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Volume 7 No. 63

People and Pop Culture

Robert Elstone
Photo: getty images

ROBERT ELSTONE left his role as EPL side Everton CEO to take the "top job in rugby league." Elstone, 54, is leaving Goodison Park after 13 years to become the Super League's new CEO, filling the role vacated by ROGER DRAPER in January. There has been no confirmation from the Rugby Football League but Everton Chair BILL KENWRIGHT announced on the club's website that Elstone would be returning to rugby league and "wished him well" (PA, 5/15). ... DIEGO MARADONA was appointed chair of Belarusian Premier League side Dynamo Brest on a three-year contract. Maradona stepped down from his role as the coach of Al-Fujairah last month after the UAE club "failed to gain automatic promotion to the first division." The club said, "Diego Maradona will supervise the areas of club's strategic development, and also cooperate with all structural departments, including the Academy of Dynamo Brest" (REUTERS, 5/16). ... ANDRE GROMKOVSKI was appointed as VP, UFC Russia. He brings expertise across the media sales, digital, marketing and content distribution landscapes, having worked with Universal Studios and Viacom, among others. He will lead the regional strategic plan for UFC Russia from Moscow, working alongside the UFC exec team in Las Vegas and the EMEA team in London (UFC). ... EPL side Everton hired MARCEL BRANDS as its new sporting director. Brands’ arrival confirms the expected departure of STEVE WALSH, who arrived from Leicester City as a “recruitment expert” in ’16 but has spent over £150M ($202M) “with little positive return” (London INDEPENDENT, 5/16).

COACHES/MANAGERS: Bundesliga side RB Leipzig and coach RALPH HASENHUTTL parted ways "after failing to agree on a contract extension beyond next season" (ESPN.com, 5/16). ... STEVE CORICA was announced as A-League side Sydney FC's new head coach, "stepping up after serving a seven-year apprenticeship as assistant." The 45-year-old former Socceroos midfielder was "preferred over a number of foreign candidates" as the man to replace GRAHAM ARNOLD on a two-year deal (AAP, 5/15). ... League Two side Chesterfield, which has been relegated to the National League for the '18-19 season, appointed former Barnet Manager MARTIN ALLEN as its new manager. Allen, 52, left Barnet last Thursday (BBC, 5/15). ... EPL side Everton announced the departure of Manager SAM ALLARDYCE after "less than a season at Goodison Park," with MARCO SILVA and PAULO FONSECA among the early favorites to replace him. Allardyce took over at the club in November and "had a further 12 months left on his contract" (ESPN.com, 5/16). ... Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt announced ADI HÜTTER will take over as manager next season. The 48-year-old signed a contract through the summer of ’21 (Eintracht). ... West Ham United Manager DAVID MOYES left the club after just over six months in charge “despite guiding the club to Premier League survival.” Moyes, 55, took over from SLAVEN BILIC on a short-term contract in November with the club in the relegation zone. Moyes’ assistants ALAN IRVINE, STUART PEARCE and BILLY MCKINLAY also left with immediate effect (BBC, 5/16).

Man City Manager PEP GUARDIOLA was named the League Managers Association manager of the year. He led the club to the Premier League title with a record 100 points, "scoring 106 goals and dropping just 14 points all season." His side also claimed the League Cup, beating Arsenal 3-0 in the final at Wembley (BBC, 5/15). ... Former FA of Thailand President WORAWI MAKUDI's ban from football was "slightly reduced" to three-and-a-half years from five on Wednesday after a ruling by FIFA's appeal committee. Worawi received the original ban in Oct. '16 (REUTERS, 5/16). ... France's ALIZÉ CORNET was cleared of an anti-doping violation on Tuesday "after a charge against her for missing three out-of-competition drug tests was dismissed." The 28-year-old, currently world No. 32, was charged with missing three tests within a 12-month period. Cornet said that the third missed test, which resulted in the charge, "was caused by a misunderstanding," and an independent tribunal ruled in her favor (REUTERS, 5/15). ... Former Formula 1 driver FELIPE MASSA signed a three-year deal to race in Formula E from next season. He will join Monaco-based Venturi, which is co-owned by actor LEONARDO DICAPRIO, from the '18-19 season. Massa, who won 11 grands prix, quit F1 last season after 15 years in the sport (BBC, 5/15).