Posted: 4/6/2007


     Niall Quinn quit as an international soccer player when he was at the top, and after purchasing ailing Sunderland F.C. he installed himself as coach at the beginning of the season. After a horrible time in charge he caused a sensation by firing himself and appointing Roy Keane, the Cork Boy and Manchester United and Republic of Ireland legend in his place.

    Today the Wearsiders, or 'The Black Cats', find themselves on the verge of automatic promotion to the Premier League. Last week the team played at far away Bristol City and about 100 fans flew on Easyjet to the South-west.  Returning to the airport after the match they were chanting and singing the praises of their team's owner NIAL QUINN'S DISCO PANTS'  which is a hit at the Stadium of Light.  The airline was not so pleased and turfed them all off onto the tarmac and cancelled the flight.  Quinn follows them off and goes to the line of taxi cabs and orders enough to take everyone back by road to Wearside, at a cost to himself of about $15,000.00.

    Wayne Rooney, who has been rather goal shy recently, has just forked out $500,000 for a  ring for his girl friend Colleen's 21st birthday and is planning a big bash costing a similar amount of money. Such is the interest from readers of HELLO and other such magazines, that they have signed an 'exclusive' agreement so that all photos of the bash and the celebrities will only appear in that magazine, for a fee that will cover the cost of the party.

   $4,000.00 was the cost of a surveillance video and sound 'bug' that Belinda Coleman, the wife of Fulham FC manager and former Welsh international player,36 year old Chris Coleman, put in his Range Rover. She though he was having an affair, and after a 'tip off' a newspaper rep. from The Sun appeared at the Fulham training ground to tell Coleman, and photos appeared in many of the tabloid press.

   Horrible scenes in both Rome and Seville as riot police indiscriminatelly waded into Manchester United and Tottenham fans this week during  UEFA competitions.  I was at Rome's Stadio Olymoico way back in 1960 at the Olympic Games, and again at World Cup 1990 including Italy vs USA and the final between West Germany and Argentina. The terrace seating is the simple plastic lime green  'cushion' type with no backs or sides, riveted on to the old terracing.  Italy is a second world country suffering from bad policeing, bad parenting and little or no governance.  All the United fans were searched and everything from keys to lipstick confiscated,with no bottles etc.allowed, and they had to be in their section 2 hours before kick-off and stay 90 minutes after the final whistle, when they were shown a recording on the large screen of their 1999 triumph in Barcelona.   Roma fans didn't have police in their section, and only stewards, and were throwing plastic bottles, many filled with urine, over the perspex divide, and some were tossed back.

   It should be mandatory for high netting to be installed to prevent this throwing, and ALL police officers should wear an electronic 'tag', say a tiny earing or chip on their uniform so that they can be iidentified for the courts. This will prevent them covering up for each other as police are known to do, and also to protect them from collusion from fans to point out the wrong offending officer. Of course fans can and are indentified by seat number and by their face and clothes, wheras the police all look the same and have their faces behind perpex face shields.

    I don't often agree with David Platt, former England captain who also played for 3 different clubs iin Italy, but he claimed that he was afraid that a fan would be killed by the Italian police.  He is a T.V. pundid and normally as 'boring as Luxembourg', but he was spot on this time.  Meanwhile Spurs fans at Sevilla were also bludgeoned by Spanish police, including wheelchair bound fans. The British Home Office has promised to take action , but don't hold your breath, while UEFA has no authority over the police. Italy's stadiums are owned by municipalities, not the clubs, and have until the recent tragedy in Catania, ignored the problem, while the clubs have given out free tickets to 'The Ultras' for them to sell, and rooms at stadiums have been found to have weapons stashed until the next match.