Sport shorts: Barcelona to sell Camp Nou naming rights and Lewis Hamilton dismisses Ferrari move rumours
Ten things from the world of sport on Tuesday 21 April
1. Camp Nou rights to raise funds to fight Covid-19
FC Barcelona will sell the naming rights to their Camp Nou stadium for one season to raise money for the fight against Covid-19.
The club’s board of directors have approved the ceding of the title rights for the 2020-2021 season and the money will be invested in research projects being carried out in Catalonia and the rest of the world involved in the fight against the effects of Covid-19.
Jordi Cardoner, the first vice president of FC Barcelona and of the Barça Foundation, said: “We are facing a global crisis without precedent in our modern history and we have to assume with courage and calm the responsibility that we have.
“For that reason, from both the club and the Foundation, we consider it vital at this time of humanitarian crisis to use all the resources available at the organisation to fight against the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. It forms part of our way of doing things and of being as an institution.”
The Spanish champions confirmed that the name will maintain “Camp Nou” as well as the sponsor.
2. Gunners agree deal - but Ozil snubs pay cut
Arsenal have become the first Premier League club to agree a wage cut with its players. Watford, West Ham and Southampton have all announced wage deferral schemes in recent weeks, but yesterday the Gunners revealed the terms of their deal.
The majority of Arsenal’s squad agreed to the deal but it’s widely reported that Mesut Ozil is one of three first-team players to reject the club’s 12.5% pay cut.
3. Nobbs: Arsenal is my everything
England women’s international Jordan Nobbs has signed a new contract with Arsenal. The Gunners’s vice-captain, 27, said: “Arsenal is my everything now. I think football has overtaken my life since the age of seven, but I think I’ve got Arsenal in my blood now and I’m very proud to say that. I think I’ve got some great years to come.”
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4. Depression worry for football
The Times reports that symptoms of depression among professional footballers have doubled in the wake of lockdown measures.
Between 1 January and 31 March, 299 members of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) sought therapy through Sporting Chance Clinic’s networks of therapists and a confidential helpline, “just under half as many as sought counselling services in the whole of 2019 ”.
5. Liverpool-Atleti link to virus
The Guardian reports the claim that Atletico Madrid supporters may have brought coronavirus with them when they came to Anfield for last month’s Uefa Champions League tie against Liverpool.
The match, on 11 March, saw 3,000 Spaniards make the journey at a time when Madrid was already in the throes of a partial lockdown.
6. Lewis ‘not trying to move’ to Ferrari
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has dismissed reports that he is trying to move to Ferrari and insists that he’s already with his “dream team”.
The six-time Formula 1 world champion said: “First off, there is no dream of a dash to another team. I am with my dream team. Second, there’s not a thing in my way as I’m not trying to move. I’m with the people who have cared from day one. We are the best team!”
7. Athletics mourns Neil Black
UK Athletics’s former performance director Neil Black passed away at the weekend at the age of 60. UK Athletics said: “Neil loved the sport of athletics and dedicated his life to supporting athletes - as a world-class physiotherapist, as head of sport science, and then in recent years as performance director for British Athletics.”
8. GB hockey to lose sponsor
Great Britain and England Hockey’s nine-year relationship with sponsor Investec will come to an end in August. This leaves Team GB Hockey without a sponsor in the run up to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
9. Toon takeover nearly complete
Sky Sports says that the proposed takeover of Newcastle United by Saudi-backed consortium PCP Capital Partners is nearing completion. A deposit has been paid and contracts have been exchanged with club owner Mike Ashley. Sky says the only aspect of the deal left to be completed is the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test.
10. Kane too expensive for Man Utd
Tottenham striker Harry Kane will be too expensive and “out of reach” for Manchester United, The Guardian reports.
Real Madrid and Juventus have also been linked with a move for the England captain but in the case of United the Red Devils will have to redraw their transfer strategy because of financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus.