Tag Archives: scudamore

PFA boss Gordon Taylor wants retrospective action on divers and reckless tackles

PFA boss Taylor wants retrospective action on divers and reckless tackles

By
Martyn Ziegler, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:11 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:11 GMT, 25 March 2013

Players’ chief Gordon Taylor will argue for rules on retrospective action to be widened to allow both diving and dangerous tackles to be dealt with at English footballer’s stakeholders’ annual meeting this summer.

The Football Association is going to look at the issue surrounding retrospective action again after the furore that followed the decision to take no action against Wigan’s Callum McManaman for his tackle on Newcastle’s Massadio Haidara.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has said the incident should have been regarded as 'exceptional' which would allow retrospective action to be taken and Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Taylor agrees – but wants to go still further.

Horrendous: Callum McManaman's tackle on Massadio Haidara which caused so much controversy

Horrendous: Callum McManaman's tackle on Massadio Haidara which caused so much controversy

Aftermath: Taylor wants players to be banned after games when time has been taken to consider the decisions

Aftermath: Taylor wants players to be banned after games when time has been taken to consider the decisions

Taylor said: 'We are not saying matches should be re-refereed on a Monday morning but my feeling is there has got to be room to review such incidents.

'If there is a high-profile incident and the referee has not seen it and the referee’s assistant has not seen it clearly then that should be dealt with.

'We could have a review panel made up of experienced people from within the game and it could also look at incidents of simulation, which I feel is another big problem in the game.

Tempers: McManaman's tackle created ugly scenes at half-time as Newcastle's John Carver was distraught

Tempers: McManaman's tackle created ugly scenes at half-time as Newcastle's John Carver was distraught

'If we are not careful we will get into areas of ambiguity and saying a dangerous tackle is ''not exceptional enough''.

'If there is any doubt for such incidents, for red cards that are being challenged and for simulation there is no reason why they shouldn’t be looked at.'

The FA is keen to look at the issues again, while Scudamore believes the rules do not need to be changed, but that incidents such as McManaman’s tackle should be regarded as exceptional.

The Football League may prove the sticking point however as it is understood it was the body most opposed to any move to review more incidents after matches.

Cheating Gareth Bale has been booked three times for diving so far this season

Cheating Gareth Bale has been booked three times for diving so far this season

Authority: PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor (left) prior to the Football League Awards

Authority: PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor (left) prior to the Football League Awards

Cheltenham Festival video: Peter Scudamore, Sam Turner and Marcus Townend preview the big races

VIDEO: Sportsmail's top team preview the big races at the Cheltenham Festival

PUBLISHED:

13:22 GMT, 18 February 2013

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 19 February 2013

Racing doesn't get any better than the Cheltenham Festival so to preview the famous meeting we've put together the best team in the business.

Our man Marcus Townend talks to our top tipster Sam Turner and columnist and former champion jockey Peter Scudamore.

Sportsmail's award-winning photographer Graham Chadwick is the man behind the camera who put it all together.

VIDEO For top tips on runners and riders check out Sportsmail's special preview

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Financial Fair Play: Premier League agree financial cap and clubs will face points deduction

Premier League agree financial cap and clubs will face points deduction if they breach new rules

By
Martyn Ziegler, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:21 GMT, 7 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 7 February 2013

How Martin Samuel broke the story…

Martin Samuel revealed last month that Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham and Liverpool were looking to shackle the spending of Chelsea and Manchester City

Top-flight clubs will face a points deduction if they breach new spending controls agreed today, Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has confirmed.

The 20 club chairmen agreed to two significant controls – to limit players' wage bills from next season, and longer-term measures that will restrict the amount of losses clubs can make to 105million over three years.

Clubs whose total wage bill is more than 52million will only be allowed to increase their wages by 4million per season for the next three years, though that cap does not cover extra money coming in from increases in commercial or matchday income.

The effect of the financial controls
should prevent hugely wealthy owners achieving the almost-overnight
success of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Moneybags: Man City have splashed the cash in their bid for Premier League domination

Moneybags: Man City have splashed the cash in their bid for Premier League domination

Rolling in it: Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions under Roman Abramovich

Rolling in it: Chelsea have spent hundreds of millions under Roman Abramovich

Any club breaching the rules will face tough sanctions – and Scudamore said they would be pushing for points deductions.

Scudamore told reporters: 'As all things in our rulebook you will subject to a disciplinary commission.
'The clubs understand that if people break the 105m we will look for the top-end ultimate sanction range – a points deduction.

'Normally we stay silent on sanctions
as the commission has a free range but clearly if there is a material
breach of that rule we will be asking the commission to consider top-end
sanctions.'

Scudamore said there would be an
'absolute prohibition' on clubs reporting losses of more than
105million over the next three years with the first sanctions possible
in 2016.

Of the 20 clubs in the top flight,
only Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have reported losses of more
than 105million over the last three years, according to the most
up-to-date published accounts.

Scudamore said that the measures
would mean it will take longer for benefactor owners to achieve success –
but that it would still be possible.

He said: 'The balance we have tried
to strike is that a new owner can still invest a decent amount of money
to improve their club but they are not going to be throwing hundreds and
hundreds of millions in a very short period of time.

'While it has worked for a couple of
clubs in the last 10 years, and I am not critical of that, if that's
going to be done in the future it's going to have to be over a slightly
longer term without the huge losses being made.

FFP plans: The letter, revealed exclusively by Sportsmail's Martin Samuel, with the Arsenal header which says the proposed regulations do not go far enough

FFP plans: The letter, revealed exclusively by Sportsmail's Martin Samuel, with the Arsenal header which says the proposed regulations do not go far enough

Part two of the letter

'I think at 105million you can still
build a very decent club with substantial owner funding but you have to
do it over time, you can't do it in a season.'

'Chelsea won the Premier League two
years after Roman Abramovich's takeover, and Manchester City's title
success came three years after Sheik Mansour's takeover.'

Any club making any loss of over 5million a year will have guarantee those losses against the owner's assets.

'In some ways that's the most
significant part, this is a three-year rolling system of secure funding –
it's one year at the moment,' added Scudamore.

The ceiling when the wage increase
restrictions kick in will be 52million next season, 56million the
following year and 60million in 2015-16. Only seven of the current
top-flight clubs would be under that ceiling at the moment.

West Ham's co-owner David Gold said that the proposals for controls had received backing of the majority of chairmen.

He said: 'We have all voted and it
was overwhelmingly supported, not by all the clubs – some are a little
concerned – but the vast majority of the clubs voted in favour.

'It's not a salary cap, it's a
restraint on over-spending. If clubs increase their revenues then they
can increase their spending.

'We have got restraint, that's the important thing. What's driving the whole thing is we've got to avoid another Portsmouth.'

West Brom target NextGen creator – Charles Sale

NextGen creator linked with Albion as West Brom seek to replace Ashworth

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 3 December 2012

Premier League high-flyers West Bromwich Albion are looking at League One club Brentford for their next technical director to replace the FA-bound Dan Ashworth.

Albion want to give the post to highly rated Mark Warburton, who become sporting director at Brentford in 2011. He is understood to be making his mind up about the offer this week.

Warburton, a former City trader and academy manager at Watford, is best known for being the co-founder of the NextGen series, a burgeoning European tournament for Under 19s heralded as the Champions League for youngsters.

Target: Brentford's Mark Warburton is wanted by West Brom

Target: Brentford's Mark Warburton is wanted by West Brom

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

And it will be Warburton’s vision for young players that will have attracted Albion, who have lost Roy Hodgson and Ashworth to the FA in the last year.

Albion chiefs have indicated that they would want their appointment to spend some time working alongside Ashworth before he is released from a contract that runs until next July.

Girl power

Gabby Logan will give girl power within BBC Sport another boost when she replaces John Inverdale as presenter of the BBC’s athletics coverage next year. Logan hosted a couple of Diamond League meetings for the BBC last summer and she impressed enough to be given the position full-time. Ambitious Logan’s bargaining position within the Corporation was helped by her having turned down an approach by BT Sport to anchor their Premiership rugby programmes.

In the running: Jason Leonard

In the running: Jason Leonard

RFU battle

It wouldn’t be Twickenham without an internal battle looming even in the euphoric aftermath of England’s trouncing of New Zealand.

The RFU’s nominations panel have recommended old-school board member John Spencer to be the next vice-president. He would then progress to take over the presidency for the flagship 2015-16 season that includes the next World Cup in England.

However, there is plenty of RFU council support for Jason Leonard, England’s most-capped international, to be appointed for such a showcase year. Leonard has indicated he will stand for election.

Boris on his own

London’s grandstanding mayor, Boris Johnson, was the only dignitary involved in the Rugby World Cup draw yesterday not to take advantage of the huge autocue screen at the Tate Modern venue. Johnson would not have taken much notice of any official International Rugby Board text in any case as he kept referring to the 2015 RWC being in London, rather than England.

New Stratford fears

The bungling over the Olympic Stadium legacy looks likely to cost the troubled venue the chance to be named as one of the 12 stadiums for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

England and Wales were drawn in the same group and Stratford would be an ideal neutral venue for the group game between them. Twickenham, the Millennium Stadium and Wembley would also all be keen to host the match.

The London Legacy Development Corporation are expected to announce West Ham as their preferred bidders on Wednesday. But England Rugby 2015 and the International Rugby Board have serious reservations about the stadium being included in the final World Cup list in March because of myriad issues surrounding the development of the 500million track-and-field arena as a venue for other sports.

No go: The Olympic Stadium is unlikely to be used for the World Cup

No go: The Olympic Stadium is unlikely to be used for the World Cup

The IRB delayed the long-list announcement by a few months in the hope that the Olympic Stadium would be ready in time for the rugby showcase. Wembley has already hosted an England rugby international against Wales, albeit at the old stadium in 1999.

Football in the shade

England’s rugby union and rugby league sides have so far made more use of the FA’s 100m National Football Centre at St George’s Park than the team for which it was intended. Stuart Lancaster’s union squad, who spent a week in Burton before the autumn internationals, are back for another stay during the Six Nations. Roy Hodgson’s footballers have had just two days there since the centre opened and will have a similarly brief visit before February’s friendly international against Brazil.

Premier League live on airplanes and boats in new TV deal

Live in the sky (and at sea): Premier League strike TV deal to screen matches on aeroplanes and boats

|

UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 3 December 2012

There will be no escaping live coverage of Premier League football next season wherever you are in the world even in the air or at sea.

The Premier League, not content with agreeing deals for rights in 212 territories around the globe, have signed a contract with IMG Media to supply extensive coverage on Sport 24, the 24-hour sports channel exclusively for the airline and cruise industry.

Live in the sky: Fans will be able to watch Premier League when travelling in the air with Lufthansa and Gulf Air

Live in the sky: Fans will be able to watch Premier League (below) in the air with Lufthansa and Gulf Air

Robin van Persie celebrates scoring for Manchester United at Reading

The three-year agreement will see both live and match highlights shown on specially-equiped Lufthansa and Gulf Air planes as well as Norwegian cruise liners.

IMG are also in discussions with a number of other airlines and ship companies to expand the live coverage opportunities now that the technology is avaliable for boats and aeroplanes.

All at sea: Some ships will also be able to show Premier League football as part of the new deal

All at sea: Some ships will also be able to show Premier League football as part of the new deal

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore, whose global rights tender is set to bring in 5billion, said: 'We know IMG well and are extremely pleased that they have chosen to invest in the Premier league’s exclusive aeroplanes and ships broadcasting rights.

'We look forward to working with them as they distribute the Barclays Premier League in a way that allows our fans to enjoy the competition while travelling overseas.'

Deal maker: Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

Deal maker: Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

Scrap FA Cup replays for Premier League winter break, says Richard Scudamore

Premier League call for FA Cup replays to be scrapped to pave way for winter break

|

UPDATED:

08:51 GMT, 15 October 2012

FA Cup replays could be scrapped if a two-week winter break is to be incorporated, according to Barclays Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore.

England manager Roy Hodgson has followed previous national team bosses in calling for a mid-season break, with the aim of ensuring players do not go into major tournaments having played for 10 months solid.

Scudamore believes there is a will among the sport's main governing bodies to make it happen, but feels the FA may have to look to their own flagship cup competition for the solution.

Give us a break! A mid-season hiatus has been mooted for years

Give us a break! A mid-season hiatus has been mooted for years

'Unless someone is prepared to give something up, it is pretty hard,' he told the Daily Telegraph.

'We are not inclined to reduce the number of clubs in the Premier League – if you were running a theatre and had 380 nights that you wanted to sell, why would you throw 60 or 70 of those nights away

'As for the FA, they don't want to give up replays in the FA Cup, so we all sit down and we all look at each other.

'Nobody has asked the Football League to give up the League Cup, but why would we We are huge supporters of it and we wouldn't have the temerity to alter the FA Cup either.

'That will be up to the FA, but unless the FA decide they have different priorities, where the England team is more important than something else they own, then that might be for them to look at.'

Cupset: Replays could be scrapped to facilitate the winter break

Cupset: Replays could be scrapped to facilitate the winter break

Former World Cup referee Jack Taylor dies age 82

Former World Cup final referee Taylor dies at home aged 82

|

UPDATED:

16:34 GMT, 27 July 2012

The Football League have paid tribute to former referee Jack Taylor OBE, who has died at his Shropshire home at the age of 82.

Described by the Football League as 'perhaps the finest English referee of all time', Taylor officiated in more than 1,000 matches during a career than lasted more than 30 years.

He also took charge of more than 100 international fixtures, including the 1974 World Cup final between West Germany and Holland in Munich, where he made history by awarding the first-ever penalty in a World Cup final.

Final man: Jack Taylor the 1974 World Cup final

Final man: Jack Taylor the 1974 World Cup final

Taylor was also inducted into FIFA's Hall of Fame before working with the Football League following his retirement from refereeing, which included serving on The League's Referees Committee.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke said: “Jack Taylor set the benchmark for refereeing, not just in this country but across the world, and in later life he applied the same levels of integrity, commitment and sheer love of the game to his other roles in football.

'Very few people in football can match the contribution made by Jack Taylor and fewer still have managed to do it whilst retaining the respect and admiration of absolutely everyone they have come into contact with.

'He will be greatly missed by everybody at The Football League and its clubs and our thoughts are with his family and friends.'

World Cup ref: Jack Taylor took charge of over 1000 games

World Cup ref: Jack Taylor took charge of over 1000 games

Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore added: 'Jack was one of English football's finest ambassadors who reached the pinnacle of refereeing and, until his very last days, continued to help the development of young referees. The game has lost a great servant and a true friend.'

Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials, echoed those thoughts, saying: “This is a terribly sad moment for English officiating and we send our condolences to his family and many friends.

'Every referee of our generation looked up to Jack Taylor because he set the standard. His performances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup inspired a whole generation of referees in this country.

'I was fortunate to travel to the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Jack for him to watch Howard Webb. He was incredibly proud that another Englishman had taken charge of the biggest game in world football.

'But then that was Jack, he was not only very well respected throughout the game by players and managers, he was also an extremely nice man and wonderful fun to be around.

'And he never stopped inspiring match officials. Over the last five years he has played an important role for PGMOL passing on his many years of experience to tomorrow's referees. We will miss him greatly.'

Wolves also paid tribute to Taylor, who was born in Wolverhampton and had a spell as commercial manager at Molineux in the 1980s following his retirement, as well as being involved in matchday television work in recent years.

Wolves announced their players will wear black armbands during tomorrow's friendly at Walsall and flags at Molineux will be lowered to half-mast.

A statement on www.wolves.co.uk read: 'The club offers its sincere condolences to Jack's wife Sue and the rest of the Taylor family, and his many friends both inside the game and out.'

Sir Alex Ferguson should have spoken out about Manchester United owners the Glazer family: Patrick Collins

400 million reasons why you should have spoken out, Sir Alex

|

UPDATED:

00:20 GMT, 8 July 2012

Once upon a time, Manchester United’s
balance sheet told a happy tale. An ambitious club, they pursued the
game’s great prizes, paid the largest fees for the finest players and
generally enjoyed a level of prosperity that others could only envy. Yet
they did not owe a single penny.

Then, in the summer of 2005, the
Glazer family of Palm Beach, Florida, acquired this admirable enterprise
by means of a leveraged buy-out. The process was totally legal and, to a
lay person, utterly mystifying. It involved borrowing some 525 million
to complete the purchase, then promptly dumping that sum on the club’s
hitherto pristine books. In seven years, the ingenious family spent
about 500m of the club’s income on servicing that debt, with its
enormous interest charges and professional fees.

Last week, we learned that United are
to be floated on the New York Stock Exchange, via the tax haven of the
Cayman Islands. This is not an unusual way of raising finance but here
it is being done as a faintly desperate means of reducing the Glazers’
debt without diminishing the family’s control. Some thought it an
incongruous operation; the most renowned institution in the domestic
game being treated as if it were a dice to be rolled or a card to be
dealt. But the people who administer English football took the whole
affair in their comfortable stride.

Flotation: Bryan and Avram Glazer, sons of Michael, pictured on a rare visit to Old Trafford

Flotation: Bryan and Avram Glazer, sons of Michael, pictured on a rare visit to Old Trafford

It needs something seismic to shake
the smugness of the Premier League. At the time of the United takeover,
the league’s chief executive Richard Scudamore dismissed the concerns
about debt: ‘The most important thing for us when we met with the
Glazers was to talk about their aspirations regarding television rights
and collective rights generally,’ he declared. And he sounded less
reassuring than he intended.

Five years later, when United’s debts
had passed 700m, he remained unruffled: ‘Manchester United have
continued to be one of the top clubs and since the Glazers have owned it
have continued to deliver huge success,’ he said. ‘It is absolutely one
of the best-run clubs in the world.’

More from Patrick Collins…

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Patrick Collins: Fans will be the last to gain from Premier League's 3bn jackpot
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Patrick Collins: Is it any wonder preening Pietersen is so hard to like
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Now whenever Scudamore is challenged
about the way in which the various clubs of his league are run, he
usually insists that he is ‘ownership neutral’. It is a formula which
allows his organisation to shrug aside the antics of such as Thaksin
Shinawatra at Manchester City, as well as some of the rascals who have
helped destroy poor Portsmouth. And so long as he can carry on
delivering 3billion television deals, the various owners will not
worry. This is, after all, the ‘Barclays’ Premier League, a
serendipitous title which reminds us that a sensitive conscience can be
an expensive luxury.

But if Scudamore and his chums have
been predictably indifferent to the situation at United, the silence of
the Football Association is far more concerning. The most renowned club
in English football are in debt to the tune of 423.3m. Even the Glazers
admit that: ‘Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial
health and competitive position.’ Yet the FA, the custodians of the
national game, have nothing to say on the matter.

But there are two other figures whose
silence is both perplexing and regrettable. David Gill, the accomplished
chief executive, was part of the United board who opposed the Glazer
takeover. In the ensuing years, he has defended the owners at every
turn, insisting that the soaring debt has not damaged the club’s ability
to invest in the team.

Then there is Sir Alex Ferguson. Since
2005, he has delivered his employers four League titles and a Champions
League. In addition, he has declined to complain about player
investment and described the Glazers as ‘excellent owners’.

Surprisingly silent: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill have backed the Glazers since their takeover

Surprisingly silent: Both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill have backed the Glazers since their takeover

Yet he, more than anybody, was responsible for that original, unblemished balance sheet. It was his work which had made the club such an inviting financial target. But now he is required to run harder than at any time in his career, simply to stay level. While the famously noisy neighbours make merry with Abu Dhabi’s endless largesse, Ferguson must try to flourish on more slender resources.

He has never complained, since that would be construed as weakness, but ideally he would not have chosen to go against City with Paul Scholes (37) and Ryan Giggs (38) in his engine room. Both have been extraordinary players but the fact that United should have come so close to success with such a venerable cast represented a minor miracle of management.

With City’s ruling family expected to invest still more lavishly in their project — leverage is not a term they recognise at the Etihad — Ferguson’s task becomes painfully daunting. He will give it his best shot, since that is his nature, but deep down he must know that the die was cast on the day when Family Glazer arrived at Old Trafford, bearing promises of a brave new world and around half a billion pounds of debt.

He was the one person who might have altered events. Had he publicised his protests and articulated his opposition, public anger might have been aroused and a more suitable purchaser might have emerged. But he said nothing and now the club who have consumed his energies and talents have become the Cayman Islands-registered Manchester United Ltd. Just another ‘brand’, another commodity, another hopeful gamble on the New York Stock Exchange.

Why I wish AVB well

The last time I saw Andre Villas-Boas, he was about to be sacked. It was March and Chelsea had just lost at West Bromwich Albion. He had concluded, correctly, that several of his players were way past their peak and that drastic surgery was required.

For their part, the old lags recognised their continued employment depended on the manager’s departure. So they got rid of him.

The process was curiously repugnant: they shrugged, pouted and went through the motions, apparently indifferent to the outcome. They made it clear that they would not play for the manager.

An honourable man: Andre Villas-Boas

An honourable man: Andre Villas-Boas

Just a few weeks later, they would mass their defences and ride some outrageous luck to win the Champions League. But by then, AVB would be gone.

He left with great elegance, refusing to blame those who had let him down, and we sensed he still had much to offer. He now has his chance at Tottenham. I hope he takes it.

No room for cheats

Deluded: Stewart Regan

Deluded: Stewart Regan

At the risk of intruding upon private grief, it would seem that demotion to the Scottish Third Division is the very least of the penalties which Rangers should expect for their sustained exercise in financial doping. However, Stewart Regan, the chief executive of the Scottish FA, is trenchantly opposed to such a punishment.

He pleads for the softer option of relegation to the Scottish First Division, apparently on the grounds that Rangers are too big to fail. Indeed, he has issued preposterous warnings of ‘Armageddon’ and ‘social unrest’ if the club should get what they truly deserve. Rangers in the Third Division, warns Mr Regan, would ‘kill the game’ in Scotland.

I suspect he is mistaken, for civilised sanctions will not kill the Scottish game. That task can safely be left to systematic cheats like Rangers. And deluded prattlers like Stewart Regan.

PS

Liz Nicholl is chief executive of UK Sport. This is the excellent body who have invested vast amounts of Lottery and exchequer funding into Olympic sport. Unfortunately, they have a bizarre obsession with bogus targets.

After staging ‘close consultations’, they bravely forecast that GB would win between 40-70 medals. Ms Nicholl has now announced the ‘official’ medal target. ‘Our commitment is to 48,’ she declares.

The figure is as meaningless as the process which produced it. Next time, she should choose the scientific option. And ask a bloke down the pub.

Manchester United 22,000 mile pre-season tour backlash

Man United's 22,000 mile tour backlash sees winter break campaign take a hit

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UPDATED:

21:31 GMT, 7 July 2012

Manchester United's money-spinning pre-season world tour, which takes the club on an astonishing 22,000-mile trek before a competitive ball is kicked, could sound the death-knell for the campaign for a winter break.

The argument for the break – which the FA and a number of leading Premier League clubs favour – is that a two-week rest in January will help players stay fresh for the end-of-season run-in and summer international tournaments.

But Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore is fiercely against the idea because of the loss of TV revenue, and he has support among midranking top-flight clubs.

Jaunts: Manchester United will leave Old Trafford and travel round the world

Jaunts: Manchester United will leave Old Trafford and travel round the world

Opponents also say that a break would benefit the big clubs like United, whose pre-season travels can contribute to some players becoming jaded in midseason. United's tour will see Sir Alex Ferguson's men play six friendlies on three different continents.

A leading source said: 'The majority of clubs don't want it to happen. Nobody is convinced having a couple of weeks off will help the England team. The fixtures would have to be played later on in any case.

'It's a way of allowing the big clubs to spend more time abroad to earn money and promote their branding.'

Support: Sir Alex Ferguson has backed winter break plans

Support: Sir Alex Ferguson has backed winter break plans

United's pre-season tour, sponsored by delivery company DHL under the banner 'Tour 2012 delivered to the world', will see them play in South Africa, China, Norway, Germany and Sweden before the Premier League season kicks off on August 18.

England's other Champions League teams will also be on long-haul tours this summer, with champions Manchester City facing Arsenal in Beijing, and Chelsea touring America coast-to-coast.

Ferguson has backed the idea of a January break. He said: 'It would freshen up everyone mentally. It is not just to give players a rest, it is to get rid of all the little injuries they carry.'

BBC win new Match of the Day deal for Premier League football highlights

Relief for BBC as new Premier League highlights deal is sealed

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UPDATED:

12:10 GMT, 25 May 2012

The BBC have secured a rights extension to continue showing Premier League highlights show until the end of the 2015/16 season.

It means Match of the Day will continue showing on Saturday and Sunday nights for years to come.

Highlights will be available on iPlayer for the first time, from midnight on Monday.

New deal: Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen are the main faces on Match of the Day

New deal: Gary Lineker and Alan Hansen are the main faces on Match of the Day

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said: “The free-to-air highlights are extremely important to the broadcast reach of the Premier League; allowing the competition and our clubs to be seen by the maximum possible number of fans across the country.

'The BBC has done a fantastic job for fans of Premier League clubs by providing quality coverage and analysis across their programmes.

'We are very pleased to be continuing our partnership with them.'

Unforgettable: Sergio Aguero's dramatic late winner against QPR won Manchester City the title this season

Unforgettable: Sergio Aguero's dramatic late winner against QPR won Manchester City the title this season

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker added: 'It is wonderful news that we have MotD for another three years.

'It is a flagship programme and it shows how much the BBC values sport and the importance of football.'

The BBC have lost a number of key sporting events in recent times. The Grand National will be shown on Channel Four from next year, while the BBC now only show half the grand prix season live.