The continued Covid measures are causing frustration among some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs, including Chelsea, who have made their feelings known.
The problem they have is that an inability to provide player access through bubbles is causing problems with big business partners. Companies that spend millions on sponsorship get time with big stars to promote their products built into their deals and failing to provide such activity thanks to the restrictions is causing turmoil. The last thing clubs want to do is start paying off broken agreements.
Chelsea chief executive Guy Laurence is believed to have argued that there appears to be a different Premier League stance for their own broadcasters compared to the clubs’ commercial partners. The League is looking into the matter and will report on the revised measures on a weekly basis, with the aim of having them all removed by February 28, pandemic permitting.
Premier League Covid rules cause frustration at Chelsea, Sportsmail has learned
Strict bubble protocols have prevented players from making trade deals with clubs
UNITED TO DROP BLACK SOCKS FOR FA CUP TIE
Manchester United will switch from their normal black socks to white for their next FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough, to avoid potential problems for fans and color-blind viewers.
The visitors have only two options available for Friday’s game – red or all green. Since red and green can cause difficulty, United made the switch ‘to help increase visual contrast’, sources have revealed.
A campaign has been launched to recognize Sir Walter Winterbottom in his hometown
SIR WALTER WINTERBOTTOM CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
A campaign has been launched for England’s first, youngest and oldest manager to be recognized in his hometown. Sir Walter Winterbottom was in charge of the Three Lions from 1946 to 1962 and has a bust in his honor in St George’s Park. There is, however, no such recognition in Oldham, his birthplace.
Winterbottom, a leading promoter of health, exercise and wellbeing, left the FA to work for the Sports Council and died in 2002 aged 88.
The campaign wants to see a blue plaque placed on his birthplace, 31 Stafford Street, Werneth, and some recognition of his contribution to society at the nearby Werneth Health Centre. A statue can also be erected in the city.
THE TERRIFYING NECESSITY OF SKY MAN
Spare a thought for Sky Sports News’ Keith Downie, who became history over the weekend when storms crashed a tree into his three-month-old car.
The man from the north east of the station was in the extension of his apartment and was about to move his BMW 4 Series to an underground car park amid concerns about a 100ft oak tree in the park of a neighboring building. At that moment, he fell, knocking down some of the apartment’s windows and showering Downie with broken glass.
“If I had been in the car I would have been decapitated,” he told Sports Agenda. Sky officials scrambled to find him a rental car on Sunday evening for what promises to be a busy day in Tyneside.
Sky Sports reporter Keith Downie nearly missed after Storm Malik crashed into his house
MEGA-RICH TOON TRANSFER PROBLEM
Newcastle United’s new owners face a number of hurdles as they seek to strengthen their squad.
With the prospect of relegation looming, many targets are reluctant to sign deals without release clauses. Conversely, the club are unwilling to overpay a player, only to see him leave a few months later for a fraction of the cost if Eddie Howe’s men fail to beat the drop.
Early indications are that the new regime is ‘not the next Manchester City’ – in other words, they weren’t prepared to go to the extremes of City owners when they first arrived on these shores and blew many rivals out of the market.
Meanwhile, the team returned from their trip to Saudi Arabia, where they were treated like Hollywood stars, then met one. Actor Gerard Butler films in the region and was staying at the same hotel. The Scot, a huge Celtic fan, was happy to chat with players and officials and pose for photos.
Newcastle United transfer targets reluctant to join without relegation release clause
NEIGHBORS TRY TO SUMP KEANE POOL PLANS
Everton defender Michael Keane has inadvertently become embroiled in a row with neighbors over an ‘obtrusive’ swimming pool extension project at his Cheshire home.
The 29-year-old bought the six-bedroom pad from former teammate Phil Jagielka last summer.
It already has a gym, a hammam, a cinema, an office and a summer house. But, unbeknownst to Keane, plans to expand the property drew an angry response from neighbors, who hired a planning consultant to fight the plans.
A letter to council describes the plans as ‘incongruous’ and adds that the proposal ‘will further contribute to the dominant impact that the existing house already has on my clients’ enjoyment of their property’.
TEAM GB ATHLETES LAND IN BEIJING
More than 100 Team GB athletes and staff have arrived safely in Beijing, having successfully negotiated the rigorous Covid testing regime at the Chinese capital’s airport.
However, there was hardly a warm welcome. Reports have come in that some of the nasal swabs administered by local doctors have been aggressive enough to bring tears to your eyes and occasional nosebleeds, as China continues to take a tough approach to Covid tracing.
Meanwhile, the usual start-up issues weren’t the only cause for concern for some nations arriving for the Winter Olympics, with at least some taking part in a magical two-hour mystery tour of the mountainous region. from Beijing, after their driver got lost. .
Team GB stars have touched down in Beijing as next month’s Winter Olympics draw closer
OLYMPIC STARS PACKED INTO A BUS ON THE WAY TO CHINA
Athletes who made the trip to Beijing had to spend hours filling out forms, rigorous Covid protocols and were told to self-isolate as much as possible before travelling.
So there was a big surprise yesterday when groups of travelers from Austria, the Czech Republic and Italy were herded into already crowded buses during the connection at Istanbul Airport, the buses did not not leaving for the waiting plane until they were packed.
A passenger told Sports Agenda that if anyone on board had Covid, all of them would have caught it within minutes.
BBC’S OLYMPIC PROMO LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED
If that’s not what you say but what you don’t say, then the BBC has outdone itself with its advertising for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
Released last week, the 40-second clip features computer-generated footage of each sport, leading up to a smashing final.
There is no mention of host Beijing, not even at the climax, which heralds the start of the cover.
UK NFL CHEF STEPS AWAY AFTER 26 YEARS
After a 26-year stint that saw incredible growth in the sport’s popularity on these shores, NFL UK public relations director David Tossell is set to leave the organization.
Having already written 17 books, including an excellent biography of Jimmy Greaves, Tossell must focus on his career as a writer. He leaves big shoes to fill, and without seeing his beloved, underperforming New York Jets reach a Super Bowl.
Contributor: David Coverdale