Tag Archives: payne

QPR"s Ryan Nelsen set to replace Paul Mariner as Toronto FC manager

Nelsen ready to quit QPR and take over as manager of Toronto

Simon Jones


22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013



22:57 GMT, 7 January 2013

QPR defender Ryan Nelsen is to take up a post as head coach with Toronto FC and replace Paul Mariner.

Toronto will make the announcement on Tuesday with former Arsenal and Ipswich striker Mariner, who doubled as director of soccer operations, likely to return to England.

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

On his way: Ryan Nelsen looks set to join Toronto as manager

MLS side DC United had attempted to lure
the 35-year-old New Zealander to the MLS but Nelsen has been swayed by
Toronto president and general manager Kevin Payne who was an executive
at DC United when he played there previously between 2001 and 2005.

Speaking over the weekend, boss Harry Redknapp revealed his regret at the fact he was set to lose his star man.

He said: ‘There is some truth in the rumour I’m afraid. Nelsen is very important to us, a fantastic leader, a top player.

‘But he has been offered a job in America and I think there is every chance he might want to go. He wants to be a manager and it is a chance for him to manage a club.

‘He has been fantastic. I took him to Tottenham last year from Blackburn. He’s one of the best pros I’ve ever met in my life, a fantastic player, a great trainer, a leader.

‘He is a massive part of your team. To lose him would be a massive blow for us.’

Andy Powell fined for swearing at Bath fans

Bad boy Powell lands 5k fine for swearing and gesture at Bath fans after sin-binning



21:00 GMT, 2 October 2012

Andy Powell has been fined 5,000 for his provocative behaviour towards Bath fans at the Rec on Saturday.

The Sale back-row reacted angrily after he was sin-binned for a high tackle on Bath’s Dominic Day in the Aviva Premiership defeat.

According to witnesses, Bath fans branded him a ‘disgrace’ and he promptly swore at them and made a provocative gesture.

Gesture: Andy Powell of Sale Sharks at the Recreation Ground last Saturday

Gesture: Andy Powell of Sale Sharks at the Recreation Ground last Saturday

This is the latest disciplinary case for Powell, who was thrown out of the Wales squad during the 2010 Six Nations for driving a hotel golf buggy on the M4 in a celebratory prank, following a win over Scotland.

He lost his contract at Wasps in May 2011 for his part in a drunken brawl in a London bar.

Former England prop Tim Payne has been suspended for two weeks for kneeing Northampton wing Vasily Artemyev in the head during Wasps’ Aviva Premiership defeat last Friday.

He was sin-binned on the night but was cited later when video officials decided the offence was more serious.

Sale wing Tom Brady has been banned for two games after he was cited for a dangerous tackle against Bath.

Northampton 24 Wasps 6: James Wilson sends Saints top

Northampton 24 Wasps 6: Wilson sends Saints top after fifth straight home victory



21:06 GMT, 28 September 2012

New Zealander James Wilson scored his first two tries for Northampton as they made it five wins out of five at Franklin's Gardens to move to the top of the Aviva Premiership.

Wilson's double plus 14 points from the boot of Stephen Myler eased the Saints past a Wasps side who had dominated possession in the first half.

It could have been worse for Wasps as Tim Payne was lucky not to receive a red card after television match official Trevor Fisher was called upon by referee Dave Pearson. Replays showed the England loosehead dropping a knee on Vasily Artemyev in a ruck, but he was given just 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

No way through: Northampton's Luther Burrell (left) is tackled by Wasps' Nick Robinson

No way through: Northampton's Luther Burrell (left) is tackled by Wasps' Nick Robinson

Wasps, who have not won at Franklin's Gardens since November 2005, also saw wing James Bailey – a summer signing from Lyon – carried off on a stretcher with a broken leg 17 minutes into his first start for the club.

The two incidents hampered Wasps' efforts to break a well-drilled Northampton defence and, despite keeping the ball for large chunks of the opening 40 minutes, they turned around 14-6 down.

After five minutes of solid defending, Northampton scored with their first attack and it took just two passes. A poor kick landed in Wilson's lap on his 10m line. He passed to Ken Pisi, who burst through the Wasps line and then passed back to Wilson for the full-back to run over unopposed from 20 metres. Myler missed the conversion and a penalty, but at the third attempt made it 8-0 after 12 minutes.

Nicky Robinson got Wasps on the scoreboard with a penalty after a burst from Christian Wade had got the visitors into Northampton's 22. But Wasps were dealt a blow when Bailey was carried off on a stretcher.

It did not put them off their stride as they continued to dominate possession and a 15m lineout drive gave Robinson another three points.

Myler replied with three of his own, though, and – after Northampton lock Samoa Manoa showed his side-stepping abilities to nip past a couple of Wasps tacklers – the fly-half made it 14-6.

Putting the boot in: Stephen Myler of Northampton kicks a penalty at Franklin's Gardens

Putting the boot in: Stephen Myler of Northampton kicks a penalty at Franklin's Gardens

On the stroke of half-time Payne was
sent to the sin-bin after the TMO was called on. Replays showed Payne
dropping his knee on Artemyev and the home crowd were furious the
England loosehead did not receive a red card.

Wasps a man down Northampton went for the kill but twice Artemyev, now
with his head bandaged, could not gather offloads inches from the
try-line and Soane Tonga'uiha could not quite reach the line after
charging out of a ruck five metres from the line.

The visitors did well to survive the 10 minutes, although Payne's return did not alter the course of the second half. It was all Northampton.

Northampton lock Christian Day became the second player to be carried off on a stretcher on 55 minutes with his right lower leg strapped up, but it did not stop the hosts' momentum.

And a minute later Wilson squirmed over for his second despite being seemingly stopped on the line by James Haskell and Andrea Masi after a powerful run and offload from Saints centre Luther Burrell.
Worryingly for England and Northampton, Courtney Lawes then limped off and Dylan Hartley came off with some sort of blow to the head.

But Northampton were able to bring Brian Mujati off the bench and the South African tore Wasps' scrum to pieces, winning penalty after penalty to give the home side control as they maintained their impressive start to the season.

London 2012 Olympics: Sebastian Coe saved bid – Michael Payne

London had blown it! Coe saved Olympic bid from disappearing without a trace



10:13 GMT, 27 July 2012

Olympics 2012

As the bigwigs from the International Olympic Committee knocked back expensive wine at the Hilton hotel overlooking the Acropolis, there was only one topic of conversation on everybody’s lips: London had blown it.

It was the eve of the 2004 Athens Games – with less than a year to go before the vote to decide the 2012 hosts – and a BBC Panorama sting had seemingly put an end to any hopes of a London Olympics. Not that victory had looked very likely anyway.

‘Panorama came out with a sting about how London could buy votes. It was all anybody was talking about. London was radioactive — you wouldn’t have even been seen sitting next to someone from the bid. You would have got the most outrageous odds on London winning. Nobody in their right mind gave them a chance.’

Close to disaster: Michael Payne saw first hand how disastrous London's bid was as the deadline approached

Close to disaster: Michael Payne saw first hand how disastrous London's bid was as the deadline approached

The man talking is Michael Payne. As the IOC’s director of marketing and global broadcast rights, he was in the room that night in Athens. Transforming the Olympics from a debt-ridden organisation on the brink of extinction to a sporting festival the best cities in the world fight over every four years earned him that. Years later, it also put him in the position of advising Lord Coe, his friend of more than 20 years, about how to rescue London’s dying bid. Not even he expected it would end so happily.

‘There was not high expectation outside Britain about the bid, says Payne when we meet on one of his trips to London. Born and raised in north London, he moved to Lausanne in Switzerland when he joined the IOC in 1980.

‘The first problem they had was that they couldn’t find a Brit to lead the bid and went with an American Barbara Cassani. It doesn’t matter how good she was, it looked bad to the international community. And so much of it to begin with is about optics. London was up against Paris, Madrid, New York and Moscow — A-list cities. If you were kind, London were third on the technical reviews behind Madrid and Paris. Then people realised they weren’t going to win with an American in charge and Lord Coe was persuaded to take the job.

‘One of the other biggest challenges the bid team had was getting the Treasury to sign off the financial guarantees that needed to be made to the IOC. Gordon Brown was the Chancellor at the time and was finally persuaded to sign them on the basis of “don’t worry, London is never going to win”. Apparently there was a minor meltdown when they did.

‘Coe in charge gave the bid impetus but then came Panorama and London were written off. Paris had the experience of bidding in 1992 and 2008, they hadn’t had the Games since 1924 and there is a tremendous French loyalty at the IOC because the founder Pierre de Coubertin was French. They also had most of the venues built already. They had a reputation of being far more at ease in the corridors of power than the British, of how to lobby and collect votes. The British image was of people who were well-meaning but stuffy, insular and of getting bogged down in committee rooms.’

And the winner is... London is announced as the host city for the 2012 Olympics

And the winner is… London is announced as the host city for the 2012 Olympics

Done deal: Lord Sebastian Coe (right) exchanges documents with IOC President Jacques Rogge

Done deal: Lord Sebastian Coe (right) exchanges documents with IOC President Jacques Rogge

After 20 years of service, Payne left the IOC after Athens – ‘Mr Ecclestone asked me if I’d like to come play with him in Formula One’ – but soon found himself immersed in the race to host the 2012 Games after a conversation with his old friend Coe.

‘I said to him “you’re not going to win this if you treat it as a straight beauty contest. The French have it nailed on.” He needed to have a very different kind of debate with the IOC members. Everyone is going to build similar venues so what made London special So I invited him to my home in Switzerland for a few days over New Year and we kicked around some ideas. He needed to give people a reason to vote for London.

‘That’s when he came up with the idea of focusing on youth, playing to IOC fears about a lack of interest in sport by the next generation. The response was really positive.

‘The last two months was exactly how Seb would run his races. He’d sit at the back and then make a late dash to win. These campaigns are about pacing yourself. People started so see London as credible.

‘Coe turned everything on its head: Britain became the agile vote-getters and the French got locked in committee rooms with politicians getting nowhere. It was a complete role reversal. They all stood there in grey suits and completely lost the plot. Tony Blair came to the Athens Games and started to see the power of the Olympics and then became full engaged, a key player in the lobbying. Contrast how he performed with how Jacques Chirac performed. It was black and white.

‘Seb’s final speech at the voting in Singapore focused on how you needed young people to be interested in sport to create the next generation of champions and that London engaged best with the youth.’

Party time: Londoners celebrate being awarded the Olympic Games

Party time: Londoners celebrate being awarded the Olympic Games

, with the greatest cities in the world bidding against each other. If you look back to the 1980s, the Olympics was bankrupt and you couldn’t give the Games away. For 1984, you had two candidates. One was Tehran, where they had a management change at the top which ended their bid, and the other was Los Angeles. And people in LA were looking at how Montreal were going to be repaying their debt for the next 30 or 40 years and saying ‘fine, but we’re not using any taxpayer money’.

‘There was no business model and if you could persuade someone to take on the responsibility of hosting it, half the world wouldn’t turn up anyone because of the problem of boycotts. Most of the commentators at the time were writing the obituary of the Olympic movement. When Juan Antonio Samaranch became president in 1980, he took a look at the books, saw what a mess it was and asked how he could give the presidency back. That’s why it is one of the greatest turnarounds of all time.

‘The Olympics had to stand on its own two
feet, by creating a business model which wasn’t dependent on
politicians without compromising some of the elements that made the
Games special. When you have no money, it is tempting to sign a big TV
deal with Berlusconi when he’s offering 20 times more than the state TV
network or have advertising hoardings in the stadium. Potential sponsors
were asking us ‘where are our hoardings’ so we had to get them
understanding the potential of being associated with a brand rather than
just being lazy, sitting back and waiting for your name to appear on
the box.’

Back in London: Michael Payne

Back in London: Michael Payne

But it wasn’t so easy. When Seoul was selected as the 1988 host, it was still at war with North Korea, was not recognised by the Communist countries and people thought the IOC had no chance of pulling off a successful Games or ever fully recovering.

‘It wasn’t until Barcelona in 1992 that we really turned the corner and people started to say “the Olympics are back”,’ says Payne. ‘That was because Seoul delivered a fundamentally boycott-free Games and then the Catalunyan government realised that they could be a catalyst from transformation. Barcelona had been deprived of all capital investment for 30 or 40 years under Franco — it had all gone to Madrid — and the politicians realised what a great excuse it was to transform the place in six years. It has become a poster child for what the Olympics can do to a city. Other cities woke up to that and sponsors started to see the benefit of being associated with it too. VISA used them to move ahead of American Express in the credit card market.’

The millions of pounds sponsors have poured in to Sydney in 2000, Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 and now London show that companies again want to be associated with the Olympics. Not that the progress came without any problems.

‘There were a couple of blips in the 1990s,’ admits Payne. ‘The local politicians in Atlanta took the sponsorship too far and it compromised the Olympic ideal. I’m not sure official toilet seat covers were particularly credible. Then, at the very end of 1998 when we were feeling quite pleased with ourselves, we had the Salt Lake City scandal. People thought it was the big one, with millions of dollars going astray. In the end it was more like 300,000-400,000 dollars. For six months, you went to the office every day not sure if the IOC would survive the night. US Congress were eyeing up a takeover. But we recovered.’

The have indeed, largely thanks to former ski racer Payne, who now works as an advisor to the sports and marketing community, including Ecclestone. So what does he think are the main challenges for London with the Games just weeks away

‘Seb and his team have done a phenomenal job. It’s not the easiest party to pull off. The venues are done, which has surprised people. There has been a fair amount of debate about the ticketing process but, looking at it from an international viewpoint, there has never been demand anywhere close to this. Normally the worry is how to fill the first round of handball or fencing. Maybe they could have managed expectations slightly differently but they wanted to make sure they sold everything.

‘The two biggest challenges at every Games are transport and security. But it works out. Everyone was worried about traffic jams in Greece and people using the Olympic lanes when they shouldn’t but it didn’t happen. Security is a bigger risk than ever these days because you don’t know where the threat is coming from. In 1988, the Russians told the North Koreans to back off. But now there is more of a risk of a lone wolf causing a problem.

‘The word ‘legacy’ is thrown around all over the place. But you have to look at the tangible – ie the bricks and mortar — and the intangible — ie people getting involved in sport, volunteering. People tend to concentrate too much on the buildings. The other thing that annoys me is when people add the costs for roads and airports and such things to the total costs for the Games. You should strip out those kind of things. They’re not Olympic costs. No-one is going to build a new railway or road for a 16-day event. It’s just a catalyst so it is all built quicker.’

It’s pretty hard to argue with him on that.

Six Nations 2011: Dylan Hartley and Dan Cole have score to settle in France

Driving force! England pair have score to settle in France

Redemption. That's the profound target for two members of the England pack in Paris a week on Sunday.

When Dylan Hartley and Dan Cole square up to France's renowned front row, they will be hell-bent on settling a score.

Rewind two years and the national team travelled across the Channel and won acclaim even though they lost 12-10.

In retreat: Cole faces the French in 2010

In retreat: Cole faces the French in 2010

That RBS Six Nations finale was seen as a watershed moment for Martin Johnson's side in playing with more attacking purpose, fired by the introduction of dangerous strike runners like Ben Foden and Chris Ashton.

But if the overview was positive, it was a negative night for Hartley and Cole. England were routed in a first-half scrum onslaught against a French pack anchored by mighty Perpignan tighthead prop Nicolas Mas.

At the interval, Hartley and Cole were cast as the scapegoats and suffered the indignity of being replaced with 40 minutes remaining, despite subsequent suggestions that Tim Payne, the experienced loosehead, had been particularly culpable.

Back then, the pair were raw rookies. Now Hartley, the 25-year-old Northampton hooker and captain, and his right-hand man, the 24-year-old Leicester prop, are more settled and street-wise.

They feel prepared for what awaits them and are suitably driven to make amends. Hartley won't be going through the video again – the episode is etched in his mind.

'I can still picture it – I can still see those scrums,' he said. 'A little bit of redemption would be nice this time. There are some demons to exorcise. It is inexcusable for an English pack to be pushed back on our own ball.

Bouncing back: England are hoping to put the defeat to Wales behind them

Bouncing back: England are hoping to put the defeat to Wales behind them

Bouncing back: England are hoping to put the defeat to Wales behind them


Sunday: France v Ireland (3pm).

Saturday March 10: Wales v Italy
(2.30pm); Ireland v Scotland (5pm).

Sunday March 11: France v England (3pm).

'I remember being sat in the changing room in Paris after that game thinking, “Wow, you just don't get taken off at half-time”. It was my second Six Nations and myself and Dan have played a lot since then. I've played against Mas when we've played Perpignan in the Heineken Cup, too.

'I like to think we feel more equipped to cope now. Alex (Corbisiero) and Dan played against France last year – when they had Mas and Servat in there – and did a really good job.

'Before our games against Scotland and Italy there were question marks about us, with talk about caps and experience, about Euan Murray and (Martin) Castrogiovanni, but in both those games scrum penalties won us the final points of the game. I'd like to think we can look after ourselves.'

Cole was still finding his feet at Test level at the time of the setpiece setback in March 2010. Like Hartley, he feels ready for the impending re-match.

'Two years ago, they were on fire,' he said. 'It was only my fifth game for England and they dominated us. The French scrum attack teams, no matter who you are, but they probably looked at who was playing, targeted that area and got some success.

Allez! England were narrowly defeated by France at the Stade de France

Allez! England were narrowly defeated by France at the Stade de France

Allez! England were narrowly defeated by France at the Stade de France

'Now, they might have a bit more respect than before. I'm more pumped up for this game because of what happened there last time.

'That must be the toughest rugby experience I've had. We went backwards so I probably did deserve to come off. As the tighthead, if the scrum's going forward I'll take the credit for it, but if it's going backwards …that's how it works. You learn from it.

'Motivation-wise it's a good thing for next week. It's going to be hostile in Paris, without doubt. There's 22 of us against the whole stadium. It feels like us against the world. In a funny sort of way, you enjoy that.'

He and Hartley will enjoy it if they are both still on the pitch deep into the second half, and on the front foot. That would represent redemption.