Good news stories have been thin on the ground of late at Manchester United, and so you would have thought that the emergence of yet another academy talent, Brandon Williams, would have been cause for celebration.
Williams made his debut in the lame Carabao Cup penalty shootout victory over minnows Rochdale and was again in the squad for the 1-1 Premier League draw with Arsenal – not that you would have known it, looking at the matchday programme.
The 19-year-old local lad did not feature in the squad list, something which did not go unnoticed. Given Williams went on to start in the 0-0 Europa League draw at AZ Alkmaar, it may be an error worth correcting at some point.
Brandon Williams made his debut in the Carabao Cup penalty shootout victory over Rochdale
Jacobs scores BT comeback after BBC ban
It was a considerable surprise to see Ben Jacobs pop up as an in-vision reporter for BT Sport’s Score show, almost a decade after he was banned for life by the BBC.
In 2010, a costly and lengthy investigation – that reached director-general level – determined that Jacobs brought the Beeb into disrepute by sabotaging a Radio 5 Live pre-recorded interview with then Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, deliberately inserting in parts an X-rated, not-for-broadcast rant by racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght. He denied the allegations made against him.
Jacobs, who once delivered a series of sports bulletins for the BBC naked, is believed to know BT’s executive producer David Moss from the pair’s time together at beIN Sports.
It was a considerable surprise to see Ben Jacobs pop up as an in-vision reporter for BT Sport
Aussies attempt to get another England man out
While the Ashes may be over, it can be disclosed the pesky Australians failed in a cheeky attempt to get another England man out.
Sports Agenda readers may recall that the Aussies’ media manager Jeremy Arnold was banished from their tour following a World Cup at which he won few friends. At the time, Cricket Australia denied Arnold had been sacked but it has since emerged that he has now left the building.
And sources have disclosed that crafty officials from CA attempted to pinch England’s Danny Reuben to replace him. However, to the relief of cricket journalists across the country (and the ECB), the Yorkshireman – lauded for opening doors in his role as head of team communications – is staying.
After Reuben’s swerve, the Aussies have appointed Supercars Championship corporate affairs general manager Cole Hitchcock, who starts at the end of the month.
Lucky rollover for Rugby World Cup advertisers
It would appear that the biggest victors from the Rugby World Cup fixture cancellations are the advertisers.
Companies with ad slots booked during Saturday’s never-to-be-played matches have had them rolled over to the knockout stages, which were more expensive, for no extra charge.
Broadcasters are expected to seek a rebate from World Rugby.
The biggest victors from the Rugby World Cup fixture cancellations are the advertisers
Macclesfield turn down cash
Macclesfield Town, whose players went unpaid this month and who are due to face a winding-up petition next week, are hardly in a position where they can turn away cash.
However, a large number of walk-up customers were sent away from Saturday’s clash with Port Vale.
While creditors may well have raised eyebrows, the decision to set a deadline of Friday to sell tickets was well-publicised and based on concerns Vale fans may have tried to infiltrate the home sections of the ground.
Macclesfield Town players and staff have pleaded for help from the EFL over unpaid wages
Windsor setback for the Premier League
The Premier League’s jolly to the races will go down as a non-runner, after MPs decided to schedule their inquiry into the administration of football clubs on the same day.
Members of the media and some famous faces were due to flock to Windsor on October 21, but representatives from the top flight are expected to have to give evidence to Damian Collins’s committee. Insiders say another event will be arranged.
More cycling turmoil
What is it about cycling? It would appear that even the electronic version of the much-maligned sport, in which people compete against others across the globe from static bikes in their own homes via computers, is not safe from cheating.
British Cycling, whose former doctor Richard Freeman faces a medical tribunal later this month over the ‘mystery’ testosterone delivery, have been forced to disqualify their eRacing champion Cameron Jeffers after they found that he ‘manipulated pre-race data to gain an unfair advantage via in-game equipment’. There was not even a Jiffy bag in sight.
British Cycling’s former doctor Richard Freeman faces a medical tribunal later this month
Champions League the priority over racing for ITV
News that the Champions League tender has gone out to broadcasters may spell trouble for racing. ITV will look at the rights on offer, and may opt to bid for a round or two of games.
With sources pointing out the broadcaster doesn’t have a ‘limitless pot’ for sports rights, there are now concerns among the racing fraternity who are keen to keep the sport on terrestrial TV.
ITV had hoped to have a three-year contract extension from 2021 to 2023 wrapped up months ago, and have tabled an offer of between £30m and £40m. However, it has still not been signed, with Ascot understood to be stalling and incumbent Jockey Club chief Delia Bushell taking an interest in the contract.
Contributors: Laura Lambert and Matt Hughes
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