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Aviva in the frame to become new title sponsor for the English team … while the BBC is amazed at talkSPORT

The FA finally seems to be making progress in the search for a new main sponsor for the England team, with an Aviva among those interested.

It has been almost two years since Vauxhall announced they would end their seven-year headline sponsorship deal with England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after the 2018 FIFA World Cup, worth £ 6 million a year to the FA.

Sports Calendar understands, however, that the FA commercial team led by Mark Bullingham has a number of interested parties, including insurance giants Aviva, who have enjoyed major sponsorship deals with rugby and athletics.

The FA has a number of interested parties who want to become a new sponsor of the English team

The FA have a number of interested parties who wish to be new sponsors of the England team

The FA is also looking for a new CEO, and senior figures are optimistic that they will beat the Premier League to find a new CEO, even though the two organizations employ the same headhunters.

The Premier League track has always been considered more attractive than succeeding Martin Glenn at the FA, not least because of the challenge of working with the blazers on the FA council.

How times have changed. Although the Premier League has now been rejected by their first two choices, the FA would have a decent list of applicants.

Craig Bellamy awaits academy decision

When Craig Bellamy meets with Cardiff City officials on Monday to discover the outcome of an investigation into allegations that he has bullied the club’s 18 players, it is hoped that he will not respond in the same way as he was told he does not Chris Coleman as Manager of Wales.

Craig Bellamy finds out the results of an investigation into bullying on Monday

Craig Bellamy finds out the results of an investigation into bullying on Monday

Craig Bellamy finds out the results of an investigation into bullying on Monday

Bellamy interviewed brilliantly for the job, impressed with his diligent preparation and explanation of how he tempered the fiery attitude he had as a player to a thoughtful coach.

But Sports Agenda understands that the 39-year-old, who stepped down as Cardiff’s under-18 coach six weeks ago, but insists he has always been honest, couldn’t hide his anger when told the FAW had decided to take Ryan Giggs on the role to give.

BBC is stunned by talkSPORT

It seems that some at the BBC have not really enjoyed talking to SPORT with the second fiddle on an English cricket tour of the West Indies.

The commercial station, which won the rights to broadcast tours of England through Sri Lanka and the West Indies – and travel to South Africa (2020) and India (2021) – from BBC’s Test Match Special, is rather quickly cited as’ gossip radio ‘.

And some Beeb employees continue to expect the privileges – in terms of player access and one-to-one interviews – that they enjoy as home game title holders in England.

News UK, the owners of talkSPORT, have also been watching Cricket Social, the unusual commenting service broadcast on the BBC’s website from Salford, to make sure it doesn’t get into action accidentally.

The irony that Test Match Special, tough Jonathan Agnew has to contribute to the Cricket Social has not been lost to those who remember his obsession with Test Match Sofa, the original interactive commentary service started by Daniel Norcross – now Agnew’s BBC -colleague.

The cricket correspondent, who earns up to £ 189,999 a year according to the BBC’s salary report, was apoplectic when The Cricketer acquired Test Match Sofa in 2012 and resigned in protest of the magazine’s board.

The day John Barnes pulled a bullet!

The decision to hold the Randox Health Grand National weight lunch in Liverpool for the first time last week was a huge success – and the event will remain there in 2019.

This year’s lunch was Scouse themed, featuring a Beatles-infused soundtrack in the Cunard Building on the banks of the Mersey and guests including gymnast Beth Tweddle and a welcome video by Sir Kenny Dalglish.

John Barnes was injured during the Grand National during racing and then Liverpool teammate Alan Hansen

John Barnes was injured during the Grand National during racing and then Liverpool teammate Alan Hansen

John Barnes was injured during the Grand National during racing and then Liverpool teammate Alan Hansen

Ex-Liverpool star John Barnes also shared how he pulled a hamstring against Alan Hansen from Becher’s Brook on his one and only trip to the Grand National – “at a time when players could drink”. “I was two weeks old and no one knew how I was injured,” he said.

Caterers for the event had to get up as fast as Barnes in his splendor when a table, including a Grand National-winning trainer not known for watching his figure, asked for a cheese board instead of dessert on it menu. A dash to the local Tesco saved the day.

Serious plans to revamp the Fed Cup revamp

Tennis authorities have criticized the development of new men’s team events, while seemingly doing nothing for the women’s game.

But after all, there are signs of the action with a serious Fed Cup facelift in the works. The plan under discussion is to host a playoff round next year in which 16 countries will compete to find eight qualifying matches for one city final week, possibly around October in Asia.

The victorious eight nations would be joined by last year’s champions and runners-up, plus two wildcards, leaving 12 nations to compete for the title.

The proposal is widely supported and would simplify the inscrutable current system of two world groups.

Burger King and balls for the Borisov boys

Passengers in the economy on Friday morning during the Belavia flight from Minsk to London Gatwick were surprised to sit next to players and staff of BATE Borisov, who had humiliated Arsenal 1-0 the night before in the Europa League.

BATE Borisov players enjoy breakfast burgers before boarding the flight to London

BATE Borisov players feast on Burgers before boarding the flight to London

BATE Borisov players enjoy breakfast burgers before boarding the flight to London

After grilling Burger King meals for breakfast, the Belarusian side filled the plane with balls, bibs, cones and water bottles and then checked goal posts, equipment bags and even large manikins in the hold before Thursday’s return trip.

There was so much equipment that a passenger in the leg was hit by a stray goalpost making his way around the carousel.

Blackout canceled for FA Cup tie

Despite the football blackout on TV from 2:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. on a Saturday, BT Sport agreed with the FA that they could show Brighton’s FA Cup clash with Derby until it ended.

If the kickoff from 12:30 p.m. had gone to extra time and penalties, it wouldn’t have ended until 3:00 p.m.

Although Brighton won 2-1 in 90 minutes, the rule was not broken.

Agent Matt Southall out of work

Aston Villa fans might breathe a sigh of relief after learning the trials of former football agent Matt Southall.

The Manchester-based businessman was credited as part of a consortium attempting to purchase Villa last June, and was also linked to a Bolton acquisition in 2017.

He has now been sentenced to pay over £ 10,000 in unpaid legal fees to IPS Law, but has claimed he cannot because he is not working and has no income.

Staff members: Matt Lawton, Laurie Whitwell, Craig Hope, Kieran Gill, Marcus Townend, Mike Dickson, Sami Mokbel