Mourinho: Transfer market is 'last thing' Tottenham are thinking about

‘We are not going to spend rivers of money’: Jose Mourinho insists transfer market is the ‘last thing’ Tottenham are thinking about right now as Premier League clubs look to deal with the financial fall-out of coronavirus crisis

  • The coronavirus crisis is set to have a detrimental effect on the transfer market
  • Premier League clubs will have to be much more sensible in the transfer window
  • Jose Mourinho insists that Tottenham will not splash the cash in the summer 
  • Spurs boss Mourinho insists health and safety remains paramount at the club 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham will be ‘sensible’ in the transfer market as he claims the summer window is the last thing on the club’s mind at the moment.

The season has been decimated due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the Premier League are desperately trying to finalise arrangements to get the campaign up and running again.

The coronavirus crisis is set to have a long-lasting detrimental effect on finances within football, and the upcoming summer transfer market is up in the air.

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham are not thinking about the transfer market at the moment

And Mourinho insists that Spurs, who sat eighth in the Premier League before its suspension, will ‘not spend rivers of money’. 

When asked on Sky Sports’ The Football Show on Wednesday morning, what will the transfer window look like, Mourinho replied: ‘To be honest, I think in this moment it is the last thing we are thinking. There are no talks about it.

‘In this moment, we think about safety, following every rule inside the training ground. We are trying to be perfect inside the club and we don’t think about it. 

‘But you ask me and I am not going to run away. It’s normal that we are going to have a different market. I don’t see the world and especially the football world, ready for crazy numbers that we are used to and crazy investments that some clubs and leagues are used to doing. 

Tottenham were struggling before the coronavirus crisis stopped football in its tracks

‘But to be honest, the first question after that will be when will the transfer window be? Of course I don’t think it will be anymore in July or August. It has to go further than that.

‘But I can imagine clubs… if you ask me what I would like at my club, I would like my club to be what I know that it is going to be. 

‘It is going to be sensible, balanced, it is not going to spend rivers of money and we are trying to respect the situation. Not just the football, but the situation of the world and society overall.’

Tottenham were struggling before the coronavirus crisis stopped football in its tracks.

Spurs had crashed out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage against RB Leipzig

They had been dumped out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage by RB Leipzig and were sitting a lowly eighth in the Premier League, seven points off fourth with just nine matches remaining.  

Many may have assumed Mourinho would spend big in the summer window – just like he has done at his previous clubs like Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United – to close the gap with Tottenham’s top four rivals.

However, as for any club right now, the coronavirus pandemic is set to scupper transfer plans for Tottenham. 




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

When is the Indy 500 in 2020? New date, start time & other details for the race in Indianapolis

The coronavirus pandemic cares not for the Month of May in auto racing. The same public health issues that shut down live sports globally in March have caused a massive shake-up in IndyCar’s plans for 2020, including the 104th annual Indy 500’s place on the schedule.

The Indianapolis 500 is one of the few races in America that attracts casual viewers on a global scale, so IndyCar and IMS are doing everything they can to keep the 2020 race on the schedule. So far so good, because the 2020 Indy 500 has not been canceled — just rescheduled.

The 2020 IndyCar season was suspended in March before it even had a chance to start, so the newly scheduled June 6 race at Texas Motor Speedway technically will be the first race of the season. As currently scheduled, the Indy 500 will be the eighth race of the season.

Below is what you need to know about the status of the 2020 Indy 500, plus NBC’s plan to fill the broadcast time it had devoted to the race on Sunday, May 24.

When is the Indy 500 in 2020?

IndyCar lists a 1 p.m. ET start time for the rescheduled Indy 500 on Aug. 23, but the complete broadcast schedule remains TBD.

The statement from IndyCar and IMS in March noted that “on-track action will begin with practice sessions Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 12-13, followed by Fast Friday on Aug. 14 and Indianapolis 500 Qualifications on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 15-16. Each day of qualifications will be televised on NBC.

“The following week’s schedule will begin with hot pit-stop practice sessions on Thursday, Aug. 20. … Final Indianapolis 500 practice will take place Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Miller Lite Carb Day.”

In other words, the typical schedule for the Indy 500 remains intact — just a few months later.

“It could be scorching hot. And will we have fans there,” Calabro said. “I think the uncertainty of it all is a factor, but the speedway will go out of their way to make it as normal as possible. Roger Penske is all about that. And he’ll leave no stone unturned to make it as special as May as possible.”

The updated IndyCar schedule for 2020, which is set to resume with a night race at Texas Motor Speedway on June 6, can be found here.

Why was the Indy 500 postponed?

The 2020 Indy 500 has been rescheduled for Sunday, Aug. 23 due to the public health and safety dangers associated with the coronavirus pandemic.

With the exception of six cancellations during World War I and II, this will mark the first time in the Indy 500’s 103-year history that it will not be run the Sunday before Memorial Day.

“This is just weird as weird can be for me,” Dave Calabro, for 35 years the track announcer at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, told Sporting News. “There’s a rhythm to the whole spring you get into, and to eliminate the biggest part of it is, just for everybody, it’s just weird.”

Added Roger Penske, whose company bought IMS this year, when the Indy 500 was postponed in late March: “The Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500. However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing.

“We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I’m confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world’s greatest race.”

As Penske noted, if all goes as planned regarding the development of health and safety technology/protocols as they relate to the coronavirus pandemic, the Indy 500 in 2020 could take place with fans in the stands.

Indy 500 broadcast on Sunday, May 24

Technically an Indy 500 broadcast will be shown by NBC on its originally scheduled date for 2020 — it just won’t be the 2020 Indy 500.

Starting at 2 p.m. ET, NBC will air an enhanced encore presentation of last year’s Indy 500, won by Simon Pagenaud. “Indy 500 Special: Back Home Again” will be hosted by NBC’s Mike Tirico and will feature new commentary from Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi during the replay of the race.

“The goal of our enhanced broadcast is to honor the traditions of ‘The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,’ and re-live elements of last year’s race through Simon Pagenaud and Alexander Rossi as they battled back-and-forth to the checkered flag,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production at NBC and NBCSN.

For those who wish to watch even more Indy 500 reruns Sunday in the absence of the 2020 race, ESPN2 will re-air three ABC broadcasts of recent Indy 500s beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

ESPN2 will show the 2006 Indy 500 at 3 p.m. ET, followed by the 2011 Indy 500 starting at 5 p.m. ET. The 2014 Indy 500 will air on the network starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Source: Read Full Article

Tom Brady’s trash talk is about as lame as you’d think it is

Maybe Tom Brady should stick to his day job. Well, kind of.

The veteran quarterback is making a new home in Florida for this upcoming season — as you may or may not have heard — and he’s going to be calling plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With a new team in a new division comes new rivals, and with new rivals comes an opportunity to plant your flag by talking a little smack. Saints head coach Sean Payton revealed that he sent Tom Brady a text soon after the NFL schedule release, getting an early start on territorial rights.

“We want to quiet the cannons, that’s what I text Tom, hashtag keep the cannons quiet,” Payton said during an Instagram Live session with NFL Network’s Kay Adams. “We’ve known each other for years.”

Brady’s response?

“Oh, he laughs. He says, ‘You guys are the favorites, we’re the underdogs,’ blah, blah, blah.‘”

Jeez, Tom. That’s it? For a notorious smack-talker, he needs new material, especially for a potential Week 1 divisional matchup between the Bucs and the Saints. 

The “underdogs” thing is something that’s been a staple of Brady’s career, as he has espoused the underdog mantra for his entire NFL tenure. The idea of a Brady-led team being an underdog is a bit of malarkey, of course. The Patriots entered their 2019 playoff matchup vs. the Chiefs as underdogs for the first time in the 67 games prior.

Brady has the Michael Jordan mentality in that he’ll find motivation from everything, whether it be headlines on sports pages or Starbucks baristas spelling his name wrong on cups. Whatever works, man. To that end, it has worked, since Brady’s a six-time Super Bowl champ.

By the way, Payton doesn’t get a pass here, either. “#KeepTheCannonsQuiet” is entirely too long of a hashtag.

Come on, guys. Give us better trash talk than that in these sports-less times. We’re craving some real drama.

Source: Read Full Article

Pochettino is ready for his next job… but where could he go next?

Mauricio Pochettino says he is ready for his next job and will be on the radar of multiple clubs… but from Newcastle to Manchester United and Real Madrid, where could the former Tottenham boss head next?

  • Mauricio Pochettino has been out of work since his Spurs sacking in November
  • The Argentine has been linked with a host of top jobs in the past few years
  • Newcastle, Man City and Man City are among the Premier League candidates
  • Real Madrid have also been heavily linked with the 48-year-old in the past 
  • Pochettino himself has mooted a sensational return to Tottenham in the future 

Six months on from his sacking as Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino is ready to return to management. 

The Argentinean oversaw a progressive period at Spurs following on from his arrival at the club in 2014, finishing as runners-up in both the Premier League and last year, the Champions League. 

But after a disappointing opening to the 2019-20 season, Pochettino and Daniel Levy, begrudgingly, parted ways, with Jose Mourinho replacing him in north London. 

Mauricio Pochettino says he is refreshed, recharged and ready to return to management

But now, following an interview with Sportsmail yesterday, the 48-year-old has confirmed his ‘tank is completely full’ after completing his gardening leave. 

‘It has been an amazing time to review everything, organise again our ideas, plan the future to try to compete better, try to learn from our experience and look forward for the next job,’ Pochettino said.  ‘You need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears.’

But just where will that next job be? From the Premier League to prestigious clubs abroad, Pochettino will be a man in demand come the eventual conclusion of the season this summer. 

Pochettino thanked Daniel Levy after his gardening leave expired and now is after a new job

NEWCASTLE UNITED

At the beginning of this month, amid a proposed £300m takeover of Newcastle United by Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund, Pochettino was linked with a move to St James’ Park. 

Perhaps not the first club which immediately springs to mind with Pochettino’s next adventure, the change in ownership could be a game-changer in English football – Man City/Abu Dhabi-style. 

The Saudi-led consortium, led by Amanda Staveley, could be after a high-profile appointment

Though current manager Steve Bruce looks set to finish the current campaign, with the team currently lying in a respectable 13th place, the potential new ownership group – led by Amanda Staveley – may want to make a high-profile appointment as a serious statement of intent. 

Pochettino spoke yesterday about how a job in the Premier League is ‘one of the options’, and also interestingly spoke about his desire for a ‘project’.

‘We love England,’ Pochettino admitted. ‘We have our house and our home here. The people are respectful. The Premier League is the best league in the world. It is one of the options. 

Newcastle have been heavily linked with appointing Pochettino as manager this month

‘I’m very open to wait for the seduction of the project.’

Despite the links, the Saudi-led consortium have not yet received official word of passing the owners’ and directors test, although sources close to the deal remain confident that will be the case.  

MANCHESTER CITY    

In stark contrast to the rebuild needed at Newcastle, Pochettino could move to Manchester City, where the nucleus of an all-conquering side has long been in place. 

After a season in which City look certain to relinquish their Premier League crown to Liverpool, solace could come in the Champions League, should the competition be completed this summer. 

But the long-term future of current boss Pep Guardiola has been up for debate. 

Pep Guardiola has a contract at City until 2021 but could the Spaniard leave a year early? 

Though the Spaniard’s contract runs until the summer of 2021 – and he’s long said that he intends to see out his contract – Guardiola is yet to stay at a club he’s managed for more than four years. 

His successful period at Barcelona concluded after four seasons, while his time at Bayern Munich only lasted three years. 

Having arrived in Manchester in 2016, Guardiola is reaching that four-year mark now – could he shock the City boardroom and fanbase alike and call it a day this summer, particularly after the tragic news of his mother’s death due to coronavirus. 

If he did leave, Pochettino would surely be one of the top candidates to replace him. 

MANCHESTER UNITED  

Pochettino’s links with the hot-seat at Manchester United have been the source of speculation for many years now. 

The Argentine was first linked with the United job during the downfall of Jose Mourinho at the club in the 2018-19 season. 

However, after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given a three-year contract following an impressive period as interim boss, and results picked up before football was halted in March, those rumours have now somewhat subsided. 

Utd executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been linked with a move for Poch in the past

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the hot-seat at United, when Pochettino was heavily linked 

And yet, there is no doubt the man in charge at United, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, has long courted Pochettino. 

If Woodward is indeed desperate to land the Argentine, fresh and rejuvenated after a period out the game, now may well be his best chance. 

REAL MADRID  

Though he spoke of his fondness for the Premier League, Pochettino did not rule out a move abroad. 

‘I am not closed to move to a different country,’ the former Tottenham manager said. 

As such, as ever when a high-profile managerial name becomes available, Real Madrid are an ever-present club in the rumour mill. 

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has not hit the ground running in his second stint

Though Zinedine Zidane took over for a second time last season, the former Galactico hasn’t hit the ground running this season, though they do still remain in the hunt both domestically and in Europe, despite a 2-1 first-leg defeat to City at the Bernabeu in the last-16 of the Champions League.

Pochettino was linked with Madrid heavily last season, when he felt he hadn’t ‘missed the Madrid train’. 

This time round though, is the train running and if so, will Pochettino be tempted to catch it? 

BARCELONA

Perhaps the most unlikely of the super-clubs, Barcelona have not been wholly satisfied with their manager since Luis Enrique’s resignation in 2017.

Though successful in terms of trophies, Ernesto Valverde’s dramatic failures in Europe overshadowed his tenure, while new man in charge Quique Setien has had an indifferent first few months. 

Pochettino, though, would represent a serious statement for intent. 

However, as a former Espanyol player and coach, Pochettino has long said that he would not manage his former club’s city rivals.

Pochettino, pictured in his days as Espanyol manager, has said he wouldn’t manage Barcelona 

And yet, if offered the job, would Pochettino turn down the opportunity to work with compatriot and one of the best players of all time in Lionel Messi?

TOTTENHAM

Finally, in an interview with BT Sport a few weeks ago, Pochettino got a lot of nostalgic Tottenham fans excited when he mooted a return in the future.  

‘Deep in my heart I am sure our paths will cross again,’ Pochettino said. ‘From the day I left the club, my dream is to be back one day and to try to finish the work we didn’t finish. We were so close to winning the Premier League and Champions League.

Tottenham under Pochettino had drawn popular acclaim but ultimately didn’t win a trophy

‘Of course I am looking forward to moving on and I am so motivated for the next project. But deep inside I want to go back because the fans are so special. Maybe in five years, maybe in 10 years, but before I die I want to manage Tottenham.

‘I want to feel what it means to win one title with Tottenham because the fans are amazing, all the love we received was amazing and that is a good opportunity to pay back all the love they showed us from day one.’

If all doesn’t work out with Mourinho, Pochettino could be back in north London quicker than you first thought… 




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article

What channel is Borussia Dortmund on today? Time, TV schedule to watch game vs. Wolfsburg

Borussia Dortmund has gained a lot of new fans during the Bundesliga restart, especially after its 4-0 win in the Revierderby over Schalke last Saturday. Supporters new and old will be tuning in to Saturday’s game at sixth-place Wolfsburg, another tough opponent.

The Black and Yellows won the reverse fixture 3-0 at Signal Iduna Park and should be favored in this matchup, but don’t count out Wolfsburg, whose defense could make this a difficult game. Led by American center back John Brooks, it runs a tight ship at the back, allowing the third-fewest goals (31) in the league this season.

There’s a lot at stake for both teams. While Dortmund is fighting to catch Bayern Munich at the top of the table, Wolfsburg is battling for sixth place to claim the last Europa League qualification spot.

Keep an eye on Erling Haaland, the 19-year-old Norwegian striker who has been wreaking havoc in the Bundesliga ever since he joined the team during the January transfer window. He has already scored 10 goals in just nine league gams. If he continues at that pace, he could finish in the top three of the golden boot race, which is crazy considering he would have only played half the season.

Another player to watch is 17-year-old American wunderkind Giovanni Reyna, who was supposed to make his first Bundesliga start last weekend but picked up an injury during the warmup. He’s supposed to be back Saturday along with central midfielder Emre Can, who also missed last weekend’s match. Marco Reus, Axel Witsel and Dan-Axel Zagadou are all still out of the lineup with injuries.

BUNDESLIGA PLAYERS TO KNOW: Nine Americans, one Canadian to watch in Bundesliga restart

It will also be interesting to see whether Jadon Sancho starts. The 20-year-old English winger has been one of, if not the most electrifying talents in the Bundesliga this season. He has bagged 14 goals (third-most) and dished out 15 assists (second-most) in league play, tying Robert Lewandowski (26 goals, three assists) for most combined goals and assists. But he didn’t get the start against Schalke even with Reyna as a late scratch. Thorgan Hazard got the nod instead, while Sancho came on in the second half well after the game had been decided as Hazard picked up a knock.

It isn’t uncommon for Dortmund manager Lucien Favre to keep his most prolific weapons on the bench; last season, he regularly used Paco Alcacer as a super sub, which worked to perfection in wins over Bayern Munich and Augsburg. Will this become a trend with Sancho, or was it just a one-off?

What time is Borussia Dortmund playing today?

 Dortmund will kick off at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time in Wolfsburg.

How to watch Borussia Dortmund vs. Wolfsburg in USA

​Fox Sports is the broadcast home for the biggest Bundesliga games in the United States. This weekend’s game between Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg will be broadcast in English on FS1. The game will also be broadcast in Spanish on TUDN and UniMas. Fans who don’t have cable can stream the game on fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial.

Borussia Dortmund schedule

Here’s a look at Borussia Dortmund’s schedule for the remainder of the Bundesliga season, starting with Saturday’s match at Wolfsburg. Other highlights include “Der Klassiker” against Bayern Munich at home on May 26, at Leipzig for the penultimate game on June 20 and at home against Hoffenheim for the last game of the season on June 27.

Source: Read Full Article

Mauricio Pochettino says he is ready to step back into management

‘I’m ready’: Former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he is refreshed, recharged and keen to step back into management — with the Premier League top of his list

  • Mauricio Pochettino says he is refreshed and ready to return to management 
  • The 48-year-old said he has used his free time to reorganise and get better
  • He says he loves England and managing in the Premier League is his priority 
  • Pochettino spoke about Jose Mourinho and Joe Lewis’ yacht with Sportsmail

Mauricio Pochettino is refreshed, fully recharged and hungry to return to English football after finally ending his six-year association with Tottenham.

Pochettino and his coaching staff have completed their gardening leave and are searching for the next challenge.

‘After six months our tanks are completely full,’ said the 48-year-old Argentine who was dismissed by Spurs in November.

Mauricio Pochettino says he is refreshed, recharged and ready to return to management

He and his staff have completed their gardening leave and are looking for a new challenge

‘It has been an amazing time to review everything, organise again our ideas, plan the future to try to compete better, try to learn from our experience and look forward for the next job. 

‘You need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears.

‘We love England. We have our house and our home here. The people are respectful.

The former Spurs boss says he loves England and managing in the Premier League is a priority

‘The Premier League is the best league in the world. It is one of the options. 

‘It can be my priority, but I am not closed to move to a different country. I’m very open to wait for the seduction of the project.’

His search for a ‘project’ may encourage the Saudis trying to take over Newcastle, but after four years’ experience in the Champions League he will more likely be looking to Europe’s established elite.




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Neville is right, gap between United and City is only getting bigger

Manchester City are a dominant force in English football, have a booming academy and unenviable facilities while rivals United are struggling to keep up both on and off the pitch. Gary Neville is right… the gap between them is only getting bigger

  • Manchester United are finding themselves increasingly further behind Man City
  • City’s success on the pitch has been coupled by huge growth off it as well
  • United regularly struggled to finish in top four and stadium needs updating 
  • City’s academy is also booming while United’s talent appears to have dried up 
  • Gary Neville is right to consistently reference the growing chasm between them

It is absolutely beyond question that Manchester United cottoned on to the scale of what was happening four miles across town far too slowly. As Manchester City grew exponentially, United tread water.

Standing still means going backwards and now, a decade later, the landscape in this city looks vastly different – and not just as a result of skyscrapers dominating the skyline.

Gary Neville has consistently referenced the chasm between the two, a product of United’s general inactivity of Sir Alex Ferguson’s final years as manager, coupled with City’s newfound wealth and insistence on infrastructural growth.

Manchester City are a dominant force in English football and leaving rivals United behind

United have struggled to maintain regular top-four finishes since Sir Alex Ferguson retired


Pep Guardiola (L) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are fighting different battles on the touchline

Ultimately, the relative performances on the pitch dictate the mood towards clubs, City lifting four of the last eight Premier League titles and United just one, in Ferguson’s final season. Broader questions and criticisms surrounding the latter, therefore, are understandably more prominent.

Recruitment has been an area in which United, who have halted the search for their equivalent of City sporting director Txiki Begiristain, have attempted to improve. 

Recent captures, particularly the renowned 17-year-old Hannibal Mejbri from Monaco last summer, suggest the restructuring of that department is bearing fruit. A focus on firmer links between academy and first team should only serve as beneficial.

Although always countered by the long-running record of academy players in first-team squads, their youth set-up had been struggling and remains in a state of slight reshuffle. In 2016, there was much furore when Sportsmail revealed Kai Rooney, son of Wayne, was training with City – primarily for the state-of-the-art facilities.

That seemed indicative of the widening gap. United are reviewing Carrington and have been considering expansion for some time.

‘City’s recruitment drive for the best young talent is the talk of football and they are clearly trying to tie up the North West region,’ Jamie Redknapp wrote in his Sportsmail column. 

City sporting director Txiki Begiristain (R) has led the club’s impressive recruitment work

City are scouring the market for the hottest young talent and boast an impressive academy

United’s famous youth set-up had been struggling and remains in a state of slight reshuffle

‘I was watching my youngest son Beau play for Chelsea against Manchester City Under 8s the other day. The standard was unbelievable, but what also stood out was the number of Scouse accents among the parents on the touchline. City’s message is clear: we want the best at every age group.’

Phil Neville’s son Harvey was also on the blue side until moving to Valencia. Neville Jnr is now at United, alongside Charlie Wellens, the son of another former graduate, Richie. 

City will argue they remain ahead in youth circles, pointing to the staggering money made on player trading across the continent. They have plenty of products performing at a high level in some of Europe’s top leagues, although marrying that up with progressing Phil Foden, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and a raft of exceptionally talented youngsters in the Under 18s is now the challenge.

United will point to the first-team success of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood. Perhaps they will now look at producing more to sell on, such is the market. There are high hopes for Joe Hugill, signed from Sunderland.

Neville’s latest comments centre on Old Trafford, how the old amphitheatre appears tired. ‘The stadium is starting to look old and it needs investment,’ Neville, owner of Hotel Football next to Old Trafford, said. 

Gary Neville recently claimed United need to make serious investment in Old Trafford

He called for the area around the stadium to be transformed to give fans a United experience

‘Around the area, there is a huge opportunity to create a Man United experience, something that can influence not just Manchester – their reach is global.

‘Old Trafford is a special place, it could be so much more special. If you tap into what City have done over there with a far lesser name and a far more difficult hand to play. The opportunities for United are big, but they have to have a strategy and an ambition to deliver what it can be.

‘The City owners have a vision of what they want for their football club and their football product to be while United seems more insular at this point in time. They should be influencing education and community, there should be entertainment for the public, it should be a real experience of Manchester United around that stadium.’

United are working on improvements, spending £20million this year on the ground, including the £11m upgrade of disabled facilities. Six hospitality lounges are getting a £4m facelift to compete with other grounds in the North West, so potential clients do not go elsewhere, with revenue in that area a key driver in freezing season ticket prices. Significant finance to the tune of £4m has been poured into improving security measures.

City’s Etihad Stadium is modern and they were lucky to get it after the Commonwealth Games

Fans are being consistently consulted. They want the unreliable WiFi fixed, which United have upgraded in some areas and plan to roll out over the coming months. Supporters also want areas where groups of friends who sit apart can congregate around Old Trafford before matches. The cramped legroom is a bone of contention.

A fanzone was piloted before the 2-0 win over City in March, including a Legends Q&A, a live band and stand-up by Justin Moorhouse. That is the sort of initiative that is in line with the likes of City, Liverpool and Everton. There is the singing section, the rail seating trial.

‘We’re looking at an investment plan while maintaining what makes Old Trafford special,’ Ed Woodward said earlier in the season.

‘Part of the allure of is the fact that it’s a stadium that was built in 1910. If you totally change it then you can change the feel of it. Our vision for it is that we don’t want to radically change that look and feel of the stadium.

But the work done around the stadium at the Etihad Campus makes it attractive for signings

‘If you have Old Trafford and you regenerate, rejuvenate and keep it modern but keep it feeling like it’s Old Trafford, then that’s the perfect solution for us.’

Expansion in the future has not been ruled out by remains fraught with difficulty. Building up on the oldest stand, named after Sir Bobby Charlton, would require construction over a railway line and there is a suggestion that the club would have to move out temporarily.

City struck lucky with their deal to take over Eastlands following the 2002 Commonwealth Games but the groundwork on infrastructure over the last decade has put them in this enviable position.

The fundamentals are all sorted, barring tweaks here and there, and the focus is almost entirely on expanding the City Football Group and winning trophies. United are striving to reach that position.




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article

​Armando Galarraga is right: MLB should officially recognize his 2010 ‘perfect’ game

This isn’t hard. There is no can of worms and there is no slippery slope. Sometimes a solution is obvious, and this is one of those times: It’s time for MLB to rectify a decade-old error and give Armando Galarraga proper recognition for his perfect game in 2010.

Of course, the official record shows that Galarraga did not pitch a perfect game that June 2 against the Indians. He retired 26 consecutive batters, then allowed a “hit“ to the Indians’ Jason Donald when umpire Jim Joyce blew a fairly obvious call at first base and ruled Donald safe. Replays clearly showed that he was out, but there was no replay review at that time. So the call stood and Galarraga retired the next batter to settle for a one-hit shutout.

You know the rest of the story: Joyce emotionally admitted he blew the call, Galarraga handled the whole thing with class and, despite pleas for then-commissioner Bud Selig to overturn the call, baseball ultimately decided to let it go because “the human element” has always been integral to baseball.

But now Galarraga wants that changed, and Joyce concurs. So let’s do it.

With a decade of hindsight, and with replay review now a common thing in baseball, it would be proper for MLB to correct the mistake and officially award Galarraga his perfect game. Had the game been played at any point since 2014, when MLB instituted expanded replay review, this wouldn’t even be up for debate. The call would’ve been corrected on the field at the time and Galarraga would’ve celebrated with his teammates. There’s little reason for this correction to be an issue even now.

The usual argument is that it sets a bad precedent, opening baseball history to all sorts of revisions and changes to reverse other bad calls. But this just isn’t the case, especially given the circumstances of the play. We know with absolute certainty that the outcome of the game would not have changed. The blown call happened on what would’ve been the final play. There are no unknowns after that, no what-ifs and no what-abouts. A correct call means the game is over and Galarraga owns the 24th perfect game in baseball history. End of story.

This is not Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, when umpire Don Denkinger’s ninth-inning blown call at first base led to a Royals rally and, perhaps, cost the Cardinals a championship. In that case, the blown call occurred with the first batter of the inning. There’s no way of knowing how the rest of the inning would’ve unfolded had the correct call been made. Maybe the Cardinals, who led the series 3-2 at the time, hang on to win the game 1-0. Maybe the Royals find a different way to rally. We’ll never know.

We know with Galarraga.

FAGAN: MLB owners, players can’t afford to screw this up

Some will say that one reason they like sports is because they’re not perfect and sometimes unfair, that heartbreak can be a weird kind of beautiful in the human experience. Another counterpoint to my argument is that Galarraga’s imperfect game was its own kind of special. If not for the blown call, the theory goes, most people would have forgotten about it. In other words, the blown call gave Galarraga essentially the same notoriety as a pitcher who actually was credited with a perfect game, perhaps even more.

But think of it this way: Making it to the highest level of a sport is hard enough. Succeeding there is another level of hard. Historic achievements on that stage are rare. That’s why there have only been 23 perfect games in MLB history. None of them belong to Armando Galarraga. But he definitely pitched one, just not in the official eyes of baseball.

It’s time for MLB to fix this mistake. Galarraga earned a legitimate place in history. Baseball should let him have it.

Source: Read Full Article

Who is Georgina Rodriguez? Everything you need to know about Cristiano Ronaldo’s girlfriend

Cristiano Ronaldo may live most of his life in the public eye, but he has remained relatively secretive about his personal relationships since rising to footballing stardom.

The Juventus forward dated Russian model Irina Shayk for nearly five years until January 2015, when their break-up was described as “like a death” in the family by his sister Elma.

Ronaldo was linked to a number of women after that, but it became apparent a few years ago that Spanish model Georgina Rodriguez is officially the Portugal captain’s partner.

This is what we know about Ronaldo’s love interest.

Who is Georgina Rodriguez?



Getty

https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/1/7d/cristiano-ronaldo-georgina-rodriguez-cristiano-jr-the-best-awards_1m0o0pgk6hgk9154x6c5wpif49.jpg”>

Rodriguez is originally from the northeastern Spanish city of Jaca. It has a population of just over 13,000 and is near the French border, around 450km from Madrid.

She is said to have worked as a waitress in her hometown before moving in with a family in Bristol, England, as an au pair.

View this post on Instagram

Paños al aire 🍑💣💥 @aloyoga

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio) on

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio) on

How did she meet Ronaldo?



Instagram / georginagio

https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/9/d8/georgina-rodriguez_ufha15zixqm18wp76kdhostk.png”>

According to AS , Rodriguez met the Portugal star at a Gucci store in Madrid, where she was working as a shop assistant.

“His height, his body, his beauty caught my attention. I was trembling in front of him, but a spark ignited,” she said.

“I am very shy and perhaps this stirred me more in front of a person who, with one glance, had touched me deeply. Then after, the way Cristiano treats me, cares for me and loves me did the rest.”

The relationship progressed steadily from there, and they started to be snapped by paparazzi together in public in late 2016. Most memorably, Ronaldo was caught in a wig and sunglasses in an attempt to disguise himself during a trip to Disneyland Paris later that year.

About last night ✨ Feliz 2020!!!! Mucha salud y mucho amor para todos ❤️✨

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio) on

Rodriguez has since attended Real Madrid matches and, of course, has been part of the family for the FIFA awards, attending the ceremonies with Ronaldo’s mother, sisters and son.

There was no real announcement of the relationship in photos posted on Ronaldo and Rodriguez’s Instagram accounts, but it became plainly evident that they had become an item.

What does the future hold?

With Ronaldo, who knows?

This relationship is clearly the most serious he has had since breaking up with Irina in 2015, a fact that is profoundly emphasised by the fact that Georgina recently gave birth to a baby girl – her first with Ronaldo and the Juventus star’s fourth child.

Georgina also appears to get along well with his son, Cristiano Jr, who Ronaldo has full custody of and cares for with his mother, Dolores. The identity of Cristiano Jr’s biological mother has been kept secret since he was born in the United States in 2010.

Indeed, Georgina is very much involved with all of Ronaldo’s children and is regularly pictured with all of them in seemingly tender moments. 

Felices 2️⃣6️⃣ para mí, muy felices. No le puedo pedir más a la vida. Solo muchísima salud para mi familia y para mí y poder disfrutarlos siempre. Gracias a todos por vuestras felicitaciones, flores y por tanto amor ✨💓 Y Gracias a mi marido por haberme dado lo mejor de la vida, nuestros hijos. Os amo 💓⭐️ @prettylittlething @cristiano

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio) on

The two have both made clear they are in love, and Georgina even spelled it out on Instagram. She was even there when Ronaldo’s yacht was inspected by tax agents in the Balearic Islands, and followed Ronaldo from Madrid to Spain after the forward signed for Juventus.

More children together may be something the pair consider, but perhaps marriage isn’t too far down the line.

Does Georgina attend Ronaldo’s games?

Georgina has been spotted at several Real Madrid games, usually sitting beside and chatting to Cristiano Jr in the executive boxes, as well as frequenting several Juventus matches.

She was on the pitch celebrating Ronaldo’s first Serie A win with Juventus in 2019.

“Congratulations, my love, for being once more a CHAMPION. We love you,” she wrote on her Instagram.

Enhorabuena, mi amor, por ser una vez más CAMPEÓN. Te amamos ❤️😘 #cristianoronaldo #juventus #finoallafine

A post shared by Georgina Rodríguez (@georginagio) on

The model has also been there to support her husband at his award ceremonies, such as the FIFA Best Awards.

During the 2018 World Cup Georgina was spotted at Portugal’s games, cheering on Ronaldo from the stands. 

In their final group game against Iran she posted a photo of herself wearing a Ronaldo No.7 shirt with the caption: “Come on Cristiano. We love you”. 

Source: Read Full Article

Kompany claims Van Dijk is the best defender in Premier League history

Forget John Terry or Rio Ferdinand… Vincent Kompany claims Liverpool star Virgil Van Dijk is the best defender in Premier League HISTORY

  • Vincent Kompany says Virgil van Dijk is best defender to grace Premier League 
  • The Dutchman has been instrumental to Liverpool’s success in recent years
  • Kompany says van Dijk’s impact on the Reds makes him the greatest centre-back
  • Man City icon suggests he has already surpassed John Terry and Rio Ferdinand
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany believes Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk is the best defender in Premier League history.

The Dutchman won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2019, then helped the Reds establish an almost unassailable lead in the Premier League before the coronavirus pandemic halted the 2019-20 season.

Van Dijk made 80 appearances at Southampton before joining Jurgen Klopp’s side in January 2018, subsequently playing in 113 matches. 

Virgil van Dijk is the Premier League’s greatest defender, according to Vincent Kompany

And Kompany says the 28-year-old has already done enough to eclipse the achievements of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand.

‘I would bring it back to Virgil van Dijk,’ Kompany told SPORF. 

‘It’s a weird one because he hasn’t been on the scene as long as these names we have mentioned: John Terry, Rio Ferdinand. These guys were there for a long time. 

The Belgian says Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool since joining from Southampton

‘But the signs he has showed in his last few years just make it so obvious that if he would have been at the top level before that he would have already gone further as well.

‘From what I’ve seen in terms of having an impact on a team, and a defender is never about himself it’s about communication with other guys and how you make your team more solid. 

‘The Liverpool before van Dijk and the one after him, it’s a completely different setup and I’ll give him that one because of that.’

Kompany has implied the Dutchman is already a superior player to Chelsea icon John Terry

Looking exclusively at the players referenced by Kompany, Terry made over 700 club appearances, most notably winning 17 trophies at Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand made 680 club appearances, winning 18 trophies with Manchester United.

Before joining Anderlecht as player-manager in the summer of 2019 Kompany played 360 games for Manchester City and lifted 12 trophies, but he insists van Dijk is already the best of the bunch.

Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand was also named among the best defenders




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article