Pakistan could face ICC sanctions after wearing banned Apple watches against England

Pakistan could face ICC sanctions after wearing banned Apple watches against England at Lord’s

  • Pakistan were caught up in an irregular incident on the first day at Lord’s
  • Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq were pictured wearing banned Apple watches
  • ICC do not allow smart watches to be worn as they can access the internet 

Charles Sale for MailOnline

Pakistan, who have a history of cricket-related controversy, were caught up in another irregular incident at Lord’s on the opening day of the first Test.

Two of their players, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq, were pictured wearing banned Apple watches — understood to be series one models — while in the field on Thursday.

The ICC do not allow these smart watches to be worn during play because it is possible to directly access the internet with them and therefore potential online betting sites.

Pakistan were caught up in another irregular incident against England at Lord's on Thursday

Pakistan were caught up in another irregular incident against England at Lord's on Thursday

Pakistan were caught up in another irregular incident against England at Lord’s on Thursday

Two players, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq, were pictured wearing banned Apple watches

Two players, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq, were pictured wearing banned Apple watches

Two players, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq, were pictured wearing banned Apple watches

Peter O’Shea, ICC’s anti-corruption officer, confirmed that the Apple watches were on the banned list because of the internet capabilities.

‘Anti-corruption officials came to us and told us it’s not allowed, so next time we won’t do it,’ Ali said. 

Also a number of Pakistan players had their fingers taped in similar manner to David Warner during Australia’s ball-tampering scandal against South Africa.

But there was no suggestion of anything suspicious being done to the ball, although England were bowled out for 184. 

The smart watches are banned during play because it is possible to directly access the internet

The smart watches are banned during play because it is possible to directly access the internet

The smart watches are banned during play because it is possible to directly access the internet

Asad Shafiq checks his smart watch during the opening day of play at Lord's on Thursday

Asad Shafiq checks his smart watch during the opening day of play at Lord's on Thursday

Asad Shafiq checks his smart watch during the opening day of play at Lord’s on Thursday

Pakistan bowler Hasan Ali said: ‘Anti-corruption officials came to us and told us it’s not allowed, so next time we won’t do it.’ 

Pakistan have been involved in numerous incidents over the years with the low points being the abandoned Test at the Oval in 2006 over ball-tampering allegations. 

Then in 2010 three players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir received jail sentences on criminal charges relating to spot-fixing that took place at Lord’s. 

Advertisement

Ferrari investigated over claims they have broken F1 engine rules

Ferrari facing investigation over claims they have broken F1 rules this season by using engines with too much power

  • Ferrari under investigation by FIA over claims they broke engine power rules
  • The Italian team have been told they must run a monitoring device on their car 
  • Sebastian Vettel won the opening two races of the 2018 season for Ferrari 

Press Association

Ferrari are under investigation by Formula One’s governing body following allegations that they have broken the rules this season.

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, the closest title challenger to Lewis Hamilton, won the opening two rounds of the season, and rival teams believe the Italians have been gaining an advantage by deploying more engine power than is permitted.

The FIA is understood to have been monitoring the situation from as early as the first races in Australia and Bahrain.

Ferrari are under investigation by the FIA over claims they have broken engine power rules

Ferrari are under investigation by the FIA over claims they have broken engine power rules

Ferrari are under investigation by the FIA over claims they have broken engine power rules

On the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix, they have demanded that Ferrari run a device on their engine to ensure they are sticking to the rules.

F1 confirmed the news on its website late on Thursday evening, writing: ‘The governing body have asked the Prancing Horse to run an extra piece of hardware that monitors their Energy Recovery System.

‘This weekend, the FIA will monitor the system in operation before analysing data and making any judgements.’ 

Sebastian Vettel won the first two races, but rivals feel they may have had an illegal advantage

Sebastian Vettel won the first two races, but rivals feel they may have had an illegal advantage

Sebastian Vettel won the first two races, but rivals feel they may have had an illegal advantage

Advertisement

Kyle Edmund to face Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in French Open first round

Kyle Edmund to face Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in French Open first round after being seeded No 16 at Roland Garros

  • Kyle Edmund represents Britain’s best chance at the French Open this year
  • He has been handed his first ever Grand Slam seeding for Roland Garros
  • British No 1 could face Fabio Fognini in third round and Marin Cilic in the fourth 

Mike Dickson for MailOnline

Kyle Edmund will play Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the first round of the French Open, which starts on Sunday.

Edmund represents the best chance of maintaining direct British singles interest into the second week, and as sixteenth seed – his first Slam seeding – he will face the highly-rated youngster.

Things could get difficult from the third round onwards, as he would be expected to meet mercurial Italian Fabio Fognini in the last 32 and then possibly Marin Cilic in the fourth round, which he made last year. 

Kyle Edmund will play Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the first round of the French Open

Kyle Edmund will play Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the first round of the French Open

Kyle Edmund will play Australian teenager Alex de Minaur in the first round of the French Open

Cameron Norrie, the other British man in the draw, will face improving German Peter Gojowczyk, but should do so with plenty of confidence. 

Earlier on Thursday he scored his best career win by ranking when he beat America’s John Isner to reach the semi-final of the ATP event in Lyon. 

He meets Frenchman Gilles Simon on Friday

Rafael Nadal, strongly favoured to win an eleventh Paris title, begins against Alex Dolgopolov and is in the opposite half of the draw to Novak Djokovic.

MEN’S DRAW 

Nadal (1) vs Dolgopolov

Berankis vs A.Zverev (2)

Cilic (3) vs Duckworth

Troicki vs Dimitrov (4)

Mahut vs Del Potro (5)

Lorenzi vs Anderson (6)

Goffin (8) vs Haase

Isner (9) vs Rubin

De Minaur vs Edmund (16) (GB) 

Gojowczyk vs Norrie (GB)

The British No 1 is seeded 16th after recently breaking into the world's top 20

The British No 1 is seeded 16th after recently breaking into the world's top 20

The British No 1 is seeded 16th after recently breaking into the world’s top 20

Advertisement

Daniel Ricciardo will struggle improve on Red Bull, warns Mark Webber 

Daniel Ricciardo will struggle to improve on his current situation at Red Bull if he decides to leave when his contract expires, warns Mark Webber.

Ricciardo’s deal ends at the conclusion of the 2018 season, with the Australian linked to both Ferrari and Mercedes as he seeks a car capable of delivering him a long-awaited maiden F1 world title.

Red Bull have had an up-and-down campaign so far – the nadir came in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix where Ricciardo and team mate Max Verstappen collided, however they were the two quickest in practice for Monaco on Thursday.

Daniel Ricciardo will struggle to improve on his situation at Red Bull, warns Mark Webber

Daniel Ricciardo will struggle to improve on his situation at Red Bull, warns Mark Webber

Daniel Ricciardo will struggle to improve on his situation at Red Bull, warns Mark Webber

Ricciardo was quickest in Monaco GP practice but has been linked with a move in 2019

Ricciardo was quickest in Monaco GP practice but has been linked with a move in 2019

Ricciardo was quickest in Monaco GP practice but has been linked with a move in 2019

Webber however feels Ricciardo could stay at Red Bull, if they deliver a more consistent car

Webber however feels Ricciardo could stay at Red Bull, if they deliver a more consistent car

Webber however feels Ricciardo could stay at Red Bull, if they deliver a more consistent car

Former Red Bull driver Webber, who will feature in Channel 4’s coverage of Sunday’s race in Monte Carlo, said this demonstrated how – with a bit of consistency from the team – Ricciardo could be best off where he is already.

Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, Webber said: ‘If Daniel’s winning races, he’s going to stay. They are making Daniel feel like he’s wanted and a key member of the team, but going for wins hasn’t quite happened yet.

‘Baku was obviously a disaster, there has obviously been some tension and if they stay together they have to get him in a winning position, consistently challenging for victories which is a while off yet because of the engine situation. But it’s certainly manageable.

‘Look, if Daniel gets opportunities to go elsewhere with a faster car on more circuits around the world, he is going to do that. That won’t be easy though, because he’s in a sensational team. Red Bull is a world class operation.’

Webber, who twice won in Monaco for Red Bull, said he has given advice to Max Verstappen

Webber, who twice won in Monaco for Red Bull, said he has given advice to Max Verstappen

Webber, who twice won in Monaco for Red Bull, said he has given advice to Max Verstappen

Webber, who twice won the Monaco GP for Red Bull – in 2010 and 2012 – also said he had been giving advice to Verstappen, whose aggressive driving style, while winning him fans, has also seen him suffer two retirements in the first five races of the season.

The Australian, who raced for Red Bull between 2007 and 2013, said: ‘There is still a little bit of polishing to be done. I’m a huge Verstappen fan, I love watching him race, he’s fast, brave and gladiatorial. But over time, you need a bit more Alain Prost coming into your driving.

‘He knows the first part of the season has not been to the level he would like. His speed is not in question, but it’s a case of polishing up those one-on-one battles to keep his skin intact.’

‘When I see him, we talk, and I have given him advice. I’ve told him to tidy up, this year we have seen battles that haven’t gone his way. It’s a case of balancing that first lap aggression, which doesn’t always come off.’

The build-up to Monaco has been overshadowed slightly by the argument over 'grid girls'

The build-up to Monaco has been overshadowed slightly by the argument over 'grid girls'

The build-up to Monaco has been overshadowed slightly by the argument over ‘grid girls’

The build-up to Monaco has been overshadowed slightly with the decision by race organisers to defy the FIA and continue employing female models – ‘grid girls’ – before Sunday’s race.

Liberty Media abolished the long-standing F1 tradition at the beginning of the year after denouncing the practice as ‘at odds with modern-day societal norms’.

Webber, while admitting the issue remains a sensate one, backed the decision to bring back the models, as long as it is done in a tasteful manner.

He said: ‘It’s an answer you can’t win with. What is a grid girl? Is it promotional, is it done in a tasteful way? In terms of them standing there with the grid numbers, those days are gone, but is there space for women on the grid – men or women – absolutely.’

NASSER HUSSAIN: England collapse tells me there is an attitude problem

I wrote on Thursday that this England line-up looks good on paper. That isn’t enough in Test cricket. The way they collapsed on the first day of the international summer tells me that, with this team, it’s a question of attitude.

Call me old-fashioned, but I’d love to see a player follow the example of Alastair Cook and grind out a score. Yes, conditions were not easy. The pitch did a bit, and Pakistan were excellent, bowling a full length relentlessly because that’s what they’ve been instructed to do by their coach Mickey Arthur after studying footage of the way New Zealand destroyed England in Auckland.

That’s the thing about Test cricket: it’s tough. You have to earn your runs, and I want to see Test batsmen enjoy the toughness, enjoy the grind.

The way England collapsed on the first day of the Test summer suggests an attitude problem

The way England collapsed on the first day of the Test summer suggests an attitude problem

The way England collapsed on the first day of the Test summer suggests an attitude problem

No player followed the example of Alastair Cook and attempted to grind out a score

No player followed the example of Alastair Cook and attempted to grind out a score

No player followed the example of Alastair Cook and attempted to grind out a score

This could turn into a low-scoring game, so I want to see players who are prepared to guts out a fifty, knowing that it could be match-winning come Sunday or Monday. It’s not glamorous, but it can be just as satisfying as a quick 50.

Take the example of Jos Buttler. Ben Stokes had just been dismissed, but instead of taking stock for a while and deciding whether he thought Dominic Bess would be able to hang around with him, Buttler edged a big drive to second slip.

Yes, there’s a time to counter-attack, and Buttler may have felt that he had little choice, because the absence of Chris Woakes leaves England with a longish tail, but looking back, he may have felt he went too early.

I still see a side who can be destructive in the right conditions, but I don’t yet see a side who are willing to put in the hard yards. When you’re in the middle of a collapse, you need someone to show character and change the momentum. There’s not enough character right now. That’s a worry.

Jos Buttler's dismissal — a big drive edged to slip minutes after a wicket — epitomised that

Jos Buttler's dismissal — a big drive edged to slip minutes after a wicket — epitomised that

Jos Buttler’s dismissal — a big drive edged to slip minutes after a wicket — epitomised that

Pakistan skittled England for only 184 after losing the toss and being asked to bowl at Lord's

Pakistan skittled England for only 184 after losing the toss and being asked to bowl at Lord's

Pakistan skittled England for only 184 after losing the toss and being asked to bowl at Lord’s

Then there’s the question of whether Joe Root was right to bat first. It’s funny how two people can see things differently, and I appreciate I’ve not always made the right choice where tosses are concerned.

But as I walked across the Lord’s outfield before the start of play, I thought to myself that it was a morning to bowl first – and I’d have included Woakes. I know he had a poor winter, but he’s a different proposition in English conditions, armed with the Dukes ball, on a pitch with a tinge of green.

Obviously, Joe saw it differently, and it’s possible he remembered the pitch here last summer against South Africa, which started dry and assisted spin later in the game. Only time will tell if he got this one wrong, because there’s still plenty in this pitch, and Pakistan’s batting line-up is as vulnerable as England’s, if not more so.

His decision made it all the more imperative that England knuckled down for the fight. Hats off to Pakistan’s bowlers, who were accurate and disciplined. But England’s batsmen need to do better than that.

BUMBLE AT THE TEST: Abolishing the toss in Test cricket is daft

After a miserable winter in Australia and New Zealand England had a day to forget as they kicked off a new international season against Pakistan at Lord’s.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Joe Root’s side were skittled for just 184 in favourable bowling conditions.

The tourists ended the day 50 for one and, here, Sportsmail’s DAVID LLOYD takes us through the first day…

I've heard talk of abolishing the toss at Tests. How daft is that? It's part and parcel of the game

I've heard talk of abolishing the toss at Tests. How daft is that? It's part and parcel of the game

I’ve heard talk of abolishing the toss at Tests. How daft is that? It’s part and parcel of the game

I’m hearing talk of abolishing the toss at Tests. How daft is that? It’s part and parcel of the game. Take this first Test.  

England would have had to think very hard before deciding to bat but they will have been trying to look at what’s best over five days. The events of Thursday suggested he may have got it wrong but don’t mess with the toss, please!

Joe Root’s bold call led to a very demanding day for England’s batsmen and three casualties in the first session set the tone for the innings. 

Mark Stoneman got a very good ball. That happens, especially when you’re an opener. Root won’t want to see his dismissal again. 

The captain lost all control of the shot and was very loose. And Dawid Malan was static at the crease. And so it went on…

Mark Stoneman got a very good ball on day one and that happens when you're an opener

Mark Stoneman got a very good ball on day one and that happens when you're an opener

Mark Stoneman got a very good ball on day one and that happens when you’re an opener

Three casualties in the opening session for England set the tone for the innings at Lord's

Three casualties in the opening session for England set the tone for the innings at Lord's

Three casualties in the opening session for England set the tone for the innings at Lord’s

So thank heavens for Alastair Cook. This was a significant day for the former captain because he’s had a poor winter and, for all the runs he’s scored, this is a massive summer for him. 

Forget all the people asking whether he can still do it. He has to prove he can to himself. And the early signs were good at Lord’s.

It was a significant day for former captain Alastair Cook after a poor winter with the bat

It was a significant day for former captain Alastair Cook after a poor winter with the bat

It was a significant day for former captain Alastair Cook after a poor winter with the bat

I must tell you I’m suffering at the moment. I’ve got a condition called Plantar Fasciitis or a very sore right heel to you and me. I’ve never had pain like it.

I’ve got insoles after advice from Ronnie Irani and I’ve had injections that have made me scream and swear. It might take two years to go away! I’m not happy…

A new season but an old problem. As if we haven’t got enough problems with the over-rates, people repeatedly moved behind the arm. 

And them lot in the pavilion are meant to know their cricket, too. Delays, too, when all the champagne corks were popped on to the field and had to be cleared up. It can only be Lord’s!

This Pakistan attack is youthful and inexperienced but they were very impressive on day one

This Pakistan attack is youthful and inexperienced but they were very impressive on day one

This Pakistan attack is youthful and inexperienced but they were very impressive on day one

This Pakistan attack is youthful and inexperienced, which can lead to a lot of problems with the slope at Lord’s, but they were very impressive. 

Take a look at the bowling coach – Azhar Mahmood has spent a long time in England and will know all about the vagaries of the place. It’s obvious he told them where to bowl.

I was up Hampstead on Wednesday night and started off at my usual haunt, The Hollybush, which was excellent. 

Then we found a new Indian restaurant, the imaginatively-titled Shahbhag. I kicked off with the lamb jalfrezi and a couple of chapattis and it was a great start to this curry season. Ten out of ten!

Liverpool land in Kiev ahead of Champions League final

Liverpool arrive at team hotel after landing in Kiev ahead of Champions League final with Real Madrid

  • Liverpool landed in Kiev on Thursday evening ahead of facing Real Madrid
  • Jurgen Klopp’s players were greeted by raucous supporters at the team hotel
  • The Reds are aiming for their sixth European Cup title on Saturday night

James Dutton For Mailonline

Liverpool have arrived in Kiev as they reach the finishing stretch of their preparations for the biggest game of their lives at the weekend.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side looked in high spirits as they touched down in the Ukrainian capital and were greeted by supporters outside the team hotel in the city centre.

The Reds take on Real Madrid on Saturday night as they bid for a sixth European Cup.

Mohamed Salah is greeted by hundreds of fans after arriving at the Liverpool hotel in Kiev

Mohamed Salah is greeted by hundreds of fans after arriving at the Liverpool hotel in Kiev

Mohamed Salah is greeted by hundreds of fans after arriving at the Liverpool hotel in Kiev

Roberto Firmino looked in good spirits as he made his way off the team buss in Kiev

Roberto Firmino looked in good spirits as he made his way off the team buss in Kiev

Roberto Firmino looked in good spirits as he made his way off the team buss in Kiev

Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff make their way off the plane after landing in Ukraine

Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff make their way off the plane after landing in Ukraine

Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff make their way off the plane after landing in Ukraine

Earlier on Thursday Virgil van Dijk had whistled his way into John Lennon Airport on as Liverpool’s players showed no sign of nerves ahead of the Champions League final. 

The players had earlier driven themselves to Melwood for a training session, before they dropped their cars off and boarded a coach to the airport wearing trendy training gear.

Midfielder Emre Can has been included in the club’s 24-man squad for this weekend’s big game.

It could be the last time the Germany international, who has regained full fitness having been sidelined with a back injury since late March, features for Liverpool as his contract expires next month and he has so far turned down all offers of an extension.

The Liverpool manager was handed traditional Ukrainian gifts upon his arrival

The Liverpool manager was handed traditional Ukrainian gifts upon his arrival

The Liverpool manager was handed traditional Ukrainian gifts upon his arrival

Star man Mohamed Salah also posed for pictures on the runway at Mizhnarodnyy Aeroport

Star man Mohamed Salah also posed for pictures on the runway at Mizhnarodnyy Aeroport

Star man Mohamed Salah also posed for pictures on the runway at Mizhnarodnyy Aeroport

Youngsters Curtis Jones, Nat Phillips and Rafael Camacho are also included in the party. 

They will hold an hour-long open training session in the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Friday evening after Jurgen Klopp and two players have sat for their pre-match press conference. 

And the Liverpool boss is pleased with how preparations have gone ahead of Saturday’s final. 

‘It’s been very good – very, very, very good as you can imagine,’ Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com on board the team flight to Kiev. 

Captain Jordan Henderson disembarks the plane after flying out from Liverpool John Lennon

Captain Jordan Henderson disembarks the plane after flying out from Liverpool John Lennon

Captain Jordan Henderson disembarks the plane after flying out from Liverpool John Lennon

Virgil van Dijk strides onto the tarmac after arriving in Kiev on Thursday evening

Virgil van Dijk strides onto the tarmac after arriving in Kiev on Thursday evening

Virgil van Dijk strides onto the tarmac after arriving in Kiev on Thursday evening

‘The mood is positive, the attitude is brilliant, the training… it would be crazy if it was not fantastic.

‘[We are] very excited in the most positive way; we’re really looking forward to it. We’ve had a few meetings, good sessions, all what we wanted to do. Now, two days left and all good. 

‘The weather has been really good in Liverpool as well, so it’s been a very special week so far.’

Adam Lallana (right) will boost Liverpool's options in Kiev after returning to full fitness

Adam Lallana (right) will boost Liverpool's options in Kiev after returning to full fitness

Adam Lallana (right) will boost Liverpool’s options in Kiev after returning to full fitness

Advertisement


Lee Charnley reveals gamble Newcastle made to win promotion back to Premier League

Newcastle United are now reaping the reward after revealing they took the biggest gamble in Championship history and say they would have spent years outside the Premier League had they failed to win immediate promotion.

In a rare interview – and with what serves as a warning to relegated clubs – managing director Lee Charnley invited Sportsmail into the St James’ Park boardroom to pore over the latest accounts and explain the extent to which they rolled the dice and the implications had they not gone up under Rafa Benitez, who was backed with £55million in transfers and a wage bill of £80.3m.

‘It would have been a catastrophe, a bloodbath,’ stated Charnley. ‘The manager would likely have gone. This was a one-season gamble from his view as well.

Newcastle are now reaping the reward after taking biggest gamble in Championship history

Newcastle are now reaping the reward after taking biggest gamble in Championship history

Newcastle are now reaping the reward after taking biggest gamble in Championship history

Managing director Lee Charnley invited Sportsmail to pore over the latest accounts

Managing director Lee Charnley invited Sportsmail to pore over the latest accounts

Managing director Lee Charnley invited Sportsmail to pore over the latest accounts

‘Some of the players would have wanted to go. Matt Ritchie, for example, bought into this on the basis of, “One year in the Championship then I am going to the Premier League”.

‘And then we would have had Financial Fair Play. You cannot operate a business continually that has a wage bill higher than its turnover, it’s not sustainable.

‘We’d have had no choice but to recruit Championship players. Three teams then come down with more money than you and you end up on this cycle of trying to catch them. You have to reset financially. It would have taken years to get out of the Championship.’

Charnley, though, says the exceptional management of Benitez and support of owner Mike Ashley meant a mass cull of players and staff was avoided.

The club remains in talks with the Spaniard over committing to next season and, given their financial stability on the back of finishing 10th this month, it is thought an agreement will be reached. Both parties are said to share an ambition to challenge in the top half of the Premier League and they are planning on the assumption Ashley will be owner, Amanda Staveley having been dismissed as a viable buyer.

Accounts for 2016/17 filed this week reveal that Newcastle’s wage bill in the Championship actually increased by £6m to a Football League record of £80.3m, some £20m more than the second highest at Aston Villa and enough to put them around 12th in the Premier League for that season.

Charnley explained  the extent to which they rolled the dice and the implications had they not gone up under Rafa Benitez (R)

Charnley explained  the extent to which they rolled the dice and the implications had they not gone up under Rafa Benitez (R)

Charnley explained  the extent to which they rolled the dice and the implications had they not gone up under Rafa Benitez (R)

They spent £55m on 12 signings and, while sizeable fees were recouped for Moussa Sissoko (£30m) and Gini Wijnaldum (£25m), the payment of those deals over several years meant just £44m was received on total sales.

The club were struggling to meet running costs in December and Ashley made another interest-free loan of £15m, taking his lending to £144m. They finished the campaign with a pre-tax loss of £47m.

But Charnley traces the decision to ‘put all their chips on the table’ back to the final day of the relegation season when Newcastle beat Spurs 5-1 in front of Ashley, who made a bee-line for Benitez after full-time.

Charnley says the exceptional management of Benitez and support of owner Mike Ashley (pictured) meant a mass cull of players and staff was avoided

Charnley says the exceptional management of Benitez and support of owner Mike Ashley (pictured) meant a mass cull of players and staff was avoided

Charnley says the exceptional management of Benitez and support of owner Mike Ashley (pictured) meant a mass cull of players and staff was avoided

‘There should have been a negativity around the club given what had gone before,’ said Charnley. ‘It was surreal watching us beat a team who were going for second place and beat them like we did.

‘We had planned a conversation with the manager after the game. The thinking could have been, “We have to scale back because the revenues have gone down”, whereas Mike was, “We are going for it”.

‘We talked through the game, “If we could get the manager to stay, get off to a decent start, fans behind you, you build momentum and it can develop a life of its own”.

‘So Mike’s priority was to keep Rafa. He said, “I am going to leave you two to get on with it, I’m going to support you and, come next year, I do not want to be in this league”.’

Newcastle won immediate promotion back to the Premier League in the 2016-17 campaign

Newcastle won immediate promotion back to the Premier League in the 2016-17 campaign

Newcastle won immediate promotion back to the Premier League in the 2016-17 campaign

There was tension in January when Benitez wanted to re-sign Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace for £12m but the cash in the bank was not there to do the deal. Newcastle tried to come to a loan arrangement with an obligation to buy if promoted, but they were also mindful of being left with a £70,000-per-week player in the Championship.

‘It’s not like we’re sat on a big pot of cash keeping it for a rainy day,’ said Charnley. ‘Money comes in, money goes out and what’s left is available to spend, it’s that simple.’

Newcastle went on to win the title – prize money was just £50,000 – and promotion bonuses of £10m were paid. Charnley, though, did not accept his own.

‘In simple terms, I accept my share of the responsibility for us going down,’ he said. ‘Steve McClaren was my appointment. Given the owner’s approach in terms of supporting the manager, me and the club, it just didn’t fit.’

There is no trophy cabinet in the oak-furnished room in which we sat this week. It will be 50 years next season since the club last lifted silverware.

Benitez was backed with £55million in transfers and a wage bill of £80.3m during that season

Benitez was backed with £55million in transfers and a wage bill of £80.3m during that season

Benitez was backed with £55million in transfers and a wage bill of £80.3m during that season

But Charnley revealed: ‘The players are now hugely incentivised when it comes to the cup competitions. We’ve made our view clear on the cups in the past but now – and we’ve said this to Rafa – it’s, “Have a go, try and win a cup”.’

For Newcastle to achieve that – and to challenge the European places – they will need Benitez at the club.

Charnley could not speak any higher of the manager, but he has also warned that progress must be gradual.

‘This year was about staying in the Premier League and now it’s about growing and improving year on year, but doing that within our means,’ he said.

‘Thats not to say there is a lack of ambition, because there definitely is ambition, it will just take some time.’

Club remains in talks with Benitez over committing to next season after securing 10th this year

Club remains in talks with Benitez over committing to next season after securing 10th this year

Club remains in talks with Benitez over committing to next season after securing 10th this year

Of the manager, he added: ‘He, and the talented staff around him, are incredibly professional, meticulous and focussed. We have seen the benefit of that.

‘What Rafa has certainly done is improve the group of players on a whole. I look at Jamaal Lascelles from when he came in and he’s made huge strides.

‘We have got a group now who have an incredible spirit, work ethic and a real togetherness.

‘If you look to improve going forward, it’s a real fight to get the balance between improving the quality of the individuals and also retaining that team ethic. To find the two is not always easy – and potentially very expensive.’

Having taken a leap of faith in the Championship, it is now about small steps in the Premier League.

England stars lift weights in the gym and train as ahead of World Cup

England’s first World Cup preparation camp is over with Gareth Southgate and his players now heading off for a few days’ downtime after a week of hard work.

Southgate stepped up the intensity on Thursday as he put his men through their paces at St George’s Park and also tested his players’ conditioning with a hard gym session. 

Southgate, who worked with 16 of the 23 selected at Burton this week, wanted to make the most of his time with the players as he looks to keep them ticking over ahead of their first of two warm-up matches against Nigeria on June 2 before their World Cup campaign kicks-off against Tunisia sixteen days later.

England stars Dele Alli and Danny Rose took it in turns to work out with a heavy bench bar during Thursday's session

England stars Dele Alli and Danny Rose took it in turns to work out with a heavy bench bar during Thursday's session

England stars Dele Alli and Danny Rose took it in turns to work out with a heavy bench bar during Thursday’s session

England defender Rose strains as he works hard in the gym during a challenging exercise at St George's Park

England defender Rose strains as he works hard in the gym during a challenging exercise at St George's Park

England defender Rose strains as he works hard in the gym during a challenging exercise at St George’s Park

Alli takes a short breather after working on various strength and conditioning exercises on Thursday afternoon

Alli takes a short breather after working on various strength and conditioning exercises on Thursday afternoon

Alli takes a short breather after working on various strength and conditioning exercises on Thursday afternoon

10 England players, included newly-appointed captain Harry Kane work out on execrising bikes ahead of the World Cup

10 England players, included newly-appointed captain Harry Kane work out on execrising bikes ahead of the World Cup

10 England players, included newly-appointed captain Harry Kane work out on execrising bikes ahead of the World Cup

Dele Alli and Danny Rose, who are both expected to play a key part for England in this summer’s tournament, paired up and took it in turns to work on various muscle-building exercises with a heavy bench bar.

Southgate also had players work out on a exercise bike, including newly-appointed captain for the tournament Harry Kane, with groups of 10 switching around at regular intervals.

Jack Butland, who is likely to compete with Jordan Pickford for the No 1 jersey at the World Cup, was also working hard in the gym and was pictured using Olympic rings during the session.

The England boss also tested his players out on the pitch as he looks to gain a better understanding of who could feature in his starting XI at the tournament.

England goalkeeper Jack Butland was also pictured using Olympic rings during the tough session

England goalkeeper Jack Butland was also pictured using Olympic rings during the tough session

England goalkeeper Jack Butland was also pictured using Olympic rings during the tough session

Butland will be hoping his hard work in the gym will help him win the No 1 jersey for the World Cup in Russia this summer

Butland will be hoping his hard work in the gym will help him win the No 1 jersey for the World Cup in Russia this summer

Butland will be hoping his hard work in the gym will help him win the No 1 jersey for the World Cup in Russia this summer

Defender Harry Maguire also used the heavy bench bar to work out during the training session with the England squad

Defender Harry Maguire also used the heavy bench bar to work out during the training session with the England squad

Defender Harry Maguire also used the heavy bench bar to work out during the training session with the England squad

Despite the intensity of the gym session and training, the atmosphere in the England camp appeared to be sky high with several players caught laughing and smiling during it. 

The England stars initially focused on passing and went off into little groups to take part in a short passing drill, with Southgate also participating.

They switched the focus to physical aspects afterwards and worked on several other exercises before splitting up into teams and playing in a game-like scenario to finish off the session.

There were some notable omissions the Thursday’s session with Southgate still missing a few key members of his squad due to cup final commitments.

Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young, Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Gary Cahill will not join up with Southgate’s men until Saturday after they competed in the FA Cup final. 

The atmosphere in the camp appeared to be high with Kane caught sharing a joke with team-mate Raheem Sterling

The atmosphere in the camp appeared to be high with Kane caught sharing a joke with team-mate Raheem Sterling

The atmosphere in the camp appeared to be high with Kane caught sharing a joke with team-mate Raheem Sterling

England trio Alli, Kane and Sterling all had a little natter with each other during a short interval in the session

England trio Alli, Kane and Sterling all had a little natter with each other during a short interval in the session

England trio Alli, Kane and Sterling all had a little natter with each other during a short interval in the session

Gareth Southgate had more of his men work on their conditioning by working out on the exercise bike

Gareth Southgate had more of his men work on their conditioning by working out on the exercise bike

Gareth Southgate had more of his men work on their conditioning by working out on the exercise bike

Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson will also be given an extended break as they will represent Liverpool in Saturday’s Champions League final.

Fellow back-up players James Tarkowski and Jake Livermore have been training with the squad at St George’s Park this week, as have unselected Nathaniel Chalobah, Mason Mount and Angus Gunn.

Stand-by goalkeeper Tom Heaton will replace Gunn in the training group on Saturday, whereas Lewis Cook is heading to Toulon with the England Under-21s.

The next stage of preparation camp will take in the Wembley friendly against Nigeria on June 2 and final warm-up match against Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7.

Another break will follow that match ahead of the squad heading out to their base in Repino near St Petersburg on June 12.

Kieran Trippier and Rose battle it out as they compete for the ball during the training session at St Geroge's Park

Kieran Trippier and Rose battle it out as they compete for the ball during the training session at St Geroge's Park

Kieran Trippier and Rose battle it out as they compete for the ball during the training session at St Geroge’s Park

England boss Southgate shares a joke with his players in a brief meeting with them on the training pitch

England boss Southgate shares a joke with his players in a brief meeting with them on the training pitch

England boss Southgate shares a joke with his players in a brief meeting with them on the training pitch

New England captain Kane takes centre stage as he jokes around with his team-mates during the session

New England captain Kane takes centre stage as he jokes around with his team-mates during the session

New England captain Kane takes centre stage as he jokes around with his team-mates during the session

The England players were split up into groups to take part in short passing drills with Southgate also taking part

The England players were split up into groups to take part in short passing drills with Southgate also taking part

The England players were split up into groups to take part in short passing drills with Southgate also taking part

Fabian Delph takes on fellow midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek during a match-game scenario at the end of the session 

Fabian Delph takes on fellow midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek during a match-game scenario at the end of the session 

Fabian Delph takes on fellow midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek during a match-game scenario at the end of the session 

Sly Stallone in ‘knuckle sandwich’ by Lennox Lewis and Deontay Wilder

Sylvester Stallone given a ‘knuckle sandwich’ by heavyweights Lennox Lewis and Deontay Wilder as boxers attend pardoning of Jack Johnson

  • Deontay Wilder, Sylvester Stallone and Lennox Lewis were at the White House
  • Lewis posted a picture of him and Wilder playfully ‘punching’ the Rocky actor 
  • They were there to attend the pardoning of Jack Johnson, former champion

Matthew Smith For Mailonline

Heavyweight champions past and present – and fictional – have gathered at the White House, where US President Donald Trump is set to pardon former boxer Jack Johnson over a century after a terrible miscarriage of justice. 

Among the former boxers in Washington DC on Thursday were British-Canadian world champion Lennox Lewis and current WBC title holder Deontay Wilder

Also present was actor Sylvester Stallone – best known for playing boxer Rocky Balboa in the series of Hollywood films – and he posed for a lighthearted picture with Wilder and Lewis. 

Deontay WIlder, Sylvester Stallone and Lennox Lewis at the White House on Thursday

Deontay WIlder, Sylvester Stallone and Lennox Lewis at the White House on Thursday

Deontay WIlder, Sylvester Stallone and Lennox Lewis at the White House on Thursday

Lewis posted to Instagram the snap of him and Wilder with their fists outstretched, resting on the cheeks of Stallone. It was captioned: ‘Me and WBC champ Bronze Bomber turning Stallone into a knuckle sandwich.’

He also wrote that the three were in DC for the pardoning of former heavyweight champion Johnson, who was convicted in 1913 of transporting a white woman across state lines.

Johnson was jailed for a year for travelling with the woman, Belle Schreiber – with who he was in a relationship – ‘for immoral purposes’.

The boxing heroes are there to attend the pardoning of Jack Johnson, former world champion

The boxing heroes are there to attend the pardoning of Jack Johnson, former world champion

The boxing heroes are there to attend the pardoning of Jack Johnson, former world champion

The conviction of Johnson came at the height of his fame as the first black heavyweight champion – and also amid a time of mass racism in American society. 

His case has become a symbolic miscarriage of justice, and President Trump has promised to officially pardon Johnson, 98 years after he served his prison sentence in 1920.

The World Boxing Council – of which Wilder is current heavyweight champion – have invited numerous big names of the sport to oversee the pardoning. 

Advertisement