AHEAD OF THE GAME: Man United manager Erik ten Hag offers clear-the-air talks with Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill… as National Crime Agency begin probe into betting patterns surrounding Granit Xhaka’s yellow card at Leeds last season
- Erik ten Hag sends out offer of peace talks with Sky Sports News’ Gary Cotterill
- Todd Boehly owns a stake in UEFA’s bet monitoring service, Sportradar AG
- National Crime Agency confirm they are investigating Granit Xhaka’s yellow card
- EFL clubs face electricity bills of £2000 for floodlights due to cost of living crisis
- Wrexham have waited 17 months for a National League response over streaming
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has offered to meet Sky Sports’ Gary Cotterill for clear-the-air talks after the reporter was prevented from asking questions at a press conference last week.
The Dutchman was still unhappy with Cotterill for pursuing him for an interview while he was signing autographs at the Ajax training ground last season.
A similar incident occurred when Ten Hag was a guest at United’s final game of last season at Crystal Palace, before he had taken charge. But now the United manager wants to move on from the affair.
Erik ten Hag refused to take questions from Sky Sports in his press conference in August
Cotterill is understood to be receptive and peace talks are expected to take place over the next few weeks.
United have not restricted access to the club for any other Sky reporters, but they have expressed unhappiness at some of Sky’s criticisms of the Glazer family.
Former United captain Gary Neville has been relentlessly outspoken in his criticism of the Glazers, while Sky Sports News ran several segments before Liverpool’s visit pointing out how much money the American owners have taken out of the club.
United are understood to have questioned the balance of Sky’s coverage.
Boehly stake in UEFA integrity
UEFA will be hoping there are no betting controversies involving Chelsea when the Champions League begins next week, because the club’s new owner Todd Boehly is also a shareholder in the governing body’s integrity partner, Sportradar AG.
The American billionaire paid around £120million through his investment vehicle Eldridge Industries last September for a stake in Sportradar AG, a sports data and gambling company who have helped run UEFA’s anti match-fixing unit since 2009.
Sportradar provide UEFA with bet monitoring services to protect the integrity of their matches, as well as collecting and distributing data for betting purposes.
Todd Boehly paid £120million for a stake in Sportradar AG – UEFA’s bet monitoring service
FA in loop over Xhaka probe
The National Crime Agency are investigating the mysterious Granit Xhaka yellow card
The National Crime Agency have finally confirmed to the FA that they are investigating betting patterns surrounding Granit Xhaka’s mysterious yellow card in Arsenal’s Premier League win at Leeds last season, amid concerns over possible spot-fixing.
Sportsmail revealed in June that the matter had been passed over to the NCA from the Gambling Commission, but such is the secrecy surrounding the case that neither the FA nor Arsenal had been kept informed.
As we reported earlier this month, the NCA are looking into allegations of a criminal conspiracy.
Significant sums were wagered using cryptocurrency on Xhaka to be booked in the final 10 minutes, in addition to the £52,000 traded on Betfair, which was the trigger for the FA’s original investigation.
Is it lights out for the EFL?
EFL clubs face spending almost £2,000 a match to put their floodlights on from next month due to the dramatic rise in the cost of energy.
Lower-division clubs are currently paying between £300 and £1,000 a game to heat and light their stadiums on match days, and with energy bills projected to rise by up to 80 per cent from next month, many fear that the costs will become unaffordable.
Clubs have discussed more lunchtime kick-offs during the winter to reduce their bills, but the EFL have yet to give their approval. It is unlikely the EFL would sanction such a move for the Championship, although thse in League One and Two may be given more leeway.
EFL clubs will be spending £2000 a game on floodlights due to the cost of living crisis
Wrexham’s patience snaps
Wrexham have been waiting almost 17 months for an answer from the National League about whether they can live-stream their matches.
The club went public with their frustration this week as they are desperate to capitalise on global interest stimulated by last week’s release of the Disney+ documentary Welcome to Wrexham, which features their Hollywood owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.
EFL clubs generate around £15million a year through their live-streaming service, iFollow, and National League clubs are convinced they could also raise revenue to supplement a TV deal with BT worth around £1m a season.
Wrexham co-owner Ryan Reynolds says the National League needs it’s own streaming service
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