Colors: Yellow Color

With Bournemouth manager, Eddie Howe becoming the first Premier League manager to take a voluntary pay cut – which led to fellow Premier League side Brighton, whose manager, Graham Potter, plus the club’s Chief Executive Paul Barber and Technical Director, Dan Ashworth, publically announcing that they too were each taking pay cuts during the current coronavirus pandemic, the UK government has ordered that footballers all the clubs in English football’s top flight should take a cut in their wages to help frontline services during the current crisis.

 

Health Minister, Matt Hancock, ordered footballers playing in England’s Premier League to take a pay cut and “play their part”.

 

However, Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the players’ union; the Professional Footballers’ Association will lead negotiations with the Premier League; after which the 20 clubs in the game’s top division will be updated on the next step.

 

They are seeking to agree a temporary cut, as there are increasing fears that deferring payments will put a massive burden on the clubs at a time when the world’s financial situation will be struggling.

 

Hancock plead with the top players, saying: “Given the sacrifices that so many people are making, including some of my colleagues in the NHS, who have made the ultimate sacrifice of going into work and have caught the disease and have sadly died, the first thing that the Premier League can do is make a contribution – take a pay cut and play their part”.

 

All Premier League clubs will be asking players to take a 30% pay cut in order to protect jobs. One club, however, Tottenham Hotspur, have moved to cut none-playing staff’s pay.

 

Many in - and out of - the game are urging top footballers in the country to not resist any pay cut in light of the present world situation.

 

 

As everyone is aware, we are living through extraordinary times and none of us can predict the future or speculate when the current situation will end.

As a club and business, we are having to make difficult decisions to navigate these unchartered waters and ensure the Club is in a position to continue its exciting journey when we come through this global emergency.  

We would all love the season to be back underway immediately, but all Rugby activities are currently suspended and there are no guarantees as to when we might start playing again. In light of the latest advice and information from the Government, along with the pattern of escalation we have seen in the last few days, businesses around the world are being heavily impacted and we, Wasps, are no different.

With this in mind, we need to take some extremely difficult and significant action to reduce costs immediately so we can resume doing what we love when this is all over. The impact of these decisions is going to be felt across the whole business.

Having discussed this situation at length with my colleagues from across the league, as well as Premiership Rugby, we are putting in place salary reductions of 25 per cent across the majority of the Rugby department until we are playing Gallagher Premiership matches again.

These measures will take effect from 1 April 2020. A number of lower paid staff will be excluded from these salary reductions.

I spoke with Lee Blackett and senior members of the playing squad last night, and we then communicated this message to the wider team and colleagues. I could not be more proud of their response, understanding and determination to help the Club in such testing times. The same is true of the players’ efforts to support our wider community stay connected and keep talking, which I am sure you will be aware of.

These are extraordinary times which call for extraordinary and robust measures. We do not know with any certainty how long these reductions will be in place, but we will review the situation on an ongoing basis and continue to keep the entire Wasps family up to date with developments.

This great Club has a proud history spanning over 150 years and, with everyone working together, we will ensure it has a great future.

He was the face of Formula One throughout the world, but now, former Formula One chief, Bernie Ecclestone, is preparing for a new ‘addition’ to his high portfolio as he has announced that he is due to be a father again, at the age of 89.

 

The former F1 chief, who managed several teams before becoming head of the sport itself has announced that his third wife, Fabiana Flosi, is pregnant with what would be his fourth child – which is expected to be his first son.

 

The former motor racing driver has three daughters from his previous two marriages – Deborah, 65, from first wife Ivy Bamford , with Tamar, 35 and Petra, 31 from second wife, the Croatian model Slavica Radic.

 

He also has five grandchildren.

 

Ecclestone and 44-year-old Marketing Director, Fiana – both of whom who are currently in isolation at their farm in Sao Paolo, in her native Brazil - got married in 2012.

 

A delighted Bernie said: “I just want them (the baby and Fabiana) to be healthy.

 

“With her running her own coffee plantation I just want everything to be good”.

 

“Hopefully he doesn’t have any interest on Formula One”, Fabiana added.

The contract to redevelop Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium into a high-quality venue for diverse sporting, leisure, community and cultural events has been awarded by Birmingham City Council to McLaughlin & Harvey.

McLaughlin & Harvey has a strong track record in undertaking large prestigious projects across the UK and has previously successfully completed projects for major games events, including the London Olympics, and sporting developments for numerous football and rugby clubs.

The Alexander Stadium project, a scheme worth an overall £72million, received unanimous support from the Birmingham City Council Planning Committee in January 2020. It will see the venue’s permanent capacity increased from 12,700 to 18,000 – with the ability to temporarily increase up to a maximum of 40,000 for major events.

The regeneration of Perry Barr, which has the stadium at the centre, represents more than £500million of investment in the coming years, the wider plans for the area also include new housing, improved transport and related upgrades to infrastructure and public space.

The revamped stadium is set to host a range of tenants including the world-famous Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club and Birmingham City University.  Acting as the new home for the university’s sports and exercise students, it will bring an exciting new partnership and purpose to the stadium beyond athletics.

 

Baku City Circuit (BCC) has taken the decision to postpone the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2020 due to take place on June 5th – 7th.

The postponement was agreed upon after extensive discussions with Formula 1 as well as the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic. This comes as a direct result of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and has been based entirely on the expert guidance provided to us by the relevant authorities.

In coming to this conclusion, BCC’s primary concern throughout has been the health and well-being of the Azerbaijani people as well as all visiting F1 fans, staff and championship participants.

BCC say they share their fans disappointment at not being able to experience the pinnacle of motorsport race through the streets of Baku this June. To that end, they will continue to work closely with Formula 1, the FIA and the Government of the Azerbaijan Republic to monitor the situation with a view to announcing a new race date later in the 2020 season.

All tickets for the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix 2020 will continue to be valid, without any additional formalities required. As soon as the new date of the Grand Prix is confirmed, all spectators will be informed accordingly about the available options, both for those who have purchased their tickets through the Baku City Circuit’s website (www.bakucitycircuit.com) and through other channels.

The thoughts of everyone at Baku City Circuit during this challenging and unprecedented situation go out to all those directly and indirectly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

 DUBAI, 28th December, 2019 Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference, part of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, concluded at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference Centre, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai International Marine Club.

Sheikh Mansour attended the main session of the event, which was organised by the Dubai Sports Council under the theme ‘Future Football Accelerators’.

The event attracted prominent football stars from around the world. A short video shown during the main session of the event highlighted the objectives of the conference, which are in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Guided by the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the conference aims to provide a global platform for generating new strategies for developing football in the UAE and the world, as well as providing a forum for football stars and the sport’s decision makers to share ideas.

Sheikh Mansour, accompanied by Vice Chairman of Dubai Sports Council Mattar Al Tayer, honoured a number of guests and speakers at the conference including Juventus and Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Atlético Madrid and Portugal star Joao Felix, Italian League star Romelu Lukaku and Juventus and Bosnia superstar Miralem Pjanic.

The ceremony was attended by Secretary General of The Executive Council of Dubai Abdullah Mohammed Al Basti, and Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, along with senior executives of sports establishments, players, coaches and players of local clubs and the UAE female football team.

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo talked about his football style and what it takes to maintain fitness, in a session titled ‘Beat the Challenges, Cristiano Way’.

The conference, which included four panel sessions, discussed topics such as ‘English Football Back to the Top’, featuring former Man United player Edwin Van der Sar, Former England National Team Coach Fabio Capello, and Ferran Soriano, CEO of City Group.

A session titled ‘Empowering Women in Football’ featured French football referee Stephanie Frappart, who has been on the FIFA International Referees List since 2009. She became the first female referee to officiate a Men’s Ligue 1 match and was promoted to join the pool of Ligue 1 referees on a permanent basis for the 2019-20 season. Other panelists included Olympique Lyon and England national team player Lucy Bronze, Juventus FC and Italian national team player Sara Gama, and Olympique Lyonnaise & French national team Player Amandine Henry.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Joao Felix and Serie A stars Romelu Lukaku and Miralem Pjanic shared their experiences in a session titled ‘Football Changing Futures’.

French national team manager and World Cup 2018 winner Didier Deschamps, Wales national team manager and Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, SS Lazio team manager and former Italian national team player Simone Inzaghi shared their thoughts in a session titled ‘Modern Training and Technology.’ Established as a forum for discussing the global development of the game, the conference brings together influential leaders including chairmen, directors, referees, agents, players and coaches to share their knowledge, experience and ideas.

 

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN FOOTBALL

The Dubai International Sports Council Conference had an all women panel discuss the successes and challenges that face women's football. Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry, Sara Gama and referee Stephanie Frappart made up the first ever all women panel at the 14th Dubai International Sports Council Conference. They were moderated by the CEO of Futbolita, also known as “The ‘Female Voice Of Football”, who asked them questions regarding the progress of women’s football and the challenges each one of them have had to overcome.

The current UEFA Women’s Player Of The Year Lucy Bronze covered topics regarding the England national team and her club team Olympique Lyonnaise. She stated there was a gap in the development of women’s football between some European countries. Those behind need support to raise their level and make the women’s game competitive for all. In 2020 she hopes to see all the stadiums full in ever game.

French referee Stephanie Frappart who has officiated men’s and women’s football matches, discussed the differences in how she was treated between the two while on the field. In August 2019, the 36-year-old was the first woman to referee a major men’s European match when Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in Istanbul to lift the UEFA Super Cup.

Amandine Henry said today's football players have inspired many women not only in football, but in all walks of life. Amandine who plays for Lyon is also the captain of the French national team, started her footballing career at the age of just 15.

Italy and Juventus defender Sara Gama discussed where Italy needs to improve in women’s football to be more competitive, highlighting that the pool of players they have are less than 23,000 where as their neighbours France have a pool of 100,000 women footballers. With more revenue being attracted to Women’s football, once can only conclude that the future is bright.

Delroy Constantine-Simms

 

INTER MILAN STRIKER IMPLORES ITALIAN FOOTBALL TO FIGHT RACISM

 

Football Changing the Future

Romelu Lukaku during the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference at Madinat called on Italian football to take a more hardline stance on racism after a spate of incidents blighted the game this season. The Inter Milan striker, who signed from Manchester United in August, was racially abused in his second appearance for the club in September, when he was subjected to monkey chants as he was about to take a penalty at Cagliari. Cagliari later escaped punishment from the league.

Meanwhile, Brescia striker Mario Balotelli, Fiorentina’s Dalbert and Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira have also been targeted this season, while the Corriere dello Sport rightfully attracted widespread condemnation earlier this month for its “Black Friday” front page.

Further to that, Serie A’s hugely ill-advised “No to Racism” initiative, which featured three posters of chimpanzees, was almost universally denounced. And although the problem is not confined to the Italian top flight – the Premier League had two incidents this month – Lukaku wants more action taken to eradicate it from the game.

“As footballers we have the power to try and change stuff,” the Belgian said on Saturday at the Dubai International Sports Conference, when talking about speaking out against racism on social media.

“The team, the players around them, have to make a statement. What happened to me was sad because it was the first time it happened in my career.

“I came from England where everything is strict. They make really hard statements on it, they have cameras in the stadiums, fans helping to try and ban those people in the stadiums. In Italy we should do the same.

 

EMPOWERING WOMEN IN FOOTBALL

 

The Dubai International Sports Council Conference had an all women panel discuss the successes and challenges that face women's football.

Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry, Sara Gama and referee Stephanie Frappart made up the first ever all women panel at the 14th Dubai International Sports Council Conference. They were moderated by the CEO of Futbolita, also known as “The ‘Female Voice Of Football”, who asked them questions regarding the progress of women’s football and the challenges each one of them have had to overcome.

The current UEFA Women’s Player Of The Year Lucy Bronze covered topics regarding the England national team and her club team Olympique Lyonnaise. She stated there was a gap in the development of women’s football between some European countries. Those behind need support to raise their level and make the women’s game competitive for all. In 2020 she hopes to see all the stadiums full in ever game.

French referee Stephanie Frappart who has officiated men’s and women’s football matches, discussed the differences in how she was treated between the two while on the field. In August 2019, the 36-year-old was the first woman to referee a major men’s European match when Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in Istanbul to lift the UEFA Super Cup.

Amandine Henry said today's football players have inspired many women not only in football, but in all walks of life. Amandine who plays for Lyon is also the captain of the French national team, started her footballing career at the age of just 15.

Italy and Juventus defender Sara Gama discussed where Italy needs to improve in women’s football to be more competitive, highlighting that the pool of players they have are less than 23,000 where as their neighbours France have a pool of 100,000 women footballers. With more revenue being attracted to Women’s football, once can only conclude that the future is bright.

Delroy Constantine-Simms

 

INTER MILAN STRIKER IMPLORES ITALIAN FOOTBALL TO FIGHT RACISM

Football Changing the Future

Romelu Lukaku during the 14th Dubai International Sports Conference at Madinat called on Italian football to take a more hardline stance on racism after a spate of incidents blighted the game this season. The Inter Milan striker, who signed from Manchester United in August, was racially abused in his second appearance for the club in September, when he was subjected to monkey chants as he was about to take a penalty at Cagliari. Cagliari later escaped punishment from the league.

Meanwhile, Brescia striker Mario Balotelli, Fiorentina’s Dalbert and Sampdoria’s Ronaldo Vieira have also been targeted this season, while the Corriere dello Sport rightfully attracted widespread condemnation earlier this month for its “Black Friday” front page.

Further to that, Serie A’s hugely ill-advised “No to Racism” initiative, which featured three posters of chimpanzees, was almost universally denounced. And although the problem is not confined to the Italian top flight – the Premier League had two incidents this month – Lukaku wants more action taken to eradicate it from the game.

“As footballers we have the power to try and change stuff,” the Belgian said on Saturday at the Dubai International Sports Conference, when talking about speaking out against racism on social media.

“The team, the players around them, have to make a statement. What happened to me was sad because it was the first time it happened in my career.

“I came from England where everything is strict. They make really hard statements on it, they have cameras in the stadiums, fans helping to try and ban those people in the stadiums. In Italy we should do the same.

 

GLOBE SOCCER AWARDS: CRISTIANO RONALDO, LUCY BRONZE AND LIVERPOOL WALK AWAY WITH BIG PRIZES

Juventus and Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo collected a record-extending Best Men’s Player of the Year gong at the 11th edition of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards.

Ronaldo, 34, was honoured for a sixth time and for a fourth-consecutive year during the glittering ceremony at Madinat Jumeirah.

The award was an acknowledgement of his outstanding efforts in helping the Italian football club Juventus to the Serie A crown in his debut campaign, and leading his Portugal to victory against the Dutch in the finals of the UEFA Nations League Cup final

There was also a first-ever Best Women’s Player of the Year trophy for England and Lyon right-back Lucy Bronze. Champions League holders and Premier League leaders Liverpool came away with three prizes; Best Coach of the Year – Jurgen Klopp; Best Club of the Year; Best Goalkeeper of the Year (for a second-successive edition) – Alisson.

The night, however, unquestionably belonged to Ronaldo.

“I have to thank my family, my girlfriend, my boy who is here, my three kids waiting for me in the hotel, my family who watched me in Portugal,” said the Portuguese who owns five more Best Men’s Player of the Year gongs than Barcelona and Argentina rival Lionel Messi.

“Also my team-mates at Juventus and the national team, my agent and all the people here tonight supporting this gala of Globe Soccer.

“Thank you to the Arabic community that is always great with me. Dubai is a marvellous place to be, I’m coming every year.

“I love this place. Finally, thanks to people who voted for me.

“It is a great honour to receive this amazing award. I hope to be here again, of course.”

Best Women’s Player of the Year Bronze, 28, delivered an empowering message.

She said: “2019 has been an amazing year for women’s football, especially. A lot of records broken and records made, such as tonight with this first-ever women’s award.

“I would love to dedicate this award to all of the women working hard in football. They are truly doing an amazing job – they all deserve a part of this as much as I do.”

Klopp, 52, decided to deflect praise onto his squad and technical staff.

He said: “It is always on behalf of my coaching staff and you can only win these things when a team is performing at a high level. “Coincidentally, I am coach of these wonderful players and I got the award.

“Now, we’ve worked together with this group for two years. I am so pleased with the resilience we have shown in so many moments.”

As for the other awards, Jorge Mendes triumphed once again among the agents, this year winning award number nine since the establishment of the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, a record that is becoming increasingly difficult to match.

He said: “I would like to thank my people from [agency] GestiFute, my family, managers and players. We also have here Joao Felix, who is the best young player in the world, and the best-ever player, Cristiano Ronaldo.”

With him on the Globe Soccer stage, his star pupil also appeared, the promising young Portugal player Joao Felix, class of ’99, who was named as the Best Revelation Player. His gold transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid contributed in no small part to the victory of his agent.

He said: “I want to say thank you to Benfica, Atletico Madrid, my agents and my parents who have supported me from the beginning.”

Among the referees, it was again a woman who won the award for Best Referee of the Year, France’s Stephanie Frappart. She became the first woman referee in history to officiate over a European men’s Super Cup final (the match between Liverpool and Chelsea, held on August 14).

Dubai Globe Soccer Awards also recognizes football stars in the Arab region in cooperation with Kooora: the Saudi club Al Hilal was named Best Arab Club of the Year; and the Moroccan striker, leading figure of the Saudi club Al Nassr, Abderrazak Hamdallah won as Best Arab Player.

Player Career Awards were given to Manchester United legend and current Wales boss Ryan Giggs, plus Juventus and Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic.

“I was lucky enough to play for the team I supported an also the country I was born,” said 46-year-old Giggs, who retired from United in 2014. “I played under many great coaches and manager, so I’d like to thank them – especially Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I’d also like to thank my teammate. I played until I was 40 and you can only do that with really good players.

“I would also like to thank my family and friends. Without them, I couldn’t have done what I did.”

Considered as part of the ‘Grand Slam’ of football award ceremonies alongside the Ballon d’Or and The Best FIFA Football Awards, the star-studded event was organised in partnership with Dubai Sports Council (DSC) and held alongside DSC`s Dubai International Sports Conference.

The annual Dubai Globe Soccer Awards were established in 2010 with the aim of recognising not just the best players and coaches, but also the people who work behind the scenes who had not previously been acknowledged. The great success of the event over the years has seen further categories added to the awards list, and the event now honours all the best in football.

2019 Globe Soccer Awards

1. Best Academy of the Year: Ajax and Benfica

2. Best Agent of the Year: Jorge Mendes

3. Best Club of the Year: Liverpool

4. Best Coach of the Year: Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)

5. Best Goalkeeper of the Year: Alisson Becker

6. Best Men’s Player of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo

7. Best Partnership of the Year Award by Sport Business: Manchester City and SAP

8. Best Referee of the Year: Stephanie Frappart

9. Best Revelation Player: Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid, Portugal)

10. Best Sporting Director: Andrea Berta (Atletico Madrid)

11. Best Women’s Player of the Year: Lucy Bronze

12. Best Young Arab Player of the Year: Achraf Hakimi

13. Kooora — Best Arab Club Award: Al Hilal (Saudi Arabia)

14. Kooora — Best Arab Player Award: Abderazak Hamdallah (Al-Nassr, Saudi Arabia)

15. Player Career Award: Miralem Pjanic and Ryan Giggs

 

Delroy Constantine-Simms