AFC Wimbledon - Coming Home

AFC Wimbledon have enjoyed an astonishing 11 years since their re-birth in 2002 following the decision for Wimbledon F.C's relocation to Milton Keynes. In 2011 AFC Wimbledon achieved a huge goal, a return to the Football League, where they have since stayed. Getting back to the Football League is only the start for this ambitious club, and plans have been announced to move back to their historic home in Merton where it all began. At the Football Family we are lucky to get an inside view from David Lloyd, a fan of 40 years. We would like to thank David for his time in giving us this interview.

Firstly, if you could give a brief outline of who you are and your involvement with the project.
My name is David Lloyd. I’ve been supporting Wimbledon for over 40 years and I’m one of a large group of people who are working with the club to help make the move back to our home town to a new, purpose-built stadium become a reality.

Can you give us some details about the proposal for the new ground?
AFC Wimbledon is currently based in Kingston-upon-Thames and is seeking permission from the planning authorities to build a new ground, featuring a range of facilities for the wider community, on the site of an existing, run-down greyhound stadium in Wimbledon. Our partner in this development is Galliard Homes, which proposes building 600 residential units on the site as well as a range of retail and leisure facilities.

There are, though, a number of hurdles that the club must overcome. First, the local authority, Merton Council, must support the proposed change of use of the existing stadium from greyhound racing to football. Then a government-appointed inspector must approve this new designation. If the club gets the green light, it will then submit a detailed planning application to build the new stadium. All this could take until next spring, with planning consent taking several months to obtain after that. If everything goes according to plan, work could begin on the site in about two years from now.

Do you foresee any issues with your plans and the independent inspector and Merton Council, or do you think you will get permission for everything to go ahead?
Merton Council has been very supportive and have made it clear that they want AFC Wimbledon back in the borough. The club has a compelling case, has prepared thoroughly and can demonstrate that a new stadium will provide benefits for the wider community beyond football.

What would this ground move mean to AFC Wimbledon?
Moving back to Wimbledon would be of huge significance and give the club a massive boost. Our current ground, Kingsmeadow, was a short-term purchase to enable the club to grow from birth. But now we have quite simply outgrown this temporary home because Kingsmeadow cannot easily be extended beyond a capacity of approximately 5,000 and many games are already sold out. Nor does the ground provide adequate commercial facilities or enable the Dons to participate more widely in the community.

And, of course, crucially, Kingsmeadow is not in Wimbledon. Our supporters united against an FA decision in 2002 so that they could right two wrongs: one was the transference of a Football League place to a town that had done nothing to deserve it, and the other was the removal of a club from the community that gave it its name and nurtured it. On the second, a return to a stadium in Wimbledon would bring the Dons home after more than 20 years in exile and return to Merton one of its prime community assets.

The move seems to concentrate on the fact that the new ground will not only benefit the club and the fans, but the wider community as well. How does it aim to achieve this?
AFC Wimbledon is not a normal football club. It was founded by its fans and is owned by its fans. We do not pay lip-service to supporter involvement and community projects – they are our raison d’etre . We are fiercely proud not only of the club’s achievements on the pitch but of its significant and diverse achievements in the wider Wimbledon community – despite being currently based across the borough boundary with a Kingston postcode. As a community-owned club, AFC Wimbledon is run in a prudent and sustainable way. We have demonstrated that football clubs can be a powerful force for good in their communities. Re-locating finally back to the area we are proud to represent will enable us to extend the range of activities we run, support and encourage.

How important is the connection with the community in Merton?
It goes back to 1889 when the original Wimbledon was formed in Merton. In the early years the club actually played its matches on the site of the current greyhound stadium, which we seek to make AFC Wimbledon’s new home. In 1912 the club played its first game in its new ground 100 yards further up Plough Lane, where the Dons remained until 1991 when the Taylor Report demanded all-seater stadia for Premier League clubs, and we were forced to ground share with Crystal Palace in order to comply with this ruling.

Where is the funding for the new stadium coming from?
Constructing the first phase of the stadium, providing a capacity of 11,000, is expected to cost in the region of £16m. Funds will be raised through a combination of naming rights for the new ground, a Community Share issue and enabling development.

The club’s community work in Merton has been around since 2002. Does this provide a good foundation to continue to build on, and provide incentive for the new build to go through?
Community activity has been at the heart of the AFC Wimbledon project since 2002. In fact, the club has won several major awards for this work. The Dons are owned and run by its fans and its performance is reviewed regularly by the Dons Trust, which lists community involvement among its core objectives. To underpin this commitment the club is in the process of forming a Charitable Foundation, under which many of its community activities will be run.

How much would this move symbolise and highlight the amazing achievements AFC Wimbledon has conquered over the last 11 years? Would it be the icing on the cake?
It would, of course, be enormously satisfying for everyone associated with the Dons for the club to be playing, once again, in its home town. But our fans are also realistic and recognise that the move would represent just another chapter in our short but glorious history, helping to generate the income needed for AFC Wimbledon to progress up the ladder of professional football.

The thing that strikes me the most about the move is that it’s a decision made by the fans, for the fans, with fantastic intentions and no secret big commercial motive. Would you agree?
Fan ownership means that it is the fans who make the big decisions affecting the future of our club. That’s very different to the way the majority of professional clubs, with a different ownership model, are run.

Everything else aside, what does this mean to you as a fan, and what do you think it means to other fans like yourself?
It would be fantastic to be playing in Wimbledon again. What an achievement that would be when you consider that this club is only 11 years old.

*****

If you want to find out more about AFC Wimbledon’s proposed new stadium and would like to register your support for the club’s move back to its home town see http://www.bringthedonshome.org (Link goes live on Sunday 1st of December)

 

Follow us on twitter @TFootballFamily

Interviewed by Jack Read-Wilson

Lunchtime Football Round-Up 6th June

Afternoon all,

According to his agent, Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will reject a new contract offer from the club if he is offered one. His agent also said that he didn't think Mignolet will not remain with the Wearside club until his current contract expires in 2015, mainly down to the interest that Mignolet has generated from some of the Premier League's top clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United

Stoke have released seven players including long-serving pair Rory Delap and Mamady Sidibe. The other five players who have been released are Jermaine Pennant, who spent the majority of the season at Championship side Wolves. Dean Whitehead, who made 30 appearances for the Potters last season. Matt Upson, who only played twice for Stoke and from then went on loan to Brighton for the remainder of the season. And finally Matthew Lund and Carlo Nash, who have both failed to make a first team appearance for the club this season

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has stated that he will reject a new contract offer from the club and will be leaving upon the arrival of new signing Maarten Stekelenburg who signed from Roma earlier this week. In his five years at Craven Cottage, Schwarzer was one of the clubs key players, and made 216 appearances. The 40-year-old will now be looking for a new club but sadly for Australian fans, he has said that he will not be moving back to the Australian A-League

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has insisted that Portugese defender Pepe is not for sale, after it has been reported that both Manchester City and Chelsea are looking at signing the 30-year-old. After confirming that Pepe is not for sale, Perez then said that pair Cristiano Ronaldo and Iker Casillas will not be leaving the club in the summer

Jackson Martinez's agent has claimed that his client is not having any discussions with Tottenham over a possible move in the summer and that Martinez is fully focused on his current club Porto and that he is more than happy to stay with the Portugese champions. Reports in the past week have suggested that Spurs have made a £20 million bid for the Columbian, who has scored 34 goals in just 39 appearances this term

Bayer Leverkusen's general manager Rudi Voller has denied that a deal for Andre Schurrle has been concluded with Chelsea, after he had a meeting with new Chelsea's new manager Jose Mourinho last night before Michael Ballack's testimonial match, where Mourinho managed the World XI, who emerged victorious over Ballack's team 4-3. The deal for Schurrle looks almost done though, as the player has agreed personal terms with Chelsea, all that needs to be done now is for Leverkusen and Chelsea to agree terms

Dundee United have accepted a bid of £750,000 for in-demand striker Johnny Russell from Derby, who he has now agreed personal terms with and will undergo a medical at the Championship club next Monday. With only a year to run on his contract, the 23-year-old had already revealed that he would not be signing a new contract with the SPL club

Walsall defender Dean Holden has signed a new one year contract with the club that will see him act as a player/coach. After joining from Rochdale last July, Holden has proved his worth to the Walsall management team and has now been rewarded with a new deal

Bristol City are close to signing Swindon defender Aden Flint, after a bid in the region of £300,000 was accepted for the 23-year-old. Since signing for the Robins in 2011, Flint has made 79 appearances, scoring eight goals

Morecambe have signed Macclesfield Town's French defender Tony Diagne on a two-year contract

Bolton Wanderers have said that former Rangers midfielder Gregg Wylde has left the club, after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent

Lunchtime Football Round-Up 3rd June

Afternoon all,

Jose Mourinho has today confirmed that he will be returning to Chelsea and he expects to be appointed by the end of this week. Mourinho rounded off his 3 year stay at Real Madrid with a 4-2 win over Osasuna on Saturday night, after he had already confirmed that he would be leaving the Bernabeu come the end of the season. In an interview with Spanish football show Punto Pelota, Mourinho said that he was travelling to London today to discuss terms and by the end of the week he will be manager of Chelsea. In his previous spell with the club Mourinho led them to back to back Premier League titles in 2005 and 2006, before leaving in 2007 after there was a disagreement between himself and owner Roman Abramovich over transfer budgets

Sevilla winger has claimed that he is very interested in a move to Manchester City in the Summer and it is thought that Navas is one of City's top transfer targets, especially as incoming manager Manuel Pellegrini is a keen admirer of the 27-year-old. If a deal were to happen, it is believed that Sevilla would not accept anything below £25 million for the Spanish international. Sevilla's boss Unai Emery also believes that Navas will leave and has said that "Everything indicates he will leave.”

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is hoping that striker Wayne Rooney will remain at the club next season, and has urged the 27-year-old to join him in commiting his future with the Premier League champions. De Gea himself has already been linked with a return to Spain with both Barcelona and Real Madrid, but e Gea was quick to deny those rumours as he is settled and happy in Manchester, and he wants Rooney to do the same. Last month, outgoing manager Sir Alex ferguson confirmed that Rooney handed in a transfer request, which was rejected by the Reds. Rumours have now started to pick up pace, claiming that PSG have offered Rooney £300,000 a week to join them in their bid to win the French Ligue 1 for the second successive season

Barcelona striker David Villa is putting thoughts about his future at Barcelona on hold until the Confederations Cup is over. Over the past few months, Villa's future at the Spanish champions has been in doubt and has repeatedly been linked with a move to the Premier League with both Arsenal and Tottenham. The 31-year-old has been in and out of the first team this season, after his return from a broken leg which kept him out for the majority of the 2011-12 season and this has escalated rumours linking Villa with a move away from the Nou Camp

Arsenal midfielder Denilson has come to an agreement with the club to terminate his contract a year early, after it was made clear to the Brazilian that he would not be part of Arsene Wenger's plans next season. The 25-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Brazilian side Sao Paulo, whom he left in 2006 to join Arsenal, and in the seven years he spent at the Emirates he made 153 appearances

Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has insisted that he will commit his future to the club, and is now ready to discuss his future with new manager Mark Hughes in the coming weeks. Begovic has been linked with a move to Liverpool and both Manchester clubs this season, after his stellar performances for the Potters, that have seen him named the clubs player of the season and also the players player of the season

Blackburn Rovers defender Grant Hanley has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him with the club until 2018. Since his debut in 2010, the 21-year-old has played 83 times for the Rovers. One of his goals that I'm sure many of you will remember is his winner for the club in their 3-2 victory over Manchester United back in 2011

Swindon captain Alan McCormack has confirmed that he will be leaving the club to join fellow League One side Brentford. McCormack was offered a new deal by Swindon, but they failed to agree terms

League Two newcomers Mansfield Town have signed John McCombe on a free transfer, after his departure from Port Vale, who will be playing in League One next season, by mutual consent

Port Vale have signed striker Kaid Mohamed from Cheltenham on a two-year deal, after he rejected a new contract offer from the Robins

Lunchtime Football Round-Up 31st May

Afternoon all,

Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala has admitted that he is flattered to be linked with a move to Chelsea in the Summer. Mourinho is odds on favourite to be appointed the next Chelsea boss, and it is reported that he is a keen admirer of the France Under-21 international. Although Mangala seems open to the idea of joining Chelsea, he has stated that one possible hitch in the deal could be his desire for first team football, as Chelsea's defensive options at this moment in time are currently very strong

Staying with Chelsea news now, as Brazilian defender David Luiz has been quick to act on denying a possible move to Spanish champions Barcelona in the Summer. The 26-year-old has been one of the clubs star performers this season, and has helped the Blues to third in the Premier League and also Europa League glory

According to Papiss Cisse's agent Nickolay Guido, his client has attracted a large amount of interest from Russian clubs. Anzhi Makhachkala are said to be the front runners in the race to sign him at this moment in time, after they were impressed with his performance against them in the Europa League earlier on this season. Cisse's agent has also claimed that Anzhi will face some strong competition from other clubs to acquire the services of Cisse

Everton have spoken to former Stuttgart and Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick over becoming the next manager of the club after David Moyes left to become manager of Manchester United. Rangnick is said to only have an outside chance of getting the job though, as Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is favourite to get the job. Porto manager Vitor Pereira is also believed to be in the running for the job at the Merseyside club, after he guided his side to the Primeira League title and also the final of the Taca da Liga, where his side lost 1-0 to Braga

Arsenal winger Gervinho has denied reports saying that he will leave the club in the Summer and has said that he will remain with the Gunners next year. The Ivorian has been linked with a move to Turkish side Fenerbache and also his former club Lille in the French league. The 26-year-old has claimed that he is looking forward to the new season with Arsenal and wants to fight for his first team spot week in week out, thus denying any reports that he will be moving from the North London club

Cesc Fabregas will not be leaving Barcelona in the Summer to return to England, claims Spanish football expert Guillem Balague. The former Arsenal midfielder is reportedly a target for both Manchester United and City, and also his former club Arsenal. But if he does decide to leave the Nou Camp, it will not be for at least another 12 months. Manchester United were rumoured to have moved very close to signing Fabregas, after  they allegedly opened talks with Barcelona over a possible move for the 26-year-old

Liverpool are close to signing Barcelona wonderkid Luis Alberto, after he has impressed for the B team this season and has scored 11 goals from 35 appearances from midfield. This form has clearly grabbed the attention of Brendan Rodgers, as he is starting to rebuild his team into European contenders

Scunthorpe look set to sign Watford striker Chris Iwelumo when his contract expires in the Summer. Iwelumo will be the second recruit for Brian Laws side, after Liam Dawson was signed from Hull yesterday

Chesterfield have completed the signing of Hibernian striker Eoin Doyle on a two-year contract. Doyle, who played his last game for the Scottish side in their Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic agreed to join the League Two club last month as his contract with Hibs runs out in the Summer

 

 

Lunchtime Football Round-Up 30th May

Afternoon all,

Stoke City have this morning confirmed that they have appointed Mark Hughes as their manager, to replace Tony Pulis who left the club last week. Hughes has previously enjoyed spells at Fulham, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and QPR, where he was sacked in November last year and since then he has been out of work. Stoke's chairman Peter Coates has claimed that the club needed a change in direction, and that Hughes was the perfect man for the job

Zenit St Petersburg's Brazilian striker Hulk has generated a large number of interest from two Premier League clubs, according to his agent, who has also come forward to say that there has been no contact at all with French club Monaco over a possible deal for the 26-year-old. One of the two teams believed to have contacted Zenit about Hulk is Tottenham, which may have a lot of sense to it as Hulk worked under current Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas at Porto. Since his £52 million move from Porto last September, Hulk has been the subject of racial abuse from his own fans, this has also led to speculation about his future in Russia

Chelsea have closed in on signing Bayer Leverkusen winger Andre Schurrle as according to Leverkusen's general manager has said that a fee has been agreed between the two clubs which is believed to be within the region of £20 million with Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne moving to the Bundesliga side on loan

Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed that he has reached a verbal agreement with Manchester City to become their new manager and takeover from Roberto Mancini, who was sacked after City's 1-0 FA Cup final loss to Wigan earlier on this month. Last season, Pellegrini guided Malaga to their highest ever Liga BBVA finish, as they came fourth which meant they qualified for the Champions League this season, where they were knocked out in the quarter finals by eventual finalists Borussia Dortmund. Pellegrini has also claimed that he also received an offer from French champions PSG to become their new manager, but he chose Manchester City instead

Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is set to hold talks with the club about his future when the new manager, who is largely expected to be Jose Mourinho, after reports saying that he had agreed a four-year contract worth £40 million to takeover at Stamford Bridge again. But whoever takes over as manager will have to hold talks with Lukaku over his future, as he has claimed that if he does not feature in the new managers plans then he may have to look elsewhere for first team football

Luis Suarez has admitted that the criticism that he gets from the British press could force him to move away from the Premier League in the Summer, even though he has claimed to be happy at Liverpool. If the 26-year-old decided to leave the club, his most likely destination is Real Madrid. But Suarez's agent has claimed that Suarez will be staying at Liverpool and all reports linking the Uruguayan to Real Madrid are rubbish

A number of Premier League clubs are said to be interested in Reading winger Jimmy Kebe, who scored five goals in 18 appearances for the Royals who were relegated this term, finishing in 19th place. Both West Ham and Fulham have shown interest in the Mali international in the past year, and it has already been confirmed that Kebe wants to stay in the Premier League next season further linking him with a move away from the Madejski Stadium

Bolton Wanderers have agreed a deal to sign Norwich defender Marc Tierney when his contract with the Premier League club expires in the Summer. Since joining the Canaries in 2011, Tierney has helped the club gain promotion to the Premier League, but this season hasn't played a single minute for the club

Ian Henderson has signed a two year contract to keep him with Rochdale. The 28-year-old has had a positive impact since he was released from League One side Colchester in February and has scored three goals in 12 appearances for The Dale

Newly promoted Conference Premier side Chester FC have confirmed that they will sign Accrington Stanley forward Craig Lindfield once his contract expires in the Summer

Lunchtime Football Round-Up 29th May

Afternoon all, me and the Lunchtime Round-Up are finally back!

Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett has refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid in the Summer, and he has also claimed that it would be an honour if Madrid were interested in signing the Welsh midfielder. Barnett spoke to the Futboleros Show on Tuesday where he was asked about the future of Bale, where he said that both him and Bale would listen to any offer thrown at them by the club. Barnett also denied reports saying that Bale was close to signing a new long term deal with Spurs

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermalen has stated that he is happy at Arsenal and does not want to move from the North London club in the Summer. Vermalen lost his place in the starting 11 for all but one of the final 10 games of the season to French defender Laurent Koscielny, who was one of the star performers in Arsenal's run in, which saw them win eight of their last 10 games and drawing the other two. Rumours had begun to form saying that Vermalen would be available for £5 million with Southampton believed to be one of the teams interested in the Belgian

Roberto Martinez is set to hold talks with Everton in the next 48 hours after confirming that he will not be staying on as Wigan boss next season, even though he still has 12 months left on his contract. Martinez guided Wigan to FA Cup glory this season, with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the final thanks to Ben Watson's last minute header, which I'm sure all Wigan fans will not forget for some time to come. The clubs chairman Dave Whelan has said that he would never stand in the way of Martinez wanting to speak to another club and also added that Martinez will always be a friend of Wigan

Stoke are close to naming Mark Hughes as their new manager and it has been rumoured that a deal could be completed within the next 24 hours. The 49-year-old has been out of work since November, after he was sacked by now relegated club QPR. Stoke chairman Peter Coates has said that he wants the club to go in a different direction, following the resignation of Tony Pulis earlier on this month, and Coates believes that Mark Hughes is the man to do this

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet looks set to reject any offers from other clubs to remain with the Tyneside club next season. Mignolet has been the subject of a lot of interest from some of Europe's top clubs like Arsenal and Napoli. According to Mignolet, one of the main factors for him wanting to stay at the Stadium Of Light is the fact that he will have Italian Paolo Di Canio as a manager, and he believes that the club will improve next season because of the impact Di Canio has had since being appointed earlier on this year

Manchester United youngster Adnan Januzaj looks set to sign a new deal with the club, according to his agent. Januzaj has generated interest from the likes of Barcelona and Juventus with his phenominal performances for the United reserve team this season. Januzaj's agent Derk Devriese thinks that the best option for Januzaj is to stay with the Red Devils, especially after he was rewarded with a squad number for the new season

Crystal Palace defender Peter Ramage and midfielder Owen Garvan have both signed two-year contract extensions, which will keep the pair at the club until the Summer of 2015. This clearly shows that the pair are  part of manager Ian Holloway's plans next season, as they prepare to play in the Premier League for the first time in eight years

Manchester United goalkeeper Daavid De Gea has stated that he is happy at the club and is loving life in the Premier League at this moment in time. Since moving from Spanish side Athletico Madrid in 2011, De Gea has had many critics, but this season has silenced the majority of them with some dazzling performances which saw him named in the Premier League team of the season along with fellow United team mates Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick

Oldham defender David Mellor has signed a new contract that will keep him with the League One side until the Summer of next year

AFC Wimbledon have released midfielder Huw Johnson, after manager Neal Ardley said that the club cannot guarantee him first team football next season

 

Daily Football News Round-Up Wednesday 22nd May

The manic manager merry-go-round (sorry) was still in full spin today as Manuel Pellegrini confirmed he will leave Malaga at the end of the season. The Chilean manager, previously in charge of Real Madrid and Argentina, is widely expected to be named as Manchester City’s next boss after the sacking of Roberto Mancini.

 

The other Premier League jobs open are at Everton and Stoke and Roberto Martinez is being linked with the former after David Moyes’ appointment at Manchester United. The Spaniard won the FA Cup this season with Wigan but was unable to emulate that success in the league as Wigan’s long battle for survival finally ended in tears.

 

Aston Villa have confirmed former captain Stiliyan Petrov will be taking a coaching role at the club after his battle with cancer forced him to retire this season. The much loved Bulgarian will study for his coaching badges ‘over the coming months’ ahead of the role.

 

As the season has ended the talk now inevitably moves towards transfer rumours, so while we wait for blurry photos of superstars outside Carrow Road and Peter Odemwingie outside…well…everywhere, here is the news being bandied about today.

 

Gareth Bale has hinted that he will be staying at Tottenham for next season, stating that everyone has to pull together to achieve their targets in the next campaign. Don’t expect this story to go away however, unless he signs a new contract the rumours will be around until the transfer window closes in September. I am going to put my neck on the line, and feel free to quote me on this, by saying Bale WILL be a Spurs player for the whole of next season.

 

Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas is hoping to add to his squad early this summer, with reports claiming the club have already lodged a bid for Hulk after the Brazilian admitted to not settling in Russia.

 

Expect to hear that a lot of players are “happy” this summer as the vultures circle looking for any scraps of discontent. The latest players that are happy where they currently ply their trade are Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao. Both of the South American strikers are attracting a lot of attention from a lot of big clubs after impressive seasons for their respective clubs. I imagine both players are kissing their badges as I write this.

 

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay is also happy where he is, amidst rumours linking him with the vacancy at Goodison Park. I suspect a few of the Everton fans are happy that he’s happy too as they will be hoping for a more high profile figure standing on the sideline next season.

 

Reports yesterday claimed that West Ham had agreed a deal to sign Andy Carroll on a permanent basis only for Newcastle to step in and try to hijack the deal. Well the Magpies have today denied any contact, leaving the London club unopposed in securing the striker’s signature, for now at least.

 

Borussia Dortmund striker Mario Gotze has said he won’t play in Saturday’s Champions League final against Bayern Munich due to a hamstring injury. I won’t believe have any cynicism on this one, there is no way this has anything to do with the fact that the frontman is moving to Bayern almost immediately after the Wembley showpiece, no way at all.

 

Fulham have confirmed two signings today with midfielder Derek Boateng and defender Fernando Amorebieta joining on free transfers. Ghanaian Boateng has signed a one-year deal and Venezuelan Amo…Amar…Amoreb…Fernando has signed a four-year deal after impressing manager Martin Jol last year while playing for Athletic Bolbao.

 

QPR manager Harry Redknapp insists Andros Townsend and Fabio will be returning to Spurs and Manchester United respectively after loan spells with the club. While admitting he would be interested in extending the stays of both players he conceded a step down to England’s second tier might not be what they want.

 

Phil Parkinson has signed a new three-year deal at Bradford after guiding them to League One via the play-offs this season. He also led the club to a Capital One final, a remarkable feat despite the 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Swansea at Wembley.

 

Big news as UEFA are expected to announce that the winners of the Europa League will qualify for the next seasons Champions League. Details of where this position will be taken from are unclear but it is something that I think will rejuvenate the competition massively. The new rule is set to be implemented in 2015.

 

I finish today on a sad note as former Manchester United, Leeds and England defender Brian Greenoff has died aged 60. He joined United in 1968 and retired from football in 1983 whilst playing and coaching for Rochdale.

 

 

Daily Football News Round-Up Thursday 9th May

Following Sir Alex Ferguson’s announcement that he will be retiring at the end of the season Manchester United have signed Everton manager David Moyes as his replacement. The Scot has signed a six-year contract and will join once the current campaign finishes. Roberto Martinez is being hotly tipped to replace him.

 

Wayne Rooney wants to leave United too, with cubs lining up around the corner for his signature. The club have insisted he is not for sale though, but with two years left on the striker’s current deal they will need to decide whether to cash in, or risk losing him for free. Expect a lot more on this in the coming months.

 

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has announced he is quitting football to set up a charity for leukaemia sufferers. The midfielder was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012 and says he has “come to understand and appreciate the way in which this disease impacts the lives of so many people,” and would now like to help other people affected.

 

Yaya Toure is fit for Saturday’s FA Cup final after being rested for the game against West Brom. Manchester City officials said the decision not to play the midfielder was just precautionary and they have every intention of starting him against Wigan.

 

Edin Dzeko was asked if he will be at City next season and responded with, “We will see. Everything is open.” Queue the links with every team needing a striker then.

 

Sunderland manager Paolo Di Canio has said he thinks on-loan defender Danny Rose has a ‘bright future ahead of him’ after being impressed by the Tottenham left-back in the time he’s been at the club. He went on to say Rose needs to improve defensively but hinted that he would sign the player if given the chance.

 

Queens Park Rangers defender Tal Ben Haim has joined former team-mate Ryan Nelson at Toronto FC. Nelson is the manager at the MLS side and has signed the Israel international on loan until the end of June.

 

Portsmouth have signed former Hull defender Sonny Bradley on a two-year deal. Defender Danny East has also joined after being released by the Tigers.

 

Reading have reached an agreement with Waitrose which will see them remain official shirt sponsors until the end of the 2014/2015 season.

 

 

Lunchtime Round-Up Tuesday 7th May

Afternoon all,

Wigan manager Roberto Matinez has stated that he is more concerned about how many points his side get rather than the look of the Premier League table itself. Wigan are currently occupying the final relegation place, but they have a game in hand over their fellow relegation battlers can move out of the drop zone with a win against Swansea tonight in Martinez's 150th game in charge of the club

Wolves have sacked Dean Saunders, following the clubs relegation to League One for the first time since 1989 after they lost 2-0 to Brighton. The club will now be looking for ther fifth manager in less than 15 months. Saunders, took charge in January after Doncaster gave him permission to speak to the then Championship club

Kenny Jackett has resigned as Millwall manager, after being at the club for nearly six years which makes him the second longest-serving manager in the Football League, behind Exeter City's Paul Tisdale. Millwall haven't been very in that good of form this season, as they finished 20th in the Championship. But soem success for Millwall was their FA Cup rin which saw them get to the semi finals, where they lost to Premier League side Wigan

Wigan midfielder Jean Beausejour has been ruled out of tonight's crunch game against Swansea with a hamstring strain. Paraguay defender Antolin Alcaraz is also unlikely to feature in the game, after he was sidelined with a similar injury a couple of weeks ago

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini may look to change his side about a bit for tonight's game against West Brom. City are set to face Wigan in the FA Cup final this Saturday and Mancini does not want to take any risks with some of his key players and may look to rest the likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez

Tottenham defender Younes kaboul has hailed the clubs manager Andre Villas-Boas and he believes that the Portugese manager is just what the club needs in order to improve. Since replacing Harry Redknapp in the Summer, Villas-Boas has performed well and has been praised by many other Premier League bosses over his success at White Hart Lane

Burton Albion have released six senior players including Irish midfielder John McGrath and Aaron Webster, who was with the club for 15 years

Crawley captain Josh Simpson has signed a new contract that will keep him with the club until the Summer of 2015

 

Daily Football News Round-Up Thursday 2nd May

Tottenham forward Gareth Bale has today picked up his third player of the year award. This time it was the football writer’s voting for the Welsh winger, and it was revealed 96% of the votes were split between himself and Manchester United frontman Robin Van Persie.

 

This news is sure to add to the speculation surrounding Bale and a proposed move away from White Hart Lane this summer. But manager Andre Villas Boas has revealed that a conversation with chairman Daniel Levy has assured him that the player will not be leaving this year, even if the North London club fail to qualify for the Champions League. While we all know this doesn’t mean anything is certain, we have all seen that Levy is more than happy to dig his heals in when it comes to selling his best players.

 

Newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester United have revealed a record third-quarter turnover of £91.7 million, with a 16% decrease in debt. This is due to a 52% increase in sponsorship revenue and a 28% increase in commercial income over the full nine-month period.

 

Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata has jumped to the defence of interim manager Rafa Benitez amid growing speculation that Jose Mourinho is on his way back to Stamford Bridge. He insisted that the Spaniard has done a good job in his time in west London and few will be able to disagree if they finish 3rd and win the Europa League.

 

Rangers majority shareholder Charles Green has been fined by the Scottish FA for making alleged “offensive and racist comments” in a media interview. Green tried to justify his comments in a later interview before apologising and now has to pay a £2500 fine.

 

Barcelona midfielder Xavi is certain the club will bounce back to greatness after their spectacular 7-0 aggregate defeat to German champions Bayern Munich in this seasons Champions League semi-final. The Catalan giants can secure this season’s La Liga title with victory against Real Betis this Sunday, something fellow midfielder Cesc Fabregas feels the club need to do sooner rather than later after their cup disappointment.

 

Aldershot are facing a ten-point deduction at the start of next season after entering administration under a week after they were relegated from the Football League.

 

Wayne Burnett has been appointed as manager of Dagenham & Redbridge after he oversaw their League Two survival. The manager took charge on a temporary basis in February, succeeding John Still.

 

Shrewsbury manager Graham Turner has confirmed he will remain at the club next season after signing a new 12-month rolling contract.

 

Manchester City are expected to splash the cash this summer in a bid to reclaim the Premier League title next season and are reportedly lining up a £17 million bid for Brazilian Fernandinho.

 

Newcastle United target Brown Ideye has apparently admitted that the Tyneside club would be his preferred choice if he were to move this summer.