Scottish FA chief confident that football can return in August

‘The plans we are putting in place are comprehensive’: Scottish FA chief confident that football can return in August after 2019-20 season was cancelled this week

  • Scottish FA chief Ian Maxwell is confident football can return in August
  • The 2019-20 season was cancelled as Celtic were crowned champions 
  • Maxwell said ‘comprehensive’ plans will be in place for a safe return soon 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Scottish Football Association chief executive Ian Maxwell believes the game is likely to return in August.

Some previous predictions from within the Scottish football authorities had signalled September or October as a realistic return date following the coronavirus suspension but Maxwell is more optimistic ahead of a meeting with the Scottish Government on Friday.

A route out of lockdown was published on Thursday which outlined phase two as the beginning of professional sport’s return, with phase one set to begin on May 28.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell believes the game is likely to return in August

The 2019-20 season was cancelled and Celtic were crowned champions for ninth season

‘I think it is likely that we will see football in August,’ Maxwell told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound. ‘We are seeing it in countries across Europe.

‘I think it is definitely achievable, the plans we are putting in place are comprehensive. We have to make sure we are giving Government comfort that we can do it in a manner that keeps the players, the staff, everybody involved in the game safe, and I’m sure we can do that.

‘The information we had from Government was that the NHS was on an emergency footing until June 10 and there would be no relaxation of restrictions until that point.

‘Obviously they have released their staged plans, phase two talks about a return to professional sport and that ties in with some time round about June 10-18.

‘Obviously that is fluid but I think we have to go on the hope and expectation that the numbers we are seeing in terms of the virus will continue to decrease and that gives us the opportunity to plan for then.

‘As long as all those elements fall into place, there is no reason why we can’t be training then and back playing six weeks after that.’

The Scottish Premiership is set to be the first division to kick off and there is no guarantee the others will follow.

Forfar admitted on Friday that it would be very difficult for League One and Two to resume this year, while Championship side Queen of the South described playing games without fans as ‘financial suicide’.

Scottish Premiership is set to be first division in country to restart with no guarantee for others

The costs of coronavirus testing have also been deemed prohibitive with some estimates putting the weekly cost to clubs at up to £4,500.

But former Partick Thistle chief executive Maxwell said: ‘I don’t think it would be that. I think we can be creative with that. All things being equal it could be less than half that.

‘If I put my Thistle head back on, as soon as someone says a thousand pounds, I think ‘that’s a good player I can’t sign’. Football finances translate into a number of players and that’s something clubs are going to have to deal with if they want to get training back and get games back.

‘We need to be able to step in and support them as much as we can.’

Maxwell revealed the SFA held talks with a supplier of testing machines on Friday along with representatives from other sports.

Maxwell revealed the SFA held talks for testing machines on Friday as they plan return

‘There are different ways to do testing,’ he said. ‘Down south, I understand the model is they take swabs which are given to one lab to test them all, and the clubs get the results back the next day.

‘There is machinery available where you can test players at the training pitch and you can have results back within an hour.

‘Testing is going to be important, I don’t see any circumstances whereby the Government or more importantly the players sign off on a training regime that didn’t include significant and proper level of testing.

‘I think it’s right that the Scottish FA play a part in making that as affordable as we possibly can for clubs.’

Second-tier clubs are set to meet on Monday while Hearts owner Ann Budge is still formulating a reconstruction plan to prevent her club being relegated.




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

BHA confident of return to action in Britain despite French setback

‘We are making good progress as we prepare for June 1’: BHA confident of racing resumption in Britain despite French suffering shock setback

  • Fench racing in turmoil after the sport was suddenly halted in its key regions
  • The French government stopped any racing in Paris and the north on Tuesday
  • There will be no racing at least until the next review of the transition on June 2
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

The BHA have said the fact French racing has been forced to close tracks in Paris and in the east of the country should have no ramifications for the resumption of racing in Britain.

Racing’s ruling body has steered clear of using overseas jurisdictions whose racing has either continued or resumed as evidence as to why British racing should return.

A spokesman for the BHA said: ‘Our proposal has always been that racing will be ready to return safely in Britain as soon as the UK Government permits the resumption of sporting events.

There will be no more racing at Longchamp, where the sport resumed in France on May 11

‘Our plans are being developed with officials from Public Health England and will be in line with UK government policy. We are making good progress as we prepare for a resumption on June 1.’

Final Government approval for the return of British racing has yet to be received.

Racing returned in France on May 11 at Longchamp but the French Government backtracked when announcing on Tuesday that no track inside Red Zones of high COVID-19 infections rates can now race.

Today’s scheduled meeting at Longchamp has been switched to Deauville on the Normandy coast.

French racing was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after being told to shut down its Paris tracks




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Bayern Munich 'confident of signing Celtic prospect Barry Hepburn'

Bayern Munich ‘confident of securing deal for Scotland youth international Barry Hepburn after 16-year-old prospect rejected Celtic’s offer of a professional contract’

  • Bayern Munich are eager to sign Celtic youngster Barry Hepburn this summer 
  • The 16-year-old has reportedly rejected Celtic’s offer of a professional contract 
  • Defender Liam Morrison left Celtic to join Bayern’s Under-17 team last year

Bayern Munich are reportedly confident of signing Celtic attacker Barry Hepburn this summer.

As reported by The Sun, the German club are eager to finalise a deal for the 16-year-old, who has been offered a professional contract by Celtic.

The report indicates that Hepburn rejected that offer and could now head to Germany.

Bayern Munich are hopeful of securing a deal for Celtic youngster Barry Hepburn this summer

A Scotland Under-17 international, Hepburn is an exciting prospect but could soon leave Celtic.

Last year defender Liam Morrison left Celtic to join Bayern.

Last year Liam Morrison left Celtic to join Bayern, where he plays in the club’s Under-17 team

The centre-back has gained experience playing for Bayern’s Under-17 side and Hepburn could be playing at that level next season. 

Like Hepburn, Morrison is also a Scottish youth international, having featured for his country at Under-17 level.  




Share this article

Source: Read Full Article

Manchester United confident of winning Jude Bellingham battle

Manchester United confident of winning Jude Bellingham battle after ‘blowing Birmingham wonderkid away’ with charm offensive that saw 16-year-old meet Sir Alex Ferguson and given tour of Carrington training complex

  • Jude Bellingham was recently given tour of Manchester United’s training ground
  • United believe their attention to detail impressed midfielder and his parents
  • A host of European clubs are also interested in signing Bellingham this sumemr 

Manchester United are growing increasingly confident of winning the battle for Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham, according to reports.

United are one of a host of top European clubs, including Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea, who are desperate to sign the 16-year-old this summer.

It was reported last month that Dortmund were at the front of the queue after impressing Bellingham with their commitment to developing young players.

Manchester United are confident of winning the battle for Birmingham’s Jude Bellingham

The 16-year-old is wanted by a host of top European clubs including Borussia Dortmund

But Bellingham was reportedly ‘blown away’ by his tour of United’s training ground last month

But United, who are keen to secure a £35million deal rising to £50m with add-ons, aren’t concerned by the interest being shown in Bellingham by rival clubs. 

According to The Sun, Bellingham was ‘blown away’ by his tour of United’s Carrington training complex in March after holding talks with the club. 

Bellingham met Sir Alex Ferguson as well as the club’s transfer guru, Matt Judge, before being escorted around Carrington along with his parents. 

An Old Trafford source said: ‘We felt that he was blown away with what he was shown and what was said to him by all.

Bellingham currently earns £145 a week but BVB have reportedly offered £60,000 a week

United will offer significantly less money but emphasised commitment to his development

‘We believe he was impressed with what we can offer. We have a duty of care to young players and want to develop them.’

Birmingham are hopeful of striking a deal which will see Bellingham return to the club on loan next season but United have other ideas. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to add him to his first team squad this summer and sees him as part of his short term and long term plans. 

Bellingham is currently earning just £145-a-week at Birmingham but United have told him they won’t offer him the reported £60,000 a week on offer at Dortmund.




Share this article


Source: Read Full Article