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Heather Lea, Denton, Lancashire
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Kings Road, Whalley Range, Manchester
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Firs Athletic Ground, Mosely Road, Fallowfield
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Hacken Lane, Bolton, Lancashire
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Cromwell Road, Salford, Lancashire
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Football News

» Marcelo Bielsa's brother delivers update on his future if Leeds win promotion
Bielsa's contract is due to expire next week when the season ends and Leeds want him to stay for at least another 12 months
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer details Sir Alex Ferguson advice that ‘bugged’ him
The Norwegian played under Fergie before following in his managerial footsteps but the two did not always see eye to eye
» Bale trolls Zidane from the stands again as he's left out of Real Madrid win
Gareth Bale was again left out of Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid starting XI at Granada but still found a way to grab the headlines as he sat in the stands during their 2-1 win
» Clive Tyldesley replaced as main ITV commentator with successor unveiled
Clive Tyldesley will stay with ITV to commentate on major tournaments but will no longer be the station's main football commentator, with Sam Matterface replacing him
» Everything Klopp has said about his Liverpool future from sabbatical to retiring
Jurgen Klopp has signed three contracts with Liverpool, and is set to remain the club's manager until 2024. But what the future holds beyond this is anyone's guess
» Maguire hits out as Man Utd defence falls back into old habits vs Southampton
United looked set to move into third in the Premier League as they held a 2-1 lead in injury-time against Southampton - but slack defending at a corner allowed Michael Obafemi to equalise and leave them in fifth position
» Scholes fumes at 'bullied' Man Utd star after dropped points vs Southampton
The Manchester United legend saw his former side lose ground in their Champions League pursuit, thanks to a 96th minute equaliser by Michael Obafemi at Old Trafford on Monday night
» McClean left with "sour taste" over lack of support after Zaha racism storm
Republic of Ireland international James McClean believes he has received 'more abuse than any other player' - and has hit out at the lack of support he has received
» Gary Neville furious with Greenwood challenge by Romeu: "He's tried to do him"
Manchester United were held to a 2-2 draw by Southampton on Monday night, with Michael Obafemi's 96th minute equaliser dealing the Champions League-chasing Red Devils a blow in their pursuit
» Solskjaer's latest Bruno Fernandes admission sums up the kind of person he is
Manchester United completed the signing of Bruno Fernandes in the January transfer window, snapping up the Portuguese from Sporting Lisbon for a fee of £67million
» Chelsea vs Norwich kick-off time, TV and live stream information
Frank Lampard's Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from Saturday's defeat in the race for a top-four finish. Here's the time, TV channel and live stream information for their match against Norwich
» Henry's comments on Martial are being proved spot on by Fernandes impact
Comparisons have often been drawn between the Manchester United striker and the Arsenal legend and Henry has had a few things to say about Martial
» Bayern Munich could offer Tanguy Ndombele transfer lifeline amid Tottenham woes
The French midfielder has struggled to break into the starting line-up under Jose Mourinho and is said to be growing disillusioned at the club
» Man Utd transfer round-up: Red Devils to rival Chelsea for Declan Rice
The England midfielder is a man in demand at the moment and West Ham may struggle to keep hold of him over the summer
» Chelsea transfer round-up: Onana and Henderson latest as Willian turns down MLS
The Blues are keen on finding a new goalkeeper to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga and are monitoring two options particularly closely
» Arsenal transfer round-up: Gunners eye up Roma's Kluivert and Chelsea's Willian
Kluivert has been impressing for Roma and Mikel Arteta is said to be keen on the idea of bringing him to the Emirates this summer
» Jurgen Klopp sends heartwarming video to Adebayo Akinfenwa as Wycombe promoted
The veteran striker pleaded for the Liverpool manager to get in touch following their win at Wembley and Klopp responded in style
» Stan Collymore: Never mind the b******s! Leeds coming back is music to my ears
The Premier League should welcome Leeds back with open arms if they manage to finally achieve promotion in the coming weeks
» Liverpool transfer round-up: Thiago latest as Reds look to extend Lovren deal
The club are beginning to plan ahead for next season and are expected to make at least one or two shrewd moves in the market this summer
» Harry Maguire's damning assessment of Man Utd teammates after Southampton draw
The Red Devils were left highly frustrated after a 96th minute Michael Obafemi goal saw the Saints snatch a point and prevent United moving up to third place
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slams Oriol Romeu for nasty challenge on Mason Greenwood
The Southampton midfielder could consider himself fortunate to not be sent off for his tackle on the Manchester United youngster in the first-half
» Positives to take in fight against racism despite vile Wilfried Zaha abuse
A 12-year-old was arrested after he sent the Crystal Palace winger a series of abhorrent racist slurs on social media but there is still cause for optimism
» Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fires warning to Man Utd side who "didn't deserve" win
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watched on as his Man Utd side conceded a late goal to draw with Southampton at Old Trafford but urged his players to learn from the experience
» Man Utd stunned by last-gasp Saints strike and blow chance to nail down third
With United looking to have moved up to third with a fifth straight league win, Saints ­plundered a late equaliser through substitute Michael Obafemi
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Other sport news:

» Jordan Pickford's unique talent can still help England despite his slump | Jonathan Liew

The Everton goalkeeper is facing competition for his England jersey but being well suited to international duty may save him

As the shot from Daniel Podence rolled towards the Everton goalline, it was tempting to wonder – in a covid-free parallel universe – how Jordan Pickford might alternatively have been spending Sunday 12 July 2020.

As the ball squirmed between Pickford’s legs, as he scrambled to scrape the ball off the line like a man trying to salvage the remains of his doner kebab from the pavement, it was impossible to ignore the fact that – with all due respect to Wolves and Everton – this tragicomedy could have been unfolding on a far bigger stage. Specifically, how might England fans feel about Pickford – this Pickford – stepping out at Wembley Stadium in the final of Euro 2020?

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» James McClean says he gets more abuse than any other player but no support
  • Stoke winger criticises racist abuse of Zaha and McGoldrick
  • ‘This isn’t a cry for sympathy ... but what is the difference?’

Stoke’s James McClean says he has received “more abuse than any other player” during his nine-year spell in England but has had no support from the football authorities, the media or his Republic of Ireland teammates.

The 31-year-old winger’s comments come after Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha and Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick were subjected to racial abuse online over recent days.

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» Ole Gunnar Solskjær says Manchester United did not deserve to win
  • ‘We never got the rhythm in our passing,’ says United manager
  • Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhüttl says they earned the point

Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted Manchester United were below their best as Southampton’s equaliser in the sixth minute of added time cost them the chance to leapfrog Chelsea and Leicester into third place in the Premier League.

Related: Manchester United stunned by Obafemi as Southampton mix up top-four race

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» Manchester City decision does not mean end of financial fair play | David Conn

Uefa quick to reaffirm its commitment to system it maintains has overwhelmingly improved European football’s finances

In the immediate reaction to the court of arbitration for sport quashing Manchester City’s two-year Champions League ban, there was a view that Uefa’s financial fair play system is finished, after such a thumping defeat for its compliance structures. But given the brief Cas statement that presented an odd conundrum to conclude an extraordinary saga, and Uefa’s response, reports of FFP’s death appear to be an exaggeration.

Cas does appear to have swung a wrecking ball towards the FFP rules and the Uefa structures that govern Europe’s top-flight clubs by agreement, but perhaps not in the way assumed. The three lawyers on the Cas panel did reverse the guilty verdict of Uefa’s club financial control body’s “adjudicatory chamber” (AC), which found City’s owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan, of the Abu Dhabi ruling family, disguised some multimillions of his own funding as independent sponsorships from Abu Dhabi companies. However the circumstances, the Cas finding that City failed to cooperate with, and even obstructed, the investigations of European football’s governing body would normally appear quite damning of a club.

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» Real Madrid edge closer to La Liga title with narrow win over Granada

At the final whistle, there was a scream that echoed around another empty arena in which Real Madrid had won and their players raised their arms. They had been made to suffer, more than they had expected after a seemingly perfect start, but they were safe now, so nearly there.

Two early goals from Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema had been enough – just – to take them to a ninth consecutive win, beating Granada 2-1, and within one victory of winning the title with two games still to go. The longest league will be theirs, secured when it became the shortest: an intense summer tournament in which they never even trailed, let alone lost.

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» Sam Matterface takes up ITV football mic after Clive Tyldesley steps down
  • Tyldesley had spent 22 years as lead commentator
  • Broadcaster will continue to work with the station

Clive Tyldesley is stepping down as ITV’s lead football commentator after 22 years in the position. Tyldesley, who joined from the BBC as an understudy to Brian Moore in 1996, will be replaced by Sam Matterface, but will continue to work with the station.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær says Manchester United did not deserve to win

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» Frank Lampard calls on quiet Chelsea players to make some noise
  • Manager believes team need to be more vocal on the pitch
  • ‘It’s easy to look at talent but you have to look at attitude’

Frank Lampard has admitted Chelsea’s players are too quiet on the pitch and has warned their attitude has to improve with hopes of Champions League qualification on the line.

Lampard was livid after Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United on Saturday and, with fifth place no longer gaining entry to next season’s Champions League following Manchester City’s successful appeal against their European ban, he wants a reaction when Norwich visit Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

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» Joe Jacobson's late penalty sinks Oxford and sends Wycombe to Championship

By the time Gareth Ainsworth lifted the trophy aloft, his open-neck navy shirt was soaked through, saturated from the champagne his Wycombe players showered over him in delirium. They had every reason, too, for Joe Jacobson had scored the winning goal from the penalty spot with 11 minutes remaining to elevate a team tipped for relegation into the second tier for the first time in the club’s 133-year history.

Last week Ainsworth could not help but smile in disbelief as he said the words aloud but Wycombe will be playing in the Championship next season after a gutsy performance edged out Oxford.

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» 'Hello big man': Jürgen Klopp sends message to Wycombe's Akinfenwa after promotion – video

It was a night to remember for a number of reasons for the Wycombe Wanderers forward Adebayo Akinfenwa. Firstly, his side secured promotion to the Championship for the first time in their history after a 2-1 victory against Oxford. And secondly, he received a video message from the Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp. Akinfenwa is a lifelong Liverpool fan and had asked Klopp to 'hit him up in the Whatsapp' in a post-match interview following his team's success

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» Manchester City v Uefa final score: New Money 1 Old Money 0 (aet) | Barney Ronay

Overturning their two-year Champions League ban should not be seen as a reason for celebrating in the streets, but this is football so it probably will be

If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine. If there was ever any doubt that Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed was playing this game to win, such thoughts will have been erased for good by the success of Manchester City’s stunning, potentially transformative appeal against the judicial processes of European football.

This being football, the success of City’s supremely powerful legal team in junking a flawed two-year ban will no doubt be cast in the most binary terms.

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» FA to start interviews for England Women manager role after huge interest
  • Phil Neville leaving the role next summer
  • FA has drawn up shortlist from a total of 142 applicants

The Football Association is set to start interviewing for the role of England Women manager after 79 applicants were deemed to have met the criteria, the Guardian understands.

The FA received a total of 142 applications for the position that targets “winning the World Cup in 2023” and is set to be vacated by Phil Neville at the end of his contract next summer. It is understood the FA has shortlisted from the 79 candidates which meet all requirements, which includes holding an A or pro licence and “an understanding of the different demands of club and international football”.

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» Tottenham Hotspur confirm death of Serge Aurier's brother in Toulouse
  • Christopher Aurier, 26, was also a footballer
  • The death took place in the French city of Toulouse

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed the death of the brother of Serge Aurier in Toulouse.

A club statement read: “The Club is deeply saddened to confirm media reports that Serge Aurier’s brother passed away in the early hours of this morning.”

“We are supporting Serge at this difficult time and we ask that the privacy of the player and his family is respected. Everybody at the club sends their sincerest condolences to Serge and his family. Our thoughts are with them all.”

Christopher Aurier, 26, was a player for Rodéo Toulouse in the French fifth division last season and had played for Racing Club de Lens, Gueugnon, Chantilly and Belgian club Rebecq.

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» Football shirt sponsorship ban for betting companies is 'obvious', says MP
  • New Gambling Act could outlaw shirt deals later this year
  • Carolyn Harris believes it ‘normalises’ gambling to children

Banning betting companies from being front-of-shirt sponsors for football clubs is “one of the most obvious things to do” within the new Gambling Act, the MP Carolyn Harris has said.

Spain’s ministry of consumer affairs is proposing to heavily restrict gambling advertising in the country, and if the proposals are passed into law it could lead to betting company logos disappearing from La Liga clubs’ shirts as early as next season.

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» Manchester United Women sign Spain international Ona Batlle
  • Full-back becomes the club’s second summer signing
  • Brighton bring in forward Katie Robinson from Bristol City

Manchester United have announced the signing of the Spain full-back Ona Batlle from Levante and appointed the former academy coach Martin Ho as assistant to the manager, Casey Stoney.

Batlle, who has signed a two-year deal, is United’s second signing of the transfer window, the England international Lucy Staniforth having been unveiled last week. They have also given one year-contract extensions to Kirsty Hanson, Amy Turner, Jess Sigsworth and Ella Toone.

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» 'It happens every day': Zaha calls on social media companies to act over online racism
  • Sheffield United condemn abuse of David McGoldrick
  • PFA and Kick It Out demand tighter online regulation

The Professional Footballers’ Association and Kick It Out have called for tighter regulation of social media companies after Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick became the latest Premier League player to reveal he has been subjected to racist abuse online.

The Republic of Ireland forward, who scored twice in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Chelsea, wrote “2020 and this is life” as he shared a screengrab of a racist message sent to him. It came less than 24 hours after a 12-year-old boy was arrested by West Midlands police after racist messages were sent to the Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha.

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» Pep Guardiola clear for £150m transfer spend after Manchester City ban lifted
  • Bayern Munich’s David Alaba is prime target in defence
  • Cas ruling enhances chance of keeping key players at City

Pep Guardiola will be handed about £150m to bolster his Manchester City squad after the quashing of the club’s two-year ban from European competition.

The court of arbitration for sport ruled on Monday that Uefa’s decision should be overturned and a €30m (£27m) fine reduced to €10m.

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» Manchester City's Champions League ban lifted by Cas but club fined €10m
  • Cas also reduces City’s fine from €30m to €10m
  • Club have denied wrongdoing throughout

Manchester City’s two-year ban from the Champions League for a serious breach of Uefa’s financial fair play rules has been overturned by the court of arbitration for sport, which also reduced the club’s fine to €10m (£9m) from €30m.

Cas’s panel of three lawyers found that City failed to cooperate with the investigations by Uefa’s club financial control body (CFCB), which oversees FFP compliance, and imposed the €10m fine for that. The panel said City had shown a “disregard” for the principle that clubs must cooperate with a governing body’s investigations, and conducted an “obstruction of the investigations”.

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» Memories of Jack Charlton and Man City's Cas verdict – Football Weekly

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Lars Sivertsen and Mark Langdon pay tribute to former Leeds United and England defender Jack Charlton. Also they react to Manchester City’s Cas verdict, round-up the key talking points from the Premier League and take a look at the Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draw.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

The team start by paying tribute to former Leeds United and England defender Jack Charlton, who died on Friday. Barry in particular looks back at what Charlton did to revolutionise Irish football as manager in the 1980s and 1990s.

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» Don't look now: Ocampos hits the spot to almost seal Sevilla's dream finish | Sid Lowe

A no-look penalty and another Monchi recruitment masterclass leaves Sevilla close to a Champions League return

Lucas Ocampos was looking the other way when Sevilla scored the penalty that virtually secured their return to the Champions League on Sunday evening – and he was the one taking it. The man who had racked up 13 goals and one last-minute save, the forward who had scored one and stopped another just six days earlier – pulling on the goalie top and pulling off a 101st-minute rescue mission – was on the spot again. Bouncing the ball and beaming, if the responsibility was his the appearance belonged to a man without a care in the world. What happened next did, too.

There were a few minutes left until half-time against Mallorca on Sunday when for the fifth time in four games in a single day – twice in Cornellá, twice at Butarque, now once at the Sánchez Pizjuán – someone sitting in a room a long way away had seen a handball. For the 16th time this season, more than any other team ever, Mallorca were facing a penalty. As Ocampos stood waiting to take it, the goalkeeper, Manolo Reina, came up for a chat, laughing and trying to put him off. Sergio Reguilón planted a kiss on his cheek. Éver Banega had a word. And then there was quiet, just the sound of Reina 12 yards away, shouting “Lucas! Lucas!”

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» Norwich find out slick technique can be fool's gold in Premier League | Paul MacInnes

From the heady heights of beating Manchester City it all went downhill for Daniel Farke’s side, with injuries, inexperience and a loss of confidence all significant factors in their demise

When Norwich beat Manchester City 3-2 last September, the Canaries released a piece of content that went viral. A video featuring clips of the team playing their way out from the back, under intense pressure, with sharp angled passes and dextrous movement was watched more than six million times. The caption read: “Beating the press by sticking to our philosophy.”

Since the restart Southampton and Arsenal have pressed Norwich’s backline into goal-conceding errors. Brighton have capitalised on misplaced passes to do the same. Simple goals from crosses, meanwhile – a weakness exploited by Sergio Agüero even on that summer’s evening in Carrow Road – have been plundered by Everton, Watford and, finally, West Ham.

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» Atalanta's distant dream dashed as handball rule checks Serie A charge | Nicky Bandini

It had the potential to blow open the title race but the bold challengers fell foul of Serie A’s strict interpretation of the laws

Atalanta had waited 31 years for this moment. As the clock ticked past 11.30pm on Saturday, they led 2-1 at Juventus in a game that had the potential to blow the Serie A title race open, drawing them to within six points of the league leaders.

To fight for the scudetto was a bonus. A win would be glorious on its own. Atalanta had not beaten the Bianconeri in Turin since 1989, back when Claudio Caniggia was leading their attack and Cesare Prandelli marshallied the midfield. So long ago that Juventus had not even moved into the Stadio delle Alpi yet, let alone the Allianz Stadium that has been their fortress for the past decade.

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» Tottenham win but derby leaves fog of confusion over north London | Jonathan Wilson

Key questions about both sides’ forwards went unanswered in a game where Spurs and Arsenal showed their flaws

After all the optimistic talk, the north-London derby was a sobering reminder for Arsenal of just how much still needs to be done, just how pervasive are the problems Mikel Arteta inherited. And while the victory lifted Tottenham above Arsenal, and for all this in some respects resembled a classic José Mourinho mugging, it was a result that did little to clear the doubts about the manager and his approach.

Spurs won because their defence were less chaotic than Arsenal’s but the picture, really, was of two attacks seeking an identity. At least it was possible to discern a Tottenham attack, which wasn’t the case against Everton or Bournemouth.

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» Playing for Jack Charlton was a joy. He gave us moments we will never forget | Kevin Sheedy

The Ireland camp under Charlton was a place where fools were not suffered, Guinness flowed – and team spirit bloomed

Watching and reading the tributes to Jack Charlton has been very moving. It was sad knowing a great man had passed away. But generally, when I think of Jack it just brings a smile to my face, partly because he gave me some of the best football moments of my life with the Republic of Ireland but also because just being in his company was great.

Related: Jack Charlton obituary

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» Jack Charlton: England World Cup winner dies aged 85 – video obituary

Jack Charlton, a World Cup winner with England and a former Republic of Ireland manager, has died aged 85.

Charlton, the elder brother of Bobby, played 35 times for England as a central defender, including all six matches at the 1966 World Cup. He spent his whole playing career at Leeds United and after retiring as a player became a successful manager. 

He started with Middlesbrough, but is arguably best remembered as a manager for his work with the Republic of Ireland

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» Daniel Farke reflects on Norwich's Premier League relegation – video

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke said 'it was not unexpected' that Norwich City would be relegated from the Premier League  after their 4-0 home defeat to West Ham United confirmed they would be returning to the Championship after just one season.

An emotional Farke spoke following the loss and said he felt especially sorry for the Norwich supporters

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» José Mourinho 'very happy' with clash between Son and Lloris – video

José Mourinho has said he was 'very happy' after the half-time confrontation between the Tottenhgam captain, Hugo Lloris, and Son-Heung min during the 1-0 win over Everton. The pair were seen pushing one another as they left the field. The Spurs manager added that he does not want to manage a team capable of winning nothing more than the Fair Play Cup

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» Jürgen Klopp says Manchester City loss nothing to do with sealing title – video

The Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, says being crowned Premier League champions last week had no impact on his team's 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City. Klopp said the defeat hurt, and that says City had a point to prove while Liverpool failed to capitalise on their chances. The result is the Reds' second league loss of the season, but still leaves them 20 points clear of Pep Guardiola's side

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» Saudi takeover of Newcastle would be 'humiliating', says MP – video

The Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, has hinted that the Newcastle takeover saga could be concluded shortly, but he was warned by MPs that it would be 'humiliating' to allow a Saudi Arabian consortium to take over a club given the country’s record on piracy and human rights. The SNP’s John Nicolson also pointed out that the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test would be considered bizarre if it gave approval to Prince Mohammed bin Salman, given that it failed to allow One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson to take over Doncaster Rovers

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» Disorder in Liverpool as fan celebrations continue in the city – video

Liverpool Football Club has condemned the behaviour of crowds of fans who gathered in the city to celebrate the club winning their first ever Premier League title. On Saturday the club, Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police issued a joint statement saying: 'Our city is still in a public health crisis and this behaviour is wholly unacceptable.' Footage published on social media showed fireworks aimed at the Liver Building and thousands of people packing the streets.

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» Resumption of A-League season pushed back to Friday
  • Sydney FC-Wellington Phoenix on Friday will be first game back
  • Thursday’s Victory-United game postponed due to quarantine

The A-League will restart on Friday when Sydney FC play Wellington Phoenix at Jubilee Stadium. Melbourne Victory and Western United were originally scheduled to play on Thursday but due to the three Victorian clubs’ 14-day quarantine, that game has been postponed.

The rest of the weekend’s matches are unchanged and the full fixture list will be released on Tuesday, with the finals series to be pushed back six days. The grand final was initially scheduled for 23 August but has been pushed back to 30 August.

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» Espanyol slip away to Barcelona's tune but the silence will sting too | Sid Lowe

Barcelona’s other team were relegated at an empty Camp Nou, a cold and cruel final blow to a season that crumbled painfully

Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol left the first division to the opening bars of “Cant del Barça”, the anthem of the club that has cast a shadow over them for so long. It was, their director general said, “a dark night”, although it could have been even darker. Relegated after 26 years and at the Camp Nou of all places, symbolism in them taking their first steps into segunda at their rivals’ home, this hurt. But at least there was virtually no one there to see it, no salt for their wounds, players slipping off silently when the end came.

As the final minutes ticked away, Ví­ctor Sánchez sank his head into the seat, wanting it to be over. Sitting nearby, Raúl Tamudo swore into his mask. Below them, self-appointed emergency coach Francisco Rufete stood powerless, cap pulled down tight. Twelve years ago, Rufete’s pass released Tamudo to score a late equaliser here, denying Barcelona a title that turned on 18 ludicrous seconds. “The shag of the century,” AS called it. Some Espanyol fans consider that to be their best moment, certainly the most ecstatic. This was perhaps the most empty.

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» Milan's thrilling win over Juve shows Pioli will be a hard act to follow | Nicky Bandini

Ralf Rangnick will replace him next season but Stefano Pioli has been so effective fans feel he is deserving of a longer run

Stefano Pioli woke up on Tuesday morning to another round of headlines about the man who is being hired to replace him. After months of courtship, Ralf Rangnick is understood to have agreed a deal to become Milan’s manager next season. The story was front-page news for Italy’s best-read newspaper, Gazzetta dello Sport, with a picture of the German underneath the words “It’s Done”.

There remains some ambiguity about what that means for Pioli. Gazzetta speculated he could be given a temporary role alongside Rangnick, who has worked more as a director than a manager over the past eight years – first at RB Leipzig and, more recently, in an overarching role across Red Bull’s football empire. Yet while Rangnick is expected to shape Milan’s transfer policy, all indications are he intends to coach the first team too.

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» Football in Australia is doomed to be a marginal sport unless its leaders show vision | Simon Hill

After many false dawns, football in Australia must finally realise its vast potential by learning from past failures

To understand the latest existential crisis facing football in Australia, one must start at its genesis, which strangely coincided with the game’s highest point in recent memory. In January 2015, the Socceroos lifted the Asian Cup on home soil. The team became darlings of the nation and their coach, Ange Postecoglou, was elevated to something approaching sainthood. The Matildas were about to embark upon a Fifa Women’s World Cup campaign, at which they would reach the quarter-finals - to this day the best result of any senior national team.

And yet, despite it all, trouble was brewing. Football Federation Australia chairman Frank Lowy had presided over the domestic game’s remarkable transformation, but the governing body’s messy 2010 bid for the 2022 men’s World Cup was still fresh in the mind, and the billionaire businessman’s style of rule pitted him against the A-League clubs who wanted a voice. Lowy was due to stand down in November 2015, as per constitution.

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» MLS is back ... in a Covid-19 hotspot with terrible food

The league resumes with a month-long tournament but there is disquiet about playing in a state where coronavirus is surging. And then there are the sandwiches ...

Omar Gonzalez probably expected a little more from a summer trip to Walt Disney World than a soggy-looking sandwich and a banana in a box. No Dole Whips or Mickey Mouse lollipops in sight, and there was certainly no evidence of the “house roasted prime New York strip loin” the Toronto FC defender’s $65 lunch had been billed as on the menu.

Yummm... #MLSisBack pic.twitter.com/nelyLH9YsW

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» European roundup: Barcelona find top gear against Villarreal to stay in title race
  • Barcelona win 4-1 at El Madrigal to keep Real Madrid in sight
  • Inter beaten by Bologna, Napoli strike late to defeat Roma

Barcelona put their recent struggles aside in an impressive display at Villarreal, winning 4-1 to move back to within four points of the La Liga leaders, Real Madrid, with four games apiece remaining.

Recent draws with Atlético and at Celta Vigo, coupled with Madrid’s earlier 1-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, meant the defending champions kicked off at El Madrigal seven points behind their arch-rivals, but there was no sign of the pressure telling in a breathtaking first-half display.

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» Zidane demands 'respect' after VAR helps Real Madrid edge closer to title

Sergio Ramos was the hero from the penalty spot again as Real Madrid won 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, a seventh consecutive victory that tightened their grip on the La Liga title.

Zinedine Zidane’s side temporarily moved seven points clear of second-placed Barcelona, who cut the gap back to four by winning 4-1 at Villarreal later on Sunday. After the game, Zidane hit back at suggestions his team have benefited from refereeing decision in recent games, saying his team “deserve more respect”.

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» The 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup is a rare chance for sport to shape a better world | Craig Foster

The tournament in 2023 presents a unique opportunity to address equality, racism and Indigenous culture, and climate change

The announcement of hosting rights for the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup is serendipitous not just for Australian football or the country, but perhaps sport itself.

July 2023 could create a new paradigm in global sport following the social awakening of Covid-19, a more meaningful role for sport in society by following the lead of athletes worldwide and making public, advocatory contributions to important issues.

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» Bayern Munich win German Cup as Buffon sets Serie A appearance record
  • Robert Lewandowski reaches 50 goals for the season
  • Buffon passes Paolo Maldini’s record with 648 appearances

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich kept their hopes of a treble alive after beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Saturday to win the German Cup for the 20th time.

David Alaba gave Bayern the lead with a free-kick in the 16th minute after Robert Lewandowski was fouled at the edge of the box.

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» David James: 'I struggle to find a scenario where my ethnicity hampered my career'

The former England goalkeeper on the lack of BAME coaches, his desire to manage again and dropping Dimitar Berbatov in India

David James describes the situation as complicated. He had not signed Dimitar Berbatov, rather he inherited him midway through the 2017-18 Indian Super League season after he took charge of Kerala Blasters for his first job in full-time management.

The former England goalkeeper chooses his words carefully but it does not take a detective to decipher the subtext, which talks to the perception of Berbatov as a high‑maintenance stroller, for whom the finer things are the only things that matter.

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» Word is spreading about Aston Villa Women and what we are trying to achieve | Eni Aluko

Pre-season training starts next week, the WSL season in early September, and our promoted side are focusing on becoming the top team in the Midlands

As the Premier League season draws to a close, a new Women’s Super League campaign is rapidly approaching, and Aston Villa Women start pre-season training next week for our first year in the top flight. We have announced two signings with more to come, and the first games are scheduled for the first weekend of September, which will be our chance to establish ourselves at a higher level and set new benchmarks and targets.

It was really important that we kept the core group that got us promoted and before we brought anyone in we made sure that 13 of those players were retained. A number of them are from Birmingham and I think it was really important to maintain that DNA within the team, to have a squad that shows young girls that it is possible to reach the first team one day.

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» Well Offside: buy a classic European football photo from yesteryear

On the eve of what should have been the Euro 2020 final, here’s your chance to own a print featuring tournament legends such as Paul Gascoigne, Ruud Gullit and Peter Schmeichel

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» David Squires on … Wigan Athletic going into administration

This week’s cartoon looks at the sad story of the famous club, featuring Dave Whelan, the new owners and Rick Parry’s feet

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» Eddie Nketiah, Eric Dier and disciplinary debates – Football Weekly

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Jonathan Fadugba to discuss Eddie Nketiah’s red card for Arsenal, Eric Dier’s four-game ban for Tottenham, and Scottish farming communities of the 19th century

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Jonathan Fadugba to discuss Eddie Nkeitiah’s red card, Eric Dier’s ban, and Scottish farming communities of the 19th century.

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» The Fiver | New normals featuring ruffled former Football Weekly panellists

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In the depths of lockdown, The Fiver attempted to better itself. There was a three-month self-imposed Tin ban, now long forgotten amid a blizzard of park-bench swilling not seen since the days The Fiver was a fan of The Levellers. The front garden at Fiver Towers was set for the Capability Brown treatment and yet long weeds grow among cigarette dimps and discarded Frazzles packets. Inside, box-fresh copies of Philip Roth and Dostoevsky lie unthumbed on the shelf, as the complete works of Jeffrey Archer have been devoured as comfort reading.

And an attempt to become better versed in statistics amid the barrage of log files and seven-day averages of Covid-19 has also failed. Standard deviation is still what Weird Uncle Fiver gets up to of an evening. The grey matter is not what it was way back in those happy, carefree days of February when the world’s biggest worry was how Nigel Pearson might get on at Watford. It may not just be The Fiver whose senses are dulled. The Big Cup and Big Vase tombola on Friday was a shambolic affair to suggest that any new normals are going to feature panicked, disorganised chaos. Even smooth-talking erstwhile Football Weekly panellist Pedro Pinto looked ruffled as a series of video links crashed, and various Euro football club bigwigs defied social distancing guidelines in those brief moments when Zoom was actually working properly.

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» Morricone's music, Ivanisevic's Wimbledon win and dancing robots | Classic YouTube

Also featuring Gazza being great at Lazio, Nicklaus v Watson at Turnberry and football’s Saturday Fever from 1961

1) The legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone died this week. His towering influence on popular culture extended to writing the official theme tune for the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. The hosts’ 3-1 victory against The Netherlands in the final is well worth your time. Just for good measure, here’s a written interview with the late Morricone celebrating his country’s semi-final win against Germany in 2006. “They fought like lions!”

Related: Sir Everton Weekes, spectacular Steffi Graf and Lothar Matthäus loses it

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» Luton Town's Manager Idol – podcast

The best stories from the beautiful game that you may never have heard before, written by some of the world’s leading sports journalists, and spanning more than 100 years of sporting history from across the footballing planet.

In this episode: Primetime TV would prove the inspiration for one of the most shambolic managerial appointments in football history.

Read the text version here

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» What are the best poems about football? | The Knowledge

Plus: Zinedine Zidane and Cameroon feature in another slew of songs about specific games

“Are there many good poems about football?” wrote M Stapleton last week. “I’ve read a few anthologies and collections but very few stand out, aside from Paul Durcan’s World Cup ‘82.”

Related: Have any songs been written about specific football matches? | The Knowledge

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» Golden Goal: Dietmar Hamann for Germany v England (2000) | Alex Hess

The final goal at the old Wembley marked the end of an era – and the start of the golden generation’s big-stage letdowns

The final goal at the old Wembley had all the hallmarks of a footballing fairytale: it was a long-range thunderbolt that snatched an unlikely win and gave the complacent favourites their comeuppance. Only problem was, those favourites were the hosts of the party. In the final match at the old national stadium on 7 October 2000, England were beaten by the Germans. Again.

There’s an irony that the party pooper in question would go on to become one of his country’s most popular players on these shores: a German whose long career in England left him with a cricket obsession and an enduring scouse-Bavarian twang.

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» The Joy of Six: football's wing wizards | Gregg Bakowski

From the ‘Wizard of Dribble’ to Ryan Giggs, via Garrincha and Jimmy Johnstone, we celebrate touchline-hugging wonders

Formations in modern-day football, improved playing surfaces and the evolution of tactics have completely changed the role of the winger. Now it is more accurate to describe an attacking player who plays on one of the wings as a forward, because the modern-day “winger” rarely hogs the touchline and often plays inside-out. Players such as Johan Cruyff, Luis Figo, George Best and Cristiano Ronaldo all excelled as wingers but their talent was such that their positions evolved to the extent that they are rightly remembered as supreme all-round footballers, not just gifted wide men. Those celebrated in this list get to the essence of what a winger used to be, delighting in trickery, seeing their job as that of an entertainer/provider and never more at home than when within a few feet of a white touchline.

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» Musa Juwara: from a refugees' dinghy to San Siro supersub with Bologna

The Gambian, who arrived in Italy as an unaccompanied young teenager, underlined his talent with a ‘dream’ goal at Internazionale

Sinisa Mihajlovic says it was destiny. With his Bologna side a man down after Roberto Soriano’s red card and trailing 1-0 at Internazionale on Sunday, the coach surveyed his bench and weighed up his options.

“The first idea was to put [Mattias] Svanberg on the right, then watching the game I said to myself: ‘Let’s put Musa on. He always causes a mess when he plays and they won’t understand anything,’” Mihajlovic recalled.

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» Jordan Henderson: 'As you get older, your dreams get bigger' | Jonathan Liew

Liverpool’s captain talks pressing, politics, what makes Jürgen Klopp angry and the mentality that breeds success

“Through tough times, you can forget how much you love the game,” Jordan Henderson says. “You can take it for granted a little bit. When you’re a small kid, you don’t really think about trophies and winning things. You’re just thinking about playing football. But as you get older, your dreams get bigger. When you get to 16, 17, 18, it comes down to winning at all costs. Doing anything you can.”

We’re talking about trophies, and fulfilment, and happiness. When does pure enjoyment, the thrill of the game, give way to something larger? Why do footballers fixate so much on silverware, measure their lives in medals? At what point does it stop being about the taking part, and become about the winning?

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» Brutal and bizarre: the story of how Wigan collapsed into administration | David Conn

On the day Au Yeung took ownership after a £41m purchase he decided not to fund the club, and an investigation is now due

The brutal, bizarre collapse of Wigan Athletic has raised many glaring and alarming questions, but one central contradiction lies in the ruins. The Championship club have become the first to fall into administration during the Covid-19 crisis which could claim many more, but Wigan’s own insolvency has little to do with the coronavirus shutdown.

It is one of the most unlikely and baffling scenarios ever thrown up even among the frequently outlandish sagas of football’s relationship with money.

Related: Wigan go into administration four weeks after Hong Kong takeover

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» Life in the Premier League's Amber Zone – a view of Project Restart

Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins has documented the Premier League since its restart in June. Here, he looks back on the experience of shooting matches in empty grounds amid strict Covid-19 precautions

Click on each image for more information

That bloody bird has been putting me off all game. High up in the stand above me at Carrow Road, a seagull is roosting and making a right old racket. It seems to be distracting the Norwich defence too, as Nathan Redmond strolls through and scores to put Southampton 3-0 up. There’s a brief cheer and a polite round of applause from a couple of Saints staff members in the stand before Redmond performs a Black Power salute. It’s all very surreal. Black Lives Matter meets Behind Closed Doors football. Welcome to the world of Project Restart, the Covid-19 version of the Premier League.

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» Next Generation 2019: 60 of the best young talents in world football

Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, the new Paul Pogba and Barça’s Ansu Fati are among our 60 most talented players in the world born in 2002. Check the progress of our 2018 picks | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by DZfoot, BackpagePix, Club Atlético Belgrano, EFE, EPA, Getty Images, Uwe Gruen/Hoffenheim, AMA/Getty Images, Rex/Shutterstock, Zuma Press/PA, FIFA, Tigres, Damir Krajac/CROPIX, Alamy, Daniel Reyes/Ecuafutbol, Reuters, Atromitos, Imago/PA, fotoBERNAMA, New Straits Times, José Alonso Paredes Sánchez, Agencja Gazeta, David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty, AP, Asian Football Confederation, Danubio FC and Championat Asia

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» Next Generation 2019: 20 of the best talents at Premier League clubs

The Guardian selects the best young players at each club born between 1 September 2002 and 31 August 2003, an age band known as first-year scholars. Check the progress of class of 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Photographs by David Price/Arsenal/Getty Images, Neville Williams/Aston Villa/Getty Images, AFC Bournemouth, Paul Hazlewood/BHAFC, Paul Dennis/TGS/Shutterstock, Clive Howes/Chelsea/Getty Images, Danny Loo/PPAUK, Emma Simpson/Everton/Getty Images, Nick Taylor/Liverpool/Getty Images, Manchester City/Getty Images, Ash Donelon/Manchester United/Getty Images, Jason Dawson/Jasonpix, James Wilson/Sportimage, Simon Bellis/Sportimage, Robin Jones/Digital South/Southampton FC, Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images, Alan Cozzi/Watford, Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United and Sam Bagnall/AMA

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» Next Generation: after five years, how has our first full class of picks fared?

From Rashford to Tielemans, we check in on how our initial Next Generation players have got on before the 2019 ones are announced this week

In 2014 we decided that it would be interesting to pick the best young players from each Premier League club – as well as 40 from around the world – and follow them for five years to see how they progressed.

The idea was to try to get a sense of how difficult it is to become a professional footballer despite being one of the best in that country at the age of 16 or 17.

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