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Southport vs Blackpool (Friendly)
at 21:25 29 Jun 2022

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Backroom Staff
at 19:10 21 Jun 2022

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John Murphy
at 14:50 21 Jun 2022

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Joe Strawn
at 14:46 21 Jun 2022

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Clearout
at 12:20 21 Jun 2022

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New Manager Bingo
at 15:39 17 Jun 2022

`1/ The players have never been fitter after pre-season
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Worse Day of the Year
at 18:52 16 Jun 2022

For me on Friday...



#pray4red
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Fixture release day
at 17:41 15 Jun 2022

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Pre-season Training
at 12:00 15 Jun 2022

Next week.....

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Billy Bingham
at 19:11 10 Jun 2022

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Boris Johnson
at 10:52 6 Jun 2022

Tory MPs to vote on Boris Johnson's leadership

Conservative MPs will decide whether to remove Boris Johnson from office later, amid a backlash to the Partygate scandal.

The secret ballot has been triggered by scores of Tory MPs writing to party bosses calling on the PM to quit.

Anger among backbenchers has been rising since Sue Gray published her official report into lockdown parties in No 10 last month.

Cabinet ministers have been rallying round Mr Johnson ahead of the vote.

At least 180 Tory MPs need to vote against him to oust him from office, and a vote which passed that threshold would trigger a contest to replace him as Tory leader and PM.

But if a majority of them express their confidence in Mr Johnson's leadership, then he will be safe from another challenge for a year.

The vote will take place in the House of Commons between 18.00 and 20.00 BST, with a result expected to be announced shortly after.

Confirmation of a no-confidence vote comes after more than a week of speculation over the PM's future after Ms Gray's report was published.

An interim version of the report, published in January, prompted a trickle of Tory MPs to urge Mr Johnson to stand down.

But the full version, which laid bare the scale of Covid rule-breaking in No 10, has led to renewed calls within the party for him to resign.

There has also been unhappiness within the party over tax rises and the government's response to rising living costs.

The no-confidence vote was announced earlier by Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the 1922 backbench committee that organises such contests.

He confirmed he had informed the PM on Sunday that the required threshold for a vote - 15% of the party, or 54 MPs - had been hit.

Earlier, former minister Jesse Norman became the latest Tory MP to confirm he had submitted a no-confidence letter over Partygate.

The MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire said Mr Johnson had presided over "a culture of casual law-breaking" in No 10.

But he also criticised "deeply questionable" government policies, including its attempt to rewrite post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, the policy of deporting asylum seekers to Rwanda.

However, cabinet ministers have expressed their support for Mr Johnson ahead of the vote later, with many of them taking similar lines in defending the prime minister's record.

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said the PM had "got the big calls right - securing life-saving vaccines, firing up our economy and standing up to Putin's aggression against Ukraine".

Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: "From the vaccine rollout to our response to Russian aggression, the PM has shown the strong leadership our country needs.

"I am backing him today and will continue to back him as we focus on growing the economy, tackling the cost of living and clearing the Covid backlogs."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-61703422
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England U21
at 16:30 3 Jun 2022

Live

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Charles Reep
at 09:02 2 Jun 2022

Long read....

The military accountant who brought data analysis to English game

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61648608
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Nations League Games
at 09:54 28 May 2022

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Will Squires
at 18:18 25 May 2022

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Mario Balotelli
at 19:28 23 May 2022

Goals 3 and 5 ⚽⚽⚽

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The Championship 2022-23
at 19:07 23 May 2022

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Burnley
at 12:24 23 May 2022

Clarets relegated after six seasons in the Premier League

After six seasons of battling against and surprising English football's elite, Burnley's spell in the Premier League came to an end on an emotional afternoon at Turf Moor.

Burnley would have secured a seventh successive campaign in the Premier League if they had beaten Newcastle, but Clarets supporters' worst fears were realised as they trailed 2-0 after 60 minutes.

It was the final chapter of a huge managerial gamble that has ultimately backfired.

A goal from Maxwel Cornet gave the home fans hope but, despite a frantic finish, Burnley lost 2-1, with Leeds, who started the final day in the relegation zone, jumping above them thanks to a 2-1 victory at Brentford.

What next for Burnley and what does relegation mean financially for the club?

'Gutted for everyone involved'
"It's raw, we've got a group of players who are gutted," said interim boss Mike Jackson, moved up from his position as under-23s coach with eight games to go after the club sacked long-serving and hugely popular manager Sean Dyche.

"There's a lot of emotion. The fans stuck with us. It's their club and we're gutted we couldn't give them what they wanted. I hope they saw a group fighting for them."

Burnley players having character and fighting for their club has been their trademark and cornerstone of their success as, despite having transfer and wage budgets far lower than their rivals, they continued to succeed against the odds.

Forward Ashley Barnes, who has been with the club since January 2014, called it a "sad, sad day" and "definitely" the lowest moment of his career.

He added: "We had it in our hands and obviously gave it away.

"We can't use any excuses - it's down to ourselves. Three wins in the first 20 games or something is relegation form. We gave ourselves some hope in these last few games but it wasn't to be.

"We're all to blame for the job we've not done. It lies on our shoulders, especially us older ones."

Burnley lose their 'most important game since 1987'
Under Dyche, the club won promotion in 2015-16, before he took them into Europe for the first time since 1967 by finishing seventh in the Premier League in 2017-18 - a European journey that included trips to Scotland, Turkey and Greece before losing in the Europa League play-off round.

In their six Premier League seasons, they have gained wins at Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool with their hard-to-beat full-commitment style of football.

But this season they began with a nine-game winless run in the league, quickly followed by another 11 matches without a victory and never recovered.

Nevertheless, it was still a surprise when American Alan Pace, who became chairman and owner of the Clarets in December 2020, sacked Dyche in April.

Jackson picked up 11 points in his eight games, but their main failing - a lack of goals - again resurfaced when they needed it most on Sunday.

Burnley now face an uncertain future with a host of big names set to leave the club, while 'a significant proportion' of a £65m loan taken out with American financiers MSD Holdings to complete ALK Capital's takeover in 2020 will have to be paid back.

With that backdrop, lifelong Clarets fan Ian Horsfall, speaking before the game, said: "This is the biggest game for Burnley since 1987. It was the last game of the season in the old Fourth Division and we beat Leyton Orient 2-1 and Lincoln lost and they dropped out of the Football League.

"If we had not won that game everyone thinks we would've gone out of existence. We don't know what they've done to finance the [takeover] deal and if we do get relegated it feels like we would be selling players to survive."

"We would definitely lose some of our players," added season-ticket holder John Calvert. "Nick Pope would go as he wants to play for England in the World Cup, Cornet, James Tarkowski, Nathan Collins we would struggle to keep them."

'The football club is the fabric of the town'
Horsfall and Calvert, who have both supported the club for more than 50 years, were speaking at The Royal Dyche, a local pub that changed its name from the Princess Royal in 2018 in honour of Dyche, and they felt relegation would be hard for the town to take.

"My mum never went to a football match but she always knew the Burnley score, that's what it meant to her," said Horsfall.

"Burnley is a one-club town, there's no other sports team here. If you're from Burnley, you support Burnley, you don't see Manchester United shirts, everyone supports Burnley, the football club is the fabric of the town."

Calvert added: "Football puts Burnley on the map and brings a lot of business to the town, it has a massive impact.

"The population of Burnley could fit inside Old Trafford, that's how small the town is. Football is so important to the town of Burnley."

Analysis - relegation has created an air of uncertainty at Turf Moor
Simon Stone, BBC Sport

An awful day on the pitch will now spark inevitable questions about what happens off it.

In the accounts they released earlier this month, Burnley confirmed "a significant proportion" of a £65m loan taken out with American financiers MSD Holdings to complete ALK Capital's takeover in 2020 would have to be paid back "shortly" after the end of the season should the Clarets be relegated from the top flight. If they don't come straight back up a further "significant reduction of the balance" is scheduled.

And that is not all. Another £37m is owed to one of the club's holding companies, cash reserves have reduced by £30m and a £12.5m loan has been taken out as an advance on Newcastle's final payment of the Chris Wood transfer fee.

Burnley did say savings would be made due to relegation clauses in player contracts, and they have a hefty parachute payment, which next season will be 55% of their Premier League earnings from this campaign, to soften the blow.

However, player sales are inevitable. With a number of players out of contract, including star defender Tarkowski, who will leave the club this summer, and options on others, including skipper Ben Mee and striker Barnes still to be activated, the scope for generating income will be reduced.

Goalkeeper Pope and winger Dwight McNeil will be coveted. Forward Cornet has a £17.5m release clause following relegation. But Burnley will be selling from a position of weakness, so it is debatable how much they can actually raise.

With a decision to be made over Sean Dyche's replacement as well, relegation has created an air of uncertainty at Turf Moor that will not be easily calmed.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61545143
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Kylian Mbappe
at 23:43 21 May 2022

Paris St-Germain forward signs new three-year deal with French champions

France forward Kylian Mbappe has agreed to stay at Paris St-Germain, turning down a move to Real Madrid.

He has signed a lucrative new three-year deal with the French champions.

The 2018 World Cup winner, 23, had been heavily linked with a move to Spain but has committed his future to PSG.

Spain's La Liga reacted angrily to the news, calling the deal "scandalous" and announcing it plans to file a complaint to Uefa as well as French and EU authorities.

"This type of agreement threatens the economic sustainability of European football," read a La Liga statement, adding that it put "hundreds of thousands of jobs and sporting integrity at risk in the medium term, not only from European competitions, but also from our domestic leagues".

According to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, writing last month, PSG were prepared to offer Mbappe a 150m euro signing-on fee to keep him for another two seasons.

He had agreed a financial package with Real months ago for a potential switch to Spain, but has decided not to join Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Mbappe said he was "very happy" to stay at PSG after he and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi announced the striker's new deal on Parc des Princes pitch before his side played Metz in their final Ligue 1 match of the season.

"I am convinced that here I can continue to grow within a club that gives itself all the means to perform at the highest level," Mbappe said in a club statement.

"I am also very happy to be able to continue playing in France, the country where I was born, grew up and flourished."

He initially joined PSG on a season-long loan from Monaco in August 2017 and has helped them win four Ligue 1 titles in five seasons.

With his contract running out in June, the Qatari-owned side were desperate to keep him and were prepared to offer the player a £21m net annual salary.

Mbappe scored in each leg against Real in the Champions League last 16 this season, but it was not enough to prevent PSG from going out 3-2 on aggregate.

He finished the season as Ligue 1's leading scorer with 28 goals and provided a further 17 assists in 35 games as PSG won the domestic title with four games to spare.

'An insult to football'
Javier Tebas, president of Spain's La Liga, has been a staunch opponent of big-spending European clubs such as PSG and Manchester City, as well as the proposed European Super League.

In a post on social media, he said: "What PSG is going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money after losing 700m euros in recent seasons and having more than 600m euros in wages, is an INSULT to football."

According to a report published earlier this month by a supervisory body of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), the governing body of the French professional leagues, PSG made a loss of 224.3m euros during the 2020-21 season.

That came after a loss of 124.2m euros in 2019-20, when the Ligue 1 season was cut short in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tebas also added PSG president Al-Khelaifi "is as dangerous as the Super League".

Real Madrid and Barcelona were among 12 leading European clubs that signed up for a breakaway competition last April, but the proposal collapsed within days following a backlash from players and fans, as well as governments and football's governing bodies. PSG and Bayern Munich opposed the controversial plans.

The La Liga statement, released after Tebas' tweet, said it was "scandalous that a club like PSG" could agree such a contract "while those clubs that could accept the arrival of the player without seeing their wage bill compromised are left without being able to sign him".

La Liga said PSG were "not respecting the rules" and repeated many of the accusations made by its president.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/61528610
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Billy Sharp
at 07:00 18 May 2022

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