Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Arsenal FC report huge rise in profits boosted by sale of Cesc Fabregas

The profit, for the six months to the end of November 2011, compares with a loss of £6.1m for the same period in 2010.

The club made £63m overall in player sales, while there was an investment of £74.7m in new signings and contract extensions.

Arsenal's cash reserves were up to £115.2m (from £110.4m), with turnover also up to £113.5m (from £97.6m).

Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: "We are proud of Arsenal's record and consistency over many seasons and have the foundations in place, at every level of the club, to ensure we remain a force in the seasons ahead."
Chief executive Ivan Gazidis said: "It's important to acknowledge that the most important thing for this football club, the most important thing for our fans, and the most important thing for the board and the people that work at the club is how we do on the pitch.

"We have a healthy cash balance of £115million for the half year."But it's important to understand that not all that money's available to invest in transfers.
"We have running costs of the club, player salaries and so on, so that amount goes down during the year."We also have to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way.

"There is money available, we don't talk about an exact figure - and there's a very good reason why we don't put an exact figure on that - because it would impact on our negotiating position.
"We have to invest efficiently, we have to invest sensibly."

Arsenal look set to end a seventh successive season without a trophy and are in danger of missing out on qualification for next season's Champions League.
And Gazidis added: "We can't gear our entire financial model around that - that expectation - because that would place the club in jeopardy if we didn't qualify.

"So we've always got to keep something in reserve in case things don't go our way."
Reports in British newspapers last week had claimed that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be given as much as £100million to spend this summer, although a more realistic figure is seen to be somewhere below the £50m mark.
Several top players have been linked with moves to north London, although a priority is ensuring captain Robin van Persie signs a new deal and stays at the club next season...More>>

Fergie: We were lucky

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the resilience of his Manchester United team after accepting they had been second best to Norwich for large parts of the 2-1 victory at Carrow Road, whereRyan Giggs netted a stoppage-time winner on his 900th appearance.
• Rooney and Cleverley injured

After falling behind to a close-range header from Paul Scholes on seven minutes, the Canaries rallied and forced David de Gea into a string of fine saves. The United keeper was finally beaten seven minutes from time by Norwich skipper Grant Holt.

However, that just served to spark the Red Devils into life as Ashley Young's goalbound effort was blocked and Danny Welbecksomehow missed a free header from two yards before Giggs ensured a fairytale finish when he stabbed home to keep United on the tails of Premier League leaders Manchester City.

"I have to say we were lucky today, in the sense Norwich had more promise about them. I thought we were lethargic, too casual on the ball. Then when we lost the goal, we played brilliantly," Ferguson said on MUTV. "That tells you something about the temperament - they do not get nervous and started to up their game, so that augers well for us."

Ferguson, who confirmed duo Wayne Rooney and Tom Cleverley were ruled out of England's friendly against Netherlands on Wednesday through illness and injury, added: "I think the players were probably a bit embarrassed with the chances they missed, they know they should have done better during the game, and that is irrespective of Norwich being the better team.
"They just kept crossing that ball into the box. Without Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and (David) De Gea, we would have been down. They were brilliant the three of them.

"Norwich deserved a point today and it was a great goal they scored, but at that moment you saw us as Manchester United. I am sure this result will have an impact [on the season].
"Everyone knows we never give in, no matter who plays us, they know they will have to play right to the death."

Giggs, 38, said it was a "real honour" to mark his 900th game with the winner. "It doesn't get any better," he told BBC Sport. "Norwich put up a great fight but we didn't really play very well...More>>

Mourinho: Rayo deserved draw

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho admitted his side were fortunate to come away with three points from their match at Rayo Vallecano.

AssociatedCristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the only goal of the game against Rayo Vallecano
Cristiano Ronaldo's backheel early in the second half was enough to secure a 1-0 win and maintain Real's 10-point lead over Barcelona at the top of the table.

However, Rayo missed a glut of chances during the match, with Piti striking the post and Michu also wasteful in front of goal before his late dismissal capped a frustrating evening.
The performance was enough to win Mourinho's admiration, though.

"It is easy to drop points at this stadium,'' the Portuguese said on Real's official website. "Rayo did not deserve to lose."A draw would have been a just result because Rayo were fantastic and they don't deserve people saying Real Madrid didn't play well. They deserve to hear they did a fantastic job against us.

"They made us work incredibly hard and had three clear chances to score. The players, coaching staff and fans of Rayo Vallecano deserve to hear people say they deserved more.

"I'm happy with the score and with my men's job, but I'm intelligent enough to see Rayo didn't deserve to lose.
I hope they keep up the good work because they're having a fantastic season.'' More>>

Liverpool FC golden boy Dirk Kuyt delighted with winning Carling Cup medal

Dirk Kuyt is mobbed after scoring in the Carling Cup final
LIVERPOOL FC forward Dirk Kuyt said his Carling Cup winners medal felt like an Olympic Gold medal.The Dutchman scored to put LFC into a 2-1 lead in extra  time and then coolly netted from the spot.Having lost the Champions League final  with Liverpool in 2007 and the World Cup final  with Holland in 2010, Kuyt was relieved to  finally get his hands on some silverware.

“I’ve been at Liverpool nearly six years now  and I came to Anfield to win trophies,” he  said. “All that matters is trophies and this feels  like a gold medal.

“If you want to be remembered as a football  player you need to win trophies. You can say  the Carling Cup is not the most important  trophy but for me today it is the most  important one.

“I lost the Champions League final and lost  the World Cup final so to win the Carling Cup  means something very special for me. I am  really pleased with the performance we gave  and hopefully we will back here at Wembley  again soon.

“Wembley is now a special place for me. To  be involved in a final here,  score and play an important  part is something I won’t forget  for the rest of my life.”Kuyt believes Liverpool’s  “belief” pulled them through  as they recovered from missing  their first two penalties  through Steven Gerrard and  Charlie Adam to finally  overcome the plucky  Championship club.

“We never stopped believing  and that is why we have won  the trophy,” said Kuyt.
“Even when Steven missed  his penalty I said to him we  would still get back into it as  there were a number of  penalties to be taken and we have a fantastic  goalkeeper. I knew when it came to my penalty  that I had to score.
“It was just unbelievable really. To score a  goal in extra time, you think you are going to  have a great chance to settle the game.“To score that goal was amazing and then  when I made that clearance off the line I  thought ‘this is it’ but all credit to Cardiff.
“They worked really hard and scored the  equaliser just before the end of extra time and  we had to take penalties.
 “The most important thing in football is  belief and we showed today we have that in the  squad. It’s a great day for us. I believed in  myself and I think the team believed in  themselves as well.

“I had my family and friends over from  Holland, and I think there were maybe 35  people over today. It was a great day for them,  and a great day for us.”...More>>

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Early Rampage Jackson vs. Ryan Bader prediction

While Jackson presents issues on the feet for the still-green Bader, it will likely be the ground where this fight is won or lost for the former light heavyweight champ.

He has struggled with top wrestlers like Dan Henderson and Jon Jones, and Bader certainly is no slouch with his all-American ASU collegiate background.

To offset a smothering on the mat, it’ll be critical that Rampage trains plenty on escapes and working in the clinch prior to this match. We’ve seen him be more effective against grapplers in the Octagon when he’s stated that this was an important part his camp..Read More>>

Friday, February 17, 2012

Edgar vs Henderson

UFC 144: Edgar vs.Henderson, also known as UFC Japan, is an impending UltimateFighting Championship event programmed to be held on February 26, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

 Because of the time difference between Japan and the United States, the event will be held in the morning in Japan, and screen live in the U.S. on the night of Feb. 25,2012.

The feature event at UFC 144 is a frivolous championship bout between reigning champion Frankie Edgar and contender Ben Henderson.

 Edgar will be making his fourth protection of the title. The co-featured events are a light heavy weight extend between Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Ryan Bader and a welterweight bout between Japanese native Yoshihiro Akiyama and Jake Shields...More>>

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lass rejoins the squad

Lass rejoins the squad...


Youth teamers Merchan, Morata and Tomas Mejias join the 21 men obtainable to Mourinho this morning.
Real Madrid attend their second conference this week in training for Saturday's 20:00 CET match in resistance to Racing Santander at the Bernabeu. 
Castilla's Merchan, Morata and Tomas Mejias joined the 21 men to be had to Jose Mourinho, amongst whom was the recently improved Lass. Altintop did upturn work and Higuain stayed in the gym.

Squad: Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Albiol, Carvalho, Coentrao, Granero, Sahin, Marcelo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Callejon, Benzema, Khedira, Ozil, Di Maria, Pepe, Xabi Alonso, Lass, Merchan, Morata, Casillas, Adan and Tomas Mejias. Read more>>

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