Shahid Khan has risked more anger from the FA council over the dumping of the oldest annual fixture in world football.
The Varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge, which has been played since 1873, had found a welcome home at Fulham’s Craven Cottage during the last decade.
But after the game made a financial loss in 2016, it was played at Barnet’s Hive stadium in 2017 and this year. FA councillors connected with Varsity football blame Khan for the move, increasing the anger directed at the Fulham owner after his bid to buy Wembley was revealed last week.
Shahid Khan has risked anger from the FA council over the dumping of the Varsity match
Concerns have also been raised that Khan should not be trusted with the national stadium given his treatment of the Varsity match, another national sporting institution.
A Fulham spokesman said it was ‘total rubbish’ to link their owner with the move to Barnet, saying he was strongly in favour of the match taking place at Craven Cottage.
April 18 was the day that Arsene Wenger finally accepted he would be leaving Arsenal at the end of the season, it has emerged. Coincidentally, that was 11 years to the day the club announced former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein, who brought in Wenger as manager, was departing. Dein quit over ‘irreconcilable differences’ with the rest of the board.
The loss of his day-to-day relationship with Dein, a great and trusted friend, is seen as a key reason why Wenger has been far less successful in the second half of his 22-year reign.
April 18 was the day that Arsene Wenger finally accepted he would be leaving Arsenal
The curse of the Football Writers’ Association looks to have struck again with the expected choice of Liverpool’s goal machine Mo Salah as their Footballer of the Year.
The FWA dinner on May 10 clashes with the Liverpool awards, which Salah will be duty bound to attend. This follows a recent run of no-shows for the FWA. Pele missed the tribute night in his honour last January, Luis Suarez was in Uruguay when voted Footballer of the Year in 2014 and Eden Hazard missed his 2015 award for ‘urgent’ dental treatment.
However, if Salah wins this year’s FWA prize, Liverpool will try to ensure he attends both events, with a helicopter trip to London one option.
Liverpool star Mohamed Salah may miss the Football Writers’ Association dinner on May 10
There may still be hope for the many cricketers who would prefer a new T20 tournament, rather than ‘The Hundred’ proposed by the ECB.
Sanjay Patel, lead executive for the competition, continues to describe himself ‘managing director new T20’ on his LinkedIn page.
Marler’s Twitter scrum
Wacky England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler reacted badly to criticism on social media after his troubled side were thrashed 44-13 by Worcester.
One fan tweeted Marler saying: ‘Losing without appearing to try is never acceptable at any level. As a season-ticket holder, I will keep turning up, but will the team?’
Marler did not hold back in his reply: ‘I’d recommend handing your season ticket in if you feel that strongly.’ To another Quins fan, Marler’s witty retort was: ‘Here’s an idea for you: P*** off.’
Dylan Hartley did not react much better to some gentle ribbing from Mark Durden-Smith. The Sports Industry awards presenter teased the injured England captain about his side’s Six Nations defeats, to which Hartley countered that he never watched Durden-Smith on BT Sport’s rugby coverage. Hartley was then reminded by Durden-Smith that he works for Channel 5.
England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler (left) reacted badly to criticism on social media
Such is the financial power of Augusta National it is understood the seven acres they have bought for £20million from the Augusta Country Club means the neighbouring golf club will lose their entire ninth hole.
The ground will be used for a new maintenance road. The country club has room for a new hole, while £20m is only a quarter of what Augusta National makes from its in-house merchandising during Masters week.