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Pompey farce

Ex-Marseille manager, Frenchman Alain Perrin, was unveiled as the new Portsmouth saviour last week amidst a great deal of confusion. At a hastily arranged press conference, the 48-year-old struggled through questions. He did not know that star striker Yakubu is thinking of leaving, a fact chairman Milan Mandaric had to explain in hushed tones in front of live TV cameras.

Early Finish

The 2005/’06 football season will start on 7 August this year and will complete its national championship on 14 May 2006. This is considerably earlier than normal complying with FIFA stipulations vis-à-vis the World Cup in Germany, allowing for a minimum of four weeks rest and preparation before the big event kicks off.

Wrong Colours

Brazilian Bundesliga star, Marcelinho, intent on celebrating five years with Hertha BSC, instructed his hairdresser to dye his hair the colours of the German national flag. Wires got crossed and he took to the pitch against Dortmund sporting Belgium’s horizontal stripes. Hertha lost 1-0!

Homeward Bound

Rising Aston Villa star, Thomas Hitzlsberger, famous for his ferocious shots on goal, is joining Stuttgart in his native Germany at the end of the season on a free Bosman transfer. The 23-year-old is fed up with not commanding a regular place, a fact that endangers his 2006 World Cup selection.

Final Exit

Russia coach Georgy Yartsev, who almost resigned following his team’s early Euro 2004 exit, has finally gone. Instrumental in his removal was new Football Federation President Vitaly Mutko whose position was strengthened by Russia’s latest embarrassing 1-1 draw with Estonia in a World Cup qualifier.


David Beckham, voted the country’s best-dressed man for the past three years, has finished bottom, just below Jose Mourinho, in this year’s GQ magazine poll. Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has replaced the England captain as the nation’s fashion icon.