SPORTS AGENDA: Premier League clubs can host 20 directors and guests

SPORTS AGENDA: Relaxed restrictions mean Premier League clubs can now host 30 directors – including 10 from the away side – until the end of the season, with 25 tickets also allowed for Premier League ‘central sponsors’

  • Clubs told after May 17 they should allocate 25 tickets for league sponsors  
  • BBC duo Nick Hope and David McDaid made redundant in an Olympic Year
  • UEFA confirm just two reporters per outlet will be able to cover Euro matches 
  • Bolton’s stadium is being used as a crown court to help with case back-log 

While fans have to wait until the final two matches of the season to return in limited numbers to Premier League matches, the same cannot be said of directors.

Clubs were informed last week that restrictions have been relaxed around directors’ boxes which means that from last weekend’s games until May 16, home teams are allowed 20 directors and guests per match and 10 for the away side.

For the final two matches after May 17, and subject to no changes in the Government’s roadmap, no restrictions are expected which will no doubt please many who have been missing a free lunch and the best seats. 

Clubs have also been told that, post-May 17, they should allocate 25 pairs of general admission tickets for the use of Premier League central sponsors.

Premier League clubs are now able to host 20 directors and guests until the end of the season

Relegated sides face being kicked out of WhatsApp group  

At the start of the season, Premier League press officers set up a WhatsApp group to improve communication between the media departments of each club.

However, no thought was given to what would happen to the three clubs who got relegated, and whether they would be dumped from the group. The best course of action may well be to follow the lead of the similar group for club secretaries, where an agreement was reached to keep in last year’s doomed trio Norwich City, Watford and Bournemouth — at least for the duration of their parachute payments.

Relegated Sheffield United face being thrown out of the Premier League WhatsApp group 

BBC redundancies revealed….

BBC Sport, that bastion of cage fighting, televised computer gaming and hilarious banter, are understood to be making two Olympic correspondents — Nick Hope and David McDaid — redundant after the Games. No doubt the move will free up more resources to be wasted on childish nonsense.

 UEFA’s not so ordinary decision

Eyebrows have been raised ahead of UEFA’s 45th Ordinary Congress over the decision to hold it in person, in Montreux, Switzerland despite the need for cross-border travel during the pandemic.

The congress comes after the shock announcement over media accreditation for this summer’s European Championship. 

Just two reporters per outlet will be permitted to cover matches in a move that has not gone down well, to say the least. 

UEFA confirmed that just two reporters per outlet will be able to cover matches at the Euros

Unsurprisingly, there will be no media access to the congress — to be streamed live — which begs the question as to why the same cannot apply to those present.

UEFA insiders say the hall seats more than 1,000 and fewer than 150 will be present, adding that all attendees will be tested before and after the event. Delegates will only be allowed out of the hotel to walk to the conference.

Reporters need to report their whereabouts 

Reporters have been told they will need to provide a 14-day plan for where they intend to be at the Olympics in advance of the Games. The move may mean that any unexpected successes struggle to attract the coverage they would have enjoyed in normal, more flexible times. 

Bolton’s latest Crown Court 

Some may joke that Bolton’s University of Bolton Stadium has seen its fair share of ne’er-do-wells in recent times, so perhaps it is fitting the venue is now being used as a ‘Nightingale’ Crown Court, to help ease the backlog of cases

Bolton Wanderers’ stadium is being used a crown court to help with a back log of cases

Tonge caught out 

Last week, Sportsmail published a report into the rise of professional autograph hunters and the disturbing lengths they are going to during the pandemic to access players.

It prompted a humorous response from former Manchester United and Exeter City man Alan Tonge.

‘Someone stopped me and asked for an autograph once upon a time,’ Tonge, now a lecturer, recalled. ‘Outside of Old Trafford. Absolutely wonderful. The next thing I knew, I had a letter through the post thanking me for being a guarantor on a loan.’

Warner and Alexander appointed     

An interesting development at UK Athletics (UKA), where former chairman Ed Warner has been appointed to the members’ council along with Cherry Alexander, the ex-events director who left last year.

The move may raise the prospect of political infighting, which would not be a good look in an Olympic year. Warner stood down in 2017 after 11 years at the helm.

Just last month, senior elements of UKA were accused of ‘serious failings in governance’ by representatives of the sport’s grassroots leagues.

 Super League leaves UEFA red faced 

UEFA has been left ‘staggered, frustrated and furious’ by Sunday’s news that six of England’s clubs and 12 from Europe in total have signed up to a breakaway Super League.

‘Given that on Friday the European Club Association (ECA) agreed to put through the Champions League reforms, to then see 48 hours later the likes of Ed Woodward at Manchester United and Ivan Gazidis at AC Milan, who are part of the ECA, involved in this has not gone down well at all, to put it lightly,’ an insider added.

 Ed Woodward was involved in Manchester United’s decision to sign up for the Super League

Derry documentary has everything 

Not many football documentaries feature bomb scares, civil rights movements and a burnt out team bus. But all three and more form part of Different League: The Derry City Story, which airs on Monday on BBC Two at 9pm.

The film charts the extraordinary journey of a community that found a haven away from the violence that plagued Northern Ireland — and the rebirth of a club banned and put out of business, which would switch competitions from Northern Ireland to the Republic and go on to pick up a historic domestic treble in 1989 in the League of Ireland, eventually landing a plum European Cup tie against Sven Goran Eriksson’s Benfica.




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