Daniel Sturridge: Former Liverpool striker should be BANNED FOR LIFE for breaching betting rules, Simon Jordan tells talkSPORT

19 Jul

Simon Jordan has backed the Football Association’s decision to appeal against Daniel Sturridge’s punishment for breaching betting rules – saying the former Liverpool striker should be banned from football for LIFE.

Shortly after Sturridge was hit with a £75,000 fine and a six-week ban, four of which were suspended, by an independent regulatory commission, the FA announced they would push for a tougher punishment as the 26-cap England international had used ‘cynical determination’ to help others place bets.

They added in a statement that anything shorter than a six-month ban for the player would ‘wholly fail to reflect the gravity of the case’.

Sturridge’s punishment, handed out after nine of 11 charges were dismissed, means he pays back less than one week’s worth of his reported wage at Liverpool – while he is free to resume playing football on July 31.

As four weeks of Sturridge’s ban have been suspended he can return to playing football before the start of next month
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Some of the dismissed charges alleged Sturridge, who is currently a free agent, passed on information about possible moves to Inter Milan and West Brom – the club he eventually joined on loan in January 2018.

Jordan says Sturridge’s breaches of betting regulations go entirely against the ‘integrity’ of football – and he claims the punishment he was handed comes nowhere near fitting the crime.

“It goes to the integrity of the sport,” said Jordan on Friday’s Jim White show. “It’s beyond reproach and there can be no justification for it.

“I think the FA are absolutely right – they should throw the book at this kid!

“The fact he is allegedly providing information to a member of his family about a loan move… I know it’s allegedly because we are not across the facts, but there is some element of people taking this seriously.

“He’s either guilty or he’s not guilty, and if he’s been found guilty he should be hit with the hardest and most strident penalties that take him out of football for a far longer period of time than two weeks.”

Asked what punishment would fit the crime, Jordan replied: “In my view, I think people like that who are found guilty should be banned for life.

“They are compromising the integrity of the sport.

“In this instance I think he is breaching the covenant, the undertaking, the unwritten understanding that sport has integrity.

Sturridge allegedly passed on information about possible moves to Inter and West Brom – the club he eventually joined
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“And if he’s doing that he should suffer the consequences of it, for the love of God!

“I’ve always thought fining people money was some sort of draconian thing only related to football. There should be consequences, and the biggest consequence is you no longer get to participate in this sport.

“You have compromised the values of this sport, and for that, that is your lot.

“Everybody knows you cannot give somebody an inside indication of your move, or the events unfolding ahead of a game.”

After his punishment was announced on Thursday, Sturridge said: “I am pleased that nine of the 11 charges were dismissed and that the panel found me to be an honest and credible witness, and that my actions on one particularly difficult day were out of character.

Simon Jordan says Sturridge deserves the harshest possible punishment for destroying football’s integrity
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“The case was heard over seven days by a distinguished panel, which resulted in a lengthy and carefully considered decision, and followed an extensive investigation by the FA. It is therefore extremely disappointing to hear that the FA will be appealing this decision. I will continue to defend the case and the appeal.

“I am training hard and fully focused on the upcoming football season.”

Christian Eriksen transfer: Tottenham midfielder would ‘slot into Liverpool’s team’, Dean Saunders tells talkSPORT

19 Jul

Former Liverpool striker Dean Saunders has suggested Liverpool could move for Christian Eriksen as he’d make them ‘more productive’.

Eriksen, the Tottenham midfielder, revealed he wants to leave north London earlier this summer after six years with Spurs.

Manchester United and Real Madrid have both been linked with him, though Eriksen was forced to return to pre-season training with Tottenham last week as no one has bid for him as of yet.

Eriksen is currently on Tottenham’s pre-season tour despite admitting his desire to leave
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He has even flown out to Singapore for Spurs’ pre-season tour, with a match against Juventus to take place on Sunday before the north Londoners play Man United next Thursday in Shanghai, China.

As of now it appears Eriksen will be remaining with Tottenham – though with just under three weeks to go before the transfer window closes there is more than enough time for his exit to be agreed.

And Saunders suggested Liverpool could be a good destination for the 27-year-old on Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

While discussing how the Reds could spend their transfer budget this summer, the ex-striker said: “[They could] spend it maybe… I think Eriksen could slot into Liverpool’s team; somebody like Eriksen.

“That type of player who will make their midfield a bit more productive.”

Eriksen last month announced in an interview in his homeland that leaving Tottenham before the start of the new season was on his mind.

“I feel that I am a place in my career where I might want to try something new,” he told Ekstra Bladet.

“I have the wildest and deepest respect for everything that has happened at Tottenham – I will not be negative. But I have also said that I would like to try something new.

Christian Eriksen trained alone in Singapore – but only because he needs to build up his fitness
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“I hope there will be a resolution during the summer. That’s the plan.

“In football you do not know when a resolution will happen. It can happen anytime. Everyone wants the best to it to happen as soon as possible, but in football takes things time.”

Real Madrid are said to want Eriksen as an alternative to Paul Pogba, while Man United have been linked with signing him to replace Pogba should the France star move to the Bernabeu.

Paddy Power confirm shirt sponsor WAS fake and Huddersfield’s kits will have NO sponsor on them this season

19 Jul

Paddy Power have confirmed their sash sponsor on Huddersfield Town’s kits for the 2019/20 season were FAKE – and the Terriers will instead bear NO sponsor this term.

As part of the #SaveOurShirt campaign, Huddersfield and Paddy Power are backing a return to unbranded football shirts as a way to return kits to the fans.

The bookmaker released a video on Twitter confirming the initially released kit was a prank, and that they are, in fact, un-sponsoring Huddersfield for the new campaign.

Huddersfield later released images of the jersey, which is the same as previously seen but without the Paddy Power sash.

The true shirt was unveiled on Friday morning
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The home shirt bears the famous light blue and white stripes, while the away jersey is plain dark blue all over, with light blue and white detailing on the sleeves.

The away kit also bears no sponsor as part of the #SaveOurShirt campaign
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Sean Jarvis, Huddersfield’s commercial director, said: “We’re happy to support Paddy Power’s ‘Save Our Shirt’ campaign with the launch of our actual 2019/20 home kit this morning.

“It has been a very interesting two days’ since the original launch on Wednesday, which we expected, but we’ve always had in mind that our supporters would understand, and really like the real kit when it was properly revealed today.

The initial design was unveiled earlier this week
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And Huddersfield actually WORE the shirt during their pre-season friendly at Rochdale

“We’re really happy with this kit, which is unique in modern-day football. I’d like to thank Paddy Power, Umbro and everyone else involved in the kit for their hard work towards today.”

Paddy Power’s managing director, Victor Corcoran, added: “Shirt sponsorship in football has gone too far. We accept that there is a role for sponsors around football, but the shirt should be sacred.

“So today we are calling on other sponsors to join the Save Our Shirt campaign, and give something back to the fans.

“As a sponsor, we know our place, and it’s not on your shirt.”

Salomon Rondon: West Brom forward reunites with former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez as Dalian Yifang transfer is confirmed

19 Jul

Salomon Rondon has left West Brom to join Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, the Championship club have confirmed.

Rondon, the Venezuela forward, reunites with former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez in the Far East, having worked under the Spaniard during a loan spell at St James’ Park last season.

A West Brom statement read: “Salomon Rondon has today joined Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang for an undisclosed fee.

“The Venezuela international will be teaming up with Rafa Benitez, who led Newcastle United during his loan spell at St James’ Park last season.

“Rondon arrived at The Hawthorns in the summer of 2015 and made 120 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 28 goals.

“The Club wishes Salomon and his family all the very best in the future.”

Rondon played 33 times for Newcastle last season and ended the season as their second leading goalscorer, behind Ayoze Perez, with 12 strikes in all competitions.

The 29-year-old was also named the club’s player of the season

Rondon first moved to English football in 2015, when West Brom bought him from Zenit Saint Petersburg for a club-record £12million.

He spent just a year with Zenit after a spell with their Russian rivals Rubin Kazan, after four years in Spain with Las Palmas then Malaga.

Salomon Rondon: West Brom forward reunites with former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez as Dalian Yifang transfer is confirmed

19 Jul

Salomon Rondon has left West Brom to join Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, the Championship club have confirmed.

Rondon, the Venezuela forward, reunites with former Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez in the Far East, having worked under the Spaniard during a loan spell at St James’ Park last season.

A West Brom statement read: “Salomon Rondon has today joined Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang for an undisclosed fee.

“The Venezuela international will be teaming up with Rafa Benitez, who led Newcastle United during his loan spell at St James’ Park last season.

“Rondon arrived at The Hawthorns in the summer of 2015 and made 120 appearances for the Baggies, scoring 28 goals.

“The Club wishes Salomon and his family all the very best in the future.”

Rondon played 33 times for Newcastle last season and ended the season as their second leading goalscorer, behind Ayoze Perez, with 12 strikes in all competitions.

The 29-year-old was also named the club’s player of the season

Rondon first moved to English football in 2015, when West Brom bought him from Zenit Saint Petersburg for a club-record £12million.

He spent just a year with Zenit after a spell with their Russian rivals Rubin Kazan, after four years in Spain with Las Palmas then Malaga.

Rangers transfer news: Liam Ridgewell open to offers as talkSPORT host Jim White reveals Gers interest

18 Jul

Liam Ridgewell is open to all offers which may come his way amid interest from Scottish giants Rangers.

Ridgewell, the former Aston Villa and Birmingham defender, is currently a free agent having left Hull at the end of last season after just six months at the KCOM Stadium.

His recent career has taken in loan spells with Wigan and Brighton while on the books of American side Portland Timbers, with whom the 34-year-old won the MLS Cup in 2015.

Ridgewell is on the lookout for a new club ahead of the 2019/20 season
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The former England youth international joined talkSPORT on Thursday to discuss his future, with Ridgewell intending to continue playing rather than hanging up his boots despite his age.

And mid-morning host Jim White revealed while speaking to Ridgewell that Rangers are keen on the centre-back, having heard from sources of his that Steven Gerrard has him on his radar.

“One or two people have told me,” Jim said, “I’ve heard from a couple of sources that Gerrard and Rangers would be interested in you.

“Is that something you’d entertain at this stage of your career?”

And Ridgewell replied: “I’d entertain anything that comes my way.

“I’m open to listening to offers and speaking [to clubs], and trying to find out where the club is going and what their ambitions are, and whether they line up with myself.

“That’s the main thing for me, being 34; I want to go into management, I want to go into coaching, so I want to try and make sure I’m stepping to a place where I can help myself along with that.”

Beginning his career at Aston Villa, Ridgewell made just shy of 100 appearances before transferring to their local rivals Birmingham in 2007.

He spent five years with Blues, and played the full 90 minutes when they famously beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final.

A three-year spell with West Brom followed before Ridgewell switched to MLS, and he remains on the lookout for a new club heading into the new season.

Matthijs de Ligt: Juventus announce signing of Ajax defender for £67.5million

18 Jul

Juventus have signed Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax in a deal worth £67.5million, the Italian club have confirmed.

De Ligt leaves his homeland to sign a five-year deal with the Serie A champions, and become their sixth signing of the summer.

Juventus released a statement to confirm the signing on Thursday morning.

“Juventus Football Club SpA announces that it has reached an agreement with Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax NV for the definitive acquisition of the registration rights of the player Matthijs de Ligt for a fee of € 75 million payable in five years over accessory charges for € 10.5 million,” the statement read.

“Juventus signed a five-year performance contract with the same player until June 30, 2024.”

More follows.

Jesse Lingard Snapchat video: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer disciplines Manchester United midfielder over obscene social media post

17 Jul

Jesse Lingard has been disciplined by Manchester United for the obscene video he posted on social media last month.

Lingard, the England midfielder, has been dealt with internally by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who told his players they cannot be spoon-fed either on the pitch or in real life.

Lingard remained in the public eye throughout the off-season because of his social media presence
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The obscene video, which was shared by Lingard on social media platform Snapchat, led to much criticism of the 26-year-old.

It was filmed during an off-season holiday in Miami, with Lingard, Marcus Rashford and former Man United youth player Ro-Shaun Williams joined by their friend Jamal Branker.

Branker was seen in the video simulating a sex act on a bed, and Lingard was widely slammed for choosing to upload the footage despite the lewd content.

Fans hit out at the midfielder on talkSPORT when the video emerged, while Ian Holloway claimed Manchester United should SACK Lingard for bringing shame on the club.

It was reported at the time that Lingard would be internally disciplined by United chiefs for the video, and Solskjaer confirmed this has now taken place.

“That has been dealt with internally,” Solskjaer said during the club’s pre-season tour of Australia. “I am old-school, old-fashioned, quite big on discipline and self-discipline.

“I can’t spoon-feed these players, they have got to do it themselves.



“I have had many years at this club and I have seen which players have been successful. You have got to be a strong character to play here. It is not like I can tell them to pass from A to B, to C to D. They have to make their own decisions, and in life as well.”

Solskjaer has told his players they cannot rely on others for guidance on the pitch or in their personal lives
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Lingard played the first half of United’s opening pre-season match, a 2-0 defeat of Perth Glory. The Red Devils continue their preparations for the new campaign this afternoon with a clash against fierce rivals Leeds United in the Australian city’s Optus Stadium.

Steve Bruce: Newcastle United confirm appointment of new manager to succeed Rafael Benitez

17 Jul

Steve Bruce has been appointed Newcastle United’s new manager, the Premier League club have confirmed.

Bruce succeeds Rafa Benitez at St James’ Park having signed a three-year deal with the Tyneside club following his departure from Sheffield Wednesday.

The 58-year-old, who grew up in Wallsend, said: “I’m delighted and incredibly proud to be appointed as head coach of Newcastle United. This is my boyhood club and it was my dad’s club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.

“There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it’s one that my staff and I are ready for. We’ll roll our sleeves up and we’ll be giving it everything from the off to ensure supporters have a successful team that they can be proud of.”