In Brief

Sport shorts: NHS is the big winner of the Virtual Grand National and Williams Racing put some staff on furlough

Ten things from the world of sport on Monday 6 April

1. Virtual National raises £2.6m for the NHS 

Potters Corner may have taken first place in Saturday’s Virtual Grand National but the real winner was the NHS.

Punters were allowed to bet on the CGI race at Aintree with profits going towards NHS Charities Together. In total £2.6m was raised for the health service’s charity. 

Pre-race favourite Tiger Roll (5/1) finished fourth in the big race with Potters Corner (18/1) beating Walk In The Mill (16/1) and Any Second Now (10/1) to the finish line. 

Christian Williams, trainer of Potters Corner, told BBC Sport: “There was great excitement in the house. The children were on their toy horses and it was great watching the race and seeing our horse come through to win.”

Red Rum was the winner of the Race of Champions - an event featuring 40 legendary National horses.  

2. Dennis launches NHS meal initiative 

The Independent reports that ex-McLaren boss Ron Dennis has helped to launch an initiative to provide one million free meals to NHS workers. 

The Dennis family is donating £1m through their charity foundation Dreamchasing, alongside £500,000 in match-funding. 

Speaking about the SalutetheNHS.org scheme, Dennis said: “We’re all in this together. I am delighted to be leading this initiative to help ensure that vital NHS workers have nutritious meals while they work every hour in this fight.

“It means they have one less thing to worry about. We have called this SalutetheNHS.org because I think we are all in awe of the work they are doing to save lives.”

F1: ‘four teams could disappear’, warns McLaren Racing CEO

3. Leclerc wins F1 Esports Virtual GP

The Grand National was not the only virtual sporting event at the weekend with Formula 1 hosting its virtual race last night. 

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took the chequered flag on his F1 Esports Virtual GP debut while England cricket star Ben Stokes finished last racing for Red Bull.

The next race in the F1 esports series is the Chinese Virtual Grand Prix on Sunday 19 April.

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4. Real set sights on Kane 

Spanish newspaper Sport says Real Madrid want to sign a new striker and are “aiming high” for Tottenham’s Harry Kane. 

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho does not want to sell his star man and even though a deal will be hard to complete, Real president Florentino Perez has his sights set on the 26-year-old England skipper.

Real Madrid ‘aim high’ for Kane and Lingard is set to ‘snub’ Arsenal

5. Southgate pay is cut by 30%

England head coach Gareth Southgate has taken a 30% pay cut as part of the Football Association’s plan to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

FA employees who earn more than £50,000 a year will take a temporary pay reduction of 7.5% and senior management are taking a 15% cut. Southgate is included in the group of the FA’s highest earners who are reducing their pay by up to 30%.

“We want to take prudent and appropriate steps to help protect and support the FA and our employees during this unpredictable time,” said FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.

George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will drive the Williams Racing FW43 in 2020

ROKiT Williams Racing

6. Williams furlough some staff  

Williams Racing F1 team today announced that some staff members have been put on furlough while drivers George Russell and Nicholas Latifi have taken a 20% pay cut.

A statement said: “Due to the ongoing situation involving Covid-19, ROKiT Williams Racing is temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of a wider range of cost-cutting measures. The furlough period will last until the end of May whilst senior management, and our drivers, have taken a pay cut of 20% effective from 1 April. 

“These decisions have not been taken lightly, however our aim is to protect the jobs of our staff at Grove and ensuring they can return to full-time work when the situation allows.”

7. Van Dijk: I want to be an Anfield legend

Virgil van Dijk wants to go down in Liverpool history as a club legend.

When asked how he wanted to be remembered, the Dutch defender said: “As a Liverpool legend. I want to achieve incredible things here. I would like to be one of those players that return to Anfield after retiring. I see club legends at games and I feel part of a really big family.”

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8. Fury: Wilder one of my easiest fights 

Tyson Fury says his rematch against Deontay Wilder was one of the “easiest” fights of his career. 

In February Fury dominated the American to win the WBC title and the British fighter told talkSPORT: “To be honest I was quite disappointed in the challenge that Wilder brought.

“Like I said, it would be one of my easiest fights, and it was. I believe that was one of my easiest fights apart from the early knockovers that I had. And on this level you don’t usually get that sort of easy victory, with heavyweight champions of the world.”

9. Walker faces £250,000 fine for sex party

Manchester City defender Kyle Walker is facing disciplinary action after breaking lockdown rules by hosting a party involving two sex workers.

Walker has apologised but his club said in a statement: “We are disappointed to hear the allegations, note Kyle’s swift statement and apology, and will be conducting an internal disciplinary procedure in the coming days.” 

According to the Daily Mirror Walker could be hit with a £250,000 fine, which would represent about two and a half weeks wages.

10. Back pages: Civil war rages on 

One story dominates the back pages and that is the increasingly ugly civil war that is raging within the top flight of English football. 

“Revolt” is the single word headline in the Daily Mirror, below headshots of all 20 Premier League captains. 

The paper says that the skippers have formed a WhatsApp group to fight what they believe is the “disgusting” proposal for 30% pay cuts that they believe have been designed to ease the burden of wealthy club owners.

Today’s back pages 

Liverpool slammed for furlough move as football’s civil war rages on

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––For analysis of the biggest sport stories - and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news - try The Week magazine. Start your trial today ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 

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