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Football News: Review Of The Day 19th March 2020

Review Of The Day 19th March 2020
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Review of the Day



Swansea City's teenage defender Ben Cabango has signed a new contract which expires in 2023.


Injury Round-Up

Former Cardiff City and Aston Villa midfielder Peter Whittingham is in hospital with head injuries after a fall in a pub in Barry, South Wales. Police believe that the fall was accidental.


Managerial Changes

Hertha Berlin's managing director of sport Michael Preetz has revealed that Jurgen Klinsmann did not waste any words when he quit as head coach of the club. Preetz told podcast Phrasenmaher: "It was short. There is no other way to say it. In the true sense of the word: short! He came to me and my assistant's office and just said: 'So bye! Now I am gone.' And the next moment he was gone. We just looked at each other and asked: 'What was that all about?'"


Coronavirus Latest

John Obi Mikel was released by mutual consent by Trabzonspor after the 32 year old Nigerian midfielder criticised the Turkish Super Lig for continuing their season behind closed doors. Mikel wrote on social media: "There is more to life than football. I do not feel comfortable and don't want to play football in this situation. Everyone should be home with their families and loved ones in this critical time. Season should be cancelled as the world is facing such turbulent times." Galatasaray striker Falcao responded to the post saying: "You are right, John." Didier Drogba also agreed calling the post "words of wisdom".

Both Swansea City and Cardiff City have closed their training grounds due to the coronavirus. Swansea chairman Trevor Birch said: "This is an unprecedented and dynamic situation. I am sure everyone will appreciate that we must take all steps within our control to mitigate the risk of this virus spreading within our workforce, our families and supporters." Both clubs say that as many of their staff members as possible are working from home.

Kilmarnock defender Stephen O'Donnell believes the Scottish Premiership season could end early by finishing when all the pre-split matches have taken place. O'Donnell said: "It's a really difficult one. And there will need to be a lot of empathy shown, because there's not one decision that will make everybody happy. There will be fall-out from it and I just hope everybody can get behind the decision that is made by the powers that be. I think the fairest would be if we were able to get to the split, because then everybody has played each other three times. Kilmarnock are in a position that not much would be affected - we could maybe get into the top six - but no matter happens, you're not going to make everybody happy. You're either going to frustrate Celtic or you're going to frustrate Hearts and Rangers. Playing everyone three times is a fortunate situation we can have in Scotland, so maybe call it then. But you are still going to get Rangers and Hearts saying that's not fair."

Chelsea's hotel is to provide accommodation for NHS staff to help with the coronavirus crisis. Club owner Roman Abramovich is to pay for all the costs involved for hospital staff to stay in the Millenium Hotel at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea wrote on their website: "It was decided the best way Chelsea can assist the NHS is to provide accommodation for NHS staff. Many of the medical staff will be working long shifts and may not be able to travel home or would otherwise have to make long commutes." The NHS have asked for more hotels to do the same thing to help them. The two Manchester hotels co-owned by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have also decided to follow suit and close to the public to free up beds for NHS staff to stay for free. The pair own the Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester city centre and Hotel Football at Old Trafford.

Scottish clubs are to be helped by £1.5m of funding from Club Licensing and Club Academy Scotland award payments, which were due at the end of the year. SFA president Rod Petrie said: "Given the financial uncertainty faced by clubs, we have looked at areas of distribution where we can accelerate and pay now, rather than wait to pay on the usual distribution dates. The combined amount forward funded in this way is approximately £1.5m, which we believe will be of great support to clubs who face uncertainty and, worse still, a significant loss of revenue as a result of the impact of coronavirus in Scotland."

Heart of Midlothian have asked all their players and staff to take a 50% wage cut to help them deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus. Owner Ann Budge said: "The Scottish FA has now suspended football for the foreseeable future and, whilst there is no specified end date to this, it is most likely that the game will not resume until July/early August at the earliest. This reduction in income is not sustainable without taking immediate action to cut staff costs and overheads. As such, I need to act swiftly and take steps now to ensure that we, as a Club, can weather this storm while trying to ensure we are ready to resume operations as and when we move into calmer waters and football restarts. Given the uncertainty of the whole situation with which we have been presented, we cannot say how long these measures will be in place. We will, of course, be continuously reviewing the situation. I want to assure everyone that these decisions have not been taken lightly. If I was not absolutely convinced that this is necessary for the future sustainability of our business, I would not be asking our employees to face these cuts."

The English Football League is set to help clubs with £50m in the form of early award payments and interest-free loans. Championship clubs will receive their remaining £800,000 award payment from the Premier League on Thursday. In addition, they will be able to apply for a £584,000 interest-free loan. For League One clubs the figures are £250,000 and £183,000, and for League Two sides they are £164,000 and £120,000. The EFL Futures pot has an additional £1m available.

Crystal Palace assured staff that they will receive full pay during the coronavirus outbreak and that any staff who suffered health issues due to it would be paid normally, rather than being put on statutory sick pay. Palace chairman Steve Parish also promised that matchday staff would not lose income while the league is suspended.

National League side Barnet have placed all non-playing staff on notice in what they termed "emergency measures to preserve the club".

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has launched a fundraiser to help in Italy saying on social media: "Italy has always given me so much and, in this dramatic moment, I want to give back even more to this country that I love. I count on the generosity of my colleagues, of all professional athletes and of those who want to make a small or large donation according to their possibilities, to kick this virus away. Together we can really help hospitals and doctors and nurses who selflessly work every day to save our lives. Because today we are the ones cheering for them! Let's together kick the coronavirus away and win this match!"


Ben Yedder In Nearly Barca Move

AS Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder has revealed he nearly joined Barcelona until Monaco's head coach Roberto Moreno stepped in saying: "If they pay €200 million, we can talk. 80 are not enough." Ben Yedder told Onze Mondial: "In winter, the transfer could have happened, but in the end it didn't. It could have happened even before, for example last summer. They enquired about me several times. It shows that I do a good job. I stayed professional and focussed on my performances for Monaco. The interest from Barça was a nice bonus."


Spurs Publish Accounts

Tottenham Hotspur recorded the 4th highest revenue in the Premier League in the 2018/19 season, a total of £460m, which only the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool bettered. A quarter of their income came from the Champions League and their run to the final. The new stadium helped increase corporate and hospitality income by £27m. Despite the rise in income, profits were down almost £45m to £68.6m, in large part due to a higher wage bill. The club's debt of £637m has been turned into long-term bonds with an average maturation date of 23 years. Chairman Daniel Levy stated: "We are painfully aware that it seems wholly inappropriate to be giving any attention to the prior year's financial results at a time when so many individuals and businesses face worrying and difficult times. We are, however, legally required to announce these by 31 March 2020. We are all facing uncertain times both at work and in our personal lives. I have spent nearly 20 years growing this club and there have been many hurdles along the way - none of this magnitude - the COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious of them all."

Written by Tris Burke March 18 2020 21:46:35


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