Poll: Did you cry at the Great British Bake Off last night?

first_imgThe Great British Bake Off came to a dramatic conclusion last night with Nadiya Hussain crowned 2015 champion.It was an emotional final, but the Drivetime team want to know – did you cry at the Great British Bake Off last night? Nadiya Hussain 1last_img

Martin Ling appointed new manager of League One side Swindon Town

first_img1 Swindon Town have appointed Martin Ling as their new manager on a two-and-a-half-year contract.Ling succeeds Mark Cooper in the Robins hotseat and takes over a side sitting second bottom of League One having won just three of their 16 games this season.A former Robins player, Ling spent two spells at the County Ground, making more than 150 appearances for the club.He was part of the side which won promotion to the Premier League in 1993 under Glenn Hoddle.The 49-year-old now returns to Swindon to take on his first managerial role since leaving Torquay in 2013 after revealing a battle with depression.Ling previously spent time in charge of Cambridge United and Leyton Orient, leading the latter to promotion from League Two during a six-year spell at Brisbane Road. Martin Ling last_img read more

Steve Clarke insists “ambition and professionalism” was behind Reading stay, not money

first_img Reading manager Steve Clarke 1 Reading manager Steve Clarke insists his decision to remain at the Madejski Stadium instead of taking the Fulham job was down to ‘ambition and professionalism’ and not money.The Scot was thought to be on the verge of replacing Kit Symons, who left Craven Cottage during this month’s international break, after being given permission to speak to Fulham about becoming their new manager.However, Clarke opted against the move and the 52-year-old has revealed he did so because he believes his interests are better served with the Royals.“When I sat down and weighed it up – Reading was by far the best option,” Clarke told a press conference on Friday morning.“All I wanted was the chance to speak to another club and weigh up what is best for me. In my mind I was always closer to Reading than Fulham.“But you have to go and find out what their plans are and what they are thinking. Could they offer something better? And the answer was no.“It wasn’t about money – it was about ambition and professionalism. I didn’t want to think what if.“What I have here is more mind blowing. I’m happy with what I have here. This was the best option by a mile – to stay here.“I’m here for the rest of my contract – I hope. It’s been a strange week but I know I made the right decision.”For Fulham, it is back to the drawing board in their search for a new manager and former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley will be in charge for the trip to MK Dons on Saturday.Meanwhile, Clarke will be back in the dugout at the Madejski for the visit of Bolton on Saturday and he knows he now has some hurdles to overcome with the club’s supporters – and the board.“I understand the angst and anger among supporters but when someone is prepared to pay money to speak to me, it’s something as a professional I have to look at.“The supporters are the most loyal people at the football club. I can understand the ones that were really angry.“I’ve had a chat with the board. I’m not going to say everything is fine – it isn’t, they are a bit disappointed.“But I believe I still have support 100 per cent and now I want to get back to success on the pitch.”last_img read more

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini await their fates after FIFA ethics committee hearings finish

first_img1 Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini await their fates after FIFA ethics committee hearings finish The FIFA ethics committee hearings against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have ended, with the latter’s lawyer emerging and declaring his client’s innocence.Suspended FIFA president Blatter and suspended UEFA boss Platini are to learn their fate on Monday over whether there was impropriety in a £1.3million payment received by the latter from the former in 2011.Outgoing FIFA president Blatter, who signed off the payment, appeared before FIFA ethics judge Hans-Joachim Eckert on Thursday – while Platini boycotted his hearing.The procedure meant he was unable to join the race to be Blatter’s replacement when a new FIFA leader is chosen in February, but his agent, as reported by the BBC, said on Friday: “Platini is innocent. Now we are hoping the ethics committee will render the law.”Ahead of the verdicts which are expected at 9am on Monday, Blatter has called a news conference in Zurich where he will discuss the outcome.This comes on a day when FIFA’s interim leaders called on the organisation’s 209 member associations to embrace change after the “crisis that has shaken global football governance to its core”.An open letter from acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou and acting secretary general Markus Kattner told the associations they need to vote for major reforms in February to protect the future of the world governing body.It came amid the corruption scandal which has seen more than 30 football officials indicted by the US justice department, and the ethics committee hearings against Blatter and Platini.The open letter said: ”FIFA has faced unprecedented difficulties this year in a crisis that has shaken global football governance to its core. We are now moving through a period of necessary change to protect the future of our organisation.”It has become clear that root-and-branch reform is the only way to deter future wrongdoing and to restore faith in FIFA. For these reasons, this year and the immediate years to come will be among the most important for FIFA since it was founded in 1904.”A new FIFA president will be elected at the Congress in February, offering the opportunity to start a new chapter. It is vital to recognise that this will be only the beginning. We will need to work hard together over the coming years to win back the trust and respect of fans, players, commercial affiliates and all the many millions of participants who make football the world’s most popular sport.”We call on all of FIFA’s member associations to fully support, implement and abide by the new reforms.”The reforms, agreed by FIFA’s executive committee earlier this month, includeStrict term limits for senior positions within FIFA of three four-year terms to ”ensure that no single person can wield too much power or influence”.A clear separation of powers between the political side of football and the day-to-day financial and business operations of FIFA, such as organising competitions. All financial transactions to be monitored by a fully independent body.Member associations must comply with principles of good governance.A commitment to develop women’s football and to promote the participation of women in administration.Central integrity checks by an independent body for all appointments to FIFA bodies and senior management.More independent members of committees such as finance, development, and compliance, and more involvement from players, clubs, leagues.The letter states that the target is to have established a ”secure, professional and fully accountable sports organisation” by the time of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.last_img read more

Super agent predicts Juve sensation will leave Italy amid Man City interest

first_imgManchester City target Paulo Dybala will have to leave Italy as he’s on the verge of outgrowing Serie A already, according to an Italian agent.The Argentine forward was snapped up Juventus in a £28m deal in the summer after impressing for Palermo.He has been an instant hit for the Italian giants, scoring 11 goals in 19 appearances.Manchester City are reportedly monitoring the 22-year-old’s progress as they plot a summer spending spree ahead of Pep Guardiola’s anticipated arrival.And, with Italian clubs struggling to compete with the sky-high wages paid by European rivals, Italian super agent Giovanni Branchini believes Dybala will soon be on the move from Turin.“Will Dybala leave Italy? He belongs to the ‘super’ category,” Branchini said.“If he continues this vertical growth and his ability to learn – in parallel with the situation of Italian football – I think his departure to other places is not absolutely excluded.” Paulo Dybala 1last_img read more

Revealed! The role played by Gunnersaurus in cutting ticket prices for fans

first_img1 The Premier League have announced supporters will pay a maximum of £30 for a ticket to an away match for the next three seasons.Member clubs made the decision to introduce the new measures after sustained pressure from fans of top-flight teams to make football more affordable.The £30 cap will run from the start of the 2016/17 campaign through to 2018/19, a period which will see the Premier League teams receive record revenue (£5.14 billion) from broadcasting deals.Here is a selection of the response on social media… Liverpool fans display a banner at Villa Park last_img

New Directions program may rescue kids from gangs, drugs

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Yeah, Trevino knows the stare. It used to be his. He doesn’t have to imagine anything. The 44-year-old program director at New Directions for Youth in Van Nuys smiles, pulls the kid aside and gives him a little dose of reality. “Let me tell you what’s up, son,” he says. “I know that stare. It used to be mine. It doesn’t intimidate me.” His own story is a carbon copy of most of theirs. He ran with a gang, did drugs and alcohol, dealt a little on the side, spent time in county jail. He wasn’t raised in the Brady Bunch, either. His parents also separated and split on him. His mother left, but his gang never did. Bart Trevino knows the stare. He’s seen it a thousand times working with at-risk teenage kids in the San Fernando Valley. The dead eyes looking through you like you don’t exist. The body language that says, “Hey, man, you’ve got nothing to tell me so why don’t you just walk on down the street and find someone else to preach to?” The cold, hard looks warning you not to mess with them. They’ve seen things, been places you can’t even imagine. He was handed off to an extended, dysfunctional family growing up – from relative to relative until none of them had room for him anymore. So the county gave him a roof over his head until he turned 18. Trevino’s future was as clear as a beautiful, sunny day after the Santa Anas blow through L.A. He’d either be dead by 25 or in prison with his uncle and his cousins. “You’re trying to claim a street, die for a street that doesn’t even belong to you,” he tells the gang members. “Why?” So save the hard stare and let’s talk, kid, he says. Real talk, none of that street jive. What’s really going on? “Once they know where I’ve been, they can relate and open up,” Trevino says. “That’s when you find out that for most of them there’s nothing behind that stare but a lot of pain and hurt – a kid looking for a safe place and somebody who cares.” New Directions for Youth is that safe place where somebody cares. For the past 31 years in the Valley, thousands of at-risk kids heading toward possible early deaths or prison got a reprieve at this nonprofit organization. They met Bart Trevino or one of the other counselors at New Directions who know exactly what’s behind those hard stares. “They build a trust with you, and you know they’ve been in your shoes,” Roderick Warren says. “You realize, hey, if he can make it out, I can, too. That hits home.” Roderick was a kid born to two drug-addicted parents. The county took the kids away. One was adopted by another family, and two are still in foster care. “I was lucky,” he says. “I moved in with my aunt and her family.” He grew up around the gang life, but before he could be drawn into its web, he caught another lucky break. His worried aunt took him with her one day to volunteer at a place called New Directions for Youth. “It opened my eyes to what life and responsibility was all about,” Roderick says. “I learned that all people, no matter how they grew up, deserved a chance at life. New Directions gave me that chance.” In a few weeks, the 20-year-old junior at California State University, Northridge, majoring in business and financial services, will stand in front of 400 people in a ballroom at Skirball Cultural Center and repeat many of these same words at the organization’s 31st annual Spirit of Hope Awards Gala. Trevino and his wife, Linda, will be there. He owes his life to this woman he met at 25, when he was headed toward an early death or prison, he says. “Change your life or lose me,” she told him. He changed his life. He got that high school diploma he thought he’d never need and enrolled at UCLA, where he earned a degree as a licensed counselor in substance abuse. And now, Trevino will be sitting in a fancy ballroom surrounded by New Directions supporters and dozens of young men and women who have returned to volunteer at the program that saved their lives. Kids who gave Bart Trevino a stare he’s seen a thousand times. His old stare. For more information on New Directions for Youth, call executive director Monica Austin-Jackson at (818) 375-1000 or log on to www.ndfy.org. Dennis McCarthy’s column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. [email protected] (818) 713-3749160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone hit with three-match touchline ban

first_img1 Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid manager Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been banned for the final three matches of the Primera Division season after he was sent to the stands during his side’s win over Malaga.The Argentinian was dismissed after an extra ball was thrown onto the pitch, seemingly from the vicinity of the Atletico bench, which disrupted a Malaga attack.Simeone has insisted he did not throw the ball, but admitted the referee was right to order him from the touchline.On Wednesday the Spanish Football Federation announced a three-game ban for the 45-year-old, meaning he will be missing from the dugout for the matches against Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Celta Vigo.Saturday’s win over Malaga kept Atletico firmly in the title mix. They are level on points with leaders Barcelona and one clear of Real Madrid.Simeone, who has the right to appeal the punishment, was also fined 3,005 euros (£2,330) and the club 1,050 euros (£815).Atletico face Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.last_img read more

Leeds sack their sixth manager in two years as Steve Evans is dismissed

first_imgSteve Evans’ protracted departure from Leeds was confirmed on Tuesday night, with the Championship club saying they wanted to go in a different direction to the Scot.Evans’ exit had been on the cards for some weeks, with the 53-year-old publicly calling for clarity on his future while controversial owner Massimo Cellino interviewed other candidates for his job.Evans was told he would be given a new deal beyond the end of the season if he kept Leeds in the Championship – something he did with ease – but he was then left in limbo by Cellino who went weeks without contacting the former Rotherham boss.While Evans waited for news, Cellino spoke to MK Dons boss Karl Robinson and made an unsuccessful approach for Bristol Rovers’ Darrell Clarke, making it all the more clear that he would not be retaining the incumbent boss at Elland Road.And the club finally put Evans out of his misery on Tuesday, with Cellino saying in a statement on Leeds’ official website: “I would like to thank Steve Evans for his efforts as the head coach of Leeds United.“Steve completed the job he was brought in to carry out – to keep the team in the Championship – and his hard work here has been greatly appreciated. I wish him and (assistant) Paul Raynor the very best for the future.“We have, however, decided that a different approach is required in order to achieve our targets for the new season.“The club is now looking to appoint a new head coach to build on the good work of Steve and Paul and deliver the special season which our supporters deserve.”Cellino has long promised Leeds fans a “special season”, but has instead served up little more than six managers and a string of off-the-field controversies.He is currently the subject of a Football Association charge for an alleged breach of its agent regulations, while he has also served a Football League ban for tax evasion.His ownership has come under heavy criticism from fans, with the ‘Time To Go Massimo’ protest group particularly vociferous. A fortnight ago the Italian said he wanted to sell the club – not for the first time – but he now has a new head coach to appoint.He must do so amid the club’s brave pledge to refund season ticket holders either 25 per cent or 50 per cent of their outlay if Leeds fail to make the play-offs next season. The recent campaign, during which Evans took United to 13th, was their best under Cellino.Evans got the job after Uwe Rosler was sacked in October, his unsuccessful tenure following on from those of Brian McDermott, Dave Hockaday, Darko Milanic and Neil Redfearn.Former Swansea boss Garry Monk heads the betting to replace Evans. 1 Steve Evans is the sixth manager to be sacked in two years last_img read more

When are the Football League Championship (EFL) fixtures released?

first_img1 The Football League fixtures for 2016-17 are released on Wednesday 22 June 2016, including Championship, League One and League Two matches.The Championship will feature some massive clubs, and for the first time in European football history, two European Cup-winning clubs will compete in a second tier division, as Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest line up in the competition.They will be joined by former English champions Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Preston and Wolves.From the 2016-17 season on, the Football League – an organisation with a history stretching back to 1888, and for over 100 years responsible for all professional football leagues in England – is being rebranded the ‘EFL’.But we’ll still be calling it the Football League for a while yet!last_img read more