In Brief

Sport shorts: Newcastle in takeover talks, Tour de France set to be postponed, no plan B for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 14 April

1. Toon in takeover talks 

According to sources Amanda Staveley’s company PCP Capital Partners is in advanced talks with Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over a deal to takeover the Premier League club. 

Sky Sports reports that “significant” Companies House legal documentation emerged today proving the legal framework for a deal was being put in place by the two parties.

The Daily Mail’s Craig Hope tweeted: “Told deal on table was/is £350m with £200m up front. New documents appear to lay framework for balance of £150m to be loaned to Staveley by Ashley. Sources say Ashley ready sell if money appears & documents prove talks at ‘advanced stage’.”

Ashley has been owner of Newcastle since buying a majority stake in the St James’ Park club in 2007.

2. Tour set to be postponed 

The French government has extended its ban on mass gatherings and the decision means that the Tour de France is officially set to be postponed or even cancelled.

Cycling’s grand event was due to take place from 27 June to 19 July, but yesterday French president Emmanuel Macron said restrictions on public events would continue until mid-July at the earliest.  

3. IPL to be further delayed 

India’s lockdown extension means that the 2020 Indian Premier League is also set to be postponed further. The country is now on lockdown until 3 May and the IPL was due to start on Wednesday. 

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly said: “It’s just simple common sense that at the moment, nothing is in favour of any kind of sport anywhere in the world, forget IPL. Practically speaking, when life has come to a standstill everywhere in the world, where does sport have a future in this?”

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4. Spurs do a U-turn 

The dominant story on the back pages is the news that Tottenham Hotspur have reversed their decision to take advantage of the government’s furlough scheme and reduce the wages of their non-playing staff. 

At the end of last month Spurs announced that 550 employees would see their wages slashed by 20% but yesterday they performed what most papers describe as a “U-turn” in stating that non-playing staff will receive “100% of their pay for April and May”.

5. Arsenal stars reject 12.5% pay cut 

Arsenal’s senior players have rejected the terms of a 12.5% pay cut over 12 months in response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Gunners have spent recent weeks drafting a deal in which the squad was asked to take a 12.5% drop in wages with the money being reimbursed if they are sold in the next year or if they extended their current contract.

England captain Harry Kane celebrates a goal with fellow striker Marcus Rashford

Michael Regan/Getty Images

6. McInally: Kane would make United contenders

Sky Sports pundit Alan McInally believes that if Harry Kane played alongside Marcus Rashford at Manchester United the Old Trafford club would be contenders for the Premier League title. 

Kane has been linked with a move away from Tottenham and McInally said: “Harry Kane would bring a presence into the team that they [Manchester United] haven’t got. Marcus Rashford is fantastic, he’s carried one of the biggest football teams in the world, but he’s too young to do it. He hasn’t had any help. 

“Bring Harry Kane into that team and there’s a different dynamic at Manchester United. He would make them a shoo-in for the top four, and pushing the top two.”

7. All systems go for 6 June 

English football is gearing up for a 6 June restart with the English Football League (EFL) leading the charge in the desire to get things going again. 

Financial necessity means the EFL is desperate to complete the 2019-20 season, and the Premier League is also in talks with the government about restarting on this date. Media reports suggest that all matches would be played behind closed doors and the 6 June date will have to be approved by the government.

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8. Stewart: Stirling Moss was a giant

Formula 1 drivers, officials and fans continue to pay tribute to legendary British driver Stirling Moss, who died aged 90 on Sunday.

Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Vodcast, Jackie Stewart said: “He was a giant. He was the very best of his time and an amazing man. Stirling Moss was so big that he didn’t have to be world champion, he was still the best driver in the world.”

9. Borthwick aims for the top 

New Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick is aiming to take the English rugby union giant “back to the top”.

Borthwick, who starts his role on 1 July, said: “I am delighted to be joining Leicester Tigers as head coach. To get Leicester back to the top is a great challenge and one I am very excited about. 

“We realise we have a lot of work to do and I know everybody at the club is determined to work tirelessly to succeed in this challenge. We also know every single one of our fantastic supporters will be doing all they can to help drive this team forward.”

10. No plan B for Tokyo 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics have already been postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but should the new dates need to be changed again there would be no alternative.  

The Olympics will start on 23 July 2021 and the Paralympics will follow on 24 August. However, Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya said: “We are working toward the new goal. We don’t have a B Plan.” 

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