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Wolves handed Premier League points deduction boost 

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Wolves are on course to avoid any breaches of the Premier League’s spending rules despite tabling a loss of £67.2m last year.

In their now-published accounts dated between June 1, 2022, and May 31, 2023, the figure prompts some fears, especially when considering losses in the previous campaign totalled £46.1m. To stay within the boundaries of the top-flight’s profit and sustainability laws clubs are permitted to lose up to £105m over a rolling three-season period, or £35m per year.

If guilty then sanctions or points deductions are the consequence, as Everton have found out already this season. They were handed a 10-point deduction – now reduced to six – for breaches during the 2021/22 campaign, and face another hearing this month that covers 2023. Nottingham Forest are in the same boat as the Merseyside club and are set to learn whether they will face a points deduction before the end of the season.

However, Wolves would avoid the fate of their rivals due to the work that has gone on behind the scenes to balance the books.

The losses submitted to the Premier League are, first of all, smaller than stated in the new accounts as the rules allow for certain items to be discounted.

Special care was still needed though as a net £160.7m was spent on new players, the playing staff payroll rose to £141.5m, from £120m, and non-player payroll costs increased by £14.5m due to the compensation package paid to sacked manager Bruno Lage and the higher wage commanded by Julen Lopetegui.

But overall the club show that they achieved a net profit of £82.98m from player trading. Morgan Gibbs-White, Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Vinagre were all sold for eight-figure sums, while exiled full-back Jonny Otto was crucially paid off from his contract.

Meanwhile, turnover increased to £168.57m from £165.66m in the previous period, and added to that Chinese owners Fosun invested £64m during the 2022/23 campaign. They have since put in a further £18m, all in the form of loans with the intention of turning them into equity.

The caution around player trading last summer may have caused Lopetegui to walk out on his job only six days before the current season’s start, however, his replacement Gary O’Neil has since guided his team to ninth in the Premier League and into the FA Cup quarter finals.

This will therefore likely lead to an increase in competition prize money gained through improved placements, plus a greater sum of money received for more television coverage in 2023/24. In turn, turnover should increase again in their next accounts.

It is also understood another financial boost for the club was the last of the clauses set when former attacker Diogo Jota moved to Liverpool in 2021 were met, taking the overall fee to £50m.

 

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Iheanacho, Ndidi face promotion setback after Leicester defeat

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Iheanacho, Ndidi face promotion setback after Leicester defeat

With a 1-0 loss to Plymouth on Friday, Nigerian stars Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfried Ndidi’s Leicester team’s attempt to return automatically to the Premier League took another hit.

Mustapha Bundu’s fine finish earned Argyle their first home win since January to move five points clear of the relegation zone at the other end of the table.

Leicester seemed destined to bounce straight back from their shock relegation last season after winning 13 of their first 14 league games this season.

But the Foxes are unravelling at the business end of the campaign.

Enzo Maresca’s men also lost 1-0 to relegation-threatened Millwall in midweek and have won just two of their last six games.

Leicester remain on top of the table but are ahead of Ipswich only on goal difference and one point ahead of third-placed Leeds.

The 2016 Premier League winners could find themselves out of the automatic promotion places by Saturday should Leeds and Ipswich avoid defeat at home to Blackburn and Middlesbrough respectively.

By contrast, Plymouth are now unbeaten in three games under interim boss Neil Dewsnip to pull clear of the bottom three.

Victory hauls the Pilgrims up to 16th.

 

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Harry Kane’s 3 children involved in Munich car accident

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Three of Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane’s children were “lightly injured” in a car accident outside Munich, a fire brigade spokesman said

Three of Bayern Munich striker Harry Kane’s children were “lightly injured” in a car accident outside Munich, a fire brigade spokesman said on Friday, confirming German media reports.

The accident took place on Monday when the England captain was in London ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Arsenal.

The spokesman for Hohenschaeftlarn fire brigade would not provide the identities of those injured in the crash but confirmed a Bild daily report was accurate.

“No one was seriously injured,” the spokesman told AFP, explaining “the accident looked much worse than what it actually was.”

Bild had published images of an accident between three cars, including a van carrying three of Kane’s four children and the striker’s bodyguard.

Eight people were taken to hospital for routine checks, the spokesman said.

AFP

 

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NFF appoints Manu Garba as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

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NFF appoints Manu Garba as Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach

The Board of Nigeria Football Federation has appointed former U17 World Cup winner Manu Garba as Head Coach of the Nigeria U17 boys, Golden Eaglets.

 

Garba had, in the same role, led the Golden Eaglets to win the FIFA U17 World Cup for Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates in 2013 – Nigeria’s fourth triumph at that stage.

 

Garba’s world-conquering squad in 2013 included Kelechi Iheanacho, Taiwo Awoniyi, Isaac Success, Musa Mohammed, Chidiebere Nwakali and goalkeeper Dele Alampasu.

 

The squad, which finished as runners-up at the African U17 Championship in Morocco after a penalty shootout defeat by Cote d’Ivoire, defeated Mexico 6-1 in their opening game, drew 3-3 with Sweden and hammered Iraq 5-0. In the Round of 16, they ran Iran ragged 4-1, dispatched Uruguay 2-0 in the quarter-finals and trounced Sweden 3-0 in the semi-finals, before they dislodged Mexico by the same margin in the final to lift the trophy.

 

The former Nigeria international will now immediately resume the role and take charge of the team’s preparations for next month’s WAFU B U17 Championship, taking place in Ghana.

 

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ECL: Aston Villa 2-1 Lille: Emery’s side takes slim lead against Ligue 1 side

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Aston Villa will take a narrow 2-1 lead back to Lille following the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final at Villa Park.

Aston Villa will take a narrow 2-1 lead back to Lille following the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarter-final at Villa Park.

Ollie Watkins headed Villa in front from John McGinn’s corner early on and McGinn’s deflected shot early in the second half doubled the advantage for Unai Emery’s side on the occasion of his 1000th game in management.

But Lille, who squandered a number of good opportunities in the first half and saw Gabriel Gudmundsson’s goal ruled out for offside following a VAR check in the second, finally had their reward late in the game through Bafode Diakite’s header.

It made for muted celebrations at the final whistle, an awareness that this tie is in the balance. There is work to do in France.

 

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Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham: Alonso’s subs seal late win in Europa League QF leg 1

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Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 West Ham: Alonso's subs seal late win in Europa League QF leg 1

Jonas Hofmann and Victor Boniface came off the bench to unlock West Ham and earn Bayer Leverkusen a late 2-0 victory in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run to 42 matches this season and will take a deserved lead to the London Stadium in a week, but they had to be patient to break down David Moyes’ stubborn Hammers.

West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made several superb saves to keep the scores level, denying Patrik Schick with two wonderful stops in either half, while Mohammed Kudus wasted a big chance early on for the visitors.

Leverkusen dominated possession throughout yet could not find a way through until Xabi Alonso made changes. Hofmann struck first seven minutes from time, volleying home from inside the box before Boniface added a crucial second with an injury-time header to leave West Ham with a mountain to climb.

 

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Europa: Atalanta stun Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield

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Europa: Atalanta stun Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield

Atalanta stunned Anfield as Gianluca Scamacca scored twice in a 3-0 win on Thursday to leave Liverpool with a mountain to climb to reach the Europa League semi-finals.

Mario Pasalic added a third seven minutes from time to condemn Liverpool to a first home defeat in all competitions for 14 months.

 

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