Tag Archives: positions

Anthony Fry appointed the new chairman of the Premier League

Fry gets top job at Premier League: Dairy Crest boss to replace Richards as chairman

Olympics vice-chairman who is a director at Tottenham.

Champions: Manchester United wrapped up the Premier League title on Monday against Aston Villa

Champions: Manchester United wrapped up the Premier League title on Monday against Aston Villa

Instead, the nominations committee have
chosen in Fry, who is also chairman of Dairy Crest and the Cala Group, a
person who has no formal connection with football.

Buck added: 'There were a number of outstanding candidates, any of whom would have made a fine Premier League chairman, but in Anthony Fry we have appointed an individual with the correct blend of experience, skills, attitude and demeanour to represent the best interests of the Premier League.

Moving on: Sir Dave Richards will step down in June

Moving on: Sir Dave Richards will step down in June

WHO IS HE

Fry is currently Chairman of the Finance Committee of the BBC Trust and has enjoyed a distinguished career. He has specialised in the media industry and has held numerous Chairmanships and Board positions across a range of business, public, charitable and academic bodies.

'Anthony's CV speaks for itself, but
we were particularly impressed by his aptitude for and understanding of
the role, as well as believing his style to be particularly well-suited
to developing effective working relationships with both the member clubs
and the executive of the Premier League.'

Fry himself said: 'The opportunity to
become chairman of the Premier League is one that appealed hugely to me
for obvious reasons.
'I have a deep-seated and long-held passion for sport and believe the
skills and attributes I have developed throughout all aspects of my
career will serve both the Premier League clubs and the executive
extremely well.

'The league is one of the country's
great success stories of recent times having overseen a period of rising
playing standards, substantial investment in infrastructure and
development, significant growth in attendances and viewing figures as
well as the marked commercial success that has benefited the English
game as a whole.'

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hole guide

THE MASTERS: Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National

PUBLISHED:

08:55 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

The waiting is over for the year's first Major as the best players in the world arrive at Augusta National for The Masters.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy stroll down Magnolia Lane as the top two in the world while Bubba Watson is defending the Green Jacket he won 12 months ago.

Woods is the man to beat with three wins under his belt already in 2013 while McIlroy looks like he's finally getting used to his Nike clubs following a fine display finishing second at the Texas Open.

But this is Augusta National where anything can happen and here, Sportsmail has everything you need to know in our hole-by-hole guide.

The Masters: Hole by hole

Hole-by-hole guide to Augusta National – everything you need to know ahead of the season's first major

*Holes ranked from 1 (most difficult) to 18 (least difficult) based on how the course played in 2012

1st (Tea Olive), 445 yards, par four: A deep bunker on the right of the fairway and trees both sides make for a daunting start, while long and left of the undulating green both spell big trouble. Unsurprisingly played the hardest hole on the course last year. 2012 average: 4.39 (rank 1)

2nd (Pink Dogwood), 575 yards, par five: Driving into the trees on the left cost Padraig Harrington a nine in 2009, but Louis Oosthuizen memorably holed his second shot for an albatross in the final round last year before losing in a play-off to Bubba Watson. Important early birdie chance.
2012 average: 4.64 (rank 18)

3rd (Flowering Peach), 350 yards, par four: Shortest par four on the course but a pear-shaped green with steep slope in front allows for some wicked pin positions. 2011 winner Charl Schwartzel pitched in for eagle in the final round. 2012 average: 3.90 (rank 14)

4th (Flowering Crab Apple), 240 yards, par three: The back tee – not always used – turns it into a beast with the green sloping from back to front. Phil Mickelson took six here in the final round last year and finished two shots outside the play-off. Jeff Sluman's ace in 1992 remains the only hole-in-one here in Masters history. 2012 average: 3.22 (rank 6)

5th (Magnolia), 455 yards, par four: Jack Nicklaus twice holed his second shot in 1995 and Colin Montgomerie did it in 2000, but it is another devilishly difficult green. To clear the fairway bunkers requires a 315-yard carry. 2012 average: 4.21 (rank 7)

6th (Juniper), 180 yards, par three: From a high tee to a green with a huge slope in it. Four holes-in-one, but Jose Maria Olazabal took seven in 1991 and lost by one to Ian Woosnam, while Arnold Palmer has also run up a seven. 2012 average: 3.17 (rank 8)

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year - the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

Say your prayers: Amen Corner claims many victims each year – the 11th green is on the left with the 12th in the distance towards the back right

7th (Pampas), 450 yards, par four: What used to be a real birdie chance has been lengthened by 35-40 yards, while trees were also added and the putting surface reshaped. More bunkers – five – around the green than any other hole. 2012 average: 4.17 (rank 9)

8th (Yellow Jasmine), 570 yards, par five: The bunker on the right, about 300 yards out, pushes players left and from there it is harder to find the green in two up the steep hill. Still a good birdie chance and Bruce Devlin made an albatross two in 1967. 2012 average: 4.86 (rank 15)

9th (Carolina Cherry), 460 yards, par four: The tee was pushed back 30 yards in 2002. The raised green, with two bunkers on the left, tilts sharply from the back and anything rolling off the front can continue down for 50-60 yards. 2012 average: 4.25 (rank 4)

10th (Camellia), 495 yards, par four: A huge drop from tee to green on this dogleg left and over all the years of the Masters the most difficult hole. It was here that Rory McIlroy began to fall apart in 2011 with a seven, while Watson clinched the title 12 months ago by making par in the play-off from the trees. 2012 average: 4.249 (rank 5)

11th (White Dogwood), 505 yards, par four: The start of Amen Corner. Toughest hole in 2011, with the water front and left scaring many. Best remembered for Larry Mize's chip-in in 1987 and Nick Faldo's back-to-back play-off wins. 2012 average: 4.32 (rank 2)

12th (Golden Bell), 155 yards, par three: Probably the most famous par three in golf. Narrow target, water in front, trouble at the back, it has seen everything from a one to Tom Weiskopf's 13 in 1980. McIlroy four-putted it in 2011. 2012 average: 3.06 (rank 13)

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National - measuring just 155 yards - is probably the most famous par three in golf

Dangerous: The 12th hole at Augusta National – measuring just 155 yards – is probably the most famous par three in golf

13th (Azalea), 510 yards, par five: The end of Amen Corner. Massive dogleg left with scores ranging from Jeff Maggert's albatross two in 1994 to Tommy Nakajima's 13 in 1978. Watson's crucial run of four birdies in succession last year started here. 2012 average: 4.72 (rank 16)

14th (Chinese Fir), 440 yards, par four: The only hole on the course without a bunker, but three putts are common on the wickedly difficult green. Course record holder Nick Price took eight here in 1993, while Phil Mickelson holed his approach en route to 2010 victory. 2012 average: 4.09 (rank 12)

15th (Firethorn), 530 yards, par five: Often a tough decision whether to go for the green in two across the pond on the hole where Gene Sarazen sank his 235-yard four-wood shot for an albatross in 1935. There have also been three 11s here. 2012 average: 4.67 (rank 17)

16th (Redbud), 170 yards, par three: Tiger Woods' memorable chip-in in 2005 came the same year as 73-year-old Billy Casper's 14, while Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter are among 15 players to record holes-in-one. 2012 average: 3.11 (rank 11)

17th (Nandina), 440 yards, par four: Tee shot is played over the Eisenhower Tree on the hole Justin Rose double-bogeyed when one off the lead in 2007. Jack Nicklaus birdied here to take the lead as he won his 18th major in 1986. 2012 average: 4.16 (rank 10)

18th (Holly), 465 yards, par four: The drive through an avenue of trees was made much harder when the tee was moved back 60 yards in 2002. The fairway bunker from which Sandy Lyle got up and down to win in 1988 is now 300 yards away. 2012 average: 4.31 (rank 3)

Max Chilton lands Marussia F1 deal for 2013

Max power! Chilton becomes fourth Brit on grid after landing Marussia deal

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 18 December 2012

Max Chilton insists he is 'already up to speed' with Formula One after Marussia confirmed the promising youngster as the fourth Briton on the grid for the 2013.

Chilton replaces Caterham bound Charles Pic for the 2013 season and despite having just two Formula One tests under his belt, the 21-year-old Reigate-born racer is convinced he is ready to make the step up from the GP2 grand prix feeder series.

'It's hard to put into words how I'm feeling today, with the announcement that I will be racing for the Marussia F1 Team in 2013,' said Chilton.

Done deal: Chilton has been handed a permanent drive with Marussia in 2013

Done deal: Chilton has been handed a permanent drive with Marussia in 2013

Max Chilton: Racing history

British Formula Three Championship (2007-09)

Chilton tasted victory at one race in three years, ending his final season 4th in the standings.

GP2 series (2010-12)

The Briton graduated to the F1 feeder series in 2010. After two largely lacklustre years, Chilton ended last season with two wins from the final four rounds finishing 4th in the championship.

'It comes at the end of what has been
a fantastic year for me, and those steps – my GP2 pole positions and
wins, my performances in the F1 Young Driver Test and in FP1 at Abu
Dhabi – have given everyone the confidence in my ability to compete at
the highest level of motor sport.

Behind the wheel: Chilton made his F1 debut at Abu Dhabi last year

Behind the wheel: Chilton made his F1 debut at Abu Dhabi last year

'I am very fortunate to have spent
the last six races with the Marussia F1 Team as Reserve Driver, which
means that instead of a standing start, I am already up to speed and at
ease with the people, the culture, the systems and of course, the 2012
package.

'During the period since the Japanese
Grand Prix, I have watched at very close quarters the incredible
commitment and determination to succeed that saw everyone in the team
pushing until the very last race. I feel very lucky to be able to embark
on my F1 racing career with this group of people.

Brit of all right

Lewis Hamilton

Chilton becomes the fourth Brit on the grid next year, joining Lewis Hamilton (right), Jenson Button and Paul Di Resta.

With just three seats left to be confirmed next season, only Germany can boast the equal number of drivers. But with Adrian Sutil tipped for a return that could become five.

The other countries who will be represented in 2013 are France (3), Australia (2), Mexico (2), Finland (2), Spain, Brazil, and Venezuela.

'Pre-season testing is just a few
weeks away, so my focus now is to continue my physical preparation
whilst spending as much time as possible working with the technical team
to help develop the car I will drive in my debut F1 season.'

Chilton is the son of Grahame
Chilton, the non-executive chairman of insurance giant Aon Benfield's UK
holding company who is reportedly worth around 100million.

Eyes on the prize: The 21-year-old will drive for Marussia next season

Eyes on the prize: The 21-year-old will drive for Marussia next season

However, he has previously stated
that the estimated 9.5m funding he has secured to realise his Formula
One dream does not come from the family coffers.

Even so the funding boost will be
welcomed at Marussia who narrowly missed out 10m in prize money after
being pipped to tenth place in the constructors' championship by
Caterham at the season finale in Brazil.

Marussia team principal John Booth is
adamant that, funding aside, his young protege has the talent to help
the Banbury-based team build on the solid progress they made in 2012.

Booth said: 'We have spent a
significant amount of time evaluating his performances during 2012, both
in our own car in a testing situation and also from the pit wall as we
monitored his progress alongside the other members of our junior talent
pool during Grand Prix support races.

'We felt confident enough in his
ability and potential to appoint him to the role of Reserve Driver in
September and since that time his development has been rapid in all
aspects. First and foremost, he has shown himself to be extremely
capable in the car.

'Not only that, Max very quickly
embedded himself within the team, thanks in no small part to the fact
that he is a lively and affable character who we've enjoyed having
around. Having been integral to our race weekend engineering environment
for the past three months already – as well as having undertaken a
significant part of our simulator programme – Max has already found his
feet.'

Jensen Button beats Lewis Hamilton to British Driver of the Year award

No parting gift for Hamilton as Button beats him to British Driver of the Year award

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UPDATED:

12:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Jenson Button was last night named British Driver of the Year beating outgoing McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the prestigious Autosport award.

Hamilton, who joins Mercedes in a controversial three-year deal next season, ended his McLaren career with more points, victories and pole-positions than his team-mate this term.

But it was Button who scooped the award for the third time in four years, seeing off competition from fellow F1 racers Hamilton and Paul Di Resta as well as Dario Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 for a third time this season, Touring Car Champion Rob Huff and DTM runner-up and McLaren reserve driver Gary Paffett,

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

Winner: Jensen Button has won the award for a third time in four years

TALE OF THE TAPE

Hamilton
Wins: 4
Pole positions 7
DNFs: 6
Points: 190

Button
Wins: 3
Pole Positions 1
DNFs: 2
Points 188

Button, who benefited from Hamilton’s retirement in Brazil to win the final race of the season, said:

‘It has been a very up and down year for us, but [winning in Brazil] was a great way to end the season and hopefully for all the guys working that’ll be good for 2013.’

After a disappointing season in 2011, Hamilton bounced back this term to enjoy arguably his best season for McLaren during his six-year spell with the British outfit.

But he was unable to mount a title challenge after retiring from the lead of three races at Singapore, Abu Dhabi and in Brazil, while a pit-stop gaffe and fuel error cost him big points at the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix.

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

Praise: Lewis Hamilton was backed by Button even though he is leaving for Mercedes

And Button, who will be joined at McLaren by Sergio Perez in 2013, was quick to laud his outgoing team-mate after accepting his British Driver of the Year award.

Phil Duncan F1 blog

He said: ‘For me the excitement of going to McLaren was obviously in racing for the team, but it was also racing against Lewis. He’s unbelievably fast.

‘I love the role of being the experienced driver and that is definitely the case next year – I think I am the most experienced guy in F1 next year. Really looking forward to working with Checo [Sergio Perez] next year too, he has shown great speed and seems like he wants to learn, so it should be good fun.

‘I think this year we’ve shown there is a real heart to this team. They are so passionate about motor racing, they’ve been around for decades and achieved so much. They are very professional but they also have a lot of fun fighting for victories. It’s a big family and I didn’t expect that when I got there.’

Christian Benteke interview: Striker makes big impression at Villa Park, Thierry Henry is his idol

Onward Christian soldier: Benteke makes big impression at Villa Park

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 23 November 2012

Christian Benteke has been an imposing presence on the football pitch all his life. But that hasn’t always been an advantage.

Indeed, as a young footballer, the Aston Villa forward often had to provide proof of his age before being allowed to play.

‘Other teams didn’t believe me,’ he said. ‘When I played I always had to produce my national identity card to prove I was the age I said I was.

Big impact: Christian Benteke has impressed Villa fans as he makes his mark in England

Big impact: Christian Benteke has impressed Villa fans as he makes his mark in England

‘I was 14 years old at the time. They thought I was five years older because I was much bigger than everyone else. I’ve seen players change positions after I’ve walked on to a pitch. One time they refused to play. I heard them talking about it but I carried on and they played in the end.

‘Another time they just didn’t believe how old I was and I couldn’t play. So I left a photocopy of my card at the club permanently so, if anyone asked, we could prove how old I was.’

Benteke grins. He is 6ft 3in tall. Powerfully built, but lean.

And boy, is he strong! When Chris Smalling made the mistake of trying to shoulder-charge the Belgium striker two weeks ago, the Manchester United and England defender came off second best. /11/23/article-2237606-162B955F000005DC-687_634x427.jpg” width=”634″ height=”427″ alt=”No returns: Belgian Benteke has not been back to the Congo since his parents fled with him when he was three” class=”blkBorder” />

No returns: Belgian Benteke has not been back to the Congo since his parents fled with him when he was three

‘My favourite moment was after he left Arsenal and, when he comes back, he scores against Leeds in the FA Cup. I think if you like football you have to feel some emotion over that.’

It’s difficult not to feel grateful for your lot when you hear Benteke talk, without a hint of bitterness, about the sacrifices his father Jean-Pierre, then employed in the military, made when he decided to uproot his family to escape the Mobutu regime in the Congo, or Zaire as it was known.

Trouble has flared once more in central Africa this week. Benteke, 21, has never returned to the country of his birth, but sends money home to help out the family who remained.

‘We weren’t living near the fighting but my father was in the military and anticipated that it would reach us,’ he said.

‘He didn’t want to take any risks but my uncle and aunt are still there. We have several relations there, too.

‘They are OK at the moment, the conflict is nowhere near them. But it is still a worry.

‘In our culture we shelter our families, so I do that with mine. I send them money to make sure things are OK. They have spoken to my parents to tell them they are fine. I have heard from friends that Congo has beautiful parts.

‘I left when I was young and I’ve never been back. I want to see where it was that I grew up, where I was born. It’s important for me, the history, it’s something I want to tell my children about. So, I’ll go when it’s safe. I’m still young, I’m sure I will have the chance to go back.’

Up for the cup: Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates his winning goal against Swindon in the Capital One cup with Gabriel Agbonlahor

Up for the cup: Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates his winning goal against Swindon in the Capital One cup with Gabriel Agbonlahor

It’s clear from Benteke’s description of his father that he is a disciplinarian. ‘He’s strict on me because of life, because of my little brother and sister, because he has seen what can happen,’ Benteke continued.

‘But he says “Well done” to me. Well, he does sometimes. He’s more likely to tell me when I’m s***. After the Manchester United game, he said, “Well played”, but then asked me why I didn’t score…’

And so to Benteke’s growing reputation.

He has scored four times already after becoming an 8million deadline-day purchase from Belgian Jupiler League club Genk.

There’s also that memorable tussle with Smalling which has gone down in Villa folklore.

‘Off the field, I have respect for all of these players because they play for famous clubs,’ he said. ‘On the park, it’s different. I have to show I want to win.

Watch out: Thomas Vermaelen should prepare for a battle with Benteke

Watch out: Thomas Vermaelen should prepare for a battle with Benteke

‘I want to know who I’m up against but, once the game starts, it’s more important for Villa to win than for me to push over one defender.

‘Here, the defenders are stronger. You have to fight them.

‘I was playing against (Manchester City’s fellow Belgian international) Vincent Kompany last week — he told me during the game we were no longer friends.

‘And, hopefully, against Arsenal I’ll be playing against (another Belgian) Thomas Vermaelen. He’s a great player, for sure, but during the game I think we’re gonna have a fight.’

Apologies in advance, Arsene. But Christian Benteke really doesn’t know any other way.

Christian Benteke and his Villa team-mates have donated 25,000 to the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme, a Barclays and PFA initiative.

The scheme is now accepting applications at www.premierleague.com from U16 schools, clubs and youth organisations.

London Olympic Stadium shut for years

Legacy What legacy 2012 Olympic Stadium in danger of being shut for years

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 7 November 2012

London's Olympic Stadium may not even be open to the public by the time the next Games begin in Rio in 2016, it has emerged.

The mothballing of a venue that cost taxpayers 486million comes despite promises made by Olympic organisers, led by Lord Coe, to bequeath a sporting legacy to the country as a top priority.

Arena: The heart of this summer's Olympic Games could be shut for years

Arena: The heart of this summer's Olympic Games could be shut for years

News of the delay came from Dennis Hone, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, who said the stadium would not be handed over to new tenants until 'August 2015 at the absolute earliest and possibly August 2016'.

West Ham remain favourites finally to become the stadium's main tenants. But if the process drags on even longer than Hone suggested, the venue's readiness to host the athletics World Championships in 2017 would also be in doubt.

Coe, who was elected as chairman of the British Olympic Association on Wednesday, said: 'Speaking as vice-president of the IAAF (athletics' governing body), I am a client so I will be watching the situation closely.'

Close eye on proceedings: Coe promised to bequeath a sporting legacy

Close eye on proceedings: Coe promised to bequeath a sporting legacy

The previous Government and London Mayor Boris Johnson originally intended that a tenant would be in place for the start of the 2013-14 season, before that deadline was pushed back a year.

But Hone believes the substantial conversion needed to accommodate athletics and football makes that goal unobtainable.

The work, which could start next summer,
would include installing retractable seats and a cantilevered roof to
cover the new seating.

Concern: Lord Coe at a press conference on Wednesday

Concern: Lord Coe at a press conference on Wednesday

Speaking to the London Assembly committee, Hone said: '2014 is completely out. For football, it's about seating positions for the pitch, roof coverage, hospitality requirements and things like that.

'They change from bidder to bidder.
Depending on the option they will have a different construction period.
We have to procure them in a competitive manner and complete the
construction.'

The delays
risk diminishing the public enthusiasm generated by the Olympics as
well as antagonising West Ham, who won the initial bidding process
before legal problems intervened.

The
club are reluctant to bankroll the conversion, pointing to how they
would instead pay their way by bringing in hundreds of extra jobs to the
park and raising its commercial attractiveness.

The other bids come from proponents of a Formula One grand prix, League One football club Leyton Orient and a Burnley-based football business college.

Hone dismissed speculation that an American football franchise were also in the running, saying: 'We've got four bidders and we've had no bids outside that competition.'

The LLDA are also looking for a stadium operator, such as AEG or Live Nation. They would manage the principal occupants – West Ham or one of the three rival bids – and their relationships with the other tenants, namely UK Athletics, who will host 20 days of track and field a year plus the 2017 World Championships, and Newham Council, who will put the stadium to community use. A decision is not expected before December.

Lewis Hamilton beats Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel to pole position in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012

Hamilton blitzes qualifying in Abu Dhabi, romping to pole ahead of Webber and Vettel

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UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 3 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton proved to be untouchable in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as he claimed his sixth pole position this year and 25th of his Formula One career.

The 27-year-old was fastest throughout all three sessions around the Yas Marina circuit that was bathed in warm fading sunshine when the session began and was under the floodlights when it ended as darkness set in.

Hamilton finished a third of a second
quicker than Red Bull's Mark Webber as team-mate and championship leader
Sebastian Vettel could only manage third, the first time he has failed
to make the front row of this event.

Pleased as punch: Lewis Hamilton grins like a Cheshire cat after sealing his sixth pole of the season

Pleased as punch: Lewis Hamilton grins like a Cheshire cat after sealing his sixth pole of the season

Vettel, whose car endured a brake issue
in final practice that kept him consigned to the garage for all but two
early installation laps and the final four minutes of the hour, rarely
looked comfortable during qualifying.

However, in leading Ferrari's
Fernando Alonso by 13 points in the championship standings, there are
four places between the German and the Spaniard who starts seventh.

Vettel,
however, failed to make it back to the pits, pulling his car over on
track at turn 18 after qualifying had concluded, which will be cause for
the stewards to investigate.

The three amigos: Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Webber pose for the media after qualifiying

The three amigos: Sebastian Vettel, Hamilton and Webber pose for the media after qualifiying

Grid positions

1 L Hamilton McLaren
2 M Webber Red Bull
3 S Vettel Red Bull
4 P Maldonado Williams
5 K Raikkonen Lotus
6 J Button McLaren
7 F Alonso Ferrari
8 N Rosberg Mercedes
9 F Massa Ferrari
10 R Grosjean Lotus

Vettel, who was ordered by engine suppliers Renault to stop the car, was unable to throw any light on the reason why.

The German's car has suffered two
alternator failures in races this season, and if an engine change is
required it will mean a 10-place grid penalty.

'I don't know why I had to stop, I was asked to stop,' said Vettel.

'It's
probably some problem, but it shouldn't be something major. It was not
ideal this morning (with the brake issue), but we were settling in this
afternoon and the pace was there.

'Overall
I wasn't entirely happy with qualifying. I should have been quicker,
but whether I had enough to beat Mark is on another sheet of paper.'

In the dark: Vettel stopped on his in-lap and could face a grid penalty

In the dark: Vettel stopped on his in-lap and could face a grid penalty

With
Vettel four places ahead of Alonso on the grid, he added: 'We have seen
so many up and down races this year. From where we start is quite good,
we're close to the front and we go from there.

'Strategy
wise we're still not 100 per cent clear, but we have to look after
ourselves, and race this guy (referring to Hamilton).'

As for Hamilton, he was unable to
explain either where his speed had come from, even though this has long
been one of his better tracks.

'I
don't know,' said Hamilton when asked. 'The car has been feeling
fantastic, great from the get go, but we've no upgrade package so I
don't know. It was just great.'

Thumbs up: Hamilton was at his uncompromising best on the track

Thumbs up: Hamilton was at his uncompromising best on the track

Behind Alonso will be Mercedes' Nico Rosberg along with Romain Grosjean in his Lotus who will start 10th.

In between Vettel and Alonso will be
Williams' Pastor Maldonado, Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus and the second
McLaren of Jenson Button.

After the middle 15-minute session
neither Force India failed to make it into Q3 for the second straight
race as Nico Hulkenberg qualified 11th and Paul di Resta 13th, the duo
split by two tenths of a second.

Pole position: Hamilton in action

Pole position: Hamilton in action

Sandwiched
in between is Sauber's Sergio Perez, who was baulked by Williams' Bruno
Senna in Q1, leaving the Brazilian who starts 15th vulnerable to a
penalty as he faces a stewards' investigation.

A
fading Michael Schumacher, heading into retirement for a second time at
the end of the year, starts 14th for the second successive race in his
Mercedes.

Behind Senna, at present, will be
Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Toro Rossos of Daniel Ricciardo and
Jean-Eric Vergne, the latter failing to make it out of Q1 for the eighth
time in 18 races this season.

Hot stuff: Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen goes out for qualifying

Hot stuff: Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen goes out for qualifying

The
Frenchman, who will enjoy a second season at Toro Rosso next year along
with Ricciardo following confirmation of the drive on Thursday by the
Faenza-based squad, spun late on his final flying lap to leave him 18th.

Marussia's Charles Pic, who has been
linked with a move to Caterham, will have impressed his potential new
employers by splitting Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov.

Pic will start 20th, with
Kovalainen and Petrov 19th and 21st, with the second Marussia of Timo
Glock 22nd, whilst the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan
occupy the back row.

Sir Dave Richards will give his FA post to David Gill: Charles Sale

Sir Dave will give his FA vice-chairman post to Gill

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 9 October 2012

The FA campaign to win Manchester
United chief executive David Gill a place on the UEFA executive
committee includes his appointment as a vice-chairman of the FA.

Gill is to replace Sir Dave Richards
as the FA’s representative from the professional game in order to
strengthen his already influential standing in English football ahead of
the UEFA election at the London Congress next May.

UEFA and FA roles: David Gill

UEFA and FA roles: David Gill

The rubber stamping of Gill’s
position will go before the next FA Council meeting after Richards, who
is slowly relinquishing his myriad of football positions, surprisingly
volunteered to stand down to help Gill’s cause.

Despite
Gill’s status with club and country, the FA are aware they will need to
lobby hard around Europe to gain the necessary votes. And most
important will be getting the FA’s current UEFA ExCo member Geoff
Thompson on side. Former FA chairman Thompson has a stronger support
base in Eastern Europe than at home.

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In-house

The Premier League committee charged
with finding the next chairman to succeed Sir Dave Richards at the end
of the season are understood to be in favour of his successor coming
from within the game and having previous experience of top-flight
football, which greatly narrows the field.

Absent friends

Conspicuous in their absence from the FA’s grand St George’s Park opening were the top brass from the Premier League, although chairman Sir Dave Richards and chief executive Richard Scudamore were both invited. A PL spokesman said Scudamore had a diary clash.

The top-flight chairmen in attendance were Stoke’s Peter Coates and Tottenham’s Daniel Levy, who wouldn’t comment on whether the FA’s 100million facility is better value for money than Spurs’s 47m training ground.

Getting shirty

Somehow the 150 Umbro shirt-dressed torso manikins — one for every year of the FA — that dominate the St George’s Park sports centre entrance hall survived for the Royal launch. This is despite parent company Nike, who are in the process of selling Umbro, having taken over the FA kit deal. However, Nike ensured SGP staff were dressed in a swoosh-branded uniform that arrived the day before the launch. Ironically, Nike taking over England’s shirt branding was announced the day the Umbro decorations were put on the SGP walls.

Put your shirt on it: The entrance hall

Put your shirt on it: The entrance hall

RFU pitch in at Park

The FA are hoping to offset their St George’s Park spend by renting out their state-of-the-art venue to bring in a conservative 500,000-a-year revenue. The Rugby Football Union, with their chief executive Ian Ritchie at the launch, will be first in the queue, especially with a dedicated rugby pitch being planned and the new Desso-laid surface at Twickenham a replica of the showcase pitch at Burton.

However the 6,000 BATAK reactions board in the gym — an aid to improve midfielder vision by pressing lighted buttons as quickly as possible — is remarkably similar to the amusement arcade game. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went head-to-head during their tour, with William winning 31 touches to 28.

Backing for Bernstein

FA chairman David Bernstein has the backing of the FA Board, Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson and now FA President Prince William — who praised his ‘inspired leadership’ — in his desire to extend his time of office by a year until the summer of 2014. He can also be confident of receiving the 51 per cent council backing needed to continue past his 70th birthday next May. But there is still doubt as to whether Bernstein will gain the decisive 75 per cent mandate he needs from all FA stakeholders — mainly grass-roots clubs — for such a rule change at the necessary EGM.

Opposition to reform

The FA council meet next week to discuss Government proposals for their governance reform. But judging by the mood among councillors at the St George’s Park launch, there will be plenty of opposition to interference from Whitehall — and not just from the usual suspects.

Premier League wages are ridiculous, says Jobi McAnuff

I've had Anuff! Reading captain Jobi slams 'ridiculous' Premier League wages

|

UPDATED:

10:30 GMT, 16 September 2012

Cash crisis: McAnuff says player's wages have spiralled out of control

Cash crisis: McAnuff says player's wages have spiralled out of control

Reading captain Jobi McAnuff has called for a reduction in the wages of top-flight footballers.

The 30-year-old has labelled some top-flight salaries 'ridiculous' and believes the figures are driving the game beyond the means of ordinary fans.

He told the Sunday Mirror: 'I can see why a Wayne Rooney should get a big bonus because of the amount of shirts he sells but if you're talking about 200,000 a week, that's ridiculous. Who needs that amount of money

'Surely someone will say “that's
enough”. We're on the verge of getting out of control and we're starting
to lose a bit of reality.

'The
most popular question I get from kids is “what car do you drive”. What
happened to them wanting to know what it was like to make your debut

'Football
is getting too expensive for fans, and fans make football. Tickets for
our game at Chelsea were 50 each. I know lots of people who couldn't
afford that.'

Professional Footballers' Association
chairman Clarke Carlisle backed McAnuff's sentiments and feels that a
reduction in wages, and even possibly a salary cap, should be
investigated after the financial problems that have engulfed several
English clubs, most recently and most notably Portsmouth.

'I
think it's a very interesting suggestion and one that the authorities
should take very seriously,' Carlisle told BBC Radio Five Live's
Sportsweek programme.

'The more I venture into the other side of football, the more I see that a lot of clubs are in very precarious positions.

'I do believe it's about time that football started running itself, and clubs started running themselves, as viable business entities. If there was a business in any other walk of life that was treading the financial line that a lot of our clubs are now, they wouldn't be in existence tomorrow.

'We are seeing that in the leagues below the Premier League, clubs are trimming down their squad sizes and offering much, much lower wages than they were even last year.

'We are seeing clubs start to pull the purse strings, look after themselves and hopefully ensure that no other clubs go the way Portsmouth, Leeds and Luton have in the last few years.

'I think it's an idea that should be looked at very seriously.'

Megabucks: Aguero and Rooney are two of the league's top earners

Megabucks: Aguero and Rooney are two of the league's top earners

Megabucks: Aguero and Rooney are two of the league's top earners

McAnuff, along with his former Wimbledon team-mate Lionel Morgan, McAnuff is setting up an academy in Tottenham to help give youngsters from deprived backgrounds the chance to make it in the game.

Having grown up in the area, McAnuff was pained to see the damage wrought by last year's riots and is determined to help young people find a route out of trouble.

'We had one 17-year-old, a really promising player who is good enough to be at a club,” he said. 'He got in a bit of trouble, we don't know the ins and outs, and ended up getting stabbed in the leg.

'It breaks your heart to think that kids have got to go through that situation when they could be somewhere else and getting a better chance. That's the motivation. When I finish football I will devote more time to it.'

Everton do more than most to promote youth, says David Moyes

The kids are alright! Moyes believes Everton set benchmark for giving youth the chance

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UPDATED:

12:40 GMT, 15 September 2012

Everton manager David Moyes admits the Barclays Premier League is a difficult place for up-and-coming footballers but he believes the club do more than most to promote young talent.

The Toffees' academy has produced a number of players for the first team over the years and Moyes, sometimes out of necessity, has given youngsters opportunities to prove themselves.

Everton's latest highly-regarded prospect Ross Barkley has been loaned out to npower Championship club Sheffield Wednesday for a month in order to give him the chance of more regular football.

Chances: David Moyes is happy with the policy on blooding youngsters

Chances: David Moyes is happy with the policy on blooding youngsters

It was a difficult decision for Moyes, considering his squad is not the biggest, but he admitted the 18-year-old was not quite ready to play a big part for the first team although probably deserved more than being left in the Under 21s.

'It is tough to put young players in the first team because Premier League games are so valuable and even league positions where you finish are worth a lot of money,' said the Scot.

Loan ranger: Ross Barkley has joined Sheffield Wednesday for a month

Loan ranger: Ross Barkley has joined Sheffield Wednesday for a month

'And if I lost, the media wouldn't be 'It was great I played Ross Barkley', you'd be asking me about a defeat. I think that is part of the Premier League now, it makes it difficult.

'But I do think we have been one of the better clubs at introducing young players and trying to give them opportunities and we will continue to do so.

'Ross is ready to go play at a senior level, but not quite here yet.

'I remember the likes of Leon Osman going out on loan to Carlisle and Derby before he played and, from my playing career, David Beckham came and played for us at Preston.

'You have to remember he is only 18 years old and he missed a lot of football (having sustained a triple-break of his leg in 2011).

'He came on the scene last year and we tried to get him lots of games with the youth team and reserve team.

'But the chance to get him some regular football is more important for his long-term development because he is not ready to play regularly for us now.

'It will be good for him to have the chance to go and make some mistakes and learn at Sheffield Wednesday, a big club with a big support.'

Flourished: Wayne Rooney is the biggest talent to come out of Everton

Flourished: Wayne Rooney is the biggest talent to come out of Everton

Moyes has not ruled out the prospect of
sending other young players out on loan but for the moment he will keep
hold of Shane Duffy, who was loaned out to Scunthorpe last season before
returning to make a handful of first-team appearances.

The 20-year-old signed a new three-year contract this week and Moyes believes he has shown the benefit of regular football elsewhere, although the Northern Irishman may have to wait a bit longer to get it again.

'We might look at sending Shane Duffy out on loan but we have to field a team in the new Under 21 league,' said Moyes. 'It looks like everyone is taking that a little bit more seriously and we'd like to be as strong as we can be.

'We'd like to see the players come on but Ross, and maybe Shane, are in a different situation.

'My idea is to keep Shane here. He went out to Scunthorpe on loan last season and came back and played a couple of games – I thought it made a big difference.

'He had confidence and he understood playing on a Saturday was serious, meaning an awful lot to supporters and managers.'