Press Association Brady said there had been a “phenomenal demand” for corporate seats with only 200 of the 3,700 corporate seats in the 54,000-capacity stadium remaining unsold up until last month. In the annual report written on October 9, Brady said: “Retention of our [Premier League] status in the 2015/16 season is an absolute necessity for the future well-being of the club, as we will be moving to our new home in the 2016/17 season and a new improved broadcast deal will be in place. “The Olympic Stadium offers enormous commercial and brand opportunities and we have a strategy in place to deliver sell-out crowds and enter the stadium with a team that are befitting of such an amazing iconic venue. “As plans take shape it becomes even more apparent that our new home will be one of the greatest arenas in world football and a platform to transform the future of our great club.” She added: “We are very close to selling out our premium hospitality packages. The level of take-up has been phenomenal, despite the fact we are doubling our Upton Park capacity, and as I write there are only 200 seats available.” Brady said the new roof, retractable seating and turnstiles had all been completed and the dressing rooms nearly finished. The value of the Olympic Stadium move is underlined by the fact that West Ham’s match day revenue was only £20million last season – Manchester United and Arsenal both generate more than £100million while Tottenham, who are also moving stadium, still take around £40million at White Hart Lane. The club’s overall gross debt is £89.1million with £49.2million owed to its shareholders David Sullivan and David Gold. The accounts say interest of 6-7 per cent will not be paid or added to the loans until the loans are repaid – the interest currently stands at £9.3million. The Hammers appear in little danger of failing to be in the top flight next season – they are currently sixth in the Premier League under new manager Slaven Bilic. The Hammers are moving to the Olympic Stadium for the start of next season and Brady said in West Ham’s annual report that the new venue will open up “enormous” commercial opportunities – which should see the Hammers close the financial gap on their rivals. West Ham’s annual report revealed a profit after tax of just under £3million for the 2014/15 season. The annual accounts show West Ham’s turnover was £120.7million last season, up from £114.8million, while the wage bill rose £8.8million to £72.7million, 60 per cent of turnover. West Ham’s vice-chairman Karren Brady has claimed the Olympic Stadium will be “one of the greatest arenas in world football” and admits it is “an absolute necessity” that the club stays in the Premier League.
Jonny Evans is desperate for Michael O’Neill to commit his future to Northern Ireland, but believes he has the qualities to succeed in the Barclays Premier League. Discussions are under way on a new deal but O’Neill’s profile is on the rise and a strong showing in France next summer would surely see the suitors lining up at Windsor Avenue. “I think it’s something that will be talked about,” admitted Evans. “It would be sad for us as players if it got to a situation where he wasn’t here. We’d all love to see him stay on. “We know how much he puts into that so he deserves what he’s got.” Asked if the 46-year-old could be just as successful in English football, Evans said: “Yes, I think so. “What I like about him is he won’t just settle for what’s there, he’ll try to improve. The fact is he’s only with us for 10 days at a time and has improved us as players, as a team, as individuals. “If he got hold of a team on a regular basis he would no doubt improve them. “His style of coaching is based around thinking about the game, not just running the legs off the lads. “I could sit down and talk football for hours with him. “He’s a real thinker of the game, which I like, and he looks at things from different angles. I like the way he wants his teams to play. “Michael’s made us successful by the way he wants to play – taking the game to the opposition. We’ve scored goals, we’ve kept clean sheets. “He gets everyone playing for him and his tactical understanding is fantastic.” Evans is due to return to the starting XI for Friday night’s friendly against Latvia. Injury meant he missed the famous night at Windsor Park last month when victory over Greece sealed a first major tournament in 30 years, and the subsequent lap of honour in Finland. But he was still with the squad in Belfast for the build-up and is still coming to terms with an achievement many thought would never come. “It was frustrating from a personal level but putting those feelings aside it was such a big night for the country, for the team, for the manager…I was just so excited for the game, the whole of Northern Ireland was,” he added. “There’s a much bigger prize at stake than my own personal achievements. I’m just glad as a country we’re able to go to France and represent the country.” Despite topping their qualifying pool Northern Ireland will be among the bottom seeds for the draw on December 12, meaning a tough group is virtually guaranteed. But for Evans, who made his international debut in the remarkable 3-2 win over Spain in 2006, it’s a case of the bigger the better. “Once the play-offs are through maybe I’ll think about it…there’s always talk of who we’re going to get,” he said. “But we’ve always seemed to do well against the big countries. “On such a big stage maybe it would be nice to get one of the big boys and see how we do. It would make for a great occasion.” Having played the majority of his career under the peerless Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Evans has a high bar to measure against. And the West Brom defender is full of praise for O’Neill, who took his side from fifth seeds to a first ever European Championship next summer. Press Association
Press Association Liverpool might have won more comfortably had it not been for the first-half heroics of Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who produced a string of fine saves including one breathtaking effort to deny Roberto Firmino in front of a crowd of 45,765. Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce had vowed to get back to basics after seeing his side lose the last three games long before half-time with both Chelsea and Manchester City racing into 2-0 leads and Watford securing a 1-0 victory on Wearside with just four minutes gone. In the circumstances, he will have been delighted to reach first the 20-minute mark and then the break all square at 0-0, although he was indebted to Mannone. The home side got men behind the ball, allowing old boy Jordan Henderson, Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho to dominate possession in the middle of the field, and the visitors created several chances from which they might have taken the lead. Mannone had to beat away Nathaniel Clyne’s 30-yard piledriver with just five minutes gone and was then relieved to see Firmino miscontrol Coutinho’s pass inside the penalty area after he had picked off Sebastian Coates’ lose pass. Coutinho then curled an effort just wide before landing a 17th-minute free-kick on the roof of the Italian’s net as the Reds pushed for the opening goal. But it was Firmino who almost broke the deadlock twice inside 11 minutes, first forcing Mannone to tip a long-range effort on to the post and then testing him once again with a firm header. For their part, Sunderland created a series of half-chances with striker Jermain Defoe causing all kinds of problems for central defender Mamadou Sakho. The Belgium international, who scored the only goal against Leicester on Boxing Day, did it again at the Stadium of Light when he took advantage of some flat-footed defending 22 seconds into the second half to clinch a 1-0 victory. That left the Reds level on 30 points with sixth-placed Manchester United, but the Black Cats seven points shy of safety at the halfway stage. The former England striker called upon keeper Simon Mignolet to make a good eighth-minute save after spinning away from Sakho, and the Belgian was rooted to the spot as Fabio Borini curled a 33rd-minute shot just wide of his far post. But all the good work was undone within 22 seconds of the restart when Adam Lallana managed to get a toe to Clyne’s ball into the box and divert perfectly into the path of Benteke, who beat Mannone with ease to put his side ahead. The home side responded in determined fashion and Borini thumped a 54th-minute shot into Mignolet’s midriff after forcing his way into the box, and the Belgian had to make an important block from substitute Duncan Watmore’s 78th-minute strike to cement the win. However, substitute Jordon Ibe and Benteke both wasted glorious late opportunities to put the game to bed. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Sam chewing away during the one minute silence at Sunderland v Liverpool. Is he sponsored by Wrigleys” – Maybe he is just trying to emulate his friend Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Alan Sugar (@Lord_Sugar). PLAYER RATINGS Sunderland Vito Mannone: 8 Billy Jones: 6 Sebastian Coates (Yedlin, 72 mins): 5 Wes Brown: 6 Patrick van Aanholt: 6 Yann M’Vila: 7 Lee Cattermole (Capt): 7 Jack Rodwell (Watmore, 30 mins): 6 Adam Johnson (Lens, 63 mins): 5 Jermain Defoe: 7 Fabio Borini: 7 Subs Duncan Watmore: 6 Jeremain Lens: 5 DeAndre Yedlin: 6 Liverpool Simon Mignolet: 7 Nathaniel Clyne: 7 Dejan Lovren: 6 Mamadou Sakho: 5 Alberto Moreno: 6 Adam Lallana: 6 Jordan Henderson (Capt) (Lucas, 61 mins): 7 Emre Can: 8 Philippe Coutinho (Ibe, 83 mins): 7 Roberto Firmino (Toure, 90+3 mins): 7 Christian Benteke: 6 Subs Lucas Leiva: 6 Jordon Ibe: 5 Kolo Toure: 6 STAR PLAYER Emre Can was at the centre of Liverpool’s best work, accepting the ball deep and linking with Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho to feed the men ahead of them. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone’s superb fingertip save from Roberto Firmino to turn the ball on to the post. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce will have been pleased at his side’s first-half resilience, but hugely disappointed with their failure to switch back on after the break, which ultimately proved fatal. Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp will have been impressed with his team’s patience on a night when they had plenty of the ball, but were repeatedly thwarted by Mannone. MOAN OF THE MATCH Referee Kevin Friend quite literally got involved in the game on two occasions, blocking attempted passes, one in the midst of a dangerous-looking Sunderland break. WHO’S UP NEXT West Ham v Liverpool (Barclays Premier League, Saturday January 2) Sunderland v Aston Villa (Barclays Premier League, Saturday January 2) Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was delighted his team found a way to win against a Sunderland side that he did not feel were easy to play against. “We were the better team and you could see that the pressure on both teams was big,” he told Sky Sports 1. “A little bit more for Sunderland because of the intensity of the last weeks and months. “You could help yourself if you got an early goal, we didn’t but we did not do too bad in situations against a very good defending team. They were only defending so that makes it pretty hard for us because you don’t get space and you always have to go again and slow down the game. “Then we made the goal after half-time and we controlled something like the game. “They were waiting for set-plays, they are difficult to defend but we did it. We could have got made a second or third one, we didn’t, we had to wait until the final whistle.” Allardyce felt the Black Cats were unfortunate in the manner that Liverpool got their goal but praised his side’s effort, although he conceded a lack of killer instinct in the final third. “We didn’t really produce enough quality,” he said. “When we did we got good chances, we couldn’t finish them off but we could have done more with the opportunities in terms of our final third quality – we need to try and get that a little better. “A resilient performance, one where Liverpool never really looked like creating too many clear-cut chances or opportunities and if we can build on that scenario and get a bit more luck then we’ll try to go up the other end, get a result and score a goal. “The injuries are a problem. We’re facing another centre-half who’s come off injured so we’ll have to wait and see how Seb (Coates) is. “I thought Wes (Brown) did great today. I thought the team did well overall, a good shape to the side. They’re playing a Liverpool side that’s got a huge amount of money spent on it and often matched them.” Christian Benteke was Liverpool’s match-winner for the second time in five days as he plunged Sunderland deeper into relegation trouble.
“I know everything about him (Guidolin) now as I Googled him on Sunday night,” Williams said. “I’m sure everybody did the same thing as I did and the boys did, we know his background but it doesn’t really matter to us who comes in. “We get told ‘he’s your manager’, you listen to what he has to say, give your all and do as best as you possibly can. “We have to help him settle in as quick as possible. The chairman (Huw Jenkins) has made that move which is fine with us. “We just get on with it and we’re just happy we got the win for Curt and the other guys.” Williams said the players were aware of Guidolin’s presence at the Liberty Stadium, the 60-year-old having flown in from Italy on Monday afternoon. It was far from a vintage performance from the Swans but there was no shortage of commitment and endeavour to please Guidolin, as Curtis closed his seven-game reign with a second victory. “As players we knew he was watching and when you’ve got a new manager you want to impress him,” Williams said. “But more than that it was about doing it for each other and the club. “We understand the position we are in and it’s not the time to be going through the motions or messing around. “It’s just about getting out of this position more than impressing the manager, we just need to pick up points. “We’re professionals and we just go out and do our job for the club that pays us, regardless of who is the manager.” Watford’s defeat was their fourth league loss in a row and the Hornets have now gone five games without a win. It is a run which has seen them fall to 12th and the 19-goal partnership of Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney have drawn a blank in the last three league games. But Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores has sought to improve the supply line to them by completing the signing of Malaga winger Nordin Amrabat on a three-and-a-half-year contract. “He is good and it is good for us to have players to cover different positions,” said Flores, who refused to discuss reports linking them to young Liverpool striker Jerome Sinclair. “To have competition is very important and it is good news that very good players want to come to Watford. “It means that we are growing and we can accept that players want to come here and play for us. “Amrabat is ready to play, he knows Watford and the possibility that we have in the Premier League. “He needs to know my rules and how we are working, but great players are very quick to learn the systems.” Ashley Williams says the Swansea squad are up to speed with shock new managerial appointment Francesco Guidolin after Googling the Italian on the internet. Guidolin had a watching brief on Monday night as Swansea moved out of the Barclays Premier League relegation zone by beating Watford 1-0, Williams’ first goal for nearly two years securing the Welsh club only their third win in 18 attempts. The former Udinese boss, who takes over team matters from interim manager Alan Curtis, will take the reins for Sunday’s visit to Everton – but Williams insists the players are not bothered who is in charge. Press Association
A South Florida lawmaker is looking to protect a woman’s right to have an abortion.Congresswoman Lois Frankel is reportedly introducing the federal Women’s Health Protection Act.The move comes after Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and other states have passed bills placing restrictions on abortions.Frankel says the decision to bring a child into the world is personal and should be made by the woman and those around her who she trusts, not a politician.Since 2010, more than 400 laws have been passed across the country chipping away at the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe V. Wade.No other information is available at this time.
Saturday morning, the St. Lucie County Sheriff announced the unexpected death of a k-9, officials say.Sheriff Ken Mascara says K-9 Dallas showed signs of a medical emergency on Wednesday and was taken to a local area veterinarian.Sadly, Dallas never recovered and passed away late Friday evening.K-9 Dallas joined the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office on July 8, 2016, the day after a fatal shooting in Dallas where five law enforcement officers were killed and nine others injured, according to the sheriff.The K-9 was named in honor of their sacrifice.“Our agency mourns the loss of K-9 Dallas and sends love and support to his partner, Deputy Brandon Nuccio, and family during this very difficult time,” Sheriff Mascara said.
Four trauma patients were transported from the Bahamas to Florida via a military plane after a bus crash left them with injuries deemed too severe to be treated in the Bahamas.The four patients were flown from Eleuthera to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on a U.S. military C-130 aircraft.Officials reported that the four were injured along with 25 other tourist after a tour bus overturned in the Rock Sound area of the island.Not much is known about the accident at this time, however, authorities did report that injuries ranged from fractured arms and legs to more serious internal injuries.According to Bahamian media sources many of the passengers may have originated from a cruise ship that had docked in the Bahamas. This report, however, has not yet been confirmed.This is a developing story.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office internal affairs investigation into the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is set to be released on Wednesday.Newly appointed Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony is holding a news conference to announce the findings this morning.The shooting in Parkland on Valentine’s Day last year left 17 people dead.In the aftermath of Parkland, Gov. DeSantis suspended then BSO Sheriff Scott Israel who is waiting for the recommendation to the Florida Senate from a Special Magistrate who just heard his testimony in a hearing to get his job back.Former school resource officer deputy Scot Peterson is facing eleven criminal charges, including seven counts of child neglect as investigators said he didn’t engage the attacker.
West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James has declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus in his city, but he told Jen and Bill this morning that doesn’t mean that everything has to come to a screeching halt.WPB Mayor Keith JamesThe mayor says the public library is still open and it has to be because many people need to use the computers there to find work and file unemployment claims.Mayor James says the city commission is still gathering and will hold a meeting on Monday while observing the proper social distancing. While bars are closed, restaurants are still open with reduced, wide-spread seating and delivery options.More than 300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Florida with 21 Palm Beach County residents now infected with the virus that has already killed more than 100 people nationwide and eight in the state.The new cases revealed Wednesday in Palm Beach County include a 6-year-old boy, the youngest person to test positive for COVID-19 statewide.Florida health officials said it is not known how he contracted the virus. One of the infected residents is not currently living in the county.In addition to the disturbing news that a youngster is infected, the latest numbers released by the Florida Department of Health show that 328 people statewide are now stricken.Listen to Jen and Bill’s full interview with WPB Mayor Keith James here.https://www.850wftl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/WPB-Mayor-Keith-James-Morning-Show.mp3The only drive-through testing center in Palm Beach County announced it is no longer accepting appointments because it doesn’t have the tools it needs.“Until we receive additional test kits, we are unable to further schedule any testing appointments,” said Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare, which began swabbing people in the parking lot of its Palm Springs office Monday.DeSantis insisted that more kits would be arriving soon.
As of Wednesday evening, Florida has 7,773 confirmed cases of coronavirus.Of those, Palm Beach County has 616 cases. It also has the most deaths of any county in the state at this point, with 22 fatalities.Broward has 1,348 cases and 13 deaths, while Miami-Dade has the most confirmed cases in the state, with 2,202, and seven deaths.Overall, there are 213, 372 cases and 4,757 deaths across the country.