Saturday, June 22, 2024

SPORTS AGENDA: Champions League fans heading from overseas face travel chaos due to strikes… while Howard Webb keeps a low profile ahead of vote on whether or not to scrap VAR

Must read

Fans heading from overseas to Wembley for the Champions League final could face chaos because of strikes.

Border Control officers at Heathrow will walk out from May 31 to June 2, affecting thousands of Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund supporters travelling to Europe’s showpiece fixture on June 1.

One group who will not be affected, however, are UEFA’s dignitaries, who are due to fly from the Europa Conference League final in Athens to Luton on the Thursday.

Home Office and Border Force officials are drawing up contingency plans, along with Heathrow officials, in a bid to minimise disruption.

Jurgen Klopp was recently given a farewell card at his local, the Freshfield pub. Inside were heartfelt messages, but one Evertonian couldn’t resist writing ‘2-0′ in the barcode – a nod to the Toffees’ win in Klopp’s final derby as Liverpool boss.

Fans travelling from overseas to the Champions League could face potential travel chaos

Border Control officers at Heathrow will walk out from May 31 to June 2, affecting thousands of supporters making their way to the showpiece event

Border Control officers at Heathrow will walk out from May 31 to June 2, affecting thousands of supporters making their way to the showpiece event

EFL clubs will vote next month on whether to provide 40-inch TVs in away dressing rooms next season after moans about the size of screens provided for visitors. 

If voted through, TVs would have to go in a non-obscure position and show a live feed of the game, along with laptop connectivity for analytical purposes. 

They would also allow sent-off managers to watch the action.

The same meeting will also vote on a proposal that could spark further anger at Gateshead. 

The National League side finished sixth and were many people’s favourites to be reach the EFL via the play-offs. 

However, they were barred from taking part after being told they were ineligible for promotion as they did not have a 10-year lease on their ground at the International Stadium, which is owned by the local council. 

The EFL are now proposing to reduce that tenure to five years and allow a short period for promoted sides to agree a 10-year deal. It would need FA approval.

EFL clubs will vote on whether to provide 40-inch TVs in away dressing rooms next season

EFL clubs will vote on whether to provide 40-inch TVs in away dressing rooms next season

It would appear that Lancashire’s timing leaves a lot to be desired, off the field as well as on it. 

To the surprise of nobody (apart from the club’s board) following the head-scratching appointment of head coach Dale Benkenstein, Lancs endured a miserable start to their County Championship campaign, losing three and drawing two of their opening five matches. 

Less than 48 hours after a nine-wicket pasting at Nottinghamshire, Lancs announce record profits of £5.3million, prompting renewed accusations that the business, and not the performance of the side, was the priority. 

Benkenstein, whose arrival was hailed as ‘a fantastic fit’ by director of cricket Mark Chilton, landed one of domestic cricket’s plum jobs after overseeing Gloucestershire’s relegation in 2022 and following that up by failing to win a single match to finish bottom of Division Two last season.

The International Olympic Committee are changing the goalposts again in an apparent attempt to secure their desired future host for the Games. 

Having found creative ways to fast-track Brisbane for 2032, all IOC efforts seem to be focused on helping India secure the 2036 Olympics. 

The latest sleight of hand is to block nations wanting the Games in 2036 from hosting the IOC Session in 2027. 

This has led Olympic watchers to talk about double standards because India were widely known to want the 2036 Games four years ago yet the IOC ensured that only India bid to host the 2023 IOC Session, held in Mumbai. 

It was a lavish affair where all IOC members were treated to hospitality by their hosts on what insiders have described as ‘an unprecedented scale’.

The International Olympic Committee are changing the goalposts in an apparent attempt to secure their desired future host for the Games (Pictured: IOC President Thomas Bach)

The International Olympic Committee are changing the goalposts in an apparent attempt to secure their desired future host for the Games (Pictured: IOC President Thomas Bach)

While much has been written about the financial state of football, 59 per cent of professional clubs say they received formal or informal investment enquiries in the last year. 

While 90 per cent of Premier League and Championship clubs made losses last year, accountancy and business advisory firm BDO also found that half of the top tier and a third from the second described finances were ‘very healthy’ in a survey. 

The report also identified a rise in US investors seeking a return on their money via two routes: investing in a lower league club and exiting following promotion to higher leagues, or taking an ‘underperforming’ Premier League club and optimising their commercial revenues.

Gordon Hill, who won an FA Cup with Manchester United in 1977, slammed the club on social media, claiming his ‘season tickets are gone and I have been told I cannot get final tickets’. 

However, insiders say US-based Hill has barely visited Old Trafford in the past decade, with his concession-priced tickets used by two other adults. After Hill agreed not to renew, those fans had the chance to buy them, but are yet to respond.

Former Man United star Gordon Hill slammed the club over availability for FA Cup final tickets

Former Man United star Gordon Hill slammed the club over availability for FA Cup final tickets

Refs’ chief Howard Webb appears to be keeping his head down, literally, ahead of the vote on whether or not to scrap VAR. 

Yorkshire-based Webb was spotted in a baseball cap and keeping a low profile on a train to Doncaster from London following the Football Writers’ dinner at the Landmark Hotel.

Rochdale’s academy is to operate from Under 17s upwards next season, rather than Under 9s, after the loss of funding following relegation to the National League and the failure to return at the first attempt. 

However, in a last hurrah, the Under 15s won their group at a tournament in Fleetwood last week before a semi-final defeat by eventual winners Liverpool.

Latest article