Weghorst’s unconvincing body double
Sky Sports has a thing or two to learn when it comes to subterfuge. When Manchester United’s starting XI was shown on screen for their match at Crystal Palace, new signing Wout Weghorst was shown in United colors for the first time. Only, while the head was Weghorst’s, the body clearly belonged to someone else, someone much shorter than the 6-foot-5 forward and wearing Nike boots instead of the forward’s preferred adidas.
The failure caused bewilderment at United, whose officials had provided all the material Sky needed in advance. Sky replied that the images must be captured by themselves and that there was no time to do so. They refused to reveal whose body they used. Some joked that, given the difference in size, it could have been Juan Mata… and the mystery impostor was back before United’s loss to Arsenal yesterday.
Sky Sports used a poor body double for Wout Weghorst when they couldn’t get his photos
Staveley ready to call out toon on media access
Newcastle United director Amanda Staveley is the big name in the Premier League’s new internal broadcast and access task force.
The Rights, Access and Facilities Framework (RAFF) group has been brought together by the league to assess club digital rights, Premier League promotional rights and what has been a sticking point Eternal: The broadcaster’s access to managers and players.
Eager to get involved, Staveley is one of six executives who will also assess criteria for the stadium and media facilities.
Amanda Staveley is among those who will decide on future Premier League media access
The list also includes Arsenal’s commercial director Juliet Slot and Manchester United’s new head of communications Ellie Norman, with the rest made up of representatives from Brighton, Leicester and Manchester City.
The RAFF will meet for the first time in the coming weeks before providing an update at the next shareholders’ meeting in February.
The city probe is now an unsolved case
The Premier League investigation into Manchester City risks dragging on so long that key agitators will no longer be involved in football when it reaches its conclusion.
It has long been known that Manchester United and Liverpool were among the voices calling for action against the champions and were thought to be key to a 2020 bid, revealed by Sportsmail, to see City kicked out of the Champions League. .
However, both are up for sale, and with speculation about new investment from sovereign wealth funds, it remains to be seen if the new owners will have the same thirst for blue blood.
Those who wanted action against Man City have turned away from football in recent years.
Brady’s ties to Kretinsky questioned
The release of West Ham’s accounts showed vice-chairman Karren Brady had doubled her annual salary to a whopping £2.24m.
At the time, Hammers insiders said the payment included a £1 million bonus in recognition of the Apprentice star’s role in bringing billionaire investor Daniel Kretinsky to the table.
To say that the claim raised eyebrows is an understatement. It is widely believed that the key players in bringing in the Czech billionaire, who owns 27 per cent of the club and is expected to complete a takeover at a later date, were actually a well-known UK agent with close ties to David Sullivan, and a Czech counterpart who has been very close to Kretinsky for years.
West Ham’s Karren Brady’s annual salary increased to £2.24m, including a £1m bonus payment
Hard concert in the Spurs
As tough gigs go, this one takes a few hits. Tottenham, which on Saturday saw 60 fans stage a protest against their ENIC owners and chairman Daniel Levy at the training ground in Enfield, is looking for a Supporters Liaison Executive.
The successful applicant will “help represent their (the fans’) voice within the club.” It is noted that candidates must be ‘able to deal with difficult situations faced by supporters with sensitivity and professionalism’, although the need for a tough skin is strangely not mentioned.
Panicked Premier League officials have targeted Thursday for when they expect the dreaded white paper on soccer’s independent regulator to be published. But Whitehall sources told Sports Agenda that D-Day likely won’t arrive until next month.
MCC members were shocked to find the digital quiz asking them which minor games should be scrapped at Lord’s, sparked by the fallout from their now overturned decision to cancel the Harrow v Eton and Oxford v Cambridge clashes, could be completed as many times as possible . they liked it and sent others to complete.
Amid claims of another error, MCC officials say each link had a unique URL, which meant only one result per member was recorded.
MCC officials said there was no problem with multiple votes on plans for the games at Lord’s.
Reports coming out of India suggesting that cricket failed to make the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic program may be a bit premature. The speculation has been met with a deafening silence from the organizers of the IOC, ICC and LA28. Some industry insiders feel there might be mischief afoot.
West Brom boss meets fans
Concerned West Bromwich fans were given a hearing with the club’s CEO last week following numerous protests over ownership of the Baggies.
Albion boss Ron Gourlay met Action For Albion, who have been highlighting problems, including current owner Guochuan Lai, who twice defaulted on a multi-million dollar loan made by the club to one of his companies.
Gourlay assured the group that he expects the loan to be repaid, but more reports have emerged casting doubt on Lai’s ability to do so and his ties to the organization, Wisdom Smart Corporation, which received the loan in the first place.
This comes in the week that Sandwell Council granted a ‘community asset status’ order to protect the Hawthorns from a quick sale. The Albion ground is secured with a £20m loan secured by the club from MSD Holdings. One to watch…
West Bromwich Albion boss Ron Gourlay met with Action For Albion about recent fan protests
Think old columnist friend Roland Wycherley.
Shrewsbury’s 80-year-old chairman, who made a fool of himself at Anfield when his club clashed with Liverpool by repeatedly pretending he mistook Sir Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool legend Ian Rush, raged during a recent clash between the Shrews and Fleetwood when visiting managers they had the temerity to celebrate a goal from their nearby seats.
Wycherley, furious, told them that if they wanted to behave like this, they should sit at the other end.
Roland’s miserable day continued when the Shrews conducted the halftime draw, and the winner was none other than the CEO of Fleetwood. The game ended 3-0 to Fleetwood.
Roland Wycherley angry celebrating Fleetwood directors in Shrewsbury Town
BT Sport for personal ax
Layoffs are on the way at BT Sport, following the creation of a joint venture with Warner Bros Discovery.
There were fears that around 100 staff could be at risk, with the closure of BT’s Stratford studios and a relocation to WBD’s Stockley Park and Chiswick bases on the cards.
However, company insiders say the goal is to achieve far fewer layoffs than that. New roles will be created and they plan to fill each one with existing BT Sport staff. A consultation process has started.
A spokesperson said: “Finding operational efficiencies is critical to staying competitive in a rapidly changing environment.”