Karen Brady has an unusual profession for a bright young woman, she is managing director of Birmingham City Football Club, who have been fighting for automatic promotion back into the English Premiership this weekend. Her husband Paul Peschiolido is also involved in football since he plays for big rivals Derby County, also fighting for the same spot. With Birmingham winning and Derby County losing, Sunderland and Birmingham go up, while The Rams will have to contest the 4 team play-offs.
'Pesch' who was born in Ontario, Canada has played for the Canadian National team 52 times and scored 10 goals and for many English clubs, including Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City, Fulham (where he was bought for $2.3 million Dollars) and Norwich City, and with on fire Sunderland coming from behind to beat Burnley on Friday night the Black Cats have nailed one of those 2 automatic spots, with the 3rd-6th placed teams having to fight out a promotion chasing semi-final, and a final at Wembley for the 3rd promotion spot. He also played for the Kansas City Comets of MISL and the Toronto Blizzards of the Canadian Soccer Legaue, his first of many clubs
Karen was named 2006 Woman of the Year by Cosmopolitan Magazine, and had to undergo brain surgery in February 2006 at the age of 36 for the successful removal of an aneurysm. She was appointed to the managerial post at the St.Andrews Stadium club in 1992 at the tender age of 23 and after the club was floated on the stock market in 1997 became the U.K's youngest director of a plc. She professes to be an Arsenal fan and is also a director of Mothercare, Sport England and Channel 4 TV. She recently appeared on 'Comic Relief does the Apprentice' to raise money for charity. The couple have two young children Sophia and Paulo, who play field hockey and soccer.
Sad, sad demise of Leeds United at Elland Road. Six years to the week they were playing Valencia 0-0 in the semi final of the Champions League, and a year ago were one match away from the Premiership. In the second minute of a six minutes added time on Saturday, Ipswich Town equalised 1-1, and 1,000 young spectators invaded the field. The last 1 minute was held up for half an hour as the teams and officials rushed to the safety of the locker rooms. It was the best crowd for over 2 years and shows the potential of a single club city. Next season they will be in the third tier of English football. Gary Kelly, a loyal but overpaid player hasn't played for months and his contract of $50,000 a week is finally over. He intends to go home and play in the League of Ireland where he will be very luck to get paid even 1% of his current wage. Even worse, it seems that debts are so heavy that the club will have to go into 'receivership' which carries an automatic 10 point penalty before they start next season.
Their nearest neighbours are Bradford City who are being relegated from Division 1 to Division 2, the fourth tier. The Bantams were in the Premiership for two seasons a short while ago. West Ham United were fined almost $12 million for transfer irregularities with 2 Argentinian players, but escaped points deductions after pleading guilty, and after winning at the weekend may still escape the drop. Fifteen miles north east of Leeds is York City who play at Kit Kat Crescent where Leeds play their reserve matches. City had a sell out crowd to see them into the Conference play-offs and if they beat Morecombe in their two leg semi-final next Friday and Monday will play at Wembley for the right to go up to The Football League Division 2. At the bottom of the Conference is Lancaster City, who tied 1-1 on Saturday and finish the season with 1 point. They lost most of their matches and were also deducted 10 points for financial irregularities.
Congratulation to Arsenal Ladies. By far the best women's team in England they tied Umea of Sweden 0-0 at Boremwood near London after winning 1-0 away and are champions of Europe for the very first time.