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Volume 10 No. 25
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They Said It: Quotes Of The Year, Part I

We wanted to give a strong signal ... we could not continue the game in an atmosphere like this.
-- AC Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini, after the club walked off the pitch during a friendly against Pro Patria because of racial abuse by fans.

We are on the right road to achieving something positive.
-- Scottish Football League CEO David Longmuir, on the talks to reorganize the country's professional football leagues.

There is no investment with a greater medium- and longterm benefit than the Olympic Games.
-- Spanish Olympic Committee President Alejandro Blanco, on why Spain's Olympic bid was viable despite the country's struggling economy.

Will I stay in Russia? We'll see. Time will tell. We shouldn't rule it out.
-- New Jersey Devils player Ilya Kovalchuk, on whether he would leave the KHL and return to the NHL after the lockout ended.

When a club builds a stadium, it sets a manageable timetable in which it pays off debt to later own the stadium. However, we shovel our money in a bottomless hole.
-- Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt coach Armin Veh, on the team's $13.3M annual rent for Commerzbank-Arena.

Not all the people who govern NHL teams have a hockey heart.
-- KHL President Alexander Medvedev, on the American league not allowing its players to play in the Russian league's all-star game over the weekend.

They wanted to fish here, but there were no fish left.
-- Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, complaining that Manchester City was trying to hire away his players and staff.

I wouldn't be keen on sharing our thought process or detailed preparation. It's sport, it's not 'Big Brother.'
-- London Irish coach Brian Smith, on BT's proposal that coaches share game plans with TV commentators to add to the coverage.

If tomorrow, we go watch a game already knowing the outcome, football is dead.
-- UEFA President Michel Platini, on why match-fixing is more of a threat to the future of the game than racism or violence.

If you don't want to know what people think about you on Twitter, don't be on Twitter.
-- EPL QPR Manager Harry Redknapp, on his advice to QPR Chair Tony Fernandez, who was upset over criticism from fans on Twitter.

I was told very early on that a gentleman never speaks about last night or money.
-- F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, dodging confirmation on the value of the circuit's sponsorship deal with Emirates for a reported $200M.

This is not a black day in Australian sport. This is the blackest day in Australian sport.
-- Former ASADA Head Richard Ings, on the Australian Crime Commission report that found the country's sports leagues rife with doping, illicit drugs and match-fixing.

I think they've picked the wrong fat kid to bully. I'm not for bullying.
-- Jessica Ennis coach Toni Minichello, on cutting all ties to UK Athletics, after saying he felt "bullied" and "not respected" by the organization.

The ambition, is to quickly enter the closed circle of the top five European clubs. We want to build a worldwide brand. It is a new strategy in France.
-- PSG Dir General Jean-Claude Blanc, on the club's aims for the immediate future.

Handball isn't football. There aren't any huge sums for titles.
-- THW Kiel Chair Hinrich Vater, on why the club's three titles only generated a $33K profit.

I would like to see the AFL sever its relationship with the alcohol industry.
-- Australian Greens Sen. Richard Di Natale, calling for alcohol ads to be banned on broadcasts of sporting events.

In France there is a cultural problem. Winners are not popular.
-- Ligue 1 Olympique Lyonnais Owner Jean-Michel Aulas, on his long battle to gain approval for a new stadium complex for the club.

I would never measure organizing countries against the punctuality of Swiss trains.
-- FIFA President Sepp Blatter on his level of confidence in Brazil being ready for the 2014 World Cup.

I was brought up in a household where my father was much more interested in whether or not you had won at football than whether you had passed your exams. In my case that was just as well.
-- Greg Dyke, proposed candidate to replace David Bernstein as FA chairman.

I will be in Australia on my surfboard -- the phone won't be engaged.
-- F1 driver Mark Webber, on talking with his Red Bull bosses after teammate Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders and passed him to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.