Manchester United is reviewing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s travel arrangements after being the target of an extraordinary incident involving what has been described as an ‘overzealous signature hunter’.
The Norwegian, who makes time for the club’s supporters whenever possible, was leaving the Lowry Hotel in the city center, where United resides for home games, when he was approached on the stairs.
After getting to his own car, Solskjaer was followed in another car by a frustrated gambler, who got out at the first set of traffic lights and hit the manager’s window.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was the victim of a bizarre incident involving an excited Manchester fan
The Manchester United boss left the Lowry Hotel in the city when the fan chased him
United believes the incident was a ‘one-off’ but is investigating Solskjaer’s schemes.
Clubs in the northwest were already on the alert after that Sportsmail revealed Everton backup keeper Robin Olsen and his family faced masked robbers at the family home in Cheshire last month.
While many autograph hunters are innocent fans, some try to make a living by getting items signed and then selling them online.
In recent times, a number of Premier League clubs have had problems at the gates of their own training grounds.
Northwest clubs are wary after masked robbers confront Everton’s Robin Olsen
UNDER-21s DISASTER DEEPER
The disaster that was England’s under-21 European Championship campaign included a final cock-up.
Plans were drawn up during the international break for players returning from abroad to be tested at Covid-19 when they reached UK airports.
However, a number of Aidy Boothroyd’s underachievers failed to meet their commitments after leaving the group stage in Slovenia.
England’s messy campaign under 21 euros even struggled to run the correct Covid-19 tests
The no shows caused a headache for their clubs, who are trying to protect their own safe bubbles.
On top of that, Sports agenda has heard of at least one player who wanted to return to his club during the doomed campaign because he was tired of being played out of position by boss Boothroyd.
BAGGIES STUN COMMENTATION LEGEND CLIVE TYLDESLEY
Few predicted West Bromwich’s stunning 5-2 win at Chelsea – and certainly not talkSPORT’s Clive Tyldesley.
“There is only one way for West Brom to win this,” the 66-year-old commentator told listeners prior to kickoff, “and that’s 1-0.”
NOT FIT FOR THE PURPOSE?
Greg Clarke’s successor as FIFA vice president will be voted later this month and the favorite is a man who was once removed from his position with the Irish FA when the organization was deemed ‘not fit for purpose’.
David Martin, the current IFA president, was treasurer when he was dismissed in 2010 by then-sports minister Nelson McCausland of Northern Ireland.
He delivered a highly critical report promising that none of the £ 26 million set aside for the redevelopment of Windsor Park in Belfast would be handed over while Martin and then President Raymond Kennedy were in charge.
David Martin, who leads the way as FIFA’s vice president, has not been without controversy
The pair were also knocked down in a report on the departure of chief executive Howard Wells, whose unfair dismissal case cost the IFA about £ 500,000.
Martin tried to return, but failed three competence tests prepared by independent committees.
However, that requirement was dropped in 2013 and – despite protests from Northern Ireland fans at a World Cup qualifier – Martin became vice president.
An unlikely comeback will now lead to a plum roll of £ 190,000 a year, with Martin aiming to win the vote on April 20 for the vice president against Michael Mulraney of the Scottish FA and Kieran O’Connor of Wales.
Martin has failed three IFA competency tests, but appears to be working under Gianni Infantino
DINESH KARTHIK GETS THE CALL
Dinesh Karthik will be part of the Sky Sports team cricket commentary this summer after proving a hit with viewers during England’s white-ball series in India.
The batsman’s expert analysis, insight and style were a welcome addition and impressed bosses at the broadcaster who were eager to bring him back.
DAYS AWAY FROM HOME?
With clubs in Leagues One and Two desperate for new streams of income, the prospect of ‘beam back’ away games continues to be debated.
Many want to show matches in their own stadiums and believe that between 200 and 300 fans paying £ 20 each would provide a vital income.
Football League clubs are desperate for post-pandemic funding – and want new options
However, such a move requires the consent of the home team, and fears have been raised that it could reduce the number of fans traveling.
Any compensation payments may come into play.
SIR GEOFFREY RARE TO GO
Sir Geoffrey Boycott used his time during the lockdown to record his memories of the test matches he played in and the stories surrounding them.
The manuscript isn’t complete yet, but the former England and Yorkshire opener hopes to find a publisher when life returns to normal.
Sir Geoffrey Boycott would like to comment again after receiving his two jabs
Boycott, 80, told Sports agenda he has now had his two vaccinations and is looking to return to the comment box after leaving Test Match Special
“As long as I still have my marbles, I’m sure I would be just as brilliant!” he said.
ICEY HARLEQUINS DROP MIKE BROWN
Mike Brown’s brutal ax by Harlequins has stunned many in the rugby world.
The 35-year-old leaves for Newcastle at the end of the season after 17 years with the club.
He was told the bad news in a cold four-minute meeting.
Harlequins have unceremoniously dropped Mike Brown after 17 years of service for the club
Such is Brown’s reputation with Quins and among supporters that the club rebranded their players’ lounge in 2019 as the Mike Brown Bar, which currently serves as the away team’s dressing room.
Quins’ opponents on the last day of the season? Newcastle, Brown’s future employers.
DEMOLITION FOR DEENEY
Troy Deeney has lost a call to preserve a 120-foot bamboo fence that he built in his Warwickshire home without planning permission.
The 32-year-old Watford captain was told he had to demolish the unauthorized addition to his luxury new build by the City Council.
Troy Deeney has some landscaping to do after being ordered to tear down a fence he built
He appealed to a planning inspector and argued as a “high-profile person” that the fence was necessary for the safety of himself and his young family.
His planning agent said the fence replaced a worn hedge that delivery drivers would cut through instead of using the driveway.
However, the appeal was dismissed on the grounds that the fence was out of place and that “no substantial evidence” had been submitted to demonstrate “significant security risks.”