Eoin Morgan rejuvenated and is committed to leading white-ball side

I WILL play on: Eoin Morgan reveals he is rejuvenated by his break from the game and is still committed to leading white-ball side… and he could extend his reign to include a World Cup title defence in 2023

  • Eoin Morgan insists he is still focused on captaining England’s white-ball team
  • The Irishman skippered the side to World Cup glory at Lord’s last July
  • Now, after a break from the game a rejuvenated Morgan is ready to do it all again

If there were any doubts Eoin Morgan still holds a statesmanlike grip on the England white-ball captaincy they were quickly dispelled on Wednesday when he ruthlessly dismissed the case for recalling Alex Hales before expressing his desire to march on at the helm of his side.

There was no sitting on a metaphorical Zoom fence when Morgan was asked whether the time was now right to forgive the disgraced opener who was banished on the eve of last year’s triumphant World Cup campaign for concealing the results of a drugs test.

Instead there were echoes of Kevin Pietersen about Morgan’s insistence it will take a lot longer than 12 months to rebuild a complete breakdown of trust and bring Hales back into a white-ball training group the captain said should not even be described as a squad.

A rejuvenated Eoin Morgan insists he is still focused on captaining England’s white-ball team

‘Trust is a complete feeling,’ said Morgan. ‘And it is demonstrated by things you say you are going to do and how you follow through with that.’ Basically the message was, you could have cost us the World Cup, Alex, so you can wait a bit longer.

Equally, there was little hesitation when Morgan was asked whether a global crisis that looks certain to begin playing havoc with the international calendar with the postponement of October’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia will affect his longevity.

Not only does Morgan intend to fulfil his stated aim of leading England in the next two short-form global tournaments but he might now even extend his reign to include a defence in 2023 of the 50-over World Cup he lifted so dramatically at Lord’s last July.

‘This doesn’t change my view,’ said Morgan, speaking on the 15th anniversary of Chance to Shine, the charity he was due to support this season through his Middlesex testimonial before the world was put on hold.

 Morgan (left) says Alex Hales (right) could still be some way away from an England comeback

‘For the simple reason that a lot of players will have benefited from this break. It’s not just physical but a complete mental refresh from the game we’re so involved with. I’ve certainly benefited from the break and I feel at the stage now where I want to pick up a bat again and I’m ready to go. That’s always a nice place to be.

‘I’m in a high-performance industry and if you’re not performing you can’t just carry on. But my ambition would certainly be to still play in the next two Twenty20 World Cups even if they are put back.’

The likelihood, which Morgan agrees with, is that this year’s tournament will be put back a year, with the next T20 tournament currently scheduled to follow on just a year later in India also needing to be postponed.

So that could then take place barely a year away from the next 50-over World Cup, also due in India. Surely it would be tempting to carry on even if Morgan will be 37 in 2023? 

Morgan captained England’s white-ball team to World Cup glory at Lord’s last July

The 33-year-old struggled with back issues during the 50-ball tournament last summer

The captain smiled, albeit remotely. ‘A lot of it will depend on my body,’ said Morgan. ‘I just about got over the line physically at the World Cup last year because I had a little hiccup with my back. If it continues to get better then yes there could be a chance. But if it continues to deteriorate I can’t look beyond the two T20 World Cups.’

Perhaps the most encouraging feature of Morgan’s address on Wednesday was his faith in the way ECB are handling the coronavirus crisis and his confidence that the provisional international schedule they hope to confirm on Friday will go ahead.

That proposed schedule sees their three-Test series against West Indies, which should be signed off on Thursday, dominating July and three subsequent Tests against Pakistan taking up much of August. A separate white-ball squad will just play three 50-over matches against Ireland sandwiched between the two Test series and, if all is still well, T20 games against Pakistan and Australia in September.

‘I’ve been extremely impressed with the ECB and the medical staff appointed to map our route back to cricket,’ said the all-powerful Morgan. ‘Everything is transparent and at the forefront of that has been player safety and well-being.

Morgan (pictured) spoke with Sportsmail’s Paul Newman over Zoom about his future

Morgan is confident he will be able to lead England out at the next two T20 World Cups

‘Moving forward, everything looks extremely optimistic about playing in the timeline they are working on providing nothing changes between now and then.’

Morgan knows that, now one World Cup has been won and the attempt to win another will probably be delayed, his white-ball heroes will have to again take a back-seat to the Test team. For now England’s all-format players will concentrate on the red-ball.

‘There’s a strong chance of that,’ admitted Morgan. ‘We said even before the pandemic we would use the 50-over matches against Ireland to try to grow our squad of 15 players. We also planned to use them to give our senior players a break.

‘Now you look at how the schedule will be, and how compact it is, and we will have to see if anyone will be able to jump from one format and squad to the other. And I think it would be completely unreasonable to expect players to take part in every game. I think we can grow the white-ball squad while the Test side can still perform.’

Morgan was speaking ahead of an online event to celebrate 15 years of the Chance to Shine charity which has given 5 million children the opportunity to play and develop through cricket

For now cricket has got a great chance of resuming business on July 8, even if it is behind closed doors. ‘Every sport is really struggling but we are in a unique position where we don’t have a lot of contact,’ added Morgan. ‘Social distancing is part and parcel of playing cricket so we might get back earlier than other sports.

‘Safety is the priority but once that is ticked off I think as a playing group we’re prepared to commit to whatever cricket is possible. We will do whatever we can as players. There is more light at the end of our tunnel.’

Sadly for Alex Hales, though, the light at the end of that tunnel is red.

Eoin Morgan was speaking ahead of an online event to celebrate 15 years of the Chance to Shine charity. Since 2005, over five million children have been given the opportunity to play, learn and develop through cricket thanks to the work of the charity.




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Liverpool PULL PLUG on Timo Werner transfer and end talks with RB Leipzig striker

Liverpool have reportedly refused to pay Timo Werner’s £52million release clause and withdrawn from negotiations with RB Leipzig. The Reds were closing in on an agreement before the coronavirus outbreak.

But Liverpool’s finances have been hit hard by the lack of revenue in the last two months while matches have been postponed.

Werner has flirted with the prospect of moving to Anfield next summer and will have only done his hopes well by netting a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend.

However, the Mirror claim Liverpool will stand firm and pay no more than £30m at the end of the season.

A similar stance is being undertook by the Bundesliga club as they will not drop their valuation below £50m.

That means talks have hit an impasse and Liverpool will no longer pursue the forward this year.

Transfers are expected to be heavily affected by the global pandemic as fees are set to drop in the next window.

Clubs will have much less money to spend given the lack of matches played over recent months.

However, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff insists his side do not need to recoup any cash by flogging their top stars on the cheap.

“It won’t get any cheaper,” the chief said of Werner. “We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.

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“In general, we always ask the question: can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?”

Meanwhile, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has recently admitted his star is considering walking away from the club.

“He is in a good mood, feels good and trains well,” Nagelsmann told Sport Bild.

“I do not have the impression that he is carrying a large cross with him. But he is a young guy who is sure to sit at home with his girlfriend and ponder whether he will stay or change.

“When the question is in the room, you are always a little bit somewhere else. It was no different for me than when in Hoffenheim, it was about whether I go away.

“It is more obvious with strikers, because then there are phases in which they do not score.”

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Hales told he’ll have to wait for England return by ODI captain Morgan

Eoin Morgan reckons Alex Hales must continue to wait a little longer before he is considered for an international recall.

Just over a year has passed since Hales was booted out of England's World Cup camp in Cardiff following revelations he had served a 21 day suspension for a second recreational drugs offence, something his team-mates knew nothing about.

That breakdown in trust was the last straw and not only cost batsman Hales his place in the victorious squad, but his place in any England squad since then.

Speaking last week, World Cup winner Chris Woakes thought it might be time to welcome Hales back into the fold.

And skipper Morgan has been in contact with Hales to let him know that his exile is not permanent, but ultimately this summer is still too soon for him.

“Given it could have derailed a World Cup campaign, I think it might take some more time,” said Morgan, while celebrating 15 years of cricket in schools charity Chance to Shine who are facing a £1million shortfall in funding this year.

“I've spoken to Alex and certainly see an avenue for him to coming back to playing cricket but like in life and in any sport, when there's a breakdown of trust, the only healer is time.

“It's only been 12 or 13 months since the incident which could have cost us four years of hard work.

“Playing cricket for England is about on and off the field, values we adhere to or do our best to adhere to and Alex showed complete disregard for them.

“I think teams in the past wouldn't have been strong enough to make decisions like we did pre-World Cup, and then continue to stand by them post-World Cup.”

It is a credit to Morgan's leadership that up until now he has refused to be swayed on Hales' reintegration despite the scheduled arrival of a T20 World Cup in Australia in October.

Since his axe Hales has plied his trade in T20 leagues around the world and was in sensational form at the Big Bash and then Pakistan Super League before Covid-19 struck scoring 815 runs at a rate of 9 runs per over.

With both Morgan and Hales putting up their best cases, the coronavirus situation may yet end up working out for both of them, with a likely postponement to 2021 providing enough time for the opener to be reconsidered.

“It's obviously not about performance with him,” added Morgan. “Alex is a fantastic player, it's never been discussed whether he's good enough to be in the squad or not.

“Moving forward, time is a great healer so we will continue to assess things moving forward as we've spoken to Alex about, and then hopefully an opportunity will present itself down the line.

“I'd be surprised if it (T20 World Cup) goes ahead. Australia have had a limited number of cases and deaths. Having 16 teams across eight venues has the potential to expose something.”

Chance to Shine celebrate their 15 birthday this week with every donation matched £ for £ by Adrian Beecroft up to £100,000. Visit  chancetoshine.org

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Premier League: Four more positive cases after third round of coronavirus testing

Four more people from three Premier League clubs have tested positive for coronavirus after the third round of testing.

There were 1,008 tests carried out on Monday and Tuesday – and a fourth round will take place on Thursday and Friday, with up to 60 people from each club to be tested.

  • PL clubs approve return to contact training
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It is not yet known whether the four new positive tests are players, non-playing staff, or a combination of both – or whether any of the positives are from people who tested positive in the first round and who have returned after self-isolating for seven days.

A statement read: “The Premier League can today confirm that on Monday 25 May and Tuesday 26 May, 1,008 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19.

“Of these, four have tested positive from three clubs.

“Players or club staff who have tested positive will now self-isolate for a period of seven days.

“Previously, between 19-22 May, 996 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19, of which two tested positive from two clubs.

“Some 748 players and club staff were tested for COVID-19 on 17-18 May, with six testing positive from three clubs.

“For the fourth round of testing, the number of tests available to each club will be increased from 50 to 60.”

COVID-19 impact on football

March 5 – Pre-match handshakes banned in the Premier League.
March 11 – Man City v Arsenal is first Premier League game suspended; Liverpool v Atletico Madrid the last top level game played in England.
March 12 – Man Utd, Wolves play away Europa League ties behind closed doors, Rangers host Bayer Leverkusen in front of fans.
March 13 – Football suspended following an emergency meeting between PL, FA, EFL and WSL
April 15 – SPFL clubs approve plan to end the Scottish Championship, League One and league Two seasons.
May 15 – League Two clubs vote to end the season with immediate effect.
May 17 – Premier League players and staff tested for COVID-19.
May 18 – Scottish Premiership curtailed, with points per game determining league positions and Celtic named champions.
May 19 – Premier League clubs return to socially distanced group training.
May 25 – Women’s Super League cancelled, with title and relegation to be determined.
May 27 –Premier League clubs vote to resume contact training.

The next set of testing will be the first to be conducted when at least some of the Premier League clubs have resumed contact training, which was unanimously approved on Wednesday.

No matches have been played in the Premier League since March, but the government has given the go-ahead for elite sport to resume from June 1.

And the return of contact training is seen as a major step towards a possible resumption of the Premier League next month.

Clubs will meet again on Thursday to discuss the broader details of how what has been dubbed Project Restart might take shape – including contingency talks on how curtailment of the season would look, if it is not deemed safe to resume.

Premier League clubs approve contact training

Premier League clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a return to contact training, in another significant step towards the resumption of matches “when safe to do so”.

The significance of contact training is that it’s the single biggest step towards the resumption of matches.

Throughout the pandemic there have been concerns raised about the risks associated with training and what it takes for coronavirus to be transmitted on the pitch.

If there is no spike in positive tests, with fewer negative results over more tests, it will give the authorities, and clubs, the confidence that it will be safe to resume competitive games next month.

If everything goes to plan with contact training, a third vote, on a specific date, is expected in due course.

Read more here about the return of contact training and what it means for the Premier League season

Contingency plans to be discussed on Thursday

Thursday is another important day for the Premier League. That is when all other aspects of Project Restart will be discussed, including the league’s contingency plans on relegation, the issue of the use of points-per-game, and the award of the Premier League title, if the season has to be curtailed.

Analysis: 12 positive tests but 12 different people?

Analysis by Bryan Swanson, Chief Reporter, Sky Sports News

“Four positive results out of just over 1,000 tests in the third round of testing only tells us half a story.

“There have been 12 positive results since testing has been published this month.

“But we don’t yet know whether these new results include any of the six people who tested positive in the first round and have since returned from seven days in self-isolation.

“The figure is still relatively low so will provide further cautious optimism for the Premier League, only hours after the significant decision was made to resume contact training.

The figure is still relatively low so will provide further cautious optimism for the Premier League, only hours after the significant decision was made to resume contact training.

Bryan Swanson, Chief Reporter, Sky Sports News

“These latest results again demonstrate that coronavirus is not widespread in all 20 clubs at the moment, at least not among an average of 50 people tested per club in the third round.

“Crucially, there has been no cluster of positive results in one club.

“The fact there are four positive tests must be taken seriously and those individuals must self-isolate for seven days before they take a further COVID-19 test.

“They cannot attend the training ground and three clubs will want to establish what contact those individuals had with other people, in particular in the same household.

“In theory, they should have not have come into close contact with anyone outside their household since March, under the government’s social distancing rules.

“It is important to highlight there have been 2,740 negative results in the first three rounds, around 99.5 per cent.

“Up to 60 people from each club will now be tested from the next round, twice a week, in line with an agreement to resume contact training.

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Livingston keeper Gary Maley to donate wages to charity after joke poll

A light-hearted Twitter poll allowing fans to decide whether Livingston should give their third-choice goalkeeper a new contract has ended up raising money for a children’s charity.

With a regular job at a civil engineering company, and the COVID-19 pandemic making it a difficult time for clubs, 37-year-old part-timer Gary Maley had offered to stand down, so his salary could pay for a younger player.

But the Scottish Premiership club decided instead to “put it in the hands of fans”, regarding whether to offer ‘Stretch’ an extension.

📋| Quite possibly a football first but we’re giving you the chance to decide on the future of goalkeeper @Maley1Gary.

With his contract expiring next month, we’re leaving it in the hands of the fans as to whether or not we offer “Stretch” an extension.

Stay or go – you decide!

“Stay or go – you decide!” the poll declared.

Assistant manager David Martindale, best man at the goalkeeper’s wedding, joined in by promising a pound to charity for every vote – only to find more than 190,000 votes had been cast by Wednesday!

Some fans expressed shock that the club would put a player’s future out to a vote – but Maley has confirmed he was in on the stunt.

It’s time to hang your gloves up big fella, you had a good run at it. Scott McDonald penalty save at Tannadice a glorious high in your career, the only high tbf. Take care but we have to move on 👍🏻👍🏻⚽️⚽️

He is a contracts director for civil engineering firm GGK Contracts and said: “Davie (Martindale) told me to come and look at a couple of issues that I could get my guys to fix with the drainage in the dressing room.

“He mentioned my contract and I said ‘look, give it to one of the kids, I am 37, I am nearly done’.

“He said ‘we will have a bit of fun with it, have a laugh, we will put up a vote on Twitter’.

“Davie said he would put a pound in per vote for charity, thinking we would get 500 votes.

“Obviously it escalated something ridiculous and Davie soon withdraw that offer!

“It was really meant as a joke and a bit of fun. I am part-time at football, it’s something I enjoy but I have a day job.

“It looks as though I’m going to win the vote and extend my deal but I said I will donate the next two months’ wages to charity and Davie will match that.

“It is all for a good cause. It is for the John O’Byrne Foundation, which helps really ill children.

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Belgian GP 1995 Watchalong: Michael Schumacher vs Damon Hill at wet Spa

https://youtube.com/watch?v=2VRq9BZwAV8%3Ffeature%3Doembed

Don’t miss the latest Sky F1 Watchalong on Wednesday evening as we transport you back to the midst of one the fiercest rivalries in the sport’s history and a controversial, topsy-turvy battle around arguably its best circuit, in the toughest of wet conditions.

It’s the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix from Spa-Francorchamps where Michael Schumacher made history by winning from 16th on the grid, Damon Hill was angered by his great rival’s defensive driving, and Martin Brundle finished on the podium for outsiders Ligier.

  • The latest edition of The Notebook

Hill, Brundle and Johnny Herbert – Schumacher’s Benetton team-mate that day who led the race’s early stages – are reunited to watch back the best (and, in some of their cases, worst) moments from an unforgettable afternoon, with fellow Sky F1 colleague David Croft.

Does Damon still hold the same opinion of Schumacher’s driving a quarter of a century on? How did Johnny go from the lead to seventh place? And just how difficult was it to drive the undulating and fast 4.4-mile circuit in the wet?

Watch along with the Sky F1 team on Sky F1, YouTube, Facebook, and on this page from 7.30pm

The background to a tense race day

Schumacher, F1’s defending champion, held a reduced 11-point lead over big rival Hill going into the race, the 11th round of the 16-race season.

Hill had halved his title deficit at the previous race in Hungary when the Williams driver’s third win of the year had coincided with a rare race retirement for Schumacher and Benetton.

But the Englishman, already enduring a turbulent year on the track, still had it all on to overcome Schumacher and exact revenge on losing out on the title at the last race in the controversial finish to 1994.

But the cards seemed to be falling in Hill’s favour at Spa, as although he qualified only eighth in wet conditions of qualifying, he was still eight places ahead of Schumacher – whose Saturday never got going after a crash in second practice, which was followed by technical problems with his car.

Schumacher therefore started 16th – he had never previously qualified outside the top 10 in F1, while no one had ever won at Spa from lower than 12th on the grid.

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Sebastian Vettel tipped to cause Lewis Hamilton ‘commotion’ if one thing happens

Sebastian Vettel has been continuously linked with a switch to Mercedes for the 2021 F1 season after he announced he would be leaving Ferrari. With most other seats taken, Vettel could end up alongside Lewis Hamilton.

Mercedes have yet to extend Hamilton’s contract and there remain questions over what Valtteri Bottas will do next season.

Vettel has all the credentials needed to driver for the reigning world champions.

But Nick Heidfeld believes it would be unrealistic for the current Ferrari ace to end up at the Silver Arrows.

“It is a shame, but going to Mercedes is not realistic,” he told Sky in Germany.

JUST IN: Premier League Project Restart boost as clubs unanimously vote to resume contact training

“It is interesting to hear that Toto Wolff analyses the qualities and not the nationality.

“A German team, of course, would like to have Vettel for marketing, but in my opinion Hamilton and Vettel will never be able to share a team.”

Heidfeld believes nobody would get anything out of Vettel and Hamilton teaming up at Mercedes.

He added: “No one would benefit from the signing of Vettel by Mercedes.

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“He would go to a team that is completely in the hands of Hamilton, who is also in top form.

“It is not ideal for Vettel, but it would not be good for Hamilton to have such a team-mate either.

“Mercedes wouldn’t want the two to be together either. That causes a lot of commotion and I just don’t see what’s going to happen.

“But we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I haven’t talked to Vettel, so I don’t know what he’s going to do.”

F1 quiz: 15 questions and answers to test your knowledge

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  • Sebastian Vettel tipped to announce F1 retirement if one thing happens

Vettel is a four-time F1 world champion but there are a lack of options for him on the grid.

Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Racing Point all look set on their driver line-ups for next season.

There is a vacancy at Renault following the announcement Daniel Ricciardo will replace Carlos Sainz at McLaren with the Spaniard taking Vettel’s seat at Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso has been linked with a return to the sport with Renault his most likely option.

That could mean Vettel either joins Mercedes or is forced to leave the sport for 2021 and possible end his career altogether.

F1 is currently tentatively scheduled to start in July with two races at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

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Liverpool stars handed boost as Premier League gives contact training go ahead

Liverpool stars ramped up their training regime on Wednesday after the Premier League confirmed that full contact will now be allowed.

The Premier League champions elect recently returned to training at Melwood but were adhering to strict guidelines put in place to ensure safety – one of which was maintaining social distancing protocols.

Jurgen Klopp's side are just a matter of points away from sealing a first top-flight title in 30 years.

And they seemed in the mood at Melwood as the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana all appeared in high spirits during a session in the Merseyside sunshine.

The session came after the Reds and their fellow Premier League clubs voted unanimously to resume contact training, as 'Project Restart' took a giant step forwards.

After starting with small, socially-distanced training sessions, players and managers from the 20 top-flight clubs were briefed on proposals for the reintroduction of contact training on Wednesday.

The matter was voted on the following day by Premier League shareholders and has been given the green light as a mid-June return edges closer.

In a statement, the league said: "Premier League shareholders today voted unanimously to resume contact training, marking another step towards restarting the Premier League season, when safe to do so.

"Squads are now able to train as a group and engage in tackling while minimising any unnecessary close contact.

"The Premier League's priority is the health and wellbeing of all participants.

"Strict medical protocols are in place to ensure the training ground is the safest environment possible and players and staff will continue to be tested for Covid-19 twice a week.

"Stage Two of the Return to Training protocol has been agreed following consultation with clubs, players, managers, the PFA, LMA and the Government.

"Discussions are ongoing as work continues towards resuming the season, when conditions allow."

Liverpool are 25 points clear of second-place Manchester City having played a game more.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.

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Newcastle star urged to snub transfer amid £300m takeover and spending spree

Newcastle star Jonjo Shelvey has been urged to snub a move away from St James’ Park by Paul Robinson. The former Premier League goalkeeper says the midfielder could be part of something special at Newcastle as their £300m takeover draws closer.

Shelvey has been linked with a switch to West Ham ahead of the summer transfer window.

Hammers boss David Moyes is said to be an admirer of the 28-year-old.

However, Robinson says Shelvey should stay put with Newcastle’s takeover drawing closer.

When asked whether Shelvey should join West Ham, Robinson told Football Insider: “I think it could be a great time to be part of things at Newcastle. He should at least give himself the opportunity to be part of things.

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“West Ham’s future is far from sealed at the moment. If the league is to be restarted they have got a real perilous set of fixtures.

“If they were to be relegated then it is a different proposition for Jonjo Shelvey.

“Does he want to be part of a Newcastle that are heading in the right direction if the takeover was to happen or does he want to end up in the Championship with West Ham?

“It will be very dependent on the end of the season.”

Newcastle fans are hoping their £300m takeover is completed in the coming days.

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Toon owner Mike Ashley has agreed to sell the club to PCP Capital Partners, an organisation backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

However, it emerged on Tuesday night that a new court ruling could scupper the deal.

The World Trade Organisation ruled Saudi Arabia is behind a pirate satellite TV and streaming service, leaving the takeover in jeopardy.

They ruled the Saudi government is behind beoutQ, which offers illegal streams to sporting events, including Premier League games.

The likes of Fifa, Uefa, the Premier League, La Liga have tried to take action against beoutQ, however, the copyright cases were unsuccessful.

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Following the claims, a subsequent case was taken to the WTO, who ruled Saudi Arabia is in breach of international law.

The ruling could see Newcastle’s proposed new owners fail the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.

Newcastle were tipped to splash the cash in the summer transfer window if their takeover was completed.

The Toon had been backed to sign Barcelona ace Philippe Coutinho, Gareth Bale of Real Madrid and Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly.

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What channel is NASCAR on today? TV schedule, start time for Wednesday night race at Charlotte

The TV channel for a NASCAR race is elusive enough in a normal season when Fox and FS1 trade broadcasts of Cup Series events through the first half of the schedule. The challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic make the “what channel is today’s NASCAR race on” question even more understandable.

Tonight, for the fourth time in just 11 days, those who seek the TV channel for the NASCAR race will be doing so in order to watch a real, live event rather than a virtual competition. The Alsco Uniforms 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the second of two Cup races at the track in a four-day span after Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, will broadcast live on FS1 with a start time of 8 p.m. ET.

Wednesday’s race at Charlotte is the fourth in NASCAR’s return on an altered, short-term schedule as it attempts to keep a 36-race slate intact for 2020. For now, with remaining doubt about how NASCAR can construct its schedule beyond June given differing restrictions on gatherings of people from state to state, the short-term schedule includes only a handful of tracks.

As for Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte, it was added to the Cup Series schedule as a replacement for the Sonoma race that was previously scheduled for June 14. In part because it takes place on a week night, the race is relatively short (312 miles, 208 laps), especially compared to Sunday’s 600-mile event at the same track.

Below is how to watch Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Charlotte, including the TV channel and live stream options.

What channel is NASCAR on today?

Like the schedule itself, the TV channels for Cup Series races after June are up in the air. The Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte, though, as well as two more Cup Series races currently on the schedule for May June, will broadcast live on FS1.

Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte will be the second Cup event shown on FS1 since NASCAR returned to live racing. Last week’s Wednesday night race at Darlington also was shown on FS1. Sunday’s Cup Series race at Bristol also will broadcast live on FS1 before the series returns to Fox for the June 7 race at Atlanta.

As is the case for all the Cup Series races on Fox and FS1 this season, Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon will call Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte. They will do so remotely from the Fox studio rather than the booth at the track.

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

An 8 p.m. ET start time is as late as it gets for a NASCAR Cup Series race, and it works for this particular event since the race is only 312 miles. FS1’s coverage is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, and the green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:25 p.m. ET.

The bad news as it relates to the start time for Wednesday night’s Cup Series race at Charlotte is the weather forecast. More rain is predicted for the Charlotte area Wednesday, so another delay is possible. The Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday had a 68-minute red flag due to a passing rain shower but was able to finish.

The only other night races currently on NASCAR’s modified schedule are the mid-week Martinsville race on Wednesday, June 10 and the Homestead race Sunday, June 14.

NASCAR live stream for Charlotte race

Anybody who has a cable or satellite subscription can stream Wednesday night’s race at Charlotte live via Fox Sports Go. This should be the preferred route for a viewer who has such a subscription but isn’t able to get in front of his or her TV.

For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five OTT TV streaming options that carry FS1 — Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV, fuboTV and AT&T Now. Of the five, Hulu, YouTubeTV and fuboTV offer free trial options.

Below are links to each.

NASCAR schedule 2020

NASCAR on May 14 released its revised Cup Series schedule for May and June of 2020. It remains committed to running 36 races, four of which were completed before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the sports world. According to Fox Sports, NASCAR hopes to keep its 10 playoff races in the fall intact and at their original tracks.

Below is the schedule revision for the Cup Series:

(NASCAR warns that the stage lengths and start times for the races above are tentative and subject to change.)

To start, NASCAR is scheduling races within driving distance of the Charlotte area, where most race teams are headquartered. That eliminates most of the travel-related logistics issues associated with running multiple races in one week, which appears necessary for a full season of racing.

Because those tracks are hosting more races than originally scheduled, NASCAR had to take races away from Chicagoland, Richmond and Sonoma. Via NASCAR, below are the details of those changes:

— “Chicagoland’s NASCAR Cup Series race, originally set for June 21, has been reassigned to Darlington on May 17. The 1.5-mile Illinois track’s Xfinity Series race that was scheduled June 20 will be held May 19 at Darlington. Chicagoland was also set to host the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series (June 19) and ARCA Menards Series (June 18); officials indicated that those races will be reassigned at a later date.”

— “Richmond Raceway’s springtime Cup Series event on the initial schedule for April 19 has been moved to Darlington on May 20. A Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race that was to be run April 18 remains postponed, with officials saying details would come later for rescheduling. The .75-mile Virginia track’s Sept. 11-12 race weekend remains on the schedule.”

— “Sonoma Raceway’s Cup Series date for June 14 has been moved to Charlotte on May 27. Officials for the road course said in a release that they had worked with NASCAR to find an alternate date on the schedule, but that a suitable replacement could not be reached, ‘given the ongoing uncertainty around large events in California.'”

Below are the four NASCAR Cup Series races that are currently postponed (and their original dates on the schedule):

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