Day: January 16, 2011

Keith Haslam Reneges On Verbal Agreement, Say Mansfield Town

It felt too good to be true. We reported last month on Keith Haslam’s decision to evict Mansfield Town from their Field Mill ground and on the subsequent agreement which allowed them to return to the ground before the matter became an issue that could seriously threaten their existence. With a public statement left on the club’s official website this afternoon, however, it becomes clear that this matter is not resolved to anything like the extent that it should be by now and that Haslam, who seems fated to return to our attention time and time again as something approaching a pantomime villain, is reneging on a verbal agreement that he reached with the new owners of the club. It was exactly a month ago that Mansfield Town reached agreement with Haslam over the future of the club’s tenure at Field Mill. At the meeting, it was agreed that the club would return to their ground providing a payment was made in full for a reduced rental rate to cover the rest of this season as well as an ex gratia payment to be made of £2,000 to cover Haslam’s legal costs in getting the lease re-written. Mansfield Town claim, however, that these weren’t the only clauses that were agreed when verbal agreement was reached, and it is the small matter of how Field Mill came to be under...

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Match Of The Week: Liverpool 2-2 Everton

Whatever optimism may have been brought about amongst the red half of Liverpool by the appointment of Kenny Dalglish and Liverpool’s performance at Old Trafford last weekend, the fervour quietened just a little during the week at Bloomfield Road, when a performance as insipid as anything seen under Roy Hodgson saw them capitulate to Blackpool for the second time this season. Today, however, is the Merseyside derby – an altogether different kettle of fish and and opportunity to exorcise another of this season’s demons, a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park that was accompanied by a performance as poor as anything that Liverpool supporters have seen in recent years. The ongoing soap opera at Anfield has, to a certain extent, masked the fact that this has also been a disappointing season for Everton. The go into the match in twelfth place in the Premier League table, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference, but the difference between the reaction of the two clubs has been marked. While Anfield has been engulfed with near-hysterical grief that has left most attempts at parody looking like understatement, Goodison Park has seen this season accompanied by a soundtrack of little more than the gnashing of teeth and the occasional anguished wail. They took until the start of October to register their first win of the season, but consistency continues to remain elusive for Everton as...

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The 2011 Asian Cup: The Story So Far

So they had us all fooled. Qatar may have displayed what Martin Walker in the Daily Mail pinpoint-accurately described as “pub-team awfulness” in losing their opening AFC Asian Cup game to Uzbekistan. But it was all a ruse. They are good after all. And you might as well give them the 2022 World Cup now. The trophy, as well as the tournament. Yusef Ahmed bagged a brace for the hosts as they outmuscled a China side whose long-ball game was made to look very ugly indeed. Yusef’s second goal was one of the many deflected efforts in this tournament to date – most of them, in fact, for a good few games. But his first was a cracker, a piece of thigh control and a 20-yard volley that even he hadn’t predicted. Indeed, after two sets of group games, the Asian Cup has provided little of the sterile predictability of most major international tournament group stages (not to mention the unwatchably tedious UEFA Champions League groups) and plenty to occupy the mind, even if it is clearly a tournament of mostly mid-table FIFA-ranked nations. The presence of the Indian team as something of a wild card has been a godsend to the goals-per-game ratio. Not only because they’ve shipped nine in two games but also because they biffed a couple in themselves against Bahrain, which was nice to see....

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