AHEAD OF THE GAME: Community Shield could be scrapped

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Champions League glory for Manchester City could lead to Community Shield axe for the first time in over 70 years… as Burnley face exodus of senior players if Sean Dyche leaves after bust-up

  • The FA may scrap the Community Shield for the first time since 1947 this year
  • This has stemmed from Manchester City’s involvement in the Champions League
  • They want to stage the tournament as normal in August but yet to decide a date
  • The Champions League will consist of an eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon 

Manchester City’s involvement in the Champions League could lead to this year’s Community Shield being scrapped for the first time since 1947.

The FA want to stage the traditional curtain-raiser to the top-flight season as normal in August, but with next season’s calendar yet to be agreed they have been unable to confirm a date, with City’s European exploits emerging as a complicating factor.

Champions Liverpool could contest the Community Shield any time in August as they were eliminated from the Champions League in March, but the availability of their most likely opponents is uncertain.  

Man City’s involvement in the Champions League could see the Community Shield scrapped

City hold a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid with the home leg to come in their last-16 tie and if they make it through to the quarter-finals it is unlikely they could take part in the Community Shield, as UEFA have decided to conclude this season’s Champions League with an eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon from August 15-23. 

City face Newcastle in the FA Cup quarter-finals tomorrow, and if Pep Guardiola’s side combine domestic with European cup success the FA would have to decide whether to cancel the Community Shield or invite another team to play Liverpool.

BURNLEY COULD LOSE SENIOR PLAYERS IF SEAN DYCHE LEAVES 

Burnley could face an exodus of senior players if Sean Dyche leaves following his bust-up with chairman Mike Garlick, as reported by Sportsmail this week. 

Goalkeeper Nick Pope and centre back James Tarkowski will attract offers this summer, while captain Ben Mee, Jay Rodriguez, Ashley Westwood, Robbie Brady, Erik Pieters, Matej Vydra and Matthew Lowton are all out of contract next year and reluctant to commit to new deals given the uncertainty surrounding Dyche.

The Burnley boss has been told to reduce the average age of the playing staff, but is unhappy at the budget he has been given to do so, arguing that young players yet to reach the peak of their careers are more expensive than the veterans the club want to replace.

Burnley may lose senior players if Sean Dyche leaves after his bust-up with Mike Garlick

Burnley may lose senior players if Sean Dyche leaves after his bust-up with Mike Garlick

JOSE MOURINHO LOOKS AT HARRY KANE’S STATS  

Jose Mourinho’s PR adviser Stefano Marchesi has been an unexpected presence on the Tottenham manager’s Zoom press conferences in the last week despite the club boasting a more than capable communications department.

The former Verona and Udinese communications director, who has worked with Mourinho for the past year, is understood to have provided the manager with the goal stats of the strikers he has worked with throughout his career which underpinned his strong defence of Harry Kane before Tottenham’s win over West Ham this week.

Journalists on the call were nonplussed by Mourinho’s statistical tirade, as no one had asked him about Paul Merson’s suggestion that the England captain should leave Tottenham, and no one was planning to.

Jose Mourinho’s PR adviser Stefano Marchesi informed him of Harry Kane's striking record

Jose Mourinho’s PR adviser Stefano Marchesi informed him of Harry Kane’s striking record

BEIN SPORT LOOK TO EXTEND THEIR CONTRACT TO BROADCAST SERIE A 

BeIn Sport are seeking to extend their contract to broadcast Serie A despite coming off air last weekend in protest against the Italian top flight’s links to Saudi Arabia. T

he Italian Super Cup final has been staged in Saudi Arabia for the last three years in a deal worth £6.5million, despite the country’s links to pirate broadcaster BeoutQ, which were confirmed by a report published by the World Trade Organisation last week. 

BeIn Sport are seeking to extend their contract to broadcast Serie A despite coming off air

BeIn Sport are seeking to extend their contract to broadcast Serie A despite coming off air

BeIn took the surprise decision not to broadcast last weekend’s match between Torino and Parma despite holding rights in 35 countries, but their main motivation appears to be a breakdown in negotiating a contract with Serie A beyond next season rather than piracy. 

BeIN have complained about the piracy of their Premier League rights in the Middle East and Africa region by BeoutQ, but have no plans to take English games off air as they are a major driver of subscriptions.

BRENDAN RODGERS LOSES HIS LIVERPOOL RECORD 

Brendan Rodgers may have lost his unofficial title of being the closest man to lead Liverpool to the Premier League, but he remains the holder of another piece of silverware. 

The Leicester manager was the last winner of the Chelsea players and staff pool tournament dating to his time as their reserve team manager over a decade ago, and his name is engraved on a trophy gathering dust in the players’ canteen at their Cobham training ground.

Brendan Rodgers lost his title of being the closest man to lead Liverpool to the Premier League

Brendan Rodgers lost his title of being the closest man to lead Liverpool to the Premier League