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Soccer

Barely a peek of Van de Beek who looks forlorn at Manchester United

Barely a peek of Donny van de Beek as Manchester United’s new £40m man looks forlorn on the fringes at Old Trafford after being a starter at Ajax

  • Donny van de Beek signed for Manchester United in the summer for £40m
  • The Dutchman has struggled to get game-time his arrival from Ajax last month 
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has promised that we’ll see more out of the 23-year-old  
  • There is frustration from fans and people back home over his lack of chances 

There was little to admire about Manchester United here at Old Trafford, but the strength of their bench was certainly impressive enough.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought on Edinson Cavani for his debut, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood. Not a bad supporting cast. The United manager still had Nemanja Matic, Axel Tuanzebe and goalkeeper Dean Henderson in reserve.

Then there was United’s seventh substitute. The blond-haired Dutchman sitting forlornly in the rain waiting for his chance to shine. It has been a peculiar time for Donny van de Beek since swapping a starting spot at Ajax, who enjoyed a 13-0 win on Saturday, for a place on the fringes at United.

Donny van de Beek has struggled to get game-time due to the competition at Old Trafford

What should have been an exciting new chapter in the 23-year-old’s career has turned into a period of frustration bordering on stagnation. United’s £40million signing has made just two starts, in the Carabao Cup against Luton Town and Brighton. Four Premier League appearances as a substitute have produced a total of 61 minutes, plus a two-minute cameo in the Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

There is little doubt that Van de Beek is a victim of the short pre-season. He has not had as long as many new signings to adapt to his new environment, and there is a feeling at United that he needs to build himself up physically for the demands of English football. 

But his lack of involvement has only added weight to the argument that United needed to strengthen in other areas instead of adding to their extensive midfield options. 

Solskjaer acknowledged the issue before Saturday’s draw, saying: ‘Donny’s fit enough but it’s competition for places. It’s a new league and it’s giving him time to settle and adjust to his new team-mates. He’s eager to play more but it’s going to be a long season and you’ll see him.’

What followed was another evening on the sidelines. Van de Beek only got on the pitch after the final whistle when he took part in a warm-down session with the other unused subs.

His agent, Sjaak Swart, had voiced exasperation last month, pointing out that Van de Beek scored off the bench on his debut against Crystal Palace and was involved again when United won their next League game with a late penalty at Brighton.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Van de Beek is taking time to adjust to a new league since his move

Danny Blind, the former Holland coach and father of ex-United player Daley, echoed the mood in his country after Van de Beek was again surplus to requirements for his club having played 90 minutes twice for the national side against Mexico and Italy in the last international break.

‘What was he signed for?’ Blind demanded to know on Dutch TV. ‘I listened to Solskjaer and he had nothing but praise for Donny. Yet he didn’t even give him a cameo. He bought him to beef up the squad. Why not use that squad depth?’

The games don’t get any easier. United face Red Bull Leipzig on Wednesday followed by Arsenal, Istanbul Basaksehir and Everton. Van de Beek is desperate to play a part, but for now the wait goes on.




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MLB

As trade deadline looms, a snapshot look at who is and isn’t available

The NFL’s trade deadline looms in more than a week, and the league has already seen its share of big moves. Just this week, Yannick Ngakoue was traded again this time to the Ravens, the Cardinals traded to bring Markus Golden back, and Steve McLendon was traded to the Bucs.

More is on the horizon for Nov. 3. Here is a snapshot look at what to expect and what not to expect.

  • While it’s always fun to throw around big names, a few to cross off are Falcons stars Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Source said neither will be traded at the deadline, despite the 1-5 record and firing of Dan Quinn. Along with the fact that both would be very cap-unfriendly moves, one source described the rumored thought to be “ridiculous.”
  • The Jets have been open for business over the past few weeks, but don’t expect that to include QB Sam Darnold. At least, not this year. The organization may face a decision on Darnold this offseason depending on where it drafts, but a source says he won’t be traded during the season. And though more than a few teams have called inquiring about DT Quinnen Williams, source said it will take much more than the rumored second-round pick for Gang Green to part with him. GM Joe Douglas will consider anything, but for a player as highly regarded as Williams, it’s more of a question of, “How many second rounders?”
  • The Bengals have had active trade talks surrounding DE Carlos Dunlap, sources say, who has publicly and privately been frustrated with his role. There is a chance he’s inactive today, in fact, with a potential trade looming. Both sides, it appears, would welcome a new beginning. Meanwhile, Geno Atkins and A.J. Green seem to be at peace with where they are, and neither are likely to be traded. For Atkins, he’s battling through a shoulder injury that may require surgery at some point, making a trade a virtual impossibility.
  • For Washington, though other executives appear curious if Ryan Kerrigan is available, that doesn’t seem likely. Instead, it’s former second-rounder Ryan Anderson who has drawn calls and appears to be available or an edge-needy team.
  • The theme for players available is older veterans due a lot of money, and that can be said for Giants WR Golden Tate and guard Kevin Zeitler, along with Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery who has been available for a while. Along with being expensive, Jeffery still hasn’t played with foot and now calf issues, making trading him extremely difficult.
  • There has been some interest in Browns TE David Njoku and Giants TE Evan Engram, though neither team intends to move either guy. Perhaps if they are blown away by a monster deal, but both talented young tight ends figure to stay put.

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Soccer

What Arsenal star Lucas Torreira has said about returning after Atletico Madrid loan spell

Arsenal star Lucas Torreira has no desire to return to the Emirates Stadium once his loan spell with Atletico Madrid comes to an end. The Uruguay international was sent to Spain for the year during the summer transfer window. And he’s apparently loving life under Diego Simeone having struggled for chances under both Mikel Arteta and Unai Emery during his two years in north London.

Torreira was determined to join Atletico back in the transfer window, with the midfielder’s agent, Pablo Bentancur, saying shortly after the midfielder’s move: “Arsenal were targeting Thomas Partey and when the two clubs have a different objective it is difficult to be in the middle of the two operations.

“We had other agreed-upon teams such as Roma, Fiorentina and Lazio, who play the Champions League, but Lucas was blunt.

“He told us that his goal was Atletico and that we get it for him and we work for the players.

“He closed all the other possibilities, it either, ‘yes or yes’ to Atletico. Luckily in the end it was done.”

The 24-year-old has made two appearances for Atletico since joining and impressed, despite his limited game time.

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And Torreira has now revealed that he’d be happy to stay in Spain, telling Ovacion: “I’ve suffered a lot of things, I had a lot of personal problems and more than anything my family also suffered.

“I know that I am a year on loan.

“But I’ve been here for four or five days and it seems like it’s a lot, because I’ve been treated very well.

“It is a new opportunity in my life, in which I have fought a lot, because Atlético has always been one of my dreams, one of my goals as a team.

“And being able to achieve it at the age of 24 is something very important.

Premier League done deals: Every confirmed transfer in the summer window

“It all depends on how I go during the season, which I hope is very good, and maybe in the future I can stay in the club.”

Torreira posted a touching message to Arseal supporters upon leaving the club, saying on an Instagram post: “I would like to thank all the people I met at Arsenal during these two incredible years, all the outstanding staff working on and off the pitch.

“And, of course, I would like to hug all the Arsenal fans for the amazing support they have been showing me since the first day.

“The chant you sang for me will always be in my heart. It was an absolute privilege playing for Arsenal these last two seasons.

“Thanks a lot! We’ll catch up soon. Once a Gunner…always a Gunner! #LT11.”

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Arsenal signed Thomas Partey from Atletico as Torreira’s replacement and the Ghana international sparkled on Thursday as Rapid Vienna were beaten in the Europa League.

And Arteta was full of praise for the powerhouse after the match, saying: “He looked really solid, really comfortable, and I think he held the midfield by himself in the second half when we were a little bit more open and took more chances, attacking spaces with some players.

“I think he was fantastic tonight and there is much more to come from him obviously.

“He needs his team-mates around him, it’s not about him. With the price we paid for him and the profile of him, he’s going to have a lot of people looking at him every single game.

“But it’s about the structure we have as a team, the flow, the unity and cohesion we have in the team, and he’s one piece of that and hopefully a big piece.”

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Soccer

What happens without Virgil? Ajax present Liverpool with first test since Van Dijk’s injury

He had revealed “everyone still has a really bad feeling” about Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford’s reckless, unpunished challenge that the midfielder termed “completely stupid”.

None of Liverpool’s players had managed to sleep on Saturday, still seething from what had happened to Van Dijk, and moreover, how it had happened.

Will that depth of feeling inspire Liverpool to take it out on their upcoming opponents or will it have a detrimental effect?

Klopp bristled at the suggestion of his team mentally capitulating. “Why should I think the boys cannot deal with the situation?” he fired.

“But the number of questions you ask suggests you think we will all struggle with it. So we have to prove you wrong. I am not even interested in proving you wrong. I am only interested in the best for Liverpool and for my players.

“That is what we try now. Hopefully the results in the next few weeks will calm you all slightly down but I cannot promise it.  

“I know how the world is. I know what people do. A lot of people speak before they think. But they speak and then it is already out there.

“We try – sometimes at least – to think before we speak. We have a situation. We are here without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip! We will still give it a try. What can we do now?

“People can say what they want, it is a free world. But three weeks ago, they said we would run away with the title.

“Now, three weeks later, we are not even in contention for anything anymore.

“That’s football. That’s the world right now. We cannot be that excited. We have to stay calm.”

Liverpool have shown a healthy appetite for performing without key players to defy expectation and convention.  There was that Champions League semi-final against Barcelona at Anfield without Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita, with Andy Robertson going off injured and Jordan Henderson playing through a knee injury.

Wijnaldum, though, underlined that “it was for one game. The situation with Virgil is that we are going to miss him for the biggest part of the season. It is quite different if you look it that way.”

That can be extended somewhat to being without Alisson for a spell in 2019-20: it was not ideal, but it was shorter-term pain plus the team could still rely on the best centre-back in the world.

And when Liverpool ceded Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January 2018, his exit was eased by the addition of… Van Dijk.

Everything will continue to be framed through the prism of his absence. Each matchday, there will need to be evidence they can manage without him. Each crack will be credited to the lack of his presence.

The directive now is, per Wijnaldum, “for us to show we can put in good performances without Virgil”.

As he said those words, the expression on the Dutchman’s face spoke to what a taxing challenge will be.

It is not aided by the fact that Matip is unavailable and both he and Joe Gomez have regularly battled with injuries.

Wijnaldum said Liverpool would need to “find a fix,” Klopp centered around “thinking about solutions” and it will be interesting to see if that equates to a change in system and approach.

With Alisson still unavailable, the Premier League champions could revert to banking on and building from their offensive firepower.

With the opposition now encouraged to hurt Liverpool defensively, perhaps they will turn the tables starting at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

What happens without Virgil? We will soon find out.

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Rugby

Portrait of a champion: Addo-Carr to add ink of beloved grandfather

No matter the result of Sunday's NRL grand final against Penrith, Josh Addo-Carr will add a tattoo to his skin over the off-season. It will be a portrait of his late grandfather Wally Carr, who has rarely been far away from the Storm winger's thoughts this season.

"I think him about him every day… every day. I was thinking about him last night, just wishing he could spend another moment like this with me," said Addo-Carr, who idolised his beloved 'Pop', an Australian boxing warrior who would succumb to stomach cancer in April.

Josh Addo-Carr with his late grandfather Wally Carr during the 2018 Origin series.

"He came to the 2017 grand final. He freaked out how loud it was… he had to leave the game early, it was just too much for him," Addo-Carr said. "But I did share that special moment in 2017 with him and I obviously miss him very much."

Wally would always champion Addo-Carr's cause and in 2018, urged NSW coach Brad Fittler to take a chance on the speedster. It would turn out to be good advice and the coach was paying attention.

"Brad Fittler, he's a gentleman. Brad Fittler loves him. And I think he [Josh] can rise to the occasion," Carr told the Herald at the time.

"People say he gets out of position, that he can't tackle. It's the same as fighting – when the occasion comes, you rise to the challenge. I know he can do it."

Wally Carr was a well-travelled fighter with 100 bouts to his name, finishing his career with a 53-38-9 record. He knocked out 27 opponents and plied his trade everywhere from Papua New Guinea to Fiji, Indonesia and Zambia.

Addo-Carr admits he has never been much of a fighter but he shares his grandfather's competitive blood. Soon, Wally be on on his skin, with another tattoo on the horizon for Addo-Carr on an increasingly crowded canvas.

Addo-Carr will play his final game for the Storm in the grand final but has yet to settle on his future club, with the Bulldogs, Tigers and Rabbitohs all interested in his services.

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Fighting

Judge Terry O'Connor to appear before British Boxing Board of Control

Judge Terry O’Connor is summoned to appear before British Boxing Board of Control after ‘being caught on his PHONE’ while scoring Lewis Ritson’s controversial win over Miguel Vazquez

  • Judge Terry O’Connor is to appear before the Boxing Board of Control 
  • He was caught on his phone while scoring Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez
  • O’Connor enraged commentators and viewers by scoring in favour of Ritson 

Terry O’Connor is being called to appear before the Boxing Board of Control stewards after apparently being caught looking down at his mobile phone while judging Saturday night’s fight between Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez.

O’Connor enraged commentators and TV viewers by scoring the fight 117-111 in favour of Ritson, although the Mexican veteran appeared to have cruised to a comfortable victory.

Board general secretary Robert Smith is seeking a date for the hearing after studying photographs of O’Connor at ringside. 

Terry O’Connor was pictured on his phone during the Lewis Ritson and Miguel Vazquez fight

He has been called to appear before the Boxing Board of Control stewards after the incident

Michael Alexander compounded the scandalous split decision by voting 115-113 for Ritson. Only Marcus McDonnell gave the fight to Vazquez, albeit by an ungenerous 116-113 in the context of an overwhelming performance by the Mexican.

Sky analyst Matthew Macklin and myself scored only two rounds for Ritson, who was honest enough to admit that he is still well short of ever challenging for a world light-welterweight title.

Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn called for the judge to be sacked after the fight.  

The British judge controversially scored the contest 117-111 in favour of Ritson on Saturday 

Hearn took to Twitter to express his frustration, saying: ‘If that’s a phone (and I presume it is) then then BBBofC should immediately remove him.’ 

Speaking to iFLTV, Hearn said the decision was a ‘disgrace’ and said that the judges must be ‘accountable for bad decisions’. 

He said: ‘117-111 to Ritson was a disgrace of a card. And it’s terrible for the sport.

Eddie Hearn took to Twitter to vent his frustration at O’Connor and his scoring decision

‘People have gotta be accountable for bad decisions. If you’re in a job and you don’t perform well, then you’ve gotta face the consequences.’  

Fellow-promoter Lou DiBella added: ‘I guess you don’t have to watch the fight if you already made up your mind before it started. Unfortunately… it’s just boxing.’  

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman also shared his thoughts on the situation, calling it ‘extremely troubling to any person involved in boxing.’  

While Boxing trainer and manager Dave Coldwell took to Twitter to call out O’Connor, saying: ‘I’ve always said judges should be asked to explain how they come to their decision when it’s controversial & seemingly wide of the mark. Not sure swiping left counts as a good reason for screwing fighters careers over though?’  




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Soccer

Crystal Palace 1-1 Brighton: Alexis Mac Allister rescues deserved point in derby

Report and free match highlights as Wilfried Zaha nets a seventh goal against Brighton, the most he has scored against one opponent; Lewis Dunk sent off in added time for a reckless tackle on Gary Cahill

Football journalist

Sunday 18 October 2020 16:40, UK

Alexis Mac Allister’s superb 90th-minute strike rescued a deserved draw for 10-man Brighton as they drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace in the M23 derby.

Graham Potter’s side were dominant in possession (65.6 per cent) and shots (20), but it was Crystal Palace who took the lead with their only shot of the game.

Wilfried Zaha (19) slotted home from the penalty spot – his seventh goal against Brighton, the most he has scored versus one opponent – after Tariq Lamptey was penalised for a foul on Michy Batshuayi, although replays suggested there was minimal contact.

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Brighton had a string of chances to level things up and looked to be heading for a third successive Premier League defeat until Mac Allister powered a sensational effort home from the edge of the area on the stroke of 90 minutes. However, their afternoon ended on a sour note when Lewis Dunk was sent off in the fourth of seven added minutes for a two-footed challenge on Gary Cahill.

The visitors were able to see the game out for a much-deserved point, but the result does keep them in 16th place. Crystal Palace, meanwhile, move up one place into 12th.

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How Brighton battled back for a deserved point

Brighton made a good start at Selhurst Park and had a few chances fall their way. After a superb solo run from Solly March, he found Lamptey on the right of the area but he snatched at the ball and it was blocked by the Palace defence.

After a bit of a scuffle between Christian Benteke and Dan Burn before a Brighton corner, March’s delivery was punched away by Vicente Guaita before Yves Bissouma hammered an effort into the side of the net. Not long after, Ben White dragged a shot just wide of the far post.

1 – Since Opta began recording full shot data for the Premier League in 2003-04, Crystal Palace are the first team to have just one shot in a match in the competition and that shot be a penalty. Toothless. pic.twitter.com/5gGhUoMaaf

But it was Crystal Palace who were handed an advantage in the 17th minute. In their first real attack of the game, Lamptey was penalised for a foul on Batshuayi inside the area as Andros Townsend whipped in a cross from the right. However, there appeared to be very little contact with the Palace striker stumbling over rather than being pulled. Zaha stepped up to fire home from the penalty spot with the Eagles’ only shot of the opening 45 minutes.

From then, the rest of the first half was a much more even affair but with little goalmouth action. The best chance came just before the half-hour mark and it was Brighton again who saw an effort wasted. Lamptey’s right-wing cross was sent back into the area by March on the opposite flank, but Neal Maupay was unable to direct his header on target, sending the ball flying into the empty Holmesdale End.

Player ratings

Crystal Palace: Guaita (6), Ward (7), Kouyate (7), Cahill (7), Mitchell (7), Townsend (6), McArthur (6), Riedewald (7), Schlupp (7), Zaha (7), Batshuayi (6).

Subs used: Milivojevic (n/a), Benteke (n/a).

Brighton: Ryan (6), White (7), Dunk (5), Webster (6), Burn (7), Lamptey (7), Bissouma (6), Lallana (7), March (7), Trossard (7), Maupay (8).

Subs used: Mac Allister (6), Connolly (6), Gross (n/a)

Man of the match: Neal Maupay.

The second half was much livelier and Maupay went close again inside four minutes. It was a superb switch of play from Brighton as March fired a cross in from the left flank with Adam Lallana leaving it for the striker. He took a touch before turning past Cahill and shooting, but Guaita was there to make the save.

Palace had the ball in the net for a second time not long after, but Batshuayi’s thunderous effort was ruled out for offside. It was a sensational throughball from Jairo Riedwald to send the Belgian striker through and it was an emphatic finish, but the flag was raised. VAR checked the decision and Batshuayi was just leaning offside as the ball was played.

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Maupay was again causing issues as he darted into the area, dinking past Cheikhou Kouyate before Cahill and Joel Ward both threw themselves in front of his shot which flew well wide of the target.

Brighton continued to dominate and see the better of the attacking play, and they finally snatched a deserved equaliser right on the 90-minute mark. Maupay played the ball across the top of the area, with Aaron Connolly leaving it for Mac Allister and he rifled a thunderous effort into the bottom corner for his first Premier League goal.

But the Seagulls ended the game with 10 men as captain Dunk was dismissed with just a few minutes to play. Brighton delivered a corner but as Dunk tried to slot the ball home, he instead caught the legs of Cahill with a two-footed, tired challenge and it was a straight red card.

Man of the match – Neal Maupay

There were plenty of good performances across the board from Brighton, but Maupay was at the forefront of the attacking action. He had three superb chances to score, a team-high of six shots overall and helped set up Mac Allister’s equaliser with his flashed ball across the top of the area.

Lallana also showed his growing influence for Brighton, while Lamptey impressed again at right wing-back, but it was Maupay’s eagerness up front that just edged it.

Opta stats

  • Brighton attempted 19 more shots than Crystal Palace; their highest positive shot differential in a single Premier League match.
  • Crystal Palace have failed to win any of their last seven Premier League games on Sunday (D4 L3), since beating Bournemouth 5-3 in May 2019.
  • Brighton’s Lewis Dunk was sent off for the second time in his Premier League career and for the first time since December 2018 versus Bournemouth.

What’s next?

It is a short trip for Crystal Palace next weekend when they take on Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday (kick-off 3pm). Brighton host West Brom on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 5.30pm).

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Rugby

‘He’s a very special player’: All Blacks unearth the next Jonah Lomu

It's hard not to watch brilliant All Blacks rookie Caleb Clarke and see him as anything other than New Zealand's next Jonah Lomu.

Since the late Lomu retired in 2002, New Zealand have been on the lookout for wingers in his mould.

Caleb Clarke was a clear man of the match in what was just his second Test with the All Blacks.Credit:AP

"He's strong. Caleb's strong. He loves to play, he gets a smile on his face and we're just trying to give him the ball occasionally and he's pretty useful," Foster said after his side’s 27-7 win.

"What a thrill for him."

Clarke finished with 138 metres, three line breaks, 12 tackle busts and two offloads from his eight carries.

If those numbers don't paint a picture of how destructive the Auckland Blues star was, it is well worth watching his run in the lead-up to Ardie Savea's second-half try.

Caleb Clarke and his father and fellow All Black Eroni after Sunday’s victory over the Wallabies.Credit:Getty

A poor James O'Connor kick was caught in the middle of the field by Clarke and the 107kg winger was given a clear runway to hit top gear before meeting a scrappy Wallabies' kick chase.

Clarke beat six defenders in the next 10 seconds. Two phases later, Ardie Savea beat a Filipo Daugunu tackle and scored. It was devastating counter-attack rugby at its very best – the domain in which the All Blacks thrive.

Clarke has serious speed at his disposal but it is his unbridled power which casts the mind back to Lomu.

Lomu used to treat defenders as speed bumps. Just ask Mike Catt.

Clarke does use his footwork to beat defenders but he is just as happy to run straight over the top of whoever happens to be marking him.

Whether it is through power, speed, footwork, a palm or a combination of all four, Clarke's ability to beat the first defender is incredible.

"He is a very special player and a special kid," All Blacks captain Sam Cane said after Sunday's match.

"I’m stoked to see him get his first start and I think he didn’t let anyone down. He was exceptional. Really happy for Caleb and his family."

Vision of Clarke's father Eroni – who represented the All Blacks in the 1990s – was beamed onto the Eden Park big screen multiple times.

Clarke looked every inch the proud father with each shot but that won't stop him from making Caleb sit down and watch the match with him later on Sunday.

"I think I'll go home and he will probably make me sit down and watch it," Caleb said.

"That's how it's been. It doesn't matter. I could get home at (midnight) and he would make me sit down and watch it."

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Soccer

Toon fans rage a Ashley for '£7m taken from season-ticket holders'

Newcastle fans rage at Mike Ashley as they claim under-fire owner has taken £7MILLION from season-ticket holders for matches they can’t attend

  • Newcastle supporters must splash out £14.95 to watch Manchester United clas
  • Controversial pay-per-view plan is kick in the teeth for already put-upon fans 
  • More than 18,000 are still being charged season tickets for this season  
  • Supporters Trust say they are only ones charged for games they cannot go to

Newcastle fans are seething with Mike Ashley as they claim the club has made £7million from season ticket holders since March, despite games being behind closed doors.

To make matters worse, the controversial pay-per-view scheme means that Magpies supporters will have to pay £14.95 to watch games not already on subscription services, starting with the Manchester United clash this weekend.

Newcastle Supporters Trust put out a statement, reading: ‘Over 18,000 fans are still being charged monthly direct debit payments for season 20-21 and have been since March.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has been criticised for charging season ticket holders

Supporters have not been allowed to watch their team play live in the stadium since March

‘Over £1m per month flows out of North East fan households into Newcastle United, at a time of record unemployment and hardship.

‘No other Premier League club is currently taking money from fans. On top of this, fans must pay £14.95 for pay-per-view games. The cost of watching football in the UK is out of control.

‘Sky, BT and Amazon Prime combined is a minimum of £803.88 per year. Adding £14.95 pay-per-view games will be almost £300 per year extra.

‘This is not right. The Premier League should act. Newcastle United need to act. 

‘Stop taking money from people who need it. Start listening and talking to fans. Start giving back.’

The Premier League is understood to have grown agitated by giving their product away for free during lockdown. 

But there was widespread condemnation from supporters around the country when the pay-per-view plan was announced, particularly at the high price point of £14.95. 

In a meeting with all the top flight sides, only Leicester registered objection to the plan. 

Clubs argue that the continued lack of revenue with fans not allowed back into stadiums means their hands have been forced.  

Sky Sports and BT Sport announced a pay-per-view service for Premier League matches

In terms of the season ticket costs of Newcastle fans, a source told the Sun: ‘There is a commitment to refund fans for missed games.

‘But it is difficult to say season tickets will cease because we don’t know how many games they will miss.

‘We have been in dialogue with the Trust and had meetings planned for next week.’    




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Soccer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta hands Mesut Ozil ultimatum over Gunners future

The Arsenal manager left German misfit Ozil out of his Europa League squad last week, and offered no guarantees that the 32-year-old will be named in the Premier League squad next week.

Ozil’s Arsenal contract runs out at the end of the season, and Arteta has not named the playmaker once in his team once since March.

The Gunners manager, whose side face a tough trip to Manchester City tomorrow, also left defender Sokratis out of the European squad, and he said: “I wanted to tell them face to face before releasing the squad.

“I explained the reasons why and the numbers we had. It was really difficult for me to tell them – but this is the restriction and rules.

“They have to respect that decision and try to train the best possible way, help the team when they can. Then we will see what happens in December.”

JUST IN: Arsenal make Jack Wilshere decision as star looks for next club

Arteta added: “To leave players out at that level, where they know they cannot get involved, is really tough. But the decision had to be made because we have an excess of foreign players.

“It is down to us to to find ways to motivate those players. And it is about how you react to disappointments. Try to look at the overall picture, make the right decisions.”

Arsenal are still in talks with the Scottish government over fullback Kieran Tierney, who they hope to get released from his COVID quarantine in time to play at the Etihad.

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Scotland defender Tierney was placed in isolation for 14 days last Tuesday after international teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for coronavirus.

Tierney himself returned a negative test, and he and Arsenal have insisted there was no close contact.

Talks were still ongoing last night between Arsenal and the Lothian Protection Team, the Scottish government and the Scottish FA to try to get Tierney’s release in time for tomorrow’s game.

Arteta said: “I will be extremely disappointed if he is not able to play.

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“It will be frustrating if he cannot, because we have tried to do all the right things to keep the players safe. We know the history with the player and what happened in the last few months with him as well.

“We are very reassured that there is not any risk for him to be involved with us. That is the case we are defending really strongly with the authorities.”

“This is getting very complicated when we are sending players abroad. Obviously you lose control. Some authorities have different regulations to the ones in the Premier League.”

Arsenal return to action against Manchester City on Saturday in the Premier League (5.30pm).

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