Thurrock FC

English side Thurrock FC relegated over $24 fine. Yes, $24.

1 Comment

The common sense ruling clearly went out the window on this one. Wowza.

In England, Isthmian Premier Division side Thurrock FC were relegated to the Isthmian Division One North after the club mistakenly fielded a player last season who owed $24 to a former team for a fine.

$24.

Thurrock managed to avoid relegation by a single point during the 2012-13 campaign and mass celebrations ensued. Except all that champagne bottle popping is looking rather silly right now.

Because almost a month after the season had ended, Thurrock were told that had been issued a three point deduction. Which in turn meant relegation, their second straight drop down after being in the Conference South. (England’s sixth-tier)

Cue pandemonium.

The player at the center of this ridiculous episode is Joel Barnett, who was technically banned from playing in the Isthmian League after previously playing for a club in Yorkshire that collapsed as they couldn’t pay fines to the local FA. Barnett owed money and was therefore not allowed to play until it was paid. That paltry sum of $24 never was paid. Hence the issued.

Then Thurrock’s owner Tommy South gave quite a peculiar answer as to why Barnett never paid the fine: “Joel should have told us but he never knew [about the fine] because he was in prison.” The plot thickens.

According to their owner and the board, they lodged an appeal with the Football Association but were turned away as the FA said it was their own fault for looking at Barnett’s background.

It’s a disgrace. It all happened 11 months ago and what the FA and Ryman League have told us is that we should have checked this website and that, but we followed procedure by checking with our own county FA. It’s a real mess because he got sent off playing elsewhere before he came here and got a three-match ban but nothing was flagged up.

But tiny Thurrock won’t go down without a fight. They plan to take their case to the European Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

That $24 fine has caused quite the stir.

Coleman explains why he stayed as Wales coach, rejected Hull

ZENICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - OCTOBER 10: Head coach Chris Coleman of Wales celebrates after the Euro 2016 qualifying football match between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Wales at the Stadium Bilino Polje in Elbasan on October 10, 2015. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”

The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.

Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”

But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”

Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”

FOLLOW LIVE: The UEFA Champions League finds its last five group stage teams

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  Joe Hart of Manchester City warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Play-off Second Leg match between Manchester City and Steaua Bucharest at Etihad Stadium on August 24, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?

The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]

Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.

In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slateFOLLOW LIVE

Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)

FOLLOW LIVE – EFL CUP: Four Americans in the 18 for Fulham, Sunderland, Bournemouth

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.

American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.

Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.

Wednesday’s EFL Cup scheduleFOLLOW LIVE

Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town

L.A. Galaxy’s Keane retires from Republic of Ireland duty

DUBLIN, IRELAND - OCTOBER 11:  Robbie Keane of Republic of Ireland applauds the fans during the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar at Aviva Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.

Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.

Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.

[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]

In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.

No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.