Tag Archives: unprecedented

Michel Platini: A summer World Cup in Qatar is not possible… it has to be staged during the winter

Platini: A summer World Cup in Qatar is
not possible… it HAS to be staged during
the winter

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:03 GMT, 20 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 20 March 2013

UEFA president Michel Platini has once again stressed his belief that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar must be held during the winter.

Platini echoed comments made by Britain's FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce yesterday that the searing heat in the Asian country will make playing football unbearable.

'In the summer, at 50 degrees, you can not possibly play football in Qatar,' Platini said in an interview with Germany's leading sports magazine Kicker.

Unconvinced: Michel Platini believes the 2022 World Cup cannot be played during the summer

Unconvinced: Michel Platini believes the 2022 World Cup cannot be played during the summer

This is not the first time the former France midfielder has stated his opposition to holding the Qatar tournament in the summer and he is supportive of a winter break for domestic championships.

Platini also responded to FIFA president Sepp Blatter's comments that the decision to stage Euro 2020 across the continent would rip the 'heart and soul' out of the tournament.

European football's governing body announced in December that it had taken the unprecedented step of hosting the event in several cities throughout Europe.

And Platini defended the decision, saying: 'The name European fits better than ever, as the Euros will be held for the first time in Europe.'

'Heart and soul': FIFA chief Sepp Blatter doesn't agree with Platini's plans for the Euros

'Heart and soul': FIFA chief Sepp Blatter doesn't agree with Platini's plans for the Euros

Manchester United players and WAGs at UNICEF charity gala

Manchester United stars suited and booted for charity dinner at Old Trafford

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UPDATED:

10:01 GMT, 20 December 2012

The stars of Manchester United were out in force on Wednesday night for the club's annual gala dinner.

Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand fronted the star-studded cast arriving at Old Trafford for the dinner in aid of charity UNICEF.

Questioning: Rio Ferdinand is joined on stage by Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and co at Unted's gala dinner as they are interviewed by BBC political editor Nick Robinson

Questioning: Rio Ferdinand is joined on stage by Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and co at Unted's gala dinner as they are interviewed by BBC political editor Nick Robinson

Cheer up, Ryan: A rather glum looking Giggs poses for a picture with team-mates Rooney and Fletcher

Cheer up, Ryan: A rather glum looking Giggs poses for a picture with team-mates Rooney and Fletcher

Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney

Chris Smalling

Double act: Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney strike a pose with Chris Smalling and partner Sam Cooke

Sir Alex Ferguson however was a notable absentee.

The United boss, whose secrets behind
his unrivalled success at Old Trafford were in part revealed following an
unprecedented study by Harvard University, didn't join his side at the
black-tie affair despite his name being mentioned on the official
invite.

Patrice Evra

Darren Fletcher

Suit you, sir: Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher look the part as they arrive at the home of Manchester United

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

The United boss is unlikely to be
happy that his side playing three games in seven days over the Festive
period starting with a tricky trip to Swansea on Sunday.

United will begin the tough run of games with a six-point cushion over rivals Manchester City as they
attempt to wrestle back the Premier League trophy to the red half of the
city.

SHINJI KAGAWA

Jonny Evans

Thumbs up: Shinji Kagawa (left) and Jonny Evans with his girlfriend Helen McConnell

In the swing: United veteran Ryan Giggs arrives at the star-studded evening at Old Trafford

In the swing: United veteran Ryan Giggs arrives at the star-studded evening at Old Trafford

Men in black: Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck pose for the assorted media

Men in black: Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck pose for the assorted media

Nick Powell

Alexander Buttner

Picture perfect: Summer signings Nick Powell and Alexander Buttner with their respective partners

Lat year's gala raised 130,000 for
charity and some punters would have paid in excess of 3,500 a ticket
for last night's do which included a three-course meal, free bottle of
wine and a VIP drinks reception at the United museum, according to the
club's website.

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Red Devil: Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley arriving at Old Trafford for the gala dinner

PS United are always in the news… but what are you doing here, Nick

The evening was hosted by BBC political editor Nick Robinson – a lifelong Manchester United fan who is from Macclesfield

Holding the mic: Nick Robinson

Manchester United stars at Old Trafford for charity gala in aid of UNICEF

Manchester United stars suited and booted for charity dinner at Old Trafford

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

The stars of Manchester United were out in force on Wednesday night for the club's annual gala dinner.

Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand fronted the star-studded cast arriving at Old Trafford for the dinner in aid of charity UNICEF.

Questioning: Rio Ferdinand is joined by Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and co on stage at Manchester Unted's gala dinner

Questioning: Rio Ferdinand is joined on stage by Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney and co at Unted's gala dinner

Cheer up, Ryan: A rather glum looking Giggs poses for a picture with team-mates Rooney and Fletcher

Cheer up, Ryan: A rather glum looking Giggs poses for a picture with team-mates Rooney and Fletcher

Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney

Chris Smalling

Double act: Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney strike a pose with Chris Smalling and partner Sam Cooke

Sir Alex Ferguson however was a notable absentee.

The United boss, whose secrets behind
his unrivalled success at Old Trafford were in part revealed following an
unprecedented study by Harvard University, didn't join his side at the
black-tie affair despite his name being mentioned on the official
invite.

Patrice Evra

Darren Fletcher

Suit you, sir: Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher look the part as they arrive at the home of Manchester United

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

Happy: Hernandez shares a joke with Valencia while Cleverley, Young and Welbeck are all smiles (below)

The United boss is unlikely to be
happy that his side playing three games in seven days over the Festive
period starting with a tricky trip to Swansea on Sunday.

United will begin the tough run of games with a six-point cushion over rivals Manchester City as they
attempt to wrestle back the Premier League trophy to the red half of the
city.

SHINJI KAGAWA

Jonny Evans

Thumbs up: Shinji Kagawa (left) and Jonny Evans with his girlfriend Kate Wathall

In the swing: United veteran Ryan Giggs arrives at the star-studded evening at Old Trafford

In the swing: United veteran Ryan Giggs arrives at the star-studded evening at Old Trafford

Men in black: Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck pose for the assorted media

Men in black: Tom Cleverley, Ashley Young and Danny Welbeck pose for the assorted media

Nick Powell

Alexander Buttner

Picture perfect: Summer signings Nick Powell and Alexander Buttner with their respective partners

Lat year's gala raised 130,000 for
charity and some punters would have paid in excess of 3,500 a ticket
for last night's do which included a three-course meal, free bottle of
wine and a VIP drinks reception at the United museum, according to the
club's website.

Catherine Tyldesley

Catherine Tyldesley

Red Devil: Coronation Street actress Catherine Tyldesley arriving at Old Trafford for the gala dinner

Rory McIlroy named 2012 European Tour golfer of the year

More glory for Rory as world No 1 McIlroy is named European Tour golfer of the year

PUBLISHED:

15:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

15:06 GMT, 18 December 2012

World No 1 Rory McIlroy has been named the European Tour golfer of the year.

McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award, having also replicated the Englishman's previously unprecedented achievement of winning both the Race to Dubai and US PGA Tour money list in the same season.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland captured his second major title in August, winning the US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island by a record eight shots, matching the winning margin of his maiden major triumph in the 2011 US Open.

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

Glory boy: Rory McIlroy celebrated his second major success by winning the PGA Championship earlier this year

McIlroy also won three times in America before playing a vital role in Europe's stunning Ryder Cup victory at Medinah, while he ended the year in style with five closing birdies to win the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

'Everyone who knows me knows how special the 2012 season was,' McIlroy said.

'A couple of wins, including a major, and consistent performances in big events all helped me win The Race to Dubai for the first time.

'To win that was a massive highlight of an amazing season and I hope it will be the first of many. Now, to have been named as The European Tour Golfer of the Year puts the icing on the cake.

Over to you: McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award

Over to you: McIlroy succeeds Luke Donald as winner of the coveted award

'It is a very special honour indeed and you only need to look down the list of players who have preceded me as the winner of this award to see precisely why; quite simply, it is a Who's Who of golf and I'm delighted to now be a part of that in the history books.

'We play golf because we relish the opportunity to win major championships and world-class tournaments around the globe. But when we do that, to be recognised for these achievements is a great thrill and I thank all the members of the panel who voted for me.'

FA"s 92-point action plan to rid football of racism with quotas for referees and coaches

SPORTSMAIL EXCLUSIVE: We'll kick out the bigots… FA's 92-point action plan to rid football of the scourge of racism
The Football Association will introduce ethnic quotas for referees and coaches early in the new year
The latest video technology, including spy cameras, will be used to catch racist fansTough crackdown on offending clubsMoves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people

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UPDATED:

23:42 GMT, 12 December 2012

English football will introduce quotas for referees and coaches as part of an unprecedented campaign to tackle racism.

The plan will be adopted early in the new year and include the demand that at least 10 per cent of entry level officials and coaches throughout the game are from ethnic minorities.

There will also be moves to increase the involvement of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in all forms of football, while Asian role models will be sought to encourage Asian children to play the game.

Confidential hotlines will be set up for players to report any form of bullying and discrimination, and fans will be able to text, email or maybe even tweet their complaints about any form of racism.

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

Race disgrace: John Terry (covering mouth) was banned for abusing Anton Ferdinand

In addition, the latest video and audio technology will be used to identify supporters guilty of racist gestures or chanting at matches.

The far-reaching plan comes after a period in which football has been scarred by the racist behaviour of John Terry and Luis Suarez, and by the false accusation of racial abuse levelled at referee Mark Clattenburg.

PFA back ban call

The Professional Footballers’ Association will support the FA proposal of a minimum five-game ban for racist abuse.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said: ‘We want to illustrate the seriousness of our approach to this issue.’

The extent of the fight against racism can be revealed by Sportsmail, who have seen the FA’s 92-point Football Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Action Plan.

FA chairman David Bernstein has also given his personal guarantee in a letter to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, copied to Prime Minister David Cameron, that all the recommendations will be carried out once they have been rubber-stamped by football’s stakeholders.

The anti-racism education process being introduced will not just involve cultural lessons for overseas players and managers coming to England.

All sections of the game, including match stewards, will be given advice on how best to combat discrimination and the procedures to follow when it happens.

The FA will also establish an Inclusion Advisory Board to provide guidance on all equality matters and monitor the implementation of the plan.

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

Flashpoint: Luis Suarez (left) was in an ugly clash with Patrice Evra last season

The document has been distributed to all 92 League clubs, who will be expected to sign the charter for action against homophobia and transphobia launched by the Government last year.

Contracts with players and managers will have a mandatory reference to behaving in an inclusive and non-discriminatory manner.

A timetable has been set out as far ahead as the 2017-18 season as to when the 92 points will be implemented.

They start this month with the football organisations publicising the roles and responsibilities of each body — FA, Premier League, Football League, clubs, League Managers’ Associations, Professional Footballers’ Association and County FAs — in promoting inclusion and dealing with discrimination in football.

Also beginning immediately is the FA mandate that the proportion of ethnic minority coaches starting at the lowest level of qualification does not fall below 10 per cent.

And by season 2015-16: ‘The FA in conjunction with county FAs will ensure that 10 per cent of the referee workforce is from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, which is reflective of national demographics.’

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

Shirt shrift: Manchester City's Joleon Lescott refuses to wear a Kick It Out top

The proposals are the FA’s response to
the Prime Minister calling for the game to take tougher action after an
anti-racism-in-football summit last February.

Bernstein is making the fight against racism his personal FA legacy before he stands down next May. In his letter to Miller he writes: ‘Let me give you my own personal reassurance that this is an issue at the very top of my agenda.

‘It is one that I know we are all determined to address both speedily and collaboratively subject to the approvals processes of our respective organisations.

‘There is no doubt that recent events have brought into sharp relief the impact that race and other forms of discrimination can still have on the game. Incidents involving high-profile players cast a shadow over the sport and can undermine much of the collective good work achieved.

‘Despite the substantial progress English football has made in this area over many years we fully recognise that the work to eliminate discrimination based on race, ethnic origin, colour and nationality is still not complete.’

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Official inquiry: The FA want more non-white referees to follow Uriah Rennie

Bernstein was referring to the Terry, Suarez and Clattenburg cases and the FA plan seeks to prevent any repetition.

The hotline strategy follows Jason Roberts’ complaints about some black players not trusting the authorities to fight racism.

To counter that lack of faith in the authorities, the planned support structure will ‘ensure those who wish to report incidents of discrimination or bullying within the game, whether trainees, players, coaches, managers, other employees or fans, can do so in confidence and receive the support they may require’.

Ironically Bernstein also puts on record his strong support for anti-racism group Kick It Out, whose chairman Lord Ouseley has threatened to quit the FA Council in protest at their ‘mealy- mouthed’ response to the Terry and Suarez issues.

The recommendations may be tweaked after feedback from stakeholders. But they are broadly expected to be introduced following club meetings next February. It is envisaged that the final version will be presented in a ‘more user friendly and punchy format’.

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Crackdown: Chelsea banned this supporter for making a gesture at Manchester United's Danny Welbeck

Other key proposals include:

The Football League introducing mandatory minimum standard club codes of conduct.Social media guidelines for players and club staff to follow throughout professional football.Crowd management measures to guide professional and semi- professional clubs.Mandatory lessons for all to educate and change attitudes and ensure they are informed of the procedures to follow when incidents occur.Closer working relationships with police over hate crime in football incidents.Football authorities to discipline clubs who repeatedly fail to sanction employers who breach code of conduct, or deal adequately with fans in relation to discriminatory language or behaviour.A review of the recruitment process for managers and coaches at the top level.New programmes to help black and Asian coaches gain qualifications to challenge for top professional roles.Talent programmes specifically for Asian men and boys and the promotion of Asian male and female role models.Improve the reporting and analysis of in-stadium offences.

The FA are not just attempting to eradicate racism in their grand plan.

The commitment is to ‘promote inclusion and eliminate discrimination whether by reason of race, nationality, ethnic origin, colour, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital status, religion or belief, ability or disability’.

Ugliness has tarnished football: month-by-month

Sebastian Vettel earns Red Bull employees 10k bonus each

Cheers Seb! Over 550 Red Bull employees pick up 10k each after Vettel wins title

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UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 27 November 2012

Christmas has come early for the employees at Red Bull Racing.

Each member of the 550-strong team will
land a cool 10,000 bonus after Sebastian Vettel wrapped up his third
drivers’ title on the bounce following Sunday’s dramatic Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 25-year-old German fought his way from the back of the field to finish sixth and deny Fernando Alonso the title by just three points.

Centre of attention: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel surrounded by his colleagues... who each picked up a cool 10k

Centre of attention: Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel surrounded by his colleagues… who each picked up a cool 10k

It was Red Bull’s second success in as many weeks after they sealed the constructors’ championship at the penultimate round of the season in Austin.

In a recent interview with Sportsmail, team principal Christian Horner stressed that the key ingredient behind his team’s unprecedented success was its ‘people’.

And they’ll now be rewarded with a tidy bonus just in time for the festive season after securing an incredible three drivers’ and constructors’ titles on the spin.

Blow: When Hamilton's car got damaged McLaren paid the price to the tune of 7m

Blow: When Hamilton's car got damaged McLaren paid the price to the tune of 7m

Vettel, his team-mate Mark Webber and Horner will make a triumphant return to the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes today, where they’ll be given the chance to celebrate their triumph with fellow Red Bull colleagues.

Over at rivals McLaren however, the picture isn’t quite so rosy.

Lewis Hamilton’s retirement from the lead of the season-ending race in Brazil has cost the British team in excess of 7million in prize money – the difference between finishing second and third in the constructors’ championship.

McLaren were on course to leapfrog Ferrari in the standings before Hamilton was denied victory in his final race for the Woking-based outfit after he sustained irreparable suspension damage in a collision with the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Australian broadcaster launches Emile Heskey Cam

Heskey Cam! Ever wanted to watch him for the full 90
minutes Well, now you can…

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UPDATED:

11:57 GMT, 25 October 2012

His number nine shirt sold out within minutes due to unprecedented demand and his arrival sold the Newcastle Jets 2,000 more season tickets… but Emile Heskey fever Down Under just got a little more bizarre.

An Australian broadcaster has launched a live 'Heskey Cam', so fans of the English striker, 34, can study his every move in Friday night's clash with the Melbourne Victory.

Fox Sports will offer the service via the red button during their live coverage of the A-League fixture, having previously broadcast Alessandro Del Piero Cam and Shinji Ono Cam.

No hiding for Heskey: Fox Sports is offering a Heskey Cam service for Friday night's match between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory

No hiding for Heskey: Fox Sports is offering a Heskey Cam service for Friday night's match between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory

On target: Emile Heskey opened his account for the Newcastle Jets against Sydney FC in A-League round two

On target: Emile Heskey opened his account for the Newcastle Jets against Sydney FC in A-League round two

An advert for the service says: 'Heskey Cam gives you it all: one camera, one hero; every pass, every run, everything Heskey does on the pitch, you'll see it first with the Heskey Cam, the dedicated broadcast providing a rare insight into what makes Heskey so good.'

While English fans might question the use of the words 'run' and 'so good', Heskey has got off to an excellent start in Australia.

And another! Heskey followed it up with a second goal against the Central Coast Mariners

And another! Heskey followed it up with a second goal against the Central Coast Mariners

Heskey scored on his second appearance for the Jets, in a 3-2 win over a Sydney FC side featuring Del Piero.

He followed that up a week later with another, as the Jets beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1.

COULD THE HESKEY FOOTAGE TURN INTO THIS…

A French documentary in 2006 turned footage shot of Real Madrid player Zinedine Zidane in a La Liga match with Villarreal into a feature-length film.

'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait' used film from 17 synchronised cameras at the Bernabeu trained exclusively on Zidane.

The idea was to showcase the Frenchman's genius, but Zidane was actually sent off towards the end of the match after starting a brawl.

Poetry in motion: A French filmmaker turned player cam footage of Zinedine Zidane into a feature-length documentary

Poetry in motion: A French filmmaker turned player cam footage of Zinedine Zidane into a feature-length documentary

Back in 1970, the German filmmaker Hellmuth Costard made 'Football As Never Before' which featured the Manchester United legend George Best in a game against Coventry City.

Costard used eight 16mm film cameras to track Best's every movement.

With Heskey on his way to becoming a club legend at Newcastle Jets, perhaps Friday's footage will one day be on the big screen.

Clip from 'Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait'

BBC to list super 12 for Sports Personality of the Year award after golden year

BBC to list super 12 for Sports
Personality of the Year award

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 18 October 2012

The BBC's shortlist for the Sports
Personality of the Year award will be extended to 12 names in
recognition of the unprecedented achievements this summer.

A new selection format will also be
revealed on Friday, with Baroness Grey-Thompson, Denise Lewis and Sir
Steve Redgrave part of a 12-person panel given the task of picking the
candidates ahead of the public vote on December 16.

Favourite: Bradley Wiggins

In the running: Bradley Wiggins

Sportsmail's head of sport, Lee Clayton, is one of three newspaper executives who have been choosen to take part in the process.

The changes to the procedure are in part a response to the outcry caused when last year's version did not include any female nominees. Magazines Nuts and Zoo were two of the 27 publications which received a vote.

Bradley Wiggins, who became the first Briton to win the Tour de France before taking the Olympic time-trial crown, is the bookies' favourite with Andy Murray, who won Britain's first Grand Slam title since 1936 at the US Open – as well as gold and silver at London 2012 – in second.

In Redgrave's eyes, Wiggins has a winning pedigree. 'We have had tennis players who have won Grand Slams,' he said. 'We have never had anybody who has won the Tour de France.'

Golden girl: Ellie Simmonds

Golden girl: Ellie Simmonds

Redgrave revealed that his shortlist so far also includes three Paralympians – David Weir, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds.

Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Clare Balding will host the show in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000 at the ExCeL Arena, making it the largest gathering in the award's 59-year history. Viewers will be asked to vote for the winner during the broadcast.

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis are two others in contention and Ennis pipped Farah to the title of British Olympic Athlete of the Year. The heptathlon gold medallist claimed 48 per cent of the vote. Wheelchair racer Weir also collected 48 per cent of the vote en route to claiming the Paralympic award.

Sports Personality of the Year: Andy Murray, Bradley Wiggins, Rory McIlroy – who should win?

Murray, Wiggins, Mo… but who will win most hotly-contested Sports Personality EVER

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UPDATED:

11:01 GMT, 11 September 2012

TODAY'S POLL

Who should win this year's Sports Personality award

VOTE

Andy Murray

POLL RESULTS

Close

All polls
Click to view yesterday's poll results

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There’s no doubt about it – this is the greatest year in
the history of British sport.

Almost every day this summer has brought another cause
for celebration – we have clapped, cheered, jumped up and down and done the ‘Mobot.’

From Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win the
Tour de France, right through the unprecedented success at the Olympics and
Paralympics in London, to Monday night’s Grand Slam success for Andy Murray, we
have hailed every amazing moment.

But such rich success now brings a big dilemma – who out
of all our outstanding sportsmen and women should win the coveted BBC Sports
Personality of the Year award

In what will be
probably the strongest shortlist ever, Sportsmail considers the case for each
contender (and there’s bound to be a few we’ve missed out).

Our Greatest Dilemma: Who will succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Our Greatest Dilemma: Who will succeed Mark Cavendish as BBC Sports Personality of the Year

Bradley Wiggins –
Odds: 6/5

In any ‘normal’ year, Wiggins would have been a shoo-in and,
indeed, some bookmakers did pay out when he took the Olympic cycling time trial
gold to add to his unprecedented Tour de France win.

But unfortunately for popular champion Wiggins, his
brilliant Tour victory – the first by a Briton – has been rather overshadowed
by what’s happened since.

Nonetheless, he remains the favourite with those who
appreciate the magnitude of his achievements in France and also the almost
effortless nature of his Olympic gold.

Bradley Wiggins celebrates winning the Tour de France in July

Bradley Wiggins after winning the Olympic time trial

Popular Champion: Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in July (left) and then rounded off a magnificent summer by taking gold in the Olympic time trial in London (right)

Andy Murray – Odds:
5/2

He’d already had his greatest year; becoming the first
Briton to reach the men’s final at Wimbledon since 1938. And thought that ended
in defeat to Roger Federer, Murray played like a man inspired to take gold at
the Olympics, the first Brit to do this since 1908.

But, perhaps concerned that he hadn’t done enough, he
scratched another itch on Monday night by becoming the first player from these
shores to win a Grand Slam in 76 years. His incredible five-set win over Novak
Djokovic at the US Open will be, we hope, the first of many.

The wait is over! Andy Murray's triumph at the US Open ended a 76-year wait for a British Grand Slam champion

The wait is over! Andy Murray's triumph at the US Open ended a 76-year wait for a British Grand Slam champion

Mo Farah – Odds:
5/2

Quite a year for Mo Farah – who won two Olympic golds on
successive Saturday nights in the 5,000 metres and the 10,000 metres, saw his
wife give birth to twin daughters, inspired a pose called the ‘Mobot’ and beat
The Cube to raise 250,000 for his charity.

On the track, his double golds confirmed his reputation
as the best long distance runner on the planet today, a brilliant race
tactician and an athlete in possession of a deadly kick in the final two laps.

I don't believe it! Mo Farah reacts after winning the Olympic 5,000m final, his second gold in London

I don't believe it! Mo Farah reacts after winning the Olympic 5,000m final, his second gold in London

Jessica Ennis –
Odds: 10-1

Few British athletes felt the weight of public
expectation going in to the Olympics as Ennis, the poster girl of the Games.
But she not only delivered the anticipated gold medal, but dominated the
heptathlon competition.

She got a flying start in the hurdles, setting a new
British record, and didn’t look back – recording her best first day score and
a succession of times and distances that would have placed her
respectably in the actual events.

Ennis storming through the field to win the final event,
the 800 metres, was one of the seminal moments of the London Games.

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis is all smiles after winning her heptathlon gold

Golden girl: Jessica Ennis is all smiles after winning her heptathlon gold

David Weir – Odds:
25-1

Whatever the distance, wheelchair racer David Weir mastered
it at the London Paralympics. His four golds came in the 800m, the 1500m, the
5000m and, incredibly, the marathon as well.

With ten Paralympic medals now to his name, including six
golds, Weir has a strong claim to be considered the greatest wheelchair athlete
ever and his relatively short odds in this list confirm that.

Precious metal: Quadruple gold medal winning Paralympian David Weir at the victory parade on Monday

Precious metal: Quadruple gold medal winning Paralympian David Weir at the victory parade on Monday

Ellie Simmonds –
Odds: 50-1

She has four Paralympic gold medals, two other Paralympic
medals and ten world championship golds – so it’s hard to believe swimmer Ellie
Simmonds is just 17.

One of Britain’s most high profile and popular Paralympic champions,
Simmonds again captured the imagination in London and is among the favourites to win
the main Sports Personality Awards having won the Young Personality award in
2008.

Brit special: Ellie Simmonds with the four medals she won in the swimming pool at the London Paralympics

Brit special: Ellie Simmonds with the four medals she won in the swimming pool at the London Paralympics

Sir Chris Hoy –
Odds: 100-1

You win two more Olympic gold medals for your collection
in London, taking your overall tally to six and in the process become the most
decorated ever British Olympian – and yet your Sports Personality odds are
100-1.

Hoy’s Velodrome successes in the Team Sprint and the
Keirin smashed doubts that at the age of 36, he was past his best, and despite
having achieved everything in his sport, Hoy has no plans to wind down yet.

Driving force: Sir Chris Hoy pushes for the line in the Keirin, one of his two gold medals at London 2012

Driving force: Sir Chris Hoy pushes for the line in the Keirin, one of his two gold medals at London 2012

Sarah Storey – Odds:
100-1

A quite incredible Paralympian, Storey now has a
collection of 22 medals, half of them golds, across two sports and two decades.
Her win in the C5 Individual Pursuit started Britain’s Paralympic gold rush and
she went on to win the Time Trial in the Velodrome and then the Individual road
time trial and road race outside it.

And she only made the switch to cycling from swimming in
2005 after winning all there was to win in the pool. Six cycling golds confirm
it was the right decision and Storey is undoubtedly one of the greatest of all
time.

Hoe favourite: Sarah Storey is cheered home to gold in the Individual C4-5 road race at the Paralympics

Hoe favourite: Sarah Storey is cheered home to gold in the Individual C4-5 road race at the Paralympics

Jonnie Peacock –
Odds: 100-1

A life and career transformed in under 11 seconds,
Peacock led from start to finish to take gold in the T44 100m final, setting a
Paralympic record in the process. And unlike anyone else in either the Olympics
or the Paralympics, Britain’s own bladerunner had 80,000 fans in the Olympic
Stadium singing his name in chorus.

The 19-year-old Peacock left his idol Oscar Pistorius in
his wake and, at such a young age, this is surely just the beginning of his
accolades.

Here's Jonnie! Peacock storms home in the T44 100m final

Here's Jonnie! Peacock storms home in the T44 100m final

Ben Ainslie –
Odds: 150-1

So dominant in his class for so long, Ainslie – the nice
guy of sport – had to get a bit angry to overcome the challenge of Denmark’s
Jonas Hogh-Christensen, win his fourth Olympic gold and become the most
decorated sailor in history.

But despite such phenomenal excellence over 12 years,
which ranks him alongside the rowers Sir Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent,
Ainslie is an outsider for the Sports Personality at 150-1.

On fire! Ben Ainslie took a fourth consecutive Olympic gold by winning the Finn class in Weymouth

On fire! Ben Ainslie took a fourth consecutive Olympic gold by winning the Finn class in Weymouth

Some of the other contenders:

150-1 Greg Rutherford, Rory McIlroy; 200-1 Alistair Brownlee, Charlotte Dujardin, Hannah Cockroft, Jason Kenny, Laura Trott, Victoria Pendleton

All odds supplied by William Hill

Liverpool lost much when they lost a No 9: MERSEY BEAT

Legends like Rush, Fowler, Hunt, Liddell… but now there's no Liverpool No 9

|

UPDATED:

12:22 GMT, 7 September 2012

Amid the conjecture about failed bids, missed opportunities, broken promises and letters from America, a startling fact has, perhaps, gone unnoticed this week.

After a summer when 'false nines' were a regular topic of conversation, Liverpool find themselves contemplating a campaign that, unless decisive action is taken in January, could play out without their No 9 scoring a single goal.

Andy Carroll's controversial departure to West Ham before the transfer window closed, coupled with Clint Dempsey’s failure to arrive from Fulham, has not only left Liverpool a striker short, it means one of the club’s most iconic jerseys remains vacant.

Missing something Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life as manager of Liverpool

Missing something Brendan Rodgers has endured a tricky start to life as manager of Liverpool

It is an unprecedented situation. Yet, effectively, the shirt that has been worn by Liverpool’s greatest goalscorers, men like Billy Liddell and 'Sir' Roger Hunt, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, and more recently Fernando Torres has, been temporarily retired.

More from Dominic King…

Mersey Beat: Has the first major shift in power since 1937 happened on Merseyside
24/08/12

Mersey Beat: Rodgers can talk the talk… now he must deliver results at Liverpool
18/08/12

Mersey Beat: Carroll would never have imagined this after strong Euro 2012
20/07/12

Mersey Beat: All change at Liverpool but Shankly tradition must remain
18/05/12

Mersey Beat: Andy Carroll from zero to hero – times have changed for Liverpool No 9
11/05/12

Mersey Beat: Why Aquilani's Anfield return would not be the worst outcome for Liverpool
27/04/12

Mersey Beat: The return of Roy Hodgson – but what reception can he expect
20/04/12

Mersey Beat: The knives are out, but King Kenny must be afforded more time at Liverpool
30/03/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

At a time when critics are claiming
Liverpool are losing their identity, they could have done without losing
such a huge symbol.

That Brendan Rodgers admitted Carroll would not have been allowed to leave, had he known he could not get a replacement in made all the more unpalatable.

In the grand scheme of things, the absence of one number on the pitch might not appear such a big issue but it could easily become one; Liverpool have hardly been prolific in recent seasons and there are understandable fears on The Kop that they will be made to pay for a lack of goals.

So it begs the question: why have Liverpool been left so short Reading between the lines of the missive principal owner John W Henry published on the club’s official website earlier this week, it boils down to Fenway Sports Group not wanting to meet Fulham’s valuation of a 29-year-old.

As the dust settles, the decision looks more and more bewildering for three key reasons. First had Dempsey arrived for 5million, there is every reason to believe Liverpool could have recouped what they paid if they wanted to move him on two years down the line.

Secondly, from a commercial view, Dempsey is one of the United States' star men. Photographing him in the new Warrior kit and putting his image on billboards would undoubtedly have led to an increase in Liverpool shirt sales in America, thus providing another return on their investment.

Last, and by no means least, Dempsey knows how to flourish in the Barclays Premier League. He was outstanding for Fulham last season, scoring 17 times. The less goals Liverpool score, the further they will drop down the table and, at 750,000 a place, it could ultimately cost them significant a sum.

Legendary: Likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Billy Liddell and Roger Hunt have all donned the No 9

Legendary: Likes of Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler, Billy Liddell and Roger Hunt have all donned the No 9

Robbie Fowler

Billy Liddell

Roger Hunt

Some of the points Henry made in his note were valid and it is admirable he has a philosophy he wants to make work but FSG will cause themselves unnecessary problems if they don’t possess flexibility. Surely the mystery men who are advising them have said that

Not backing Rodgers last Friday has increased the suspicions of some supporters and no amount of platitudes or promises that FSG are 'in it for the long haul' will placate the discontented. They want to see their manager receive backing, not get undermined.

'If there is a player out there who can make a difference, we will do all that we possibly can to bring him to the football club,' Rodgers said back on July 9.

'What I won’t be prepared to do is waste time, money and effort to bring in a player who won’t add value to the club. I will push the boat to get the players that I want to get in. Hopefully the board will support me on that.'

Hammered: Liverpool allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham without a replacement being sorted

Hammered: Liverpool allowed Andy Carroll to join West Ham without a replacement being sorted

Events on deadline have put a completely different hue on those words. When Rodgers need support to sign the forward he believed would have made a difference, he didn’t get it and now, farcically, Liverpool are left without a No 9.

Now it would be wrong to say Liverpool are in crisis. This current predicament, after all, is small fry compared to what was happening two years ago, when the Hicks-Gillett reign was crumbling. But what it undoubtedly means is a difficult period is on the horizon.

Only in January, when Rodgers will aim to bolster his options, will it be discovered if salutary lessons have been learned.