SPORTS AGENDA: Police dismiss Manchester City fireworks plot

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CITY FIREWORKS PLOT RUMBLED

An attempt to set off fireworks outside Manchester City’s hotel in the early hours before their Champions League semi-final with Paris Saint-Germain was thwarted last week.

As this newspaper revealed, Pep Guardiola’s men were targeted by a group of German youths who managed to detonate dozens of industrial pyrotechnic items ahead of their quarter-finals at Borussia Dortmund.

Two men tried to repeat the trick in the French capital, but were intercepted by police near the hotel in the city center, which, like the rest of the country, is currently under nighttime curfew.

Police foiled a plot to set off fireworks outside the Manchester City hotel ahead of the PSG game

DECLARE ANOTHER UK ATHLETIC POST

The Netball acquisition of UK Athletics continued last week with the appointment of non-executive director Jennifer Thomas.

Thomas, who is also on the board of England Netball, joins performance director Sara Symington (ex-England Netball) and Katie Brazier (Netball Superleague consultant), led by CEO Joanna Coates (ex-England Netball).

The latest hiring has done little to allay serious concerns within the sport that influential positions are being taken by those without relevant experience and expertise.

PREMIER LEAGUE’S WAY OF FAN FIGHT FRUSTRATES

The Premier League’s reluctance to accept defeat from away fans attending the last two games of the season has baffled some officials.

Many have already expressed concern about what they see as an impossible question from headquarters. They believe that the logistics, finances, and significant risks associated with minimal reward mean that the prospect is of little use.

However, on Friday, Premier League CEO Richard Masters wrote to each side of the club suggesting that five percent of the attendance allowance, which would be around 500, should go to the away club. He’s asked for their feedback, which, sources have stated, is unlikely to be positive.

Manchester City fans pictured at Wembley in a trial event during the Carabao Cup final

Manchester City fans pictured at Wembley in a trial event during the Carabao Cup final

BEEB MAKE THEIR CHOICE FROM OUR INTERVIEW

In an interview with Sportsmail for the World Snooker Championship, Judd Trump lamented the age of television commentators.

“Most of the stories in the commentary box are from the 1970s or 1980s,” he said. ‘It’s something I can’t really get my head around. It’s so outdated and it’s hard for the younger generation to resonate with their stories. There is not enough excitement and passion. ‘

Judd Trump told Sportsmail the World Snooker Championship needs younger experts

Judd Trump told Sportsmail the World Snooker Championship needs younger experts

Trump’s words seemingly resonated with the BBC when they invited the world’s No. 1 to comment on Friday night’s semifinal between Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham and Sunday’s final.

Trump’s close friend Jack Lisowski, 29, also made his debut last week, which was well received.

SKY MISS A TRICK ON PROTESTS

Sky Sports missed a trick during the Newcastle-Arsenal match when news emerged that protesting Manchester United fans had stormed Old Trafford and invaded the field.

In the US, NBC Sports went split-screen to provide viewers with the latest news from an evolving situation. No such immediate step was taken by Sky, who stuck to the action from the Northeast and chose to cover the protests on Sky News.

Sky chose to cover Manchester United fans' protest on Sky News rather than Sky Sports

Sky chose to cover Manchester United fans’ protest on Sky News rather than Sky Sports

Meanwhile, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is lining up for a windfall to get the club to safety in the Premier League. The Magpies seemed in serious danger of relegation a few weeks ago, but eight points from their previous four games against Tottenham, Burnley, West Ham and Liverpool lifted them out of the drop zone and appear to have secured safety despite yesterday’s 2-0 home defeat . .

Newcastle are nine points free of problems with four games to go. Bruce has a survival clause in his contract that gives him a six-figure bonus to keep Newcastle going and he will earn additional financial rewards for every place he finishes above 18th.

MAXIMUM PRAISE FOR SAINT-MAXIMIN

Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin has been praised after taking on a social media troll who backed Liverpool and asking if he could go to Liverpool in a trade deal for Sadio Mane.

‘I don’t like this,’ he replied, calling the fan ‘ungrateful’ before adding that he has ‘a long way’ before reaching Mane’s level.

Saint-Maximin is controlled by a number of clubs, including PSG.

MEDIA ATTENTION LOW IN SEQUENCE FOR PICKING SEAGULLS

You could imagine that Torquay United would like to take advantage of the positive momentum generated by their relentless pursuit of a return to the Football League.

However, the Gulls, who have collected 22 points from their last eight games to top the National League, are refusing media requests to come to Plainmoor. This is despite the Covid infection rate of 6.6 per 100,000, making the area one of the safest in the country.

LEE HUGS BACK IN BAGGIES SHIRT

Almost 17 years after his contract was terminated by the club, Lee Hughes is back in a West Bromwich Albion shirt. The former Baggies striker was fired in August 2004 when he was sentenced to six years in prison after being found guilty of causing death from dangerous driving.

Hughes, who went on to play for players such as Oldham, Notts County and Port Vale, retired last year at the age of 43, but recently played for St Andrews Netherton Baggies, who plays in the West Midlands Christian Football League. The team wears West Brom shirts and has won all nine games to date.

HALL OF FAME NOT WIDE ENOUGH FOR THE CITY?

There were significant looks at the Etihad when the Premier League announced the first inductees to their Hall of Fame last week.

Despite Manchester City’s decade of dominance, no former player made the two-man automatic selections or the 23-man shortlist for fans to vote for.

While Vincent missed Kompany as he missed the entry deadline by a few days (players had to be retired on August 1, 2020), there was no such barrier for Yaya Toure, who was instrumental in three title wins.

City has long believed that they are often overlooked for comparable prices. Matt Le Tissier’s presence on the list suggests they may have a point.

Despite dominating the Premier League, no Manchester City player made the Hall of Fame

Despite dominating the Premier League, no Manchester City player made the Hall of Fame

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