Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Ronaldinho currently has a 134million Euro buy-out clause in his Barcelona contract, which makes him all but untouchable.

Even though that is the case, various online betting sites offer you the opportunity to wager where he will play next. Napoli are currently listed with 67-1 odds of landing him.

Enter the genius of the Napoli fans.

Their plan is to negotiate a contract buy-out with Ronaldinho first and then throw down a 2million Euro bet that he will play for their club. Once he does, they’ll pay Barcelona the transfer fee.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Six-foot breasts

Glamour model Nicola T, girlfriend of West Ham striker Bobby Zamora, has revealed exactly what goes on in the minds of the WAGs.

"It is usually down to me to instigate sex. As a result, we make love EVERY day—even the morning before a match," said Nicola, 24, who will appear in new ITV2 reality show, WAGs Boutique.

"Bobby obviously wants me to be a little princess, but in the bedroom he wants me red-hot and sexy.

"Above the bed, he's even hung a six-foot-wide blow-up photograph of my breasts!"


Nancy Dell'Olio got affectionate with a Madame Tussaud's waxwork rendering of her ex-lover, former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, at a society bash this weekend.

Sunday, January 28, 2007


Brazilian striker Ronaldo, whose protracted transfer to Milan is nearing its conclusion, has slammed Real Madrid, and in particular Fabio Capello.

Since he has taken over, Ronaldo has been on either on the bench or left out of the squad list. Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy has been preferred over The Chubby One.

The Madridistas who love Ronaldo will not be blaming their soon to be former striker for leaving. Many have brandished Capello as a dictator, a Ronaldo hater and even the worst coach ever.

“He was a devil, and Madrid was hell,” Ronaldo told Italian daily La Stampa, after passing a medical with Milan. “I am feeling good. I am extremely happy to return here, and I hope to be a Milan player soon,” he added.


Roman Abramovich is ready to pay an astonishing £11million to rid himself of Jose Mourinho.

It would take a record compensation fee to pay off Chelsea boss Mourinho at the end of the season but relations between owner and manager have reached such a low that Abramovich is willing to sanction the payment.

Mourinho earns £5m a year and is contracted until 2010 but a clause in his contract means Chelsea are protected...up to a point.

He would receive full salary for the first remaining year, 75 per cent for the second, and just 50 per cent for the final year - making a total of £11m.


Henrik Larsson will make the decision on his Manchester United future and not Helsingborgs.

The 35-year-old Swedish striker is officially a United player until March 12 - then he's meant to return to Sweden.

But it's becoming clear Larsson is moving towards wanting to stay after an impressive start - if boss Sir Alex Ferguson wants to extend the loan spell until the end of the season.

Fergie said: "Henrik has been fantastic."

Saturday, January 27, 2007


John Terry is taking the first steps to becoming Chelsea manager.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has drawn up a deal containing an option for the Blues’ skipper to be given a two-year coaching contract when he stops playing.

Abramovich hopes the record-busting five-year agreement will commit Terry, 26, to the club for the long-term.

The England skipper is in the prime of his playing career and sees management as being some years away.

But Abramovich believes Terry already displays the leadership qualities needed to take charge one day, prompting him to draw up the historic agreement.


Michael Owen is using the specialist who oversaw Kieron Dyer's rehabilitation while he recovers from his knee injury, the Newcastle manager, Glenn Roeder, revealed yesterday.

Owen is on course to return some time in March and Dyer's trainer, John Green, formerly of West Ham's medical staff, has concentrated on the Newcastle and England striker's hamstrings, a long-standing problem area for the player.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Manager Alex Ferguson has implemented extraordinary security measures at United's training ground - he was insistent he wanted to work on tactics with his players in complete privacy.

There is a 12ft-high metal fence around the 70-acre site and a network of CCTV cameras - some are even hidden in lampposts.

Security guards patrol day and night and a checkpoint with an electronic gate ensures no one can get near the players.


Between 1978 and 1985 Wimbledon managed seven successive seasons in different divisions (78-79 Division Four; 79-80 Division Three; 80-81 Division Four; 81-82 Division Three; 82-83 Division Four; 83-84 Division Three; 84-85 Division Two).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Barbie Vicky and Dave


Tottenham midfielder Hossam Ghaly will have his new teeth on display in Wednesday's Carling Cup tie with Arsenal after some advanced dentistry. Ghaly lost four teeth in a nasty collision with Portsmouth's Noe Pamarot on New Year's Day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007



Roman Abramovich has a tradition of visiting his Blues stars after a match.But he broke that following the 4-0 home win against Wigan 10 days ago and was not even at Anfield on Saturday when his side lost 2-0.


The contenders for the post of commercial director at Manchester United include top circus executive Michael Bolingbroke, who is an accountant by training but is also senior vice-president in charge of shows for the Cirque du Soleil.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Useless fact of the day

Man Utd star Wayne Rooney has revealed he knows all the songs to the hit musical Oliver! by heart.

Monday, January 22, 2007

God bless her

The Queen will present the FA Cup on May 19 at the first final to be held at the new £800 million Wembley Stadium. It will be the first time she has attended the FA Cup final since 1976.

Ten years earlier, she was at the old Wembley for English football’s finest hour when she presented the Jules Rimet Trophy to World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore.

The Queen will be joined at the final by a host of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Tony Blair. Former England managers and players will also be part of the celebrations.


Francesco Coco's trial at Manchester City will probably not be turning into a permanent move after he turned up to the club's training ground puffing on a cigarette.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon will this week attempt to broker a peace deal between Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich amid fears that the relationship between the two men has broken down irretrievably.

Although Saturday's 4-0 demolition of Wigan provided a brief distraction from the backstage intrigue, it will be anything but business as usual today as Kenyon attempts to find a solution to the civil war threatening to tear the club apart.

Kenyon is an unlikely peace maker having been accused in past seasons of plotting against Mourinho.

Fergie Jr.

Darren Ferguson has followed his father Sir Alex into management.
The Wrexham midfielder has been appointed as Peterborough's player-manager.

Ferguson Jnr, 34, takes over at London Road from Keith Alexander, who was sacked earlier this month following a run of six successive league defeats.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


The Premiership's biggest names could soon break through the £200,000-a-week pay barrier, thanks to the League's new £2.7 billion television windfall.

The influx of cash raises the prospect of a small number of elite players earning more than £10 million a year.


Portsmouth full-back Glen Johnson stunned onlookers in a B&Q in Dartford, Kent, yesterday when he was caught trying to steal bathroom fittings.

Despite reportedly earning £30,000 a week, Johnson - currently on loan from Chelsea - was spotted by a security guard putting a toilet seat into a box with a cheaper price tag. Aided by Millwall striker Ben May, he also hid a set of taps underneath a sink at the checkout to avoid paying for them.

Both were handed £80 on the spot fines by police.


In 2005, Colchester United’s turnover was less than Michael Ballack earns in four months: £2.1 million.

At present sixth in the Coca-Cola Championship, if they were to win a second successive promotion that figure would be more than £30 million thanks to the global television deal announced this week, even if they lost every Barclays Premiership match and no fans turned up to watch them.


Man City boss Stuart Pearce says he asked one young player whether he would rather have a Ferrari or an England cap - and the player replied: "A Ferrari - they're fantastic aren't they?"

Friday, January 19, 2007


David Beckham's new club LA Galaxy will help pay his wages by holding February trials in which would-be players can pay around £65 to have an opportunity to earn a place in the squad.

Escape to Victory

Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone, who watched Everton play Reading on Sunday, allegedly said of the beautiful game on the set of football film Escape to Victory in the 1980s that he "hated the game".

Feigning injury

In an attempt to speed up play, and address the increasing problem of players feigning injury or sneaking a quick breather by staying down, the authorities are debating a possible law change that would allow physiotherapists on to the field to treat players without the game being stopped.


The extra income from the new overseas t.v. rights deal means even the team finishing bottom will claim about £26m. Current title holders Chelsea won £30m last season.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Agent Pini Zahavi negotiated a £3m payment for himself from Middlesbrough when he arranged the club's £7.5m purchase of his client player, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, from Portsmouth, in the summer of 2005.

Sources close to the deal say the fee - the largest ever disclosed in English football - is payable by Middlesbrough to Zahavi in instalments over the course of Yakubu's contract, so Zahavi will earn the £3m total only if Yakubu stays at the Riverside for the full five-year term.


Eriksson's £6,500-a-day cheque from the Football Association has been well documented, but he is not the only former member of staff banking a tidy sum. The Swede's former number two Tord Grip is getting £600 each day to boost his pension.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Jose Mourinho's relationship with Roman Abramovich has disintegrated to such an extent that the Chelsea manager and the club’s Russian owner are now refusing to talk to each other.

Sources at the club insist a peace deal is being brokered by chief executive Peter Kenyon that should calm the situation between now and the end of the season.


Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is the latest football club executive to receive a handsome pay rise, according to the club's recently-published annual report.

In the space of two years his salary and pension package have increased more than threefold from £250,000 to £775,000. Critics are questioning exactly what Levy has done to deserve such a massive rise when Spurs have seen a drop in operating profits from to £11.4 million to £4.5 million during the five years since ENIC took control of the club.

According to the latest accounts for the year ended June 2006, pre-tax profits also fell from £5.7 million to £2.9 million.


It may not prove to be his most financially-rewarding achievement of the season, but Cristiano Ronaldo could yet prise an extra note from Sir Alex Ferguson's wallet if he wins a personal wager with the Manchester United manager by scoring twice against Arsenal on Sunday to take his Premiership tally for the season to 15 goals.

Having made a 'two-bob' bet with Ronaldo last summer that he would not score 15 goals this season, though, it now seems almost certain that Ferguson will be handing over the cash before too long.


Bryan Byrne, who is a pacy midfielder from the Republic of Ireland, had been looking forward to playing on the right wing for LA Galaxy after talks with the club - until the Major League Soccer outfit signed David Beckham.


Petr Cech returns to full training today but must wear a protective helmet for the next three years. The Chelsea keeper has had a headguard — similar to those worn in rugby — custom-made to include a protective metal plate at the point where his skull was fractured at Reading last October.

Docs have told the Czech stopper, 24, the bone will not fully heal for another 36 months. So that means he must wear his helmet in training as well as during games.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Durban municipality has delayed signing a contract for a new soccer stadium to be used for the 2010 finals.

Rumors say the cost of this one stadium has increased to over 2 billion rand ($286.2 million).

Originally, the government had said they would spend 5.6 billion rand ($801.2 million) on the new 5 stadiums, but when the actual numbers were released, the cost was 8.8 billion rand ($1.26 billion). Now it looks like costs will increase from that figure due to the lack of building materials.

DC United

The most successful club in the MLS, DC United, changed hands last week for $17m less than Beckham will earn per year.


Six teenage Wigan fans were in tears after their bus left them at Chelsea on Saturday but Leighton Baines and Matt Jackson organised a £400 whip-round for their fares home and one of the Latics players' wives drove the youngsters to the station.


"David will be received as a superstar over there. He has the looks, the whole thing.

"I'm sure people this side of the pond were upset when he decided to join LA Galaxy, but he will be welcomed with open arms.

"He'll bring tremendous interest and support to the sport. Twenty per cent of America is Latino and they just live for soccer.

"With Beckham there, it'll really take off."

Movie star Sylvester Stallone welcomes Becks after dropping in to watch Everton's 1-1 draw with Reading.

Monday, January 15, 2007


Newcastle's Nicky Butt was booked for a half-time bust-up with Tottenham defender Chimbonda, and was then slapped in the face by the Spurs defender.

Butt then charged down the tunnel after the Frenchman and had to be dragged into the dressing room by his team-mates.

Butt went on to score the winner for Glenn Roeder's side as they became only the third team to beat Spurs at White Hart Lane this season.

Early move

David Beckham is likely to be heading for the United States ahead of schedule after Real Madrid's coach Fabio Capello insisted that he would not play another game for the club.

Beckham's representatives have been infuriated by Capello's public dismissal of the 31-year-old and want talks with Madrid officials but they recognise that the 2-0 defeat in La Coruña the previous Sunday will almost certainly prove the Englishman's last game in a white shirt and are keen to broker an early move to California.


It's not just West Ham's first team that is struggling, as their under-16s found out against Arsenal. The match was stopped with 10 minutes remaining and the Gunners 9-0 up.


Despite Fabio Capello saying David Beckham would never play for Real Madrid again, the club shop sold one replica shirt on Saturday. On the Englishman's first day in the Spanish capital they sold 8,000.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Abandoned after 120 minutes

The Maltese island of Gozo's GFA Cup game between Gharb Rangers and SK Victoria Wanderers on September 21 1997 was abandoned after the full 120 minutes, during the penalty shootout. The floodlights failed after the scores were tied at 0-0.

Friday, January 12, 2007


A Cardiff fan is planning to pay for him and 20 fellow supporters to watch the game at Wolves from an airship because Bluebirds fans are banned from Molineux


Fulham's new signing Clint Dempsey is also a hip-hop star who goes by the name of 'Deuce' and scored a big hit last year with 'Don't Tread', a track recorded to mark the United States' participation in the World Cup. Sample lyric:

"Game took hold like the roots of a tree, Thank God soccer's a sport and Nike sign me".

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Apparently, Oldham can expect crowds of more than 120,000 when they become the first English club to tour Bangladesh in May - their average home gate is around 6,000.


Yearly income from next season, when he leaves Spain for America, will be:

An annual salary of $10m

His existing sponsorship contracts with his four sponsors - Motorola, Pepsi, Gillette and Volkswagen - is estimated to be worth $25m

His merchandising shirt sales will bring in $10m

His share of the club profits: $10m

That adds up to $55m. Multiply it by five and you get well over $275m.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Newcastle striker Michael Owen, who is recovering from injury, may be able to look for advice from his sister Lesley, who is setting up a holistic health clinic near Chester.

Raw meat

Hearts midfielder Paul Hartley overcame a foot injury by wrapping the affected limb in a couple of strips of raw meat to nourish the damaged tissue - a remedy told to him by a professional from another club.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Jose Mourinho's future at Stamford Bridge is coming under increasing scrutiny with Roman Abramovich expecting an immediate improvement in Chelsea's results.

Nothing has been said directly to Mourinho by Abramovich - that is not the Russian billionaire's style - but the Chelsea owner is understood to have grown annoyed at how his team have performed this season.

Unsurprisingly Guus Hiddink, currently the coach of the Russian national team, was again linked to taking over at Chelsea yesterday. The Dutchman would be the outstanding candidate to succeed Mourinho and, significantly, once more gave an interview in which he talked up his friendship with Abramovich.


Fulham's new striker, Vincenzo Montella, is getting used to his new surroundings in London. He now orders a single espresso as..."otherwise you get given a cup of dishwater."

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Andriy Shevchenko’s fall from £30 million superstar to bit-part squad player will be further underlined today when he takes his place alongside Chelsea’s reserve players in the FA Cup third-round tie against Macclesfield Town.

Mourinho’s treatment of Shevchenko contrasts with his other senior players, who have been given time off.

Goat's head

Palermo's sporting director Rino Foschi received an unwelcome festive present after his team fell 13 points behind leaders Inter Milan - inside a nicely wrapped parcel was a bloody goat's head.


Macclesfield's £600-a-week defender Matty McNeil hopes laughter affects Chelsea's megabucks stars in Saturday's FA Cup tie.

The 29-year-old former fruit and veg van driver is nicknamed Borat by his team mates - because of his resemblance to Sacha Baron Cohen's character. Although he hates the name, he hopes it will make the Blues' players lose concentration.

Personally, I can't see the resemblance

Friday, January 05, 2007

Be afraid

On Jan 21, 2006, Newcastle were 14th in the Premiership, having taken 26 points from 22 games, seven won, 10 lost and five drawn. Their goal difference was minus five, and the top scorer had seven goals. One match later – another defeat – and Graeme Souness was sacked.

Wind on to Jan 5, 2007, and Newcastle are 14th in the Premiership, having taken 26 points from 22 games, seven wins, 10 defeats, five draws. Goal difference is minus five, and the top scorer has seven goals. Glenn Roeder should be afraid.


Premiership footballers may soon have to don those big ear protectors worn by workmen wielding pneumatic drills, to meet an upcoming health and safety rule. Hewden, who just happen to rent equipment to the construction industry, say that players at grounds with the noisiest fans, like Manchester United, Portsmouth, Liverpool and Newcastle, are subjected to levels in excess of 92 decibels, well above those permitted.

Under Control of Noise at Work regulations, which come into force in April, employers must make hearing protectors available to all employees exposed to excessive noise. In football terms that would mean officials, stewards, managers and even players being legally required to wear ear defenders during matches. Jeff Schofield, Hewden's head of marketing, says: "Like any business, football clubs have a responsibility to protect employees. The regulations are not about preventing noise, simply controlling it. Footballers may soon find that the latest 'must-have' accessory is a set of designer earmuffs."

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Liverpool defender Tommy Smith was forced to go to a social security tribunal to explain how he took a penalty at half-time of the 1996 FA Cup final despite being on incapacity benefit because of his chronic arthritis. He is now an after-dinner speaker.

Youngest backline ever

On May 7 2006, Middlesbrough rested the majority of their first team for a game at Fulham, three days before their Uefa Cup final hammering by Sevilla.

Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull (20) and defenders Andrew Davies (20), Matthew Bates (18), David Wheater (18) and Andrew Taylor (18) featured in a back-line boasting an average age of less than 19 (18.8 to be precise).

Steve McClaren's side contained seven teenagers at an average age of just 20, with just one player - the veteran then-26-year-old Malcolm Christie - over the age of 21.

"It's a proud day for Middlesbrough," said McClaren after the game, which they lost 1-0, "and for Steve Gibson, the chairman, who always wanted as his dream to field a team of players born within 30 miles of the stadium. Fifteen of the 16 in the squad were that. The performance was heroic."


Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper Mark Crossley is getting in some early practice to help him with a media career when his playing days are over. The veteran stopper likes to commentate on the action during quiet periods in matches.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Carlos Queiroz, Sir Alex Ferguson's No2 at Manchester United, has floated the possibility that he may leave the club at the end of the season because of his desire to return to management in his own right.

Queiroz had a tumultuous spell at Real Madrid, which ended with the sack in 2004 after only a year, but he does not seem to have been put off, saying he may decide to leave United for "other projects". He said he was waiting for offers, but he made it clear he was not against the idea of continuing to work with Ferguson.


About £40 million is invested every year into the 40 club academies in England. State-of-the-art facilities are commonplace; Arsenal’s alone cost £2.5 million. In the decade since Howard Wilkinson’s “Charter for Quality” was launched with the intention of mapping out the path to success, investment in the nation’s youth structure has been about £300 million.

And yet, if you looked at the 220 players starting in the Barclays Premiership on an average weekend, you will see only 25-30 Englishmen of 23 or less. Everton did not start with a single one on New Year’s Day. Chelsea do not have one in their squad.

Pie and mash

England centre-back Rio Ferdinand wants to open a 'Cockney pie and mash shop in Manchester'. His friends say that the Manchester United defender is deadly serious.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Tree house

Newcastle and England striker Michael Owen will treat wife Louise to a two-night stay in an exclusive £100,000 tree house in the grounds of a hotel just outside Chester.


Bolton striker Kevin Davies is the Premiership player with the worst disciplinary record in terms of fouls and yellow cards - but the 29-year-old is also the most fouled player in the division.

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