American millionaire buys English side Barrow

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Hands up if you’ve heard of Barrow?

I didn’t think so, but soon Barrow AFC may become a club American fans become familiar with as the Skrill Conference North club have been taken over by a U.S. businessman.

Paul Casson was born in the town of Barrow-in-Furness, which is in the far North West of England close to the famous Lake District, but now lives in Dallas and is president of telecommunications provider Casson-Mark Corporation in the United States.

His close family ties to the club and the town urged Casson to put forward a takeover bid and after the club’s board voted in favor of his proposal the Texas businessman will soon become the new owner of Barrow. Fans of the Bluebirds are extremely hopeful of their future under Casson.

Casson has been all over English TV, as he tries to revive the former fourth division side who haven’t been in the football league since they were relegated in 1970. Most recently Barrow won the FA Trophy in 2010 and have also enjoyed several good FA Cup runs however their new American owner is aiming to bring the glory days back to Barrow by launching the club from the sixth-tier of English soccer and back into League Two where he believes they belong.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Thursday, this is what Casson had to say about his investment of over $1 million in Barrow.

“It’s not a risk at all, I think it’s a great opportunity,” Casson said. “I was born here and my mother and father were born in Barrow, so I have a large family legacy in the town. My father died in September, so the primary reason is to leave a legacy in his memory. He would have been proud to see his son be a custodian of the football club in the town he loved. I’ve followed the club from afar since I left. It was very painful when they got relegated from the Football League, which is one of the reasons I started this. I want to try and get them back to where I remember them.”

You have to admire the Texan for pumping money back into the town where he was born before he made his millions. If Casson does succeed in turning Barrow into a football league club within the next five years, will we see Bluebirds shirts popping up across the USA?

Now that would be something and would provide a proud legacy for his father and their family.

Leicester City record massive earnings from UEFA Champions League

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Leicester City’s UEFA Champions League campaign may have ended without a trophy, but the Premier League side pipped the European champions in the bank account.

UEFA announced on Friday that Leicester City earned $96,167,125 during the Champions League run that ended in the quarterfinals, the farthest of any Premier League club. Real Madrid, the back-to-back champions, earned a slightly less $95,385,679. Much of the difference comes from TV rights deals in England, which pays out more to teams compared to the TV rights deal in Spain.

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Juventus, the Italian giant, earned the most of any club in last year’s Champions League, making a whopping $129,965,357, mostly thanks to the TV rights again.

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic could return in December

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Dare to Zlatan? It could be only a couple of months away.

That’s according to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who said the veteran striker could return from his torn ACL before the end of the calendar year.

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“Zlatan is here, he’s working here and under our control,” Mourinho told reporters. “He’s working as you would expect so, so, so hard. But he’s not to be back in the next week or next couple of weeks. Do I believe he’ll be back in 2017? Yes, I do. But it’s just a feeling.”

The big Swede scored 28 goals for Man United last year in all competitions, proving that he’s still got it at the age of 36, but it’s going to be tough for him to find his old form coming off an ACL injury at such an old age. After suffering the injury last April, it’s been a long road to recovery for Ibrahimovic.

However, with the play of Romelu Lukaku up top, Ibrahimovic would only play from time to time, which could help in his recovery both from the knee injury and just the general recovery between games.

Manchester City quartet called up by Brazil for friendlies

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Brazilian National Team coach Tite has decided on calling up a full-strength squad for November’s upcoming friendly matches in Europe, including four Manchester City players in his 25-man squad.

Gabriel Jesus, Fernandinho, Danilo and Ederson all made the squad as Tite looks to develop more chemistry among his side ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which Brazil breezed into after Tite took over in 2016.

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Luckily for Manchester City and the other European-based players in the squad, Brazil’s friendly matches will be played in Western Europe. The Selecao first faces Japan in Lille, France on November 10 before taking on England at Wembley Stadium on November 14.

The call-ups may be a tough pill for Guardiola to swallow though. As of Friday, Manchester City has 17 games remaining in the calendar year, and surely he would prefer for some of his starters to get a two-week break in November to preserve some energy instead of play in friendly matches.

Everton announce lifetime ban for fan involved in altercation with Lyon player

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On a night when UEFA unveiled a new campaign for respect, there wasn’t enough of it shown both on and off the field.

Everton has followed up on UEFA opening up disciplinary proceedings against them by banning a fan from Everton matches after the fan was seen to punch at an Olympique Lyon player in the second half of Lyon’s 2-1 win at Goodison Park.

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“Club Officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnais where supporters towards the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players,” Everton said in a statement. “We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the Club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”

The video below shows a fan – amazingly, holding onto a small boy in one arm – throwing some punches at Lyon players after a fracas on the field.

The punch and ban is yet another dark moment for Everton, which has just one point from its first three Europa League matches and sits in 16th place in the Premier League with eight points from eight games.