Sunday, August 31, 2008

Capello starves England players

Miserable England players have turned to comfort foods as they prepare for their crucial World Cup qualifiers, directly challenging the authority of boss Fabio Capello.

The hardman Italian has introduced a strict regime which forces the national squad to go up to eight hours without food after training sessions.

But top stars have smuggled bags of crisps and chocolate bars into their rooms as they fight hunger pangs, according to reports.

Sources say the uncompromising 62-year-old's fasting plan - which applies only when they play for England - backfired in the recent drawn friendly with the Czech Republic, causing a lethargic performance.

According to reports, the diet plan even saw one player - believed to be Rio Ferdinand - vomit at half-time during the friendly.

The source said: 'One senior player started suffering stomach cramps and was sick all over the dressing room floor. This isn’t about the players being greedy. But suddenly they were going long periods with nothing to eat and their systems couldn’t cope.'

Monday, August 25, 2008

Redknapp fancies leading UK Olympic side in 2012

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp would relish the chance to manage a Great Britain football team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Organisers are hoping a side will be entered, although the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Football Associations object to the plan.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been the name touted for the role but he has distanced himself from the idea.

Londoner Redknapp has taken the opposite stance.

'I'm absolutely flattered that my name is being mentioned about managing the Great Britain team,' he said.

'Would I take it if they offered it to me? Absolutely, I would be a fool not to.

'I've had some great managerial jobs during my career but there is no doubt this would be the icing on the cake.

'The fact it is being held on my old stamping ground in East London makes it even more appealing.'

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Barmby's son quits Hull

Manchester United have stunned rivals Hull City by taking Nick Barmby's 14-year-old son from under their noses at the KC Stadium.

Jack Barmby, one of the brightest talents in British football, has joined United after his father Nick urged him to quit Hull for Old Trafford.

Barmby, 34, is fulfilling a lifelong ambition by playing for Hull in the top flight and his son's decision has come as a surprise to the Hull board.

However, they cannot prevent Barmby Jnr leaving. United have been tracking Barmby's son for two years but they did not expect to sign him before he was 16.

Hull are not entitled to any compensation for the player because he was too young to sign for them.

Barmby, who is a left midfielder like his father, made his debut for United's academy side last Saturday.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mascherano to dedicate medal

If Argentina beat Nigeria in the Olympic final, Javier Mascherano has vowed to dedicate his gold medal to Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

He said : "He is a very important person in my life."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Teenage victim sues Joey Barton

Newcastle United footballer Joey Barton is being sued for damages by a teenage boy he attacked during a night out.

Barton, 25, punched Jordan Spencer, then aged 16, in the face, outside McDonalds in Liverpool City Centre in the early hours of 27 December.

The teenager was left with broken teeth and Barton was sentenced to six months in jail for assault and affray.

The player was ordered to pay the boy £2,500 in compensation but a judge will consider if he should be paid more.

It is thought Jordan Spencer's legal team will argue the boy was seriously affected by the ordeal and the compensation ordered at Crown Court was not commensurate with his suffering.

The midfielder was released from prison 74 days into his six month sentence for the attack, which had happened after a night of drinking.

This is the second time in a fortnight that Barton has been told he is being sued.

Last week solicitors for Jamie Tandy, 23, confirmed he was suing Barton for allegedly wrecking his playing career after the midfielder stubbed a lit cigar in his face.

Mr Tandy was a trainee with Manchester City at the time when Barton - who was a senior player and emerging star - attacked him during the team's 2004 Christmas party.

Mr Tandy claims he suffered "major psychiatric deterioration".

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Burnley FC probe parachutist's crash landing

Burnley FC have launched an urgent inquiry after a parachutist crash-landed onto Turf Moor and delayed kick-off by almost an hour.

Board members, led by chief executive Paul Fletcher, are due to hold an emergency meeting this morning.

They will discuss why it took an hour-and-a-half for the member of the Parachute Regiment's Red Devils to be brought down from the ground’s Cricket Field Stand on Saturday.

The parachutist - Ben Cannon, a brigadier thought to live in Todmorden - was said to be “embarrassed” after being rescued by firefighters.

His only injuries were cuts and bruises.

He has been accused by a police chief of “show-boating” as he came into land minutes before Burnley were due to start their Championship clash against Ipswich.

More than 11,000 at Turf Moor saw six Red Devils successfully land on the pitch as part of the pre-game festivities before Mr Cannon crash-landed on to the stand, piercing the asbestos roof.

A club investigation is set to look into why it took so long for cars parked on the next-door cricket pitch to be moved so emergency services could get to Mr Cannon.

And it is also thought that the club is considering axing any similar pre-match entertainment in future.

Bookies already paying out on Stoke relegation

Stoke manager Tony Pulis thinks his squad will be galvanised by the news that one national bookmaker is already paying out on his team to be relegated.

Pulis said: "We all know there's a long way to go.

"I personally think it will galvanise everyone around the city, not just the players but the supporters too."

Stoke lost 3-1 at Bolton on Saturday to add weight to the view of those pundits who are tipping them for an immediate return to the Championship.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Footballers make knife-crime plea

David Beckham has joined other England football stars to call on young people to stop carrying knives.

Beckham, Rio Ferdinand and David James spoke to launch an anti-knife campaign called It Doesn't Have to Happen.

Beckham said: "We can help people, we can help youngsters because, we've got a voice that kids listen to."

The government says more than 2,500 arrests have been made and 1,600 knives have been seized since June under its action plan to tackle knife crime.

Over 55,000 people have been stopped and searched under the measures.

Beckham to appear in Olympic closing ceremony

London 2012 officials have lost the element of surprise for their eight-minute show at the closing ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

Reports that David Beckham will take part are correct.

Beckham will appear on the top of one of London's red double-decker buses and kick a football into the crowd when London gets a chance to tell the world what the next Games will be like.

It's been rumoured for some time that Beckham - who in 2005 was in Singapore as part of the bid team when London won the 2012 vote - would take part, but London 2012 are disappointed that the news has leaked out more than a week before the ceremony on Sunday August 24

Friday, August 15, 2008

Suspended ref's car is vandalised

Police are trying to find vandals who damaged a £40,000 sports car belonging to a suspended Premier League referee.

Mark Clattenburg, who lives in Newcastle, was suspended amid allegations relating to debts of companies connected to him.

Northumbria Police said officers were investigating an incident in which a corrosive substance was poured on Mr Clattenburg's black Porsche Boxster.

Earlier this week he appeared in court over an alleged £5,000 debt.

The suspension, by the Football Association and referees' body Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, meant Mr Clattenburg was unable to take charge of last weekend's FA Community Shield clash between Manchester United and Portsmouth.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Mutu ordered to pay £13.68million to Chelsea

FIFA have ordered Adrian Mutu to pay Chelsea £13.68million in compensation after being tested positive for cocaine while at Stamford Bridge.

Mutu, 29, failed a drug test in 2004 and was banned for seven months before moving to Juventus and Fiorentina after getting sacked by Chelsea.

Mutu's lawyer, Cristian Sarbu, claimed earlier in the summer that his client was told to pay £9.6million by FIFA and that the Romania striker would be contesting the ruling.

Ashton told to lose weight

Fabio Capello has revealed that he warned Dean Ashton he must lose weight if he wants to further his England career.

Ashton was out for 18 months after breaking an ankle in an England training session but is now fully fit and has been impressive for West Ham in pre-season.

The coach today said that he delivered an ultimatum to Ashton to shed some weight during the summer.

'We followed Dean in a lot of games last season and he was very good but he had injury problems before that,' said Capello.

'He has since told me he is fit now. I spoke with him in Trinidad and I told him he had to lose weight and be better physically because technically he is good but he is not quick.'

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Steven Gerrard's £350,000 gym

Footballer Steven Gerrard has angered his neighbours after building a £350,000 two-storey gym complex at the bottom of his garden.

The Liverpool captain has irked locals of the seaside town of Formby by constructing the building, which has been likened by one irate neighbour to 'an Asda supermarket in a beauty spot'.

Gerrard, 28, and his wife Alex Curran, 25, were granted planning permission in October for a 'detached two-storey building to be used as a garden pavilion and gymnasium with games room'.

Horrified neighbours have watched the grassy land at the back of the Gerrards' garden be transformed into a building site for the huge complex, which has taken eight months to build.

Despite objections by locals, Gerrard won planning permission after including plans to install a living 'sedum roof', which includes grass, moss and other plants and helps cut fuel bills by keeping the building warmer in the winter.

The lavish building will include changing rooms, plunge pool, shower rooms, kitchenette, treatment area and games area, which will be linked to the couple's existing swimming pool by a walkway.

Capello not concerned over Rooney's smoking

Fabio Capello has dismissed concerns about Wayne Rooney being pictured drawing on a cigarette.

Capello said of his playing days: “Many of my friends among the players smoked,”

“It's a part of life and, with Rooney, a part of his private life, too. It really depends on whether he is smoking five, or 20.”

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coloccini's haircut

Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan is a big fan of new signing Fabricio Coloccini's haircut.

"I like it - it's like mine and Terry Mac's in the 1970s. I can't say any more than that at the moment," he said.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Abramovich to build £150million home

Some building projects can take years to get off the ground.

But when Roman Abramovich is involved, things tend to move a little more quickly.

Some 13 weeks after the Russian oligarch asked Kensington and Chelsea council for permission to build to build a £150million home, the scheme has already been rubber-stamped in its entirety.

Building will start immediately on the development, spread across two stucco-fronted properties running over eight floors in Lowndes Square, behind Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.

Mr Abramovich's new home will include eight bedrooms, a cinema/entertainment room, an indoor heated pool and a steam room.

Experts said yesterday that his plans were approved so speedily because he employed a reputable architect to work closely with council conservation officers.

Although he has properties in several countries including Russia, the size of this British development has led to speculation that he may be planning to settle down, or at least spend more time here, with his girlfriend, Russian heiress Daria Zhukova.

Friday, August 08, 2008

World record juggling attempt

At 6:00pm on September 18th, 2008 , William Giummarra will attempt to juggle his way to feeding millions of children around the world, whilst also setting a new Guinness World Record.

By juggling the ball for a full 24 hours "Willi" is set to challenge the old Guinness World Record of 19.5 hours - in doing so a VITAMEAL will be donated each time he touches the ball

Benny the Box

During the 2004 Mascot Grand National charity event, held at Huntingdon Racecourse, AFC Telford's mascot, Benny Buck, entered the race despite some adversity.

His head was stolen during a previous charity event, and having no alternative, he made a cardboard replacement and was renamed “Benny the Box” for the race.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Nigeria make Cole call-up blunder

In a bizarre move, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has called up an ineligible player for their forthcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

West Ham United striker Carlton Cole is in the squad for the games against South Africa in September and Sierra Leone in October.

Cole, who has a Nigerian father and Sierra Leonean mother, has played for England at under-21 level.

But he cannot switch allegiance to Nigeria as he is now 24 years old.

Fifa allows players who have represented one country at junior level to switch to another country, but the statutes of world football's governing body state that this can only happen if they are still under the age of 21.

Hammers retire No. 6 shirt in memory of Moore

West Ham United have decided to retire the No6 shirt in honour of their former captain and England great Bobby Moore.

Moore made his debut 50 years ago this September and to commemorate the occasion the Hammers have decided to retire the number that was made famous by the former centre-half in both West Ham and England colours.

"When we were talking about ways to mark 50 years since Bobby Moore's debut, there was only one true gesture that would do him justice - retiring the No6 shirt he made his own," explained the West Ham's chief executive officer Scott Duxbury on the club's official website.

Moore was 17-years-old when he made his first appearance in the claret and blue of the senior side against Manchester United in September 1958 and it is an occasion that will also be marked this Saturday by a friendly match against Villarreal in the inaugural Bobby Moore Cup.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Inter fined for 'existential' harm to fan

Italian champions Inter Milan have been ordered to pay a Napoli fan €1,500 for 'existential damage' caused by banners calling Naples the 'sewer of Italy' displayed at San Siro last October.

Italian news agencies said on Tuesday that a Naples court had ordered Inter to pay the fan, identified only by initials, compensation and legal costs for insults which refer to a refuse crisis that left garbage rotting in Naples' streets.

'Ciao cholera sufferers!' read another of the banners seen at the Oct. 6 game which the fan's lawyer, Raffaele Di Monda, said had made his client feel 'indignant and deeply hurt'.

Inter, who won the game 2-1, had already been punished by the Italian league with the closure of the sections of San Siro where the banners had been shown for the following home match.

The club fought against the lawsuit arguing that the Naples court did not have jurisdiction.

Liverpool voted "most attractive fans"

D1 Model Management and Sky together voted fans of Liverpool FC the most attractive in the Premier League.

Portsmouth bottomed the table, with the ugliest fans.

Dean Cleary-Patterson, from D1 Model Management explained the judging process:

"We typically take into account a whole range of aspects of a person's appearance, from the symmetry of their features to the glossiness of their hair. It's interesting to know we might need to start scouring the stands of Anfield to find our next big name!"

It's still unclear whether a curly-perm and a bushy moustache were part of the criteria.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Bayern Munich launch kit to music

Friday, August 01, 2008

Beckham appears on Sesame Street

David Beckham has acquired a few new friends during his year in LA, and now he's got another high profile pal to add to the list.

The football star has teamed up with Elmo for a guest appearance on the hugely popular children's programme Sesame Street.

The LA Galaxy star was invited to appear on the first episode of its 39th season alongside a host of other celebrities.

He he introduced the word 'persistent' to Elmo and viewers on the show's Word on the Street segment.

A source said: 'David has always been a huge fan of the show. When he was a kid he watched it, like a lot of people, and knew all the characters. He was more than happy to go on.'

Rooney questioned over spit claim

Footballer Wayne Rooney has said he is "blameless" after he was questioned by police for allegedly spitting at a paparazzi photographer.

The England and Manchester United star has been interviewed under caution after the incident in Hanway Street, central London, on Tuesday evening.

The 22-year-old was leaving a restaurant with his wife Coleen when the incident happened.

He was spoken to by police at a neutral venue but was not arrested.

A spokesman for Mr Rooney said: "Wayne was interviewed by police in connection with an alleged minor offence involving a paparazzi photographer who had been persistently invading his and Coleen's privacy throughout the evening.

"This included the photographer following the couple into a restaurant from which he had to be evicted.

"Wayne was happy to co-operate fully and to give a clear version of the events in which he believes he was blameless."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We received a third party allegation that a photographer had been spat at by an individual outside a restaurant in Hanway Street.

"Officers established the incident occurred at approximately 10.20pm on Tuesday evening.

"The alleged suspect, a 22-year-old male, was spoken to by police.

"He was not arrested and did not attend a police station. Inquiries continue."

In law, deliberately spitting at someone is an offence of common assault.

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