Keevin Keegan awarded £2m in damages

Former Newcastle United manager Keevin Keegan has won his case for constructive dismissal damages against the Championship club. An arbitration panel consisting of Philip Havers QC – who acted as chairman , Lord Pannick QC and Manchester United’s assistant secretary, Kenneth Merrett, ordered Newcastle to pay Keegan £2m ( $3.17m)

Keegan had initially sued the club for £25m ( £8.5m for the remainder of his contract and £16.5m for stigma damages). Newcastle have to pay Keegan the sum within seven days.

Newcastle signed Ignacio Gonzalez, a player Keegan said no one had seen play, as an alleged “favour” to two South American agents. Keegan said the decision was forced upon him, and he was only asked to view a couple of Youtube videos on the player. He argued that signing the player represented a fundamental breach in his contract of employment. Keegan resigned from the club four days

“Mr Wise telephoned Mr Keegan and told him that he had a great player for the club to sign, namely Ignacio González, and that he should look him up. Mr Keegan tried to locate him on the internet but could find no reference to him. Mr Wise told him that he had been on loan at Monaco but having checked out the details, Mr Keegan was unimpressed and told Mr Wise that he did not think the player was good enough.

“Mr Wise then told him that the player was on YouTube and that Mr Keegan could look him up there but he found that the clips were of poor quality and provided no proper basis for signing a player to a Premier League club. Moreover, no one at the club had ever seen him play.

“However, notwithstanding that he made it clear not only to Mr Wise but also to Mr Jimenez and to Mr Ashley that he very strongly objected to the signing of Mr González [he was to be signed on loan with an option to purchase], the club proceeded with the deal and the transfer was concluded the following day, on 31 August 2008.

“The club did so, according to its witnesses who gave evidence before us, because it was in the club’s commercial interests to do so. It was what the club described as a ‘commercial deal’ by which the club meant a deal which was in the commercial interests of the club.

“The ‘commercial interests’, according to the club, were that the signing of the player on loan would be a ‘favour’ to two influential South American agents who would look favourably on the club in the future.

“The loan deal cost the club nearly £1m in wages for a player who was not expected to play for the first team but no payment was made by the club to the agents in respect of the deal.”

Liverpool vs Aston Villa quiz

A quiz on the Liverpool vs Aston Villa fixture at Anfield on Sunday, 22 March 2009 ( 16.00GMT)

1.) In whose memory was a one minute silence held before the start of the match?

2.) What was the final score?

3.) What was unique about Steven Gerrard’s hat trick?

4.) Who got sent off for Aston Villa?

5.) Whom did Pepe Reina assist for the second goal? ( It was his second assist in as many games)

6.) Who was the referee for the clash?

Answers

1.) Their club secretary Bryce Morrison

2.) 5-0 to Liverpool

3.) His first Premier League hat trick at Anfield, and none of them came from open play

4.) Their keeper Brad Friedel

5.) Albert Riera

6.) Martin Atkinson

Agger- the ball is in Liverpool’s court

Liverpool centre back Daniel Agger has admitted that he has “no idea” whether the club want him to sign a new deal. The Danish defender’s contract expires next summer but the club are yet to tie him down to a long term deal.

Agger has attracted attention from both AC Milan and Real Madrid, but manager Rafa Benitez insists that he has a long term future at Anfield. Agger moved to Liverpool in January 2006 on a four and a half year contract from Brondby for £5.8m. Benitez has also hit out at his bosses for their failure to give Agger a new contract.

Agger has also had limited starts at Anfield since the arrival of Slovakian centre half Martin Skrtel. Benitez has four central defenders to choose from- Agger, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia and Skrtel. Injuries have not helped Agger’s cause either. The Dane also reportedly wants a higher salary than what the Reds are prepared to offer him.

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A.C.Milan interested in Simon Rolfes?

According to reports in the press, Italian giants A.C. Milan are reportedly interested in securing the services of Bayer Leverkusen’s German midfielder Simon Rolfes. The 26 year old defensive midfielder is being targetted as a replacement for the injured Gennaro Gattuso.

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Elano likely to be out of action for a fortnight

Manchester City’s Brazilian midfielder Elano is likely to be out of action for up to 2 weeks after injuring his groin in City’s goalless 0-0 draw with Paris St.Germain in the UEFA Cup on Wednesday night.

Elano started against PSG, but lasted only forty nine minutes before limping off and being replaced by Zimbabwean Benjani Mwaruwari. He had a forgettable night, with his passes unable to find their intended recipients.

City play Fulham in the Premiership on Saturday.

Torres out for another two weeks with hamstring strain

Just as Liverpool thought that their star striker had recovered from his hamstring injury, new scans have reveaed that Fernando Torres will be out of action for another two to three weeks. Torres strained his right hamstring in Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Marseille on Wednesday. He played the full ninety minutes in the game, which Liverpool won thanks to Steven Gerrard’s early headed goal.

Torres will now miss Monday’s game against West Ham, as well as the games against Blackburn, PSV Eindhoven and Hull City. He may return for Liverpool’s big game against Arsenal four days before Christmas.

Neil MacKenzie joins Port Vale on loan

32 year old Notts County central midfielder Neil MacKenzie has joined Port Vale on a month long loan deal. Mackenzie’s most recent loan spell was with Bluesquare Premiership side Kidderminster Harriers, where he scored once in four appearances.

MacKenzie is expected to feature in Notts County’s second round FA Cup clash against Macclesfield Town. He has played for Macclesfield in the 2004-05 season, scoring one goal in twenty four appearances.

Port Vale will be the Birmingham born MacKenzie’s 10th club.

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Pyatov frustrates Croatia

Croatia’s disappointing start to their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign continued as they were held by Ukraine in Kharkiv.

Nine of the eleven that Slaven Bilic fielded were regulars in the starting lineup at Euro 2008, but Croatia were unable to find a way past Anatoli Pyatov, who produced some fine second half saves to keep Croatia at bay. The two unfamiliar faces were Ivica Krizanac, who was deputising for the suspended Robert Kovac, and Ognjen Vukojevic. Croatia’s 36 game unbeaten run at home in World and European qualifying had been broken by England last month, with Theo Walcott scoring a hat trick in the 4-1 win.

Ukraine’s best chances came in the first half, but Stipe Pletikosa was up to the task of stopping Andriy Shevchenko.

The result leaves Croatia in third place in Group 6, five behind leaders England, and three behind Ukraine.

Croatia’s next game is against Andorra on Wednesday.

Charlton Athletic sign Leroy Lita on loan

Championship side Charlton Athletic have signed Reading striker Leroy Lita on a twenty day long loan. Opportunities have been limited for the Congo born striker at the Madjeski and he now joins fellow Royal Sam Sodje at the Valley. Sodje is on loan at the club, and so are Greg Halford, Lee Cook and Scott Sinclair.

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