Sol Campbell has mutually agreed to leave Macclesfield Town after eight months in charge of the League Two side.

The former Arsenal and England centre-back was appointed on an 18-month contract in November - his first managerial position - and earned praise for keeping the club in the Football League.

Campbell took over Macclesfield while they were bottom of the fourth tier and finished three points above the relegation zone after a strong end to the campaign.

However, three games into the new season he has stepped down from his position with immediate effect, becoming the first managerial departure in England's top four divisions this season.

"Macclesfield Town provided me with a great beginning in the managerial side of the game, as well as a fantastic learning curve, which I am truly grateful for," Campbell told the club's official website.

"I would like to thank all the players and staff for their support during my time at the Moss Rose and also all the loyal fans, whose belief at the end of last season ultimately played a tangible role in our success."

Macclesfield have collected three points from their opening two league games this term and saw off Blackpool on penalties in the EFL Cup first round on Tuesday.

Forest Green Rovers have strengthened their status as the "world's greenest football club" by launching a striking new kit for the next two seasons that is partly made from bamboo.

The League Two side have prided themselves on a number of eco-friendly initiatives, such as their New Lawn ground being powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, which earned them recognition from the United Nations last year.

And Rovers, owned by green energy magnate Dale Vince, have now stepped things up another level by rolling out a kit made with a 50 per cent mix of bamboo, a world first, they claim.

Inspired by nature, the green and black strip features a zebra-stripe pattern and is said to have been designed to "confuse" opposition players.

Forest Green narrowly missed out on promotion to League One last season as they lost 2-1 to Tranmere Rovers in the play-off semi-finals.

Paul Scholes has been fined £8,000 by the Football Association (FA) after admitting to breaching betting rules.

Former Manchester United and England star Scholes was charged in April in respect to 140 bets placed on football matches between August 2015 and January 2019.

Scholes' brief tenure as manager of League Two club Oldham Athletic began in February this year but he fell foul of FA regulations because the bets in question took place when he was a director of Salford City.

Alongside former United team-mates Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and David Beckham, Scholes owns a stake in Salford, who were promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history last season.

Eight of Scholes' bets were placed on FA Cup matches, although all were made at stages after Salford had been eliminated from the competition.

"An Independent Regulatory Commission has fined Paul Scholes £8,000 and warned him as to his future conduct after he admitted an FA misconduct charge in relation to betting," an FA statement confirmed.

Scholes must also pay £1,800 towards the costs of the hearing.

In its written findings, the FA stated that "as an experienced former professional player and then a director of a football club [Scholes] ought to have acquainted himself with the rules and adhered to them".

However, it gave the 44-year-old "considerable credit for his admission to the breach, his co-operation with these proceedings and his exemplary record".

The FA added: "The Commission accepted the undisputed evidence that [Scholes] had placed the bets in circumstances where he was unaware of the rules. He did so to enhance his enjoyment and interest in the matches and did not deploy any special knowledge.

"There could be no perception that the result or any other aspect of the matches could have been affected by the bets."

Leyton Orient manager Justin Edinburgh died at the age of 49 following a heart attack, the League Two club announced.

Edinburgh was hospitalised on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest and the Englishman passed away on Saturday.

An FA Cup winner with Tottenham as a player, Edinburgh had guided Orient back into the English Football League in 2018-19, having taken over in November 2017.

"We are completely heartbroken by this tragedy," said Orient chairman Nigel Travis. "All our thoughts and love are with the Edinburgh family and we know from the messages that have flooded into the club over the last week that the wider football world will share our sentiments.

"The success that Justin brought to Leyton Orient was incredible, but more importantly the impact he had on us all as a winner and a wonderful, inspirational human being will be his legacy and will stay with us forever."

Edinburgh, who also managed Northampton Town, Gillingham and Newport County prior to joining Orient, was part of Tottenham's FA Cup-winning team in 1991.

The former Southend United and Portsmouth full-back also won the 1998-99 EFL Cup with Spurs, where he made more than 200 appearances between 1990 and 2000.

"We are deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Justin Edinburgh," Tottenham said in a statement.

"Our heartfelt condolences and thoughts go out to his family and friends at this terribly difficult time as well as everyone who worked alongside Justin at Leyton Orient."

League Managers Association (LMA) chairman Howard Wilkinson added: "Justin will be remembered by all in the game as a true professional. A hard-working man who became successful as a player at the highest level of the game and turned his love of football into a life-long career as a coach and as a manager.

"At a time when he should be celebrating the success of his team and preparing for the rewards of league football next season, he has been lost to the game and to his community too soon.

"Our thoughts are with his wife Kerri, his children Charlie and Cydnie and all of Justin’s family and friends at this very sad time."

The English Football League (EFL) has confirmed it will adopt the Rooney Rule.

An 18-month trial saw EFL clubs voluntarily committing to interview at least one black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidate when recruiting for any managerial position in first-team football. 

The scheme is a variation of the Rooney Rule in the NFL, where teams are required to interview ethnic minority candidates for head coaching jobs.

A new regulation has been introduced by the EFL, which it said will ensure "that the principle of providing more opportunities to BAME candidates is mandatory when clubs consider multiple applicants for a role". 

The EFL also confirmed a change in regulations following the 'Spygate' row between Championship clubs Leeds United and Derby County earlier in the year.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa admitted sending a staff member to watch Derby's training sessions ahead of a league game between the sides in January.

The EFL concluded after an investigation that the conduct undertaken by Leeds breached its regulations, but on Friday noted a clarification of the rule was needed.

It now reads: "Without prejudice to the requirements of Regulation 3.4 (that each club shall behave towards each other club with the upmost good faith), no club shall directly or indirectly observe (or attempt to observe) another club's training session in the period of 72 hours prior to any match scheduled to be played between those respective clubs."

Salford City have been promoted to the Football League for the first time in their history.

The club, co-owned by some of Manchester United's famous 'Class of 92' group of players, beat Fylde 3-0 at Wembley on Saturday in the National League play-off final.

With Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt watching on from the stands, Salford went ahead 15 minutes in when Emmanuel Dieseruvwe capitalised on a failed clearance.

Carl Piergianni doubled the advantage after the break and Ibou Touray's cross deceived Fylde goalkeeper Jay Lynch and went in off the post just eight minutes later.

Fylde could not find a response, allowing Salford to celebrate a place in League Two in 2019-20 with a fourth promotion in five years under their famous owners.

Notts County, the world's oldest professional club, have been relegated from the English Football League for the first time in their history after Sol Campbell steered Macclesfield Town to safety.

Macclesfield were bottom of League Two after 19 matches, seven points from safety, when former Arsenal and England defender Campbell was appointed to his first managerial post last November.

Yet Campbell successfully inspired an improved run of form at Moss Rose, having also brought former international team-mate Andy Cole into his coaching staff at the start of the year.

Macclesfield's survival, secured thanks to a 1-1 draw at home to Cambridge United on Saturday, was bad news for Football League founder members Notts County, however.

Neal Ardley's men needed a win at mid-table Swindon Town to boost their slim survival hopes but instead slipped to a 3-1 defeat at the County Ground.

Yeovil Town's relegation was confirmed last weekend, their 16-year stay in the Football League ending after a draw away to Northampton Town.

If you heard that a former player who described himself as "one of the greatest minds in football" had taken charge of a club in north west England, it's unlikely your thoughts would immediately turn to Macclesfield. 

This is an old (featured in the Domesday Book, as a plaque on a wall proclaims) but small industrial town in Cheshire, once home to thriving silk mills and the proud site of a treacle factory, after which a monthly street market is named. 

There's a tiny football club here, too. Five months ago, Macclesfield Town gained national attention by offering former Arsenal and England star Sol Campbell his first shot at management. The last time they had such coverage was in September of the same year, when they lost 8-0 to West Ham in the EFL Cup. 

There is another reason for excitement now. Campbell took over with Macc five points adrift at the bottom, with one win in their first 19 games since promotion from the National League. He has since dragged them to the brink of League Two survival: victory at home to Cambridge United on Saturday, a team who have won just three times since January, will keep them in the football league at the expense of Notts County, who must win to have any chance of staying up. 

Campbell, at 44, had never been given a shot as a manager. He argued in the past that being black held him back professionally. While there is no certainty on whether the colour of his skin saw him passed over for roles, this is certainly an issue that needs attention.  

After all, he took the number of BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) managers in England's professional game to eight out of a possible 92 when he took over on November 27. Three of those - Jos Luhukay, Darren Moore and Chris Powell - have since lost their jobs. 

Meanwhile, Campbell has watched old England team-mates land high-profile positions. Steven Gerrard got the Rangers gig after working with Liverpool's youth team; Frank Lampard was entrusted with Premier League-chasing Derby County. "Why has Sol Campbell had to go to the bottom of League Two to get his first job?" Danny Rose asked Sky Sports. 

"There's a lot of questions labelled at Sol that maybe have nothing to with football," Troy Townsend of anti-discrimination campaign group Kick It Out told Omnisport. 

"He's a decorated footballer and it's funny because many other decorated footballers are higher up the ladder when it comes to first job opportunities."  

This was a gamble for the Arsenal great: outsiders would expect resounding success from a man who has not exactly been a bastion of humility (according to Peter Crouch, Campbell, when asked by Portsmouth players why he was using two masseurs at once, replied: "When you've got 70 caps for England, come back and talk to me again").  

There was also, unreasonable as it feels, further pressure for him to blaze a trail on behalf of a BAME community still woefully underrepresented in these roles. 

It was similarly a gamble for Macclesfield, who saw club legend John Askey snapped up by Shrewsbury Town after promotion, had Mark Yates struggle desperately as his replacement, and experienced the traditional squad overhaul that comes with modest budgets at this level. Indeed, club wages have not been paid on time for the past three months, according to a report by BBC Radio Manchester. 

"All those questions about his character and about whether he could be a good manager or not, they've had to be put to the side at the moment," Townsend said. "He's waited for an opportunity, he's said to people that he's good enough to do it in his own inimitable way and he's proven that he is. Macclesfield are seeing the benefit of that.

"The journey is difficult for our black and ethnic minority coaches, the stats prove it's difficult. Maybe, after everything that's been levelled at him, Sol saying, 'look, just give me a chance and I'll make it work', will empower coaches to believe in that dream." 

If anyone giggled thinking of the 2003-04 Invincible holed up at the Moss Rose, a lopsided little ground where loose balls can disappear onto railway tracks, Campbell has made sure they're not laughing now. 

"I knew what I was getting into," he told ESPN last month. "We had one of the smallest budgets in the league and some of the teams have two or three times what we have. Macclesfield did very, very well to get promoted last season but were struggling with the step up. 

"Before I signed, I had a good look around. I watched the players train. I looked at the systems they were playing in games. I looked at the food they were eating. It was all a bit loose.  

"The players probably thought they were going back down, that they would fade throughout the season. That's now gone. There's no fading here." 

Whether or not he really is one of football's greatest minds, keeping Macc in the football league is worth shouting about. 

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes has been charged by the Football Association (FA) over alleged betting breaches.

Scholes, who left League Two side Oldham Athletic a month into his first managerial post earlier this year, allegedly placed 140 bets on football matches.

The FA stated on Tuesday the bets were placed between August 17, 2015 and January 12, 2019 - prior to Scholes' appointment at Oldham.

He has until April 26 to respond to the misconduct charge.

Scholes, considered among the best midfielders of his generation, has previously taken temporary charge of non-league outfit Salford City, where he is involved in the ownership, in January 2015.

The United great is a part-owner of the club along with former team-mates David Beckham, Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville.

Scholes, who made 66 international appearances for England, previously wrote a column for betting company Paddy Power.

In July 2017, the FA cut Joey Barton's ban from all football activity over betting breaches from 18 months to 13 months after the player appealed against the length of the sanction.

Barton, who did not play professionally again and is now in charge of Fleetwood Town, admitted placing 1,260 football-related bets between March 2006 and May 2016.

Omnisport have contacted Scholes' management for comment.

The EFL has described reports of racist incidents at three of its clubs on the same day as "exceptionally disappointing" and promised to "assess and develop" its role in eradicating such behaviour.

An arrest was made during Derby County's 3-3 draw with Brentford at Griffin Park on Saturday after one of the home supporters was accused of committing a racially-aggravated public order offence involving Rams midfielder Duane Holmes.

On the same day, Wigan Athletic winger Nathan Byrne received racist abuse on his personal Twitter account following the Latics' 2-2 draw at Bristol City, and Northampton Town loanee Timi Elsnik reported an incident in which his team-mates were racially abused ahead of their 2-2 draw at Notts County.

In a statement, the EFL said: "The EFL was saddened, disappointed and angered to hear of further reports of alleged racism following the conclusion of some matches on Saturday afternoon.

"It was exceptionally disappointing that this happened as clubs up and down the country were raising awareness of such issues as part of Kick It Out's Week of Action.

"We remain fully committed to continuing to work alongside The FA and Premier League as well as other relevant parties to ensure that football provides a welcoming environment for supporters attending matches and those participating in them.

"Our work with all EFL clubs continues and we will assess and develop our role in this area through our established equality code of practice, our league-wide inclusion plan and our ongoing dedicated security operations, enhancing these where necessary."

The EFL said it would continue to collaborate with anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out to eradicate racism from football.

Kick It Out tweeted: "Another week, another group of players racially abused.

"We won't stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football.

"We'll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved."

The PFA also posted a tweet, saying: "Yesterday's incidents highlight that we still have much work to do at home in tackling racism.

"We commend the clubs for their prompt and formal responses.

"We will coordinate with the players and clubs involved to offer our full support."

Former Manchester United and England midfielder Paul Scholes has reportedly resigned as manager of Oldham Athletic after only a month in charge.

Scholes departed the League Two club on Thursday having overseen seven games, winning only one.

He did not attend Oldham's scheduled news conference ahead of Saturday's home game with Tranmere Rovers due to what the club described as a "prior engagement".

But Scholes is believed to have stepped down from his post, hinting at communication problems with the club's board.

"It is with great regret that I have decided to leave the club with immediate effect," he said in a statement given to the BBC.

"I hoped to at the very least, see out my initial term of 18 months as the manager of a club I've supported all my life.

"The fans, players, my friends and family all knew how proud and excited I was to take this role.

"In the short period since I took on the role it unfortunately became clear that I would not be able to operate as I intended and was led to believe prior to taking on the role.

"I wish the fans, the players and the staff - who have been tremendous - all the best for the rest of the season and will continue to watch and support the club as a fan."

Oldham are 14th in League Two having lost three of their past five games under Scholes.

Shaun Harvey will step down as chief executive of the English Football League (EFL) at the end of the season.

The organisation announced on Monday that Harvey will be leaving after nearly six years in the role.

"I am proud of what we have achieved since then, in what have not always been easy circumstances," he said in a statement published by the EFL.

"Consistently during my time, I have always looked to push boundaries to make the maximum positive impact for clubs, whether this be from a financial perspective or by generating value in another way. I have always held the view that the strength of the EFL, is its clubs and no club, or indeed individual, is bigger or more important than the collective or the EFL itself.

"After discussions with the board, we decided that the time is right for the EFL to now move in a different direction having concluded a number of commercial contracts that leave the league in a stable position. 

"I am happy to remain as CEO until after the play-offs, in order to conclude a number of outstanding matters that we are currently dealing with, after which I will move on to pastures new and hopefully make a positive difference elsewhere."

Debbie Jevans, interim chair of the EFL, said: "The EFL is in a strong position with a growing fan base throughout the world and Shaun deserves a lot of credit for this.

"Shaun and the board have agreed that the time is now right for a change of leadership and a new direction. We are pleased that Shaun has agreed to stay on until the end of the season."

Harvey is reported to have upset a number of Championship clubs after agreeing a new television rights deal that left some feeling undervalued and concerned that ticket sales would suffer due to the number of matches being broadcast.

He is the latest key figure to announce his departure in English football over the last year. Football Association chairman Martin Glenn is leaving in May, while the Premier League is yet to replace chief executive Richard Scudamore after Susanna Dinnage pulled out of taking the job in December.


Pep Guardiola felt his Manchester City players "showed everybody how incredible they are" as they beat Newport County 4-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

The Premier League champions were unable to find a breakthrough in the first 45 minutes at Rodney Parade and could even have fallen behind to their League Two opponents despite dominating possession.

However, Leroy Sane broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half and a flurry of late goals saw Phil Foden score twice either side of Padraig Amond's strike, before Riyad Mahrez added a fourth for City.

Guardiola told BT Sport: "It was a real tough game. We believed it was done [at 2-0] and then they scored, which is typical of this sort of game.

"Then Phil scored an incredible third goal and they softened in the last few minutes.

"My players showed everybody how incredible they are. I have a big compliment for all the guys today who played.

"The first 15 to 20 minutes was difficult. They were better than us in long-ball situations, but in the second half we adjusted with some movement."

Newport, who are 15th in England's fourth tier, put in a superb display against their illustrious visitors and Guardiola added: "I was really impressed. The home crowd was amazing. I am surprised they are in the position they are.

"Here I realised English football better than ever and why the cup is special for a team in those conditions - they use their strength points and that's why the cup always has big surprises."

Next up for City is the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Schalke, before an EFL Cup final meeting with Chelsea next Sunday.

"We are still in four competitions and we accept all the challenges," said Guardiola. "Today it was League Two and in four days we play on the biggest stage. We have to change mentality."

"The big mistake is believing you are better than the other ones. Look at what happened between [Manchester] United and PSG, and also Ajax having an incredible game against Real Madrid."

Newport boss Mike Flynn said: "It's no disgrace to lose to City, no matter the score. I said to the lads, 'I'm so proud of you, you deserve all the plaudits.'"

Paul Scholes' managerial career got off to a sensational start on Tuesday as Oldham Athletic cruised to an emphatic 4-1 victory over Yeovil Town in League Two.

Scholes took his first steps into coaching on Monday when he agreed an 18-month contract with the Latics, and the former Manchester United midfielder made an immediate impact.

Having made two changes from the Oldham side that beat Crawley Town 3-0 on Saturday, Scholes had to wait until first-half stoppage time for the opening goal of his tenure.

Jose Baxter provided the finishing touch after excellent work from Gevaro Nepomuceno and Johan Branger, the midfielder bringing a smile to his manager's face on the sidelines with a low strike.

Oldham doubled their advantage six minutes after the restart through Callum Lang, and after Yeovil had pulled one back, they sealed victory with two late goals.

Mohamed Maouche restored Oldham's two-goal cushion, before Christopher Missilou rounded off a brilliant start for Scholes.

New Oldham Athletic boss Paul Scholes anticipates Jose Mourinho taking a keen interest in how he fares in management having often criticised the Portuguese as a television pundit.

Former England and Manchester United midfielder Scholes has made his first foray into management with League Two side Oldham, the club he supported as a boy.

The 44-year-old retired from playing in 2013 having spent his entire career at Old Trafford, and he initially moved into punditry.

It was in that role that he lambasted Mourinho's time at United, with Scholes having accused him of "embarrassing the club" before he was sacked in December.

Mourinho once said he hoped Scholes would be "25 per cent as successful as myself" if he ever went into management, though the new Oldham boss is not expecting to see the Portuguese at any League Two matches soon.

"I think he will be watching results," Scholes said at a news conference.

"Whether he will be watching the games, I am not too sure.

"That is part of the thing that bugged me a little bit. I wanted to get into it anyway but I have left myself wide open.

"I have been quite critical. If pundits - I don't think we will get many pundits watching - if we are losing games I am sure people will be popping up.

"They can say what they want, I have never really understood why players and managers take notice of what pundits say anyway. They are just giving an opinion on the game and get paid for doing so.

"If anyone wants to have a dig at me, I won't be taking any notice. The only person I answer to is the owner."

Scholes is the latest player from Alex Ferguson's United sides to move into management, following in the footsteps of ex-colleagues like Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And Scholes admits he will ring Ferguson if he requires any advice. 

"I'd speak to anyone yeah, I'm sure the gaffer is on the other end of the phone," he added.

"He'll want me to do well and if I need any help from him, I'll be ringing him, of course I will."

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