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Ken Bates interview: Former Chelsea chief speaks out ahead of their visit to Leeds in Capital One Cup

EXCLUSIVE: Roman is welcome at Elland Road… as long as he's wearing a shirt and tie! Former Chelsea chief Bates speaks out ahead of grudge match

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 19 December 2012

Ken Bates is sitting in his penthouse apartment in Leeds city centre, flicking through a picture book sent from Stamford Bridge on his 80th birthday.

It was put together last December, with messages from former players and staff from the 21 years he spent at Chelsea, by the club’s long-serving and adorable press officer Thresa Connelly.

Frank Lampard signs off: ‘Thanks for splashing out 11m on me — I could have been playing in the Championship with West Ham!’

Back in the day: Roman Abramovich (left) took control of Chelsea from now Leeds owner Ken Bates

Back in the day: Roman Abramovich (left) took control of Chelsea from now Leeds owner Ken Bates

John Terry thanks Bates for his ‘amazing support’. Others, including Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly, Claudio Ranieri and Roberto Di Matteo are among those paying tribute to the grand old man of football. ‘I call Robbie my son, he calls me Dad,’ Bates said of Di Matteo.

On Wednesday night the chairman and current owner of Leeds United has to put such memories to one side and support his team in trying to beat Chelsea in their Capital One Cup quarter-final at Elland Road; a night when 35,000 Leeds fans will renew hostilities with their bitter rivals.

‘Watching Leeds play Chelsea at Elland Road will be like getting a new Bentley with your mother-in-law in the passenger seat and watching it go over a cliff,’ he admitted on Tuesday. ‘But it’s a huge game for Leeds and I want them to win, of course I do.’

He does, however, admit to being tempted to visit Rafa Benitez’s players in their hotel this afternoon. They will be just across the road from his apartment, in the Malmaison.

‘I only know a few of the players because so much has changed since I left, but it would be nice to see Frank and JT again,’ he said.

‘It will be a fantastic occasion. We are playing the best team in Europe and the second best team in the world. Elland Road will be filled to the roof.’

Bates sold Chelsea to Roman Abramovich in 2003, but he remains proud of the part he played in protecting the future of Stamford Bridge; in particular his success in wrestling the freehold away from the property developer, Marler Estates, and reuniting it with the club. He created the Chelsea Pitch Owners, the organisation that recently prevented Abramovich from buying the ground and moving elsewhere.

‘I’m pleased the Chelsea Pitch Owners blocked the move to buy Stamford Bridge,’ he said.

‘My days at Chelsea are done, but it was a fight worth fighting for the supporters.

‘They have nowhere else to play now because Battersea Power Station will be turned into villages and so will Earls Court.

‘It’s not the Chelsea I knew, but things change and I accept that.’

His relationship with Abramovich, chairman Bruce Buck and director Eugene Tenenbaum soured towards the end and Bates eventually left Chelsea in March 2004.

Pastures new: Bates says he will welcome Abramovich at Elland Road... if he is properly dressed

Pastures new: Bates says he will welcome Abramovich at Elland Road… if he is properly dressed

Watching brief

But he will welcome them into the Elland Road boardroom on Wednesday, should they choose to attend.

‘In the boardroom we invite six guests and I don’t care who comes along from Chelsea as long as they wear a jacket and tie,’ he said.

Bates’s charming wife, Suzannah, has been known to offer a Leeds United club tie to those who do not conform to house rules, and the Chelsea officials who do attend should not expect too much pampering. The Elland Road boardroom has a special atmosphere, with long tables for guests and directors and a perfect view of the pitch from high up in the East Stand. But changes have been made since Bates took charge.

‘When I bought Leeds (in 2005) they had no money, the carpets were rotting and the toilets were disgusting,’ he said. ‘They were millions of pounds in debt and then you walked into the boardroom and they were serving ros champagne. I put a stop to that extravagance straight away. It was the same at Chelsea after I bought them for 1 in 1982.

‘They were going skint, they couldn’t pay the wages, but they were serving sparkling wine and smoking big fat cigars in the boardroom.’

Bates has spent good money at Leeds,
investing 20m in stadium maintenance in the past eight years. He also
had to set aside the animosity and rivalry between Chelsea and Leeds
when he told Suzannah he was buying the club.

Expansion: Bates with Chelsea board member Matthew Harding in front of the stand he helped finance

Expansion: Bates with Chelsea board member Matthew Harding in front of the stand he helped finance

‘We were living in Monaco in a penthouse and I was watching so much of Jeff Randall on Sky News that I found myself falling in love with him,’ he said.

‘I held Suzannah’s hand and told her, “I have to save Leeds United”.’

He has done that and now he’s on the verge of selling to Dubai-based investment firm GFH Capital after protracted talks about a takeover.

Testing: Bates says Neil Warnock pushes him to the limits and was unimpressed with Roberto Di Matteo's (below) dismissal

Testing: Bates says Neil Warnock pushes him to the limits and was unimpressed with Roberto Di Matteo's (below) dismissal

Roberto Di Matteo

The club are in good shape. On the pitch, under the guidance of Neil Warnock, they are enjoying a run that has seen them win four of their last five Championship games in pursuit of a play-off place.

‘Neil pushes me to the limits,’ said Bates. ‘But every manager is the same. They just want one more player. Look at the pressure they are under these days, it’s ridiculous. Alan Pardew was the greatest thing since sliced bread when he was given an eight-year contract at Newcastle and yet people are now beginning to question him.

‘Robbie Di Matteo’s an intelligent man. He has degrees in maths and economics, but Chelsea sacked him because he lost a couple of games.’

It might just give him an excuse to crack open the bubbly if Leeds do win on Wednesday night.

Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe banned for 14 MONTHS over drink-driving

Don't let Fergie see you smiling… drink-driving Tunnicliffe beams outside court after being banned for 14 MONTHS

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UPDATED:

09:59 GMT, 25 October 2012

Manchester United starlet Ryan Tunnicliffe has been banned from driving for 14 months for drink-driving.

The 19-year-old crashed his 60,000 Range Rover on October 13 and was later charged with driving with excess alcohol.

He appeared at Bury Magistrates Court on Thursday morning and was banned, as well as being hit with an 800 fine.

Ban: Ryan Tunnicliffe smiled as he arrived at Bury Magistrates Court

Ban: Ryan Tunnicliffe smiled as he arrived at Bury Magistrates Court

Ban: Ryan Tunnicliffe smiled as he arrived at Bury Magistrates Court for his hearing

Tunnicliffe, 19, of Clemshaw Close, Heywood, near Rochdale, was driving his top-of-the-range car when it collided with a transit van on Green Lane, Heywood.

The van subsequently collided with the wall of a house. Police said the front seat passenger of the Range Rover suffered a minor whiplash injury in the collision and both vehicles were badly damaged.

Tunnicliffe hit the headlines recently when he made his debut for United – and made his father 10,000 richer in the process.

Damage: This picture shows Tunnicliffe's smashed-up Range Rover

Damage: This picture shows Tunnicliffe's smashed-up Range Rover

Mick Tunnicliffe placed a 100 bet when
his son was nine that he would one day play for United (at odds of
100-1) – and his moment came when Marnick Vermijl was replaced during
the 2-1 win over Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.

And there could be worse to come for bookmakers William Hill, who revealed they also took another bet from Tunnicliffe's dad of 100 at odds of 350/1 that the young midfielder will one day play for England at some stage in his career.

The wager could net Tunnicliffe Snr a whopping 35,000 payout.

'The last time a bet of this nature cost us 10,000 was when Chris Kirkland made his debut in goal for England, also landing a 100 bet for his father,' said Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe.

On his way: Ryan Tunnicliffe made his debut against Newcastle - to win his dad 10,000

On his way: Ryan Tunnicliffe made his debut against Newcastle – to win his dad 10,000

'We will obviously be paying close attention to the progress of Ryan’s career in the future.'

Tunnicliffe, who spent last season under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson's son, Darren, on loan at Peterborough United, was one of a number of youngsters blooded on Wednesday night.

Winger Robbie Brady and defenders Scott Wootton and Michael Keane were also given run-outs by Ferguson at Old Trafford as United cruised through to a tricky fourth round meeting with Chelsea.

Ryan Tunnicliffe charged with drink-driving after crash

United starlet Tunnicliffe charged with drink-driving after crash

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 14 October 2012

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involbved in crash in his 60,000 Land Rover

Arrested: Tunnicliffe was involved in a car crash

Manchester United youngster Ryan Tunnicliffe has been charged with driving with excess alcohol after crashing his 60,000 Range Rover.

Tunnicliffe, 19, of Clemshaw Close, Heywood, near Rochdale, has been charged with driving with excess alcohol and is due to appear before Bury Magistrates Court on October 25, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed.

The charge relates to an incident which happened shortly before 2.15pm on Saturday when a Range Rover collided with a transit van on Green Lane, Heywood.

The van subsequently collided with the wall of a house.

Police said the front seat passenger of the Range Rover suffered a minor whiplash injury in the collision and both vehicles were badly damaged.

Tunnicliffe made his debut for United
as a 77th-minute substitute in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over
Newcastle United – winning his father, Mick, 10,000.

When
the midfielder, was nine years old his father placed the wager that his
son would one day play for United, taking odds of 100-1 with a 100
bet.

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

Debut: Tunnicliffe earned his dad 10,000 after turning out for United

His performances were rewarded with a professional contract on December 30, 2009 – the day he turned 17.

His profile on United's official website describes the player as 'somebody who is highly regarded at Old Trafford'.

David Villa advert that Barcelona wanted to ban – VIDEO

Revealed: The video of Villa smashing up a police car that Barcelona wanted to ban

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 4 October 2012

He's well known for his deadly accuracy in front of goal – and perhaps now we know the secret training routine that makes David Villa so sharp.

A banned advert has been released featuring the Barcelona striker knocking lumps out of a police patrol car with a ball.

The scene was filmed in 2010 to promote the computer game 'Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit' but was never aired because Barcelona thought it set the wrong example to fans.

Scroll down to watch the video

Free time: Villa is cruising around Los Angeles in a fast sports car in the banned commercial for computer game 'Need for Speed - Hot Pursuit'

Free time: Villa is cruising around Los Angeles in a fast sports car in the banned commercial for computer game 'Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit'

Target: Villa spots the empty police car and pulls up alongside

Target: Villa spots the empty police car and pulls up alongside

Taking aim: Villa takes a Jabulani football from the passenger seat and starts firing shots at the police car

Taking aim: Villa takes a Jabulani football from the passenger seat and starts firing shots at the police car

Villa had not long been at Barcelona and the club thought it would embarrass their new 30m star signing.

The advert starts with Villa cruising around Los Angeles in a sports car before he spies a parked police car on the beachfront.

Taking a Jabulani football from the passenger seat, he proceeds to knock a few dents into the bodywork with some well-placed volleys.

Nice location: The advert is supposedly shot in Los Angeles with the Hollywood sign visible in the background at one point

Nice location: The advert is supposedly shot in Los Angeles with the Hollywood sign visible in the background at one point

Control: Villa's ability with the unpredictable Jabulani is impressive

Control: Villa's ability with the unpredictable Jabulani is impressive

Needs some work: The police car after Villa has finished with it

Needs some work: The police car after Villa has finished with it

His control of the notoriously unpredictable Jabulani is impressive, but Barcelona didn't approve of their players fighting the law and stepped in to ban the advert.

Having smashed a few windows, Villa returns to his car as the coppers emerge from the nearby diner before giving them the eye in the rear view mirror.

However, with Villa's respect for the police presumably beyond all doubt, we can now enjoy his skill.

Banned Need for Speed advert starring David Villa

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David Villa banned advert revealed

I Fought the Law… and the censors won: Banned Villa advert is finally revealed

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 4 October 2012

He's well known for his deadly accuracy in front of goal – and perhaps now we know the secret training routine that makes David Villa so sharp.

A banned advert has been released featuring the Barcelona striker knocking lumps out of a police patrol car with a ball.

The scene was filmed in 2010 to promote the computer game 'Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit' but was never aired because Barcelona thought it set the wrong example to fans.

Scroll down to watch the video

Free time: Villa is cruising around Los Angeles in a fast sports car in the banned commercial for computer game 'Need for Speed - Hot Pursuit'

Free time: Villa is cruising around Los Angeles in a fast sports car in the banned commercial for computer game 'Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit'

Target: Villa spots the empty police car and pulls up alongside

Target: Villa spots the empty police car and pulls up alongside

Taking aim: Villa takes a Jabulani football from the passenger seat and starts firing shots at the police car

Taking aim: Villa takes a Jabulani football from the passenger seat and starts firing shots at the police car

Villa had not long been at Barcelona and the club thought it would embarrass their new 30m star signing.

The advert starts with Villa cruising around Los Angeles in a sports car before he spies a parked police car on the beachfront.

Taking a Jabulani football from the passenger seat, he proceeds to knock a few dents into the bodywork with some well-placed volleys.

Nice location: The advert is supposedly shot in Los Angeles with the Hollywood sign visible in the background at one point

Nice location: The advert is supposedly shot in Los Angeles with the Hollywood sign visible in the background at one point

Control: Villa's ability with the unpredictable Jabulani is impressive

Control: Villa's ability with the unpredictable Jabulani is impressive

Needs some work: The police car after Villa has finished with it

Needs some work: The police car after Villa has finished with it

His control of the notoriously unpredictable Jabulani is impressive, but Barcelona didn't approve of their players fighting the law and stepped in to ban the advert.

Having smashed a few windows, Villa returns to his car as the coppers emerge from the nearby diner before giving them the eye in the rear view mirror.

However, with Villa's respect for the police presumably beyond all doubt, we can now enjoy his skill.

Banned Need for Speed advert starring David Villa

DM.has('rcpv1876641358001','BCVideo');

Brendan Rodgers stars in US documentary

Review: Boss Rodgers is the star in US documentary look at Liverpool

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UPDATED:

01:00 GMT, 11 September 2012

From the club who brought you the Boot Room, here is something all together less secretive.

Being: Liverpool is an American documentary billed as the first of its kind, a behind-the-scenes look at life at a major Barclays Premier League club.

If Brendan Rodgers was not keen on having his first strides at Anfield caught on camera then he did a good job of hiding it.

Behind the scenes: Brendan Rodgers (left) and Tom Werner (right) star in the US documentary about Liverpool

Behind the scenes: Brendan Rodgers (left) and Tom Werner (right) star in the US documentary about Liverpool

The television crew follow him everywhere, from his first meeting with the staff at the training ground to the passenger seat of his club Porsche and the living room of his enormous new house in Formby, where he awkwardly reveals through gritted teeth that the son of his assistant manager, Colin Pascoe, is dating his 16-year-old daughter.

The first episode of this fascinating series is a scene-setter that seems rather dependant on a happy ending down the line.

We are pitched into the gloom of Kenny Dalglish's final days as Liverpool manager, cutting from footage of their FA Cup final defeat by Chelsea to a scene in a Merseyside pub where the verdict is grim.

The narrator talks of a 'three-year lull of mediocrity for a club synonymous with glory' and the shot cuts to Tom Werner and John W Henry, the owners, as they attempt to explain from a couch how Dalglish's departure was part of a strategy that had been in place all along.

Henry says: 'When we first talked with Kenny he understood and we understood that there was going to be a time when he stepped aside when we found the right person for the long term.

'He said to me in our first conversation that he would be ready for that.'

That right person, they hope, is Rodgers. This series is dependant on him, seemingly both as the willing and able supplier of soundbites and also as the man who will deliver the contrast to the programme's introduction.

In terms of the soundbites, he has made a fast start. In discussing his family work ethic, he says: 'I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I was born with a silver shovel'.

During some of the excellent scenes where he discusses his coaching philosophy, he says: 'You educate players, you train a dog.'

Slow start: Rodgers' Liverpool side have struggled so far this season

Slow start: Rodgers' Liverpool side have struggled so far this season

Board games anyone Luis Suarez (centre) is filmed playing Monopoly with team-mate Lucas Leiva

Board games anyone Luis Suarez (centre) is filmed playing Monopoly with team-mate Lucas Leiva

Later he says: 'Every player I see as a son.' The American audience will love it, which is largely the point, but it's also a risk.

Given the footage already accrued and, indeed, some of the David Brent-at-his-desk-style interviews with Rodgers, it won't be difficult to lampoon the manager if he isn't given the time to implement his brilliant playing systems.

The programme is about more than Rodgers. The first episode introduces characters from the club doctor and Rodgers' family to the players.

In one clip, during the club's pre-season tour to the US, the now departed Charlie Adam is having a 'conversation' with Boston Red Sox outfielder Cody Ross.

'Ever play cricket' asks Ross. 'No,' says Adam. And almost nothing else. Wonderfully awkward.

Face of a star: The scenes where Rodgers talks about his coaching philosophy are particularly revealing

Face of a star: The scenes where Rodgers talks about his coaching philosophy are particularly revealing

Steven Gerrard takes the crew inside his home and shows a bit of his frustration at living with four women but no son, while another scene shows Lucas playing Monopoly with Luis Suarez and discussing the need for the foreign players to stick together.

Fabio Borini, in a fascinating scene during his medical, tells the doctor about his difficulty sleeping during Italy's Euro 2012 campaign.

In all, it covers a lot of bases, as Henry would say.

*The first in a six-part documentary series airs in the US on Sunday.

Courtney Meppen-Walter released on bail following death crash

Man City youngster Meppen-Walter released on bail following death crash

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UPDATED:

11:16 GMT, 3 September 2012

Manchester City footballer Courtney Meppen-Walter has been released on bail after being arrested over the deaths of a brother and sister in a road crash, police said.

Driver Kulwant Singh, 32, was killed with his sister, front seat passenger Ravel-Kaur Singh, 37, when their red Nissan Micra was in collision with a silver Mercedes which the Premier League player, 18, was understood to have been driving.

A second man, aged 19, who was driving a
grey Volkswagen Golf, was also arrested on suspicion of causing death
by dangerous driving and has been bailed.

Released: Meppen-Walter has been allowed out on bail

Released: Meppen-Walter has been allowed out on bail

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: 'Two men arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving following a fatal collision in north Manchester have been bailed.'

The victims were returning home from a festival at the Gurdwara Sri Guru HarKrishan Sahib temple on Sherborne Street, near Strangeways, when the tragedy occurred.

An eyewitness told the Manchester Evening News: 'The driver of the Mercedes was standing in the middle of the road shouting 'it wasn't me, it wasn’t me'.

'Everyone ran from the temple – there were probably about 200 people in there. Mr Singh was taking his sister home after the festival and then coming back for his wife and kids.

'His wife stayed at the temple last night – until she went to the hospital she still thought he was going to come back. She was praying “please God bring my husband back”. It’s really sad.'