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Newcastle United Fans Walk Out Of St James’ Park In Protest Against Owner Mike Ashley

‘Tidal wave’ of support for Giggs

27 April 2014
Last updated at

Alan Hansen believes Ryan Giggs will enjoy a “tidal wave” of support in his bid to become Manchester United’s new manager if they end the term strongly.

In temporary charge after

David Moyes’ sacking,

Giggs enjoyed a

4-0 win over Norwich City

on his managerial debut.

Dutch coach Louis van Gaal remains favourite to be United’s next boss.

But Hansen said: “If Ryan Giggs wins the next three matches 4-0, there will be a tidal wave of sentiment in his favour from everywhere.”

Speaking on BBC’s Match of the Day, the former Liverpool captain said the support would come from “inside and outside Old Trafford”.

Giggs has the remaining three matches – home games against Sunderland and Hull and a trip to Southampton – to impress United’s board with his managerial qualities.

His odds on becoming United’s next manager have already dropped from 14-1 to 7-2 following Saturday’s comprehensive Premier League victory over Norwich.

He also has influential support with Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly telling a charity lunch this week that United should give the job permanently to the player he signed as a 14-year-old schoolboy in 1987.

But Netherlands coach Van Gaal, 62, will be available once his contract with the Dutch national team expires after the end of the World Cup finals in Brazil.

United have denied any deal has already been signed.

Van Gaal has previously been

linked with a summer move to Tottenham.

BBC pundit Robbie Savage believes Van Gaal would be the best appointment, allowing him to rebuild the team with Giggs groomed as his successor.

“I would give it to Van Gaal and Giggs the one after him,” he told Match of the Day. “He has the experience around the world and I think he can do it.”

Giggs, now 40, admitted his debut as a manager could not have gone much better.

“All the years I walked out at Old Trafford, I’ve never felt like that,” said Giggs.”I felt 10 feet tall.

“I enjoyed it and 4-0 is a dream day for us so I’m really pleased.”

The Welshman had promised a

return to an exciting brand of football

and to put smiles back on faces after a “frustrating” season.

He made six changes to the team which lost at Everton last weekend and his side responded with 11 shots on target – more than in any previous league game this season – as two goals apiece from Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata sealed a comfortable win.

Despite the comfortable success, the United boss dodged questions on holding any long-term hopes of landing the job on a permanent basis, instead saying he “was focused on Sunderland” – their next opponents.

United trail sixth-placed Tottenham by six points with one game in hand, but are resigned to falling short of 70 points for the first time since 1991.

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David Moyes thanks Man Utd fans for support in ‘difficult’ season

7 March 2014
Last updated at

Manchester United manager David Moyes has thanked the club’s fans for their loyalty in what he admits has been a “difficult” first season.

Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, who

ended his 26 years as United boss

by winning a 13th league title, on 1 July.

However, United lie seventh after only 13 wins from 27 Premier League games.

In a letter to United season ticket holders, Moyes wrote: “The difficult season we have experienced was not something that I envisaged.”

Continue reading the main story

I have absolutely no doubt we will see great winning sides here again

David Moyes

Moyes, 50, replaced fellow Glaswegian Ferguson, who won 38 trophies during his reign at Old Trafford, which also included two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

United lost only five league games in their title-winning season of 2012-13, but have already lost eight times in the current campaign, including home defeats by West Brom, Everton, Newcastle and Tottenham.

They were also beaten

2-1 at home by Swansea

in the FA Cup third round and are trailing 2-0 after the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie with Olympiakos.

“You are accustomed to seeing a successful Manchester United and the backing you have given the players and me throughout the season has been incredible,” Moyes continued in his letter.

“Away from home the travelling fans have remained the best in the country, while at Old Trafford your unwavering faith has been noticeable and hugely welcomed.

“Supporting your team when they are winning is easy, but much harder when things are not going as well, and the loyalty you have shown us has been magnificent.

“I have absolutely no doubt we will see great winning sides here again.”

Moyes, who began his managerial career at Preston before spending 11 years with Everton, added: “Everything we have been through will make us a better, stronger team and club in the future.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Vincent Tan support can inspire Cardiff

2 March 2014
Last updated at

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says a pep-talk from controversial owner Vincent Tan can inspire his side to Premier League safety.

The Bluebirds

lost 1-0 at Tottenham

on Sunday, meaning they remain second from bottom, three points from safety.

But an improved display came after Tan addressed players and Solskjaer on Saturday to offer “encouraging words”.

“He’s committed and supportive. It’s the first time since I’ve been here, it was a good time,” said Solskjaer.

“They were pleased to see he came. We all appreciated it.

“We’re all sticking in it together, that’s the key.

“If you’re going to get out of this, it’s not one performance, it’s a 10-game run. It’s a 10-game season now. This run-in, it needs every single one of us.”

Cardiff have won only one of their last 12 league games but, with the backing of Tan and a change in approach, Solskjaer saw a better performance from his side at White Hart Lane after they lost 4-0 at home to Hull last weekend.

Solskjaer has led his team to victory in one of his eight league games in charge since taking over from previous boss Malky Mackay in January.

But he says his team need to win five of their last 10 games to stay in the Premier League, a figure that matches their victory total all season.

The Bluebirds face bottom-club Fulham at the Cardiff City Stadium next Saturday.

The Norwegian manager added: “We have to win five of the last 10. To win five on the bounce is perhaps too much so let’s start next week.”

Cardiff employed three centre-backs at White Hart Lane, and after Roberto Soldado’s solitary goal, Steven Caulker hit the crossbar from close range before Declan John tested Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Solskjaer said: “It was a big improvement, that was a team who believed in what we are doing, who had a real go but a little bit went against us.

“It was a poor goal to concede, it was our free-kick and a counter attack against us but those are the margins that go against you.

“It’s always a big decision to play a system you have not tried before but it grew over the week and we caused massive problems in the first half, it might be something we see again.”

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Rene Meulensteen: Fulham boss reveals Sir Alex Ferguson support

7 February 2014
Last updated at

Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen says he has received support from ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Dutchman, first-team coach when Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford, has only won four of 15 games since

replacing Martin Jol

in December.

“Sir Alex Ferguson was the first man to reassure me and say ‘stick to your beliefs and know what you’re capable of’,” said 49-year-old Meulensteen.

Fulham, who travel to United on Sunday, are bottom of the Premier League.

Ferguson’s former right-hand man added: “We speak to each other about different things. It’s very valuable to speak to him, he knows what I can do.

“It will be brilliant going back to Old Trafford. It has been such a special club for me and still is. I’ve got a lot of friends there and I will enjoy every moment of it.”

During his spell as Manchester United’s first-team coach, they won the Premier League title on three occasions, the Club World Cup once and the League Cup twice.

However, he has struggled in his first managerial role in England.

Fulham have lost their last four league matches and suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat against

League One side Sheffield United

on Tuesday in an FA Cup fourth-round replay.

“People keep saying about pressure, but it’s a challenge and life throws challenges your way,” said Meulensteen. “You have to rise up to the challenge and it’s not one I will walk away from.

“I’m in a privileged position to be in a job like this and the fact things have gone against us means we have to work hard to turn it around.

“We need to stay positive and I can’t fault the effort from the players on the training pitch.”

Sunday’s game could see a debut for 25-year-old Greece striker Konstantinos Mitroglou, who joined

Fulham from Olympiakos for about £11m

on the final day of the transfer window.

“He is an absolutely class player,” said Meulensteen. “He has lifted the whole place with his energy and he is such a bright personality with a great knowledge of the game.”

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Sam Allardyce: West Ham manager retains support of owners

9 January 2014
Last updated at

West Ham’s owners have reiterated their support for manager Sam Allardyce despite their 6-0 League Cup semi-final first-leg defeat at Manchester City.

The loss followed a

5-0 FA Cup humbling

at Championship side Nottingham Forest.

Joint chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold

stood by their manager

after the Forest defeat and have not changed their opinion

despite losing at City.

Allardyce, 59, has said he will

fight on

and faces a crucial Premier League relegation game at Cardiff on Saturday.

Second-bottom West Ham are three points behind 17th-place Cardiff in the table and have won just once in their last 10 games – the Capital One Cup quarter-final victory over Tottenham on 18 December.

Large sections of the travelling support appearing to turn on Allardyce at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and former West Ham defender Julian Dicks said he had sympathy with them.

The 45-year-old former left-back, who made 326 appearances for West Ham over two five-year spells at the end of the late 1980s and 1990s, told BBC Radio 5 live: “I can’t [see how Allardyce can continue]. How can you?

“The football isn’t good, the lack of passion and pride is awful. I understand where fans are coming from.”

But the former left-back added that the manager and players had to take responsibility for a poor run of form.

Dicks said: “You just can’t blame the manager, you just can’t blame the players. Sam picks the players, if they don’t perform they have to look at themselves.

“We all have bad games, we all make mistakes but what you expect from every single game from your mates, your team-mates, is 100%. We all have bad games as a part of football but to watch some of them play is embarrassing.

“Those supporters, it has cost them an absolute fortune to go to Manchester City on the train, in their cars, pay for tickets.

“The work-rate for the last half dozen games has been disgraceful.”

But Reading striker Jason Roberts, who played under Allardyce at Blackburn,


“Understandable criticism coming the way of West Ham’s manager, but I cannot shake the feeling that in this situation you call for Big Sam.”

Allardyce was appointed as West Ham boss in June 2011 and renewed his contract, for another two years, in May 2013.

He led the Hammers to promotion from the Championship in the 2011-12 season and secured a 10th place finish in last season’s Premier League.

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Andre Villas-Boas confident he retains Spurs board’s support

27 November 2013
Last updated at
20:35 GMT

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says he retains the full support of his board and players.

Spurs, who were

thrashed 6-0 by Manchester City

in the Premier League on Sunday, are ninth in the table, eight points behind leaders Arsenal.

One bookmaker has made the Portuguese the odds-on favourite to become the next top-flight manager to be sacked.

But Villas-Boas said: “I have the confidence of the board and players and I have to move on to do a proper job.”

The former Chelsea manager, who spent almost £110m in the summer as

Gareth Bale moved to Real Madrid for a world-record fee of £85.3m,

admitted his bosses at the north London club were unhappy with the defeat at Etihad Stadium – their heaviest loss since 1996.

“The only conversation [the board and I] had recently was two or three days ago,” Villas-Boas added.

“The board is of the same opinion that everything went wrong and we hope to get some response in the future.

“It was an ordinary meeting. We only spoke very briefly about the game.”

Villas-Boas said he is not concerned by the fact his chairman Daniel Levy has not stated his support publicly in recent weeks.

“That’s not his style, and neither do I ask for things like that,” added the 36-year-old.

“I am immune [to criticism] right now. I used to read a lot into situations like this, into pressure points when I was at Chelsea, but not any more. I am very indifferent.”

Tottenham, already through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, are in Norway ahead of Thursday’s game against Tromso.

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Cardiff City move to support manager Malky Mackay

15 October 2013 Last updated at 17:04 GMT

Cardiff City have moved to strengthen the position of manager Malky Mackay to calm unrest at the Premier League club.

Mackay met the club’s board on Monday after the removal of his head of recruitment Iain Moody last week.

In a statement from the Cardiff board on Tuesday, the club said that transfer dealings will be conducted “subject to the manager’s final approval”.

Owner Tan Sri Vincent Tan has also agreed to write off interest of £5.8m on previous loans made to the club.

There was also provision for future loans to the club to be made interest free up to an “aggregate value” of £50m.

Mackay added Moody to his backroom staff as head of recruitment following his appointment as manager in the summer of 2011, having worked with him closely at former club Watford.

In his scouting role, former Watford press officer Moody helped the Premier League newcomers sign summer recruits including Gary Medel from Sevilla and Steven Caulker from Tottenham.

But last week Moody was first suspended and then left the club, who brought in Alisher Apsalyamov, 23, as his acting replacement.

Apsalyamov is not believed to have any previous experience in football and his appointment is the latest controversy in the reign of owner Vincent Tan.

Tan caused consternation among many Cardiff fans during the summer of 2012 after changing the club’s colours from blue to red, while there have been reports of dressing-room unrest over unpaid bonuses.

Mackay was invited to attend the board meeting on Monday, which was convened according to the statement to “discuss the events of the last two weeks in detail”.

Resolutions made by Cardiff City board:

1. The board will be restructured with immediate effect to include the following committees:

a. The Nomination and Corporate Governance Committee chaired by Mehmet Dalman. Its main responsibilities will be:

· to support the manager, Malky Mackay, on all player purchases and sales. All transfer dealings will be conducted subject to the manager’s final approval.

· to establish clear corporate governance procedures across the club.

b. An Audit Committee, chaired by Michael Filiou. Its main responsibility will be:

· to review and make recommendations to strengthen the internal financial controls within the club and benchmark the club’s financials.

c. Health & Safety Committee, chaired by Steve Borley. Its main responsibility will be:

· to enhance the club’s operations to the highest standards in health & safety.

d. Special Committee for the expansion of Cardiff City Stadium – chaired by Steve Borley to oversee current East Stand expansion plans.

2. Tan Sri Vincent Tan has agreed to write off interest of approximately £5.8m on previous loans made to the club and stated that all future loans up to an aggregate value of £50m will also be interest free.

3. The board ratified the appointments of Mehmet Dalman as director and chairman of the board, Michael Filiou as non-executive director, and Amir Fitzhugh as company secretary. The board ratified the resignation of Mr Len Win Kong as a director of the club.

Full statement from Cardiff City website here. 

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Liverpool: Luis Suarez shown support in Steven Gerrard match

3 August 2013 Last updated at 15:36 GMT

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was given a rousing ovation at Anfield as he made a second-half cameo in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial against Olympiakos.

The Reds have rejected two offers from Arsenal for Suarez, 26, who wants to play in the Champions League.

“It just shows you the class of the Liverpool supporters. They love their own and Luis is still very much part of the group,” boss Brendan Rodgers said.

Goals from Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson secured the Reds a 2-0 win.

Rodgers added: “Maybe people wondered what kind of reception he would get, but that’s the type of supporters Liverpool are.

“Today was another message from them that they love him here. We all love him, as a manager, players and supporters. He was probably humbled by the reception.”

The Uruguay international’s Anfield future remains uncertain after he spoke of his desire to leave despite only signing a new long-term contract in August 2012.

Arsenal made a club-record offer of £40m plus £1 for Suarez in the belief it would enable them to secure his services, but Liverpool dispute the interpretation of a clause in his contract.

Sources close to the player say he will consider submitting a formal transfer request and the possibility of court action if the issue is not resolved.

But, despite the ongoing saga, Reds supporters took the opportunity to give Suarez a clear sign they want him to stay when he came on after 62 minutes of Saturday’s game.

Rodgers said: “It is very, very simple: he is a top player and we don’t want to sell him.”

Tottenham’s Gareth Bale has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, with reports suggesting they would have to spend in excess of £100m  for the Wales international.

Rodgers added: “Of course, throughout the world every player will have a value but you only have to look at the market and £40m and £1… Gareth Bale they are talking about nine figures.

“Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez were arguably the two best players in the Premier League and you can’t say Gareth Bale is valued at more than 100% more than Luis Suarez.

“We are very strong in the belief in what we are doing and there will be no-one moving out of here.”

A sell-out Anfield of 44,362 gathered to honour captain Gerrard, who was celebrating 15 years at his only professional club.

There were no Champions League heroics from the England midfielder like the last time Olympiakos visited Anfield in December 2004.

But Liverpool continued their encouraging pre-season form as they comfortably beat their Greek opponents.

Midfielder Allen diverted the ball into the net for the opener from Iago Aspas’s cross before the break and substitute Henderson doubled the lead from Raheem Sterling’s pass in the second half.

Formed Reds favourite Robbie Fowler made a brief second-half appearance, with the recently retired Jamie Carragher also coming off the bench.

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