first_imgAmerican Bethanie Mattek-Sands, whose agonising on-court injury shocked Wimbledon, says she will need surgery and faces being sidelined from the game.Mattek-Sands lay screaming on the court after injuring her knee against Romanian Sorana Cirstea on Thursday and was carried off court and taken to hospital.”I ruptured my patellar tendon, and I’m going to be needing surgery, so I’ll be out for a while,” the 32-year-old told her fans in a Facebook Live chat.Mattek-Sands said that she had heard a “pop” in her leg as she stepped towards the net.The American, who suffered a serious ligament injury to the same knee four years ago, has won five grand slam doubles titles with Lucie Safarova and the pair would have held all four at the same time had they clinched a sixth at Wimbledon.Her Czech doubles partner was reduced to tears at courtside during the incident and led a flood of messages of support for Mattek-Sands on social media.”All your messages have been really inspiring and have meant a lot to me. The support has been amazing. I’ll get through this,” Mattek-Sands said.last_img read more

first_img Pinterest Public denials can be tricky, I guess, when it is only a few years since Everton were fined £45,000 at another Premier League tribunal after inviting Jamaal Lascelles, then of Nottingham Forest, for unauthorised talks at Goodison Park, including a tour of the stadium and training ground. Or if you remember that when it comes to pinching another club’s manager Everton were landed with a £75,000 fine, plus £50,000 in compensation, for “indirectly inducing” Mike Walker to leave Norwich City in 1994. Everton, in short, have more tap than Tommy Tune, with separate allegations now also surfacing about an illegal approach to an academy player from Cardiff City in 2016.The question is whether football cares enough to shift this culture and, frankly, I’m not sure that battle can be won. Other measures can be put in place, however, and Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers Association, says his members have been discussing whether a transfer window should be opened to determine when it is OK, and when it is not, for clubs to approach working managers. The idea would be to restrict movement to January and the summer, though it is hard to be too enthused. A better plan, surely, would be to impose the same rule they have in Italy to prevent anyone managing two clubs from the same division in one season.In the meantime, Everton have apparently lodged a counter‑allegation that Watford offered Silva their manager’s job when he was still under contract at Hull City and, as such, that it is pretty rich for them to be complaining now. Even if there is something in that, however, it is undermined by the fact Hull have not issued a complaint. Watford have – and the Premier League could, in theory, deduct points if the verdict goes against Everton. Just as, in theory, Uefa could throw clubs with racist crowds out of European competitions, but never do. Far more likely, it will be a fine, again. A big fine, perhaps, but nothing too harrowing for a club of Everton’s wealth, with the fifth highest net spend in the league over the last five years (higher even than Liverpool). If Hasawi goes to Charlton they will face a right carry-onFor the sake of Charlton Athletic, a club that have endured enough, let’s hope it is not true Fawaz al-Hasawi, the bewildering former owner of Nottingham Forest and creator of what is known by the River Trent as the Carry on Kuwait years, is planning to bring his unique style of leadership to the League One club.Hasawi, pictured being shown round the Valley, made such a shipwreck of his previous club a reasonable argument could be made that his name should already have a large cross through it on what used to be known as the fit‑and-proper-person test.Unfortunately for Charlton, that would mean relying on the Football League and, having watched the club drowning under Roland Duchâtelet’s ownership, I wouldn’t hold too much confidence in the relevant people thinking it is time to throw a bit of rope into the water. Anyone with a long enough memory might also recall Liverpool’s previous with Christian Ziege of Middlesbrough, resulting in a £20,000 fine from the Premier League, or the pursuit of Clint Dempsey, when it needed a written apology to persuade Fulham to withdraw an official complaint, and wonder how many other players could be added to this list – including, if Arsène Wenger is to be believed, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.Wenger, of course, wanted everyone to believe Arsenal would never resort to these kind of tactics, wearing his halo so tight you wondered whether he might be in danger of giving himself a headache. Others within the sport would probably accept that every club breaks the rules this way, just some more brazenly than others. Alex Ferguson, fair to say, would have been at the higher end of the scale if you believe the story of him sending a Manchester United shirt to Joe Cole, then a teenager in West Ham’s academy. The shirt had the No 10 and came with a hand-written note saying: “This is your number when you play for Manchester United.”It is the same abroad, with considerable evidence that the leading Spanish clubs, in particular, regard the rules in the same way that Uri Geller used to view spoons: they are there to be bent. It is just the practice has changed over the years. Once, it would be the manager or chairman making contact with a player. Nowadays, it is a more convoluted process, involving a chain of agents and intermediaries. It is the same message delivered in a different way, to protect the people who would ultimately sign off the deal. That is maybe the problem. The elite clubs are so rich these days, the only punishment that would truly hurt is a points deduction. In which case, a proper system needs to be put in place to deter the clubs. For a first offence, the relevant club would be fined and made to pay compensation. Another incident within a three-year period could mean, say, a point docked. And a third strike? It is all negotiable, but how about a three-point deduction and the threat of a one-window transfer ban?As it is, very few of these disputes even get this far and there has never been a single one that has resulted in anything but a fine. The world will carry on turning and football has got by so far without this kind of totting-up procedure. But is it any wonder, with the system we have now, that Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and all the other clubs with money might think it is worth taking the risk?Hereford’s haste a bleak sign of the times for PellegriniPeter Beadle might not be a familiar name to everyone but there is a reasonable argument, based on pure win percentages, that he could be the most successful manager in English football.Beadle took charge of Hereford FC – the club formed in the aftermath of Hereford United being wound up – in 2015 and led them to league titles in each of his three full seasons. In his first year, they won two cup competitions and reached the final of the FA Vase. The following year, promotion was confirmed with six games to spare and last season they won 36 out of 46 league matches. Beadle’s record from 138 games is 107 wins, 18 draws and 13 defeats, with 365 goals scored and 105 conceded. It is a win ratio of 78.9%.All of which us brings us to the newsflash on Hereford’s website that Beadle is now their former employee, eight games into their first season in National League North. “This is not a decision the board has taken lightly and it is made with a heavy heart,” the chairman, Ken Kinnersley, said of the manager’s sacking. “However, the directors are in unanimous agreement that now is the right time to make a change.”Kinnersley says the club’s ambition is to reach the Football League and, plainly, Hereford’s opening run of three wins, two draws and three defeats, leaving them in 12th position, was not good enough now we have moved into age where even the smaller clubs appear to operate on knee‑jerk reflexes.It’s even worse higher up and in the case of Manuel Pellegrini, four games into his role as West Ham manager, you have to wonder where it will lead if his team lose again at Everton on Sunday. West Ham have started the season with four defeats and the last time that happened, in 2010-11, they were relegated in bottom place. A fifth defeat would represent the worst start to a season in the club’s 123-year history and it won’t get any easier. The next two league fixtures will be against Chelsea and Manchester United.On the one hand, it feels ridiculous to be talking about Pellegrini’s job being under threat in mid-September. On the other hand, that is the narrative of modern-day football and I doubt Peter Beadle imagined, five weeks into the season, he would be turfed out either. Read more Twitter Read more Share on Pinterest Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Nottingham Forest fans protesting against Fawaz al-Hasawi in January 2017. Photograph: Tom Jacobs/Reuters Premier League Manuel Pellegrini ploughs on as anxiety grows at pointless West Ham | Jacob Steinberg Facebook comment Read more It is also a routine part of daily football life, whether we like it or not, and I wonder how many clubs are currently rubbernecking in Everton’s direction, and thinking it might easily have been them, now the Premier League has commissioned an independent inquiry to examine the Marco Silva affair.Watford, presumably, would never dream of approaching another club’s employee and, having pursued Everton so vigorously over this complaint, they had better make sure that remains the case if they want to avoid allegations of double standards. Yet it is easy to understand why Watford feel so aggrieved and maybe it’s no surprise that the club at the centre of the allegations have not tried to persuade us they would never behave this way. Sportblog Mick Channon (second left) was tapped up when on an England tour, by Peter Swales (left) – an FA official and also Manchester City chairman. Photograph: Mike Forster/Daily Mail/Rex/Shutterstockcenter_img Pinterest Nobody should be surprised. It’s been going on for years, decades even, and you have to marvel when the clubs who turn it to their advantage work themselves into such a froth of moral indignation when they get a taste of their own medicine.Liverpool, for example, when they cancelled a pre-season friendly against Borussia Mönchengladbach on the basis they suspected the German club had gone behind their back to try to entice Rhian Brewster away from Anfield. A victory for the greater good, you might think, if it were not for all that awkward business with Virgil van Dijk last year, when Liverpool ended up offering Southampton what is commonly known as a humiliating apology. Or the fact Liverpool were fined £100,000 and banned from signing academy players for a year, having been caught trying to poach an 11-year-old from Stoke City, promising to pay his school fees and, according to a considerable list of allegations, offering his family all sorts of other inducements including all-expenses-paid trips to tournaments abroad, £50 cash in hand for the boy every time he trained at their academy and the money to replace his father’s faulty car exhaust. Facebook Watford Twitter Everton v West Ham United: match preview Everton Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Share on Facebook The most blatant “tap” I ever heard about goes back to the days when it was quite the norm for the members of the FA’s international committee to use their positions as a way of making clandestine approaches to players from the England team.It was June 1977 and England had just played Brazil as part of a tour of South America, minus Don Revie on the pretext the manager was flying off to watch Italy, one of their opponents in the World Cup qualifiers (in reality, Revie was negotiating his contract in United Arab Emirates as part of his own exit strategy). The players were relaxing by the pool at their hotel on Copacabana beach when Peter Swales, the chairman of Manchester City, wandered over, as bold as brass, to ask Mick Channon for a word under his own parasol. Everyone knew what that meant. “Off to Manchester City, Mick?” was the gist of it when Channon returned. And he was – his transfer from Southampton went through the following month. Reuse this content Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Everton’s Marco Silva unfazed by illegal approach investigation Share on Messenger Topicslast_img read more