Home » SPORTS AGENDA: Man United fans WILL be consulted on Old Trafford’s future with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group keen for a quick decision… PLUS why Jon Dahl-Tomasson quit Blackburn

SPORTS AGENDA: Man United fans WILL be consulted on Old Trafford’s future with Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group keen for a quick decision… PLUS why Jon Dahl-Tomasson quit Blackburn

Manchester United will consult fans before deciding whether to refurbish Old Trafford or demolish the club’s iconic home. 

No decision has yet been made – although incoming 25 per cent investor Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos team are known to be in a hurry. 

Ratcliffe and Co have been scrutinising all areas of United’s footballing operation – including the choice of kits. 

They will, however, have to wait 12 months to make input in that area as United’s threads for 2024-25 have already been chosen and are currently being manufactured. 

Man United will consult fans before deciding whether to refurbish Old Trafford or demolish it

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Co have been scrutinising all areas of United¿s footballing operation

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Co have been scrutinising all areas of United’s footballing operation

England stars are outshone 

England’s cricketers have been staying in Abu Dhabi between Tests in India and may have faced a battle to get their towels on sunbeds. 

Ben Stokes and Co have shared the plush Ritz Carlton with the likes of Russian football team Rostov, International League T20 outfit Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and a number of women’s tennis players participating in the Abu Dhabi Open. 

England's cricketers have been staying in Abu Dhabi between Tests in India

England’s cricketers have been staying in Abu Dhabi between Tests in India

Tight finances at Blackburn  

Many believe the departure of Jon Dahl Tomasson last week was down to a lack of funds at Blackburn as owners Venkys tighten the purse strings.

A more stringent approach is certainly taking place. Rovers’ scouts have found themselves questioned by bean counters after choosing to use the M6 Toll (at a cost of £8.90) to get to games. 

And parking charges have been queried when scouts have not been provided with spaces at certain away grounds.

Many believe the departure of Jon Dahl Tomasson last week was down to a lack of funds at Blackburn

Many believe the departure of Jon Dahl Tomasson last week was down to a lack of funds at Blackburn

Hatters backed for survival 

Saturday’s home defeat by Sheffield United may have taken some of the gloss off Luton’s bid to avoid the drop but a look at the bookies’ odds captures how well the battling Hatters have performed so far this season. 

At the start of the campaign, Paddy Power had Rob Edwards’ side at 1/3 to be relegated from the Premier League. 

Before the Blades’ win those had changed to 6/4, and they are now at even money to pull off an unlikely escape act. 

The bookies are backing Luton to survive relegation despite their defeat by Sheffield United

The bookies are backing Luton to survive relegation despite their defeat by Sheffield United

Pace calls private summit to end financial impasse 

A Private meeting of Premier League and Championship clubs which took place last week was set up by Burnley chairman Alan Pace. 

Agenda understands the American took matters into his own hands in an attempt to break the continuing impasse over a financial redistribution deal that has seen officials from both competitions dragged before MPs and ordered to explain themselves.

Insiders say the summit took place at the five-star Nobu Hotel, in Portman Square, Marylebone, on Wednesday and was attended by more than a dozen second-tier sides.

Luton, Brentford, Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle were among the top-flight clubs present.

A Private meeting of Premier League and Championship clubs which took place last week was set up by Burnley chairman Alan Pace.

A Private meeting of Premier League and Championship clubs which took place last week was set up by Burnley chairman Alan Pace.

While officials from both the Premier League and EFL were not present, they were aware of the summit and gave it their blessing. A subsequent Premier League statement made passing reference to the summit but failed to mention that it only involved those from the top-flight and Championship — and not Leagues One and Two.

Frustrations over a lack of an agreement have been growing. The Premier League are still to make an offer to the EFL ahead of the arrival of an independent regulator for football who could force through a deal.

One of the key issues is known to be the proposal to permit relegated Premier League clubs to spend higher percentages of income (80 per cent) than Championship rivals (70 per cent) under cost control plans. Some feel such a move would further shift what is already viewed as a non-level playing field.

Further talks are planned over the coming weeks.

Jewell takes charge to Government

Paul Jewell is among a large group of ex-pros who have written to sports minister Stuart Andrew to urge Government intervention in the ongoing dementia scandal.

The former Wigan and Bradford boss and ex-Liverpool player is one of many, led by campaigner John Stiles, to take the charge to Parliament and to ask for support in ensuring football authorities ‘address this disaster’. 

Others have also written to their local MPs amid a belief that the £1million dementia fund, recently set up as an interim measure, does not come close to addressing the problem. Many have compared the situation with the Post Office scandal. 

Paul Jewell is among a large group of ex-pros who have written to sports minister Stuart Andrew

Paul Jewell is among a large group of ex-pros who have written to sports minister Stuart Andrew

Barnett fights back racism

Agent Jonathan Barnett hit the headlines last week when he released a statement condemning the online racist abuse suffered by his client, Ivan Toney. 

At the same time Barnett, who called on football authorities and social media platforms to increase their involvement with lawmakers, sent an internal memo to staff. 

In it, he urged them to report any racist abuse to bosses at his CAA Stellar company. The message was that Toney would be supported, and anyone targeted would receive full backing, regardless of standing.