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MARTIN SAMUEL: The downfall of Project Big Carve-up came as angry rivals turned on the Big Two

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martin samuel the downfall of project big carve up came as angry rivals turned on the big two

It was Everton who were the first to mention the T word. Trust. There wasn’t a lot of it in the room, as the authors of Project Big Carve-up faced their fellow Premier League shareholders.

By the afternoon, a letter had been drafted suggesting a united front, with all 20 clubs as signatories. The project was dead, replaced by a review in which the entire Premier League, not just its most-entitled members, would contribute. But let’s not pretend. It won’t be the same.

The Big Six have been meeting in secret for some time now, and every club knew that. They had grown accustomed to the threats and power plays that resulted, always about more money and more power, but this was a requisition too far. There was genuine anger in the room, a very real sense of betrayal. 

Henry's Fenway Sports Group have been discussing the idea of an overhaul for some time

Both Liverpool and United held secret talks with EFL chairman Rick Parry

Liverpool’s John W Henry (L) and Manchester United’s Joel Glazer (R) were behind the Project Big Picture plans, which died on Wednesday due to a complete lack of trust from other clubs

Martin Semmens, chief executive of Southampton, said he had not even seen the document that chairmen in the lower divisions were going to be voting on. A number of participants drove home the message that no respect had been shown to the clubs – the shareholders, as they are known – the league or the supporters. They were right. The Big Six had not even possessed the courtesy to come through the front door with their ultimatums.

One exchange saw Christian Purslow, a former managing director of Liverpool, but now with Aston Villa, directly challenge Tom Werner, the current Liverpool chairman. He pointed out that this week was the tenth anniversary of the Fenway Sports Group takeover and that, one way or another, it had gone rather well. The thrust of the rest of the address can be summed up in a pithy phrase: and this is how you repay us?

There has been some laughable tosh circulating this week, not least the idea that John Henry of Liverpool has been sat across the Atlantic deeply worried about the fate of the English football pyramid. That is Rick Parry’s brief and, by all accounts, he even kept a straight face delivering it, so on the bright side he may be able to retrain for the stage if his lengthy career harming English football is over. 

Aston Villa's Christian Purslow (C) challenged Liverpool's Tom Werner in Wednesday's meeting

Aston Villa’s Christian Purslow (C) challenged Liverpool’s Tom Werner in Wednesday’s meeting

It was this concern for the little guys, apparently that drove Henry towards a proposal that would divert more money to the EFL – although not necessarily more of his, once the many strings were attached – and all he wanted in return was to seize control of every element of English football, across four divisions, in perpetuity. If he didn’t get this, Henry was so anxious for the well-being of the pyramid, that he was going to lead his club, and several others, away from it to form a European Super League, taking large swathes of revenue with them. Because they care.

Unsurprisingly, then, some in the room were sceptical about motivation. Werner insisted that Project Big Swag Bag was not a firm set of proposals more a broad list of ideas. It was then pointed out that, if this was the case, why did he take it to the chairman of another league, and not his own? And why was that chairman putting it before his clubs to vote on, as if it were finite? Seemed rather presumptuous if Liverpool and Manchester United had only been spit-balling; or was there something they were not telling everybody? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Back to the issue of trust and Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association, admitted being party to the discussions from an early stage, but walking away when it became clear that a breakaway was being entertained. He should have blown the whistle, then, of course. Clarke placed the blame for the worst of recent developments on Parry, who he clearly viewed as the agitator in all this. Yes, he had willing accomplices, but he is most certainly culpable. In lieu of structured proposals club by club, Parry plucked a random figure of £250m from the air. 

Werner (L) said the project was more an idea than firm proposals but still went to the EFL with it

Werner (L) said the project was more an idea than firm proposals but still went to the EFL with it

Instead of bringing together football’s disparate elements – clubs that have little in common beside pitch dimensions and a ball – he has spread disharmony and mistrust. There was even talk of whether it was possible to by-pass the EFL chairman in future conversations about rescue packages for lower league clubs. Ed Woodward, of Manchester United, counselled against that, no doubt to the biggest collective eye roll since the Egremont Crab Fair Gurning World Championships.

Where this leaves Parry is another matter. This was nothing short of an attempted coup and it failed. The Big Six became a Big Two very early in the meeting as four read the room and tiptoed softly away from the chief conspirators. 

Liverpool and Manchester United don’t seem too taken with Plan B, either, which would see them depart for the EFL to mount a reverse takeover; or as it is known in business circles, engage in a wanton act of commercial suicide.

Rick Parry delivered the idea with a straight face so maybe he should retrain for the stage

Rick Parry delivered the idea with a straight face so maybe he should retrain for the stage

The good news? There will be a review, hopefully the proper examination of football’s finances that the game needs. And if it ends with more money redirected to the lower leagues in a way that makes the pyramid sustainable, that is for the best, too. 

The old division of broadcast revenue, pre-Premier League – 50 per cent for tier one, 25 per cent for tier two, 12.5 per cent for tiers three and four – is gone for good, sadly. Project What’s-in-it-for-me? was proposing 25 per cent handed down, and that would be healthy. 

Yet so, too, would a levy per club, perhaps split according to domestic earnings. Ten per cent from Liverpool’s pot last season would work out as £17.46m; from Manchester United £14.25m; from Aston Villa £10.61m. Then we’d see how devoted these American venture capitalists are to football’s lovely pyramid.

The idea which Henry (pictured with wife Linda Pizzuti Henry) was strongly involved in will now be replaced with a review

It would be healthy to split according to domestic earnings but would Glazer happily hand over 10 per cent from United's £14.25m pot from last season?

Now it’s dead, let’s see how devoted these US venture capitalists are to the English pyramid

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Marcus Rashford ‘can’t stop smiling’ after first Man Utd hat-trick on day free school meals petition gets 1m signatures

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marcus rashford cant stop smiling after first man utd hat trick on day free school meals petition gets 1m signatures scaled

MARVELLOUS Marcus Rashford admits he “can’t stop smiling” as his stunning second-half hat-trick led Manchester United’s 5-0 hammering of RB Leipzig.

On the day the striker’s petition for free school meals reached 1million signatures, he came on in the 63rd minute to strike on 74 and 78 minutes plus two minutes into injury time.

Marcus Rashford launches his treble with this cool finish, confirmed on VAR,

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Marcus Rashford launches his treble with this cool finish, confirmed on VAR, Credit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Rashford said: “I think the manager told me when I came on to up the tempo and of course for us it means going forward and there were definitely spaces there.

“We looked like we could score every time we went forward.

“It was  a real team performance and those who started the game did well and those who came on did well.



“We can’t ask for much more than that in terms of attitude and intensity and intent to go and kill a game off.”

And in a tweet celebrating his first United treble, he hailed his petition success and amazing match stats before adding: “Can’t stop smiling, I’ve waited a long time for that. Just wish the fans were in to experience it with me.”

The 22-year-old did well to ignore the linesman’s flag in running on to Bruno Fernandes through ball for his first goal – doubling Mason Greenwood’s opener – as VAR showed his run had begun before the halfway line.

Rashford said: “I thought to be fair I was in my own half so I was a bit confused when the flag went up but all you can do is wait and see and after the ball is in the net and that is it.

“We have to work with VAR. it’s part of the game now and the quicker we get used to it the better.” 

Rashford was briefly denied a hat-trick when Anthony Martial asked to take an 87th minute penalty but at least the Frenchman converted it.

Asked if there had been a chat between the two, Rashford said: “A little bit yeah but I feel confident with Anthony taking them as well so there was no problem.”

The romp made it two wins from two in Champions League Group H.

Sub Marcus Rashford rounded off his special day on and off the field by taking centre stage with a hat-trick to rout Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig

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Sub Marcus Rashford rounded off his special day on and off the field by taking centre stage with a hat-trick to rout Bundesliga leaders RB LeipzigCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

Rashford, who is making headlines off the pitch for his work in feeding poverty hit children, is doing the business on it too against sides that excelled in the Champions League last season.

He scored the late winner last week against finalists PSG and now this against the Bundesliga leaders and a side who reached the last four.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Marcus took his chances incredibly well.

 “Marcus has shown he can keep focusing on what’s important on and off the pitch.

 “He came on did well made an impact and that is what you want from the subs but that is only possible though because the others had laid the groundwork.

“What a shift they put in. Leipzig make you work hard, the high press, the counter press, everything, the intensity and we had to dig in and work hard for each other so spaces open up when you are winning.”

Mason Greenwood got the opener in the 21st minute on his return to the side after a superb pass from Paul Pogba.

Solskjaer said: “He normally does that with his first touch. He is so efficient in front of goal. He is a great finisher and I was very pleased with the timing of his run. Great pass from Paul.

New signing Alex Telles missed last night’s game after testing positive for Covid-19

Solskjaer said: “Telles has tested positive for coronavirus, he’s been out for a few days, no symptoms, he’ll be fine, back soon.”

telles

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This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Owen Hargreaves claims Marcus Rashford will CAPTAIN Manchester United one day

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owen hargreaves claims marcus rashford will captain manchester united one day

Owen Hargreaves believes Marcus Rashford will captain Manchester United one day after showing leadership qualities during their Europa League clash with RB Leipzig. 

Rashford scored three goals inside 20 minutes as Man United beat last year’s Champions League semi-finalists Leipzig 5-0. 

However, when given the opportunity to secure his hat-trick when the Red Devils were awarded a penalty with the scoreline 3-0, Rashford allowed Anthony Martial to take the shot. 

Owen Hargreaves claims Marcus Rashford will become the Manchester United captain

Owen Hargreaves claims Marcus Rashford will become the Manchester United captain

Owen Hargreaves claims Marcus Rashford will become the Manchester United captain

Not only did the decision allow Martial score his first goal of the season, Rashford went on to score his third of the game in the 92nd minute. 

Speaking of Rashford’s decision to let Martial take the penalty, Hargreaves said: ‘I love that – he’s looking out for his teammates. Marcus knows he’s gonna get his numbers, I love that. 

‘That’s being a great teammate. That’s why he’s gonna be the captain because he thinks about everyone else.’ 

Rio Ferdinand, on the other hand, felt that Rashford should have been ruthless and followed the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo by taking the penalty himself. 

Ferdinand said: ‘Messi and Ronaldo ain’t giving a pen away!’ but did later admit that Rashford is ‘somebody who’s intent on improving himself and becoming a better player. ‘

Hargreaves (above) believes Rashford will be captain as he 'thinks about everyone else'

Hargreaves (above) believes Rashford will be captain as he 'thinks about everyone else'

Hargreaves (above) believes Rashford will be captain as he ‘thinks about everyone else’

Rashford let Anthony Martial to take a penalty despite being one away from a hat-trick

Rashford let Anthony Martial to take a penalty despite being one away from a hat-trick

Rashford let Anthony Martial to take a penalty despite being one away from a hat-trick

Trevor Sinclair previously back Rashford to become United’s captain for the same reason’s as Hargreaves. He believes the striker ‘leads by example’ and ‘has that kind of spirit and drive that can rub off on other players’. 

He told TalkSport: ‘I don’t often look at strikers and think ‘oh yeah, captain material.

‘You look at players like Alan Shearer, he was captain of Newcastle. I know he was more vocal and more experienced but I feel Rashford has that kind of spirit and drive to want to succeed and that can rub off on players.

‘Maybe it’ll be one of those things where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will give him the armband when the captain is injured.

‘He leads by example with his actions. I mentioned quite a few months ago that I feel he’s someone that you’d look at and say he’s got the potential to be captain material at Manchester United.

‘He’s been doing a lot of work to feed children in Manchester over the COVID-19 period, he’s been given an award by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester. He’s been feeding 2.8million kids per week which is unbelievable. That just shows what kind of character he is.’  

The England international forward's work to help tackle child poverty, working closely with charity FareShare, has touched upon the values of humanity, kindness and civility, too

The England international forward's work to help tackle child poverty, working closely with charity FareShare, has touched upon the values of humanity, kindness and civility, too

The England international forward’s work to help tackle child poverty, working closely with charity FareShare, has touched upon the values of humanity, kindness and civility, too

Rashford has been demonstrating the power of sport as leverage through his work in feeding underprivileged children. 

The England forward has been campaigning for the government to provide free lunches amid fears of the financial ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Such work has seen him be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester, an MBE and the Pride of Britain Award. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Watch Marcus Rashford give penalty to Martial even though he’s on hat-trick as Man Utd hero is dubbed ‘captain material’

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watch marcus rashford give penalty to martial even though hes on hat trick as man utd hero is dubbed captain material

MARVELLOUS MARCUS RASHFORD hit a stunning second-half hat-trick as Manchester United hammered RB Leipzig 5-0.

But the much-loved superstar was prepared to risk claiming the match ball as he selflessly handed Anthony Martial the responsibility of taking a penalty in the dying seconds before eventually claiming his third.

Marcus Rashford came off the bench to bag a hat-trick against RB Leipzig

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Marcus Rashford came off the bench to bag a hat-trick against RB LeipzigCredit: EPA
The hotshot risked missing out on a hat-trick by giving away the spot-kick to Anthony Martial

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The hotshot risked missing out on a hat-trick by giving away the spot-kick to Anthony MartialCredit: BT Sport

The striker came on in the 63rd minute and struck in the 74th and 78th minute before eventually sealing his treble in injury time.

Rashford, 22, had just moments earlier picked up the ball when United were awarded a spot-kick, but he gave it to his team-mate, who rifled home from the spot to get off the mark for the campaign.

He said: “I think the manager told me when I came on to up the tempo and of course for us it means going forward and there was definitely space there.



“We looked like we could score every time we went forward. It was a real team performance and those who started the game did well and those who came on did well.

“We can’t ask for much more than that in terms of attitude and intensity and intent to go and kill a game off.”

Rashford did well to ignore the linesman’s flag in running on to Bruno Fernandes through ball for his opener and VAR proved his run had started in his own half.

Rashford said: “I thought to be fair I was in my own half so I was a bit confused when the flag went up but all you can do is wait and see and after the ball is in the net and that is it.

“We have to work with VAR. it’s part of the game now and the quicker we get used to it the better.”  

SPORTS GRAPHIC EXPENSIVE SIGNINGS MANUTD v3

Rashford was almost denied the hat-trick when his kind gesture to Martial paid off for his French pal.

Asked if there had been a chat between the two, Rashford said: “A little bit yeah but I feel confident with Anthony taking them as well so there was no problem.”

That made it two wins from two in Champions League Group H.

Rashford who is making headlines off the pitch for his work in feeding poverty hit children is doing the business on it too against sides that excelled in the Champions League last season.

He scored the late winner last week against finalists PSG and now this against the Bundesliga leaders and a side who reached the semi-finals.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Marcus took his chances incredibly well.

“Marcus has shown he can keep focusing on what’s important on and off the pitch.

“He came on, did well, made an impact and that is what you want from the subs but that is only possible though because the others had laid the groundwork.” 

SPORTS GRAPHIC BIGGEST SALES MANUTD
Marcus Rashford nets stunning 18-minute hat-trick off the bench as Man Utd beat RB Leipzig

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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