Platini warns clubs over spending

2 September 2012 12:48

UEFA president Michel Platini has revealed that he has given 27 clubs a deadline to make sure they adhere to Financial Fair Play rules.

The former France said that the move comes after a number of clubs started reneging on scheduled payments for player transfers and face a ban from European competition if they fail to meet their commitments.

“They were told to sort their finances out before June 30. Then they had until July 15 to discuss any problems,” Platini told reporters.

“The next check on September 30 will be vital. For clubs who can’t follow the rules of the Financial Fair Play system, it is over and out of Europe.

“We are protecting clubs who have sold players and struggle to receive payment. A number of clubs have had to chase their money for years.”

Despite the regulations, European champions Chelsea continued to spend, with an outlay of 80 million pounds on the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin.

Petkovic: Zarate an ┬┤important┬┤ player

2 September 2012 12:02

Argentine forward Mauro Zarate is a wanted man at Lazio, according to coach Vladimir Petkovic.

Zarate was widely expected to depart in the transfer window, with Ligue 1 clubs Lyon, Marseille and Bordeaux touted as possible destinations.

But Petkovic said he expects Zarate, who spent last season on loan at Inter Milan, to play a vital role this campaign.

“Zarate stayed here in Rome, where he belonged,” Petkovic said.

“They were all just speculations, only speculations.

“Zarate was part of our group from the beginning of the season and he’s still part of the group.

“He’s improving and showing he’s growing and I’m sure he will be important for the team.”

Lazio, who qualified for the group stages of the Europa League earlier this week, will continue their Serie A campaign at home to Palermo on Sunday.

Petkovic’s men beat Atalanta in their first league outing last weekend, while Palermo lost to Napoli.

“It’s very important for us to come back to reality and rest both physically and mentally – that’s why I left the team free until Saturday before starting to analyse our next opponent,” Petkovic said.

“They were defeated by Napoli, but they are a strong opponent with various champions among them and they will be determined to beat us after their opening defeat.

“We are playing at home, we need to respect Palermo, but we need to prove we are the leaders in our stadium.”

Hodgson eyes World Cup glory

2 September 2012 11:54

Roy Hodgson believes his England team are in with a chance of becoming the first European side to win a World Cup in South America.

England begin their quest to reach the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Friday when they take on Moldova in Chisinau.

Hodgson’s side are in a qualifying group which they are widely expected to ease through, with the main threats likely to come from Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland and Ukraine.

Assuming England can overcome those challenges, they can contemplate a trip to South America for the finals.

If they get there, Hodgson is also mindful that of the four previous World Cups staged in South America, the winners have been Uruguay (twice), Brazil and Argentina; a European team is yet to triumph on that continent.

“There’s no doubt playing on your own continent is a major advantage,” Hodgson told the Daily Mail.

“But if you watch the last two victories by Spain, most people would agree the quality of their football would compare with the Brazil teams of the past so maybe the gap is getting smaller.

“People are entitled to an opinion but it doesn’t interest me.

“I don’t think they actually said we had much chance of winning the World Cup in 1966.”

Hodgson accepts that his side would be considers outsiders for the tournament if they qualified, but he welcomes the underdog tag.

“We won’t be favourites if we qualify but I am not unhappy about that,” he said.

“I’d much rather someone else bears the burden of being favourite to win a World Cup.

“But if we get there I am pretty certain I will have a very competitive group of players.”

Zeman fancies Roma chances

2 September 2012 11:42

Roma coach Zdenek Zeman has called on his team to bounce back from an opening-day draw and win against Inter Milan on Sunday.

The capital club were held to a 2-2 draw by the Catania on the opening day of Serie A last week and face an Inter side that tops the standings in the early stages of the season.

Despite the early setback, Zeman maintained that his team could match it with league’s best and is unperturbed by the threat posed by a league powerhouse such as Inter.

“(Inter) have said goodbye to a number of players who helped to write the club’s recent history,” the 65-year-old told asroma.it.

“Nothing in particular (worries me about Inter), because what I’m interested in is that my team will go to Milan and try and win the game.

“I think we held back a bit too much against Catania. I want the team to go for it tomorrow. Inter are a big team but we have to try and cause them problems without waiting for them to come at us.”

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EN-AU

Shelvey could represent Scotland

2 September 2012 11:39

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is set for talks with the Scottish Football Association after discovering he could represent Scotland.

The 20-year-old previously captained the England under-19 side, as well as making four appearances for the under-21 team.

However, as Shelvey has not played for the England side at senior level, he is still available to play for Scotland should he choose to put himself up for selection after discovering his grandmother is from Edinburg.

“At the moment, I am concentrating on my club career, but if the time comes that I am not playing for England, then it (representing Scotland) is something I might not turn down,” Shelvey said.

“I am still young, so I don’t have to make a decision yet.”

Shelvey said new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers planned to loan him out before he made an impression during pre-season.

“When Brendan Rodgers first came, he said to me that I would be one of the ones he’d look to go out on loan. I took that in deep and felt I had to show this gaffer I want to stay here,” he said.

“I thought I did that in pre-season and it’s paid off for me. When we got back from the tour in America, he said to me he wanted me to be a big part of his plans.

“It gives you more confidence when you hear your gaffer talking like that. I’ve been patient and plugged away, and now I feel I am getting the benefits.”