• Benitez’s Politics Prompts Slow Change At Newcastle

    As the euphoria of promotion draped itself over St James’ Park, one man refused to be caught up in the moment — Rafa Benitez. “You never know, that is football," he said when asked about his future.“I am really pleased to be here, and really happy and proud for everything we have achieved.” The uncertainty sent a nervous tremor among Newcastle fans. Mike Ashley, a businessman first and a football club owner a distant second, had never shied away from driving a hard bargain, especially when money was involved. That parsimony had not only been a strength in business, but a crippling weakness for Newcastle. The playing squad was once likened to poker chips — a fitting metaphor for a team that so often took needless gambles. ...

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  • Can AC Milan Finally End Juventus’ Dominance In Serie A

    Li Yonghong’s takeover of AC Milan took longer to reach a conclusion than a Fellini epic. The 47 year old phosphate magnate was initially financed by the Chinese government’s State Development and Investment Corporation until restrictions were placed on outbound foreign business ventures and they backed away. Undeterred, Li formed his own holding company - Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux – but the €740 million necessary to purchase 99.9% of the Italian giants was beyond a businessman who is clearly not short of a renminbi or two yet is nowhere to be found on Forbes’ 400 richest men in China. To push the takeover through, €300m from a US hedge fund was eventually secured, a loan that must be paid back in full, plus interest, by October 2018. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Anthony Martial Continues To Battle For Jose Mourinho’s Acceptance

    Twisting, turning, bamboozling arguably the world's best right back in Dani Carvajal and it still wasn't enough. “He is a young player, still time to learn, still time to improve, still time to develop, and it’s also his personality, I can say he is training better than before, he’s working harder than before, it’s a question to bring his talent more in a consistent way,”said Jose Mourinho of Anthony Martial, who is an undoubted talent, but struggled last year. ...

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  • Whiteboard Extra: World Cups 2010 & 2014

      Joe Devine speaks to three separate guests; Paul Ansorge & Alex Stewart to discuss the tournaments in 2010 & 2014, and uMAXits very own Danny Sayers, who is currently out in the Netherlands making a series of videos about the European Championships. ...

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