Football Station


Forget Madrid, Franck – Robben
September 23, 2009, 9:57 AM
Filed under: bundesliga, la liga | Tags: , , ,

One of next year’s transfer sagas is expected to revolve around Franck Ribery’s move from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, a path that Arjen Robben trod in the opposite direction this summer.

The duo were on the last cover of German magazine Kicker under the headline ‘Robbery’ as a tribute to the effect that the two wingers were having for Louis Van Gaal’s side this season.

Two star-crossed lovers.

Two star-crossed lovers.

After Bayern’s 2-1 victory at the weekend against Nurnberg, Ribery apparently repeatedly refused to answer questions to the press as he left the ground, but Robben was more forthcoming.

“I wouldn’t advise him to go to Real Madrid because I want to play with him!” he joked in an interview with Noticias Cuatro.

With their debt of €327 million, it remains to be seen whether Ribery’s move would come about if los Blancos fail to win any trophies this season.

The Frenchman has also suggested that he may sign a new deal with the German side; his current contract expires in 2011.

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Pompey Will Hold Firm Until Summer of 2010
September 23, 2009, 9:33 AM
Filed under: premier league | Tags: ,

New Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al-Fahim has revealed he will not be splashing out on new players until next summer.

Pompey signed a number of players during the transfer window but were forced to let their prized assets go, and the South Coast club are looking to rebuild before spending lots of money.

Al-fahim, the sultry new owner of Pompey, refuses to dish out money until next summer...which could see them in the Championship

Al-fahim, the sultry new owner of Pompey, refuses to dish out money until next summer...which could see them in the Championship

“You have to do things at their own speed and at the moment the priority for Portsmouth is to create a good infrastructure so that the club can have a serious face in the future,” al-Fahim told Spanish newspaper Marca.

Paul Hart’s side have lost their opening six games in the Premier League, the worst start in the top-flight since Leicester City in 1983, but Al-Fahim denied he was interested in buying a Spanish club.

“I am not interested in investing in a Spanish club,” he added.

“Now my main pre-occupation is with Pompey and to improve the level of the squad for the Premier League.”



Campbell Walks Out on Notts
September 23, 2009, 9:30 AM
Filed under: Transfer | Tags: , ,

Sol Campbell could be left in limbo until the January transfer window after walking out on Notts County on Wednesday.

Former England defender Campbell has quit County after just one game, with the League Two club confirming he had left “by mutual consent” after asking to cancel his contract.

However, it’s understood that under FIFA rules, Campbell is highly unlikely to be allowed to join another club having severed his ties with County. As an unattached player, a loan deal would obviously be out of the question.

According to the Premier League, only if the veteran can prove he has a just cause for quitting Meadow Lane – a change of heart or minor disagreement, for example, would not qualify – would he be able to sign for a top-flight team while the window is closed.

Sol can read good.

Sol can read good.

Campbell, 35, left Portsmouth in the summer and signed a lucrative five-year deal reportedly worth £40,000 a week at Meadow Lane just a month ago, making his first and only appearance in the defeat by Morecambe last weekend.

Reports on Wednesday morning claimed the centre-half had quickly become disillusioned with the club’s rate of progression in that short period.

County chief executive Peter Trembling told the club’s website: “While we are disappointed that Sol felt that he could not adjust to the long-term nature of the project under way at Notts County, we obviously wish him the best with the remainder of his career and hope that he is able to obtain a place where he can play at international level ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

“The investment project is on track; we have brought in a lot of new players and resources into the club, but obviously this is a five-year project, not a five-week one.”

The former England defender was the most high-profile recruit to the playing staff this summer following County’s takeover by Munto Finance and Sven-Goran Eriksson’s arrival as director of football.

The takeover deal is now being investigated by the Football League and, after making his debut in last Saturday’s shock 2-1 defeat at Morecambe, Campbell appears to have had a change of heart.

“For any fan that bought a new Notts shirt and had ‘Campbell’ printed on the back, I am pleased to offer a voucher for the club shop for a replacement shirt,” Trembling added.

He told Sky Sports News: “We’re disappointed Sol has decided, from yesterday, he wants to end his contract.

“It’s one of those things, he joined five weeks ago on a five-year contract as part of the long-term project, but ultimately he’s come to the point, having been here five weeks, where he has decided it’s not for him.

“Sometimes decisions are made, people make wrong decisions and Sol has decided this is not where he wants to be now.

“We’re not going to kick up a fuss about it. If he wants to go, he needs to go and we genuinely wish him all the best.”

Asked about the reasons Campbell gave, Trembling added: “Not an awful lot, just that this was not working out for him.

“I spoke to his representative this morning and he has just decided it’s not working out and he wants to move on. Perhaps things are not happening as quickly as he thought they might, but this is a five-year project, not a five-week project. We can’t just become a Premier League club overnight.

“That is how it is. If he doesn’t want to play here, we don’t want him here.”



Reo-Coker Sent Home Training
September 18, 2009, 9:01 AM
Filed under: premier league | Tags: , ,

Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker was sent home from training on Friday for disciplinary reasons, manager Martin O’Neill has revealed.

Reports indicated O’Neill and Reo-Coker had a disagreement in training and when Reo-Coker arrived for training on Friday morning, he was told to stay away until Monday.

O’Neill has demanded all the focus at Villa Park is on Saturday’s clash with struggling Portsmouth and not his bust-up with Nigel Reo-Coker.

Yes.  This is real.

Yes. This is Reo-Coker. Yes. This is real.

O’Neill said: “There was a confrontation between Nigel and myself. It usually happens between players really.

“There were no fisticuffs. There was no wrestling to the ground as reported in one newspaper. That was a figment of the onlookers’ imagination.

“There was enough for me to treat the incident seriously enough. Nigel will not play against Portsmouth and come Monday it will be forgotten about.

“I make the rules. I am the manager and custodian of the football club so my rules apply. Players have to get used to my rules. It’s as simple as that.”



Transfer News – September 16th

Transfer News – September 16th, 2009

DAILY MIRROR:

  • Newcastle boss Chris Hughton wants to sign Fulham forward Diomansy Kamara and Aston Villa striker Marlon Harewood on loan.
  • Hull could allow Caleb Folan and Daniel Cousin to join Middlesbrough and Newcastle respectively on loan.
  • Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is giving former Sunderland goalkeeper Jurgen Macho a chance to return to the Premier League.
  • Bolton have agreed a deal worth up to £1million with Wolves to sign defender Mark Connolly.
    The French-Senegalese hitman has been targeted by a number of clubs.

    The French-Senegalese hitman has been targeted by Newcastle

    DAILY STAR:

  • Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has blasted Manchester City manager Mark Hughes for trying to defend Emmanuel Adebayor.
  • Rafa Benitez says the Premier League has rushed through the introduction of a quota system for home-grown players too soon.
  • Former Republic of Ireland boss Steve Staunton has applied for the manager’s job at League Two side Rotherham.
  • Stoke defender Andrew Davies has rejected the chance to join Plymouth on loan.
  • Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell is ready to battle with Ipswich, Colchester and Barnsley to sign Danny Shittu from Bolton.DAILY MAIL:
  • It has emerged that Liverpool’s kit sponsorship with Standard Chartered is worth more than the £120million a year reported.
  • Liverpool chief Tom Hicks has hit out at the Arab owners of Manchester City and insisted that there £120million transfer spending spree is ‘unsustainable’.
  • Olympiakos have expressed interest in making Bryan Robson their new coach.
  • James Vaughan has been given approval by Everton to join a club, which could be Middlesbrough, on loan.

    The EPL's youngest goal scorer could be on his way out of Everton.

    The EPL's youngest goal scorer could be on his way out of Everton.

  • Former West Ham and Liverpool defender Julian Dicks has been appointed as manager of Grays Athletic.DAILY EXPRESS:
  • Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung wants Birmingham to spearhead a revolution in Chinese football, after formally lodging his takeover bid.
  • The Scottish FA yesterday kept faith in George Burley by backing him to continue as Scotland manager.THE SUN:
  • Newcastle are lining up a loan move for Fulham’s Diomansy Kamara to cover for Shola Ameobi.
  • West Ham are set to open an academy in Minna, Nigeria.
  • Carson Yeung’s Birmingham takeover is just six weeks away after his company made an £81million offer in cash.
  • New Portsmouth owner Sulaiman Al Fahim insists there will be money to spend in January even though Peter Storrie says the club remains short of funds.
  • Michel Platini’s plan to make the clubs live within their means was approved by UEFA yesterday.DAILY RECORD:
  • Alex McLeish has welcomed the decision to save Scotland manager George Burley’s job.


  • Forgive the Quality…
    September 14, 2009, 9:54 AM
    Filed under: premier league | Tags: , , ,


    Michael Shields Finally Released
    September 9, 2009, 8:07 AM
    Filed under: International | Tags: ,

    Liverpool fan Michael Shields, who was jailed for 15 years for the attempted murder of a barman in Bulgaria, gave a thumbs up as he walked free from prison on Wednesday after being granted a pardon by Justice Secretary Jack Straw.

    The 22-year-old was convicted after a disturbance following Liverpool’s Champions League victory in Turkey in 2005 but his case was identified as a potential miscarriage of justice by a High Court Judicial Review following a long campaign for his release.

    He has been eligible for a pardon since December 2008, but the Justice Secretary requested more information before making his decision.

    In a statement read out at a press conference on his behalf by the Bishop of Liverpool James Jones, Shields said: ”The last four years have been the hardest four years of my life. They have been a living hell.

    ”I am only sitting here today thanks to the love, support and tireless campaigning of a number of people, some of whom are here today.

    ”It’s a hard thing to be locked away for a crime you did not commit. I was just 18 when I was arrested. ‘m now 22 and face having to rebuild my life which was shattered by the failure of two legal systems, one here in the UK and one in Bulgaria.

    ”Today is a happy day for me but one of mixed emotions too. I am a free man, yes, but it should not have come to this. I now face a hard battle to adjust to normality. To find a job. To resume friendships. To build an ordinary life. My priority now is to spend time with my loved ones, to slowly begin to plan for a future as an innocent man.”

    Shields was arrested in Varna on May 30, 2005 and was later transfered from a Bulgarian jail to Thorn Cross Prison.

    Mr Straw met with Shields’ parents on August 28, when they presented new evidence which convinced him of Shields’s innocence. Following that meeting he recommended to the Queen that Shields be pardoned.

    Shields’ solicitor John Wheate said: “At first Michael couldn’t believe it after all these years and knock backs. But now he is absolutely ecstatic and so are his family.”

    Mr Straw said he was told by Shields’ parents about a meeting between members of the Shields family and another man accused of the attack on barman Martin Georgiev, who was struck on the head with a rock. Mr Straw was told the man, Graham Sankey, confessed to the attack on the second day of Shields’ trial in Bulgaria.

    He said: “I was told in the course of the visit that the man made an oral confession in front of several other people. This episode, I was told, happened on 22 July 2005, a day after the start of Mr Shields’ trial in Bulgaria.

    “I will not set out in this statement all the evidence that has come to light over the last two weeks but suffice it to say that there is very good reason to believe I was being told the truth. This, in my view, profoundly changed the credibility of the various accounts of what actually happened in this case.

    “I have concluded, having looked carefully at all the evidence now available, that Michael Shields is telling the truth when he says he is innocent of the attempted murder of which he was convicted in Bulgaria. That being so I have recommended to Her Majesty the Queen that he should be granted a free pardon.

    “Mr Shields is being released from prison today and will return home to his family a free man.”

    After he was told of the confession, Mr Straw asked Merseyside Police to make further inquiries. Details of the evidence, and of what the police uncovered, has been passed to the Bulgarian authorities.

    The alleged confession by Mr Sankey, an electrician from Liverpool, had been ruled inadmissible at Shields’ trial. Mr Sankey’s solicitor later suggested it may have been an entirely different fight in which his client took part.

    A Downing Street spokesman said Prime Minister Gordon Brown was “very supportive” of the decision to pardon Shields.