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Volume 6 No. 212

International Football

The League Managers' Association has described the number of sackings in football this season as "embarrassing," according to the BBC. LMA CEO Richard Bevan said that the number of departures "is at a five-year high," following Blackburn's dismissal of Michael Appleton on Tuesday. In total, 103 managers and coaches have lost their jobs in '12-13. Bevan said, "It's embarrassing for the game that all of those sackings are unfair dismissals. The volatility is undermining the profession. I'm not sure where the arrogance of football comes from that we don't have to behave as any other industry." Four Premier League managers have been sacked this season, but job security further down the Football League "seems even more volatile." In the League Championship, 17 managers have been dismissed, while in Leagues One and Two there have been "a combined total of 26 managerial departures" (BBC, 3/20).

FC Barcelona's trip to Paris for its Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Paris St. Germain on April 2 has "created incredible lines" at the team's ticket office, according to L'EQUIPE. The club received between 700,000 and 1 million demands for tickets. The tickets "sold like little bread loafs." Since Monday night, the game is sold out. The lines at the ticket office "were of historic proportions." PSG Commerical Activities Vice Dir General Frédéric Longuépée said, "The phenomenon was comparable to a Rolling Stones tour. Here are some numbers so you understand: we have a stadium with 45,000 seats, we have 25,000 season ticket holders, of which 95% benefited with a seat to the game. 5,000 tickets were blocked by UEFA and Barça. Thus there was 15,000 seats to sell... for 700,000 to 1 million demands." He added, "Monday morning, we received 100 calls per second as soon as we opened up the ticket office to club members. We would have needed between 1,000 and 1,500 operators to handle this." Tickets for the match are already selling for €1,000 ($1,295) on the black market (L'EQUIPE, 3/20).

A proposal to add Celtic and Rangers colt sides to Scottish senior football "will not form part of final plans for league reconstruction," according to Grant Russell of STV. No mention "was made of the idea" at a meeting of representatives from the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League at Hampden on Tuesday. Members of both league bodies met to discuss the "finer detail of a final proposal to put to clubs." It is understood the document "will instead call for a vote" on a 12-12-18 league structure. SPL clubs will vote on the proposal on April 15 (STV, 3/20).