Former Man City coach ROBERTO MANCINI Sunday used the pages of the Manchester Evening News to thank City fans for their support during his three-year reign at the Etihad, according to Tom Brooks-Pollock of the MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS. Mancini -- who has not spoken to the media in England or back home "since his bombshell sacking this week" -- broke his silence with a full-page advert to acknowledge "three unforgettable years." Maintaining "his excellent rapport with fans right to the end," Mancini tells them, "You will always be in my heart" -- before signing off with "ciao." The MEN staff was "sworn to secrecy about the full-page advert -- thought to be an unprecedented gesture by an axed football boss" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 5/18).
FERGUSON SURPRISED: The AP reported, retired ManU Manager Alex Ferguson said Friday that it is "quite amazing" that Mancini was fired. Ferguson: "He has won the FA Cup (in 2011), been in the final, second in the league (both this season) and won the league -- and it's not good enough? I was surprised. But actually, no. You can't say you are surprised, not with some owners today" (AP, 5/18).
PGA European Tour Chair NEIL COLES will "step down." The 78-year-old Englishman "took on the role" of chairman in Nov. '75 (European Tour). ... MP & Silva Group has announced PETER HUTTON as its new COO. Hutton will lead the group's global commercial strategy. Hutton was ESPN STAR sports managing director before it was rebranded as Fox Sports in southeast Asia (MP & Silva). ... National Rugby League Cronulla Sharks Chair GLENN COLEMAN has quit to "pave the way" for former Olympian DAMIAN KEOGH to take the job. Coleman was "the last man standing" when the club's new directors, headed by Keogh, "swept into power at last month's election" (Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/16). ... Denmark’s 1996 Olympic men’s singles Gold Medalist POUL-ERIK HOYER LARSEN beat Indonesian JUSTIAN SUHANDINATA "to claim the presidency of the world governing body of badminton (BWF) in an election on Saturday." Suhandinata will replace South Korea’s KANG YOUNG-JOONG, "who vacated the post after eight years at the helm" (REUTERS, 5/18).
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Amateur boxing association CEO C.K. WU of Taiwan "is entering the race for president" of the IOC. Wu notified President JACQUES ROGGE on Friday "that he will be a candidate to succeed him as head of the IOC." Wu, a 66-year-old architect, "plans to declare his candidacy at a news conference in Taipei next Thursday." IOC VPs THOMAS BACH, of Germany, and NG SER MIANG, of Singapore, "were the first two members to enter the race" (AP, 5/17). ... Australian cricketer DAVID WARNER "has been cited for an alleged breach of Cricket Australia's code of conduct after a Twitter rant directed at two of the country's leading cricket writers." Cricket Australia will "announce the time and place of a disciplinary hearing at which Warner will be required to appear" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/20). ... U.K. Olympic Gold Medallist JESSICA ENNIS "has married her long-term partner" ANDY HILL at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Hathersage, Derbyshire (ITV, 5/18). ... Football administrator and African Warriors Chair JABU "LITTLE CORPORAL" KHUMALO "has died at the age of 51 after a short illness." At the time of his death, Khumalo "served on various Premier Soccer League subcommittees, including the National First Division, competitions and compliance subcommittees" (SOWETAN LIVE, 5/17).
COACHES: Real Madrid coach JOSÉ MOURINHO "has partially won his lawsuit against El Pais journalist CARLOS BOYERO for referring to Mourinho as a 'Portuguese Nazi' on Aug. 18, 2011." Mourinho's lawyer demanded €15,000 ($19,476), but judge MARÍA ISABEL OCHOA VIDAUR awarded Mourinho a reduced payout of €6,000 ($7,790) (EL PERIODICO, 5/18). ... Paris St. Germain Athletic Dir LEONARDO said that "coach CARLO ANCELOTTI has asked to leave to join Real Madrid." Ancelotti met with Leonardo and PSG President NASSER AL-KHELAIFI Sunday, and Leonardo told French newspaper L'Equipe that "Carlo asked to leave for Madrid, but we want him to stay. There was no firm decision, we listened to Carlo. We have to consider everything for a bit. The priority is still that he remains with us. We have never contacted other managers" (AP, 5/19). ... Chinese Super League Guangzhou R&F announced that they "would be parting company" with Brazilian coach SERGIO FARIAS. Team leader LI BING "will assume temporary charge until a new coach is appointed" (WILD EAST FOOTBALL, 5/19).
Sky Deutschland's DIRK GROSSE: "Federer mit unglaublicher Contenance. Kein Fluchen, kein Schlägerwurf. #atproma So wie @TheBorisBecker früher :))" ... ("Federer with unbelievable composure. No swearing, no racket throwing. #atproma Just like @TheBorisBecker in the past :))")
AP's ROB HARRIS: "Apt end to Fergie's managerial career. No final post-match press conference. He's in retirement now though!"
Sky Sports' RACHEL BROOKES: "On our way to the airport but we have an Arsenal fan driving, I am worried what might happen now if Newcastle score.... #nervous"
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