Manchester City has appointed TXIKI BEGIRISTAIN as director of football as part of a new £250M ($402.4M) investment to "establish the EPL champions as the world’s foremost recruiters and developers of talent," according to Duncan Castles of the SUNDAY TIMES. The former Barcelona technical director will oversee all organizational matters for City’s first team, "including a shake-up in player recruitment." Former Manchester City football administrator BRIAN MARWOOD becomes managing director of the City Football Academy. City is investing close to £200M ($321.9M) in the project, including the building and staffing of training facilities on the Etihad campus. Marwood spent the summer "reining in City’s spending while wrestling with the need to comply" with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules. This often left Manager ROBERTO MANCINI "frustrated by the club’s failure to sign his transfer targets" (SUNDAY TIMES, 10/28). The PA reported that both Begiristain and Marwood will report to CEO FERRAN SORIANO. Soriano said, "Given the scale and importance of this challenge, we want to commit our very best people to it. I am delighted that Brian Marwood will take leadership of the CFA initiative, and I am equally very pleased to welcome an individual of Txiki Begiristain's calibre to the club" (PA, 10/28).
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Team Sky Sporting Dir SEAN YATES, "one of the men who masterminded BRADLEY WIGGINS' Tour de France victory in July, has left Team Sky after admitting an involvement in doping," according to Brendan Gallagher of the London TELEGRAPH. Yates "has left the team with immediate effect after completing an interview" with Team Sky GM DAVID BRAILSFORD as part of his policy of zero tolerance to doping. The "exact nature of the doping has not been revealed, but Yates has a considerable history of riding with the young LANCE ARMSTRONG at Motorola and then twice coaching him at the Tour de France, in '05 when Armstrong won riding for Discovery, and '09 when he finished third for Astana" (TELEGRAPH, 10/28). In Sydney, Peter Kogoy reported that "the departure of Yates comes within days of Team Sky's American Coach BOBBY JULICH quitting after admitting to doping between '96-98." Brailsford "declined to comment" specifically on Yates and Dutch Coach STEVEN DE JONGH, who is also understood to have left the team, when contacted. Australian-born former rider SHANE SUTTON, who is effectively Brailsford's No. 2, also declined comment. Brailsford said, "We set out (from the very beginning) with a zero tolerance policy, so we said that anyone who has had a doping conviction from the past or proved to have been involved in doping hasn't got a place at Team Sky. That's our policy" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/29). Team Sky said in a statement: "After a long career in professional cycling, he has told us that he wants to move on, for purely personal reasons. Sean has been interviewed, and there were no admissions or disclosures that would have required him to leave the team" (REUTERS, 10/28). BLOOMBERG's Peter-Joseph Hegarty wrote Yates said his three years with Sky had been "fantastic and a highlight" of his career. He "denied any wrongdoing." Yates said in a statement: "I realize the timing of my retirement will lead to speculation given what is currently going on in the sport, but I can walk away with my head held high knowing I have done nothing wrong." He added that he has "had health problems in recent years and spent a lot of time away from home, so he now wants to focus on his family" (BLOOMBERG, 10/28).
Primera Liga club Benfica has re-elected LUIS FILIPE VIEIRA as its president after he "pledged to move the broadcasting of league matches" to the club's TV channel, Benfica TV, and lower match ticket prices. The 63-year-old grabbed 83% of the votes from Benfica-registered supporters on Friday to beat runner-up and Lisbon judge RUI RANGEL (REUTERS, 10/27).
MANAGERS: League Championship club Bolton has confirmed DOUGIE FREEDMAN as the new manager. The announcement came "two days after his former club Crystal Palace revealed the move" (PA, 10/25).
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French swimmer LAURE MANAUDOU announced she will "most likely" retire after the European Championships in November. The 26-year-old won the Gold Medal in the 400m freestyle at the Athens Games (LE COURRIER PICARD, 10/28). ... LIONEL MESSI "smashed through the 300-goal mark with a brace as Barcelona crushed Rayo Vallecano 5-0 in Madrid on Saturday." Messi's goals were the 300th and 301st of his career, a total made up of 270 for Barça and 31 for Argentina in only 419 matches (AFP, 10/28). ... AC Milan Owner SILVIO BERLUSCONI "has been found guilty of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in prison for tax evasion." Berlusconi "has also been banned from holding public office for three years in a case involving the acquisition of film and TV rights on behalf of Mediaset, the broadcaster he controls" (London GUARDIAN, 10/26). ... Belarus President ALEXANDER LUKASHENKO "has fired his Sports Deputy IGOR ZAICHKOV and Sports Minister OLEG KACHAN following a 'disastrous showing' at the 2012 London Olympics." The axe on Zaichkov and Kachan came down two days after Lukashenko, who also serves as president of the Belarus Olympic Committee, blamed them for the country's "complete failure" in London (REUTERS, 10/28). ... ALBERTO SALAZAR, coach of Britain's double Olympic champion MO FARAH, said that Farah "could attempt a 10,000 metres-marathon double" at the 2016 Rio Games. Salazar said Farah, who will be 33 in four years, could have lost a "little speed" over the 5,000 by then (REUTERS, 10/26). ... British Olympic athletes TOM DALEY, REBECCA ADLINGTON, NICOLA ADAMS and LOUIS SMITH "will be taking part in a video for the annual TV fundraising extravaganza 'Children in Need.'" Paralympians DAVID WEIR and ELLIE SIMMONDS "are also taking part in the video, set to the BASEMENT JAXX track 'Do Your Thing'" (ITV.com, 10/28). ... Police "have arrested a man over the theft of two Olympic Bronze Medals from a London nightclub," which occurred shortly after British Olympians ALEX PARTRIDGE, a rower, and field hockey player HANNAH MACLEOD attended a reception" with Britain's QUEEN ELIZABETH (CNN.com, 10/28).
RACE WINS: MotoGP driver JORGE LORENZO has "clinched his second driver's world championship title with a second-place finish at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia." A second-place was enough to clinch the title "after championship rival DANI PEDROSA crashed out in lap two" (MOTORSPORT-TOTAL.com, 10/28). ... F1 champion SEBASTIAN VETTEL "knocked on the head speculation of a move to Ferrari in '14 by declaring his loyalty to Red Bull after winning the Indian Grand Prix on Sunday." Vettel said that "he wanted to reassure teammates that rumours had no substance." He said, "I'm 100% behind them (the team) as I feel they're 100% behind me, and therefore I want to get this straight. There's nothing to report, and I'm very happy at Red Bull Racing" (REUTERS, 10/28).
T-SHIRT SUPPORT: ManU player RIO FERDINAND "showed his support for the Kick It Out campaign by wearing a T-shirt, and he also buried the hatchet with England teammate ASHLEY COLE by shaking hands with him before the game." However, ASHLEY YOUNG did not wear a T-shirt -- the only ManU player "to snub the anti-racism body" (London DAILY MAIL, 10/28). The DAILY MAIL also noted that Chelsea player JOHN TERRY has backed Kick It Out in his program notes ahead of the game against ManU, "stressing the club's wish to banish all forms of discrimination from football" (DAILY MAIL, 10/28).
SPEED channel's F1 reporter WILL BUXTON: "Good luck to San Fran in their stickball game tonight. Hope they get a few goals."
NFL European Dir of Pulic Affairs DAVID TOSSELL: "Official attendance at Wembley tonight is 84,004 #NFLLondon"
ESPN Football Commentator TOMMY SMITH: "I think Torres card was a bad call.that is a price that will be paid for all this talk of diving.Refs are under pressure to stamp it out."
SI's GRANT WAHL: "Chelsea, Man United & Man City all within 1 point of each other. 3-team race already?"
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