SPORTS AGENDA: Manchester United reward staff and keyworkers with beer

SPORTS AGENDA: Manchester United reward staff and keyworkers with beer

SPORTS AGENDA: Manchester United reward staff and key workers for their efforts during coronavirus pandemic by dishing out beer and cider – with 7,000 bottles unsold from postponed matches

  • Manchester United are rewarding staff and key workers with beer and cider
  • 170 members of United staff have helped in their communities during the crisis
  • Some golf clubs caught out by Prime Minister’s further relaxation of lockdown 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Manchester United’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has rightly won praise — and now their staff will be raising a glass.

The club, who encouraged their workers to help in their communities, have asked the 170 who did so to hand a crate of beer or cider to a key worker they know — and keep one for themselves.

The booze has come from the 7,000 bottles of lager and cider left in the Old Trafford stocks since football was suspended in mid-March.

Manchester United have asked staff who did work in the community to give a crate of beer or cider to key worker they know and keep one for themselves as a reward for their hard work

United have made welfare calls to 3,000 elderly and disabled season-ticket holders, provided 60,000 meals to local NHS staff and delivered 30,000 items to food banks.

In return for the drink, staff were encouraged to drop off used children’s books to be included in activity packs sent out by United’s Foundation.

United have made welfare calls to 3,000 elderly and disabled season-ticket holders, provided 60,000 meals to local NHS staff and delivered 30,000 items to food banks.

In return for the drink, staff were encouraged to drop off used children’s books to be included in activity packs sent out by United’s Foundation.

Golf clubs caught out by changes to lockdown rules

Some have claimed the Prime Minister’s announcement on Thursday night of a further relaxation of lockdown rules may have been a distraction tactic following the furore over aide Dominic Cummings’ controversial trip to Durham.

It certainly would appear to have caught the nation’s golf clubs on the hop. A number of courses have disclosed to Sports Agenda that governing body England Golf contacted the Government for written clarification that, from Monday, groups of four — rather than a maximum of two — would be permitted to tee off.

Sources say the PM’s announcement was ‘completely unexpected’ and that golf bodies were not expecting any changes until this week at the earliest.

Some golf clubs were caught out by the Prime Minister’s further relaxation of lockdown rules

They add that a similar scenario unfolded when golf first returned.

The move sparked a scramble among clubs up and down the country — already struggling to cope with increased demand — to ensure their courses and booking systems are ready in time. 

Tennis players in Wales bemused by government’s stance 

The Welsh government’s refusal to allow recreational tennis to resume for another three weeks is causing bemusement and anger among players.

Wales is now the only territory in western Europe where, even with stringent social distancing measures, the sport is considered too dangerous to play outdoors.

For the region’s 200 coaches especially, whose livelihoods depend on a resumption, it is a serious matter.

Tennis Wales beefed up their initially flimsy statements of protest over the weekend, and a petition was launched. Chief executive Simon Johnson wrote to the First Minister, and there are hopes the authorities will reconsider.

Ironically, the man who effectively invented modern lawn tennis, Major Walter Clopton Wingfield, was a Welshman, from Denbighshire.

Sky’s claims over free to air games doesn’t ring true 

In an ‘aren’t we brilliant?’ press release last week, generous Sky — currently locked in talks with Premier League clubs over a rebate — announced they would be showing 25 matches ‘free to air’ when football returns.

The message came complete with a tub-thumping quote from chief executive Stephen van Rooyen who declared the move was ‘for the first time in the history of Sky Sports’.

Really? Insiders were quick to point out that in 2013, amid its escalating battle with BT Sport, Sky decided to show its first game of the season — Manchester United’s trip to Swansea — free of charge.

Sky Sports’ claims over free to air games are untrue as they have shown games free before

Premier League eager to ensure that VAR will be in use 

The Premier League and referees’ bosses are continuing to examine ways to ensure that when football returns, VAR comes back with it.

Concerns have been raised over social distancing at Stockley Park and relocating teams to stadium car parks has been discussed, along with putting them in separate rooms.

Premier League insiders say they are confident a solution will be found — which is a shame — but add that if it does not come in time, VAR would not be introduced at a later date this season.

The Premier League’s stance on media access also remains under discussion. Club media staff are unlikely to be permitted en masse, with one press officer expected to oversee press conferences, while numbers of journalists will also be cut, with as few as 10 from the written press allowed at each game.

The Premier League are aiming to ensure VAR can be used when the top flight action returns

BBC’s chief sports writer moves on 

The BBC’s chief sports writer, Tom Fordyce, has left the building.

In a move confirmed to Sports Agenda by the broadcaster and subsequently announced to staff, Fordyce is off to pastures new.

Speculation that the departure of the writer — perhaps best known for his work on the popular That Peter Crouch Podcast — is linked to that of Radio 5 Live Sport editor Mike Carr has been rife. In a terse email, head of radio and digital Ben Gallop said Carr was leaving to ‘pursue an opportunity outside the BBC’ — thought to involve podcasts. Fordyce is now expected to head down a similar path.

Sky Sports no longer pay Sunday Supplement guests 

Sky Sports are no longer paying guests who appear on Sunday Supplement. The broadcaster, which has been using staff member Geoff Shreeves to present the show instead of freelancer Jacqui Oatley, would appear to be on a cost-cutting drive.

They certainly got bang for their lack of a buck out of Daily Star chief sports writer Jeremy Cross on Sunday.

Cross was forced to step in to present the show when Shreeves’ internet connection failed.

‘It was about five minutes but it felt like five hours,’ joked the Star man, who added: ‘I’m stepping in for Emily Maitlis on Newsnight this week.’

Sky Sports’ Sunday Supplement, which is currently being hosted by Geoff Shreeves (pictured), appears to be on a cost-cutting drive

Australia’s National Rugby League enjoys surge in popularity in UK 

If the frequent references to the UK audience — and the cardboard cut-out of Dominic Cummings in the crowd — are anything to go by, Australia’s re-started National Rugby League is enjoying a surge in popularity here. 

The games — shown on Sky Sports — feature piped-in crowd noise which has proved surprisingly realistic. During Sunday’s thrilling draw between Penrith and Newcastle, commentator Andrew Voss quipped: ‘The crowd are on the edge of their seats — they can’t move.’ 

Penrith and Newcastle game in Australia’s National Rugby League had piped-in crowd noise




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