Football: The latest news
British football has been steeped in controversy this week with transfers, court cases and sackings.
John Terry was found not guilty by magistrates for a racially-aggravated public order offence against Anton Ferdinand, Rangers Newco were voted into the Division Three of the Scottish Football League, Steve Cotterill was sacked by the new owners of Nottingham Forest and Spurs have agreed a deal for Emmanuel Adebayor.
Let’s start with the latest breaking news today.
John Terry has been cleared of any racist actions towards Anton Ferdinand.
I wouldn’t say I’m sitting on the fence, but some of the evidence used by the CPS looked pretty clear to me. I’m not sure if the almost two-dozen character references for John Terry had anything to do with the decision, but Magistrate Mr Riddle decided that the prosecution’s evidence wasn’t strong enough to find Terry not guilty.
Regardless of the decision, the FA are going to have an independent investigation into the event, which means that Terry could even face some repercussions from the football’s governing body over the incident.
No matter what the decision by the magistrates today, Terry is going to be booed and whistled and jeered all throughout next season by opposing fans, which won’t have any affect on him, but I think it will definitely bring to light similar incidents to do with public order offences.
I’ve seen tweets saying “what happens on the pitch, should stay on the pitch” and I categorically disagree with that. If there is something illegal happening, then players should suffer the same consequences that any Joe Bloggs would in the street if he was to do or say something similar.
I’m not saying that an overly harsh tackle should be classed as assault, or consistent swearing should be treated as a public order offence, and that police have the right to swoop in mid-match to arrest the players. But if a Cantona-style incident with a karate kick to a supporter, or more racist abuse is heard/seen, then why shouldn’t people be punished. I absolutely think it’s a step in the right direction for football.
And there’s more good news for the integrity of the sport!
Rangers newco were voted to start next season in the Scottish Third Division.
There have been precedents set in the Scottish leagues for clubs who have struggled financially and had to either fold, be took over or put into administration, to start again, right from the bottom of the Scottish Footballing League. And this has continued with the trend.
It was mostly down to the vote of the other 30 clubs, but it had pretty much been made clear by 18 of them that they were going to vote in favour of Rangers starting in Div 3, and that turned into a 25-5 majority. If my memory serves me correct, only Stenhousemuir had said they would vote for Rangers to start in Div 1.
Is this the death of Scottish football?
Surely Sky will pull their TV money from the Scottish leagues? The league will become unbelievably boring. Celtic to win the next four titles AT LEAST, before Rangers even get into the SPL again, but then they’ll have to start rebuilding all over again if they want to challenge for the title.
At least the rivalry between the two Glasgow clubs won’t be as fierce on any more. I don’t imagine it will be any way. Apart from the odd dig between fans, if the SFA plan it right, then there could be no games in Glasgow with both Rangers and Celtic playing on the same day, and there’ll be no derbies where there’ll have to be millions of police to try and handle the crowds. Unless they’re drawn in the cup of course.
The major managerial news this summer, apart from the hiring of Andre Villas-Boas which I’ve already written about, is:
The sacking of Steve Cotterill by Nottingham Forest.
I’m not Cotterill’s biggest fan, but I think the way the new owners treat him was absolutely disgraceful. Less than two days after the Kuwait family took over, he was on his way and Glenn Hoddle of all people has been named favourite to take over the hot seat.
Cotterill didn’t even have a full season with Forest, and although they finished just above the relegation zone, he still deserved another opportunity to have a crack at promotion. Surely the owners couldn’t have sat down with him and decided that he wasn’t going to be able to take the club forward in that short amount of time?
They said they wanted to make a new appointment to “deliver their long term vision”? Yeah right! That’s just Kuwait code for “I saw football once back in the 90s and there was this guy managing England called Hoddle, he isn’t doing anything now and we have the money to make him come here.”
That is, of course, if Hoddle is the owners favourite. Redknapp of course ruled himself out of the running, so it’s all up in the air.
Forest is a team steeped in history, and I’m sure they’ll find the manager big enough for the occasion. And, actually, I think Hoddle would do a half decent job.
Adebayor has agreed on a deal to sign with Tottenham.
After signing Jan Vertonghen and Sigurdsson, Villas-Boas has probably gone to great lengths to get a reasonable price for Adebayor, who played so well for them last season.
With rumours of Jermain Defoe leaving the club, Spurs definitely need some more striking options as Saha and Kane probably aren’t up the scratch to get Spurs a top four finish.
Of course, as a Boro fan, the main transfer news so far is Middlesbrough’s five signings. Ex-Boro defenders Jonathan Woodgate and Stuart Parnaby have signed contracts to plug the defensive holes left by the out of contract players. Chris Burgess, a student from Birmingham Uni, has transferred universities to sign a two-year deal. He’s a 6ft 4 centre back who has had trials with Spurs and other Premier League clubs, but couldn’t grab a contract. Now is his chance to show what they missed – if he ever gets a game.
The final two transfers have been met with mixed emotions by Boro fans.
Ex-Sunderland player, Grant Leadbitter has signed after turning down a contract from Ipswich. Most people in the twittersphere don’t think it’s a good signing because he’s short and useless. But he’s scored goals against us, why can’t he do it for us?
And the most recent signing, that of Emmanuel Ledesma, has been greeted with glee from the Boro fans. I don’t understand why, if they aren’t excited by Leadbitter! Compare and contrast their records. Ledesma is apparently a striker, who has only ever played a maximum of 17 games in a season (in 2008/9 with QPR, scoring one goal) and has only scored eight goals in his whole career. Four of which came last season in his 10 games with Walsall.
But, as a Boro fan, I have faith in what Tony Mowbray has seen in the young Argentine, and I hope to God that he does well, especially now that the news that Jutkiewicz will miss the start of the season.
In other transfer news:
- Manchester United confirmed the capture of Japanese winger Kagawa
- Rodallega has joined Fulham on a free transfer
- Borini will join Liverpool soon from Roma
- QPR sign Ji-Sung Park from Manchester United
- Paddy Kenny has joined Leeds from QPR
- Shorey has moved back to Reading from West Brom