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UCL Changes Could Affect Manchester United And City.



Juventus chief Andrea Agnelli has revealed he is determined to see through the proposed changes UEFA are looking to implement in regards to the format of the Champions League. The changes would affect both Manchester City and Manchester United going forward.

UEFA have been working closely with the European Club Association (ECA) on a proposal to redesign the prestigious European tournament from 2024.

The plan is to replace the current format with a new promotion and relegation format – similar to the UEFA Nations League – but as a result of the changes, the Champions League could end up becoming a closed competition.

But despite the negative impact the move could have on clubs around Europe, Agnelli, who also revealed that an extensive consultation process is currently underway to find the final solution, is keen to see the changes implemented.

He said: “In this environment it is evident that the next phase is how are these global brands going to behave on a global stage.

“The further growth of those 12-15 clubs does not necessarily come from broadcasting but when we talk about stadium, sponsorship, licensing.

“We will now have to tackle a shift in consumer behaviour. We’re looking at generation Z, the new digital natives who are turning into adulthood.

“We have to look at what is the behaviour of generation Z. We should seriously start to think that the competitors of other games are not clubs next door but League of Legends, esports, Fortnite. I think those are going to be the ones who are going to be our competitors going forward.

“Some countries falling into irrelevance and a residual space. It is fair to say and assume that in the quarter-finals of the two competitions you have six to seven of eight clubs that come from the big five leagues. That is mainly thanks to the economic advantage they have.

“We started thinking, some months ago, about what is it that we want within the ECA. What are the principles we want to go by? When I say we we mean representatives from Poland, Greece, Finland, Portugal and also representatives from the big leagues.

“What we felt was important for us is if we want to create a platform that allows for all clubs to succeed on and off the pitch more European football is good for the game. Possibly the introduction of a relegation system to deliver sporting dynamism across Europe.

“If we think about the group stage of the Champions League all of us can guess 15 out of 16 who will qualify for the last 16. The first two teams in each group of the Champions League are probably written. We want to find more relevant games.

“Much has been said about wanting to kill domestic leagues. No. We want to maintain symbiosis with the leagues. We absolutely agree that champions should have access to international competitions.

“That is why to us – European clubs as a whole – the word stability is very important. It is not to have this element of continuous risk to accessing the sports results and revenue we want.

“It is curious that the game with the highest economic value in the industry is the Play-Off here in England… When we talk about stability it’s about finding a way for any club to progress through the system in a planned way without running too many risks.

“We want a progressive and forward-looking system, not a reactionary and preserving suboptimal status quo. We had a proposal that was presented by UEFA in the spring, it evidently delivered a lot of talks throughout. This whole system is about creating a stable system for European clubs to participate.

“The Helsinkis, Olympiacos’, Celtics. They really have no path in which to grow.

“What is important is this is never, never going to be a closed league. We recognise the value of keeping the open system.

“In a united way… we are the leaders of an industry which is very important, it has social impacts, we are not in politics. We do not have a government and opposition. We are all on the same side, we want to make sure the game continues to develop.

“Preserving a system that isn’t there” (warns of risk that domestic games will decline in relevance).

“We must stand united in the interests of European football.”

Before the Juve chief added: “It’s us clubs. Individual clubs coming from wherever tend to think about what is the best interest I have in the very short term, what happens to me in the next game.

“If I take a mid-table team from a big five league, they are the ones that the top teams in the medium leagues want to compete with. But they haven’t got the same means.

“That is the element where we have to find a common denominator that fits all.

“We are undergoing an extensive consultation process in order to understand what needs to change for the final solution.

“What’s important is that we do find, as stakeholders of the industry, an understanding of what is it that we need to all develop in this growing industry.

“People that oppose, when they justify with rational arguments, they are more than welcome. What’s healthy is if people brought a positive contribution. No, no, no as an answer – which we practically only heard from the big leagues – is not really healthy.

“Whatever changes are brought I don’t think they’ll change the participation much for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and PSG.

“What’s important is creating a system where a team like Leicester – if they do qualify – they can remain in the system. In a case like Leicester it’s of super relevance.

“How can we revitalize a massive brand like Red Star Belgrade? That is a question I’d like the stakeholders to answer. Is it fair or not fair that a club is written off just because of where it is?

“The date [for a change] is 24/25, simply because that’s when the international match calendar expires… The real deadline is going to market, Autumn 22.

“By then we will have to know what the competitions will look like.”


Day Dies At Night From Injuries Sustained In A Bout.



Boxer Patrick Day has died after he sustained head injuries in a fight on Saturday night against fellow American Charles Conwell.

The 27-year-old was knocked out in the 10th round of his super-welterweight bout in Chicago and fell into a coma, with his promoter confirming Day’s death on Wednesday “surrounded by his family, close friends and members of his boxing team”.

“He was a son, brother, and good friend to many,” said a statement from Lou DiBella.

“Pat’s kindness, positivity, and generosity of spirit made a lasting impression with everyone he met. Patrick Day didn’t need to box. He came from a good family, he was smart, educated, had good values and had other avenues available to him to earn a living.

“He chose to box, knowing the inherent risks that every fighter faces when he or she walks into a boxing ring. Boxing is what Pat loved to do. It’s how he inspired people and it was something that made him feel alive.”

Day was taken from the ring on a stretcher and underwent emergency brain surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after being knocked out in the final round of his fight on the undercard of Saturday night’s Oleksandr Usyk-Chazz Witherspoon show. The tragedy prompted Conwell to write an open letter to his fallen opponent which he posted Tuesday on Instagram.

“This is my last time speaking on the situation because of this being a sensitive topic not only for his family and friends but for myself and the sport of boxing,” Conwell said, before addressing Day directly.

“Dear Patrick Day,” Conwell wrote. “I never meant for this to happen to you. All I ever wanted to do was win. If I could take it all back I would. No one deserves for this to happen to them. I replay the fight over and over in my head thinking what if this never happened and why did it happen to you. I can’t stop thinking about it myself. I prayed for you so many times and shedded so many tears because I couldn’t even imagine how my family and friends would feel.

“I see you everywhere I go and all I hear is wonderful things about you. I thought about quitting boxing but I know that’s not what you would want. I know that you were a fighter at heart so I decided not to but to fight and win a world title because that’s what you wanted and that’s what I want so I’ll use you as motivation every day and make sure I always leave it all in the ring every time. #ChampPatrickDay. With Compassion, Charles Conwell.”

DiBella, who promotes both Conwell and Day, told ESPN on Tuesday night that he was moved to tears by the fighter’s expression.

“No one prompted him to write it – not his management and not his promoter,” DiBella said. “I know Charles is profoundly sad right now by what happened. I’m trying to make him realize it’s no fault of his. I read what he wrote and it put a tear in my eye. It was an incredibly human and honest and genuine response from a kid who is just 21. He’s a really good kid, a really good person. I think it was very obvious to both of them that they were both good guys. Charles’ letter was really touching. It screams of honesty and authenticity.”

Boxing has been gripped by tragedy this year after the deaths of three fighters as a result from injuries sustained in competition.

The Argentinian junior welterweight Hugo Alfredo Santillan died in July, becoming the second fatality in four days after Russia’s Maxim Dadashev succumbed to injuries suffered in Maryland. Bulgarian featherweight Boris Stanchov died in September after injuries suffered during his pro debut in Albania, after which it was discovered he was fighting illegally under his cousin Isus Velichkov’s boxing license.

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Barcelona Superstar, Leo Messi Received Sixth European Golden Shoe.



A special day at the Antiga Fàbrica Estrella Damm. Leo Messi received the 2018/19 Golden Shoe this Wednesday, the sixth of his career and the third consecutively. Nobody has won more than him. The 36 goals (in 34 games) that he scored last season in the league have served to ensure a new European Golden Shoe, and a continuation of his records.

Barça's captain was accompanied by his family and, in addition, his children were entrusted with delivering the trophy. The ceremony was attended by team-mates and friends including Luis Suárez and Jordi Alba, while the Barça board members present were President Josep Maria Bartomeu, executives Javier Bordas, Xavier Vilajoana and Silvio Elías and CEO Òscar Grau, among others. The event featured videos with the goals that allowed Messi to win his sixth Golden Shoe.

Leo took the opportunity to speak after receiving the prize, emphasising: "Without my team-mates I wouldn't have scored any goals, this is for everyone, it's a recognition for the whole team." He also commented on the aspirations of the team for this season: "The Champions League is special and every year we want to win it, but the league is the most important. The cup too, Barça always compete for everything."

Keep making history

The Argentinian was already the only player in history to get five Golden Shoes. It should be remembered that he won the first in the 2009/10 season (34 goals), then two in 2011/12 (50 goals) and 2012/13 season (46 goals), and now he has accumulated three more consecutively: 2016/17 (37 goals), 2017/18 (34 goals) and 2018/19 (36 goals).

Leo Messi again overcame the 50-goal barrier in all competitions, for the sixth time in his career. He scored 51 goals in 50 games: the 36 goals already mentioned in the league, 3 in the Copa del Rey and 12 in the Champions League, becoming the highest scorer in the tournament. An absolutely unique player.

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Mourinho Eyeing Tottenham Job.



Portuguese professional football coach and former player who currently works at Sky Sports as a pundit, José Mário dos Santos Mourinho Félix, GOIH is reportedly eyeing the Tottenham manager's job as speculation continues over the future of Mauricio Pochettino.

The former Manchester United and Chelsea boss is waiting for the right opportunity to return to club management after being sacked as Red Devils boss in December last year.

He continues to be linked with another of his former clubs, Real Madrid , amid pressure on manager Zinedine Zidane early into his second spell as Bernabeu boss.

Mourinho has retained close links with president Florentino Perez and it is thought he could receive the call if Zidane's reign ends early. Another manager who keeps being linked with Madrid is Pochettino, whose future at Tottenham looks increasingly uncertain.

Never one to sell himself short, Mourinho has said he is waiting for a club "the same level" that he is as a manager.

He said: "I have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity and the right opportunity is one that is at the same size and the same level that I am as a manager. I have to wait for the exact right one."

And that club could be Tottenham, according to the Mail .

The publication claims Mourinho is open to the idea of managing the north London club should Pochettino leave.

He has turned down job offers from Benfica and Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande as he waits for the right club.

Tottenham, of course, were Champions League finalists last season, and started the season among the favourites to yet again secure a top-four spot - although recent results in both the premier league and in Europe's elite competition have somewhat undermined their challenge for honours.

Saturday's shock 3-0 defeat away to Brighton followed last Tuesday's 7-2 thrashing at home to Bayern Munich, increasing the pressure on Pochettino.

Question marks were raised over Pochettino's future in the lead-up to last season's Champions League final defeat to Liverpool . The Argentine said he could quit Tottenham if they won Europe's biggest prize as it would have been the ultimate achievement for his five years at the club.

The summer of transfer speculation which followed has been viewed as having unsettled Spurs' squad, with Christian Eriksen having made it clear he wants to leave the club.

It is believed that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will not sack Mourinho - with the manager set to receive £32m compensation if he gets the boot.

But if Pochettino does leave, then a door could open for Mourinho to once again test his managerial mettle in the Premier League.


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TENNIS: Murray Irked By Fognini ‘Hindrance’ In Fiery Shanghai Clash.



An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

Related image
Fabio Fognini

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

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