January 1, 2000
By the time that copy is required for this revised Bournemouth programme, I hope to be well on my way to Yeovil having completed the first two legs of my walk to raise funds for the Adam Stansfield Foundation.
By the time you read this article I plan to be on my way back from Exeter and heading back to Bristol in time for our game on Saturday against Exeter City. Please keep your donations coming, in no matter how small. All will be gratefully received and every penny will be used to support children across the West Country.
I am very much up against time, so I have scanned the football websites to find items of news that I thought may be of interest.
Michel Platini will be the president of the European football governing body for another four years. The Frenchman was unrivalled at Tuesday’s UEFA Congress after proving popular among Europe’s 53 nations. Platini has opened up UEFA’s Champions League and former UEFA Cup turned Europa League competitions to more mid ranking teams. He has also introduced financial rules designed to curb clubs’ reckless spending. Platini pledges to fight both violence off the pitch and match fixing linked to betting rings.
The ceremony of his re election was watched by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and his challenger Mohamed bin Hammam, who will be competing for the FIFA presidency in June. Russian Premier League team Terek Grozny’s website said on Tuesday that the Dutch football great Ruud Gullit has agreed to an 18 month contract.
Gullit has not coached since he was fired from the Los Angeles Galaxy in MLS three years ago. Instead, he was a World Cup commentator for ESPN last year, and was responsible for promoting a joint Dutch/ Belgium 2018 World Cup bid. Before moving to America, Gullit managed Chelsea, Newcastle United and Feyenoord.
Terek finished 12th last season in the (ussian Premier League. After the team’s previous coach Anatoly Baidachny left the club in December its bosses started looking for a replacement. Spaniard Victor Munoz and former Spartak Moscow coach Oleg Romantsev were linked with the move, but Terek opted for Gullit. Club President Ramzan Kadyrov, who also heads the Chechen Republic, has given Gullit a target of a top eight finish next season.
The Russian Premier League is switching to the European football calendar with a transition season lasting for 18 months in 2011-2012.
Manchester United have Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley enjoying successful seasons at Sunderland and Wigan respectively, while Federico Macheda is currently plying his trade at Sampdoria.
Ferguson is sure the youngsters will enjoy a prominent role in the first team squad next season and claims sending players out on loan will always be a good learning curve.
“They will come back into the first team sguad and they will get plenty of games next season,” he told United’s official website.
“At that point, we will then review our squad because that’s the important thing. But we will always put players out on loan.
“Cleverley has done very well, particularly in his spell at Watford and then at Wigan. He has improved in each case and he is going to be a top player.”
Ferguson also revealed that Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf will return from his stint with Blackburn.
He added: “Mame Diouf has done well at Blackburn too and he’ll come back in. They’ve all done well.
“It proves we were right in putting them there in the first place.
“For them, it’s that experience of being exposed to regular football that really brings them on so that they are ready to play for Manchester United.”
FIFA and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 Organising Committee, together with the Japanese Football Association (JFA), have agreed to postpone the Germany 2011 Welcome Event in Tokyo, originally planned for 31 March 2011, to a later date.
“Due to the current situation resulting from the dramatic recent events in Japan, we have decided, along with FIFA and the Japanese FA, to postpone our trip to Tokyo,” commented OC President Steffi Jones. “Our thoughts are with the victims and people of Japan, who are suffering the consequences of this terrible catastrophe.
“We very much hope the opportunity arises for us to welcome the Japanese women’s national team, official delegation, media representatives and fans to Germany in advance of the tournament. Should this prove impossible, we will attempt to lay on a very special welcome for the Japanese delegation and team on their arrival in Germany a few days before the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
Independently of this matter, the German FA (DFB) has offered the JFA any and all the support and help it may require to rebuild the structures of organised football in the regions affected by the catastrophe. “Given the dreadful events of recent days, there are naturally far more important problems to be solved at the present time,” commented DFB President Dr. Theo Zwanziger.
“Nevertheless, even at this early stage, we wish our Japanese friends to know they can be assured of our support at any time. The DFB’s committees and foundations will closely examine ways in which the association might assist in the sporting and humanitarian areas, and will liaise with the Japanese association on implementing this assistance at the appropriate time.”