Tag Archives: ownership

Aussie super-horse Black Caviar to retire after 25-race unbeaten run

We want her to bow out at the top! Aussie super-horse Black Caviar to retire after 25-race unbeaten run

PUBLISHED:

06:21 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

06:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

Unbeaten Australian mare Black Caviar will retire after winning 25 consecutive races, with her trainer Peter Moody admitting that the super sprinter 'has done everything we asked her to do.'

Moody, appearing at a news conference in front of Caulfield race track on Wednesday, where the six-year-old mare will make a farewell appearance for race patrons on Saturday, said he and the ownership group led by Neil Werrett had discussed Black Caviar's future over the past few days and 'we decided at lunch today' to announce her retirement.

Fond farewell: Black Caviar is paraded in front of the media with strapper Donna Fisher

Fond farewell: Black Caviar is paraded in front of the media with strapper Donna Fisher

Emotional: Trainer Peter Moody announces retirement of Black Caviar

Emotional: Trainer Peter Moody announces retirement of Black Caviar

Race team: Black Caviar and her connections at the press conference

Race team: Black Caviar and her connections at the press conference

'She has done everything we have asked her to do,' trainer Peter Moody said.

'We
thought long and hard about racing on but believe she has done
everything we asked of her and felt it was the right time to call time
on her wonderful career.

'She's in great shape and that's the way we wanted her to bow out. We just thought the time was right – it was a hard decision.

'She brought interest to our sport that hasn't been there for decades.'

Final flourish: Black Caviar, ridden by Luke Nolen, wins the TJ Smith Stakes

Final flourish: Black Caviar, ridden by Luke Nolen, wins the TJ Smith Stakes

Stunner: Black Caviar (left) wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012

Impressive: Black Caviar (left) wins the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012

Black Caviar, purchased by Moody for
$225,000, won $8 million in prize money, including an Australian-record
15 Group One wins, most over distances around 1,200 meters.

She'll now have some time being spelled in a paddock before being bred.

'We hope that in three years, Peter
Moody will be training a progeny of Black Caviar,' said Werrett, his
voice breaking at times during the retirement announcement.

Black Caviar, ridden by her regular
jockey Luke Nolen, won her 25th race last Friday in the T.J. Smith
Stakes at Royal Randwick by two lengths. It was the sprinter's third win
since coming back in February from an eight-month injury layoff.

Storming finish: Luke Nolen rides Black Caviar to victory in the TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick

Super horse: Black Caviar claimed a Australian-record
15 Group One wins

No stopping her: Black Caviar again showed who's boss in the Sydney showdown

Money spinner: Black Caviar won $8 million in prize money

Black Caviar narrowly won the Diamond
Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, England last June and faced possible
retirement after tearing a quadriceps muscle at Ascot.

But laser therapy and exercise
enabled her to return to the track for another – and what turned out her
final – abbreviated season.

There were suggestions as recently as
the weekend that she'd race again at tracks in Brisbane or Adelaide, or
perhaps return to Royal Ascot.

'Black Caviars don't come along every day,' said Moody. 'It's time to call it a day.'

Triumph: Jockey Nolen celebrates the win - making it 25 out of 25 victories

Triumph: Jockey Nolen celebrates making it 25 out of 25 victories

That's my girl! Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody celebrates with and strapper Donna Fisher

That's my girl! Black Caviar trainer Peter Moody (centre)

BLACK CAVIAR'S VICTORIES

2yo Hcp Restricted, Flemington (18 Apr 2009)

Blue Sapphire Stakes, Caulfield (2 May 2009)

Crockett Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Aug 2009)

Daneholl Stakes, Flemington (5 Sep 2009)

Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Jan 2010)

Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield (9 Oct 2010)

Schweppes Stakes, Moonee Valley (23 Oct 2010)

Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington (6 Nov 2010)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (19 Feb 2011)

Newmarket Handicap, Flemington (12 Mar 2011)

William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley (25 Mar 2011)

T J Smith Stakes, Randwick (9 Apr 2011)

BTC Cup, Doomben (14 May 2011)

Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield (8 Oct 2011)

Schweapped Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Oct 2011)

Patinack Farm Classic, Flemington (5 Nov 2011)

Australia Stakes, Moonee Valley (27 Jan 2012)

C F Orr Stakes, Caulfield (11 Feb 2012)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (18 Feb 2012)

Robert Sangster, Morphettville (28 Apr 2012)

Goodwood Handicap, Morphettville (12 May 2012)

Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Ascot (23 Jun 2012)

Lightning Stakes, Flemington (16 Feb 2013)

William Reid Stakes, Moonee Valley (22 Mar 2013)

TJ Smith Stakes, Royal Randwick (13 April 2013)

David Beckham quits LA Galaxy

Beckham eyes next move after revealing he is quitting LA Galaxy… but it is Australia, China or even England now

PUBLISHED:

01:08 GMT, 20 November 2012

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UPDATED:

07:39 GMT, 20 November 2012

David Beckham is to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy – but has set his sights on one more challenge before retiring.

The 37-year-old is in line to end his six-year Galaxy stay in style as they defend their MLS Cup title against the Houston Dynamo on December 1.

He said: 'I've had an incredibly special time playing for the LA Galaxy, however, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career.

Time's up: Beckham wants to 'experience one last challenge' before hanging up his boots

Time's up: Beckham wants to 'experience one last challenge' before hanging up his boots

Beckham can expect the offers to start flooding in, particularly from growth leagues in Australia and China. There will also be some interest from England, although it is unlikely he will return there.

Australian club Melbourne Heart have confirmed they will try to lure Beckham to the A-League club.

Chief executive Scott Munn said the club planned to offer the midfielder a 10 week contract worth around 1million but they faced competition from at least two Australian clubs plus others from around the world.

Munn told Fox News: 'We're putting forward an offer, it's compelling and the opportunity is here for him to come here.

'That is absolutely legitimate. Let's let David get through next week, play the final of the MLS and hopefully he'll have a win. Then I'm sure he'll assess every offer.'

His final game will take place at the
Galaxy's own Home Depot Center, where he arrived on the American stage
as the first designated player in MLS back in 2007.

'I don't see this as the end of my
relationship with the league as my ambition is to be part of the
ownership structure in the future,' Beckham added.

'In my time here I have seen the
popularity of the game grow every year. I've been fortunate to win
trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've
had from fans in LA and across the States.

'Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country and I want to always be part of growing it.'

Landmark signing: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with the LA Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

Landmark arrival: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with then Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

Landmark signing: Beckham has enjoyed five seasons with the LA Galaxy celebrating the MLS Cup in 2011 (below)

American Dream: Beckham has helped change the face of the MLS

American Dream: Beckham has helped change the face of the MLS

Beckham had an option in his initial deal with the league that allowed him to take a future ownership role in a franchise.

Beckham's stint in Los Angeles brought success in the form of the Galaxy's third MLS Cup crown last year.

But he also faced repeated criticism
from some Galaxy fans, particularly early on in his stay, for a
perceived lack of commitment to the cause.

Two loan stints at AC Milan, during
the second of which he tore an Achilles tendon, as he attempted to keep
his place in the England team did little to help that perception, as
well as comments made while in Italy about the standard of football in
America.

Two low points arrived back in 2009
when Beckham confronted a fan during a match after his every touch was
booed and attracted criticism from team-mate Landon Donovan.

Since then he has won over many
supporters, in no small part due to a dramatic upturn in form over the
last two seasons, and he was voted the league's best player by fans
earlier this year, although his detractors still remain, particularly
among the club's hardcore followers known as the LA Riot Squad.

Beckham was brought to America as
much for the effect of his brand as his on-field ability, and MLS
commissioner Don Garber believes he has been successful in helping to
grow the sport.

Famous faces: The former England skipper meets US president Barack Obama

Famous faces: The former England skipper meets US president Barack Obama

'When David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, he set out to help grow MLS and the sport of soccer in North America,' he said.

'There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived.

'David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the LA Galaxy and the league.'

Beckham's initial contract with the league included a clause allowing him to be involved in owning an expansion team down the line.

Beckham negotiated his deal to join the Galaxy while at Real Madrid at the start of 2007, when he was out of favour with then coach Fabio Capello.

In Spain he added one league title to the six he won in England with United, as well as one FA Cup and a Champions League title in 1999 during United's storied treble season.

Capello later made Beckham a big part his England team – after being sidelined and subsequently recalled by previous manager Steve McClaren – ensuring he became the country's most capped outfield player.

The Achilles injury suffered at Milan ruled him out of the 2010 World Cup, however, and he was surprisingly left out of Stuart Pearce's Great Britain Olympic squad this summer.

Beckham factfile

1975: Born Leytonstone, May 2.

1991: Joins Manchester United as trainee.

1992: Makes debut against Brighton in the League Cup on September 23. Wins FA Youth Cup.

1993: Signs professional contract at Old Trafford.

1995: Joins Preston on loan in February and scores two goals in five games.

1996: Helps United to Premier League and FA Cup double.
Scores goal of the season on opening day at Wimbledon, lobbing Neil Sullivan from the halfway line. Makes his England debut in the 3-0 win in Moldova.

1997: Collects another championship winners' medal, voted PFA Young Player of the Year.

1998: Scores first England goal, a free-kick against Colombia in Lens on June 26. Sent off in second-round penalty shoot-out defeat against Argentina.

1999: Helps United win the Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup after coming from behind to beat Bayern Munich with two late goals.
Runner-up in World Player of the Year awards, behind Rivaldo.

2000: May – Collects fourth championship winner's medal as United win title by a record 18 points.
November – Named England captain for the November friendly with Italy in Turin by stand-in boss Peter Taylor.

2001: May – Collects another Premier League title with United.
October – Curls in a 25-yard last-minute free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford to earn England a 2-2 draw and send them into World Cup finals.

2002: May 11 – Signs new three-year contract reported to be worth between 90,000 and 100,000 a week.
June 7 – Scores from the penalty spot in the World Cup group stage match against Argentina to seal a 1-0 win.
England bow out in the quarter-finals at the hands of eventual winners Brazil.

2003: February – Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson accidentally kicks a boot into Beckham's face in frustration at United's FA Cup defeat to Arsenal.
June 14 – Awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to football.
June 17 – United announce they have accepted a 25million bid from Real Madrid for Beckham, who agrees personal terms.

2004: June 24 – Misses a penalty as England lose to Portugal in a shoot-out in the Euro 2004 quarter-finals in Lisbon.

2005: November: Captains England for 50th time in friendly against Argentina in Geneva.
July 2 – Stands down as England captain.
August 11 – Dropped from squad for friendly against Greece, Steve McClaren's first match as manager.

2007: January 11 – Beckham announces he will leave Real Madrid and join Major League Soccer club Los Angeles Galaxy on a five-year contract in August.
January 13 – Real Madrid coach Fabio Capello says Beckham will never play for the club again.
May 26 – McClaren hands Beckham a shock England recall for matches against Brazil and Estonia.
June – Wins the La Liga title with Madrid, having won back his place in the team.
August 16 – Beckham scores his first goal for Galaxy on his full debut in the SuperLiga semi-final meeting with DC United with a trademark free-kick.

2008: March 26 – Wins 100th cap in the friendly against France.
October 30 – Milan announce Beckham will join them on loan on January 7, 2009.

2009: January 11 – Makes shock first start for Milan in 2-2 Serie A draw at Roma.
March 9 – AC Milan announce that under a unique 'timeshare' agreement, Beckham will stay with them in Italy until the end of the season, return to the Galaxy from July to October and then rejoin the Serie A club for the rest of the 2009-10 campaign.
March 28 – Comes on as a half-time substitute against Slovakia at Wembley to win his 109th cap and break Bobby Moore's record for an outfield player.
July 20, 27 – Twice confronts fans who gave him a hostile reception in his first home games after returning to the Galaxy.

2010: March 14 – Tears his Achilles tendon in AC Milan's 1-0 win over Chievo – an injury that rules him out of the World Cup.
June – Part of England's backroom staff for World Cup campaign which ends in second-round defeat to Germany.
August 11 – England career appears to be at an end when Capello tells ITV: 'Probably he is a little bit old.'

2011: November 20 – Wins the MLS Cup as the Galaxy beat Houston Dynamo 1-0 in the final.
December 31 – Five-year deal at the Galaxy expires.

2012: January 19 – Re-signs with the Galaxy.
June 28 – Announces he has not been included in Team GB's squad for the Olympic Games.
November 16 – Football Federation Australia claim a representative of Beckham approaches them with a view to the midfielder making a short-term move to the A-League in the MLS off-season. A Beckham spokesman says his client has “absolutely no plans to play in Australia”.
November 20 – Confirms he is to leave the Galaxy after MLS Cup on December 1.

Are Arsenal fans right to demand more from Arsene Wenger? We ask the experts in the Saturday debate

The Saturday debate: Are the Arsenal fans right to demand more from Wenger and their club after seven trophyless years

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UPDATED:

23:03 GMT, 26 October 2012

.NEIL ASHTON Football News Correspondent

Yes. Arsenal do not target trophies, they target a place in the top four to facilitate repayments on the stadium and to keep under-performing executives on over-sized salaries. It is one of the biggest scandals of modern football. Incredible to think they were billed as title contenders after beating Southampton 6-1. Not a chance.

Under pressure: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Under pressure: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

IAN LADYMAN Northern Football Correspondent

Listening to Arsenal's AGM sounded a little like Groundhog Day. Same issues every year. I'm not sure if we should blame the owners but what is beyond dispute is that seven-and-a-half years without a trophy is far too long. If I was an Arsenal fan I'd want to blame somebody. And I would want change.

MATT BARLOW

They are entirely justified. They pay the highest ticket prices in the country and this club is not bankrolled by a sugar-daddy benefactor. The income from fans is vital and their opinion must be respected. They are within their rights to ask questions about the trophyless years, the drain of players and why the club pay top rate executive wages but refuse to pay the top whack for players.

Serious business: Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke (left), chairman Peter Hill -Wood and and Gazidis

Under fire: Majority shareholder Stan Kroenke (left), chairman Peter Hill -Wood and and Ivan Gazidis

TIM PAYTON Arsenal Supporters' Trust spokesman

The Trust was founded to give fans more involvement and understanding of the club's ownership structure. Fans are true custodians of clubs, without us there would be no clubs and we will keep supporting the club on matchdays. When we were formed, club director Danny Fiszman told us to 'keep us on our toes and constructively challenge us' to make Arsenal a better club. These words sum up everything we do.

SAMI MOKBEL

To a certain extent, I think supporters have got a point. Seven seasons without a trophy is not good enough for a club the size of Arsenal. It is true Manchester City and Chelsea have changed the landscape of English football, particularly in the transfer market. But the simple fact is if you don't want to sell your best players, then you don't sell your best players. And when the club fail to sign like-forlike replacements then I think fans have every right to feel aggrieved. Arsenal have a successful-looking balance sheet, but it is on the pitch where it really counts.

Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal

Under performing: Arsenal suffered successive defeats this week

MATT FORTUNE Mail Online, and Arsenal fan

Arsene Wenger 's project proves nice guys simply don't finish first. His philosophy is commendable and there's no doubt in an environment without billion-pound sugar daddies, he'd be held in far higher esteem. He's forever defended those who have let him down – players and board members – and in standing up for his beliefs he deserves our utmost respect. Fans must realise the playing field isn't level.

Bradford centre Adrian Purtell will see sports cardiologist

Bradford centre Purtell to see cardiologist as career hangs in balance

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UPDATED:

10:27 GMT, 4 September 2012

Bradford centre Adrian Purtell will see a sports cardiologist in London on Wednesday to undergo tests which could determine whether he is able to save his playing career.

The 27-year-old Australian has not played since suffering a heart attack in the aftermath of the Magic Weekend defeat by Leeds in May.

'I'll have an ECG and other stress tests to see how my heart responds, get the results and then talk things through with the club doctor and (coach) Mick (Potter),' Purtell told the Bradford Telegraph & Argus.

Waiting game: Adrian Purtell (right) suffered a heart attack

Waiting game: Adrian Purtell (right) suffered a heart attack

'Health-wise, I'm feeling pretty good but I'll take all the information on board after I've got the results and make a decision from there.'

Purtell, who joined the Bulls from Penrith at the start of the season, will also be anxiously awaiting a decision on whether the club will be allowed to continue in Super League or be relegated to the Championship after changing the ownership.

The transfer of ownership to Omar Khan's OK Bulls Limited is expected to be completed this week but it could be another week before Bradford find out if their will keep their Super League licence.

Purtell added: 'I signed a three-year deal with the Bulls and was planning on staying for those three years if not longer because I've loved it here.

'I've done this job since I was 17 when I joined Canberra Raiders – experiencing the awesome environment of game day and hanging about with your best mates every day in the week.

'It would be great to get out on the field again but my health is the most important thing.

'I don't think I'd take it too good if I wasn't able to play again but I'm living and I've got to be grateful for that.'

Watford FC taken over by Giampaolo Pozzo

Watford takeover finally completed by Italian businessman Pozzo

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 29 June 2012

Championship side Watford have been taken over by Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo, the owner of Serie A side Udinese.

The deal looked to be on the rocks last week just days after the club confirmed they had accepted a bid from Pozzo.

Andrew Andronikou, who advised Watford on the sale, said: 'We are delighted to have ensured that Watford's immediate future is safe.

'The family have a proven track record of building successful teams on the field, and balancing the books off it.'

He added: 'This transaction is a significant one, as it provides the Pozzo football dynasty with a secure platform to introduce its successful formula to the UK.'

Italian job: Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo has taken charge at Championship club Watford

Italian job: Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo has taken charge at Championship club Watford

Taking over: Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo

New project: Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo

Pozzo has run the Serie A club since 1986 and his family purchased Spanish side Granada three years ago.

And the wealthy 71-year-old had an initial offer accepted earlier this month after Laurence Bassini – who bought the club 15 months ago – decided to sell up.

When the bid was accepted a club statement read: 'The Board of
Directors, acting on behalf of Watford Football Club, is pleased to
confirm that agreement has been reached in principle for the transfer of
ownership to the Pozzo family.

'Representatives from the (Pozzo) family have been in discussions with Watford Football Club and both parties have agreed initial terms.'

Reports in Italy have suggested that Pozzo could invest around 15million in the club.

But manager Sean Dyche's future is now clouded in uncertainty after Pozzo admitted former West Ham boss Zola could be involved in the project.

'There are contacts with Watford, so we'll see,' Pozzo told gazzetta.it.

'Gianfranco Zola enters in the project, but it's too early to talk about it.'

Zola has been out of work since he was sacked at Upton Park two years ago but is understood to be very keen to get back involved.

Project: Gianfranco Zola could be involved at Watford following the club's takeover

Project: Zola could be involved at Watford following the club's takeover

The news will come as a blow to 40-year-old Dyche who has impressed on a tight budget since replacing Malky Mackay in the hotseat last summer.

Despite being considered as relegation candidates Dyche managed to guide Watford to a respectable 11th-finish in the Championship.

Watford were in the Premier League in 2006-07 but were relegated after just one season and have been in the championship (second division) since.

Football League blog

They enjoyed their best years in the early 1980s when singer-songwriter Sir Elton John was chairman.

The Hornets finished runners-up in the old first division behind Liverpool in 1983 and were beaten FA Cup finalists a year later.

Rangers set for SPL rejection as Aberdeen confirm "no" vote

Rangers set for SPL rejection as Aberdeen confirm 'no' vote

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UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 25 June 2012

Charles Green's Rangers have been effectively consigned to start life outside the Scottish Premier League when Aberdeen became the crucial fifth club to confirm they would vote against a newco application.

Inverness had earlier joined Hearts, Dundee United and Hibernian in making public their intention to vote no.

Green needs seven other clubs as well as the soon-to-be liquidated Rangers to vote in his favour at a meeting next Wednesday and, unless there is a U-turn from at least one chairman, there will be no top-flight football at Ibrox next season.

No go: It looks as if Rangers will be denied re-entry to the SPL

No go: It looks as if Rangers will be denied re-entry to the SPL

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne said in a
statement: 'Traditionally we have preferred not to make public our
voting intentions, but in light of the level of interest and the fact
other clubs have chosen to show their hand, on this occasion I can
confirm it is our intention to oppose readmission to the SPL for any
Rangers newco.'

Other clubs are likely to follow suit. Motherwell have entrusted members of their newly-created fans' ownership group with the decision while St Mirren have launched a formal consultation with supporters.

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston previously argued that Rangers had been punished enough but the Ayrshire club subsequently invited supporters to make their feelings known.

Fans have become the key element in the process and the Inverness board earlier came to a unanimous decision after struggling to sell season tickets.

Caley Thistle chairman Kenny Cameron said: 'The past few weeks have been extremely hectic in terms of our supporters and season ticket holders making their views known in great numbers to the club, as is their right. “It is fair to say that in excess of 95 per cent of them raised the issue of sporting integrity as the reason why they don't want the newco to be admitted and had not yet renewed their season tickets.

'Financially, we examined the various scenarios and, frankly, none of them were positive for our club. It is extremely disappointing to be adversely affected by something not of our doing, unfortunately this is a similar situation for the rest of the clubs in SPL.

'We have also been contacted by supporters of various other SPL clubs, saying they would not be back to Inverness if we did not accept that sporting integrity was what mattered, but this is something that we had already considered and it is not only the integrity of the SPL that is at stake but the integrity of Scottish football.'

Fallen Glasgow giants: Dark clouds continue to hang over Ibrox

Fallen Glasgow giants: Dark clouds continue to hang over Ibrox

Cameron added: 'We would be in a completely untenable position, financially and morally, if we defied the overwhelming demand of our own paying customers who are, after all, what Caley Thistle are all about.'

Attempts to accommodate Rangers in the Scottish Football League had already begun with the Scottish Football Association using the crisis to push ahead with proposals to restructure key elements of the game. #

The SFA want a merger of the two league bodies as well as a pyramid system and a play-off that could see another top-flight club relegated.

Talks have been held between the three bodies that could see Green's club admitted to the Irn-Bru First Division instead of inviting them to apply for entry to the Third Division in a bid to protect commercial income but Falkirk have already stated their objection to such a scenario.

And Aberdeen argued that such major change should be considered more carefully.

Milne said: 'If readmission were to be refused, we believe the appropriate course of action would be for Rangers newco to apply for membership to the SFA and to submit an application for admission to the SFL.'

He added: 'Reorganisation of the game is a priority and is something we have been actively involved in for a long time, but it is not something that should be rushed through just to deal specifically with one club.

'As we have indicated there are a number of other areas that we feel need to be addressed openly in the coming period if Scottish football fans are to feel that their views have been properly taken into account.'

We want out: Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith (left) have quit the club

We want out: Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith (left) have quit the club

One pressing issue is which club would complete the make-up of the SPL next season if and when Green's application is rejected. It is understood that the SPL clubs themselves would make that decision and it could be next Wednesday before it is announced.

Dunfermline finished bottom of the SPL last season, and were owed money from Rangers, but Dundee also have a claim having finished second behind promoted Ross County in the First Division.

Meanwhile, the continuing uncertainty could delay a St Mirren takeover until next summer.

The 10,000 Hours community ownership group, who have received financial pledges from more than 1,000 fans, had been hoping to assume control next week but the deal has been delayed.

Members of the group have been asked whether they would be prepared to support the club with increased donations should commercial revenues fall.

The consultation document said: 'Depending on the funding required, this may delay the purchase for a year with your monthly contribution going towards helping the club directly while helping to maintain the integrity of Scottish football.'

RANGERS TIMELINE

February 13 – Rangers lodge their intention to go into administration at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

February 14 – Rangers appoint administrators Duff and Phelps after a court battle with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They are immediately docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 behind Celtic.

Duff and Phelps reveal that HMRC lodged their petition to take Rangers into administration over the non-payment of about 9million PAYE and VAT since Craig Whyte's 2011 takeover.

February 17 – The Scottish Football Association launch an independent inquiry into the activities of Rangers, specifically whether Whyte is fit and proper to hold a position in the game.

March 2 – The SFA confirm they will investigate claims made by former Rangers director Hugh Adam that payments made to players were not disclosed to the governing body.

March 5 – The SPL confirm that their board have instigated an investigation into the alleged non-disclosure of payments made to players by Rangers, which prompts the SFA to drop their case.

March 8 – The SFA declare Whyte is unfit to hold a position in football and confirm that the club is facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

March 9 – Rangers administrators announce a package of wage cuts with players that prevent substantial job losses.

March 15 – The SFA issue Rangers with notices of complaint over alleged breaches of five disciplinary rules and Whyte over two alleged breaches.

April 4 – Duff and Phelps confirm they have received four bids for the club.

April 23 – Rangers receive a 12-month embargo on signing players and owner Craig Whyte is banned for life.

May 3 – American businessman Bill Miller granted preferred bidder status ahead of the Blue Knights consortium.

May 8 – Miller withdraws bid for Rangers.

May 11 – The Blue Knights withdraw their interest in buying Rangers after their noon ultimatum to Duff and Phelps passes.

May 13 – Administrators announce they have signed a binding contract to sell the club to a consortium led by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green.

May 16 – An SFA appeal tribunal rejects Rangers' appeal against a 160,000 fine and 12-month transfer embargo.

May 29 – The SFA transfer ban is ruled unlawful in the Court of Session following a challenge from Rangers. Duff and Phelps publish Green's Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) proposal to creditors.

May 30 – SPL clubs take on responsibility for deciding whether 'newco' clubs should be admitted to the competition but reject fixed penalties.

May 31 – Rangers' administrators provide files requested by SPL in their investigation into undisclosed payments.

June 12 – HMRC announce they will reject the CVA offer and force the club into liquidation.

June 14 – Charles Green completes purchase of Rangers assets and business following the club's liquidation, hours after a consortium led by former manager Walter Smith makes a late bid.

June 15 – Ally McCoist ends speculation about his future at the club following a meeting with Green.

June 18 – SPL confirm a vote on whether to admit newco Rangers to the league will take place on July 4, with provisional fixture list to be released replacing Rangers with 'Club 12'.

June 19 – Walter Smith's group officially end attempts to get Green to sell the club on to them, with Smith having also rejected an invite from Green to join the board.

June 21 – Bury reject reports they could be bought by Rangers as a way of getting the Ibrox club into English football.

June 22 – Hearts and Dundee United indicate their intention to vote against newco Rangers' application to play in the SPL. Meanwhile, a judge at Edinburgh's Court of Session orders a full report into allegations of a conflict of interest for club administrators Duff and Phelps.

June 23 – Green responds to reports that Rhys McCabe and Sone Aluko will object to the transfer of their contracts to the newco by claiming the switches have already been made and there is no legal avenue for players to force a move.

June 24 – Scotland internationals Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith reject a transfer to the newco and claim they are now free agents. Hibernian confirm they will oppose the newco application.

June 25 – The Crown Office instruct Strathclyde Police to conduct a criminal investigation into Whyte's takeover and the subsequent financial management of the club.

Inverness and Aberdeen take the confirmed opponents to Green's SPL application to five, the number needed to consign the newco club to start life outside the top flight.

Watford sale to Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo agreed

Watford in Italian takeover with Udinese owner Pozzo set to buy cash-strapped club

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UPDATED:

10:44 GMT, 19 June 2012

Watford are set to be taken over by the owners of Udinese after an initial offer from Giampaolo Pozzo for the Championship club was accepted.

Pozzo has run the Serie A club since 1986 and his family purchased Spanish side Granada three years ago.

A club statement read: 'The Board of Directors, acting on behalf of Watford Football Club, is pleased to confirm that agreement has been reached in principle for the transfer of ownership to the Pozzo family.

Takeover: Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo is set to take charge at Championship club Watford

Takeover: Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo is set to take charge at Championship club Watford

Taking over: Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo

Taking over: Italian businessman Giampaolo Pozzo

'Representatives from the (Pozzo) family have been in discussions with Watford Football Club and both parties have agreed initial terms.'

Reports in Italy suggest that 71-year-old Italian businessman Pozzo could invest around 15million in what would provide previously cash-strapped boss Sean Dyche a much-welcome boost ahead of the new season.

Watford were in the Premier League in 2006-07 but were relegated after just one season and have been in the championship (second division) since.

Football League blog

They enjoyed their best years in the early 1980s when singer-songwriter Sir Elton John was chairman.

The Hornets finished runners-up in the old first division behind Liverpool in 1983 and were beaten FA Cup finalists a year later.

Stephan El Shaarawy wanted by Arsenal

Arsenal line up season-long loan for Milan teen sensation El Shaarawy

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UPDATED:

07:01 GMT, 11 April 2012

The agent of promising young AC Milan attacking midfielder Stephan El Shaarawy has revealed that Arsenal are interested in his services.

Milan would be loathe to let the 19-year-old leave permanently, but it is understood they are prepared to let him leave on a season-long loan.

Teen sensation: Stephan El Shaarawy is an Arsenal target

Teen sensation: Stephan El Shaarawy is an Arsenal target

El Shaarawy joined Milan only last summer in a 10million co-ownership deal from Genoa, but he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team place, despite appearing against Arsenal in the Champions League last 16.

His agent Roberto La Florio told Metro: ‘Arsenal have always admired him – even before he transferred to Milan, but the Rossoneri have already agreed to his ownership, and I do not know if they’ll let him go.’

And El Shaarawy spoke of his admiration for the English game only last month.

One for the future: Milan would be loathe to let El Shaarawy (left) leave permanently

One for the future: Milan would be loathe to let El Shaarawy (left) leave permanently

‘I really like the English game. Many people always tell me that I have the characteristics to play in the Premier League,’ he said.

‘Honestly, I like it a lot, both in terms of environment and football.’

El Shaarawy, who is contracted at Milan until 2016, has scored two goals in 18 appearances this season.

Dai Young admits Wasps crisis

Wasps in crisis as Young has five matches to save giants of the game

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UPDATED:

23:41 GMT, 23 March 2012

Dai Young wasn't quite prepared for
this. Wasps' season has become a drawn-out fight for survival as a team,
as a club and as an English rugby institution.

It's a fight that has produced countless casualties and it's not over yet.

Putting
aside the backdrop of retirements and injuries, rejected stadium plans
and a pending change of ownership, the Welsh director of rugby is quite
clear about the gravity of the situation.

'People have said that Wasps are at a crossroads and I would totally agree with that,' he conceded.

Future perfect: Dai Young says he can see light at the end of the tunnel for Wasps

Future perfect: Dai Young says he can see light at the end of the tunnel for Wasps

It is a crossroads with heavy traffic thundering past in every direction; where one wrong move could lead to disaster.'

On Saturday evening, Wasps are at Franklin's Gardens to confront Northampton – a side awash with Test pedigree and title-chasing class.

The visitors used to possess such collective stature and ambition, but they are in do-or-die mode, lying 11th in the Aviva Premiership table, eight points ahead of bottom-placed Newcastle prior to the Falcons' showdown with Worcester on Friday night.

In their last league outing, Young's side beat London Irish 18-13 to end a sequence of nine straight defeats which had plunged them into trouble.

There are five matches left and the script points to a grandstand finale when Newcastle come to Adams Park on May 5.

Juggling act: Young is under no illusions over the task facing Wasps

Juggling act: Young is under no illusions over the task facing Wasps

Assessing this predicament, the former Lions prop said: 'We have to make sure we maintain the cushion we've got now. We're certainly not out of the woods yet because I think Newcastle will win some games.

'Teams who've gone down like Harlequins or Northampton have had a long, hard look at themselves then bounced back far better for the experience.

'I'm hoping we can go through that process without going down first. People think Wasps should be at the top, but we've got no right to be there.

'The club has been in decline for three years and it has to stop. I believe we will still be in the Premiership next year, but we need a top-to-bottom review whether we're in the Premiership or not.'

For Young himself, this has been a tale of the unexpected.

He agreed to move to Wasps from Cardiff – where he had transformed the Blues into title contenders in domestic and European rugby – on the basis that the club were poised to finalise plans for a new stadium in Wycombe, bringing improved facilities, increased attendances and ultimately, better players.

He thought he was joining a bastion of the English game ready to rise again under a committed owner and inspired by a battalion of international veterans.

Instead, that vision soon turned to dust.

Gone: Thompson

Gone: Thompson

Gone: Worsley

Gone: Worsley

Gone: Ward-Smith

Gone: Ward-Smith

Plans for the stadium were rejected, owner Steve Hayes subsequently decided to put the club up for sale and in the mean-time, several leading players were forced to retire – Steve Thompson, Joe Worsley, Dan Ward-Smith and most recently, Tom Rees.

Simon Shaw opted to join Toulon and the injuries came in waves – 15 of a serious nature in all.

Young has had to adapt. He has tried to be philosophical about the gulf between expectation and reality, but it's not been easy.

'There has been so much to deal with and most of it has been unexpected,' he said.

Dynamic duo: Rees (left) retired and Shaw (right) opted to move

Dynamic duo: Rees (left) retired and Shaw (right) opted to move

Dynamic duo: Rees (left) retired and Shaw (right) opted to move

'Certainly, it hasn't turned out the way I thought it would. People ask me whether I feel a bit stitched up and I would categorically say I don't. I am sure that everything I was told is what people genuinely believed at the time, but circumstances changed. Hindsight is a marvellous thing. I don't regret leaving Cardiff to come here, but it's fair to say that the picture changed quite considerably from the job I expected to the job I actually had.

On the market: Hayes put the club up for sale

On the market: Hayes put the club up for sale

'I just hope the sale of the club goes through quickly so we can get the funding to improve our squad and our infrastructure, because it's not good enough. There's still a lot of ability and pride and history at Wasps, there's still a lot of heart and support, but that won't get us everywhere.'

While he has been heavily occupied with the task of keeping Wasps in the top division, Young has savoured the welcome diversion of seeing many of the players he brought through at the Blues play a major part in another Grand Slam for Wales.

Mixed in with the personal pride is a strong conviction that a similar crop of talented youngsters at Wasps can re-establish the club's lost status as one of the leading contributors to England squads.

'It does give me a buzz to see Jamie Roberts, Leigh Halfpenny, Sam Warburton, Alex Cuthbert doing well with Wales, because they were all players who I signed up and brought through our academy,' he said.

'I'm very proud to see those guys doing so well and also Gethin Jenkins, who has been around a lot longer and I spent a lot of time working with.

'There are a lot of quality young players here too – Christian Wade, Billy Vunipola, Joe Launchbury, Elliot Daly. I can see light at the end of the tunnel and I'd like to be here for a long time, to see these guys playing for England. That would give me the same pride as seeing Leigh Halfpenny and Sam Warburton playing for Wales.'

Stars of the future: Christian Wade (left) and Joe Launchbury (right)

Stars of the future: Christian Wade (left) and Joe Launchbury (right)

Stars of the future: Christian Wade (left) and Joe Launchbury (right)

That is a hope for the future – a future at Wasps that will be enhanced by the return of England forwards James Haskell and Tom Palmer in the summer.

But back to the present, the task at hand is to avoid the drop, starting with today's daunting trip to the East Midlands.

'Is it a good time to go to Franklin's Gardens, when Northampton have just lost a final and they've got all their internationals back Probably not,' said Young.

'We know it's a tough place to go and we know we haven't had much joy there for a number of seasons, but we also know this game is important to us. We're going there to win, but our focus is to make sure we come away with something.'

If he can just complete this perilous survival mission, then Young can start plotting the re-building and revival programme, which is what he really had in mind when he took the job on.

Tottenham de-list shares from stock market

Spurs return to private ownership in order to secure funding for new stadium

Tottenham have stepped up their efforts to secure funding for a new stadium by de-listing their shares from the stock market.

The club confirmed that their final day of trading was January 13 before returning to private ownership.

Spurs are planning to build a new stadium after ending their interest in taking over as tenants of the Olympic Stadium.

Vision: Tottenham hope to build a new stadium in North London

Vision: Tottenham hope to build a new stadium in North London

Last year, chairman Daniel Levy said de-listing from the stock exchange would be beneficial, as the listing restricted the club’s 'ability to secure funding'.

The club had originally expressed an interest in taking over the Olympic Stadium but lost to West Ham.

Plans: Tottenham returned to the Northumberland Project

Plans: Tottenham returned to the Northumberland Project

A legal row subsequently broke out and the stadium has been put back out to tender.

Tottenham then revisited the Northumberland Project which would see the creation of a 20 acre site, including 56,250 seat stadium.