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London Stadium breaks attendance record

LS1The London Athletic Championships have been awarded an official Guinness World Record for the number of tickets sold at any IAAF World Championships event.

The figure recorded on the official Guinness World Record certificate is 701,889 but with that taken two days before the end of the Championships, it will be updated to reflect the over 705,000 eventually sold. Session 12 on the morning of Saturday 12 August was the best-ticketed session with 56,620 attending.

Held in the UK for the first time ever, 2200 athletes from 203 nations travelled to London while fans from across Britain and the globe poured into the London Stadium.

Assuming an average ticket price of £40 the Championships have probably generated over £28m in ticket revenue although how much Stadium Owners E20 or operators LS185 will see of that is unknown.   The cost of moving the seats between football and athletics mode is still thought to cost a seven figure sum each summer.

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Sporting Lisbon deny Carvalho refused to train

CarvalhoWilliam Carvalho has not trained again with the rest of the Sporting Lisbon squad. In the countdown to a game against Guimarães, tomorrow at Estádio D. Alfonso Henriques.  The club say the defensive midfielder did conditioning and specific work due to a shoulder injury so remains in doubt after picking up a further knock a report in a Portuguese newspaper says.

Rumors circulated in Portugal of an alleged refusal by Carvalho to participate in the training session, which took place yesterday afternoon.  Carvalho will miss his third consecutive game for Sporting Lisbon. The midfielder did not play against V. Setúbal and Steaua.

Portuguese newspaper Record also claim that the Hammers will come back with a 40 million euro bid which includes add ons for the player, with the Lisbon outfit holding for 15% a sell on fee as well.

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Snodgrass attracts new interest

snoddy5Aston Villa are set to have major rivals in Sunderland for Robert Snodgrass.

The Scot has no West Ham future and Black Cats boss  Simon Grayson has revealed his interest in the former Hull midfielder.

Snodgrass,29, has been told he can leave th London Stadium after arriving in January and asked if he could be interested in th midfielder Grayson said:  ‘When people like him become available you would be foolish not to consider it.”

Grayson and Snodgrass worked together at Leeds and now Grayson will need to do the sums to see if the pair can be reunited.

The Irons have interest from Vila on the basis of a wage sharing loan deal but real interest from Sunderland would see te Black Cats jump into pole position.

Grayson warned however: “‘Again, that would be a deal dictated by finances. Can we do it? Who knows, but we might ask the question.’

 

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Slav wants last season’s level of performance at Saints

slaven13Slave Bilic’s belief tells him there will be a reaction to last week’s 4-0 humbling at Old Trafford.

The boss’ positive words aren’t always matched by the level performance we require but hey it’s Friday and optimism runs high so I’ll shelve the cyncism for now!

Slav’s mantra is familiar as he declares: “I believe in my players. They showed on many occasions last season a good reaction when it was needed during tough times, and I have confidence that we will see that reaction again on Saturday.”

Speaking to the official site he added: “They have shown me the right attitude in training this week, and have worked extremely hard to prepare for this game.

Southampton are a good side. They have a new manager in Mauricio Pellegrino, but despite a few changes of manager in recent years, they keep the same model and the same system.

For me, they play good football. I heard a few people say last year that they were boring, but I don’t agree with that. They have some dangerous attacking players

They didn’t score against Swansea last week but they played well and should have won the game. They are a good team, and they were a good team last season, but we beat them 3-1 at their place and we have to find that level of performance again this weekend.”

 

 

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London Stadium fixture clash

AthleticsUK Athletics have announced the date of next years Muller Anniversary Games on 27th and 28th July 2018 just three days before the stadium must be contractually handed back to West Ham in full football mode.

The UK Athletics Diamond meeting is usually held much earlier in July but with a current Athletics to football mode turn around of 9 days there is the serious concern the announced date is not viable.

Unlike 2017 when the IAAF World Athletics Championship were hosted in August West Ham must be handed back the stadium by 1st August 2018. The legally binding contract specifies the Athletics window including transformation back to football mode as the third Friday in June to either 31st July or 1st August if the final day falls on a weekend.

Ath2If E20 Stadium were not to return the stadium to football mode by August they would face a significant legal challenge and financial penalties for breaching their contract with West Ham.

Yesterday it was announced Britain’s best athletes will take on their US counterparts in a new two-hour competition at the London Stadium next year. ‘The Meet’ will be held on 21 July 2018 which will involve running, jumping, hurdles and relay events.

This season Premier league started on Friday 13 August 2017 but in 2015/2016 season it started on Saturday 8th August.

There is a 50/50 chance West Ham could be drawn away but there is also a chance we could be involved in the early round of UEFA Europa league which this year started on  29 June.

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Antonio’s comments will raise a few eyebrows

michail-antonio-west-ham-stoke_3387473Michail Antonio is one of the most honest guys in the game but his comments about Phillipe Coutinho’s position at Liverpool will have raised a few eyebrows this morning.

Without ploughing through all his quotes again he belives essectially that the player should be allowed to leave for Barcelona; that he’s been forced into asking for a move “having done everything properly;” and that his ambition dictates he should be allowed to better himself.

He makes a valid point when saying that clubs will get rid of players when they are not performing thus implying that loyalty is a two way street.

The whole issue of contracts in football is of course now farcical – they mean nothing and we need to get our heads around that once and for all.

But that the Hammer of the Year holds these views having only recently signed a deal which gave him a bumper pay rise is a tad worrying I reckon.

Is it wise that he should be making these remarks at a time when Manu Lanzini is being regularly linked with Liverpool as the Coutinho replacement?

I’m convinced that will never happen but that he  is suggesting players should be allowed to move on regardless of contracts seems surprising?

Antonio will have his supporters and detractors on this one but my question is: Where was the West Ham media protection whilst this was going on.

Whether we agree or disagree with his general view on contracts the fact that Lanzini is involved in this scenario suggests that maybe a lid should have been kept on this at such a time.

Whilst all this was going on Slaven Bilic was expressing his sympathy for managers who found themselves confronted with such a situation.

All very strange!

 

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Slav set for selection shake up at Saints

cresswellCandHSlaven Bilic looks set to make some big changes as the Hammers head into their second game of the season against Southampton at St Mary’s tomorrow.

The 4-0 hammering at Old Trafford has focused minds inside the Irons camp and the boss will be thrilled to have powerhouse Hammer of the Year Michail Antonio back in the frame.

Whether he plays him in his favoured right wing role or through the middle remans to be seen but with Diafra Sakho now avaialable he finally has some great choices to make.

Declan Rice is very much into the mix for a start after a hugely impressive performance when coming on as sub at Old Trafford but we believe he is again more likely to be on the bench.

However, Aaron Cresswell looks set to make the starting lline up after Arthur Masuaku suffered a nightmare  performance at OT.

This is the starting line up will believe the boss is likely to name: Hart; Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Antonio, Noble, Obiang, Arnautovic; Hernandez Sakho.

 

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Antonio backs Coutinho

Michail AntonioMichail Antonio believes Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho should be allowed to leave the club for Barcelona.

And his controversial view appears to conflict with that of his boss Slaven Bilic has offered his sympathy to bosses with players seeking to force their way out of long-term contracts.

The Dimitri Payet Affair appears to be raising its head at many clubs but Antonio is on the side of those players seeking to move on.

He said:“Can you give someone a bad name for wanting to be ambitious – for wanting to move onto bigger things?

“Can you say that’s a bad person or can you say that person is ambitious, that person wants to do stuff, that person wants to move on with his life. You need to leave because you can get onto better things.

“In a normal job, if there was a chance for you to get promoted, are you going to go: no, no, no – I want to stay in the exact same spot I’m in now.“Or, are you going to strive and move forward and be better?

“I have a degree of sympathy (for Coutinho). He did every single thing he possibly could do.

“He stayed, he trained, he worked hard – he stayed away from it as much as he could and didn’t make a single comment– and Liverpool says: ‘No we’re keeping him.’

“And then he handed in a transfer request because he had no other option. But he’s been the perfect servant for them for the past three or four years.

Antonio claimed long-term contracts were “protection for the club” as much for the player saying:  “If the player wasn’t doing well, the club would try and get rid of him.

Bilic said: “The power is too much on the side of the players and their agents. It’s hard for the managers.”

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Villa want Snodgrass wage sharing loan deal

snoddy5Aston Villa  have made their first move for Robert Snodgrass just a week after the club’s owner dismissed the widely reported speculation as a “made up rumour.”

But tonight we have learned that Villa supremo Dr Tony Xia ha made his interest known to the Irons but wants a wage sharing season-long deal.

The ‘Snodgrass for Villa’ saga started on August 9 when ourselves and virtually every media outlet reported an interest.

Hoever a seemingly outraged Xia came out 24 hours later on Twitter claiming that neither Snodgrass or Jordan Rhodes were on the club’s target list and that such stories weere “made up rumours.”

Things then went quiet as we reported soon after but today Villa made their move and we have learned they are keen to do a 50/50 wage sharing deal on the player’s £60k a week peronal terms.

The Hammers are keen to offload the £8 million January signing and are certain to do some sort of deal for a player who was excluded from the squad which lost to Manchester United last weekend.

But the club takes the view that Villa should pay at least 60 per cent of his wages and the Hammers will also want payments should the midlands outfit be promoted or Snodgrass helps them avoind relegation.

Manager Steve Bruce has turned to his former Hull City player after collecting just one point from his first three games.

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Video: Slaven Bilic Pre-Match Presser