UEFA announced significant changes to their flagship Champions League on Friday, saying they had managed to “keep it in the family” after staving off the threat of a breakaway league by Europe’s top clubs.From 2018/19 season, the top four European leagues – currently Spain, Germany, England and Italy – will each be guaranteed four places in the group stage, UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti told reporters.Stung by criticism that the competition has become too predictable, UEFA emphasised that it would continue to be open for teams from Europe’s smaller national leagues although the number of places set aside for them would drop from five to four.Europe’s top clubs had discussed the possibility of forming a breakaway Super League but UEFA’s acting general secretary Theodore Theodoridis played down the threat.“From the very beginning, the feeling was the ideal solution for everybody would be a solution in the family,” he told reporters. “We spoke to everyone…the feeling we had was that they always wanted to stay.”UEFA also stopped short of guaranteeing captive places for certain big clubs, another possibility which sources said had been discussed privately in meetings over the past few months.Under the present system, the top three leagues have three places each while their fourth-placed teams must play off over two legs for a place in the group stage.The fourth ranked league, currently Italy, have only two guaranteed places plus one in the playoff round.UEFA uses a complicated coefficient to determine the rankings of the national leagues.Marchetti said the format itself would remain the same with a qualifying stage, followed by a 32-team group stage and then a knockout contest.The champions and runners-up of the fifth and sixth-ranked leagues, at present France and Russia, will continue to have two places while the champions of the seventh to tenth ranked leagues, currently Portugal, Ukraine, Belgium and Turkey, will also qualify automatically.The biggest losers were the 11th and 12th ranked leagues, currently Switzerland and the Czech Republic, who will lose their guaranteed places in the group stage.Instead, they will now compete in a qualifying competition with national champions from all other European leagues for four places in a qualifying competition played in July and August.Theodoridis said it was an achievement just to keep any places for teams from the smaller leagues who struggle to compete on level terms with the elite clubs.“We started this process by having one target, keeping the dream alive having all national associations having access,” he said.UEFA has been without a president since last December when Frenchman Michel Platini was banned for eight years by world football’s governing body FIFA for ethics violations, later reduced to four on appeal by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).UEFA will hold an election to find a replacement for Platini in Athens on September 16. Michael van Praag, Angel Maria Villar and Aleksandar Ceferin, the heads of the Dutch, Spanish and Slovenian federations respectively, are the three candidates.
TECO donates $100,000 to typhoon-stricken Sorsogon DENR suspends entrance fee collection to Bohol’s man-made forest MOST READ With the rise of e-commerce, is it also the end for our beloved CD-R King? COACH YET TO CONVINCEValverde has an almost impeccable record in the Spanish league. He has led Barcelona to consecutive titles after losing only four of 76 matches in those combined league campaigns.But Valverde has been unable to avoid stunning setbacks in the Champions League. Barcelona lost 3-0 at Roma, squandering a 4-1 first-leg win, in the 2018 quarterfinals, and relived the nightmare last year when Liverpool overturned a 3-0 deficit by crushing Barcelona 4-0 in their semifinal second leg.Barcelona also came up short in last season’s Copa del Rey Final, losing 2-1 to Valencia.Club president Bartomeu has been unflinching in his backing of Valverde. But the former Athletic Bilbao manager has little margin left and any rough patch would again put his job in danger.Barcelona opens its league defense at Bilbao on Friday, when Messi will likely not play after picking up a right calf strain on the first day of practice for the new season. The 28-year-old Griezmann arrived after Barcelona triggered his 120-million-euro ($134-million) buyout clause to free him from Atlético. He should add even more fire power up front after Messi and Suárez combined for 76 goals last season.Griezmann’s departure from Atlético will also hurt Barcelona’s biggest rival in the Spanish league in recent years. Atlético was runner-up to Barcelona the last two seasons.De Jong is Barcelona’s hope for now and for the future. At 22, he arrives after a breakout campaign with Ajax, which made it to the Champions League semifinals after upsetting both Real Madrid and Juventus.Barcelona believes De Jong can become its leading playmaker in a midfield that has taken a step back since the exits of greats Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta.ANOTHER CHANCE FOR COUTINHO?Barring a last-minute transfer before the end of the summer market on Sept. 2, Philippe Coutinho will get another chance to win over Barcelona’s supporters after failing to live up to expectations from a club-record transfer from Liverpool worth 160 million euros (then $192 million) in 2017.The Brazil playmaker has scored 21 goals in 75 appearances for Barcelona but has been criticized by fans for not playing his best in decisive games.A poor start to the season would only rekindle speculation that his days at Camp Nou are numbered.Ousmane Dembele is in a similar position of needing to reset after a disappointing end to last season.Dembele has shown spectacular flashes of talent but the speedy 22-year-old winger has also been plagued by injuries. His challenge now is to remain healthy so he can blossom into the future star Barcelona thinks he can become. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Drug-hit hosts Thailand fail to lift ban for weightlifting worlds Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘Game of Thrones’ spin-off on Targaryens may premiere in 2022 Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, right, looks on next to his teammate Antoine Griezman prior of the Joan Gamper trophy soccer match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi has the support of new signing Antoine Griezmann in attack as Barcelona starts the new season with one mission: to lift the Champions League trophy again and end a five-year drought.Barcelona has won consecutive Spanish league titles and dominated with eight titles in the past 11 years.ADVERTISEMENT Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted “I believe in this squad, in these players and this coaching staff,” Messi told Barcelona’s fans at a preseason match at Camp Nou Stadium. “I have no doubt that together we will again fight to win it all.”Messi is now 32 years old, and even though he hasn’t lost a step and has improved his passing, vision and leadership skills with each season, the clock is ticking on how long he can sustain his exceptional level of performance.Feeling that pressure, Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu agreed to two transfers that will potentially cost the club over 200 million euros for a pair of players the club believes will be difference-makers.MAJOR REINFORCEMENTSForward Griezmann and Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong will be expected to make an immediate impact for Barcelona this season.ADVERTISEMENT Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after US-China deal LATEST STORIES But after back-to-back second-leg collapses in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, Barcelona’s players — and above all coach Ernesto Valverde — are under immense pressure to reclaim that status as the best in Europe.Even though Messi has changed the history of the Spanish club by leading it to 34 trophies, including 10 Spanish league crowns, some fans had started to complain the club has not done enough to provide him with the support he needs to fully exploit his unparalleled talent.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsMessi continues to churn out 50-goal seasons, but Barcelona hasn’t won the Champions League since 2015, when the Argentine great claimed his fourth European crown with Barca.Now, he has the help of Griezmann, who was instrumental in France winning the World Cup last summer and has joined from Spanish rival Atlético Madrid to link up with Messi and Luis Suárez in a potentially formidable forward line. 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Liverpool are ready to battle West Ham for the signature of Alex Song at the end of the season, according to reports in Spain.Song is currently on a season-long loan from Barcelona at Upton Park and has impressed as the Hammers have found themselves among the European places.West Ham are reportedly keen to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis at the end of the season and are ready to begin negotiations with Barcelona.However, according to Spanish news outlet fichajes.net, Liverpool are ready to rival West Ham for Song’s signature.The Reds were interested in Song during last summer’s transfer window, but decided against making a move for the 27-year-old.But, after seeing Song’s performances this season, manager Brendan Rodgers is said to have reconsidered his stance on the midfielder. 1 Alex Song in action for West Ham
DETROIT – September brought a new combination of challenges for the U.S. auto industry, from a housing market slump to a strike against General Motors Corp., but in the end it came down to the same old story: The company with the freshest products wins. General Motors, Honda and Nissan bucked the general weakness in the market with new vehicles that hit the showrooms running. By contrast, Ford Motor Co.’s sales plunged 21 percent, while Toyota Motor Corp. and Chrysler LLC also reported losses Tuesday. Overall sales were down 3 percent for the month, according to Autodata Corp. Jesse Toprak, the chief economist for the auto research site Edmunds.com, said the companies that did well in September either had well-designed, attractively priced products or spent enough on incentives to move their older products. Toyota’s overall decline compared with September of last year was led by its trucks, which were off 6 percent. Car sales were down 4 percent, the company reported, but it said the figures were compared with a best-ever September 2006. Toprak said Toyota can’t sustain the kinds of double-digit increases it had been seeing. “They’re suffering from their own success,” he said. GM’s sales were flat for the month. Car sales were down 4 percent while truck sales were up 4 percent on the strength of the Chevrolet Silverado and other new pickups. GM also got a boost from new crossovers like the Buick Enclave and the new Cadillac CTS sedan, which posted a 73 percent sales increase for the month. Honda Motor Co.’s U.S. sales rose more than 9 percent, with car sales up 7 percent and truck sales up 13 percent. The new Accord sedan and CR-V crossover vehicle fueled the increase, the company said. Nissan Motor Co.’s sales gained 7 percent on the strength of its redesigned Altima sedan as well as the new Rogue crossover. Nissan’s car sales were up 17 percent, while truck sales fell 6 percent. Chrysler’s car sales shot up 18 percent with the introduction of the newly redesigned Sebring, but its truck sales were down 11 percent and might have fallen further without heavy incentives. Chrysler’s sales were down 5 percent overall. Last week’s two-day strike by the United Auto Workers union against GM had no impact on sales, GM sales analyst Paul Ballew said. GM produced 30,000 fewer vehicles because of the strike, but the company’s production schedule is unchanged. The UAW struck GM before reaching a tentative agreement on a new contract. Toprak said that was part of the problem for Ford. GM and Toyota have new pickups, and Chrysler spent an estimated $6,386 per vehicle on the Dodge Ram pickup. Ford failed to match that incentive level for its aging F-150, so sales fell 21 percent. “Ford is trying really hard to hold the line on incentive spending, and in some vehicle categories in very competitive market environments, that might be holding them back a little bit,” Toprak said. Ford also was hurt by a 62 percent reduction in sales to rental car companies. George Pipas, Ford’s top sales analyst, said Ford is on track to cut sales to daily rental fleets by more than its original goal of 30 percent this year, or 135,000 vehicles. All of the domestic automakers have been trying to cut back on rental sales, which can hurt brand image and profits. Pipas said Ford’s retail sales – or sales excluding those to rental and other fleets – were down 15 percent. That was bad news for the automaker, which hasn’t seen a monthly sales increase since October 2006, according to Ward’s AutoInfoBank. But Pipas said Ford is meeting its goal of stabilizing U.S. market share, which has held steady at around 13 percent for most of 2007. The company also saw some success with its Lincoln brand, which saw sales spike 33 percent thanks to the MKZ crossover. Toyota posted a rare 4 percent decline but still outpaced Ford for the month and for the January-September period, continuing its drive to replace Ford as the nation’s No. 2 automaker in sales after GM. Toyota had sold 28,654 more vehicles than Ford as of the end of September.
Will Arsene Wenger leave Arsenal in the summer?Deep down most probably don’t think it will happen, but a few fans have offered up suggestions on who they’d like to see become the new club’s manager.Arsenal lost to Chelsea on Saturday and slipped 12 points behind their London rivals and before the 3-1 defeat, there were a few sighs from Gooners unhappy with the manager’s decision to leave Lucas Perez out.A selection of possible replacements are below. Some Arsenal fans offer their thoughts on possible Arsene Wenger replacements 1
Danny Rose 1 Danny Rose is out of Tottenham’s FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea this weekend – but could return for the north London derby next week.The defender has been out with a knee injury since January and he is not fit enough to take part at Wembley on Saturday.However, the England international could return in time for the huge Premier League showdown against bitter rivals Arsenal on April 30.“Arsenal, maybe [he can play]. For Saturday, no,” said Pochettino.“He’s OK, he’s doing well, he’s still not with the group but he’s at a very good level.”
However, the book adds that former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein believed Gunners chiefs would have seriously considered a bid from Abramovich, but it never materialised allegedly due to the bank’s findings.During the 52-year-old’s tenure at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have won the Premier League five times and captured a much-coveted Champions League trophy in 2012, as well as the Europa League and five FA Cups. 2 Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move no dice 2 These revelations have come to light thanks to a new book, The Club, written by two writers from the Wall Street Journal.According to The Sun, the American journalists conducted a series of interviews with executives from a number leading Premier League clubs.Inside the book, it is claimed Abramovich hired Swiss bank UBS to examine the economics of English top-flight football.One of its findings was that ‘Arsenal were categorically not for sale’. REVEALED BEST OF ADVICE Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was mistakenly discouraged from making an offer to buy Arsenal by a team of Swiss bankers.The Russian oligarch, worth an estimated £9.5billion, instead decided to buy the Blues for £140m 16 years ago and, since then, has transformed them into a footballing powerhouse. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Latest Football News Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Abramovich with the Champions League trophy in 2012 Roman Abramovich greets Chelsea fans before a match in 2003 Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury RANKED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow MONEY Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions REVEALED
boost John Terry has signed a new contract extension with Aston Villa which keep him at the club until 2021 Birmingham will also have to share their St Andrew’s home with Coventry City after the League One club failed to strike a deal with Wasps RFC to play at the Ricoh Arena.However, the next manager, whoever that may be, will now have a clearer idea of what task awaits him in the upcoming season as the 2019/20 Championship fixtures were announced today.Birmingham’s full 2019/20 schedule can be seen below (All dates are subject to change depending on TV and radio picks). Birmingham are currently managerless as Garry Monk was relieved of his duties on Tuesday The club sacked manager Garry Monk on Tuesday and it’s not clear who will be in charge next season. Lampard appears to aim dig at Mourinho for handling of Salah and De Bruyne at Chelsea Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:48Loaded: 20.53%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:48 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen Getty Images – Getty AUGUSTBrentford vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Bristol CityNottingham Forest vs BirminghamBirmingham vs BarnsleySwansea City vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Stoke CitySEPTEMBERCharlton Athletic vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Preston North EndDerby County vs BirminghamOCTOBERWigan Athletic vs BirminghamBirmingham vs MiddlesbroughLeeds United vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Blackburn RoversBirmingham vs Luton TownNOVEMBERCardiff City vs BirminghamBirmingham vs FulhamHuddersfield Town vs BirminghamSheffield Wednesday vs BirminghamBirmingham vs MillwallDECEMBERReading vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Queens Park RangersBirmingham vs West Bromwich AlbionHull City vs BirminghamBlackburn Rovers vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Leeds UnitedJANUARYBirmingham vs Wigan AthleticLuton Town vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Cardiff CityMiddlesbrough vs BirminghamFEBRUARYBirmingham vs Nottingham ForestBristol City vs BirminghamBarnsley vs BirminghamBirmingham vs BrentfordBirmingham vs Sheffield WednesdayMillwall vs BirminghamQueens Park Rangers vs BirminghamMARCHBirmingham vs ReadingWest Bromwich Albion vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Hull CityBirmingham vs Huddersfield TownAPRILFulham vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Swansea CityStoke City vs BirminghamBirmingham vs Charlton AthleticPreston North End vs BirminghamMAYBirmingham vs Derby CountytalkSPORT is the home of live football! Make sure you stay tuned in for in-depth coverage of the most competitive league in the world. IN DEMAND LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Next Birmingham manager odds Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland LATEST Tottenham issue immediate ban to supporter who threw cup at Kepa The 2018/19 season was an uncomfortable one for Birmingham City, who were constantly looking over their shoulders and trying to stay ahead of the relegation zone.However, the Blues managed to survive and they will play in the second tier next season but there’s already been a pretty bumpy start to their preparations. 1 JIBE REVEALED latest deals The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star punished
Allan Saint-Maximin was the only outlet for Newcastle at Villa Park Getty Images – Getty Goals from Conor Hourihane and Anwar El Ghazi in the space of four first-half minutes eased Villa’s recent woes after a run of three straight defeats had plunged Dean Smith’s side to one place above the relegation zone.Although Villa were always the more threatening side, with the Magpies primarily reliant on the counter-attack, it required two set-piece situations to prise open the visitors.The first arrived in the 32nd minute as Grealish raced onto a raking through ball, only for the attacking midfielder to be blatantly pushed in the back by the covering DeAndre Yedlin a yard outside the area.It was prime territory for Hourihane, whose first touch was a tap pass to Grealish who in turn stopped the ball dead. The Republic of Ireland international sumptuously whipped around the wall, and the poorly-positioned Dubravka, for his fifth goal of the season. 3 Steve Bruce was defeated on his return to Villa Park Getty Images – Getty Conor Hourihane gave Villa the lead on Monday night 3 Four minutes later Villa doubled their lead, with Grealish again drawing a foul, although it appeared as if he had deliberately caught the outstretched leg of Federico Fernandez.On this occasion, Hourihane curled a piercing low ball into the six-yard box, and with Newcastle’s defence leaden-footed, El Ghazi easily stabbed home his fourth goal of the season from three yards.It prompted cries from the Villa fans of ‘Brucey, Brucey what’s the score?’ as the home faithful teased their former boss.And Cundy was in disbelief at how easy it was for the hosts at Villa Park on Monday evening. AFP or licensors 3 Jason Cundy insists Newcastle United ‘got what they deserved’ against Aston Villa for setting up with such a negative approach.Mapgies manager Steve Bruce’s maiden return to his former club ended in a wretched 2-0 Premier League defeat. “Away from home, in games like this, you’re better off trying,” Cunday said on The Sports Bar. “They basically set up with a 5-4-1 all game.“And, you know, you’ve got to come out and have a go. They’re relying on counter attacks and the pace of [Allan] Saint-Maximin.“And we saw what he did against West Ham a couple of weeks ago and I think you’re kind of relying on that.“That’s not a lot to rely on. Sam Allardyce backs under-fire Newcastle boss Steve Bruce“But it’s will become a bit of a one-trick pony and I saw there Aston Villa thoroughly deserve the victory.“I don’t think they thought it was going to be as easy as it turned out to be and Newcastle, really, got what they deserved.” Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:15Loaded: 7.33%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:15 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreen
Motorists are advised to expect delays on the Letterkenny to Derry road following a collision this morning.The two-vehicle crash occurred on the N13 at Manorcunningham after 7am this Tuesday.Emergency services have lifted diversions which were in place earlier. Traffic is slow in both directions approaching the area.The crash is not being described as serious, however local reports say that a car was on fire at the scene.Road reopened following Manorcunningham crash was last modified: November 6th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)