Archive | July 25, 2016

Liverpool fined by UEFA….

Liverpool

UEFA has announced a fine of €16,000 for Liverpool relating to crowd disturbances and the setting off of fireworks during the Europa League final against Sevilla. UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body announced the sanction which related specifically to crowd disturbances, the setting off of fireworks, and an illicit banner. Sevilla, who won the match 3-1, were fined €17,000 for their part in the disturbances, which involved crowd disturbances and the throwing of objects. A small numbers of supporters clashed behind one of the goals shortly before kick-off, with many fans blaming poor segregation for the problems. There was also criticism of UEFA’s choice of the St Jakob-Park stadium, which with its capacity of just 35,000 was the smallest chosen to host a major European final.

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Stoke sign Ramadan Sobhi….

Stoke City have announced the signing of Ramadan Sobhi from Al Ahly for a fee that could rise to €6 million. Sobhi, 19, has been granted a work permit to become Stoke’s first signing ahead of the 2016-17 season. The Egypt international, who has six caps to his name, plays as winger and had been linked with Arsenal and Roma. Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes said on the club’s official website: “We are absolutely delighted to have signed a player of Ramadan’s undoubted quality and potential. “He’s a special young talent who is excited about the prospect of making an impact in the Premier League and we’re looking forward to giving him that platform.”

Kolo Toure joins Celtic….

Back at Paradise, Kolo Toure is officially unveiled to the media. #WelcomeKolo

Celtic have completed the signing of former Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool defender Kolo Toure. Toure, 35, has signed a one-year deal and reunites with former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers at Celtic Park. The centre-back, who played in Liverpool’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in May, was a free agent after the expiry of his contract at Anfield. Toure becomes Rodgers’ second signing following the arrival of Moussa Dembele from Fulham. He told Celtic TV: “I feel really excited because it’s going to be a new challenge for me. I’ve come to one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s a privilege for me to be here. “I know a few friends who play football here and I know what the club has been achieving, winning a lot of trophies and playing Champions League a lot so that’s something I’m looking at. “I played with Brendan when he was at Liverpool and when we spoke about the chance for me to come here I was really happy because we know each other for a long time now. We’ve worked together and he’s a top manager. For me it’s a privilege to come and work with him again.” He added: “I have been playing for top clubs and I’m used to the challenge and I’m here to give everything I’ve got to win my place. You can only win your place on the pitch and that’s through hard work, dedication and determination and I’m ready for that.”

Alex Song confident as he moves to Rubin Kazan on loan….

Alex Song

Cameroon midfielder Alex Song is hoping to “make a great impact” in Russia after joining top-flight club Rubin Kazan on a season-long loan from Spanish giants Barcelona. The 28-year-old spent the past two seasons on loan at Premier League side West Ham United and made 46 appearances for the Hammers. Song joined Barcelona in 2012 from Arsenal for around £15m with an 80m euros (£63m) release clause, but has struggled to break into the star-studded squad. “I’m very happy to come here and be a part of the project being built in Kazan,” Song told the club’s official TV channel.  “The club hopes to establish itself as the biggest team in Russian football in the next four years and I hope to make a great impact towards that. “I’ve played for big teams like Arsenal and Barcelona, these clubs always set high goals so I understand the targets here. “I like the atmosphere in the squad and hopefully we can achieve something positive together,” the midfielder added.

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Manchester derby in China called off….

Manchester City training

The pre-season game in China between Manchester United and Manchester City has been called off because heavy rain has left the pitch unplayable. The surface at the Birds Nest stadium in Beijing was described as “bad” by United boss Jose Mourinho on Sunday. And before the game was called off, City boss Pep Guardiola said his main hope was for players to avoid injury. Both City and United said “tournament organisers and clubs” decided to cancel the match at the 2008 Olympic Stadium. Rain had fallen overnight and there were forecasts of more heavy rain on Monday. The clubs’ planned training sessions were switched away from the stadium on Sunday to the Olympic Sports Centre, about a mile away. The fixture cancellation capped a chaotic 24 hours for the Red Devils. Manager Mourinho’s planned news conference had to be scrapped as too many people tried to get into a room which was deemed too small and too hot. And a plane carrying some of the players had to make an unscheduled stop in Tianjin, around 160km from Beijing, as storms hit the Chinese capital. United will leave Beijing to return to Manchester later on Monday as planned, while City are due to fly to Shenzhen on Tuesday for Thursday’s game against Borussia Dortmund.