Tag Archives: parachute

Wilfried Zaha will not be sold in January

Even the BBC are singing about Zaha… but Palace rule January sale (even for 20m)

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UPDATED:

13:18 GMT, 12 November 2012

Crystal Palace have ruled out selling wonderkid Wilfried Zaha in January after the winger was called into the England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Sweden.

The 20-year-old has helped Palace to the top of the Championship after several dazzling displays this season and Arsenal currently head a long list of admirers as they prepare a 9million bid in January.

Scroll down to watch Susanna Reid singing the 'Zaha song'

On the up: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has earned a call-up to the England squad

On the up: Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has earned a call-up to the England squad

But Palace co-owner Stephen Browett insists the club would be foolish to part with their best player as they push for promotion.

'We absolutely do not want to sell Wilfried in January,' he told the Evening Standard, 'If you finish bottom of the Premier League you get 60million in prize money, and with parachute payments over four years you’re guaranteed 100m.

'It is such a massive amount that selling your best player when you have a good chance of promotion makes no sense at all. The figure of 20m has been talked about and that lets clubs know we are serious but he is not for sale.'

Decisions, decisions: Zaha was reluctant to accept the England invitation

Decisions, decisions: Zaha was reluctant to accept the England invitation

Zaha was at first
reluctant to accept the invitation from Hodgson, fearing it would force
him to make a snap call between England and Ivory Coast. He finally
agreed at 9pm to join up with the full England squad.

Hodgson was on a train north and
initially unable to control the chaos going on behind the scenes. He
expected Zaha’s inclusion to be a formality but the winger, named the
best young player in the Championship last season, wanted time to
consider his decision.

As the Sweden match is viewed as a
‘non-competitive friendly’, Zaha could yet commit to Ivory Coast even if
he plays for England on Wednesday. The same situation applies to
Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, 17, who is being courted by Jamaica, where
he was born.

Zaha took a call from Ivory Coast captain
Didier Drogba last Wednesday urging him to play for the country of his
birth at the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Drogba was understood to be persuasive
last week in his approach to Zaha, who will continue to consider his
options on the advice of the former Chelsea striker. Last week, Zaha
told Sportsmail it was ‘50-50’ whether he would commit to England.

Having been born in Abidjan, Zaha
moved to England with his extended family and eight siblings when he
was four. He was lauded as the ‘best player in the division’ by
Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson after Palace’s win there on Saturday.

And Browett believes Zaha will have no problem stepping-up to international level.

'Wilfried is clearly a brilliant player, and a lot of the thanks for that has to go to our Academy and the manager there, Gary Issott,' he added.

Quiet word: Didier Drogba (right) wants Zaha to represent the Ivory Coast instead

Quiet word: Didier Drogba (right) wants Zaha to represent the Ivory Coast instead

'I don’t think he will be fazed by this as he has played more than 100 professional games for the club. He has played away at all the top Championship clubs and when we won at Manchester United last season he was superb.

'Most of the other youngsters in the England squad will have played a handful of games but he has had the opportunity to play regularly.

'A number of clubs in the Premier League just don’t have that many English-qualified players, so maybe Roy Hodgson should be looking towards the Championship.'

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Birmingham looking for play-off win to secure future

Birmingham know the future is on the line ahead of play-off second leg

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 8 May 2012

The stakes are always high for any club competing in the Championship play-offs. But for Birmingham City tonight, the price of failure could be particularly painful.

Chris Hughton’s side will walk out into a packed St Andrew’s to face Blackpool not merely hoping to overturn a one-goal deficit from last Friday but needing to secure a victory that could prove crucial to the club’s very survival.

Despite reassurances that the postponement of the club’s accounts for a third time is little more than a technical blip, Birmingham are facing two very contrasting scenarios.

The big match: Chris Hughton knows Birmingham need to make the play-off final

The big match: Chris Hughton knows Birmingham need to make the play-off final

A triumph will lead to a Wembley final and, irrespective of the outcome, the possibility of sufficient cash to keep the club ticking over until the start of the new season.

But defeat could lead to the Blues seeking to factor their season-ticket sales and ask the Premier League to forward a further tranche of their parachute money to ensure their bills throughout the summer are met.

There is little prospect of owner Carson Yeung being available to clarify matters as he remains in Hong Kong, having been arrested on suspicion of money laundering.

Team line-up

Against the backdrop of this uncertainty, boss Chris Hughton will become a wanted man with several suitors waiting in the wings. He is high on West Brom’s wanted list and it would be a major surprise if Wolves were not casting an eye in his direction, too.

However, having been cast aside in such unceremonious fashion by Mike Ashley at Newcastle, the former Republic of Ireland international remains keen to stay at a club where he was given a chance to resurrect his career.

But it remains to be seen whether that loyalty will stretch as far as another season in the Championship, played out against a background of further player sales as the Blues struggle to make ends meet.

Hughton has done his utmost to shield his players from the financial pressures bearing down on a club that has also seen its’ overdraft facility withdrawn by bankers HSBC this season.

But striker Marlon King, the club’s leading scorer this season, has no doubts that his boss is a Premier League manager-in-waiting.

He said: 'Chis Hughton is a Premier League manager. Absolutely. He has proved it.

'This is the second time he has turned a club’s fortunes around. I remember going to Newcastle with Hull City and beating them 2-0. They were down in the dumps.

'The gaffer here took on the reins, he got them promoted as champions and they were in tenth place.

Turnaround: Birmingham need to score at least twice to go through

Turnaround: Birmingham need to score at least twice to go through

'He’s come in here and done brilliantly. What he has got out of this team and the buzz he has provided around the place has been magnificent. His man-management is brilliant. He takes you to one side and tells you what you need to work on.

'But his job isn’t finished yet.

'He has given us a quiet confidence. He’s not a big shouter but he brings that calmness. You saw the respect he had of the Newcastle players. It’s the same here.

'He believes in doing your job on the pitch. I’m sure whether it’s here or anywhere else he will continue to do that.'

Hughton has given little away with regards to his future but with away goals not counting double maintained the chance to face West Ham at Wembley was still up for grabs.

'We will need to play much better,” he said, “but we are at home and we have only lost once at St Andrew’s this season. It’s our strength. It will be a full house and will be daunting for any opposition. They are a very loyal and passionate crowd.

'We can take the game to the opposition. We will be going into the game with confidence.

'Blackpool are a good offensive team. We will need to test them more.

'And I just sense that this group of players have been waiting for the match since the final whistle blew last Friday. They want to put things right. They have their chance tonight.'

Portsmouth may not finish season, admits administrator Trevor Birch

Clock is ticking as administrator admits crisis club Pompey may not complete season

Portsmouth administrator Trevor Birch has revealed the club may not be able to complete the npower Championship season.

Birch says Pompey, who entered administration last month, will not receive parachute payments from the Premier League as they will go straight to former owner Sacha Gaydamak.

On the brink: Fresh fears have been raised over the future of Portsmouth Football Club

On the brink: Fresh fears have been raised over the future of Portsmouth Football Club

In a statement on the club's official website, Birch said: 'Following our discussions with the Premier League and Football League over the past few days, it has emerged that Portsmouth Football Club is unlikely to receive any further parachute payments or other league funding.

Fears: Boss Michael Appleton may not see his side complete the season

Fears: Boss Michael Appleton may not see his side complete the season

'We had previously stated that there was a real danger of the club running out of cash before the end of the season.

'The risk of this happening increases
substantially without the money from the football authorities. Unless
something significant happens, there is a real possibility that we may
not be able to fulfil the season's fixtures.

Struggle: Portsmouth's administration are concerned they will not receive any further funding this season

Struggle: Portsmouth's administration are concerned they will not receive any further funding this season

Football League blog

'One potential issue appears to come from the assignment of 2.2million of parachute payments that was made by the old company to a previous owner.

'We have instructed lawyers to challenge this, but the process may take time.'

Birch remains committed to saving the cash-strapped club but admits “the clock is ticking” to find new owners.

He added: 'As you'd expect, several people have got in touch with us since our appointment as administrators and made enquiries about buying the club.

'We are assessing every case and will make contact with anyone that we believe could be a serious bidder over the next few days.

The clock is ticking: Portsmouth are desperate to find a new owner, says administrator Trevor Birch

The clock is ticking: Portsmouth are desperate to find a new owner, says administrator Trevor Birch

'Any potential bidders will need to be prepared to make a major investment in the club because the outlook for next season looks challenging unless we can sell some players in the summer.'

Pompey were deducted 10 points last month after going into administration for the second time in two years.

Birch was forced to loan top scorer Erik Huseklepp to Birmingham to trim the wage bill and also announced 30 redundancies at the club.

They are currently second from bottom, five points from safety, and face Middlesbrough at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Tiger Woods considered quitting golf and joining Navy SEALS

Tiger wanted to be a SEAL! Woods thought about quitting golf for military, claims Haney

Tiger Woods was considering abandoning golf and joining the Navy SEALS, former coach Hank Haney has claimed.

The 36-year-old has won 14 majors, four short of Jack Nicklaus' record, but Haney insists Woods would have turned his back on the sport to join the military.

Haney even claims Woods had told him the Navy SEALs would 'make a special age exception' for him given their upper age limit is 28.

On the course: Tiger Woods at PGA National on Wednesday ahead of the Honda Classic

On the course: Tiger Woods at PGA National on Wednesday ahead of the Honda Classic

Writing in his book, 'The Big Miss',
excerpts from which appear in the April edition of Golf Digest, Haney
said: 'Wow! Here is Tiger Woods, the greatest athlete on the planet,
maybe the greatest athlete ever, right in the middle of his prime,
basically ready to leave it all behind for a military life.'

Woods' father Earl had been in the Army Special Forces and served in Vietnam.

Military man: Former world No 1 Woods in 2004 arriving at a golf clinic in Fort Bragg on a humvee

Military man: Former world No 1 Woods in 2004 arriving at a golf clinic in Fort Bragg on a humvee

In 2004, Woods took part in four
days of special-operations training in Fort Bragg which included
hand-to-hand combat exercises, four-mile runs wearing combat boots,
parachute jumps and drills in a wind tunnel.

His attendance at these camps
increased and shortly before the 2006 US Open Haney revealed he had sent
Woods an email saying: 'You need to get that whole SEALs thing out of
your system and stick to playing Navy SEAL on the video games.

One of the greats: Woods

Tiger's former coach: Hank Haney

Career change: Woods was ready to leave golf for the Navy SEALS, according to former coach Haney (right)

'You have history to make in golf and
people to influence and help. Focus on your destiny and that isn't
flushing bad guys out of buildings in Iraq.

'Just play those games some more. That Navy SEAL stuff is serious business. They use real bullets.'

In action: Tiger Woods hits from the sand during a pro-am before the Honda Classic on Wednesday

In action: Tiger Woods hits from the sand during a pro-am before the Honda Classic on Wednesday

However, Woods attended such camps more frequently, although Haney claimed the extent of his visits were hushed up in the belief there would be a media frenzy.

Haney added: 'When I later learned the full truth about the dangerous exercises that Tiger engaged in with the SEALs, it caused me to question whether the greatest golfer the game has ever seen severely hampered his chance at surpassing one of the most revered marks in all of sports – Jack Nicklaus' record – because of his fascination with the military.'