Pies moving house, crockery may get broken

If you've been having any problems with Pies in the last 24 hours (I know I have!), it's almost certainly due to the fact that we're currently in the process of switching publishing platforms. We should be fully settled in to our new shiny new home very soon, and ready to push for automatic promotion. Thanks for your patience. Ollie, Pies Ed.

March 28, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

News Balls: Steve McClaren and Terry Venables close to split and more juicy news balls

McvenablesEl Tel and Smac - another showbiz divorce for Max Clifford to deal with? [Guardian]
Ronaldo pledges to stay at United [Mirror]
Mido to move out of the Dracula-shaped shadow of Dimitar Berbatov and to Manchester City [Mirror]
City will also be splashing the cash to keep Micah Richards away from Manchester United [MEN]
Steve Coppell can take his coat off after signing two-year deal at Reading [Football 365]

March 27, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

News Balls: Berbatov to stay at Spurs etc.

Zinedinezidaneportraitfilm_500 Zinedine Zidane to un-retire himself? [Soccer Fiesta]
Dimitar Berbatov to stay at Spurs next season. Yay! [Soccer Fiesta]
Luke Young called up to England squad. [Addick's Prem Diary]
Rafa Benitez not going to Real Madrid, says his agent. [BBC]
Dean Ashton out for rest of season. Like, duh. [F365]
Oliver Kahn says sorry to doctor for doping outburst [SI]

March 21, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alex 'The Hairdryer' Ferguson told Geoff Shreeves to 'f**k off'. Knight that man again

Prih_2 Fergie blasted Sky Sports' reporter Geoff Shreeves after Man Utd's 1-0 win against Boro in the FA Cup on Monday night. The Man Yoo boss reportedly called poor Geoff a 'f***ing bastard' and told him to 'f**k off' after the reporter questioned Cristiano Ronaldo over the incident that earned United the match-winning penalty.

Upon learning that Shreeves had asked Ronaldo whether there had been any contact before he fell under Jonathan Woodgate's challenge (there clearly was contact, Ed.), Ferguson claimed he was 'disgusted' by the line of questioning. Fergie's hairdryer treatment of Shreeves continued off-camera. According to The Sun, 'Ferguson's foul-mouthed tirade was so loud that a BBC interview with Boro chief Gareth Southgate had to be abandoned'.

To read a full transcript of Ferguson v Shreeves [via The Sun], click below…

The gory details of Shreevegate:

Shreeves: 'I asked him…'

Ferguson: 'F***ing (inaudible) bastard.'

S: 'Don’t talk to me like that.'

F: 'F**k off to you.'

S: 'Don’t talk to me like that. Don’t even think about it.'

F: 'Don’t you think about it, you ****. F**k off. Right?'

S: 'Listen, are you going to do the interview in a professional manner or not? Do you want to do it or not?'

F: 'You f*****g be professional. You be professional. You’re the one.'

S: 'I’m entitled to ask… Cristiano gave the right answer.'

F: 'F***ing hell with your answers.'

S: 'Don’t talk to me like that. Go away. If you want to behave civilly, fine. Don’t talk to me like that.'

F: 'F**k off.' (door slams)


Another storm in a teacup. Ferguson's siege mentality is what makes him a great manager, while I've always thought Shreeves was a bit of a prat – although he does at least stand up to Fergie here. Does this mean Ferguson will now boycott Sky? On previous form – he already boycotts the Beeb – I wouldn't be surprised to see Carlos Queiroz doing Sky interviews from now on.

March 21, 2007 in Manchester United, News balls | Permalink | Comments (5)

Goalline technology in place by 2008

Goalline The Premier League plans to use goalline technology to settle disputes over whether balls have crossed the line from the 2008-09 season. England's top 20 clubs are expected to have their system of goalline sensors, a version of the HawkEye technology already used in tennis and cricket, in place by then at a cost per club of £50,000 a season for five years. Mike Foster, the Premier League secretary, said clubs and the FA were keen to press ahead with what would be a significant first in world football. The International Football Association Board recently approved its introduction.

Although the technology is currently being used at Fulham's Craven Cottage in private trials, Reading are likely to be the Premiership club selected to run a season-long experiment with the sensors at reserve games next season at the Madejski Stadium. [Mof Gimmers via]

March 19, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (2)

Distin unhappy with Dunne slur

Distin All is evidently not well at Manchester City. Despite getting a decent result at the weekend, trouble is still brewing. The latest in the Citeh saga is surrounding the contraversial attack by Richard Dunne on his team mates last week. Now, former skipper Sylvain Distin has revealed the depth of discontent within the Blues camp over Richard Dunne's comments.

Dunne condemned the effort of many recent signings saying that they had not done enough to justify their position at the club. Distin was one of the players he exonerated in his attack, which saw under-fire Stuart Pearce insisting that there was no division within his squad. However, Distin has felt the need to lift the lid on the anger Dunne has caused.

"The foreign players, particularly the French and Italians, have not taken it well at all," the French defender told Sky Sports' 'Premier League Show'. "They have taken it personally. I think you should discuss things face-to-face, man-to-man and try and understand one another. That is the best way to progress. It is a difficult time but we have to stick together. We have to communicate amongst ourselves and stop blaming one another for mistakes. Sticking together until the end is key."

The fans ire has largely been focused toward under-performing Bernardo Corradi and Georgios Samaras and their lack of bedevilment up top has been one of the major factors in City's slump. I'm certain that everyone at the club is aware of the problems on the pitch, and backbiting in the dressing room will not help matters at all. Whereas most City fans probably applauded Dunne's comments, a backlash was always inevitable, so perhaps it would have been better to stay quiet and berate them on the pitch instead? City need another good result and they can start thinking about rebuilding in the Premiership next season, until then, the dressing room needs some harmony. Is Stuart Pearce the man to halt the slide? [Mof Gimmers]

March 19, 2007 in Manchester City, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Football League to scrap draws?


The Football League board is to consider a proposal to scrap draws and decide matches by penalty shoot-outs according to the BBC. Obviously they've gone completely mental. The idea will be discussed by Football League chairmen and chief executives at a board meeting on Thursday. There is no indication as to when this could happen if it ever gets the green light. Gunners gaffer Arsene Wenger said: "I saw this in my first year managing in Japan - it did not have spectacular results." He added: "In extra-time they played a sudden death goal and if no-one scored they had penalties. The draw is part of the culture of the game and I would not like that to disappear."

The idea was originally put forward in the recent Football League Fans Survey. There are currently two proposals to be considered - a traditional penalty shoot-out or where a player would have eight seconds to try and score after receiving the ball on the half-way line... a bit like the penalty shoot outs in Ice Hockey. Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond told the Daily Echo newspaper said: "Why can't we just have a draw? I don't agree with it because I think it's too much of a radical change. I'm very open-minded and I think certain laws of the game need to move with the times but that would be too much of a drastic measure."

What do you think? Brilliant idea or complete guff? [Mof Gimmers]

March 14, 2007 in League One, League Two, News balls, Rumours & gossip, The Championship | Permalink | Comments (3)

Mutu branded a "gypsy"

Mutu Italian football is making me sick at the moment. Match fixing, rioting than lead to the death of a policeman, the debacle that followed when the San Siro was opened without proper security, and now, Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini refusing to apologise after making derogatory comments about Fiorentina's Romanian striker Adrian Mutu.

Zamparini was furious after Mutu fired home with a Palermo player lying injured and in need of treatment in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Stadio Renzo Barbera. "Mutu, like a good gypsy, has tried to be slick," said Zamparini after the match. "Then again, all Romanians are slick, they have it on their DNA." These remarks have upset the Romanian FA who have demanded a public apology. Italian football authorities have confirmed they will investigate Zamparini's outburst, but the Palermo supremo insists he will stand by his comments. He said: "I don't have to feel ashamed or have to apologise. "The fact that they [the Italian FA] have opened an investigation leaves me indifferent. "In fact, they will do me a great favour if they threw me out, then I would leave football." [Mof Gimmers]

March 14, 2007 in European football, News balls | Permalink | Comments (1)

Valencia and Inter to find out fate after brawl

BrawlToday Valencia and Inter Milan will find out if they are to be punished by Uefa for the huge fisticuffs that ensued after their Champions League tie. Valencia duo Carlos Marchena and David Navarro and Inter's Nicolas Burdisso, Ivan Cordoba and Maicon were also charged with gross unsporting conduct. Uefa's Control and Disciplinary Body will decide any punishments, with a decision expected at about three this afternoon.

David Navarro can expect a kicking after breaking Burdisso's nose in the fight which broke out at full-time which saw Valencia progressing to the quarter-finals of the competition on away goals after a 0-0 draw in the second leg at the Mestralla. Of course, no-one really remembers the result  which was overshadowed by events on the final whistle which saw Inter coach Roberto Mancini calling Navarro "a coward". Mancini said: "Now I have seen the footage there's nothing else you can say about someone who throws a punch like that and runs away." [Mof Gimmers]

March 14, 2007 in European football, News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)

Stan Lazaridis faces hairy wait over drugs ban

LazaFormer West Ham and Birmingham winger Stan Lazaridis has tested positive for a banned substance used to combat baldness. The 34-year-old - now playing in his native Australia with Perth Glory - is reported to have tested positive for the drug finasteride.

Although most commonly associated with hair loss treament and in no way performance-enhancing, the drug is banned because it can be used as a masking agent. Lazaridis received a therapeutic use exemption to take the drug in January this year, but the failed test was taken in November 2006. The former Socceroo now faces a nervous wait to see if he will recede receive a two-year ban. [Rob Parker]

March 14, 2007 in News balls | Permalink | Comments (0)