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Dinnage pulls out of commitment to become PL CEO

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LONDON (AP) The Premier League says its new chief executive has pulled out of the job before even taking up the position.

[ MORE: What are the obstacles on Liverpool’s path to PL title? ]

The league issued a statement on Sunday saying broadcasting executive Susanna Dinnage has changed her mind about succeeding Richard Scudamore in running the world’s richest soccer competition, despite being hired for the job in November.

The statement said: “Despite her commitment to the Premier League in early November, Susanna Dinnage has now advised the Nominations Committee that she will not be taking up the position of Chief Executive.”

The short statement gave no reason for the abrupt turnaround but said the search committee “has reconvened its search and is talking to candidates. There will be no further comment until an appointment is made.”

[ MORE: Man United make it 3-for-3 since Mourinho’s firing ]

Dinnage was set to become the most powerful female executive in global sports after agreeing to leave her role as global president of Discovery’s Animal Planet brand early next year to succeed Scudamore. It was unclear whether she would now stay on in her old role at Discovery.

When accepting the job in November, Dinnage said she was “excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role” and described the Premier League as “the pinnacle of professional sport.” She said that “the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organization is a great privilege.”

[ MORE: Kompany: Liverpool clash among “those games you live for” ]

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, who had helped lead the recruitment process, described Dinnage as “the outstanding choice” from a “very strong field” of candidates.

Dinnage’s TV experience was seen as a key asset in the current era of blockbuster rights’ deals and a diverging market. She began her career at MTV and also worked for Channel Five.

Scudamore has run English football’s top flight since 1999, but announced his intention to step down as its executive chairman earlier this year.

Charlton wins promotion to Championship in stoppage time

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Charlton Athletic struck a wildly late blow to clinch the final place in the 2019-20 Football League Championship, defeating Sunderland 2-1 in Sunday’s promotion playoff at Wembley Stadium.

A stoppage time free kick in a cagey affair led to a scrum in the box, with Patrick Bauer sliding to strike a shot off a Sunderland defender and into the goal.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The goal came at the 3:55 mark of four minutes stoppage time, and was the 26-year-old defender’s first goal of the season.

Ben Purrington had leveled the score line for Charlton after Sunderland went ahead via an early own goal. The Addicks were relegated from the Championship after the 2015-16 season, while Sunderland went down last year.

It had to feel extra special to manager Lee Bowyer, who played with Sunderland local rivals Newcastle United from 2003-06.

Pique: Copa-losing Barca still “really hurting” from UCL exit

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Barcelona was the favorite to win La Liga, the UEFA Champions League, and the Copa del Rey for the majority of the season, but only claimed one.

Liverpool’s amazing comeback to beat Barca in the second leg of the UCL semifinals met Saturday’s loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey Final to give Barca a league title alone.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Even with that La Liga advantage being decisive — Barca carried the table by 11 points over Atletico Madrid and finished 19 ahead of Real Madrid — there’s a very dour mood and promised change for the Camp Nou set.

And Gerard Pique says it all traces back to the loss against Liverpool. From The Liverpool Echo:

“I believe that if we had gotten through at Liverpool, we would have won the treble. We would have come here [to the Copa del Rey final] with a different mood, and I’m convinced we would have won the Champions League final, but that is football. We are really, really hurting.”

There are hints of a massive clear-out at Barcelona, with Lionel Messi and Pique two of the only safe bets to stay. When will Barca get over it?

Brazilian team tangles in locker room futmesa (video)

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It was defense versus attack in the Brazil dressing room.

Neymar and Gabriel Jesus squared off with international teammates Filipe Luis and Ederson in a game of futmesa/table soccer this week.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

Neymar and Filipe Luis are used to be on different sides of the field from their time in La Liga, while Jesus and Ederson are teammates at Manchester City.

Brazil is hosting this summer’s Copa America and is the favorite to win its first tournament since 2007, when it claimed its fourth in five tries.

It’s really impressive stuff for us normal to subpar athletes, even if standard for those with such deft talent.

Quite a winner from Man City’s young striker.

Jovic could see himself in Premier League, Serie A

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Maybe Luka Jovic’s presumed move to Real Madrid won’t happen this summer.

Or at all.

[ MORE: Real, Chelsea debate Hazard fee ]

The Eintracht Frankfurt striker has been tipped for a move away from the Bundesliga after another strong campaign, and taking the center forward reins from Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.

Several outlets reported the deal as done, but Jovic isn’t speaking that way (or at least the Serbian is throwing us off the scent.

From Goal.com:

“In terms of the physique, the Bundesliga is very demanding, but after the games against Chelsea or Inter Milan, I personally had the feeling that I could feel even better [playing] in the Premier League or Serie A. … The way the teams play there suits me better.”

Jovic scored 27 times in 48 appearances for Frankfurt, adding seven assists at the tender age of 21. Ten of those came in the Europa League, and we’re not talking about flooding the nets of minnows; Jovic scored against Chelsea (twice), Marseille (three), Lazio (two), and Inter Milan (once).