SPORTS AGENDA: Cautious Manchester City agree to park open-top bus

SPORTS AGENDA: Cautious Manchester City agree to park open-top bus… while Glazers owe a debt to United’s media team amid protests following botched attempt to form Super League

  • Manchester City plan to celebrate title at Etihad Stadium rather than a bus tour
  • Club remain cautious despite needing just one win to win the Premier League 
  • They are also wary of making commitments that they may not be able to fulfill
  • Dementia campaigners have requested meeting with new FIFA medical director
  • This follows his about football’s link to rates of neurodegenerative diseases

Manchester City are contemplating hosting a celebration event at the Etihad Stadium ahead of the new season rather than a traditional open-top bus tour — but remain cautious for two reasons.

The Premier League champions-in-waiting — who are also in the Champions League final — do not wish to take anything for granted despite needing just one win to secure the title.

They are also wary of making commitments that they cannot fulfil. Last year, Jurgen Klopp promised Liverpool supporters a victory parade following their first Premier League title triumph. That prospect is now highly unlikely because of the pandemic and a view that celebrating winning a trophy which is no longer yours is not a good look.

Manchester City are contemplating hosting a celebration event at the Etihad Stadium

A stonewall penalty could be on the cards for Manchester City’s John Stones .

The 26-year-old defender has had to apply for retrospective planning permission after building a 4ft boundary wall at his Cheshire pad without the green light from his local council. 

No objections have been received but should the authority decide not to grant permission, the England man could be ordered to tear it down. Papers show the wall took 11 days to build at the luxury home, which also boasts an indoor pool, games room and dog washing area.

UEFA officials suspicious of Turkey’s place on red list

Some at UEFA have wondered whether the placing of Turkey on to the red list was a tactical move by the UK Government as part of a plan to see the Champions League final moved to London. 

A Wembley switch would fit the post-Brexit agenda. Relations between UEFA and Whitehall are stronger than they have been for some time on the back of the defunct Super League breakaway — but that has not stopped the speculation.

Barton all but given up on players

Joey Barton appears to have quite the job on at Bristol Rovers. Over the past two weeks following relegation, players have been told by their manager to come into training just two days before fixtures and to take the rest of the week off. 

Barton has not been quiet about the quality and commitment he has inherited and is planning a major overhaul in an attempt to return Rovers to the third tier at the first attempt.

Glazers’ debt to media team 

Spare a thought for the media team at Manchester United. Fresh from having the botched Super League dropped on them, they had to deal with the fallout from the storming of Old Trafford by fans last weekend.

If that were not enough, Friday brought a willingness from the club’s reclusive owners to communicate with fans after 16 years of silence. It was interesting to note that, in 704 words, Joel Glazer made no mention of the dividends that are ripped out of the club and the debt it remains saddled with, thanks to the Americans’ leveraged takeover.

There is a growing feeling that the Glazers are approaching the point of no return and further damage is on the horizon following The Guardian’s revelation that The Hut Group pulled out of a £200million, 10-year training kit deal amid concerns over the potential fans’ backlash.

Manchester United owner Joel Glazer has promised greater engagement with fans 

Buttner the butt of the joke 

On a lighter note, there was much chortling at United’s training ground when former defender Alexander Buttner posted an image on Instagram of a mural he has presumably had painted at his home. It features Buttner, the Premier League trophy and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The artist may be in for the hairdryer treatment given Fergie looks like Des O’Connor and has a gigantic hand that looks considerably larger than his head.

Buttner, 32, who last played for New England Revolution, made 13 Premier League appearances for United over two years.

A post shared by Alexander Büttner?Larissa? (@alexanderbuttner)

Dementia fight taken to FIFA 

Dementia campaigners Dawn Astle and Rachel Walden have requested a meeting with FIFA’s new medical director following comments he made about football’s link to increased rates of neurodegenerative diseases.

‘What we need to find out is what they are doing within football that is causing it,’ said FIFA’s Andrew Massey. ‘We think it is heading and heading has a role to play in it.’

The comments by the former Liverpool head of medical services have triggered concern among Astle and Walden, who are advising the Professional Footballers’ Association on the issue, although they could represent a step forward given previous reluctance to acknowledge the link. Massey, to his credit, was quick to respond and a summit is due to take place in the near future.

Murphy’s surprise appearance  

Oisin Murphy stunned punters enjoying a race-day shindig last week at Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club when he turned up a couple of hours before appearing in the 2.45 down the road. 

The 2019 and 2020 flat champion took the microphone and waxed lyrical about two horses running in the first two races, only for the MC to cut in and inform all present that they were, in fact, non-runners. Unflustered, Murphy was asked about his own ride Imperial Force and honestly admitted it had little chance. He was right — it came in sixth in an eight-horse field.

Oisin Murphy visited Chester Boughton Hall Cricket Club hours before racing down the road

Many to give Olympics a miss 

Sizeable numbers of officials and hangers-on are to follow the leads of the chief executives of British Swimming and UK Athletics by giving the Olympic Games a swerve. 

They will all claim that they are doing so because of the pandemic. However, sceptics believe the lack of access to Tokyo’s excellent bars and restaurants may have played a key role.

Vain players asking for tighter shorts   

Kitmen at a number of Premier League clubs are being pressured by vain players to tailor their shorts in an attempt to show off bulging thigh muscles. 

There is a craze sweeping the top flight, with some going as far as lifting up one side of their shorts when they think they are on TV to show off the fruits of their labours in the gym.

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article