SportsNet - February 2013
Just when you thought the upheaval at Scottish club Rangers might slip out of the headlines, along comes another incredible story to hit the Glasgow based outfit.
The financial meltdown suffered by the ‘Oldco’ Rangers Football Club has been well documented over the last 18 months and the creation of ‘Newco’ Rangers, with its outspoken owner Charles Green, have kept the Ibrox club in the news on a regular basis.
The latest controversy to rock Rangers relates to a scheme set up to pay players between 2000 and 2011 which they failed to disclose to the Scottish Premier League.
The commission launched to investigate the irregularities, headed by Lord Nimmo Smith, today decided not to strip the newco Rangers of the Scottish championship titles won by the original club in this period, which it retains.
Investigators deemed that the employee benefit trust (EBT) scheme had been deliberately concealed from the SPL, but that the scheme’s operation did not represent an unfair playing advantage to Rangers and therefore no sporting sanctions were placed upon them. Instead the company responsible for oldco Rangers have been fined £250,000 by the commission.
Last season, Juventus staged a brilliant comeback to tie the game 3-3 after being 3-1 down in San Paolo in the first half. That match remains the only instance where Conte’s side has conceded three goals in a single match. The Bianconeri brushed aside Napoli in the return leg in Turin on their way to wrestling the Scudetto from Milan. Napoli did manage to get a measure of revenge by defeating Juventus in Coppa Italia final, thus preventing the Bianconeri from sealing their first double in over one and half decades. The two sides once again faced off in pre-season Super Coppa in Beijing. Juventus once again staged a comeback to win that match 4-2. It was a controversial and ill-tempered encounter which saw Napoli reduced to nine men in regulation time. A master class from Paul Pogba helped Juventus score two goals in last 10 minutes to beat Napoli 2-0 in the first encounter of current Serie A season.
Napoli have been the primary challenger to Juventus this season and the match in San Paolo can potentially decide which team will finally lift the Scudetto.
Napoli Team News and Probable Lineups
On Wednesday it was reported that the San Francisco 49ers have agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2013 2nd round pick and a later conditional pick. This is a mistake by the Chiefs. Yes they do desperately need a quarterback but Smith isn’t the guy for the job.
Smith was pretty much a bust in San Francisco until miracle worker Jim Harbaugh was hired as the Niners head coach two seasons ago. He turned Smith’s career around, mainly by believing in him, giving him confidence, and tailoring the offense to his abilities. The Niners ran a ball controlled offense, pounding the rock for the majority of the game. Smith’s job was pretty much to be a game manager for the most part.
So Benitez finally cracked. Just like he did at Liverpool when the pressure got to him, he’s done it at Chelsea. After the game against Middlesbrough, Benitez went on a rant about the Chelsea fans’ support as well as the board. He stated that the fans needed to just support the team and not worry about Benitez. Apparently 2,000 fans traveling on a Wednesday night to Middlesbrough isn’t supporting your team?
But anyway, this outburst from Benitez has clearly been built up over time, but I don’t think any Chelsea fan really expected Benitez to crack. The fact that Benitez moans about the Chelsea fans just shows how stupid his comments were when he was at Liverpool, when he stated that the Chelsea fans have no passion. Rafa’s seen first hand that Chelsea fans do have a lot of passion for their side, and will speak up when they feel there club is being mislead.