Sinclair and Richards are both expected to leave Manchester City this summer.

Scott Sinclair signs with West Brom on season-long loan


In non-Nicolas Anelka West Brom news, the Baggies have signed winger Scott Sinclair on a season long loan from Manchester City.

The terms of the loan allow Albion to sign Sinclair on a permanent deal after the season.

The former Chelsea, Swansea and Wigan midfielder passed a medical earlier today and has been handed the No.10 shirt.

Sinclair is a player Baggies boss Steve Clarke welcomed Sinclair to the club. “Scott understands he needs to play football and it will be good to work with him again,” said Clarke. “We’re delighted he feels this is the right club for him at this stage of his career.”

Clarke went on to label Sinclair as a player that Albion “were missing from the squad,” describing the 24 year old as “a pure winger, who is quick, direct and scores goals.”

Clarke is quite familiar with Sinclair after the two worked together while the winger was coming through the ranks at Stamford Bridge. “I know him well and he is a good person, who I know is 100 per cent committed to our cause,” said Clarke.

“He is frustrated he did not get the chances to play at Man City last season and hopefully he will take those frustrations out on Premier League defenders this season.”

Sinclair’s decision to leave Swansea for City was one that he quickly regretted after finding himself well over his head in competition. The likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri, James Milner and, at times, Aleksander Kolarov were enough to limit Sinclair to a mere 12 league appearances (10 of which were as a substitute).

At Albion, the Bath-born player should find playing time easier to come by as he competes with Graham Dorrans, James Morrison and Chris Brunt for a place on either wing.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia