Manchester United v West Ham United - Premier League

Fulham’s bid for Ravel Morrison denied, West Ham issue complaint

Leave a comment

West Ham United are desperate to keep midfielder Ravel Morrison despite a seemingly unscrupulous interest from Fulham.

The Manchester United academy product has been one of the lone bright spots for the 17th-placed Hammers this season, tallying three goals and three assists in 15 appearances.

The central midfielder, who can play in either an attacking or holding role, has caught the eye of many with his marauding counter-attacking runs that have split opposition defenses on a number of occasions this year.

In fact, he’s the exact kind of dynamic midfield presence that a club like Fulham are searching for. So they bid on him. And when Cottagers manager Rene Meulensteen was asked about the player on Tuesday, he replied: “Yes, I think he does want to come [to Craven Cottage].”

Then Meulensteen went deeper, noting Fulham’s failed bid for the young talent: “We have put in a bid that has been knocked back. He would add pace, power, unpredictability and a real attacking threat.”

The comments were enough to send West Ham into a frenzy and on Wednesday, the East London club allegedly issued a complaint to the Premier League.

Though the league has yet to confirm receipt of an official complaint, the outrage is believed to pertain to Premier League ruling T.8, concerning “statements made publicly by or on behalf of a club expressing interest in acquiring the registration of a contract player.”

If the league finds Fulham to be in breach of the rule the club could face a reprimand, fine or have the case could be referred to the Football Association.

Despite the speculation surrounding Morrison’s future West Ham assistant manager Neil McDonald confirmed Thursday that the midfielder will be in the squad to play against Newcastle on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
Leave a comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
Leave a comment

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.