AHEAD OF THE GAME: Southgate refuses to reveal his England long-list
AHEAD OF THE GAME: England boss Gareth Southgate refuses to announce his 55-man long-list squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup in a blow to some fringe players… while ex-Burnley boss Sean Dyche rejects Bournemouth offer
- Boss Gareth Southgate refuses to reveal who is on England’s World Cup long-list
- Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche rejected an interview with Bournemouth
- The final round of fixtures in the Championship could be delayed by 24 hours
England’s fringe players such as James Maddison have been left in the dark over whether their World Cup dream remains alive with Gareth Southgate opting not to inform those he named in his provisional squad on Friday night.
The FA handed FIFA a 55-man long list of players who could feature in Qatar, but it will not be published and the individuals concerned have not been told, and neither have their clubs.
Players on the edge of the squad were hoping to receive a boost that they remain in Southgate’s thoughts, but the manager has decided to keep his cards close to his chest to avoid distractions with a month to go until the tournament.
The FA regard the long list as a purely administrative issue and view November 14, when they must submit a final 26-man squad to FIFA, as the real deadline.
Gareth Southgate refuses to reveal who is on his 55-man England World Cup long-list squad
Sean Dyche has rejected an opportunity to speak to Bournemouth about their vacant manager’s job, leaving caretaker boss Gary O’Neil in pole position to be appointed on a permanent basis.
Bournemouth have picked up 10 points in seven matches since O’Neil replaced the sacked Scott Parker on a temporary basis on August 30.
The club’s new American owner Bill Foley has also been looking at alternative options since his £150million takeover was completed earlier this month, but has yet to offer anyone the job.
Dyche (above) has been out of work since being surprisingly sacked by Burnley with eight games remaining last season, but having also attracted interest from Stoke he has decided to have a longer break and wait for more attractive offers.
Sean Dyche has rejected an opportunity to speak to Bournemouth about the manager’s job
The Cherries have picked up 10 points in seven games since Gary O’Neil replaced Scott Parker
RIGHT ROYAL FIXTURE HEADACHE
The final round of fixtures in the Championship could be delayed 24 hours to avoid a clash with the King’s coronation on May 6.
Although most sporting fixtures are set to go ahead on what will be billed as a day of national celebration there is a widespread acceptance that some high-risk football matches will have to be postponed due to the huge numbers of police required to maintain public order at events surrounding the coronation.
The complex logistics are compounded by the fact that the coronation will take place on the final weekend of the EFL league season, when all games in every division kick off at the same time for integrity reasons.
As a greater number of high-risk matches are in the Championship, the EFL are in talks with police and broadcasters about switching those fixtures to the Sunday, with the League One and League Two games remaining on Saturday.
UEFA PLOT TO SUPER-SIZE CUP
UEFA are working on an ambitious plan to expand the Super Cup to an eight-team pre-season tournament.
The current format sees the Champions League and Europa League winners meet in a one-off tie, with UEFA planning to initially add a new semi-final stage by inviting the Champions League runners-up and Conference League winners.
If that proves successful UEFA would add a further four teams to create a week-long tournament, potentially staged outside Europe.
However, that could lead to a backlash from Europe’s biggest clubs, whose summer schedule is already packed with lucrative tours.
UEFA are working on an ambitious plan to expand the Super Cup to an eight-team tournament
PARRY’S DINNER DATE SNUBBED
EFL executives are struggling to win over Conservative MPs in their battle for a greater share of the Premier League’s revenue, judging by recent events at the Tory conference.
Several MPs were due to attend a dinner hosted by EFL chairman Rick Parry in Birmingham, but more than half did not show up, with many failing even to send their apologies.
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