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Volume 10 No. 24

Franchises

Premiership Rugby side Sale Sharks had an "audacious" move for All Black Sonny Bill Williams turned down, according to Nik Simon of the London DAILY MAIL. The "ambitious" Manchester club is understood to have made contact with Williams' representatives through a third party last week. But inquires about an immediate move for the center "were shot down." Two other English clubs, one based in London, asked early questions "about the back's availability" in '19. Williams said in June that a move to England "would be an attractive option" before retiring. He said, "I'm 32 this year but thank God I've really looked after my body. I'm contracted until I'm 34, then who knows?" (DAILY MAIL, 9/23).

ManU is "liaising with Hampshire police and Southampton in an attempt to identify supporters who ignored an appeal not to sing an offensive chant about Romelu Lukaku" after the Belgian striker scored the only goal of the game on Saturday, according to Dominic Fifield of the London GUARDIAN. Swathes of the away support in the stadium sang the song in the aftermath of Lukaku's goal, and followed it up with: "We're Man United, we'll sing what we want." That was despite anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, ManU and Lukaku "having urged fans not to indulge in the chant." Club Manager José Mourinho suggested he had not heard the chant, and described the substantial away support as "amazing." In a statement, ManU said, "Manchester United has a zero tolerance stance on offensive chanting and behaviour. The club and player have been clear in asking for an end to the chant" (GUARDIAN, 9/23). In London, Sam Wallace reported ManU threatened action against any of the club's fans it identifies on CCTV as having sung the racially offensive song. It said, "The club is in discussion with the police and has asked for CCTV footage from Southampton and will try to identify those who disrespected the player's wishes not to sing the song" (TELEGRAPH, 9/23). The BBC reported a Kick it Out spokesperson said, "Kick It Out would like to reiterate its stance that such behavior has no place in football. Romelu Lukaku himself has requested that the supporters 'move on' from singing the chant in question and Manchester United now has a responsibility to ensure that the request is complied with" (BBC, 9/23).