Names In The News
A-League side Sydney FC Manager GRAHAM ARNOLD "ruled himself out of contention to lead the Socceroos at this year's World Cup," but "left the door ajar" to coach Australia in the future. Football Federation Australia is reportedly "keen on the idea of appointing a high-profile foreign manager on a short-term contract for the World Cup and then replacing him with a permanent coach" -- possibly Arnold -- after the tournament in Russia (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 1/22). ... KURT TIPPETT announced his retirement from the Australian Football League, effective immediately. His "controversial move to Sydney five years ago never quite" fulfilled expectations "due to a combination of suspension, injury and the arrival a year later" of LANCE FRANKLIN (THE AUSTRALIAN, 1/23). ... Former Auckland-born NFL Chicago Bears running back PAUL LASIKE will “complete his transition from the NFL to rugby union” after being named to the USA Eagles squad for the upcoming Americas Rugby Championship (NEW ZEALAND HERALD, 1/22). ... Former int’l footballer GEORGE WEAH was sworn in as president of Liberia. He said, “I have spent many years of my life in stadiums, but today is a feeling like no other.” It is Liberia’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since ’44 (BBC, 1/22). ... Northern Ireland national football team Manager MICHAEL O’NEILL turned down the chance to replace GORDON STRACHAN as Scotland manager. O’Neill said that he had “given the matter a great deal of thought and consideration.” He said, “I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career” (BBC, 1/22). ... Footballer ALEXIS SÁNCHEZ completed his move from Arsenal to ManU. Reports suggest he will earn close to £500,000 ($699,300) per week at Old Trafford, "including bonuses and image rights" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 1/22).
IN MEMORY: Former League Championship side Barnsley Owner PATRICK CRYNE died from cancer, aged 66. His death came "just a month after the sale of the club" to a consortium involving Chinese billionaire CHIEN LEE and U.S. baseball exec BILLY BEANE. Born in Barnsley and a "lifelong supporter" of the club, former software company CEO Cryne joined the board in '03 (BBC, 1/22). ... Former England football captain JIMMY ARMFIELD died from cancer, aged 82. Armfield was capped 43 times by England, 15 of them as captain, and made a club record 627 appearances for Blackpool. He later managed Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United and was a BBC radio commentator "for more than 35 years" (BBC, 1/22). ... Former Glamorgan County Cricket Club Chair PAUL RUSSELL died. Russell, who was the Welsh county's chair from '03-11, was also formerly president of Welsh Premier Division side Ebbw Valle RFC (BBC, 1/21).