Tag Archives: summit

Barcelona"s New York transfer summit – Chelsea"s David Luiz top summer target

Revealed: Barcelona's New York transfer summit – Spanish giants want Chelsea's Luiz and Wembley flop Neymar (and that means Villa would be free to join Arsenal)

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

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UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 14 February 2013

Top Barcelona officials met in New York this week to thrash out the club's transfer strategy and one of their top targets is Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently on sick leave, met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Julia in the United States.

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Tito Vilanova

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

New York summit: Tito Vilanova (left) flew to America where plans were drawn up to sign Neymar (right)

Vilanova is
keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only
recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp and 25-year-old Luiz is seen as a long-term replacement, despite the Brazil centre half struggling for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

Luiz's fellow Brazilian Neymar, who was widely criticised for his insipid performance at Wembley against England, was also on his list, which would allow Arsenal target David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Blues brother: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Tottenham, with Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Leicester 16 Northampton 12

Leicester 16 Northampton 12: Tigers fail to impress as Ford misfires in front of posts

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UPDATED:

19:56 GMT, 3 November 2012

Leicester managed to grind out an unspectacular victory over their fierce local rivals at Welford Road.

Tigers could afford for young fly-half George Ford to miss five penalties and still triumph, courtesy of centre Matt Smith's second half try and 11 points by the young number 10.

On another day, Ford's inaccuracy might have proved costly, but Northampton, who were restricted to four Ryan Lamb penalties, lacked the firepower and tactical acumen to punish Leicester.

Main man: Matt Smith helped Leicester to a narrow win

Main man: Matt Smith helped Leicester to a narrow win

Saints led 6-3 just before half-time, but Leicester then scored 10 unanswered points – highlighted by Smith's 53rd minute touchdown – and Northampton could find no way back.

The game, shorn of several England players through a combination of unavailability a week before the autumn Test series opener against Fiji and injuries, never moved out of second gear.

Despite the game's derby status, it lacked aggression for the large part, and once Leicester edged in front they were able to close out the game reasonably comfortably.

Australian flanker Julian Salvi, back in action following a hand injury, was easily the most effective performer on either side, and his workaholic efforts were ultimately rewarded with victory.

Although Leicester's stay at the Premiership summit is likely to prove short-lived, it was a victory they desperately needed following last weekend's narrow loss at Gloucester, and Northampton remain without a win at Welford Road since 2007.

Off form: George Ford

Off form: George Ford

Leicester were without six players on England duty ahead of the forthcoming autumn Tests, but scrum-half Ben Youngs and centre Anthony Allen started after being released by red rose boss Stuart Lancaster.

Injured England forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes highlighted Northampton's list of absentees, but Calum Clark made an immediate return to action in Saints' back-row after completing a 32-week suspension.

Clark was cited and banned for hyper-extending Leicester hooker Rob Hawkins' arm in the LV= Cup final last season, and a quirk of the fixture list meant he made his return to action at the Tigers' lair.

Lamb nudged Northampton into a fourth minute lead through an angled penalty, and Saints dominated early territorial exchanges, culminating in Lamb finding his range again for a 6-0 advantage.

In contrast, Tigers' 19-year-old playmaker Ford – starting instead of an unavailable Toby Flood – missed two penalty chances in two minutes, although he did find his range with a third attempt that cut Northampton's lead.

But Ford missed another penalty seven minutes later, snatching badly at a strike that was well within his range, and Saints stayed in the ascendancy as they chased a rare victory on Leicester soil.

Tigers suffered an injury blow six minutes before the break when their former England lock Louis Deacon's injury-ravaged run continued as he was forced off nursing a shoulder problem that saw him replaced by Ed Slater.

Lamb rifled a drop-goal attempt wide from Saints' next attack, yet for a derby clash often associated with a white-hot atmosphere, the opening 40 minutes proved strangely tepid.

Tussle: Vereniki Goneva of Leicester is tackled by Samu Manoa

Tussle: Vereniki Goneva of Leicester is tackled by Samu Manoa

Ford landed an equalising penalty with the final kick of the half, but entertainment value had been a premium as the teams trooped off level at 6-6.

It took Leicester less than two minutes of the second period to go ahead for the first time, with Saints unable to free themselves from trouble just outside their 22.

Youngs' slick service from the scrum base gave Tigers time and space, and Smith was worked over cleverly from close range by substitute Vereniki Goneva for a try that Ford converted.

Leicester had visibly increased the tempo, and although Lamb completed his penalty hat-trick shortly afterwards, Tigers looked capable for the first time of taking charge.

Ford made it 16-9 in the 53rd minute when Saints hooker Mike Haywood was penalised for a high and late tackle on home skipper Geordan Murphy, which underlined a slow turning of the screw by Leicester.

There was much greater urgency about Leicester than there had been before the break, and with Ford also growing in confidence, Tigers were able to pin their opponents back.

Lamb booted a fourth penalty with six minutes left to set a few nerves jangling in the Leicester camp, but they held on to claim the victory their supremacy in key areas deserved, helped when Lamb was sin-binned three minutes from time for barging Allen off the ball.

Graeme Swann calls for truce with Kevin Pietersen

Swann calls for truce with Pietersen ahead of pre-India summit meeting

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UPDATED:

18:40 GMT, 13 October 2012

Graeme Swann has become the latest
England player to extend an olive branch to team outcast Kevin Pietersen
by admitting 'everyone has been in the wrong at some point'.

Pietersen, who yesterday scored 14
for Delhi Daredevils in the Champions League Twenty20, will meet senior
England players, including Swann, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, this
week ahead of the pre- India tour camp in Dubai.

Pietersen's now infamous 'it's tough
being me' press conference sparked a media frenzy last summer which
revealed he had sent a string of messages to South Africa's players –
described as 'provocative' by the ECB – regarding former England captain
Andrew Strauss.

Time to move on: Graeme Swann wants the Kevin Pietersen situation to be resolved

Time to move on: Graeme Swann wants the Kevin Pietersen situation to be resolved

He was subsequently suspended for the final Test and spent the recent World T20 as a television pundit for ESPN before belatedly agreeing a four-month contract with the ECB which could yet see him tour India next month.

Broad this week became the first player to break cover by saying Pietersen would be welcomed back into the dressing room while Swann accepts mistakes have been made on both sides.

'The very fact it's gone on this long means that everyone has to hold their hand up and say, “Everyone has been in the wrong at some point”, and obviously some more than others,' Swann said.

Back in business: Kevin Pietersen was dismissed by Brett Lee in the Twenty20 Champions League

Back in business: Kevin Pietersen was dismissed by Brett Lee in the Twenty20 Champions League

'A line needs to be drawn in the sand for everyone's sake. If I was an England cricket fan at this minute I'd be going off the sport very quickly because of what's happened. We've got to make sure that doesn't happen.

'I don't know if Kevin will come back. It's still on-going but whatever happens I hope it happens quickly. It's been going on way too long.'

Swann, Broad and Anderson have been accused by Pietersen's celebrity supporter Piers Morgan of being part of an anti-Pietersen clique that is threatening to undermine his career.

'That theory has been thrown out there by someone, but it's not true,' Swann insisted.

'I didn't play at Headingley when Kevin did that press conference so I don't know the ins or outs, but it needs sorting and it is being sorted.'

Swann insists that if the team do not move on they will face the same 'embarrassing' mess that led to Peter Moores being sacked as coach in 2009 following criticism from Pietersen, who was sacked as captain.

'Let's let the cricket do the talking otherwise it just gets back to the time when Mooresy was leaving,' Swann added.

'That was embarrassing as well when everything was dragged through the mud in the papers. We need to get back to playing cricket. Everyone's ready to put it bed.'

Graeme Swann is an ambassador for Rubicon exotic juice drinks. See him in action at RubiconExoticcom/lovecricket

Andy Murray vows to leapfrog Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in world No 1 bid

Watch out Roger and Novak, I'm coming to get you! Ambitious Murray targets world No 1 spot

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UPDATED:

12:00 GMT, 9 October 2012

Andy Murray is hoping a strong finish to the year can enable him to have a shot at the No 1 ranking in 2013.

The Scot, who won his maiden grand slam title at the US Open last month, is currently third in the world behind Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, but has his sights set on top spot.

Speaking ahead of his opening match at the Shanghai Masters against German Florian Mayer on Wednesday, he told www.atpworldtour.com: 'There's a few tournaments between now and the end of the year I'd like to do well at and I always enjoy playing here.

Bid: Murray is hoping to move to the summit of the world tennis rankings

Bid: Murray is hoping to move to the summit of the world tennis rankings

'I'll try to do as well as I can between now and the end of the year.

'If I do that, there's a possibility to get to No 1 next year. 'I think getting to No 1 in the world, that's more a reward for playing very good tennis throughout the whole season at pretty much every tournament you play.

Centre of attention: Murray is competing at the Shanghai Masters this week

Centre of attention: Murray is competing at the Shanghai Masters this week

'You need to focus more on the process and not so much just No 1, No 1'.

'The next grand slam in Australia is obviously a focus that would be not that far away, but I would say it's more of a long-term goal.'

Murray, the two-time defending champion in Shanghai, is hoping his success at Flushing Meadows when he became the first British male to win a singles grand slam crown in 76 years will boost his on-court confidence.

He added: '(The title) hasn't changed me. I haven't felt so different.

'I felt a lot of relief. It was a big weight off my back at the time. So getting on the practice court, getting in the gym and stuff, has become a bit easier probably.

'I hope it gives me some more confidence when I'm on the court. That's the one thing that I hope I would have got out of it.'

Branislav Ivanovic says Chelsea"s game with Arsenal is biggest challenge so far

It's Gunner be tough: Ivanovic expects Arsenal game to be Chelsea's biggest test so far

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UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 24 September 2012

Branislav Ivanovic dubbed Chelsea's trip to Arsenal on Saturday as their 'biggest challenge' so far this season after helping them stay top of the Barclays Premier League.

The European champions spluttered to a 1-0 win over Stoke on Saturday to ensure they ended the weekend a point clear of Manchester United at the summit.

Chelsea have enjoyed a near-perfect start to the title race in terms of results, winning four of their five games and keeping four clean sheets.

Leaving it late: Branislav Ivanovic celebrates with Chelsea goalscorer Ashley Cole after the left-back scored the winner against Stoke

Leaving it late: Branislav Ivanovic celebrates with Chelsea goalscorer Ashley Cole after the left-back scored the winner against Stoke

But they have yet to face any of the current top nine in the league and have not fared well against big teams in other competitions this term.

Full-back Ivanovic insisted it was far too early for Chelsea to be thinking about regaining the title they last won in 2010.

'We have the next game as a very great challenge for us in the Premier League – Arsenal away,' he said.

'This is the first actual big game for us this season.'

The 28-year-old added: 'Our performances and quality – we know how it is.

'But we have to show everyone, and we have to show it every game.

'This is the biggest challenge. I think Arsenal will be a great challenge for us, and we have to really be ready for that.'

Tough test: Ivanovic expects Arsenal to be the toughest game of the season for Chelsea so far

Tough test: Ivanovic expects Arsenal to be the toughest game of the season for Chelsea so far

Chelsea will need to play much better than they did on Saturday to get anything from the Emirates Stadium.

Their 130million attack huffed and puffed but it needed Ashley Cole's first goal in 28 months to snatch all three points.

Ivanovic, who could not have a more different scoring record from full-back, was full of praise for the man who plays on the opposite flank.

'For me, Ash is the best left-back in the world – for a long time,' Ivanovic said.

'He is really great, and always makes a lot of good things for the team.

'We're really happy for him because, for defenders, it is always nice to score goals for the confidence. Ashley is really fantastic.

'He has the skill, he has the speed, he can run, he can go up front, he has the vision of the game, he defends well, he is quick. But I think all this is nothing new!'

With Saturday's game being a potential turning point in the title race, Cole and Ivanovic could both find themselves rested for tomorrow night's Capital One Cup clash with Wolves.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo has already confirmed he plans to field a mix of regulars, fringe men and youth-team players.

Ashley Cole says Chelsea boosted mentally by being top of the table

Cole claims Chelsea have psychological boost with place at Premier League summit

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UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 23 September 2012

Ashley Cole claims that Chelsea's late win against Stoke which cemented their place at the top of the Barclays Premier League is a psychological boost for the Blues.

The left-back popped up in the box to score the only goal of the game with just a few minutes remaining and now he hopes it signals the Blues' intent for the season ahead.

‘Mentally that is good for us,' he said. 'Last season we didn’t have too good a time in the Premier League, it has taken two years for us to be top of the league again and hopefully we can stay there, but it is a long way to go.'

Last gasp: Ashley Cole strikes to earn Chelsea the win

Last gasp: Ashley Cole strikes to earn Chelsea the win

The last time Cole scored for Chelsea was in 2010 against Wigan, his strike part of an amazing 8-0 win which earned his side the title.

‘It is always nice to score but it was more about the win and staying top of the league,’ he explained.

Chelsea's saviour said not having the time to think helped him score his late winner against Stoke on Saturday.

Cole, who had a impressive match, had fired a couple of wayward shots off target in the first half but was clinical as he lofted the ball past Asmir Begovic with just a couple of minutes remaining.

'I had a few shots in the first half when I had maybe too much time to think and they went over but this one came so quick that I didn’t have much time to think,' said Cole.

'The first thing that came into my brain was to try to dink it over the keeper because I thought he would go down.'

He continued: 'It was a battle. It is always physical and Stoke always make it hard for us to play our football. They defend deep with 10 men so it is hard to break them down, but for the goal it was a great move down the right and I took a chance and got in the box.'

It is said Cole is carrying a persistent ankle problem that can limit his ability to train and the England star joked after the win that 'my legs can't keep getting me up and down the pitch'. But he added on Chelsea TV: 'I feel as fit as I've ever been.'

Pure delight: Cole was ecstatic at sealing Chelsea's place at the top

Pure delight: Cole was ecstatic at sealing Chelsea's place at the top

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo said he had recommended that the Chelsea board keep Cole at the club 'as long as they can' after watching the left-back succeed where 130million of attacking talent had failed and put the ball in the back of the net.

Team-mate Juan Mata was shocked to see it was Cole who was on the end of his clever flick.

The Spain winger said: 'I didn't know it was Ashley Cole. I guessed that someone was there.

'Luckily, it was Ashley and he chipped the ball and he showed that he's one of the best full-backs in the world.'

That is beyond dispute, although goalscoring has never been a big part of Cole's game and the left-back warned that was unlikely to change in Chelsea's new attacking system.

'I tend to stay back a little bit more,' he said.

'With the players we've got, we have to change the way we play and we have to get the ball down as much as we can and give it to people like Oscar and Eddie (Hazard) and Juan to try to make some magic.'

He added: 'When the fans watch these players, they're so exciting.
'When Oscar's getting the ball and running at defenders, when Hazard's getting the ball and running at defenders, it's exciting, and the future's looking good for Chelsea.

Impressed: Juan Mata praised his Chelsea colleague Cole

Impressed: Juan Mata praised his Chelsea colleague Cole

'This season, we've got to keep going and, hopefully, we don't get too many injuries and we keep going and keep winning games.'

Oscar and substitute Victor Moses impressed as part of a
new look Chelsea side which dominated the match, even if they left it
late to win. Cole was enthusiastic about their prospects.

He
said: 'The players that we have added to the squad are only going to
help us. They are young and enthusiastic and willing to learn off the
older players, and they have great skill and great belief in their own
ability which can hopefully help us through the season.'

Saturday's game was the first time Mata, Hazard and Oscar had started together and it was no surprise to see them struggle to click, despite their obvious individual talents.

Di Matteo was confident that persisting with the trio would eventually pay off, something that would have been music to the ears of Mata after what was the winger's first start since he was given some time off by the club.

'We have two or three more players, quality players, that like to play and I like to play with them,' he said.

'We enjoy playing and it's the way I like to play, with the ball, passing, assisting and trying to get some chances.'

Tiger Woods could rewrite Rory McIlroy"s story – WORLD OF GOLF

Derek Lawrenson: Now Tiger has the chance to rewrite McIlroy's story

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 10 September 2012

What a good idea for Rory McIlroy to spend some time with the New York Knicks basketball team this week. He could do with someone to look up to, couldn’t he

Right now, from the dizzy heights of the summit of the world rankings, he has to look down quite a way before he comes to the No 2, Tiger Woods.

From No 1 to fifth-placed Adam Scott might not sound much but the reality is that McIlroy has amassed more than twice the points average managed by the Australian.

Top two: Tiger Woods may be second to Rory McIlroy, but the gap is a big one

Top two: Tiger Woods may be second to Rory McIlroy, but the gap is a big one

More from Derek Lawrenson…

Derek Lawrenson: Old heads or long hitters Your wildcard call, Love
03/09/12

World of Golf: Coming good in the Nic of time for the Ryder Cup
27/08/12

Derek Lawrenson: Garcia's sprint for the line earns place in Jose's Ryder Cup plans
20/08/12

Derek Lawrenson: McIlroy wins by a mile after he remembers to smile
13/08/12

World of Golf: It's time to play follow the leader as the guessing game begins for the next Major winner
06/08/12

World of Golf: Let's hope Sergio can halt Ryder Spain drain
30/07/12

Derek Lawrenson: They said Els had lost it… they're not saying that any more
23/07/12

World of Golf: Remember wonder boy Welch At 16 he was better than Westwood
16/07/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The really frightening thing for everyone
else, of course, is McIlroy’s age. You have to go all the way down to
55th place in the world rankings and 22-year-old American Bud Cauley
before you come to someone younger than McIlroy.

It is mind-boggling to think that at 23
he now has the same number of wins in America as someone as good as Sir
Nick Faldo mustered in his entire career. Indeed, with four US Tour wins
and two majors, McIlroy has already enjoyed a stellar career and yet he
has still got virtually all his prime time in front of him.

As for Tiger, this is the first time he and Rory have occupied the top two positions at the same time.

The worry is that their rivalry is in danger of becoming the sort Tiger used to enjoy with Phil Mickelson – in other words, not much of a rivalry at all given that one man is clearly better than the other.

However, it will be interesting to see what happens at the Tour Championship in Atlanta next week on a course more suited to Woods than McIlroy.

‘Rory’s putting on quite a show, isn’t he’ said Tiger graciously on Sunday and he is right. The past month has been like watching Woods at his best.

On three courses tailor-made to his gifts, Rory has taken full advantage, as Woods used to on courses that favoured him like Bay Hill, Firestone and Torrey Pines.

At the BMW Championship on Sunday, McIlroy won by two from Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson, with Tiger tied fourth. As quality opposition goes, it really doesn’t get any better than that.

Man in form: McIlroy is fulfilling the promise of his youth and is the man to beat on the tour

Man in form: McIlroy is fulfilling the promise of his youth and is the man to beat on the tour

So to the next test in Rory’s education. East Lake next week is one of those courses where he will have to rein in his naturally aggressive instincts. It is a place where Tiger has enjoyed plenty of success.

No handing out the $10million FedEx play-off bonus just yet, then. We will savour the brilliance of McIlroy’s three wins in 30 days but temper it with a note of caution. Let’s see what Tiger has to say next week.

St Andrews snubbed

No Rory McIlroy, no Luke Donald and no Graeme McDowell. All three added a certain lustre to the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews last year, but the trio will be missing, along with Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, when the event is staged the week after the Ryder Cup.

No fewer than six tournaments have been lost on the European Tour this season and while the wretched euro economy bears much of the blame, the difficulties of attracting the world’s best players to compete must also have become a factor.

Not up for this cup: There will be no Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald or Graeme McDowell at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews the week after the Ryder Cup

Not up for this cup: There will be no Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald or Graeme McDowell at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews the week after the Ryder Cup

Imagine what this loyal sponsor must be thinking, for example, after putting up another huge prize fund and finding so many of the marquee names are taking the week off.

Europe winning the Ryder Cup would be a cause for great celebration but, with Lee Westwood likely to be the only glamour name on view, the toast at the Home of Golf might well be to absent friends.

Handy: Phil Mickelson

Handy: Phil Mickelson

Bat and golf ball

Being allowed a sneak peek in the players’ lounge during a rain delay at the BMW last Thursday was a real treat, as a couple of pros considered good table-tennis players got to compete against America’s No 1, Timothy Wang.

Watching him take on the best shots of the right-handed Phil Mickelson and Matt Kuchar, before politely swatting them away with spin and guile, reminded me of an evening out earlier this year with Matthew Syed, who competed for Britain in two Olympics at table tennis and is now a sportswriter.

He was waxing lyrical about the table tennis skills of the Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, who practises a lot at home. When he’d finished handing out the compliments, I asked Syed: ‘And how many points would he get against you if you were trying’ ‘Oh, none,’ he replied.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

'Two years ago, there was a bit of big brothering going on, but that will not be the case at Medinah. Not by any stretch of the imagination.'

Graeme McDowell, 33, with characteristic humour and eloquence, describes the changing nature of his Ryder Cup partnership with his boyish Northern Ireland countryman Rory McIlroy, 23.

Big-hitter Mustard puts a dent in Surrey"s title dreams

Big-hitter Mustard puts a dent in Surrey's title dreams

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 11 August 2012

Astonishing hitting by Durham’s Phil Mustard put a big dent in Surrey’s chances of retaining their CB 40 League title when they lost by 142 runs at Chester-le-Street.

England's Phil Mustard

Big-hitter: Durham's Phil Mustard scored an impressive 143 runs off 89 balls

After being overtaken by Hampshire at the top of Group B the previous evening, Surrey’s hopes of a quick return to the summit were demolished by Mustard’s 143 off 89 balls.

Durham were on course to beat their record 40-over total of 325 until the former England batsman was out with the total on 271.

The remaining six overs brought only 27 runs for the loss of five wickets and Durham finished on 298-9.

If Surrey thought they had clawed their way back into the game they quickly shot themselves in the foot as both openers departed carelessly with the score on 10.

Jason Roy revived them with 43 off 24 balls, but the visitors were all out for 156 in 29.1 overs.

It"s do or die: SFA decision means Rangers must accept ban or face the boot

It's do or die: SFA decision means Rangers must accept ban or face the boot

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UPDATED:

23:39 GMT, 31 May 2012

Rangers were left facing a chilling ultimatum — either back down and accept their original 12-month transfer ban or run the risk of being barred from Scottish football.

The extraordinary saga surrounding the club took another twist when the SFA decided against appealing this week’s controversial Court of Session ruling that the transfer embargo was unlawful.

The issue of what punishment should now be meted out for the actions of Craig Whyte’s regime will be returned to an SFA appeals tribunal, as the court decreed.

That raises the very real possibility, feared by many after the Court of Session ruling, that Rangers will be hammered with an even greater sanction.

Crunch time: Rangers are caught between a rock and a hard place

Crunch time: Rangers are caught between a rock and a hard place

Some close to the process believe the tribunal could be backed into a corner where only a suspension or termination of SFA membership is deemed appropriate from the reduced list of punishments available. Hampden insiders insist the only way to prevent that happening is for the Ibrox club to accept the original transfer ban.

Yet sources close to Rangers fear that might not even be possible given that the transfer embargo has already been ruled unlawful in a civil court.

The dispute is still mired in questions of process, despite prospective Ibrox owner Charles Green seeking summit talks with SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.

Green and his investors accept that Rangers should be punished but say they don’t want to see a sanction that impacts on other Scottish clubs, such as the financial fall-out of the Ibrox club being kicked out of the game.

The huge issue is expected to return to the original appeal tribunal — of Lord Carloway, former Partick Thistle chairman Allan Cowan and Spartans chairman Craig Graham — which could sit within a fortnight.

Summit sought: Stewart Regan

Summit sought: Stewart Regan

In a statement issued on Thursday, Regan said: ‘Football must always operate within the law of the land. None the less, it is regrettable that a member club has sought recourse for a football disciplinary matter through increasingly costly civil court action.

‘The right of appeal is now open to the Scottish FA through the Court of Session. However, by so doing, the very principles on which the Scottish FA — and, for that matter, UEFA and FIFA — are founded, namely football disciplinary matters being dealt with within its own jurisdiction, would be fundamentally compromised.

‘Therefore, it is our intention to accede to Lord Glennie’s request and refer the matter back to the Appellate Tribunal, which will consider the remaining sanctions open to it.’

FIFA will continue to monitor the situation in Scotland until a resolution is reached.
Regan added: ‘The SFA is bound — as are all other decision-making bodies in this country — by the Supervisory Jurisdiction of the court under Scots Law.

‘It is important to reiterate that the additional sanction of a registration embargo was imposed by an independent Judicial Panel chaired by a leading QC, Gary Allan, and upheld by an Appellate Tribunal chaired by a Supreme Court Judge, Lord Carloway.

‘It should be noted that two vastly experienced Supreme Court Judges, Lord Carloway and Lord Glennie, arrived at diametrically opposed viewpoints on the same issue.

‘With our Annual General Meeting taking place on Wednesday, June 6, it will be appropriate to remind member clubs that by very dint of their membership of the Scottish FA, they accept and abide by the Articles of Association.’

SPL clubs not to blame – Neil Doncaster

Clubs not to blame, says Doncaster after fixed sanctions are avoided at Hampden

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UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 30 May 2012

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has defended his member clubs after they avoided setting fixed sanctions for Rangers should the Ibrox outfit fail to gain a CVA.

A meeting of the 12 top-flight sides at Hampden did introduce tougher penalties for clubs entering administration, as well as new sanctions on clubs who fail to pay their players or the taxman.

However, the much-debated issue of what penalties Rangers would face if they applied to return as a newco remains unclear — despite a third summit in a month.

Assurances: Neil Doncaster after the meeting of the SPL clubs

Assurances: Neil Doncaster after the meeting of the SPL clubs

An 8-4 majority would be required to vote through any future proposal from prospective Rangers owner Charles Green after the clubs formally took that responsibility away from the SPL board.

But a previous plan to impose a 10-point penalty over two seasons was binned, with the clubs stating they would instead decide on any sanctions for a newco depending on ‘each individual circumstance’.

That lack of clarity led to accusations that the possibility of Rangers gaining a CVA had prompted the other clubs to simply hope they would never have to deal with it.

‘I don’t think that’s fair,’ said Doncaster. ‘They have come up with a comprehensive set of proposals that deals with different circumstances.

‘That has come after many weeks and months of good debate.

‘They have dealt with the newco possibility. The clubs have taken the responsibility. Should there be any application in the future, the clubs will deal with it and sanction appropriately.

‘It really is important to stress that we are not anticipating a newco at this point.

Future plans: Prospective Rangers owner Charles Green leaves the meeting

Future plans: Prospective Rangers owner Charles Green leaves the meeting

‘The CVA proposal has now been sent out to Rangers’ creditors and we have no reason to believe that it won’t be accepted.

‘If there is a newco going forward, then you can have two ways of dealing with it. One is to have flexibility, the other is to have fixed sanctions.

‘The clubs have agreed that we will decide on a new application if it comes forward and will impose sanctions depending on the circumstance. That is their view and one that I respect as it is very sensible.

‘The SPL have set out 18 wide-ranging sanctions and it is up to the clubs to decide what they see fit.’

Clubs entering administration in the future will now be hit by either a 10-point penalty or a third of their previous season’s total, whichever was higher. Had those rules been in place this term, Rangers would have been deducted 31 points.

Asked if was not better to also have hard and fast rules about a newco, Doncaster said: ‘You can do that. But like you find potentially with going into administration, you could argue that a 10-point penalty is less meaningful on Rangers this year than it might have been on other clubs if they had faced it this year.

Main man: Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell was also at Hampden

Main man: Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell was also at Hampden

‘So to have a proportionate points penalty has been deemed appropriate. That is taking account of individual circumstances.

‘Similar to that, what you want is proportionate sanctions which take account of all individual circumstances and, of course, they are all different.

‘So these rules allow clubs to gauge what is really going on and to come up with an appropriate set of sanctions in the event that we end up in that situation.’

Rangers successfully argued in the Court of Session earlier this week that an SFA Judicial Panel had no right to impose a transfer embargo as it was not a specifically stipulated sanction.

Doncaster, though, claimed to have no fears about the open nature of the new SPL rules being vulnerable to a similar challenge.

‘Like any decision the SPL makes on a disciplinary matter, it can always be appealed to the SFA,’ he said. ‘I don’t believe that any sanction imposed by the SPL has ever been successfully appealed to the SFA, so that should give some confidence.’