Tag Archives: owner

West Ham snub 4m Toon offer for James Tomkins

West Ham snub fresh 4m Newcastle offer for Tomkins

Newcastle have had an improved 4million bid for West Ham defender James Tomkins rejected.

Manager Alan Pardew is eager to bolster his defence with Steven Taylor out for most of the season.

Interest: West Ham have vowed to keep James Tomkins

Interest: West Ham have vowed to keep James Tomkins

However, West Ham co-owner David Gold insists Tomkins is not for sale. He said: 'We want to keep James Tomkins, we really do want to keep him. I think it is fair to say he is not for sale.'

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce wants to retain Tomkins and bring in at least two players during the transfer window.

Huddersfield's Jordan Rhodes remains a priority and he has enquired about Tottenham's Sebastien Bassong while West Ham have also matched Leicester's offer for Reading winger Jimmy Kebe.

Allardyce said: 'Two quality players would be great.'

Ramires tells Chelsea to stick with Andre Villas-Boas

Sticking with Villas-Boas is the only way to have future success, Ramires warns Chelsea

Chelsea midfielder Ramires says the only way the club will have any success in the future is by sticking with manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Villas-Boas has endured a difficult start to his Stamford Bridge career with the club all but out of the title race at the halfway point of the season.

The Blues started 2012 on a high with a 2-1 win away at Wolves after ending last year with a 3-1 home defeat to Aston Villa.

Support: Ramires says the only way Chelsea will move forward is by sticking with manager Andre Villas-Boas

Support: Ramires says the only way Chelsea will move forward is by sticking with manager Andre Villas-Boas

And with rumours circulating that owner Roman Abramovich was contemplating sacking the Portugese boss, but Ramires says it would be wrong for the manager to take all the blame.

'If Andre leaves, someone else will come – and if it keeps going on like that, we won’t get anywhere,' Ramires said.

'The players know what Andre has done for the club.

Going in front: Ramires fires Chelsea ahead against Wolves

Going in front: Ramires fires Chelsea ahead against Wolves

'It’s an injustice to make the manager the one who’s responsible for everything that happens with a team.

'He’s doing what he can until the players go on the pitch.

'From that moment, it’s not up to him, it’s not for him to run or compete for a ball.

All together: The Chelsea players all celebrated Ramires's goal with manager Villas-Boas and the rest of the Chelsea bench

All together: The Chelsea players all celebrated Ramires's goal with manager Villas-Boas and the rest of the Chelsea bench

'This is all part of the period of adaptation. We’re trying to do what he wants but, unfortunately, there are times when we won’t win.

'We’re not playing badly. We have to go on the pitch with a seriousness and desire to win until the end.'

Blackburn face fire sale as 10m deadline is missed: NICK HARRIS

Blackburn face fire sale as 10m deadline is missed

Blackburn”s stunning victory at Old Trafford will not alleviate fans’ concerns over the club’s future.

Rovers have not paid Barclays any of the 10million the bankers wanted by December 31 to allay fears of a funding crisis — and it is inevitable that Rovers will embark on a player sell-off in this month’s transfer window to raise cash instead.

The astonishing 3-2 win was achieved with Blackburn’s youngest ever Premier League starting line-up (average age 23 years and 320 days) and could even strengthen co-owner Anuradha Desai’s resolve that a young team, guided by Steve Kean, can stay up.

Sales talk: Venkatash Rao (right) and brother Balaji may embark on a player sell-off

Sales talk: Venkatash Rao (right) and brother Balaji may embark on a player sell-off

The club’s star assets include 21-year-old Canadian winger Junior Hoilett, the Congolese centre-half Chris Samba, 27, and French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, 23, and it is expected that one or more of those will be disposed of, with others sold or released.

Inside Sport revealed the Barclays cash demand last month, the 10m being requested both verbally and in writing.

Sources say the club’s Indian owners, the Rao family, who own the Venky’s poultry conglomerate, want to use the club’s own resources rather than any new cash injection to keep the club going for now.

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A sell-off strategy has already been heavily hinted at in Blackburn’s accounts for the year ending June 2011, which were sent this week to minor shareholders.

The accounts acknowledge that the club need ‘significant’ funding to stay afloat between now and June 2013, and while Venky’s say they are ready to pay bills, it is the ‘net proceeds of any player trading’ that remain the first-choice option for cash.

The accounts raise more questions than answers in some places, including why Rovers made a player trading loss of 13.8m during a financial year in which they only signed two players on a permanent basis: Ruben Rochina from Barcelona for €450,000 (just less than 400,000 at the time) and Mauro Formica from Newell’s Old Boys for 3.2m.

Clubs typically ‘amortise’ transfer costs, or in laymen’s terms, pay them over the term of the player’s contract, at least for accounting purposes. But amortisation of buys from earlier years does not come close to explaining the full 13.8m.

A chunk will be agents’ fees, though how much is impossible to tell. Official Premier League figures show Rovers spent 4.2m on agents’ fees in the year to 30 September 2011, a different 12-month period to Rovers’ accounts.

Fees: Blackburn

Fees: Blackburn”s purchase of Ruben Rochina earned the Spaniard”s agent 1.6m

Inside Sport revealed in August that 1.65m alone went to the agent in the Rochina signing. I can disclose that agents were due 500,000 from the Formica deal and earned commission from summer purchases including Yakubu and David Goodwillie.

Those summer fees are not included in the accounts to June. And it is understood that on top of agents’ fees that are included in the accounts, Blackburn spent a sevenfigure sum on non-agent consultancy fees in the financial year.

The club have declined to comment.

SPOTY needs an Olympic boost

The BBC Sports Personality of the Year show attracted the fewest total votes of the phone-in era as well as a year-on-year ratings slump — but it is expected to bounce back in December, with betting already open on who will win in London Olympics year.

The only non-Olympian in the top 10 in the lists so far is Andy Murray, currently third favourite behind heptathlete pin-up Jess Ennis (5-1 fav) and distance runner Mo Farah (8-1).

Then come a string of GB Olympians hoping for glory – Becky Adlington, Victoria Pendleton, Tom Daley, Ben Ainslie, Mark Cavendish, Sir Chris Hoy, Paula Radcliffe and others – before some golfers and Formula One drivers appear.

Up for the cup: Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Mark Cavendish

Up for the cup: Sports Personality of the Year 2011, Mark Cavendish

With respect to Murray, history suggests an Olympian will triumph in SPOTY in 2012 whatever the Scot achieves, although a Wimbledon-Olympics double would set the cat among the pigeons.

Hoy (2008), Kelly Holmes (2004) and Steve Redgrave (2000) were the SPOTY winners in the previous three Olympic years, and the shortlists in those years were chock full of Olympians.

Cavendish’s recent victory came via 169,152 votes, from a total cast of 341,959. That was down by more than half on 2010’s total votes of 698,000, while the last Olympic year had 718,000.

Inside Sport thinks you could do worse than place a few quid each way on swimmer Fran Halsall (a potential Olympic swimming star with a personality, too) or David Beckham (going for gold and the housewives’ vote), both available at 33-1 or longer. For now.

Up for grabs now: James Ellington

Up for grabs now: James Ellington

For Sale

A British athlete who will do well just to reach the London Olympics is sprinter James Ellington, who put himself up for sale on auction website eBay before Christmas.

The 26-year-old Briton ran the 200m at the world championships in Daegu but missed out on the semi-finals with the 24th-fastest qualifying time.

Various setbacks have meant that he receives only limited Lottery funding and he has no sponsors. Hence his appearance on eBay.

Ellington attracted one bidder who offered 32,500 and others at around 30,000 to help fund him until the summer in exchange for promotional opportunities.

‘We’re not sure all the bids were genuine but we’re confident some were and I hope to pin down the winning bidder shortly,’ he tells me. A deal with a corporate bidder is expected imminently.

Sir Alex Ferguson horse Tadabeer wins at Lingfield

Fergie toasts another winner on eve of 70th birthday as Tadabeer romps to victory

Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed his second success at the races in 24 hours when his Tadabeer won at Lingfield.

The Manchester United boss owns the three-year-old gelding in partnership with his friend, casino owner Sotirios Hassiakos.

No wonder he

No wonder he”s smiling:Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured at Manchester United”s training ground on Friday, celebrated another winning horse

Ferguson, who celebrates his 70th birthday on New Year”s Eve, saw his promising chaser Harry The Viking win at Doncaster on Thursday.

The horse, ridden by Daryl Jacob, won the Lynn Higgins 60th Birthday Novices Ltd Handicap.

Ferguson will feel it”s already been a happy festive season, with impressive victories for his United team at QPR and Fulham followed by a 5-0 win over Wigan on Boxing Day.

All smiles: Sir Alex Ferguson congratulates jockey Daryl Jacob after Harry The Viking claimed victory at Doncaster on Thursday

All smiles: Sir Alex Ferguson congratulates jockey Daryl Jacob after Harry The Viking claimed victory at Doncaster on Thursday

The Scot will now be preparing for United”s final game of 2011 on Saturday, a home clash with Blackburn, which falls on his birthday.
It”s only been a couple of months since Ferguson celebrated 25 years as United boss, with the North Stand at Old Trafford renamed in his honour.

And as he reaches a new landmark, his sporting appetite seemingly remains as strong as ever.

Antonio Cassano could return from heart surgery before the end of the month

Cassano could return from heart surgery before the end of the month, says Berlusconi

AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano could return to training at the end of the month according to club owner Silvio Berlusconi.

The Italy striker is recovering from undergoing minor heart surgery at the beginning of November and is expected to miss most of the rest of the season”s matches.

Heart surgery: Cassano fell ill at the end of October

Heart surgery: Cassano fell ill at the end of October

Matt Fortune

Milan has been linked with Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez and Catania forward Maxi Lopez but Berlusconi says “the doctors haven”t ruled out the possibility Cassano could return to training at the end of the month.”

Cassano was hospitalized after falling ill on the team plane following Milan”s 3-2 victory at Roma on October 29.

Before the illness Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi – who is recovering from knee surgery – were Italy”s first-choice strikers.

Blackburn fans urged to back truce with owners Venky"s

Blackburn fans urged to back truce with owners Venky”s

Two wealthy Blackburn fans have called for a “truce” in the ongoing battle between the board and supporters in a bid to safeguard the club”s Premier League status.

Ian Battersby, who met co-owner Anurada Desai in Pune in October, and Wayne Wild, group director of Rovers’ main sponsor WEC Group, are concerned that off-field problems are affecting performances on the pitch.

Under-fire: Blackburn owners Balaji Rao (left) and Venkatesh Rao, directors of Venky

Under-fire: Blackburn owners Balaji Rao (left) and Venkatesh Rao, directors of Venky”s

And with Rovers rooted in the drop zone after three successive league defeats, Battersby and Wild say it”s time to put their differences aside and offer an olive branch to club owners Venky’s.

Talks are already ongoing between fans and Rovers officials are ongoing in an attempt to ease the hostile atmosphere around Ewood Park, ahead of a crucial home double header against West Brom on Saturday and Bolton on Tuesday.

Battersby, who enjoyed a three-hour meeting with Anuradha Desai in Pune in October, told the Lancashire Evening Telegraph: “We need to all take stock and give Venky’s this opportunity to come back in and re-engage on a peaceful basis.

“If we could for two or three weeks easeoff, reign back and allow a period of consultation. When you reach the point when the owners don’t dare come back into town because of the vitriol it is a pretty hideous set of circumstances.

Problems: Blackburn fans protest against the owners Venky

Problems: Blackburn fans protest against the owners Venky”s and manager Steve Kean

“It is a ridiculous set of circumstances for every stakeholder in the club. Whether a board member, owner, supporter, manager or player. No-one can at any level be happy with what is happening. It is torture going to a game.”

Owners the Rao family have been conspicuous by their absence over the past few months, leaving supporters frustrated by the lack of communication.

Wild, who has been seeking a meeting with their owners for months now, said: “The owners have made a lot of errors, it has to be said so have some of the supporters, so there have been mistakes all the way but now is the time for people to ease off the booing and protests.

“They need to stop and the owners have to get here, stand in front of the people and show they are here to run the club. They need to be at the front.

Sinking: Struggling Blackburn are in the drop zone

Sinking: Struggling Blackburn are in the drop zone

“They have to show they are in for the long haul with a commitment, first with cash and then with a commitment to getting people in on the board of directors who have an affinity for the club.”

Battersby has stressed the need to improve the dialogue between the club and the supporters and believes the current board structure makes this impossible.

“January is as much about a declaration of intent,” he said. “If they can’t put significant money up in January then we are all wasting our time.

“So are you prepared to come to the party and try and save this thing in the last four or five months of the season Because if you are not able, or willing to commit to this financially in January then it tells us everything we need to know.

“The club is in a state of utter paralysis.”

John Terry celebrates his 31st birthday with football pals

Birthday boy Terry parties with Premier League pals after Chelsea ease through

John Terry had two reasons to celebrate as he hit the town on Tuesday night – Chelsea”s progress to the Champions League knockout stages and his own 31st birthday.

England”s captain skippered the Blues to an impressive 3-0 home win over Valencia at Stamford Bridge and then headed to many a footballer”s favourite nightspot, Funky Buddha, to party.

Terry turned 31 as the clock struck midnight on Wednesday and invited several of his Chelsea team-mates along for some fun.

Happy birthday: John Terry at Funky Buddha Big night: John Terry

Many happy returns: John Terry enjoyed his birthday at Funky Buddha in London

Ashley Cole and Juan Mata were in attendance as well as other familiar faces from the game, including WestHam strikers Carlton Cole and John Carew.

Stoke City were well represented, with Peter Crouch, Ricardo Fuller and Jermaine Pennant all joining Terry in London”s West End.

Relaxed: Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole on his way home

Relaxed: Chelsea and England defender Ashley Cole on his way home

What Norwegian Buddh: John Carew

What”s the Mata Chelsea ace Juan looks glum (left), unlike John Carew (right)

One man who would understandably be keen to celebrate was not there, however. Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was nowhere to be seen, despite having appeared to save his job with consecutive 3-0 wins over Newcastle on Saturday and Valencia onTuesday.

Villas-Boas”s men were in danger of an early exit from Europe”s premier competition – the one prize truly craved by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich – but won through thanks to two goals from the inspired Didier Drogba and one from midfielder Ramires.

Party time: Peter Crouch was in tow Stoke connection: Ricardo Fuller with female companion

Stoke connection: Peter Crouch (left) and Ricardo Fuller (right) had some fun

But the Portuguese was probably too busy already planning for Chelsea”s next Barclays Premier League game to join the revellers. Quite right too – the Blues host table-toppers Manchester City next Monday night.

And a win then would really be worth celebrating.

Good time: Jermaine Pennant (left) with Carlton Cole Swagger: Jermaine Pennant

Showing off: Jermaine Pennant with Carlton Cole (left) and swaggering (right)