Football

Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium expansion approved

Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium expansion approved

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Liverpool FC has been given permission to increase Anfield stadium’s capacity from about 45,500 to about 59,000 as part of a £100m expansion plan.

Liverpool City Council’s planning committee approved the club’s plan to expand the Main Stand by 8,300 seats and the Anfield Road Stand by 4,800.

The proposals also included conference and banqueting facilities, a new club shop and additional car parking.

Construction will begin next year for completion by the 2016-17 season.

Artist's impression of the new Anfield stadiumThe Kop Stand shop would be retained and another one would be developed as part of the plans

The planning application states the redevelopment would allow the club to host major international and European games.

It said there are parts of the stadium which “fall below current Uefa and Premier League standards which restrict the club[‘s] ability” to host major games.

Uefa standards include a minimum 50,000 capacity stadium, corporate accommodation and a minimum standard for the changing rooms for players and match officials, which Anfield does not meet.

The stadium’s food and toilet facilities, disability facilities, pitch side accommodation and doctor, physiotherapy and drug testing rooms are also below standard.

Artist's impression of the new Anfield stadiumThe memorial to the 96 fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster is being moved as part of the plans

The Main Stand would be expanded from a single tier to three tiers.

A memorial to the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster will be moved from its current location to another area of the Anfield Road Stand.

The memorial will form part of the Hillsborough Memorial Garden, which has been included as part of the development.

Liverpool FC was founded at Anfield Road in 1892 and originally consisted of small stands at the Anfield Road and Walton Breck Road ends.

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The history of Anfield

Anfield in 1965
  • Anfield opened in 1884 with a capacity of about 20,000 and was originally the home of Everton FC, until a row over rent saw the Toffees move across to Goodison Park and the newly formed Liverpool FC take up residence in 1892
  • The famous Spion Kop opened in 1906 and a redesign in 1928 gave it a capacity of 30,000
  • Anfield’s highest attendance came in 1952, when 61,905 saw the Reds take on Wolverhampton Wanderers
  • The introduction of seating on the Kop and redesigns of the Anfield Road, Kemlyn Road (Centenary) and Main stands in the 1970s, 80s and 90s brought the stadium to its existing capacity of just over 45,000
Luis Suarez Bites Italy player Giorgio Chiellini

Luis Suarez Bites Italy player Giorgio Chiellini

Uruguay-v-Italy

Giorgio Chiellini demanded that Fifa show the “courage” to ban Luis Suárez from the World Cup after becoming the third opponent to be bitten by the controversial Uruguayan striker.

The Italy defender was left with visible teeth marks on his left shoulder after clashing with Suárez in the 79th minute of Uruguay’s 1-0 victory in Natal, a result which confirmed their progression from Group   D and eliminated the Italians.

Fifa immediately opened an investigation into what was one of the most shocking episodes of player behaviour in World Cup history.

With Fifa’s disciplinary code stipulating a maximum suspension of 24 matches or two years for offences of an extreme nature, Suárez could yet find himself being penalised with a record ban for an on-field incident.

After reacting furiously on the pitch following the incident, which went unseen by the Mexican referee Marco Rodríguez, Juventus defender Chiellini branded Suárez a “sneak” who is protected by Fifa because of his high-profile status.

Suárez served a 10-game ban in the Premier League in 2013 for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, having committed the same offence playing for Ajax three years earlier.

“Suárez is a sneak and he gets away with it because Fifa want their stars to play in the World Cup,” Chiellini said. “I would love to see if they have the courage to do anything against him. It was ridiculous not to send Suárez off. It is clear, clear-cut. And then there was the obvious dive afterwards because he knew very well that he did something that he shouldn’t have done.”

Suárez said of the ‘bite’ claims: “These situations happen on the field. I had contact with his shoulder, nothing more, things like that happen all the time.” He added of possible action by the game’s governing body: “I don’t know anything, if Fifa analyse each case separately it’s going to be complicated.”

Despite photographic evidence supporting Chiellini’s claim to have been bitten, the centre-half was accused of “crying” by Uruguay’s injured captain Diego Lugano.

“The worst of everything is the attitude of Chiellini,” Lugano said. “He’s a great player with an enormous status, but it doesn’t correspond with Italian football as sportsmen leaving the field, crying and appealing against a rival. As a man, he disappointed me totally. I had him as a reference point.

“You need to show me what happened because I didn’t see anything. Did you see it today or did you see what happened in other years? You couldn’t have seen it today because nothing happened.”

A Fifa spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the official match reports and will gather all the necessary elements in order to evaluate the matter.”

Mauro Tassotti, the Italy defender, currently holds the record for the longest ban issued at a World Cup having been suspended for eight games in 1994 for breaking the nose of Spain midfielder Luis Enrique with an elbow.

Jim Boyce, the Fifa vice-president and chairman of the referees’ committee, hinted at a lengthier suspension by insisting that the governing body should “take whatever action necessary” if Suárez is found to have bitten Chiellini. “I have watched the incident several times on television,” Boyce said.

“There is no doubt Luis Suárez is a fantastic footballer but, once again, his actions have left him open to severe criticism. Fifa must investigate the incident seriously and take whatever disciplinary action deemed necessary.”

Meanwhile, Michel D’Hooghe, a Fifa executive committee member, said: “It is very, very sad for everybody who loves football.”

Suárez, who was suspended for seven games by the Dutch Football Association for biting PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal while playing for Ajax in November 2010, grinned as he walked through the post-match interview area when asked repeatedly whether he had bitten Chiellini.

Despite the shocking nature of the incident, Suárez was defended by the Uruguay coach Óscar Tabárez, who accused the media of pursuing the player in an attempt to report on his mistakes. “There seems there is animosity against this football player,” Tabárez said. “He just came out of a difficult moment and he has been penalised, but there are people hiding behind the tree waiting for something to happen.

“Suárez is a preferred target of certain media. I’d like to see the images. I didn’t see it. And if it happened, the referee probably didn’t see it.

“Suárez is an important person. He’s an important person within the group and I can already say if he’s attacking as you’ve already started to do we will see how to defend him because this is a football World Cup, it is not about cheap morality.”

The Italy manager, Cesare Prandelli, who announced his resignation following his team’s defeat, supported Chiellini’s claims by admitting he had seen the injury to the defender’s shoulder. “I didn’t see the images of Suárez but I did see the bite marks in Chiellini’s shoulder,” Prandelli said. “It is a shame, a real shame. The assistants of the referee were so busy, they didn’t see anything.”

Suárez has courted controversy on several occasions in recent years. Aside from the Bakkal and Ivanovic incidents, he was also sent off for a deliberate handball against Ghana at South Africa 2010 which denied the nation a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

In December 2011, Suárez was banned for eight games and fined £40,000 for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a Premier League fixture at Anfield.

With Suárez facing the potential of severe punishment from Fifa, which could apply to both club and international football, senior figures at Liverpool are expected to discuss the player’s situation as soon as any penalty is issued.

The forward signed a new long-term contract last December which is understood to include an £80 million release fee should a club from outside the Premier League make an offer for him.

Sources close to Suárez have claimed in recent days that the player, named Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year last season, has “nothing left to prove” in the Premier League and that he would be prepared to move to Spain this summer.

However, with the player’s future under a cloud following his latest descent into controversy, any potential transfer could be affected by a Fifa suspension.

Arsenal legend flies home from Brazil after wife and children held at knifepoint in London home

Arsenal legend flies home from Brazil after wife and children held at knifepoint in London home

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ARSENAL LEGEND Ian Wright has flown home from Brazil after his wife and children were the victims of a knifepoint burglary at their marital home.

It is understood four men armed with knives forced their way into his north-west London home and reportedly held a blade to his wife Nancy’s throat before making off with personal possessions.

The 50-year-old, who has been working as a pundit for ITV at the World Cup, last night (June 18) tweeted: “You won’t get away with it.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We are investigating an aggravated burglary at an address in north-west London after we were called at 9.20 last night.

“Personal possessions were stolen. The suspects are described as four black men aged between 18 and 25, with London accents, wearing dark clothing and hoodies obscuring their faces.”

The Sun reported that one the raiders told another to “punch her, kill her” as they entered the property.

Wright’s manager Steve Kutner told the newspaper: “It was a terrifying ordeal. They marched Ian’s wife from room to room. I would like to thank ITV for helping Ian to get home as quickly as possible.”

Nancy, 39, is thought to have been put in a bedroom while the couple’s two girls were taken to another room.

Lampard leaving Chelsea, no future decisions until after World Cup

Lampard leaving Chelsea, no future decisions until after World Cup

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English midfielder Frank Lampard is either retiring or finding a new club after 13 years with Chelsea.

Linked with New York City FC in recent days, the BBC is reporting that Lampard has “offers from 16 clubs.”

He won’t decide anything until after the World Cup, however.

From the BBC:

The 35-year-old England international, Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer with 211 goals, was out of contract.

Since joining from West Ham, Lampard had helped the club to three Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2012.

Lampard has yet to decide if he will retire, but has had offers from 16 other clubs.

New York City FC unveiled former Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia forward David Villa as its first signing earlier Monday. A start of Lampard and Villa, age aside, would be a heck of a beginning to NYCFC’s player history.

It would also usher in more questions about whether MLS will be able to hold up its parity in the face of huge money owners like Manchester City, the New York Yankees and David Beckham’s Miami supergroup. Yes, the pair would be just two Designated Players, but can you see NYCFC being happy to stop there?

Charles Bronson coats himself in BUTTER and attacks 12 prison warders – because Arsenal won FA Cup

Charles Bronson coats himself in BUTTER and attacks 12 prison warders – because Arsenal won FA Cup

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Britain’s most dangerous inmate covered himself in butter to attack 12 prison officers – because Arsenal won the FA Cup.

Spurs fan Charles Bronson admitted he “lost it” when Tottenham’s arch rivals defeated Hull at Wembley.

The incident at Full Sutton jail in York came just months after he is said to have attacked the governor of Woodhill prison for criticising his artwork.

In a letter dated May 19 to friend Kate Kray – the ex-wife of Ronnie Kray – Bronson said the “rumble” with officers in riot gear left him with broken ribs.

He said he smothered himself in Lurpak as he hoped the grease would make it harder for them to restrain him.

The attack was a carbon copy of an assault on 12 prison officers at Wakefield prison in 2010.

Bronson, 61, wrote: “Not good news. I’ve had another rumble. This time with a dozen riot mob on the yard!

“Obviously I had my reasons and I’d sooner swallow teeth than my pride. Sadly I came off worst – got smashed up ribs.

“Life goes on Kate! You won’t hear me moan!”

 

The hard man went on: “It was sunny! A scorcher! Arsenal was playing Hull. I so wanted Hull to win, coz I’m Spurs.

“I got Lurpak and spread it on thick. Then a small cloud appeared.

“I swear I see Ron’s face. It was eerie. Go on son, let ’em have it!”

Explaining the vision, he said: “I know the mind plays games in moments of mad events but it is still a comforting thought Ron’s still around. Made me feel happy. Safe! Double up for it!”

The letter goes on to refer to Derek Bentley who was hanged in 1953 – and posthumously pardoned – for the murder of a police officer during a burglary.

Bentley was said to have told the accomplice who shot the PC: “Let him have it.” But the interpretation of what he meant was disputed.

Bronson, who is due to go on trial on September 1 for the alleged attack on Woodhill Prison’s governor, claimed to have been offered a third off his sentence if he pleads guilty.

But he told Kate, 58: “F*** that!. “I’m ­innocent. That’s what Derek Bentley said. He hung!”

 

Les WilsonCharles Bronson Art work
Art attack: Drawings like this are said to have disturbed prison governor

 

In recent phone calls to Kate, who lives in Kent, Bronson claimed the governor said his style of art was too aggressive. His pictures often depict prison officers in violent scenes.

Bronson has spent 36 of the past 40 years in solitary confinement and his move to Woodhill, Bucks, was to test if he could mix with other prisoners.

The convict, first jailed in 1974 when he got seven years for armed robbery, told Kate he was mortified by the incident with the prison boss because he had upset his mother Eira Peterson, 84.

Kate said: “Apparently he lost it and attacked the governor for saying his art was too explicit, too violent. He got put back in the cage and started drawing Easter bunnies instead of his usual disturbing pictures. But he is really upset that he’s upset his mum.

“I’d told him I was planning an auction of lots of Ron’s and Reggie’s stuff, so he said, ‘Can you put my drawings in auction to send my mum on holiday?’”

 

Charles Bronson's mother Eira Peterson
Mum: Eira holding photo of her son

 

Kate is selling nine of Bronson’s pictures, as well as a poem called Asylum, a statement about his art and a copy of a formal complaint he made against the Prison Service in 2009 after his ­spectacles were allegedly stolen.

In one drawing, he promotes “Kate Kray for Prime Minister”.

In another, which depicts severed limbs, there is a note saying: “Remember me to Santa.”

Another shows Bronson on a sun-lounger on Blackpool beach with a bird and a speech bubble saying: “I’m sure that’s the Birdman of Broadmoor.”

One chilling picture has Bronson depicting himself in a Hannibal Lecter-style mask. A self-portrait from 2000 was drawn with pastels. He also gave Kate a picture of a cross, as a tribute to gangsters the Kray twins and their brother Charlie.

Bronson’s chilling work has featured in exhibitions around the world and he is also the author of several published books.

 

Les WilsonA framed poem by Charles Bronson for auction
Jailbird song: Bronson’s poem Asylum is up for auction next month

 

Kate added: “I got to know Charlie through being married to Ron and included him when I was working on TV documentaries and books about Britain’s hardest villains.

“Of all the people I have interviewed, including murderers and maniacs, if you were to ask me, ‘Would you let Charles Bronson stay at your house overnight?’ I would say yes. It is testosterone-led with Charlie.

“Charlie has only two things to occupy him in his cage. His fitness regime and his art. If you keep a man in a cage for 36 years, then rattle that cage, be prepared, he’ll bite.”

The Ministry of Justice declined to comment on the incident at Full Sutton.

Source : The Mirror UK

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