Today’s RoundUp salutes crusading Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings, who died this week. When you’re told by Hilary Clinton’s aide to “have a good day, and by a good day I mean fuck off,” you must be doing something right.
1. News that barely counts as news but only comes around once a year you have to make it news
Crash! Bang! Yawn! Nope, that’s not the sound of bloated frown-porno Man of Steel, but the sound of the 2013/14 Premier League fixtures list skidding its way into the inboxes of bored, groaning journalists. But diving into what must be a mine-numbing chore (a bit like watching Man of Steel) and nobly refraining from using any of the words “fire”, “of” or “baptism”, Henry Winter of the Telegraph notes that Manchester United have the tricky task of facing Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all before September 21st.
“Lively start to the season! Let us at them!” croaked Rio Ferdinand on Twitter, adding “sonny” before gingerly rising from a treatment table and shuffling home. Despite Rio’s confidence, David Moyes may want to step up his pursuit of Barcelona’s Thiago Alcantara if he wants to avoid skidding off his chair due to premature squeaky-bum time.
2. Actual news: Carroll signs for West Ham
Andy Carroll could well find himself chesting it down, laying it off and trotting into the box for the next six years, as he signed a permanent deal with West Ham for £15.5m. For all the jokes about Carroll (I like this one in particular) he can be unplayable when in the mood and West Ham may have made an excellent signing. On the other hand, as the Independent says, they have invested an enormous amount of money in a somewhat unproven and knack-prone striker.
3. “Get oota ma swamp! Hearts will be fane!”
Hearts fans saddened by the news that their club is preparing to enter administration will have been delighted to hear Scotland’s first minister and Shrek tribute-act Alex Salmond say he fully expects them to survive.
Hearts are facing a winding-up order because of a partially paid £100,000 tax bill, and they are already working under a transfer embargo because of their failure to pay players. They will be hit with a 15-point penalty for next season’s Scottish league campaign when a court approves their move into administration.
Hearts’ plight has been somewhat buried in the news agenda, but nevertheless is a complicated situation involving Lithuanian financial institutions. Essentially KPMG, who have previously administered Leeds United and the now defunct Airdrieonians, are in a battle to be named as administrator against BDO, who have overseen Clydebank, Clyde, Motherwell, Dundee and Portsmouth and are currently attempting to save Dunfermline from liquidation.
Considering the track record there, BDO are unsurpisingly the favourites. It also throws up an alarming reminder that Scottish football, financially at least, is in pretty poor shape.
Karim Benzema and Franc Ribery appeared in court in Paris today, charged with paying for sex from an underage prostitute.
Alan Pardew has insisted he will not be doing one from St James’s Park anytime soon despite Comedy Joe Kinnear’s appointment and the resignation of Pardew’s apparent ally Derek Lliambas.
No such internal strife at White Hart Lane as Franco Baldini has been appointed Director of Football at Tottenham Hotspur, with the blessing of Andre Villas-Boas.