Tag Archives: turnover

SIX NATIONS 2013: Chris Robshaw hails England preparation after Ireland win

England preparation key to not choking in Ireland, claims skipper Robshaw after win

PUBLISHED:

15:55 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 11 February 2013

England captain Chris Robshaw believes that the way his side nullified the effect of Ireland's 'choke' tackling was key to Sunday's vital win in Dublin.

Irish defenders looked to double up on the ball carrier and swarm their upper body in the tackle, preventing the offload and trying to force a turnover.

It was a tactic that worked brilliantly in their win over Wales last weekend but Robshaw revealed in the Daily Telegraph that England worked hard on countering the threat.

Winners: Captain Chris Robshaw celebrates England's win over Ireland on Sunday

Winners: Captain Chris Robshaw celebrates England's win over Ireland on Sunday

'We had worked hard last week on combating their choke tackle and for the majority of the time we negated it,' he said.

'It is a real strength of theirs, it gets their crowd and their team going and to nullify that gave us a significant edge.

'The key was in running a little bit lower because if you run upright they are very good at holding you up there. You also have to look after your mates.'

The 12-6 win, which has put England well and truly on course to win this year's Six Nations, looked in the balance when Red Rose flanker James Haskell was sin-binned on 57 minutes for not rolling.

Hitting the target: Owen Farrell scored all of England's points in the win at the Aviva Stadium

Hitting the target: Owen Farrell scored all of England's points in the win at the Aviva Stadium

Ronan O'Gara slotted the penalty to level the scores at 6-6 and momentum looked to be swinging Ireland's way.

England were heroic with 14 men though, not only holding out but stretching into a six-point lead before Haskell returned.

Robshaw revealed that, again, head coach Stuart Lancaster's meticulous preparation for such events helped England over the line.

'The big test came for us when James Haskell was sent to the sin bin in the second half,' Robshaw added.

'Their crowd had started to get up, their players started to get up and we had to take the sting out of the situation. That is what we did.'

Dean Richards exclusive – bloodgate in the past

EXCLUSIVE: Bad blood is in the past as Richards aims for the top again with resurgent Newcastle

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 21 December 2012

Four months into his second coming as a coach and Dean Richards has had a perfect return; 15 wins from 15 games with Newcastle and not one jibe about the reason for his ‘sabbatical’.

In the depths of his post-Bloodgate exile, when the three-year ban he had to serve surely felt like a lifetime of pain and punishment, this scenario would have been nothing more than an idle fantasy.

Yet, the legendary former England and Lions No 8 is now at the forefront of a promising salvage operation on Tyneside and relishing an unexpectedly warm embrace from the game he adores and missed so much.

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

Turnover: Richards is rebuilding at Newcastle after the shame of Bloodgate

‘I’ve not had one comment about the past, which is quite strange,’ said Richards. ‘I had been expecting something, but there has not been a single remark, which is bizarre. Sorry, I should qualify that – I’ve not had one negative comment about it, which is slightly different. People have commented, but seem to be accepting me for what I am. A lot of people have said how pleased they are that I’m here.’

The welcome he has received, at his own club and elsewhere, has touched Richards. That has been the bonus element in this reintegration process. But the principal source of satisfaction stems from simply being involved again, day after day, and seeing lots of hard graft paying off in the results that have followed, even if, on a personal level, he has taken time to get his bearings.

‘I love it,’ he told Sportsmail, after overseeing a training session at Kingston Park in the build-up to Sunday’s home Championship clash with London Scottish. ‘Being around a team again has given me a real buzz. It is one of the things that you miss, when you have your – sabbatical. I had my three years out and missed that involvement. Now I’m back, I’m enjoying the buzz, I love being around players and coaches, being around a winning team.

‘I had watched a lot, but there is no doubt there was a huge amount of rustiness; there still is. You don’t get up to speed straight away, but I’ve got enough quality people around me who have pushed me in the right direction.’

He feels he’s changed, too, although he doesn’t believe that has anything to do with his exit from Harlequins in 2009.

‘With
everything I’ve been through in the last few years, I’m a bit more
relaxed on match day,’ said Richards. ‘Wellsy (forwards coach John
Wells) finds it very frustrating because he has gone totally the other
way! He is far more animated and I’m there with my feet up, just
watching and analysing. I’m not very demonstrative in the changing rooms
either, rather than bringing out the old hair-dryer!’

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field

Scandal: Richards clashes with Leinster coaches after bringing Nick Evans back on the field in 2009

Ronan O'Donnell (left) and physio James Allen
BACK FROM THE SIN BIN: THE RETURN OF RICHARDS

AFTER being banned from coaching for three years following the ‘Bloodgate’ scandal, Dean Richards is back and eyeing promotion with Newcastle. Here are the key stats for the former England forward.

Born: July 11, 1963
Clubs: Roanne, Leicester
England caps: 48 Lions caps: 6
Coaching career: Leicester, FC Grenoble, Harlequins, Newcastle
Coaching honours: 4 Premiership titles, 2 Heineken Cups

This is his second such assignment – trying to conjure an immediate return to the Premiership. In 2005-06, his first season at Quins, he took them straight back up. Richards is now helping the Falcons fly again, as they try to build on a 12-point lead at the top of the Championship table.

‘When I arrived at Quins, the fanbase was down to 3,500-4,000 per game; it has been very similar here,’ he said. ‘With the success we had that year and hopefully the success we have this year, the fans will come back.

‘It is similar in terms of the mental state of people when I arrived. A lot of people were very down; the club had gone down, though it wasn’t until July we knew for sure. Once that news broke, there was a real dropping of jaws and the realisation set in. The main difference is that I arrived at Quins and we had Andre Vos, Will Greenwood, Andrew Mehrtens, Ugo Monye – guys like that who were already in situ. We don’t quite have the leaders here who we had at Quins back then, which made a big difference.’

The contrast that has struck Richards the most is nothing to do with the comparative depth of leadership within his current club and his previous one. It is not the clubs’ markedly different catchment areas – a huge northern region with a low density of ‘chimney pots’, as opposed to a small southern region crammed full of them at Quins.

And it is nothing to do with the gulf in travel times that have played havoc with his fondness to share a post-match beer with the opposition. The most striking contrast has been in the landscape of the league.

There is now a play-off system; semi-finals and a final, on a home-and-away basis. And after London Welsh’s promotion via appeal last summer, there are Minimum Standards Criteria that the Championship clubs regard as redundant. Richards doesn’t hold back in condemning the situation.

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

Reprieved: London Welsh were promoted to the Premiership on appeal earlier this year

‘The Championship is different now,’ he said. ‘It is a bizarre scenario we find ourselves in – not knowing what is happening until May 29 and this Minimum Standards Criteria rubbish. You can’t plan conditioning, you can’t plan recruitment, no one knows where they stand.

‘It is a very ill-thought out process and whoever came up with it needs speaking to. It doesn’t have the ambience and rugby culture that was evident when I was there with Quins.

‘It has lost something because of what happened last year, which I think is wrong. What the London Welsh scenario means is that it doesn’t matter what facilities and structures are in place, you can just find a club 40 miles away and play there. There is no incentive to build foundations, to have a strong academy, to develop a side and a community and a culture.

‘You have to have a culture and strong roots, yet there is no encouragement to do that from the RFU because of the play-off structure and the Minimum Standards going out the window. It has become a real dog’s dinner. It is quite sad.’

Richards is adamant Newcastle will ‘do things right’. As the business end of the season approaches, he expects several other clubs to recruit heavily to ambush the Falcons in the play-offs, but he will not countenance a similar strategy. He feels the squad is of Premiership standard already.

Richards sets his sights incredibly high. ‘The ultimate goal is to win the European Cup,’ he said. ‘It will take a few years, but there’s no reason why we can’t get up there.’

Positive thinking, a long winning run and no negative comments about ‘the past’ – a perfect return indeed.

England v New Zealand preview with Ben Kay

England must not be conned by All Black rope-a-dope tactics

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UPDATED:

23:35 GMT, 30 November 2012

There are a lot of myths about the way the All Blacks play. People have this perception they’re an all-singing, all-dancing team who always have the ball and are always attacking, always expansive.

The truth is different. /11/30/article-2241211-16492714000005DC-110_634x422.jpg” width=”634″ height=”422″ alt=”Dan stays in the picture: The All Blacks most potent weapon, Dan Carter, checks out the news in Sportsmail, including pictures of his day out in London” class=”blkBorder” />

Dan stays in the picture: The All Blacks most potent weapon, Dan Carter, checks out the news in Sportsmail, including pictures of his day out in London

Steve Hansen’s side conceded the second-highest number of penalties and, when it came to time-in-possession stats, they were third of the four teams. The message is clear; it’s not about how much ball they have, it’s about what they do with it.

But there were several areas where the All Blacks were well ahead of the rest – passes completed, number of off-loads, defenders beaten, clean breaks, metres gained and tackle completion, highlighting their clinical work.

For a long time, New Zealand have been the finest counter-attacking side in the world. When they win a turnover, it’s as if they flick a mental switch. They all go up a gear, they raise their intensity levels. More often than not, they will score.

What the All Blacks do well is control and vary their pace. A lot of other nations play at the same high intensity, but they are one-paced, they lack that variety. New Zealand are able to operate and succeed with less possession. Their tackle-completion rates are really good, then when they get the ball, they immediately go up three gears.

Masters of the art: New Zealand are the best counter-attacking side in the world

Masters of the art: New Zealand are the best counter-attacking side in the world

Last weekend, Manu Tuilagi intercepted the ball and broke upfield against South Africa, but England were unable to take the scoring chance. In the same circumstances, the All Blacks would have flicked that switch and scored a try. The initial reaction is crucial. As soon as they see a turnover, the players all quickly get into position and flood through on the right support lines. In contrast, some of the England players might have seen Chris Ashton receive the ball from Tuilagi and subconsciously thought ‘he’s quick’ so they just watched him run.

New Zealand always ensure that as many players as possible work themselves into attacking positions. They would have had someone up in close support of a player in Ashton’s position, ready to take an off-load when he ran hard at the last defender.

Opta stats reveal that, of all the All Blacks tries since the World Cup, 44 per cent start when they regain possession in their own half. With England, that figure drops to about 20 per cent. New Zealand are always alert to potential try-scoring opportunities, even from deep.

It is like rope-a-dope – their ability to soak up pressure and pounce when chances come along. Their belief that they will always find a way to win borders on arrogance.

rugby.jpg

They will look at the opposition and
think, ‘Whatever you do, we will surpass you’, which is the mindset we
had with England in the run-up to the 2003 World Cup. The All Blacks
believe they are bullet proof.

Another advantage they have over England and other sides is an innate willingness to take risks. They have so many supreme physical specimens who can dominate collisions, but they also have the mind-set to play positively – always looking to offload.

In England, if you throw an offload that ‘wasn’t on’, it can lead to heavy criticism and that can make players go into their shells. Perhaps we have to change our national psyche when it comes to risk-taking.

England captain Chris Robshaw has been slated for his decision to go for goal with a late penalty last weekend, but he made the right call. Stats show that from 40 attacking line-outs within 10 metres of the opposition line since the start of 2010, England have scored just four times.

Under pressure: Robshaw will come in for intense scrutiny on Saturday

Under pressure: Robshaw will come in for intense scrutiny on Saturday

If time is almost up, the defending side can keep infringing, knowing that the attacking team need more than a penalty to win the game. They basically have a licence to cheat.

My hope is that Robshaw can block out all the criticism the next time that he faces a similar scenario, but my fear is that all the stick he’s had will affect him.

On this occasion, there are no areas where England have a clear advantage. Rugby is a strange game, so all hope is not lost, but I think the All Blacks will win, say 29-13.

headtohead.jpg

Brendan Rodgers not expecting Liverpool to spend big in January transfer window

Rodgers rules out January splurge as he admits Liverpool's frivolous past has cost club dear

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UPDATED:

06:52 GMT, 26 November 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers does not expect to make any major investment in his squad in January as the club continue to count the cost of previous regimes.

Rodgers watched his side secure a goalless draw on his return to former club Swansea on Sunday, where they lacked the cutting edge to claim the three points despite having several presentable chances.

Jose Enrique had a goal ruled out on a marginal offside decision, which Rodgers disagreed with, while Raheem Sterling struck the bar and Luis Suarez twice tested Gerhard Tremmel in the Swansea goal.

Demands: Brendan Rodgers won't have big money to spend in January

Demands: Brendan Rodgers won't have big money to spend in January

The result leaves Liverpool 11th in the Barclays Premier League, a point and two places below the Swans, but their performance suggested progress is being made in the adaptation to their manager’s passing principles.

The Reds are only five points adrift of Merseyside rivals Everton in fifth, but Rodgers does not expect January to help bring about a huge leap up the table and admits he does not yet consider the current squad to be his own.

He said: 'It will evolve. The guys are working very well, they have been fantastic, but we all know you need to get in your own types of players before you can say it is your own side.

'When I came to Swansea in my first season there were 12 players that were used and six moved on. In the second year seven came in over the course of the season and there were nine who went the other way.

'Until you get that turnover of players you can only look at it then as your team. But we will work with the players we have.

He added: 'I am not so sure it will be in January to be honest. This year the club wanted to balance the books and see where it was at.

Splurge: Kenny Dalglish's doomed regime cost the club a lot financially

Splurge: Kenny Dalglish's doomed regime cost the club a lot financially

'There was a big investment in the club and obviously a lot of players went out in the summer and a few came in.

'We will look to do some business in January to help and support the players here, but that is where we are at as a football club and it is something the owners trust me to grow over time. Eventually we will get there.'

Chelsea announce 1m profit

After eight years and a 1.2bn investment, Chelsea finally make a profit… of 1m (in the year they won the Champions League)

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UPDATED:

15:49 GMT, 9 November 2012

Chelsea have announced a profit of 1.4million for last year – the
first time the club has finished in the black in the Roman Abramovich
era.

Success in the Champions League plus a profit in the transfer market has
seen the club overturn a bleak financial record which saw them return a
loss of 67.7m the previous year.

Club chairman Bruce Buck said: 'We will never forget that night in
Munich and now we are celebrating serious progress off the field too.

In the money! Chelsea have finally turned a profit in the Abramovich era

In the money! Chelsea have finally turned a profit in the Abramovich era

'While we draw huge satisfaction from the achievements of the past 12
months we are more than ever focused on continuing the story of on-field
success supported by improving financial performance off the pitch.'

The results will be a huge boost to the club's efforts to comply with
UEFA's new financial fair play regulations, which will oblige clubs in
European competition to break even.

The club also had record group turnover of 255.7million, up from 225.6million.

A Chelsea statement said: 'The 1.4m profit contrasts with a loss of
67.7m in the previous financial year and puts the club in a strong
position to comply with UEFA financial fair play criteria for the coming
seasons.

'The club also enjoyed an uplift in revenues from commercial activities including new partners and merchandising.'

The statement added that debt of 166.6m was turned into equity during the course of the year 'making Chelsea FC plc debt free'.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo expressed delight at the news, saying this afternoon: 'We're in favour of Financial Fair Play. We're doing everything in our power to comply with the new rules, and this is great news for the club.

'For the first time, we've been able to achieve a profit – also thanks to the success on field, but off field as well, with new sponsor deals and also the transfer market.

'Going forward, I think that puts Chelsea Football Club in a strong position to remain competitive at domestic level but also international level.'

Di Matteo insisted the positive figures were not simply the result of Chelsea's Champions League triumph.

Big spenders: Chelsea's activity in the transfer market had put them in the red every year

Big spenders: Chelsea's activity in the transfer market had put them in the red every year

Big spenders: Chelsea's activity in the transfer market had put them in the red every year
Are you watching Arsenal

BBC Business Editor, Robert Peston, made the following observation (via Twitter): 'Chelsea's profit challenges Arsenal's claim that its restrained spending will put it in stronger position for financial fair play.'

'The business model is not just based on that,' he added. 'There are many people working within the club for that success.'

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay said: 'Our club philosophy is built
on success. We had that success on the field this year, as we were the
first London team to win the UEFA Champions League, and we enjoyed it
off the field as well and this helps us inject financial investment into
the team.

'The big challenge is always to have a successful team on the field that wins trophies and to make a profit at the same time.

'The objectives have been set across the whole business, from the
Academy to Under-21s and all the way through to the first team.'

There was also glee at Chelsea in that the increase in turnover puts
them above Arsenal in the money league and in fifth place in the world
behind Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Arsenal's annual figure, announced in September, saw overall turnover fall to 243m from 255m, although profits were 30.6m.

Chelsea said in their statement: 'Chelsea Football Club has also
recorded a record group turnover of 255.7million, making Chelsea the
fifth largest club in Europe in terms of revenue.'

The big prize: Abramovich finally got his hands on the Champions League trophy this year

The big prize: Abramovich finally got his hands on the Champions League trophy this year

Mark Hughes blames injuries and personnel changes for QPR"s predicament… but says things will get better

Hughes blames injuries and personnel changes for QPR's predicament… but says things will get better

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UPDATED:

13:15 GMT, 20 October 2012

QPR boss Mark Hughes believes player turnover and a host of injuries has masked the quality of his squad at Loftus Road.

The Welshman has been backed by Rangers' chairman Tony Fernandes in recent weeks despite the fact the club sit bottom of the Premier League.

Fernandes bank-rolled several big-name signings over the summer and, although the desired results have not followed, Hughes is confident once they gel they will be successful.

He said: 'Everyone understands what we are trying to do here. Tony and Amit (Bhatia, vice-chairman) and all the shareholders have been really positive in that regard.

Down in the dumps: QPR are bottom of the Premier League, but boss Mark Hughes says things are looking up

Down in the dumps: QPR are bottom of the Premier League, but boss Mark Hughes says things are looking up

'They knew and we discussed that there was a possibility the start of the season could be a little bit difficult because we had so many players coming in.'

A number of injuries have also destabilised QPR, especially in defence with Hughes unable to name a settled back four all season and the former Manchester City boss reckons once he has more options the results will follow.

'We have also been hurt with the number of injuries which hasn't helped matters but I think we are all comfortable that at some point in the very near future, once everything settles down, once we get a settled side then the quality we have will let us win Premier League games,' he said.

'We are very positive that once we get points on the board that will continue until the end of the season.

'I've got great support and I think it is a consequence of the work we have done in such a short space of time.

'We have taken the club a long way – not only off the field but I feel in terms of the personnel we have been able to attract to the club.'

Lowly: QPR have conceded 16 goals in seven games

Lowly: QPR have conceded 16 goals in seven games

A lot of the R's first-team squad are now working their way back to match fitness, with only Fabio and Andy Johnson ruled out of the match against Everton on Sunday and Hughes is looking forward to having a fully-fit squad.

'There are still players who are able to train at the minute but haven't had game time so there is still the discrepancy in terms of everyone's level (of fitness),' he said.

'It is not all on the same line unfortunately but that will get to a point in the future when everyone has the same level of fitness and has had enough game time and is into the flow of the Premier League season.'

There are constant rumours that Hughes' position in under threat due to the poor start to the season.

But the 48-year-old believes the reign of David Moyes, his counterpart on Sunday, has set an example for other clubs to follow.

'Longevity is vital to a club and certainly one in our position who are only in their second season after coming up from the Championship,' he said.

'You need that continuity and longevity of players and management to enable you to grow as a group and chopping and changing personnel is difficult.'

Hughes has backed his own managerial ability amid rumours the likes of Harry Redknapp is waiting in the wings to replace him.

After keeping QPR afloat last season Hughes believes his time at Loftus Road so far ranks amongst the best in his career.

'The job we did from January until the end of last season was a huge job,' he said.

'Whatever success I have in the future and whatever success I have had in the past, the job that we did from Jan until the end of the season was huge and was right up there in what I was able to achieve.

'I don't think that will change anytime soon, I think it was a massive job that we had to undertake and achieved, we are still very early in the process and we are still trying to move this club forward and we will do.'

Swindon handed transfer embargo after breaking Financial Fair Play rules

Swindon handed transfer embargo after breaking Financial Fair Play rules

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 7 October 2012

Embargoed: Di Canio (right) cannot sign any players

Embargoed: Di Canio (right) cannot sign any players

Paolo Di Canio has been banned from signing any more players after Swindon were hit with a transfer embargo for overspending on wages and transfer fees.

The Football League stepped in after Swindon breached Financial Fair Play rules by exceeding the spending limit of 65 per cent of their turnover.

Swindon were tipped over the edge after a league tribunal ordered Di Canio’s side to shell out a combined 340,000 pounds for midfielder James Collins and defender Troy Archibald-Henville.

Di Canio said: 'I hope in the future we have a different situation otherwise things will be difficult. If we want the team to go up we have to cancel the embargo.'

Mark Hughes right man for QPR, insists chairman

Hughes 'right man' for the job insists QPR chairman as pressure intensifies after defeat at West Brom

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UPDATED:

22:24 GMT, 7 October 2012

QPR chairman Tony Fernandes has given his backing to manager Mark Hughes, insisting he remains 'the right man' for the job despite the club sitting bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

Rangers have collected only two points from their opening seven games and again paid the price for some woeful defending during Saturday's 3-2 defeat at West Brom.

Under pressure: QPR boss Mark Hughes watches his team at The Hawthorns

Under pressure: QPR boss Mark Hughes watches his team at The Hawthorns

Yet Fernandes remains fully committed to supporting Hughes, who is convinced QPR's fortunes will improve once his heavily-overhauled squad has had time to bed in.

Fernandes tweeted: 'For all QPR fans. Fans who analyse properly. I am not changing anything. And all shareholders agree.

'No team except the first game [a 5-0 home defeat to Swansea] has outplayed us. We need a consistent four defenders not changing every week especially right and left back. Mark is the right man.'

Fernandes added: 'For all those calling for change, this is the team that outplayed Spurs and gave Chelsea a damm good game and you want change. No way.'

Another bad day at the office: Zoltan Gera celebrates with Peter Odemwingie after scoring against QPR

Another bad day at the office: Zoltan Gera celebrates with Peter Odemwingie after scoring against QPR

Hughes offloaded 17 players during the close season while bringing in a dozen new faces, and has also been dogged by injuries, particularly in defence.

'I'm still learning about the group, still learning about the players I have,” said Hughes. We had a big turnover in the summer and we all knew it was going to take time.

'Tony is a very supportive chairman and I've got great support from the shareholders. We've talked and discussed what could happen at the beginning of this year because we all understand it may take some time. But we are all fully committed to what we are trying to do.

Standing by his man: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes

Standing by his man: QPR chairman Tony Fernandes

'It is disappointing because we have showed glimpses of what we can do but we haven't been able to sustain it for 90 minutes. That will come. We've just got to keep working hard and cut out the mistakes.'

Hughes added: 'We are struggling to get a settled unit. We are having too many changes and a number of players are still carrying injuries and are not 100 per cent.

'It would be great to have a full complement of players who could complete 90 minutes. At the moment it seems that we can't get to that stage.

Pick us! FA put forward Wembley to UEFA as venue for cross-continent Euro 2020 final

Pick us! FA put Wembley forward to UEFA as venue for final of continent-wide Euro 2020

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UPDATED:

14:22 GMT, 24 September 2012

The Football Association have put forward Wembley to UEFA as the venue for the Euro 2020 final.

UEFA president Michel Platini is considering a change to the format of the tournament so that it would be played in cities across Europe rather than just one or two countries.

It is understood FA chairman David Bernstein met Platini last week and registered the association's interest in Wembley holding the final of the European Championships.

Pick us! The FA have out Wembley forward to host the Euro 2020 final

Pick us! The FA have out Wembley forward to host the Euro 2020 final

If successful, it could also mean one or both Euro 2020 semi-finals also being held in London – Platini's idea is that one city should host the climax of the tournament.

Wembley's chances are linked to Turkey's bid for Euro 2020 – if Istanbul wins the right to host the Olympics in that year then UEFA will not countenance Turkey hosting the Euros.

In that case, Platini's revolutionary new format would be much more likely to take place, and UEFA's liking for Wembley – it was a record-breaking venue in terms of finances for the Champions League final last year and will be so again in 2013 – would give London a real chance of being selected for the final.

The FA do not want to be dragged into an expensive bidding campaign however, such was the costly failure of the 2010 World Cup bid.

A new format: Michel Platini wants to spread the competition across the continent rather than one country hosting it

A new format: Michel Platini wants to spread the competition across the continent rather than one country hosting it

The success of the Champions League final at Wembley in 2011 contributed to record turnover of 329million for the FA last year – up 8 per cent – and a profit after tax of 40m, up from 9million in 2010.

The Champions League final in 2011 brought in more than 11m for the FA.

The FA have also agreed a fixed rental price for UEFA for next season's final, which coincides with the FA's 150th anniversary, so they will earn a fixed sum whatever the ticket prices and sales.

Bernstein's discussions with Platini also covered the future of Britain's FIFA vice-presidency.

Platini has suggested keeping the position, which is under threat due to FIFA's modernisation and reform programme, but all 53 UEFA countries vote for candidates nominated by the four home nations.

The FA are thought to be ambivalent about that idea, and are willing to see the vice-presidency abolished if it maintains their place on the game's law-making body the International FA Board (IFAB).

Meanwhile, the FA have not given up hope of having goal-line technology systems in place for the semi-finals and final of the FA Cup this season, and have agreed to tender for a system jointly with the Premier League.

Magic moment: Spain lifted the Euro trophy in Kiev after beating Italy

Magic moment: Spain lifted the Euro trophy in Kiev after beating Italy

Historic moments: Mario Balotelli was on the losing Italy team when Spain won at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev

Historic moments: Mario Balotelli was on the losing Italy team when Spain won at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev

Rally GB set for spot on 2013 WRC calendar

Rally GB set for spot on 2013 calendar as Welsh government reach deal with organisers

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UPDATED:

11:24 GMT, 14 September 2012

Rally GB appears guaranteed to be on the World Rally Championship calendar for a 14th consecutive year in 2013.

The Welsh government has reached an in-principle agreement with the organisers, International Motorsports Ltd, to host the event in Wales next year.

Confirming the agreement, Minister for Business Edwina Hart said: 'Wales Rally GB is one of Wales' longstanding flagship events and has been exclusively hosted here since 2000.

Future: Rally GB appears guaranteed to be on the World Rally Championship calendar

Future: Rally GB appears guaranteed to be on the WRC calendar

'In addition to reaching an in-principle agreement for 2013, we have agreed to undertake a full review of next year's event, with a view to extending the agreement for a further two years.

'The value of the relationship between the staging of Wales Rally GB and Wales' automotive sector should not be underestimated.

'Wales Rally GB has significant links with the automotive sector in Wales, which is home to 150 component and systems manufacturing companies.

'The industry in Wales also employs 18,000 people in automotive manufacturing, retail & maintenance and has an annual turnover of 3billion.'

The Welsh Government provided a funding package worth 1.4million to support this year's Wales Rally GB event, which began in earnest today following a ceremonial start in Llandudno last night.