Daily Briefing

Today’s back pages: Non-league clubs threaten legal action against The FA

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 27 March

‘See you in court’

Several newspapers claim that The Football Association (FA) will be challenged in court after results for the 2019-20 season were expunged for the third tier of non-league football and below. 

Geoff Thompson, chairman of South Shields, is furious with the decision and according to Metro “has threatened to sue” the FA. 

South Shields are 12 points clear of the Northern Premier (the third tier of non-league football) and nailed on for promotion but that won’t now happen.

The headline on the back page of the Daily Express is “see you in court”, alongside a photo of Truro City manager Paul Wotton. 

He too is allegedly considering legal action after hearing that his side, top of the BetVictor Southern Premier division, will be denied promotion.

One club that has accepted the FA’s decision with good grace, reports the Independent, is FC United of Manchester, who are second behind South Shields in the Northern Premier.

Formed 15 years ago as a protest against Malcolm Glazer’s takeover of Manchester United, FC deputy chairman Sam Mullock told the Indy: “With the history of the club, there is a wider perspective… success on the pitch is not everything for us. And we’re absolutely not going to be fighting for a particular outcome which favours us in the league. 

“I think the leagues need to be left in peace, to think about the issues and come to us with a fair way forward.”

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Jones accepts pay cut - players don’t

Metro and the Daily Express both adorn their back pages with a photograph of England head coach Eddie Jones as rugby union braces itself for severe financial losses as a result of the coronavirus shutdown

According to Metro, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) is facing revenue losses in the “region of £50m over the next 18 months”, but Jones has agreed to do his bit to ease some of the financial burden. 

The Express says that the Australian has accepted a pay cut of more than 25%, as have other senior members of the RFU board. 

It’s believed that the 60-year-old pockets in the region of £750,000 per year, but RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney is quoted in the Metro saying: “Eddie is overseas at present. When I contacted him regarding our executive pay reduction proposals he immediately agreed.”

Unfortunately a similar financial altruism isn’t being shown by Premiership rugby players, reports The Guardian on its back page. 

The paper claims that Newcastle and Leicester players are up in arms at the idea of seeing their wages trimmed and “have been given legal advice on how to challenge the blanket 25% pay cuts imposed by the clubs”.

Anderson’s vow

The English county championship season was scheduled to start in a fortnight but with no prospect of any cricket for the foreseeable future players are facing a summer of uncertainty.

But Metro and the Guardian report that Jimmy Anderson, England’s veteran fast bowler who turns 38 in July, is putting on a brave face during the shutdown. 

It had been assumed that this would be his last summer of Test cricket, but Anderson has vowed that he will play on until 2021 if he doesn’t get a chance to bowl a ball in the coming months. 

He said: “I’m still hungry to play, I’ve still got ambitions to play for England, so I think that’s going to keep me driven at home trying to keep fit, so that whenever it is we play again I’m ready to go. 

“Whether it’s this summer or the winter [England play five Tests in India] my plan is to try and get back into that team.”

Today’s sport headlines

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