Category Archives: Football

Sala tragedy shines light on transfer that saw him leave Nantes to join Cardiff – a deal deeply rooted in long friendship between Warnock and agent pal McKay

A FORTNIGHT on from striker Emiliano Sala’s disappearance, the stress and strain of carrying Cardiff’s good name through this tragedy is getting to Neil Warnock.
A specialist team were yesterday working to bring up a body from the wreckage of Sala’s plane in the Channel.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has been emotionally affected in football like he never has before following the disappearance of Emiliano Sala
At the same time Cardiff were fearing their manager will carry out his threat to walk away.
Sala’s apparent death has shone a light on the transfer that saw him leave Nantes to join a side scrapping for Premier League survival — a deal deeply rooted in a long friendship between Warnock and the agent Willie McKay.
As soon as McKay had the transfer mandate in his hand, he knew just the man to do business with.
Warnock, his old mucker, was desperate for a goalscorer to take Cardiff away from relegation danger.

The disappearance of Emiliano Sala, who Neil Warnock got to know before signing him, has left Cardiff City players, fans and management in torment
Willie McKay has had a long friendship with Neil Warnock and that helped set up the signing of Emiliano Sala from Nantes
The Bluebirds boss is big pals with McKay, cementing their relationship in 2011 when he pulled the strings as manager of QPR.
Warnock signed Joey Barton on a free from Newcastle, handing him a four-year contract worth a staggering £90,000 a week.
The sums were so vast for a struggling Prem club it needed the intervention of owner Tony Fernandes to sign it off.
McKay has always denied raking in £1.3m to broker Barton’s move to Loftus Road.
Even so, he did very well out of it.

The McKay family has been working with Warnock more recently, establishing a relationship with his latest club after taking Sol Bamba to Cardiff in October 2016.
Willie’s son Mark is named on the official documentation lodged with the FA.
ExCel Foot, where Mark was a director, has since gone into liquidation. That has not prevented the family trading again in football.
The men are even closer after Warnock saw enough potential in Willie’s young son Jack McKay, after a short trial period at Cardiff, to offer the striker a 2½-year deal.

Former club Nantes and Cardiff held emotional tributes to tragic Emiliano Sala
Jack’s contract with Leeds had just been cancelled — and those who have watched him play claim he has no chance of a career in the Prem.
The McKay family became even more closely entwined in this tragedy when Jack, who abruptly left Cardiff to join Chesterfield on loan last week, messaged Sala to say dad Willie would provide him with a private plane to fly him to Wales.
That turned out to be the single-engine Piper Malibu that crashed near Guernsey on January 21.
The suitability of the aircraft in difficult weather has been questioned by experts.
Sala’s £15m transfer fee is also under scrutiny — because it started to rocket after McKay planted fictitious stories in the media about interest from Everton and West Ham.
Nantes fans have been recognising Emiliano Sala, who disappeared two weeks agoAFP or licensors
Speculation in France, picked up by UK websites, created a market for the forward that did not exist.
It was designed to put pressure on Cardiff CEO Ken Choo and chairman Mehmet Dalman to get the deal done.
The bigger the fee, the bigger the slice of the pie for Family McKay.
There was an added complication because Nantes had to honour a 50 per cent sell-on clause due to Sala’s former club Bordeaux.
Neil Warnock showed how high his emotions are by swearing in an interviewPA:Press Association
In an attempt to mitigate the amount they would have to pass on, Cardiff offered a player-exchange to cut the fee — but Nantes said they wanted straight cash.
After a run of good results, Warnock was in a powerful position, urging Cardiff to sign the man who could solve their goalscoring problems.
Cardiff announced Sala’s signing on January 19, with Warnock claiming the Argentinian’s character made him “a manager’s player”.
Warnock is still coming to terms with the air crash. He has talked of how, in a short time, he became close to the player.
Warnock left the field in tears on Saturday, struggling to make sense of it all after Cardiff beat Bournemouth 2-0.
Minutes later, in an emotional outburst to a TV camera, he told Gary Lineker to “f*** off” after the Match of the Day star made fun of his nickname “Colin”.
If, as seems increasingly likely, Sala’s body is retrieved from the ocean floor, a funeral will take place in Argentina.

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Warnock and club officials will be expected to travel to South America.
Willie McKay and son Mark — the two men who helped this deal materialise — will also need to pay their respects.
The two friends are likely to stand together to remember a likeable young footballer whose life was cut tragically short.


Sean Goss to St Johnstone: Former Rangers midfielder joins Saints on loan until the summer

ST JOHNSTONE have confirmed the loan signing of former Rangers midfielder Sean Goss.
The 23-year-old returns to Scotland one year after signing for the Light Blues on a similar deal.
Goss is no stranger to Scottish football after a spell at RangersWillie Vass
Goss, who was on the books of English giants Manchester United, left Old Trafford in January 2017 to join QPR.
But with first-team opportunities few and far between at the English Championship side, he has returned north on a temporary deal until the summer.
On his latest recruit, Tommy Wright told the St Johnstone website: “We’re delighted to get Sean in.
“He’s a player with a good pedigree who has experience of playing in the league having had a spell with Rangers last season.
Wright has brought in the former Man Utd midfielder on loan from QPRWillie Vass
“He’s a player who is very comfortable on the ball and is a threat from set pieces.
“Our fans will remember – not too fondly – the free-kick he scored against us last season.

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“He’s got a great range of passing and a fantastic left foot, and he’s someone who is ready to go fitness wise having played 90 minutes just last week.
“I think it’ll add extra competition for places in the middle of the park but crucially I think he’ll add that little bit of extra quality that I think we need.”

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He added: “It’s up to me to find the right combination in there. Sean’s primarily a sitting midfielder but he can play higher up the pitch.
“His career has maybe not kicked on the way he’d have liked so I believe I’m getting a hungry player who has something to prove and we’ll give him that opportunity over the last few months of the season.”

Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers from Scottish football plus fixtures, results and live match commentary 


Chelsea vs Man Utd FA Cup clash switched to Monday and fans are fuming

MANCHESTER UNITED’S FA Cup clash with Chelsea has been switched to a Monday night – and fans are fuming.
The fifth-round match will now be played on February 18 to ensure it can be broadcast live by the BBC.
Man Utd will play their FA Cup clash with Chelsea on a Monday nightGetty
But the stunt means many travelling United fans will now not make the journey, with others worried about the match atmosphere.
One disgruntled United fan wrote: “5,000+ fans travelling to Chelsea on a Monday night. Have to take a day off work and no trains back.
“If the game goes to penalties, the game will finish after 10pm. Will get home for 4/5am. Work again at 9. Cheers FA.”
Another added: “Monday night for Chelsea – Man U in the cup ridiculous..”
Chelsea will play Man Utd in the FA Cup on February 18 – and fans are not happyGetty
A third joked: “Lucky all the United fans live in London otherwise they’d have a long journey back on a Monday night #MagicOfTheCup”.
Here’s what Twitter had to think on the Monday night showdown… with most not fit for publication.

5,000+ fans travelling to Chelsea on a Monday night. Have to take a day off work and no trains back. If the game goes to penalties, the game will finish after 10pm. Will get home for 4/5am. Work again at 9. Cheers FA.
— MUFC Away Days (@mufcaways_) January 31, 2019

Monday night for Chelsea – Man U in the cup ridiculous..
— Stewarty (@Purdy0823) January 31, 2019

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Lucky all the United fans live in London otherwise they'd have a long journey back on a Monday night #MagicOfTheCup https://t.co/zU9H87HXVx
— Michael Southgate (@Chelsea__Mick) January 31, 2019

chelsea away on a monday night, what an absolute shambles
— Lewis (@fxckhanks) January 31, 2019

Chelsea on Monday night when I’m at work. Sound it’s not like it could be played over the weekend to suit 99.9% of the population
— Matt Theaker (@MJTheaker) January 31, 2019

Monday night for the tie of the round? Haha what a joke…
Just for once think of the fans FFS …
Arsenal away we get Friday night.Chelsea away we get Monday night?
You really don’t like us much do you? @FA
— Red Devil Daz (@reddevildaz79) January 31, 2019

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FFS Chelsea is on a Monday night #mufc #FACup5thRound
— Kerry Louise (@KerryKez7) January 31, 2019

Chelsea v United in cup is Monday night. Nice one @FA
— Russell White (@RussWhiteBury) January 31, 2019

LOL Chelsea on Monday night you know United killing the cup eh???
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Chelsea away on a Monday night, what an absolute disgrace
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Chelsea away on a Monday night
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6pm Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Chelsea FA Cup match moved, Fellaini to China, Martial new contract

TRANSFER deadline day has arrived! Marouane Fellaini is on his way out of Old Trafford as he closes in on a move to China worth £9.5m per year AFTER tax.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are eyeing up £100m Marcus Rashford. Keep up to date with ALL of the latest from Man Utd below…


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Barry Fry fined £35,000 and hit with suspension after breaking betting rules

Category : Football

BARRY FRY has been suspended from football and slapped with a £35,000 fine for breaching betting rules.
The Peterborough director of football bet on his own player to finish top scorer and for the Posh to be promoted last season.
Barry Fry has been handed a hefty fine for breaching betting rulesPA:Press Association
Fry, 73, was charged with the offences in December but underwent a hearing on Wednesday.
And they concluded that the former Birmingham City manager will be banned for four months from 1 February, but three of those have been suspended for a two-year period.
Peterborough finished eighth last season, five points adrift of the playoffs but their striker Jack Marriott did finish top scorer with 27 goals.
A rule change in August 2014 restricted anyone involved in football – from players and managers to club staff – from betting on games.
Barry Fry will be suspended from all football activities until 1 MarchPA:Empics Sport
He put a bet on the team to be promoted last season and their striker to finish top scorerGetty Images – Getty

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Fry has been at the club since 1996 when he became the chairman-manager at London Road after being sacked as Birmingham boss.
He left his role as boss in 2005 after the club were relegated to League Two and took up the position as director of football.
While Darragh MacAnthony succeed him as chairman in September 2006.
This season they sit sixth and will be hoping to achieve promotion via the playoffs.


FA Cup 5th round TV games: Which matches are on BBC and BT Sport and what time is kick-off?

Category : Explainers , FA Cup , Football

THE FA Cup fifth round TV games have been revealed as Chelsea and Man Utd find out when they will meet.
The draw threw up a fascinating tie between the Blues and Red Devils, which also opened up a path for some of the underdogs to make it to Wembley.
Chelsea face a tough 5th round tie at home to Manchester UnitedReuters
What are the FA Cup 5th round TV games?
Six of eight FA Cup 5th round ties will be on television with only Swansea vs Barnet or Brentford and the giant-killing clash between AFC Wimbledon and Millwall missing out.
Chelsea’s huge game at home to Man United will be a Monday night kick-off live on BBC One.
Which FA Cup 5th round games are on BBC?
The following FA Cup 5th round ties will be live on BBC One:
Sunday, February 17 – Doncaster vs Crystal Palace (4pm)
Monday, February 18 – Chelsea vs Man Utd (7.30pm)

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Which FA Cup 5th round games are on BT Sport?
The following FA Cup 5th round ties will be live on BT Sport 2:
Friday, February 15 – Portsmouth or QPR vs Watford (7.45pm)
Saturday, February 16 – Brighton or West Brom vs Derby (12.30pm)
Saturday, February 16 – Middlesbrough or Newport vs Man City (5.30pm)
Sunday, February 17 – Bristol City vs Shrewsbury or Wolves (1pm)


Celtic ace Jack Hendry reportedly wanted by Dundee and Peterborough on loan

DUNDEE are interested in bringing Celtic stopper Jack Hendry back to the club, according to ex-Dark Blues and Hibs star Tam McManus.
The BBC pundit claims Jim McIntyre wants the Hoops ace on loan until the end of the season.
Hendry has starred in Champions League for CelticKenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
It comes as reports down south say League One outfit Peterborough United are also keen on the 23-year-old, also linked with Bradford and Sunderland this month.
Speaking after last night’s victory over St Johnstone, Celts boss Brendan Rodgers revealed defender Filip Benkovic was battling to save his season and that his injury could scupper Hendry’s loan.
Earlier this month, Rodgers told the Scotland international his Parkhead career wasn’t over.
He said: “It’s just about time.
Ex-Hibs ace McManus claims Dundee want their former star back on loanKenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow
“When you think of Jack coming in a year ago it was a steep learning curve for him, playing under big pressure and big games.
“What he has is potential because there are a lot of really good things to his game and of course when you make mistakes at the big clubs then of course it gets highlighted even more.

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“But he was brought in because he had that potential.
“He’s not 17, 18 so he needs to continue with that learning and learn from the mistakes.
“Sometimes that’s just about getting games elsewhere. That’s something we’ve spoken about and we’d be keen to do.

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“But you saw it with Ryan Christie, a perfect example of if you’re not ready now you can go away on a good loan or a couple of loans and when you come back in and you get your opportunity you’ve got to take it.”
McManus, 37, also claims Ross County are interested in Celtic full-back Calvin Miller, who was on loan at Dundee earlier this season.

Keep up to date with ALL the latest news and transfers from Scottish football plus fixtures, results and live match commentary 


Marcus Rashford in shock £100m transfer as Real Madrid look to sign Man Utd ace before he signs new deal

REAL MADRID are refusing to give up in their quest to purchase Marcus Rashford for £100million.
The striker is holding out on discussing terms of a new contract with Manchester United until the summer as Los Blancos look to get the transfer over the line.
Marcus Rashford is wanted by Real Madrid as he still stalls over signing a new Manchester United dealGetty – Contributor
While his teammate Anthony Martial has agreed a new five-year deal, Rashford wants to wait before making any decisions.
SunSport revealed in November how Real had been in contact with Rashford’s camp.
The 21–year-old was then open to a possible move abroad as he grew unhappy under the regime of Jose Mourinho.
He was not getting a chance in his favoured striking role through the middle and was ready to consider the option of a move abroad.
Real have not given up hope of landing United star Rashford over the summerAFP or licensors
Anthony Martial has agreed a new five-year contract but Rashford is yet to commitAFP or licensors
His mood has changed under interim boss Ole Solskjaer but Real have continued to keep the lines of communication open with Rashford’s camp.
They have guaranteed him that he would be their number one striker and would top any contract offer United are ready to give him.
Rashford’s current deal earns him £60,000 a week and lasts until the end of next season with an option for the club to extend it by a further year.
But United want him on a longer deal and would be willing to more than triple his wages to £200,000 a week.

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Real though would go further still to £250,000 a week.
As it stands local lad Rashford is intent on staying at Old Trafford, but Real’s interest will remain a worry for the club.

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While Solskjaer has done great work in a short time with Rashford a different manager might have different ideas on how to play him or bring in another striker he prefers.
Rashford has scored five goals in seven starts under Solskjaer although he was guilty of a glaring early miss in United’s 2-2 home draw with Burnley on Tuesday night.
He clipped that ninth minute chance to open the scoring wide before Burnley went on to establish a two goals lead.

United produced a stirring late fight back to grab a point but the result brought to an end Solskjaer’s winning run since taking over as interim boss which had stretched to eight games.
After the game Paul Pogba admitted that the team had probably been too complacent.
Pogba said: ‘I think we played like we were winning maybe 1-0 or 2-0 and that’s why the result was like that.
‘We are disappointed with ourselves because the way that we played when we conceded the second goal, we should have started like that and the game would be different.
“You have to learn from your mistakes and next time I think we need to start the game differently. That’s it.’


Wilfried Zaha charged by FA for sarcastically applauding referee

Category : Football

WILFRIED ZAHA has been charged by the FA for improper conduct following his red card for clapping.
Zaha was booked for reacting angrily to a challenge by James Ward-Prowse late on in Crystal Palace’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Wednesday.
Zaha was dismissed after sarcastically clapping MarrinerReuters
That prompted the Ivory Coast star to applaud ironically at referee Andre Marriner, who then issued a second yellow for the petulance.
Zaha took a while to leave the field as he continued to clap the official and though he later apologised on social media, the Eagles star has been hit with an FA charge for his behaviour.
The 26-year-old was already banned for the crunch game against Fulham but could face a longer suspension.
He has until 6pm on February 5 to respond.

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Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha has been charged following the game against Southampton yesterday [30 January 2019]. It is alleged his behaviour following a second-half dismissal amounts to improper conduct. The player has until 18:00 on 5 February 2019 to respond to the charge.
— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) January 31, 2019

Zaha confronted Ward-Prowse after being pushed over the touchlinePA:Press Association
Team-mate James McArthur admitted Zaha will be huge loss to the Palace side in the relegation battle against Claudio Ranieri’s strugglers.
The Scot said: “He is obviously a big miss.
“He is one of our best players in the team and we will miss him.
“But we have got players in the squad that hopefully are ready to go and take their chance.”
Roy Hodgson was disappointed with Zaha’s treatment at St Mary’sReuters
Zaha had proven how valuable he is to Palace by netting the opener – his first goal in 18 games – before a late Ward-Prowse strike levelled proceedings.
While the Ivory Coast star will be missed, McArthur hopes to see more from fit-again strikers Connor Wickham and Christian Benteke in the second half of the season.
McArthur, 31, added: “They are obviously going to be big players for us.
“They are great players and Jordan Ayew against Southampton was excellent upfront as well, he works so hard as well.
Zaha had earlier ended a four-month scoring doubt to give Palace the leadReuters
“Everyone is going to need to try and step up their game to try and push up that table.”
Palace are just four points above the drop zone.


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