Sources have disclosed that, at one stage, the Professional Footballers’ Association were set to play a key role in the fund set up by players last week to donate money to the NHS.
Much of the emphasis at the planning stage on the WhatsApp group, which featured club captains, had been on ensuring anonymity.
There was a desire for it not to be used for public chest-beating from those donating the most.
Interesting, then, that after news of chief executive Gordon Taylor’s £500,000 donation somehow leaked into the pages of a newspaper, it was decided the PFA would not be playing such an integral part.
Gordon Taylor’s donation was leaked despite #PlayersTogether initiative wanting anonymity
ISOLATING KING KENNY FINDS A FRIEND IN VERA
Thankfully, Sir Kenny Dalglish has now been discharged from hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 while being treated for a separate condition.
Friends have disclosed that in a bid to while away the hours, Dalglish became addicted to the television series Vera, which centres on the adventures of Brenda Blethyn’s veteran detective chief inspector Vera Stanhope.
King Kenny received plenty of calls while in hospital from the likes of Alan Shearer and Terry McDermott, but it quickly became apparent that he was not a fan of being disturbed when DCI Stanhope was solving crime.
Sir Kenny Dalglish became addicted to television series Vera while receiving treatment
NO REFUNDS FOR MCC MEMBERS
The MCC will not be giving subscription refunds to the club’s 18,000 members if there is no cricket this season.
The MCC say nothing has been confirmed yet, but two members seeking recompense have been advised by the membership office that they can resign if they want to do so.
The club have the luxury of a 29-year waiting list for members, who pay up to £485 annually.
The move has provoked a mixed reaction, with some taking legal advice before considering their next steps.
One QC told Sports Agenda that members are entitled to be refunded under the ‘Doctrine of Frustration’ as the club are not fulfilling their contract to put on cricket.
Tickets for internationals will be refunded as these are covered by the International Cricket Council.
NICHOLAS STARTS PODCAST TO FILL CRICKET VOID
Cricket commentator Mark Nicholas is finding a way to fill the time during the coronavirus crisis with no matches to work on.
The former Hampshire man landed Piers Morgan for the first episode of his podcast, released on Sunday.
Cricket commentator Mark Nicholas landed Piers Morgan for the first episode of his podcast
OLD TRAFFORD MOVE CLOSER TO SAFE STANDING
Safe standing at Old Trafford has moved a step closer. Manchester United officials filed all the necessary paperwork for the installation of rail seating to Trafford Council and had hoped for a reply before now, but the coronavirus crisis has impacted on response times.
They are confident that the measure will be in place for the new season, whenever that may be.
Meanwhile, the Manchester derby pulled in all-time record viewing figures in China, with an audience of more than 26million.
United have become the first international sports team to pass 10m followers on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
EFL CLUBS BREATHE A SKY OF RELIEF
League One and League Two clubs are mightily relieved that the EFL board opted to sign the £595million TV contract with Sky Sports last year in the face of opposition from many in the Championship, who argued that a better deal could be struck with a rival broadcaster.
Sky are not planning to demand a rebate on this year’s £119m payment despite the season being suspended, whereas other TV networks have already stopped paying rights fees.
Indeed, it was noticeable that DAZN, championed by some owners as an alternative to Sky, were the first broadcaster not to pay up after games were postponed in the United States.
The streaming service, billed as the Netflix of sport with aspirations to secure Premier League rights, have also cancelled a UK launch scheduled for next month.
Streaming service DAZN have cancelled a launch in the UK scheduled for May this year
WRY SMILES AT CITY AMID PLANS TO RELAX FFP RULE
Senior figures at Manchester City are looking on with interest as UEFA examine whether to relax Financial Fair Play rules in a bid to allow wealthy owners to bail their clubs out of financial turmoil amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Premier League champions are in the midst of an appeal over a two-year Champions League ban for breaching the rules, which may now be changed.
Should that be the case, it will not impact on City’s attempt to get the punishment thrown out at the Court of Arbitration for Sport but it will prompt knowing smiles and perhaps a further sense of injustice.
IOC FACE PRESSURE TO HELP AFTER OLYMPICS POSTPONEMENT
Pressure is growing on the International Olympic Committee to announce some form of financial assistance for international federations facing cash flow problems after the postponement of the Games.
The Olympics — put back to next year — usually bring in more than £500million, which is split, and it is hoped the IOC will consider interest-free loans.
Meanwhile, sources have told Sports Agenda that Swiss government officials have held meetings over fears that sporting federations based in the country may be forced to leave due to high cost of living and the upheaval of coronavirus.
Qatar and Dubai are potential new bases, as well as other European countries.
Contributor: Matt Hughes
The IOC are under pressure to aid federations after the Tokyo Olympics’ postponement