The FA have come in line with the Government and Royal family by deciding not to send extra personnel to Russia during the World Cup.
The plan had been for a number of ambassadors from the former international committee and the FA board to represent England at all their games during the tournament.
But following the heightening of political tensions with Russia which means Whitehall and Buckingham Palace are snubbing the World Cup, the FA are now showing solidarity, with only essential football staff making the trip.
The FA will not send extra personnel to the World Cup following political tensions with Russia
FA chairman Greg Clarke told the FA council this week that the only exceptions would be chief executive Martin Glenn, who will be there throughout England’s stay, and Clarke himself, who will travel in and out for the games.
It will be up to England sponsors to decide whether to send representatives. But it is understood there will be a minimal number going to the first two group games, with a few more planning to travel to the last group fixture against Belgium in Kaliningrad.
Only the ECB, who get more disingenuous by the day, could have told Sports Agenda on March 6: ‘Five-ball overs are definitely not on the T20 agenda.’
While that is technically true, it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out that the new format announced on Thursday — 15 overs plus one 10-ball over — amounts to the same thing.
The ECB’s robotic explanation on Thursday: ‘We are not looking at five-ball overs.’
The ECB’s unveiling of the new 100-ball format amounts to the same thing as five-ball overs
RFU councillors will today be presented with Twickenham’s ticketing policy in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup, which includes charging a top price of £195 for the ‘blockbuster’ game against the All Blacks in November, for which the cost of middle-range seats has been increased.
It might not be such a blockbuster occasion for New Zealand. After fifth-ranked England’s three successive Six Nations defeats, the Kiwis will be more concerned about facing Rory Best and his No 2-ranked Ireland a week later in Dublin.
Grand National weights launches have for various reasons proved a big letdown at glitzy London venues for the last two years. So much so there is talk of moving the event to Liverpool next year, which will be the 100th anniversary of the race’s return to Aintree after the First World War.
Amazon’s addition of the UK rights for US Open tennis is another demonstration of the spending power that makes it only a matter of time before they start buying Premier League rights in earnest.
The PL claim they were among the bidders in the February auction, though clearly not to any great extent as two packages remain unsold.
Amazon’s addition of the UK rights for the US Open tennis shows their spending power again
The doubling of prize money for the FA Cup from the 2020 edition is being put down to extra income from the sale of overseas rights. There is also important funding from the Premier League — effectively £9m — in return for the FA forfeiting a weekend scheduling for the fifth round and the loss of any subsequent replays.
Cakewalk for blazers
The FA have changed their council meeting set-up so the blazers now sit around tables rather than in rows. This has been very well received — probably because the croissants and cakes are put on the tables ready to be scoffed straight away rather than the ravenous councillors having to wait until a break.
Also, FA chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn are now prepared to answer questions on the hoof rather than have them submitted well in advance.
Peter Barnes, the former West Ham secretary, owed his elevation to a senior vice-president role at the FA because, according to chairman Greg Clarke, he wore his FA blazer and tie while on a sun-lounger in Malta before an England game there in 2017.
Peter Barnes owed his elevation to wearing an FA blazer and tie while on a sun-lounger in Malta
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.