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Jonathan Agnew carpeted by BBC after foul-mouthed rant

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Jonathan Agnew carpeted by BBC after foul-mouthed rant… while Premier League go to extreme lengths to protect integrity of VAR operations

  • Jonathan Agnew has been reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant
  • Agnew took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew
  • He then launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter

Jonathan Agnew, the BBC’s voice of cricket, has been strongly reprimanded by the Corporation after an extra-ordinary expletive-ridden rant on social media.

The Test Match Special commentator took exception to a column by The Independent’s Jonathan Liew and launched a foul-mouthed tirade in a series of direct messages on Twitter.

Agnew called Liew a c*** at least three times in quick succession, adding: ‘I’m going no further on the advice of people I have heard back from who know you and think you are a c***. I know you are. Think on.

Jonathan Agnew has been strongly reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant

Jonathan Agnew has been strongly reprimanded by the BBC for his expletive-ridden rant

‘C***. You’re so strange I don’t know if you’d be upset to know those who think you are a c***. Or not.’

Agnew, who earns between £180,000 and £189,999 as the BBC’s cricket correspondent, has missed England’s first two one-day games against Pakistan owing to a planned holiday.

But in the week former BBC 5Live presenter Danny Baker was sacked by the Beeb for showing a ‘serious error of judgement’ over a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby, Agnew has escaped further censure.

Sports Agenda understands BBC bosses took action against Agnew before the direct messages were made public on Saturday, and spoke to the 59-year-old about the ‘clear standards of behaviour’ they expect. 

Agnew has also written to Liew to apologise. Editorial guidelines warn journalists to be ‘mindful that the information you disclose does not bring the BBC into disrepute’ on social media websites.

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby

Danny Baker was sacked by the BBC for a tweet about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby

In December 2018 Agnew told his colleague Gary Lineker to keep his political views to himself, adding: ‘I’d be sacked if I followed your example.’

He has also previously complained about being sent ‘vitriol’ on Twitter, adding: ‘What is the point of coming on and making a rude, inflammatory introduction? The answer is, there isn’t, unless you really want to cause trouble.’

A BBC spokesperson said: ‘We don’t comment on individual staff matters but we take this very seriously and have clear standards of behaviour we expect all personnel to abide by.’

McLaren have caused a stir by dropping their paddock lunches, saving them an eye-watering £500,000 over the season. The lavish buffets, plus gratis drinks, acted as Formula One’s canteen for media and sundry hangers on. 

But after a record £96million operating loss by their racing division last year, cutbacks have had to be made across the board, and the spreads are now reserved for team members and invited guests, starting at the Spanish Grand Prix. 

VAR SECURITY CLAMPDOWN

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of their VAR operations ahead of the major launch next season.

For test matches in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, Hawk-Eye operatives and refereeing experts have been ordered to hand in their phones when they enter the chamber at the Stockley Park base. 

The room goes into lockdown 45 minutes before kick-off and recording devices are placed into the ceiling to monitor all conversations.

Operatives are allowed to leave the room to use the toilet — but only at half-time and in the company of chaperones.

Hawk-Eye staff, who have no influence on refereeing decisions, have also been asked to reveal their personal club allegiances and are kept away from matches involving their own teams or closest rivals.

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

The Premier League are going to extreme lengths to protect the integrity of VAR operations

Professional Cricketers’ Association chief executive David Leatherdale announced he will step down later this year, leaving the organisation rudderless at a time of great change in the domestic game. 

Players remain concerned about the impact of the Hundred competition and want Leatherdale’s successor to fight their corner in any battles with the ECB.

Former chief executive Richard Bevan would be a popular choice, but has been closely linked with the equivalent role at the Professional Footballers’ Association. 

Former PCA deputy chief Jason Ratcliffe was interviewed for the top job last time around, while Johnny Grave, CEO of Cricket West Indies, has been mentioned. 

Former England bowler Isa Guha, the first woman to join the PCA board, is another possible contender.

It is not only long-suffering fans who have to jump through hoops to satisfy UEFA’s vanity project of holding the Europa League final in such an inaccessible place as Baku, Azerbaijan. 

Finalists Chelsea and Arsenal have to send representatives to a meeting in the host city next week, having been told by UEFA they cannot just catch up in London instead. 

Clearly UEFA could not have predicted that two English clubs would reach the final, but picking a location they themselves admitted is probably accessible for only around 15,000 fans defies all logic. 

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week

Chelsea and Arsenal representatives will be sent to Baku for a meeting next week 

Crewe have banned a book written by a supporter from being sold in the club’s store. Former Financial Times journalist Charlie Morris published Generation Game in April and sent a copy to Alison Bowler, the daughter of owner John Bowler. 

It partially explores how a Crewe fan grapples with his conscience following the conviction of former youth coach Barry Bennell. 

Morris criticises the club’s ‘cold lack of empathy for victims’ and wonders: ‘Could I continue to support this fallen club even though my family had followed it for 118 years?’ 

Alison Bowler, the club’s business operations manager, wrote to Morris: ‘We feel it would not be appropriate to stock the publication.’ 

Guests at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last Thursday were greeted by a slightly bizarre sight on their way to the toilets — Jose Mourinho. 

The former Manchester United boss happened to be staying at the London Landmark hotel in Marylebone and was spotted in his casuals in a corridor outside the Grand Ballroom.

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

Jose Mourinho was spotted at the Football Writers’ Association’s dinner in London last week

FA Cup finalists Watford have not invited Graham Taylor’s 1984 side to this year’s showpiece against Manchester City on Saturday. 

The class of ’84 are the only previous team in Watford’s history to reach the Cup final but their former players’ association have been told no complimentary seats will be available, although they had the option to buy tickets. 

Watford put their decision down to a limited allocation. In the final, a Watford team owned by Elton John and containing John Barnes and Mo Johnston were beaten 2-0 by Everton. 

A grand total of four people were sufficiently offended by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp describing his team as ‘f***ing mentality giants’ at 10.10pm after their Champions League victory against Barcelona that they complained to Ofcom.

Ofcom say they will ‘assess the complaints before deciding whether to investigate’. 

Party poopers.

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Four people complained after Jurgen Klopp swore on live television at 10.10pm last Tuesday

Contributors: Joe Bernstein, Matt Barlow, Mike Keegan, Adam Crafton, Laura Lambert and Paul Newman



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Arsenal defender lifts lid on David Luiz partnership and makes bizarre Liverpool statement

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Brazil international Luiz joined Arsenal on transfer deadline day from Chelsea for a fee of £8million.

The veteran defender missed the north Londoners’ opening game of the season – a 1-0 win away at Newcastle – but made his debut last Saturday against Burnley.

Luiz played alongside Sokratis on his Gunners bow, though they were unable to keep a clean against the Clarets.

And Greece international Sokratis is hoping to form a similar partnership with the 32-year-old to the one he had with Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund.

“I have known him for a lot of years,” Sokratis said of Luiz. “He also speaks some Greek and is a very good guy. I am happy also that we took a player like him, with experience.

“When I was in Dortmund I played with Hummels, who has the same style as David. It was also a very good partnership and it is very good (now with Luiz).

“It was his first game, it is important that we won and we can go from here.”

Luiz and Sokratis will face the toughest test of their season so far on Saturday evening when Arsenal travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

Arsenal will then face their bitter rivals Tottenham the following Sunday in the first north London derby of the season.

Sokratis is looking forward to this weekend’s clash with the Reds, who he believes will pose less of a physical threat to the Gunners than Burnley and could therefore make for a “more easy” opponent.

He said: “It was important because the other team played very good – not very good football but they play this style of game where every time they like to fight for second balls.

“It was good, it was a hard game and an important three points. It is good because we go to the derbies with six points. It (playing Liverpool) is a different game. Maybe it is more easy, because you don’t have to fight a lot – but they also play football. If they are on good day and you are having a bad day, it is hard.”

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Solskjaer coy on Sanchez's future as Manchester United flop closes in on loan move to Inter

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‘Let’s see what happens in the coming weeks’: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer coy on Alexis Sanchez’s future as Old Trafford flop closes in on loan move to Inter Milan

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Alexis Sanchez could leave Manchester United in the coming weeks, with Inter Milan among the clubs showing interest in the forward.

Having failed to get anywhere near his best since joining from Arsenal in January 2018, the United manager appeared to end any talk of the Chilean leaving during Friday’s press conference.

Solskjaer spoke about his belief that Sanchez would come good at United – but three days on the Norwegian opened the door to the Premier League‘s highest-paid player making an exit. 

Manchester United are open to letting forward Alexis Sanchez leave the club

Manchester United are open to letting forward Alexis Sanchez leave the club

Asked about Sanchez’s future after Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves, Solskjaer said: “Well, there’s still a couple of weeks left of the transfer window and there is a chance… some clubs have shown interest in Alexis, so we’ll see what happens.

“Can’t update you more than that.”  

Inter Milan expect to have a firm idea of whether a deal to sign Sanchez can be struck to sign over the next two days.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted Sanchez could leave before the transfer deadline

Manchester United are open to letting the Chilean leave Old Trafford before the European transfer deadline on September 2.

Sportsmail understands Sanchez wants a move to Italy and Inter are in the process of putting together a financial package.

The forward – who is close to new Inter signing Romelu Lukaku – earns a basic wage of £300,000 a week, with £100,000 worth of image rights on top. Inter would need United to subsidise part of his salary. 

 

 



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Transfer news: Premier League trio in hunt for Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga

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Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham in hunt for 16-year-old Rennes wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga after he starred in win over PSG

  • Eduardo Camavinga helped Rennes beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in Ligue 1 clash 
  • The 16-year-old is being chased by a number of top Premier League clubs
  • Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham all had scouts at Roazhon Park

Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham are hot on the trail of Rennes’ teenage wonder-kid Eduardo Camavinga.

The Premier League trio all had scouts at Roazhon Park to watch the 16 year-old midfielder steal the show and inspire Rennes to a shock 2-1 win over French giants Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night.

Tottenham were keen to sign Camavinga during his breakthrough campaign last season when he made his first seven senior appearances before being handed three more starts so far this year.

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes' shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

Eduardo Camavinga starred in Rennes’ shock victory against Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday

But his list of admirers, which also includes Barcelona and Real Madrid, is growing and interest is mounting in the Angola-born left footer after he made Europe sit up and take note with his PSG performance.

Camavinga stunned observers with the maturity of his midfield display, despite his tender years and against the much more experienced opponents such as Marco Verratti and Marquinhos.

Camavinga more than held his own, catching the eye with his range of passing – he completed all but one of his 41 passes – dribbling and close control, bravery on the ball and also by setting up Rennes’ winning goal.

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

The talented 16-year-old has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs

EDUARDO CAMAVINGA

Date of birth: 10 November 2002

Place of birth: Miconje, Angola

Position: Midfielder

Youth teams: 

AGL-Drapeu Fougeres

Rennes youth academy

Senior appearances/goals: 

Rennes II – 13/4

Rennes – 10

Did you know?

Camavinga is the first player born after January 1, 2002 to start a game in the top five European leagues

Rennes boss Julien Stephan said: ‘He played a match, indeed, like the whole team – very interesting.

‘We are talking to him. He is someone who is also very well-constructed intellectually, who knows how to question himself, who knows how to ask the right questions.

‘Many of the pros have taken him under their wing, because he is very respectful in the dressing room and very attentive to their advice. He blossomed with us this summer.’ 

Camavinga has primarily been used as a defensive midfielder during his Rennes senior career but his technical and physical attributes have earned him comparisons with Manchester United and France star Paul Pogba.

He is in the process of gaining French nationality, having moved to the country when he was six, and his excited youth coaches believe he has what it takes to one day be even more influential in the national team’s midfield than Pogba and N’Golo Kante.

And in a connection to another of France’s senior stars, Camavinga has the same agent – Moussa Sissoko – as Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele.

Demebele also started his career at Rennes, coming through the ranks before moving to Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and then Barcelona in a deal worth up to £135.5m a year later.



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