CHELSEA STRUGGLE TO BUY PITCH

Chelsea Football Club have struggled and lost the battle to buy back their own pitch! The boardroom defeat may well jeopardise the Blues’ move into a new stadium, but Chelsea fans were keen to ensure that a ground move is already in place before they sell back the one asset they control.

The land that Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge stadium was separated from the club back in the 1980s when, under Ken Bates, the club was struggling. By selling the land to thousands of fans they could ensure that there would always be a home for the club, regardless of whether the club went into bankrupcy or not.

Since then a lot has changed, not least Chelsea’s financial fortunes, with Roman Abramovic paying out to bring top players and managers to the club. The next logical step for Roman was to build up the stadium, especially with the Financial Fair Play rules coming in next year, but it looks like his management team will have to have a re-think.

Chelsea are looking at the various local options for a new stadium, but spaces for football stadia are few and far between in West London.

JENKINS HAS FAITH IN SWANSEA

Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has said that they can compete in the Premier league along with the big boys. And Jenkins believes Brendan Rodgers’ side can compete with the big clubs next season.

“Everybody would be foolish to write us off just for those type of games,” said Jenkins.

“We’ve proved in the Championship, [against] so called bigger clubs heavily spending way over our budget, we competed and competed very well [and] played the best football in the Championship.

McCANN RETIRES

Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann has said that he will be retiring from professional football after failing to recover from the injury. McCann, formerly of Everton, Sunderland and Aston Villa, will now take up a coaching role assisting the youth set up at the Bolton academy.

McCann said: “Unfortunately I’ve had to call it a day.

“There are times now when my ankle is sore and aches, and further down the line I will need another operation.”

McCann made a total of 363 appearances at club level and won one one cap for England in a friendly against Spain at Villa Park in 2001.

He last featured for Bolton in the 4-2 defeat by Arsenal at the Emirates on 20 January 2010, and underwent surgery on his injured ankle soon after.

CARRICK EXTENDS CONTRACT

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has put pen to paper on a new Three-year contract extension that will keep him at Old Trafford till 2014.

The 29-year-old England international joined United from Tottenham Hotspur in 2006 and has played more than 200 games for the Old Trafford club.

Carrick built his reputation as an excellent passer of the ball but this season he has mainly been deployed in a more defensive midfield holding role.

“I am delighted Michael has signed a new contract,” manager Alex Ferguson said in a statement. “He has been outstanding since joining us. He is a true professional and it’s great he has committed his future to the club.”

DAVIES JOIN BORO

Stoke City player Andrew Davies has joined Middlesbrough on loan till the end of the season. The 26-year-old began his career with the Teessiders and made his initial debut for the club in a 3-1 League Cup defeat by Ipswich in November 2002.

Southampton signed the defender in October 2007 for £1m, where he stayed for one season before moving to Stoke on a free transfer in August 2008.

Davies goes straight into the squad for Saturday’s trip to Millwall.

SANTANDER WANT ZIGIC

Racing Santander are keen on signing Birmingham striker Nikola Zigic in this transfer window. The 30-year-old, who joined Blues from Valencia in May, has already had two spells with Racing in his career.

Racing have just been taken over by Indian businessman Ahsan Ali Syed and would appear to have funds available.

However, McLeish denied the deal would only be done if he can sign Rubin Kazan striker Obafemi Martins.

KUSZCZAK AIMING FOR NO.1 SPOT

Tomasz Kuszczak has said that he is aiming to be the Manchester United number one. The Poland international is currently deputising for Edwin van der Sar, who has missed the last three matches with flu.

United have been linked with several goalkeepers but Kuszczak, 28, believes he should be made number one when Van der Sar, 40, decides to step down.

“I do not want this to sound arrogant but I think I am good enough,” he said.

United have also been linked to the EPL‘s Brad Friedel.

BLACKPOOL’S FIXTURE CONCERN

Blackpool fixture pile-up is a cause of concern for the Premier League. The promoted club is the only one in the top-flight without undersoil heating and it’s likely that the Premier League may now make installing such a system a requirement of playing in the division. At present, perhaps surprisingly, it is not.

Blackpool have already lost two fixtures to the weather, and given that both are against Champions League clubs — Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur — it has complicated the process of rescheduling the games in February and March. Blackpool are scheduled to play United on Jan 25.

The Premier League’s anxiety will grow should Blackpool’s next two home matches — against Llanelli on Boxing Day and Birmingham City on Jan 4 – also be called off.

HOLLOWAY HAPPY WITH THE WIN

Blackpool boss Ian Holloway has said that he is extremely happy with the club’s win over Stoke city. “To come to a place that is so hard to win at was a fantastic display. This is as good as we have been,” he said. “Even Lionel Messi couldn’t have done any better.”

DJ Campbell’s scored the only goal of the game to move the Seasiders up to 10th on a total of 22 points.

“Someone had us down for only 10 after 38 games,” reflected Holloway. “Bit of a laughing stock we were going to be.”

Blackpool now have four away wins – a total only bettered by Premier League leaders Chelsea and Man Utd.

STOKE CITY AND MANCHESTER CITY DRAW

Stoke city pulled off a injury time equaliser to secure draw with Manchester city. Two minutes into added time, Etherington collected a back-heel from Tuncay and fired in low from 12 yards.

Nine minutes earlier, Micah Richards seemed to have given City what had looked like an unlikely victory when he finished well after a superb turn.

The www.soccerkits.com website pointed out that Manchester City are now five points behind table toppers Manchester United.

However, on a day that Sir Alex Ferguson’s side smashed seven past Blackburn, it is clear from City’s mediocre display here that the gap between the two neighbours is greater than that represented by mere points.

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