Tottenham Hotspur

Reason for Tottenham’s stadium delay explained

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Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium at White Hart Lane will not open until late October at the earliest and the specific reasons for its delay are starting to trickle out.

Spurs blamed the delay on “issues with the critical safety systems” after testing.

Speaking to trade magazine Building, Mark Reynolds, the chief executive of Mace, the firm who are building the stadium, had the following details.

“Issues with critical safety systems were identified,” Reynolds said. “This is linked to the fire detection contractor encountering higher than usual electrical wiring faults. Many of the outstanding external elements of the build are cosmetic and are not required for the stadium to open for the first football game. Follow up meetings continue to take place with trade contractors where the situation and planned timetable are being reviewed to rectify and re-test. We shall then be in a better position to outline the revised timetable for opening.

“[A cable net roof] requires all of the structure to be completed in order to begin. The roof was always scheduled as one of the last activities and is now due to be substantially complete at the end of August.”

So, the roof will be finished in the next week or so and testing will continue to be planned but it does seem that Spurs are some way off hosting their first game at the new stadium, as they’ve currently announce games through the end of October will be move to Wembley, and elsewhere, with some issues surrounding NFL games at Wembley and its unavailability for the game against Manchester City on Oct. 28 in particular.

Inner circles have been whispering for some time that Tottenham’s new stadium wouldn’t be ready for September 2018 and some bookmakers have even suspended betting with money being placed on Spurs not playing at all in their new stadium during the 2018-19 campaign.

There will no doubt be more news in the coming weeks as tests take place and contractors work around the clock to try and get Tottenham in their new home before the busy festive period.

Until then, maybe they can switch their nickname to the “nomads” instead of Spurs?

Oxlade-Chamberlain back in Liverpool training

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in Liverpool training, nine months after a horrible injury cost him the chance to appear in the UEFA Champions League Final.

Initially ruled out for the duration of the 2018-19 season following an ACL year, “The Ox” is giving the Reds a boost in Dubai.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

The 25-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain posted five goals and seven assists in his first season at Liverpool.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has 32 England caps and 283 senior appearances between Southampton, Arsenal, and Liverpool. He left the Gunners in part because of a desire to play a more central role in the midfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain detailed his recovery late last year. There’s yet to be discussion of when he might be fit to return to match play, but Liverpool will be careful with its industrious playmaker.

Montreal owner Saputo hands presidency duties to Gilmore

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Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo is giving the reigns of his club to a new president.

Saputo announced Tuesday that he’s handing over presidency duties to Kevin Gilmore, the former chief operating officer of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

The Saputo family founded the Impact in 1992, and Joey Saputo shepherded the club into Major League Soccer.

The Impact is coached by Remi Garde, the former Aston Villa boss, and has Designated Players in Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taidir. The Bleu-blanc-noir just started training camp.

Cardiff “very distressed,” “praying for positive news” regarding Sala

AP Photo/David Vincent
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Cardiff City executive director Ken Choo has released a statement on the missing flight from France to Wales which carried new signing Emiliano Sala.

Crews in Wales continue to search for the plane, which disappeared from radar late Monday night.

Fans have flocked to Cardiff City Stadium and Nantes town square to lay flowers in hopes of a miraculous recovery for Sala and his pilot.

From Cardiff City’s official site:

“We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.

“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.

“We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire Club with Emiliano and the pilot.

“All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time.

“We continue to pray for positive news.”

Ronaldo pleads guilty to tax fraud at Madrid court

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MADRID (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo has pleaded guilty to tax fraud and received a two-year suspended sentence.

The Juventus forward, who was facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid, was in court for about 45 minutes and signed an agreement which will cost him nearly 19 million euros ($21.6 million) in fines.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

Ronaldo arrived at court in a black van and was wearing a black sports coat and black pants. He walked up some stairs leading to the court house and even stopped to sign an autograph.

Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year.

In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.

In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.

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