AHEAD OF THE GAME: FA to give security to England's WAGs at World Cup

AHEAD OF THE GAME: The FA agree to arrange security for England’s WAGs at the World Cup in Qatar… with fears families of Gareth Southgate’s squad will be targeted by troublemakers while staying on cruise ships

  • Wives and girlfriends of England’s players will be given security at World Cup
  • Many relatives of players will stay on cruise ships off Doha for the tournament
  • The FA have agreed to step in amid fears troublemakers could target them 

The FA have agreed to arrange security for the England WAGs who have opted to stay on cruise ships off Doha during the World Cup due to fears they will be targeted by troublemakers.

The majority of the players’ relatives and friends have opted to spend the tournament on a luxury liner after concluding that it offered a better standard of accommodation than hotels and apartments in Qatar, but a visit from several families after the World Cup draw in March sparked concerns about their privacy and security while on board. 

Following representations from several players’ agents, the FA have agreed to help with the families’ security arrangements in addition to those for the squad.

The cost of accommodation in Qatar is proving problematic even for players’ relatives, with Sportsmail revealing this week that some families have been quoted £300,000 for a month-long stay in Qatar.

 England’s WAGs are to be given security on board cruise ships for the World Cup in Qatar

Burnley have spent £32.3million this summer paying off almost half of the club’s £65m loan from MSD Holdings in a series of payments that will severely impact Vincent Kompany’s playing budget as he attempts to guide them back to the Premier League. 

Sportsmail revealed in January that a significant part of what was initially an interest-only loan taken out to fund Burnley’s £170m takeover by ALK Capital two years ago would become due if they were relegated last season, and the private equity firm have been quick to reclaim their money.

It is understood that Burnley made three payments to MSD of £15m, £5m and £12.3m over the last three months, leaving a total of £32.7m left on the loan, which if they had not been relegated would not have been due until 2026. 

Burnley have funded the repayments through player sales, with Dwight McNeil, Nathan Collins and Maxwell Cornet sold for a total of £57.5m. The departures of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski on frees also cut the wage-bill.

It is feared that Burnley’s debt repayments will hinder Vincent Kompany’s side on the pitch

Everton U-turn on gambling

Everton’s sponsor Stakes.com are offering cash bonuses to Toffees fans who spent more than £4,000 on bets over the past seven days

Everton’s U-turn on gambling sponsorship has been further highlighted by their shirt sponsors, Stake.com, offering cash bonuses linked to the club to fans who spent more than £4,000 on bets over the past seven days. 

The cryptocurrency-based betting platform and casino offered vouchers to big-spending punters using the code evertonrtg1, leading to criticism that the club are promoting irresponsible gambling. 

Everton’s attitude to the gambling industry appears to have changed over the last two years. 

They cancelled a previous sponsorship deal with betting company Sportpesa and chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said they would seek to avoid similar contracts in future. 

The club say the shift is down to a differing commercial landscape, not least due to losing tens of millions of pounds in sponsorship deals linked to the sanctioned oligarch Alisher Usmanov. 

Ten Hag row with Sky reporter

Erik Ten Hag’s beef with Sky Sports News’ Gary Cotterill can be traced back to last season when they clashed at Ajax’s training ground. 

The veteran reporter had been despatched to Amsterdam after it became clear Ten Hag was going to get the Manchester United job, and irritated the Dutchman by approaching his car while he was signing autographs. 

There was a further incident at United’s final game of the season at Crystal Palace when Cotterill was ushered away from Ten Hag by security guards, although the well-respected broadcaster was still staggered when United refused to take his questions at Friday’s press conference.

Sky Sports’ Gary Cotterill irritated Erik ten Hag when he was signing autographs last season

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