One Direction star closing in on English soccer debut

Leave a comment

This is undeniably a publicity stunt, but credit Doncaster Rovers for taking their exploit to the next level. Rather than be content with One Direction member Louis Tomlinson signing a non-playing contract on English television this fall, the second-tier English club are ready to give the boy bander a chance on the field, saying the 22-year-old will debut for his hometown club “in the next month.”

That debut will come in what’s essentially a reserve league match, with Tomlinson expected to be named to the Rovers’ squad for an upcoming Final Third Development League game. Understandably, that relatively low-level didn’t prevent the club from touting the singer’s debut, with Doncaster Chief Executive Gavin Baldwin expressing his club’s excitement about the upcoming event.

From the team’s web site:

“We are very much looking forward to Louis making his Rovers debut and I know that he can’t wait either.

“Louis has an incredibly busy schedule and we have been working hard with him to ensure we can get a date in his diary for the game.

“Louis is lifelong Rovers supporter and he comes to watch the team whenever he can, so it will be great for him to put on his Rovers shirt and make his debut for us.”

To a certain extent, Tomlinson has already made his soccer debut, having briefly appeared in a fall charity match for Aston Villa’s Stiliyan Petrov. That day ended badly for Tomlinson, however, with an injury inflicted by Villa’s Gabriel Agbonlahor delaying the singer’s Doncaster debut.

Baldwin’s hoping the incident hasn’t diminished excitement about Tomlinson’s soccer career.

“I am sure that the Louis’ appearance for Doncaster Rovers will attract lots of attention from One Direction fans and I hope that we will generate lots of new Rovers supporters.”

According to Doncaster’s web site, details about Tomlinson’s upcoming debut will be available next week, conveniently giving the club another chance to get its name out there next to their famous supporters’. That, after all, is the end game here, though Tomlinson and his fans will undoubtedly get a lot of entertainment out of the ordeal.

Sunderland confirm resignation of manager Dick Advocaat

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Dick Advocaat manager of Sunderland looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Ham United at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

With rumors swirling of his resignation, Sunderland have confirmed this morning that Dick Advocaat has left his post as Sunderland manager with zero financial compensation despite the protests of the chairman.

Advocaat came on in March as an emergency signing, successfully saving Sunderland from relegation with a solid run of form to finish the season. The 68-year-old Dutchman pondered at length this summer if he wished to continue on, with his wife reportedly urging him to step down, but he chose to continue on with the new season after successful persuasion from the front office.

Unfortunately, things have not gone as planned, with Sunderland sitting 19th in the table, only above Newcastle on goal differential and without a single win on the season. They’ve conceded a whopping 18 goals so far this season through eight league matches.

“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around – like we did last year,” Advocaat said upon his departure. “I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.

“I wish Ellis [Short], Lee [Congerton], all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, who made me feel so welcome here, the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future.”

“I am truly saddened by Dick’s decision,” chairman Ellis Short said, “but I respect him for his honesty and for doing what he feels is right for the club. He is a man of integrity and a true football person. He was hugely respectful of the club in taking this decision and he acted 100% in our best interests. It is also testament to his character that he has forgone any kind of a financial settlement, something which is very unusual in football.”

Meanwhile, the Black Cats have dipped into what is becoming a perennial cycle, making a managerial change for the fourth time in the last four seasons.

Rumors are swirling that a host of experienced Premier League managers could be up for the job, including the currently unemployed Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp. Other linked names include former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson and current Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

Sepp Blatter’s daughter slams media for ruining her father’s reputation

Leave a comment

Sepp Blatter’s daughter blames the media, not her father, for Sepp’s downfall as the head of FIFA and believes he will not step down until the February congress as he initially announced.

“The media has ruined his reputation,” Corinne Blatter told Swiss newspaper Blick. “Why are they picking on him? What did he do to them? … It’s not just envy. It’s hatred.”

A host of major sponsors, including Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Visa called for Blatter’s immediate resignation as president of FIFA, to which the 79-year-old swiftly rejected. This all came after Blatter was called in by Swiss authorities for questioning after the opening of an investigation surrounding corporate mismanagement charges.

“I was afraid that they now take him away in handcuffs,” Corinne said. “He told me, ‘I must be dreaming.’ A federal policeman assured me that he could after hearing home.”

Blick pressed Corinne on many issues, all of which she defender her father. She refused to comment on many that had to do with the investigation, but did give us this gem when asked how Sepp likes to spend his money.

“He buys shoes and travel bags. He has worked 40 years. His life is modest, without any extravagance. He doesn’t play golf or go sailing.”

Shoes and handbags. What an image.