Tag Archives: silence

Margaret Thatcher passes away: Dave Whelan wants minute"s silence for former Prime Minister

Wigan boss Whelan calls for Wembley silence before Millwall clash to honour former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 9 April 2013

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has called for a one-minute silence in honour of Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

The former Prime Minister died yesterday, aged 87 after suffering a stroke.

Whelan, whose Wigan side face Millwall in their FA Cup semi-final clash on Saturday, believes football fans should pay their respects to the deceased prime Minister.

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Eyes on the prize: Dave Whelan would like a minute's silence for the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Speaking to the BBC, Whelan said: 'We owe Mrs Thatcher a minute's silence.

'We have to say thank you very much for the service she gave'.

But the Premier League have told Sportsmail there are no plans for a one-minute silence ahead of this weekend fixtures.

Hillsborough anniversary: Liverpool and West Ham observe minute"s silence at Anfield

Solemn silence at Anfield as Liverpool mark the 24th anniversary of Hillsborough tragedy

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 7 April 2013

Liverpool paid an emotional tribute to the 96 fans who were tragically killed during the Hillsborough disaster ahead of their game with West Ham today.

The fixture is the Reds last home game before the 24th anniversary of the 1989 tragedy and there was a minute's silence impeccably observed by all supporters in attendance before kick-off.

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Tribute: The Liverpool players line-up arm-in-arm for the minute's silence

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Fans don't forget: Supporters with T-shirts in memory of the 96 who lost their lives

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

Honour: West Ham's Liverpudlian captain Kevin Nolan paid tribute to the Hillsborough disaster victims

The occasion was poignant to Liverpool-born West Ham captain Kevin Nolan.

Speaking before the game, Nolan said he believed it would be a chance to commemorate the success of the inquest into the disaster last year.

'We will honour the memory of the 96 innocent supporters that lost their lives,' he said.

'I have friends who were there that day, so it's going to be an emotional day because they have got the justice they deserved.

'We can commemorate it and the people who have worked so tirelessly to ensure justice was brought.'

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

Tribute: Anfield will hold a minute's silence before the clash between Liverpool and West Ham

QPR"s Harry Redknapp doesn"t blame Eden Hazard for kicking Swansea ball boy

QPR boss Redknapp: I don't blame Hazard for kicking 'disgusting, idiotic' ball boy

By
Press Association Reporter

PUBLISHED:

11:39 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 25 January 2013

Harry Redknapp has absolved Chelsea’s Eden Hazard of blame for his red card against Swansea, instead branding the actions of the ball boy involved as 'disgusting'.

Hazard was sent off by referee Chris Foy for kicking Charlie Morgan in the closing stages of Wednesday night’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Liberty Stadium.

The Belgium playmaker lost patience when the 17-year-old ball boy refused to hand over the ball after it had gone out for a goal-kick.

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

'Disgusting': Redknapp did not agree with the ball boy's behaviour

Morgan fell to the ground as Hazard attempted to get the ball from him, with the 22-year-old Chelsea star then trying to kick it from under him but appearing to instead make contact with the youngster.

QPR manager Redknapp sympathises with Hazard and holds Morgan responsible for the incident.

'Hazard toe-poked the ball under the boy’s body. Why is the kid lying on the ball in the first place' he said.

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'Idiot': Redknapp sympathises with Hazard's frustration

'You can imagine the frustration – you’re a player trying to reach a cup final but there’s this kid behaving like an idiot who won’t give you the ball back.

'Hazard didn’t kick the kid, he kicked the ball underneath him, but the whole thing got blown out of all proportion.

'I can think of a lot of players who would have kicked a bit harder than he did. He just toe-poked the ball away.

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

Exit: Chelsea were eliminated at the semi-final stage

'The boy was tweeting before the game that he’s a super time waster. The way he behaved was disgusting.'

Morgan himself briefly broke his silence last night, tweeting: 'Crazy 24 hours. Spoke to Hazard and I will not be pressing charges. Be in touch.'

Despite that, South Wales Police have been obliged to continue investigating the incident after receiving three complaints.

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

Settled: Morgan will not be pressing charges

'Three calls have been received from members of the public living in Sussex, Kent and west Wales which are being followed up,' a police spokesman said.

Hazard was assumed to have avoided criminal charges when the matter was dropped after he and the teenager met and made mutual apologies.

Kansas City Chiefs play first game after Jovan Belcher incident

Kansas City Chiefs put on brave face in wake of Belcher shooting tragedy

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UPDATED:

00:22 GMT, 3 December 2012

Despite the turmoil surround the murder and suicide case involving linebacker Jovan Belcher the Kansas City Chiefs managed to beat the Carolina Panthers 27-21.

Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend in front of his mother at their Kansas City home on Saturday, then drove to the team's practice facility, where he committed suicide in the parking lot as head coach Romeo Crennel and General Manager Scott Pioli watched.

The tragedy dampened the atmosphere at the Arrowhead Stadium and tempered the joy of the victory, which snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved Kansas City's record to 2-10.

Respect: Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers players form a prayer circle after the game

Respect: Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers players form a prayer circle after the game

Arm in arm: The players stand for a moment of silence

Arm in arm: The players stand for a moment of silence

'You relied on your faith to help get you through this, and we got through it,' Crennel told the team in the locker room after the game.

'Everybody made a contribution, everybody helped, and that's what a team is about.'

Quarterback Brady Quinn said the tragedy weighed heavily on the players and the victory was meaningful because it showed 'how guys clung together.'

'This will stick with us the rest of the year,' Quinn told FM 101.1 radio.

Tight end Tony Moeaki credited Crennel and Pioli for demonstrating leadership after witnessing the suicide and supporting the team.

Subdued: Fans showed their sadness after the incidents

Subdued: Fans showed their sadness after the incidents

'You can't put it into words what we
went through as a team,' Moeaki told the radio. 'They really stayed
strong for us and that was key.'

Kansas
City fans are known for their elaborate pre-game tailgating parties,
but many said the mood was subdued on Sunday. A moment of silence for
all victims of domestic violence was held before the game.

Embrace: Clark Hunt, the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs with head coach Romeo Crennel after the Chiefs' win

Embrace: Clark Hunt, the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs with head coach Romeo Crennel after the Chiefs' win

'It is a sad situation, but to me, ultimately, the man committed murder,' Chiefs' fan Tony Alonzo said. 'The big picture is that it was a murder.'

Fans lamented the death of Kasandra Perkins, 22, and turned their thoughts to the couple's 3-month-old daughter.

'That is who you feel for, this 3-month-old child,' fan Ira Thomas said before the game. 'She has to grow up without her parents and, as she gets older, someone in the family will tell her what happened and that might set her back a few years.'

Game over: Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles leaves the field

Game over: Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles leaves the field

/12/03/article-2242057-16521938000005DC-325_634x423.jpg” width=”634″ height=”423″ alt=”Crunch: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive back Josh Thomas” class=”blkBorder” />

Crunch: Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive back Josh Thomas

After discussions with the league, Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt left the decision about whether to play with Crennel and the team. They decided the game should go on.

'Romeo called the team captains yesterday afternoon… and they all wanted to play the game,' Hunt told ESPN on the field before the game. 'And I asked coach Crennel, “Do you think the right thing is to go forward” and he said, “I do. Under the circumstances, it's going to be tough.”'

Hunt visited the team on Saturday night.

'I wanted to tell them that I love them and I understand what they are going through,' Hunt said.

Kansas City Mayor Sylvester James likened the tragedy to 'your worst nightmare.'

'It's unfathomable,' James told reporters. 'It's something that you would love to wash away from your mind, but you can't do it. There is nothing like it. Think about your worst nightmare and multiply by five.'

Close: Kansas City Chiefs coach Crennel, right, talks with quarterback Brady Quinn after the game

Close: Kansas City Chiefs coach Crennel, right, talks with quarterback Brady Quinn after the game

Steven Gerrard with school children ahead of 100th England cap – behind the scenes video

VIDEO: Behind the scenes of Sportsmail's exclusive photograph as 99 excited children meet Liverpool and England captain Gerrard

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UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 12 November 2012

They say never work with children or animals – and taking a photograph of 99 kids so excited to be in the company of Steven Gerrard was something I feared would be difficult.

But the kids were great, as were the staff at Huyton-with-Roby Church of England Primary School, and their reaction when Steven suddenly appeared was brilliant.

Scroll down for the video

Enlarge

Hats off: The England and Liverpool captain poses a number of exclusive snaps taken by Daily Mail Chief Sports Photographer Andy Hooper

Hats off: The England and Liverpool captain poses for a number of exclusive snaps taken by Daily Mail Chief Sports Photographer Andy Hooper

Enlarge

Hats off: The England and Liverpool captain poses a number of exclusive snaps taken by Daily Mail Chief Sports Photographer Andy Hooper

A stunned silence, then some chants of 'Gerrard, Gerrard' and then a moment of pure comedy when a little girl raised her hand and asked to go for 'a wee-wee'.

The idea was for the kids not to see Steven until the last moment, so that it would create a spontaneous moment; a sense of surprise. But I ended up taking about 100 pictures in 40 minutes, with every frame capturing a special moment. You see kids yawning or looking at the friend next to them or pulling a funny face.

At the same time I wanted Steven to be quite serious, just like Bobby Moore was in the 1973 shot, and looking straight at me. I don't display many of my pictures but this one is going on the wall.

Enlarge

To cap it all: Gerrard with 99 pupils from his old school in Huyton

To cap it all: Gerrard with 99 pupils
from his old school in Huyton

VIDEO: Behind the scenes as the excited children meet their hero

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James McClean refuses to wear a poppy

McClean refuses to wear poppy on eve of Remembrance Sunday as Sunderland suffer defeat

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UPDATED:

10:07 GMT, 11 November 2012

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Controversial Sunderland winger James McClean refused to wear a poppy in the 2-1 defeat at Everton.

All Sunderland and Everton players wore the specially commissioned shirts featuring a poppy on the chest as part of the Remembrance Sunday commemoration.

Sunderland have been one of the leading clubs in acknowledging the annual event and were one of the first to commission the shirts and auction them for the Poppy Appeal.

Not for me: James McClean did not have a poppy sewn onto his shirt during Sunderland's match at Everton

Not for me: James McClean did not have a poppy sewn onto his shirt during Sunderland's match at Everton

But the Londonderry-born Republic of
Ireland international asked to wear his usual shirt when he was recalled
by Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill for today’s clash at Goodison.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill,
who was also born and brought up in Derry, and played for Northern
Ireland, wore a poppy on his post-match suit but did not wear one on his
training kit during the defeat for Sunderland, who have still not
won at Goodison since 1996.

Respectful: The entire Everton team and McLean's Sunderland team-mates wore poppies and observed the minute's silence before the game

Respectful: The entire Everton team and McLean's Sunderland team-mates wore poppies and observed the minute's silence before the game

Respectful: The entire Everton team and McLean's Sunderland team-mates wore poppies and observed the minute's silence before the game

Respectful: The entire Everton team and McLean's Sunderland team-mates wore poppies and observed the minute's silence before the game

Sunderland have distanced themselves from McClean's decision and have again given their full support to the appeal.

A club spokesman said: 'As a club
Sunderland AFC wholeheartedly supports the Remembrance Commemorations.
It was James’ personal choice not to wear a shirt on this occasion.'

The 23-year-old former League of
Ireland midfielder, who broke into the Sunderland squad following
O'Neill's appointment at the Stadium of Light less than a year ago, has
been embroiled in controversy in the last 12 months as a result of his
Republican views.

He upset fans of Northern Ireland
when he switched allegiance for the Republic, despite playing at
under-age for the country of his birth, and then exacerbated the
situation when he posted abusive and sarcastic tweets aimed at people in
the North.

McClean finally came off Twitter at
the start of this season, to the relief of O'Neill, after he sent
abusive tweets aimed at Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni when he was
left out of their World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan.

However, McClean has now re-opened his Twitter account but was urged by the club to stay off the social media site and not get embroiled in the debate which was gathering pace after the game.

/11/10/article-2231071-15F54526000005DC-493_634x419.jpg” width=”634″ height=”419″ alt=”One up: Adam Johnson took the lead for Sunderland during their defeat on the eve of Remembrance Sunday ” class=”blkBorder” />

One up: Adam Johnson took the lead for Sunderland during their defeat on the eve of Remembrance Sunday

The England Under 21 international
wrote: 'Support for the troops past and present before game today is
great! We should be proud of our troops!'

Sunderland’s stand-in captain John O’Shea was pictured without his poppy shirt in the second-half of the game but the former Manchester United defender changed his shirt at half-time, which is a common practice among professionals.

Now you see it: John O'Shea

Now you don't: John O'Shea

Quick change: John O'Shea wore his poppy shirt in the first-half, but changed it for the final 45 minutes

Sunderland issued the one-off shirts to auction for funds for the Royal British Legion and several players changed shirts at the break, as is normal practice.

Republic of Ireland international O’Shea, who was stand-in captain in place of Lee Cattermole, carried a wreath to the centre circle before the game with Phil Neville and was accompanied by three members of the armed forces.

A minute’s silence was impeccably observed at all grounds.

A Premier League spokesman said: ‘We have great support from the clubs. It is a matter of choice whether people wore the poppy.’

McClean is now on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, ahead of their home friendly against Greece, and is unlikely to comment on his decision not to wear the poppy shirt.

But many Twitter followers jumped to his defence last night and, like former England captain Rio Ferdinand, many feel McClean was within his rights to take a personal decision not to wear a garment supporting a cause that he cannot.

McClean was bought from Derry City, his home club, where his insatiable desire to become a Premier League footballer stood out in one of the most deprived areas of the United Kingdom and Ireland.

He was brought up on the Creggan Estate, close to the scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972. Two years ago Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the murder of 14 civilians at the hands of British soldiers.

John Terry commission report did not call Chelsea secretary Dave Barnard – Charles Sale

FA panel didn't call 'troubling' Barnard over Terry evidence

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 8 October 2012

The John Terry commission report was so critical of ‘materially defective’ evidence from Chelsea secretary Dave Barnard that his FA Council future has since been the talk of ‘aghast’ councillors.

However, it has emerged the popular Barnard, regarded as one of football’s good guys during 35 years as an administrator, may have been unfairly portrayed in the FA’s written findings.

Certainly Chelsea, who are waiting until the appeal process is decided before commenting in detail, are fully supportive of Barnard, whose role was as a go-between for the FA and club rather than having direct influence on the case.

'Troubling': David Barnard (below right) was not called to by the commission report

'Troubling': David Barnard (below right) was not called by the commission report

'Troubling': David Barnard (right) was not called to by the commission report

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Strangely, he was castigated despite not having had the opportunity to defend the contents of his ‘troubling’ witness statement in person. He had returned early from a World Club Cup FIFA meeting in Zurich for the hearing but was not called to give oral evidence.

Commission chairman Craig Moore QC wrote that he had ‘very real concerns about the accuracy of Mr Barnard’s recollections’.

Yet it was Barnard’s witness statement from September 13 that informed the FA their official Adam Sanhaie had taken handwritten notes during Ashley Cole’s interview at Chelsea’s training ground on October 28 last year.

Sanhaie’s report was not included in the FA’s disclosure of relevant documents. His senior colleague Jenni Kennedy, FA’s head of off-field regulation, did not recall clearly whether Sanhaie had taken notes along with her of the Cole interview, which was not tape recorded.

The Sanhaie evidence ‘only came to light just before the hearing’ according to the commission. A Chelsea spokesman said: ‘David co-operated fully with the FA at all times, stands by his evidence and does not accept the criticism that has been made.’

FA prepare for Burton snub

The FA have invited all their 115 councillors to the official opening of St George’s Park on Tuesday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. But less than half are likely to turn up in Burton because they will have to pay their own travel expenses and will not receive an attendance allowance.

Pardew strikes it rich

Barry Nevill, one of the most understated of football agents, was responsible for negotiating the extraordinary contract with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley granting manager Alan Pardew and his backroom staff eight-year deals with no break clauses.

In the money: Pardew signed a new eight-year deal at Newcastle last month

In the money: Pardew signed a new eight-year deal at Newcastle last month

No wonder Charlton manager Chris Powell, who has never previously employed an agent throughout his career, has chosen to be represented by Nevill.

Meanwhile, in contrast to the stability Newcastle seek under Pardew, short-term loan company Wonga are expected to become their new shirt sponsors.

Top flight clubs owed

Software company Worldlink Sports, who are the subject of a winding-up petition, have betting partnership deals running with Newcastle, Sunderland and Fulham but lack the finances to fund them.

Also owed money are Stephen Pearson, the former Premier League commercial director who set up the club agreements, and Rio Ferdinand’s publicists.

Football’s united front

The Premier League and Football League, who act independently on most issues, are working together over England Rugby 2015’s use of their grounds for the World Cup.

Shock contender: Leicester City's King Power Stadium is on a long list of 17 potential World Cup venues

Shock contender: Leicester City's King Power Stadium is on a long list of 17 potential World Cup venues

Both bodies are adamant that football will take priority in their match scheduling, which won’t be finalised until June 2015 – three months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

However, recent meetings have included the leagues’ fixture organisers and World Cup officials are confident dates can be arranged next year, although there are ‘no guarantees’ from football.

Umbro in trouble

Umbro will still have some branding presence at St George’s Park for Tuesday’s royal opening despite being discarded by parent company Nike, who have taken over the England shirt deal and their sponsorship of the National Football Centre.

Once-proud Umbro look like being snapped up by Iconix Brands, who specialise in buying ailing businesses. Iconix are expected to lease the Umbro name to Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct.

Roman Abramovich must speak out

Now Abramovich must speak out as Terry and Cole saga rumbles on

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UPDATED:

23:17 GMT, 6 October 2012

Roman Abramovich prizes his privacy. The Chelsea owner makes his billions discreetly and takes his pleasures in similar fashion.

But on Sunday morning he may be reconsidering his policy of public silence, as his proudest possession is battered by waves of public disgust and contempt.

The meticulously argued judgment of the FA's independent regulatory commission reveals that his club are captained by a man, John Terry, who shouted a racial insult then shamelessly attempted to escape the consequences.

It goes on: Ashley Cole tweeted 'what a bunch of t****' about the FA

It goes on: Ashley Cole tweeted 'what a bunch of t****' about the FA

Their most distinguished player, Ashley Cole, participated in that deception.

And their secretary, Dave Barnard, colluded in the cover-up.

Cole's moronic tweet when the commission announced its findings simply reinforced the impression of a club whose employees are out of control.

Chelsea's current stance is one of unquestioning support for their men.

In Terry's case, it is the kind of blindly misplaced allegiance which cost Fabio Capello his England job and reduced the stature of his successor, Roy Hodgson.

But for the moment they are standing by him, also by the classless Cole and the hapless Barnard. Yet the findings of that commission have inflicted widespread damage.

Speak out: Sportsmail's Patrick Collins believes Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich should speak out

Speak out: Sportsmail's Patrick Collins believes Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich should speak out

Chelsea's reputation has been significantly tainted. They are, after all, the champions of Europe.

As such, they are expected to set a tone and a standard to which lesser clubs might aspire.

Even a surface reading of that damning judgment will convey just how far they have fallen below those expectations.

And, in turn, their scandalous conduct has cast a shadow across the whole of the English game.

No longer can we condemn the ugly excesses of Spaniards, Italians, Ukrainians and the rest, when one of our showpiece clubs have behaved with such squalid duplicity.

So this time we need something more than the usual evasions and obfuscations from the owner's flunkeys.

We need an explanation, a statement of intent and a public apology from the man himself.

He may not take kindly to the notion of breaking his silence. But it is high time that Roman Abramovich found his voice.

Ever present: John Terry (left) and Ashley Cole (right) both started Chelsea's 4-1 win over Norwich

Ever present: John Terry (left) and Ashley Cole (right) both started Chelsea's 4-1 win over Norwich

John Terry could play for England again – Charles Sale

Race report could signal Terry return to England duty

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 October 2012

The full report into the John Terry racism case expected to be published by the FA on Friday morning could leave the way open for the Chelsea captain to resume his England career.

Terry retired from international football before last week’s disciplinary commission, believing his position had been made untenable by the FA continuing with their charges despite Westminster Magistrates Court having cleared him of a racially aggravated public order offence.

However, despite being banned for four matches and fined 220,000 for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, the written verdict from the tribunal’s independent chairman Craig Moore QC crucially does not brand him a racist.

Possible: John Terry could make an England return depending on the report

Possible: John Terry could make an England return depending on the report

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Instead Moore’s conclusion is along the lines of: ‘It is accepted by everyone connected with the inquiry that John Terry is not a racist.’

Being described as a bigot would not only have ruled Terry out of an England return, it would also have made it impossible for him to become a top-flight manager after his playing career.

But such has been Terry’s rollercoaster relationship with England and their defensive frailties without him, the wording of the report means an international comeback is still possible.

Best is worst for Sky

There is plenty of angst at Sky Sports over the departure of highly rated match director Grant Best, who unexpectedly resigned last week and is expected to take up a management role with rivals BT Vision, who are planning a new sports channel around their 38-game package of Premier League rights. BT Vision’s ability to attract Sky Sports’ top talent follows them forcing Sky to spend far more than they wanted on their 116-game offering. It’s reckoned BT outbid Sky for five packages in the first round of the tender.

Ladies in racing

Channel 4’s revamped racing coverage starting next year is expected to have a major female presence on screen. As well as lead presenter Clare Balding, it is understood Alice Plunkett, Emma Spencer and Tanya Stevenson will be retained and that the ultra-glamorous Francesca Cumani, who works for Australia’s Channel 7, is being considered for feature work.

Option: Francesca Cumani may be involved

Option: Francesca Cumani may be involved

Clive can't stay

There had been talk of Sir Clive Woodward, who leaves his role as director of sport at the British Olympic Association on Friday, staying on under the new regime of chairman-in-waiting Lord Coe in a part-time role as chef de mission for the 2014 Winter Olympics. But even one day a week at the BOA would be difficult for Woodward because of tensions with beleaguered chief executive Andy Hunt.

City stars mull revolt

Concern among Manchester City players over the three-at-the-back defensive line-up is such that there is talk of sending a delegation to speak to manager Roberto Mancini.

The team are pinning the blame for the change of formation on Italian defensive coach Angelo Gregucci, who arrived in the summer and needs a training-ground translator because he doesn’t speak much English.

Meanwhile, City strikers Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli are said to have had a heated argument after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund over who takes the penalties. Substitute Balotelli converted the late spot-kick, but the taker of the next penalty is yet to be resolved. Balotelli, with his great record from 12 yards, is the most likely choice.

Row: Mario Balotelli is vying with Sergio Aguero for penalty duties

Row: Mario Balotelli is vying with Sergio Aguero for penalty duties

Drive next time, Roy

After Roy Hodgson’s loose talk to passengers on the London Underground about Rio Ferdinand’s non-selection for the national team, his FA bosses will be relieved he will soon take delivery of his new Vauxhall Insignia from the team sponsors, which will give him one less reason to use the Tube.

Prepare your answers now

Garry Cook, the former Manchester City chief executive and newly appointed European boss of the mixed martial arts Ultimate Fighting Championship, is chairing a debate at next week’s Leaders in Football conference. On Cook’s panel along with Liverpool’s Ian Ayre is Arsenal’s Ivan Gazidis. And one certain question from the Stamford Bridge audience will be whether Cook and Gazidis have justified being paid 2million a year as football chiefs.

Sir Keith Mills" funding plan at risk because of athletics and cycling – Charles Sale

Cycling and athletics prove double trouble for Mills' funding plan

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UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 3 October 2012

A grand plan led by deputy LOCOG chairman Sir Keith Mills to maximise Olympic sports’ chances of attracting sponsorship rights could be derailed by the big two, cycling and athletics.

The Mills brainchild to capitalise on the success of London 2012 is the British Sports Marketing Bureau, under whose banner the sports would pool commercial rights to attract big umbrella deals that could be geared to suit clients’ requirements.

Mills, expected to chair a reformed combination of UK Sport and Sport England, is canvassing support across all sports. His idea received widespread backing at meetings last Friday and on Wednesday from governing bodies.

Issue: Cycling and athletics are causing problems with the planned deal

Issue: Cycling and athletics are causing problems with the planned deal

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But there is understood to be considerable opposition from the two sports least in need of a collective organisation — cycling with their huge Sky funding and UK Athletics whose 50million five-year Aviva deal expires in December. But UKA are planning to bring in a Champions League style roster of backers themselves — putting them in competition for sponsors with the British Olympic Association. And that is the type of Olympic sport in-fighting Mills is setting up the BSMB to avoid.

However, swimming, which has the most sponsorship money after athletics and cycling, is broadly in favour of the BSMB proposals.

They do not prevent sports doing individual deals which are not in conflict with the overall sponsorships being sought.

Mills said: ‘For this to work, we will need the vast majority of sports behind us. Some of them are asking questions but none of told me they’re opting out.’

Nicklaus not swinging towards Obama

President Obama’s love of golf that has seen him play more than 100 rounds since taking office isn’t enough to convince Jack Nicklaus, who has been endorsing Republican rival Mitt Romney. Nicklaus, who designed the Gleneagles 2014 Ryder Cup course, said he has been forced to lay off more than 50 per cent of his golf course design company employees over the last four years — and could not afford four more years of Obama.

Golf fan: Barack Obama is still not being backed by Jack NicklausQ

Golf fan: Barack Obama is still not being backed by Jack Nicklaus

Mark’s rock bottom

BBC football pundit Mark Lawrenson is likely to face listener complaints about sexist comments after telling Radio 5 Live’s Drive Time programme hosted by Peter Allen and Aasmah Mir that Manchester City full back Maicon’s ‘bottom’s bigger than Aasmah’s’. The presenter, however, shrugged off the comment along with Allen’s offer to say something in retort about Lawrenson.

To clarify last Monday’s Sports Agenda column, 5 Live’s Ryder Cup coverage was presented throughout from Medinah even during the Saturday morning foursomes session when the programme included commentary on Arsenal v Chelsea.

Hammers lose money man

West Ham, in the middle of negotiations over their proposed move to the Olympic Stadium, are losing their finance director Nick Igoe. Igoe, who kept West Ham’s finances above water through troublesome times, is thought to be leaving amicably at the end of the year.

Wanted: West Ham are still after the Olympic Stadium but their finance chief is leaving

Wanted: West Ham are still after the Olympic Stadium but their finance chief is leaving

Flintoff lacks pulling power

Fewer than 1,000 tickets have so far been sold for former England all-rounder Freddie Flintoff’s boxing debut at the Manchester Arena on November 30. But promoter Barry McGuigan is waiting for Flintoff’s foe to be named before banging the drum with the expectation the event will attract a crowd of up to 7,000 in a venue scaled down to hold a maximum 10,000.

Canvas collection

The 1997 oil painting Art of the Game by Michael Browne depicting a toga-wearing Eric Cantona as Jesus Christ surrounded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Phil Neville, David Beckham and Paul Scholes is the last picture to be photographed in a 10-year project by the Public Catalogue Foundation, who have gathered all the nation’s paintings on one website.

Bosses told to visit St George's

The League Managers’ Association are encouraging their members to use the state-of-the-art sports science and medical facilities at their new St George’s Park base, which includes a 72-hour stress, sleep and lifestyle assessment for the high-pressure profession.

Use it: The LMA are encouraging managers to try St George's

Use it: The LMA are encouraging managers to try St George's