Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
RamsWeek 28 - News of the World
RamsWeek 28 - News of the World
Sunday, 10th Jul 2011 23:43 by Paul Mortimer

The Derby County squad undertook their first full week of pre-season training whilst the club continued its transfer business as national and global news scandal dominated the headlines.

The Rams are stepping up their preparation work ready for first-team friendly games against Burton Albion (July 16), Macclesfield Town (July 19), Morecambe (July 22), Crewe (July 26), Exeter City (July 30) and Aston Villa (August 3).

News stories from Moor Farm spotlighted Chris Riggott’s renewed bid for fitness at Derby County and Paul Green’s hopes for a return to action after serious injury late this year, with the Republic of Ireland international also aiming to regain his place in the national side during the coming season.

Surplus striker Luke Varney duly completed his move to Portsmouth and Derby will welcome the receipt of a £750k transfer fee for a player that made only 15 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons and contributed just 1 goal.

It seems that Varney never really fitted in at Derby, whether under the management of Paul Jewell (who paid £1m for him in 2008) or Nigel Clough. Luke spent most of his time out on loan, first at Sheffield Wednesday and the Blackpool. Cheerio, then.

Manager Nigel Clough cited his transfer priorities as more defensive cover and an experienced midfielder. He has quite a few centre-halves (as well as loaning out Miles Addison to Barnsley) though I’d question whether Dean Leacock, Russell Anderson and Jake Buxton provide the best cover available for Barker and Shackell.

Clough will lose his promising young midfielder Jeff Hendrick to international duty until the start of the season, as the Republic of Ireland U-19 player has been selected for his country in the finals of the UEFA European Championships, to be held in Romania.

The manager is looking to place junior goalkeeper Ross Atkins on loan to gain some Football League experience; meanwhile, one of Derby’s ‘wilderness wingers’, Lee Croft, is reported to be of interest to Sheffield Wednesday. Croft did not figure in Derby’s plans at all last season and along with another under-used Clough signing, David Martin, appears to be among those players that Derby want to move on.

Nothingham Forest, who lost striker Rob Earnshaw to Cardiff City this week, might lose one of their midfield stars Guy Moussi (with Derby mentioned as a club interested in signing him), who is stalling over a new contract.

The tabloid rumours surrounding Moussi do have the whiff of an agent ‘talking up’ his player’s availability and Derby would face competition from other clubs for Moussi’s signature.

The Trees’ possible loss of French-born Moussi’s talents (especially to their local rivals) would come on top of Tyson’s defection to Derby and Earnshaw’s decision to re-join Cardiff City. What a shame! There’s other talk of Trees’ defender Chris Cohen being of interest to Derby.

Derby’s away game at Coventry City on 10th September has been selected for televised coverage via News International’s all-encompassing armchair media provider SKY Sports, so the kick-off time will now be 5.20 pm - in England, that is..!

Global news - both within and beyond football - and the antics of news and media moguls that want to influence our opinion and consumption, dominated the storylines this week. We’re all aware of the biggest media story / scandal that will hog the headlines and shake Parliament and the police in its wake.

Coverage of the demise of the News of the World and tacky goings-on in some murky corners of the News International empire will rumble on - but other world news is closer to the remit of this website, and I might get into trouble if I publish my real opinions on Rupert Murdoch and Co! 

“Don't believe it all, find out for yourself…Check before you spread - News of the world”, as Modfather Paul Weller’s sidekick Bruce Foxton wrote in The Jam’s 1978 hit single. 33 years on, it’s still pretty much on the nail regarding the red-top media. One less tawdry tabloid, then….

The tabloids had another slice of toxic fodder to revel in, with stories about the Qatar World Cup 2022 bribery allegations now being described as ‘fabrications’ by the very ‘whistle-blower’ of that scandal, Phaedra Al Majid.

That story was this week described as a ‘revenge’ attack by Al Majid on her former employers, after she lost her job as a media officer in Qatar’s campaign. Football added some softer spice into the media mix too, because the Beckhams have had another baby. She was born in Los Angeles on Sunday - a little sister for the Beckham boys Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz.

The England Women’s team fell in familiar fashion in their World Cup, currently playing out in Germany. They echoed the past glorious failures of the male team, as the ladies were knocked out in a penalty shoot-out at the quarter-final stage by France, the game ending at 1-1 after extra time.

Our girls were so close to glory, having taken a second-half lead though Jill Scott; the French snatched a late equaliser and they then triumphed 4-3 in the shoot-out. England has a good women’s team as the game here gets stronger, one day, we will surely become champions! Go girls!

Manchester City moved themselves closer to world domination through a huge new sponsorship deal with Etihad Airlines, reported to be worth £400m over 10 years.  Sheik Mansour has already invested over £1bn in the light-blue half of Manchester; the new sponsorship means that the Eastlands Stadium will now be renamed after the airline.

The Abu Dhabi consortium that now owns City must work to control their massive annual losses brought about by their world domination fixation and massive team spending. Their financial losses were £213m over the past two years and they risk falling foul of impending new accounting regulations governing European competition qualification.

Until 2013, however, I guess that we will continue to read tabloid reports linking City with another £30m-rated player every other day.

Relegated Birmingham City hopes that their latest news stays on the other side of the world: in China and Hong Kong. Over there, major BCFC shareholder Carson Yeung faces court procedures relating to a reported £59m money-laundering scandal. The charges do not relate to the administration or conduct of Birmingham City FC.

It was reported this week that the Chinese government could freeze Yeung’s assets - and that includes Birmingham International Holdings, one of Yeung’s companies that owns Birmingham City FC. City has been very low-key on team rebuilding; there’s a £30m debt ‘black hole’ at St Andrews and the expected investment has not materialised.

The English football authorities, who apparently apply ‘fit and proper’ tests to football club owners, could well have an unprecedented problem on their hands as the new season approaches if the Blue Noses are paralysed by legal developments. Looks like ex-manager Alex McLeish smelt the coffee in time, as he can observe the fun from the other side of Brum at his new desk in Villa Park.

Back in Derby, there is still plenty of time for the transfer wheel of fortune - and the media rumour mill - to turn a good few times yet, over the course of the next two months. More recruits are anticipated, more departures are expected... and it’s less than a month to the big kick-off!


In RamsWeek 28 last year, Derby fans were a little restive due to the club’s weak transfer activity and began wondering if the club owners’ stated aims of restoring Derby’s on-field fortunes were ‘just an illusion’.

Hopes for a ‘signature’ signing of a star striker receded, as Doncaster Rovers spent £1m on Billy Sharp and Scunthorpe’s Gary Hooper was in talks with Glasgow Celtic. Well-regarded Stoke midfielder Michael Tonge hadn’t heard from Derby either, despite an excellent spell on loan at the end of the previous season.

Speculation perpetually linked striker Rob Hulse with a move, so fans were worried that Derby’s ranks might soon be depleted and the team could run out of steam up front. They were right!

Spain deservedly celebrated their World Cup final win over the dour and cynical Dutch side, whilst England’s ‘tired’ players had presumably long gone to their worldwide holiday destinations having been eliminated much earlier in the competition in humiliating style by Germany.

Neither England nor Derby County seemed to have very much to show for their summer!

Photo: Action Images

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

You need to login in order to post your comments

Derby County Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© FansNetwork 2024