Monday, June 4, 2012
ESPNsoccernet: June 11, 2:05 PM UK
Takeover at Forest, Powell to United?
Welcome to The Trawler, your weekly submersion through the teeming waters of life in the Championship, League One and League Two. You might be surprised what you find down there.
Takeover at Forest?
Kuwaiti billionaire Fawaz Al-Hasawi is rumoured to be on the verge of a takeover at Nottingham Forest. According to the Sun, Al-Hasawi has flown in to England hoping to close the deal. He told Kuwaiti national television he was about to purchase a Championship club in England, and speculation is rife that Forest are that club.
Al-Hawasi's tweets, responding to the speculation, have been translated by the Sun.: "It's an English club," he wrote. "We have signed an agreement and hopefully within two weeks things will become very clear. This club is better than any of what you have mentioned like Watford or Brighton. The club has rich history."
How do you like them apples Watford and Brighton?
Al-Hawasi previously attempted to buy a stake in Queens Park Rangers, but the deal reportedly stalled when QPR baulked at the level of control he wanted. Forest have been looking for fresh investment since owner Nigel Doughty, who died in February, put the club up for sale at the end of last year.
Powell to United?
Crewe teenager Nick Powell has been ubiquitous in the transfer gossip pages after his eye-catching goal in the League Two play-off final helped his team to promotion. The Crewe Cronicle says a £4 million fee has been agreed with Manchester United, which would represent the biggest deal in the club's history.
But the Daily Mail claims Arsenal, and perhaps even Chelsea, are also interested in the 18-year-old attacking midfielder, insisting that Arsene Wenger is a big fan, though a price tag of closer to £10 million is more likely to tempt Crewe.
Rodriguez set for Saints
Burnley striker Jay Rodriguez is set to join newly promoted Premier League side Southampton, after the club accepted a £7 million bid for the 22-year-old. Rodriguez scored 21 goals in the Championship last season.
Keeping it real
Representatives from all 72 Football League clubs came together at their annual general meeting in Portugal last week, to discuss various issues within the game.
The highest profile was a proposal to bring artificial pitches back into circulation, which was met with strong opposition by Championship and League One clubs. Championship clubs all voted against the idea, while just two of the 24 League One clubs were in approval. The Premier League and the PFA are also said to oppose the idea.
League Two clubs voted 13-11 in favour but even if they were granted permission to install an artificial surface, promoted teams could find themselves having to rip it up again the following season.
In other news from Portugal, Football League clubs will be able to name seven substitutes again next season, after a proposal from Derby and Birmingham was approved by chairmen. The number was cut to five for the 2010-11 campaign, in an attempt to streamline costs.
There was also a move to promote sportsmanship and take a stronger stand against gamesmanship. This includes referees being instructed to clamp down on players obstructing quick free-kicks, and trying to steal yards when taking a throw-in.
Malky staying put?
It looks as though Norwich City's rumoured interest in Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has run its course, after Norwich's chief executive said he was after a manager with proven top-flight experience.
"The successful candidate does not necessarily need to have Premier League experience," David McNally said. "If there is somebody who has managed successfully in Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga then we would certainly consider their application. After all, they are some of the toughest leagues in the world."
Mackay led Cardiff to the Championship play-offs last season, where they were beaten over two legs by West Ham in the semi-finals. His only previous managerial experience was two years with Watford in the same division.
Pompey's fresh start
Portsmouth were handed a 10-point penalty after going into administration during the 2011-12 season, but the club have reportedly been told no further points deduction will be made to affect their 2012-13 campaign.
Pompey's miserable season, both on and off the field, culminated in relegation from the Championship, but with two separate bids for the club apparently in the offing and the knowledge they won't start with negative points' total, there may be a chink of light on the horizon.
Di Canio corner
To huge Trawler relief, Paolo Di Canio is staying in England. The Swindon manager has a signed a new deal that runs until 2015 and is pretty excited about it too. "I am very happy," he said. "It's obvious I am happy and now I can start work again."
The news followed Swindon's announcement that Di Canio has their full backing in the case of his alleged racist comment made to French striker Jonathan Tehoue last season. According to the BBC, Tehoue's solicitor received a letter from Swindon's lawyer, which included the line: "The club accepts that the use of this phrase was inappropriate and apologises to your client for any upset that this has caused him."
Di Canio's response to continued speculation was: "It's only a story because someone wrote it down in a newspaper". The FA is still investigating the matter.