a lot to be desired

Michael Walker: Fans won’t like reduced status

Late on Match of the Day on Wednesday night, Alan Hansen jokily commented on Liverpool: ‘We are not a cup team.’

But there was feeling behind the words all the same because ‘cup team’ signifies reduced status.

This is the old-school Anfield view of things, and it would be staggering to discover that Kenny Dalglish did not share Hansen’s opinion.

Cup team Liverpool won their first silverware in six years with victory over Cardiff at Wembley

Cup team Liverpool won their first silverware in six years with victory over Cardiff at Wembley

As things stand, however, the Carling
Cup success and an FA Cup semi-final place are offering Dalglish some
cup protection and for now he will take it — though that can change if
Liverpool lose their Wembley semi-final to Everton or Sunderland on
April 14. In the Barclays Premier League, the players brought to the
club at such expense have not done it.

Liverpool finished 22 points behind
Manchester United last season — the gap stands at 28 points after
Wednesday’s casual late collapse at Queens Park Rangers.

Dalglish will be biting his lip in
public but he will know this is uncomfortable. Despite all the affection
for him in the city, fans can also see what does and does not work.

Had Liverpool held on at Loftus Road
it would actually have been a third consecutive win, with Wigan to come
at Anfield.

Appetite for destruction: Liverpool collapsed at Loftus Road, shipping three goals in 13 minutes against a QPR side who had not won since January

Appetite for destruction: Liverpool collapsed at Loftus Road, shipping three goals in 13 minutes against a QPR side who had not won since January

There would have been the beginnings of a sense of momentum. But critical analysis would merely have been deferred, not binned.

In purely football terms this season
has been indifferent. A season in which Arsenal and Chelsea, in
particular, have wobbled presented an opportunity to finish fourth.

Yet, Liverpool are 12 points off the riches of Champions League qualification.

A serious question for Anfield is: a
year from now, where will Liverpool be —not even in terms of the title,
but in terms of fourth place

That’s reduced status.

Fall from grace: Liverpool were booed off at Anfield after being outplayed by Swansea in November's 0-0 draw

Fall from grace: Liverpool were booed off at Anfield after being outplayed by Swansea in November's 0-0 draw

Liverpool since Dalglish's return: Statistics

Ian Ladyman: Liverpool's reputation is suffering on his watch

I was never sure Dalglish was the right man for the Liverpool job and said so in print before he was offered it.

Despite
his standing at the club and his success as manager first time round, I
was not convinced he would be able to handle the scrutiny that comes
with top Premier League jobs these days. I also thought Liverpool needed
a younger man who could build slowly and steadily for the long term.

Without
doubt, Liverpool are in a better position now than they were under Roy
Hodgson. Dalglish has restored unity to the club and has reconnected the
team with their supporters. That is to his credit.

Nevertheless, I feel that my concerns of 14 months ago have proved valid.

Regardless of the value for money —
or otherwise — Dalglish has secured in the transfer market, Liverpool
have proved worryingly inconsistent in a modest Premier League.

While Chelsea and Arsenal have struggled, Dalglish’s Liverpool have been nowhere near good enough to take advantage.

Liverpool
still rely far too heavily on Steven Gerrard. Dalglish has signed a
number of midfield players but the fact remains that when Gerrard
doesn’t play Liverpool can look predictable and mundane.

Away
from the field, Dalglish’s part in the Luis Suarez saga should not be
overlooked.

Results matter, of course, but reputation is important too
and Liverpool’s has suffered on Dalglish’s watch.

Rank-and-file
Liverpool fans may continue to back him but the outside world looks at
Anfield with raised eyebrows these days and it’s sad that one of their
iconic figures has played a part in that.

Has this season been a disaster No. Has it been good enough An FA Cup triumph would help persuade me.

Dominic King: He's the right man for Anfield

It was on a balmy night in Oslo last August that Kenny Dalglish was presented with his Liverpool mission by owner John W Henry.

Having backed Dalglish’s judgment to the tune of 113million, Henry declared before Liverpool’s 3-3 friendly draw with Norwegian side Valerenga that anything other than a top-four finish would be ‘major disappointment’.

Judging Dalglish strictly on Premier League results, the only logical conclusion is that there is significant room for improvement. Currently 12 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, Liverpool will not be returning to the Champions League.

Contenders: Liverpool will face either Everton or Sunderland in their FA Cup semi-final

Contenders: Liverpool will face either Everton or Sunderland in their FA Cup semi-final

Premier League table: How they stand

For those full of hope when Dalglish was re-appointed manager 14 months ago, the way this campaign has played out — culminating in Wednesday’s preposterous collapse at Loftus Road — has come as a huge shock. But for all that criticism is deserved it must also be tempered.

In terms of silverware, this season has the potential to be Liverpool’s best since 2001. The Carling Cup has been won and they have a great chance of adding the FA Cup. How, then, could it be said that Dalglish is not doing a good job Liverpool are a club that exist to win trophies and to complete a Wembley double in May would make him the envy of all bar the team eventually crowned champions. It would provide the best possible solace for no top-four finish.

But it should not mask that there is serious work to be done, on and off the pitch. Liverpool’s reputation has taken a battering in recent months and neutrals are finding the club difficult to warm to. This must change.

So, too, must the erratic nature of their performances in the Premier League. Two wins in 2012 is not good enough but Dalglish knows that better than anyone. And he, undoubtedly, is the man to put it right.

Kenny Dalglish's buys: Ins and outs at Liverpool

Rangers players agree pay-cut

Rangers players agree pay-cut in order to save redundancies at Scottish club

|

UPDATED:

19:37 GMT, 9 March 2012

Rangers' administrators have confirmed players have agreed a wage-reduction deal that has secured jobs at the club.

Duff and Phelps say there are minor issues to be resolved but a deal is in place to keep the playing squad intact and prevent redundancies among the general workforce.

In a statement, joint administrator Paul Clark said: 'We are pleased to announce today a package of cost-cutting measures has been agreed with the Rangers playing staff that enables the club to move forward.'

Hope: Rangers players have agreed to take a cut in wages to help the club

Hope: Rangers players have agreed to take a cut in wages to help the club

Players have agreed cuts ranging from 25-75 per cent while coaching staff have also accepted reductions, while administrators confirmed midfielders Mervan Celik and Gregg Wylde had volunteered to leave the club.

The statement continued: 'The agreement on very substantial wage reductions and voluntary departures from the club represents a major sacrifice by the Rangers players.

'The discussions have been lengthy and by no means easy for anyone involved but the most important objective in all of this process has been to achieve an outcome that will help save the club.

'There are a small number of matters still to be dealt with over the weekend but we do not believe these will be insurmountable in the completion of an agreement.

'The players deserve great credit and we are in no doubt that this agreement is the best way to achieve the necessary cost savings to ensure the continuing operations of the club while preserving the fabric of the playing squad.

'The agreement has also directly prevented substantial job losses among non-playing staff both at Ibrox and Murray Park.

Hit in the wallet: Alan McGregor is one of the top earners at Rangers

Hit in the wallet: Alan McGregor is one of the top earners at Rangers

'This has been a difficult week for
everyone at the club and we are pleased that we can now move forward and
focus on the next steps in the recovery process.'

Some cuts have been made, namely the
closure of the London office, which was opened in January with the
appointment of global partnerships director Misha Ser.

The statement confirmed: 'As regards non-playing staff, job losses will be kept to a minimum.

'The recently opened London office will close and another recently appointed employee will leave the business.'

Clark
added: 'Everyone involved in the process, the Duff and Phelps team, the
manager, the PFA Scotland and, most importantly, the players themselves
made every effort possible to reach a consensual position where job
losses among the playing staff were either prevented or kept to the
minimum.

'This required a commitment to very substantial temporary wage cuts and we're very pleased to say that after all our discussions this has been achieved.

Beleaguered: Craig Whyte was ruled not a fit and proper person to own a club by the SFA

Beleaguered: Craig Whyte was ruled not a fit and proper person to own a club by the SFA

'The considerable sacrifice the
players at Rangers have made has saved the jobs of other people at the
club and we fully recognise the football staff are paying a very heavy
price for the greater good.

'It
is to their eternal credit the players and the management have sought
to find a solution that helps protect the fabric of the club.

'We
are especially grateful to the manager, Ally McCoist, who has put the
interests of the club, his players and the staff first and foremost at
all times.

'Senior first-team players have also been very helpful in trying to secure a successful outcome.'

Clark later revealed the hold-up to securing all the signatures was mainly down to the fact some players were not present. The likes of John Fleck and Kyle Hutton are out on loan.

Speaking at a media conference broadcast live by Sky News, he said: 'Some of the players just weren`t available today, for instance some of them are no longer in Glasgow.

'So we haven`t got every single signature but there are very, very few and we expect them to be dealt with in the next couple of days.

'We believe there is complete consensus, it`s simply people that are not available to sign the documentation.'

STATEMENT FROM RANGERS ADMINISTRATORS

We are pleased to announce today a package of cost-cutting measures has been agreed with the Rangers playing staff that enables the Club to move forward.

The agreement on very substantial wage reductions and voluntary departures from the Club represents a major sacrifice by the Rangers players.

The discussions have been lengthy and by no means easy for anyone involved but the most important objective in all of this process has been to achieve an outcome that will help save the Club. There are a small number of matters still to be dealt with over the weekend but we do not believe these will be insurmountable in the completion of an agreement.

The players deserve great credit and we are in no doubt that this agreement is the best way to achieve the necessary cost savings to ensure the continuing operations of the Club while preserving the fabric of the playing squad.

The agreement has also directly prevented substantial job losses among non-playing staff both at Ibrox and Murray Park.

This has been a difficult week for everyone at the Club and we are pleased that we can now move forward and focus on the next steps in the recovery process.

The cost cutting programme includes:-

First team playing squad members agreeing substantial temporary wage cuts ranging from 25% to 75% of their salaries.

The senior football management team accepting temporary wage cuts.

The wage cuts will prevent widespread job losses at the club.

Non-playing job losses are being kept to a minimum.

Two members of the playing squad, Gregg Wylde and Mervan Celik, have been allowed to leave the Club at their request.

Everyone involved in the process, the Duff and Phelps team, the manager, the PFA Scotland and, most importantly, the players themselves made every effort possible to reach a consensual position where job losses among the playing staff were either prevented or kept to the minimum.

This required a commitment to very substantial temporary wage cuts and we're very pleased to say that after all our discussions this has been achieved.

The considerable sacrifice the players at Rangers have made has saved the jobs of other people at the Club and we fully recognise the football staff are paying a very heavy price for the greater good.

It is to their eternal credit the players and the management have sought to find a solution that helps protect the fabric of the Club.

We are especially grateful to the manager, Ally McCoist, who has put the interests of the Club, his players and the staff first and foremost at all times. Senior first team players have also been very helpful in trying to secure a successful outcome.

We should be absolutely clear that this Club is in a perilous financial situation and there are no easy options. If substantial cost reduction could not be achieved then the Club would not survive until the end of the season.

Administration is never a painless process and is imperative if the Club is to survive that the business trades viably through the period of administration.

As regards non-playing staff, job losses will be kept to a minimum. The recently opened London office will close and another recently appointed employee will leave the business.

We still hold to our view that the future of Rangers can be secured and the measures announced today will be an important part of the recovery process.

Craig Bellamy: Champions League remains priority for Liverpool

Champions League is Liverpool's No 1 priority, says Bellamy

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy insists the club's priority remains securing Champions League football and any cup success will be a bonus.

The Reds face the Wales international's hometown club Cardiff, for whom he played last season, in the Carling Cup at Wembley on Sunday.

But the 32-year-old said that while the chance of picking up silverware could not be ignored, it should not detract from the main aim of a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Priorities: Bellamy is relishing the cup final, but recognises need to return to Champions League competition

Priorities: Bellamy is relishing the cup final, but recognises need to return to Champions League competition

'The season isn't over for either of us, whichever one loses,' said Bellamy, who admits he does not judge his career on medals won.

'Cardiff have promotion to go for and we have Champions League (qualification) to gun for and we're still in the FA Cup.

'If we lose on Sunday we still have so much to play for this season and it is the same for Cardiff.

'Would we choose Champions League over the Carling Cup I think we would.

'Would Cardiff choose getting to the Premier League over the Carling Cup I think they would as well.

'That is our main objective. That is what we set out for this season. Cup competitions are a big bonus for us but we are looking at the Champions League.

'A win on Sunday might push us forward but if it didn't we still have a lot to play for – and so do Cardiff.'

Bellamy said he is relishing every moment of his return to Liverpool and intends to savour what remains of the time he has left at the highest level.

Plenty to play for: Bellamy knows Liverpool's season isn't decided on Sunday

Plenty to play for: Bellamy knows Liverpool's season isn't decided on Sunday

Plenty to play for: Bellamy knows Liverpool's season isn't decided on Sunday

He readily admits his single season at Anfield in 2006-07 left him feeling he had unfinished business with the club and so he jumped at the chance to rejoin on a free transfer from Manchester City in the summer.

Bellamy has already started to make up for lost time with a string of performances which have arguably made him the Reds' best player this season.

And despite having to carefully manage his fitness situation, ageing knees and all, he is finding his second spell on Merseyside much more enjoyable.

'It has been good. It is nice playing with such good players and being at this club,' added the Welshman, who has declared himself fit after a back spasm required an injection which ruled him out of last weekend's FA Cup win over Brighton.

'With Kenny (Dalglish) behind me I have just felt so relaxed and got on with my football and training as much as I can.

Winning return: King Kenny could lift silverware in his first full season back at Anfield

Winning return: King Kenny could lift silverware in his first full season back at Anfield

'I try to enjoy it as much as I can because this won't be around forever. I am very fortunate to realise that while I am still playing and I take every day as it comes.'

Another player looking to make the most of his first club appearance at Wembley is captain Steven Gerrard.

The England midfielder has played at the stadium numerous times for his country but Sunday will be the first time he has led out his boyhood club there, after a year which has been beset by groin and ankle problems.

Dalglish expects the 32-year-old to lead from the front as he has done so many times in past, most notably in their last two victories in finals in the 2005 Champions League and the FA Cup win a year later.

'I think he is a tremendous influence on everyone but each individual has a part to play,' said the Reds boss.

'He is the skipper of the club and that gives him added responsibility. For Steven it is reward for him as well with the problems he has had with injury.

'But Carra (Jamie Carragher) has been here as long as Steven and has been a fantastic servant to the club.

'He might not wear the armband but he is equally influential. There are a lot of people around the place who can help with their experience which will stand the other boys in good stead.'

Tom Huddlestone out for the season

Out for the season! Spurs midfielder Huddlestone admits defeat in injury battle

Crocked: Huddlestone has been out since August

Crocked: Huddlestone has been out since August

Injured Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone won't play again this season.

The 25-year-old will undergo further surgery on his ankle problem on Friday from the ligament damage that has kept him
sidelined since August.

Spurs had earlier revealed that Huddlestone's injury is progressing as expected, but refused to set a date for his comeback.

However, the England international later tweeted that he feature again this term.

'Thanks for msgs! My season is over b4 its even started, operation Friday!!' he said.

'Main objective is to make sure I'm 100% for pre season.

'Thanks for the msgs!! tough times but part and parcel of the job I guess!!”

Huddlestone has been limited to only four appearances this season
because of the injury.