I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realise that people have looked at the stories they've seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT

 

Sorry is just not enough Jofra!

England fast bowler Jofra Archer has been fined, and given a written warning, after breaching bio-secure protocols ahead of the second #raisethebat Test against the West Indies. Despite numerous efforts to educate players on the dangers of the coronavirus and ensure their safety, Archer made an unauthorized trip to his home, in Hove, after the first Test at Southampton's Ageas Bowl.

 As a result, the bowler was excluded from the England squad for the second Test, at Emirates, Old Trafford, and is in isolation.  The 25-year-old has apologised for his conduct; "I am extremely sorry for what I have done. I have put, not only myself, but the whole team and management in danger. I fully accept the consequences of my actions, and I want to sincerely apologise to everyone in the bio-secure bubble.

 "It deeply pains me to be missing the Test match, especially with the series poised. I feel like I have let both teams down, and again I am sorry."

Saying sorry is not enough. Changed behavior is what is required moving forward. There are those arguing that he is young. However, twenty-five years is old enough to understand the severity of the coronavirus.  Archer’s action was selfish in many ways. Despite being briefed on the protocols and being aware of the dangers of the coronavirus, he put the health and safety of the team in jeopardy. Apart from health and safety concerns, which is enough to call off the series and put the organisers time and effort to waste, he let down his team and fans who waited months to see live sport again.

Archer, who took three wickets in the Southampton Test, which England lost by four wickets, was omitted from the squad to face West Indies in the crucial Manchester Test. Again, his selfishness put his team’s game plan into disarray, while costing him a place in the squad; a test match that they must win in order to stay in the series.

Following Archer’s selfish actions, England are now considering releasing players from the bio secure bubble before the series against Pakistan. This will be done in order to avoid the temptation to breach guidelines like Archer did when he took a 130-mile detour to go home on Monday.

 

 Is it time to revisit the financial fair play regulations (FFP)?

Manchester City’s two-year ban from UEFA competitions was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and is proof that the governing body's Financial Fair Play project needs reexamination. It was created to ensure balance between rich and poor clubs. Has it done that? The answer is no.

After CAS announced their verdict on Monday, under which City must still pay a €10million fine – reduced from €30m – for failing to co-operate with the investigation, UEFA issued a statement saying they are “committed to the principles" of FFP. How much of FFP is worth saving? How effective has it been?

Not much has been done in redressing the competitive balance. Those who earn more spend more, and in doing so, dominate on the field in most competitions. Bayern Munich won their eighth consecutive Bundesliga title this season, Juventus are on course for a ninth-straight Scudetto, while in Ligue 1, PSG were crowned champions for the seventh time in eight years. It is evident that clubs with money continue to hold a lot of power.

The CAS ruling is a chance for UEFA to re-visit the FFP rules, especially the time factor issue. The Swiss-based court said a number of the allegations against City were time-barred under UEFA's own rules, which means cases more than five years old cannot be punished. The ruling clearly points to the immediate future of FFP if it is not rectified or improved.

A softening of regulations was announced last month to help ease the financial pressure on clubs due to the coronavirus pandemic.  However, UEFA needs to remember the main reason these regulations were created; to ensure balance with rich and poor clubs, that balance has been lost or should I say it was never achieved.

    The regulations are not specific or clear, especially around sponsorship deals, stadium infrastructure, and youth development and needs revisiting if it is to achieve its true purpose. Despite calls to eradicate FFP completely, UEFA needs some form of financial control within the game but that doesn’t appear to be FFP in its current format.

 

  Is LeBron upset that he was not consulted in selecting social justice messages?

Los Angeles Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis have stated they will not be wearing social justice messages on the back of their playing shirts, when the NBA restarts on July 30, in Orlando, after the break due to COVID-19.

LeBron revealed in a Zoom call with the media that he prefers wearing his own name on the back of his jersey, rather than one of the NBA-approved social justice slogans. He explained that it does not resonate with his mission and he would have loved to contribute to what went on the back of his jersey but he was not included in the consultation process.

The NBA's approved social justice messages are: Black Lives Matter, Say Their Names, Vote, I Can't Breathe, Justice, Peace, Equality, Freedom, Enough, Power to the People, Justice Now, Say Her Name, Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can), Liberation, See Us, Hear Us, Respect Us, Love Us, Listen, Listen to Us, Stand Up, Ally, Anti-Racist, I Am A Man, Speak Up, How Many More, Group.

Le Bron’s refusal to wear a social justice message was surprising as he is often outspoken on causes that are dear to him. What else is surprising is the NBA not consulting him on possible messages.  Social justice messages or not, the Black Lives Matter movement has gathered momentum and will continue to have an impact. The key however is education and awareness.

Jose Mourinho appeared to take aim at Pep Guardiola and Manchester City over their Financial Fair Play (FFP) dispute as he bristled at a question regarding his Tottenham team selection.

Mourinho oversaw Spurs' 3-1 win at Newcastle United on Wednesday, with Harry Kane on the scoresheet twice – passing 200 club career goals – as the London outfit boosted their hopes of European qualification.

But even after victory – Mourinho's first in the Premier League at St James' Park – the head coach's focus did not seem to stray far from the result of City's appeal this week.

Guardiola's side were initially banned from European competition for two years by UEFA but successfully appealed against that punishment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Mourinho called the outcome "a disgraceful decision" and again made reference to FFP following the game on Tyneside, going slightly off piste as he discussed his line-up.

Asked about Steven Bergwijn's role as a substitute, Mourinho replied: "You do this question to me but not to [Frank] Lampard, to [Jurgen] Klopp, to Pep.

"Lampard plays [Christian] Pulisic, you don't ask him why he doesn't start [Callum] Hudson-Odoi. Pep leaves Bernardo on bench, you don't ask why he doesn't start Bernardo Silva.

"I'm the only guy who doesn't have the right to play certain players. If Bergwijn started, you'd be asking me why Lucas [Moura] didn't start.

"You don't ask [Wolves boss] Nuno [Espirito Santo] why he leaves [Adama] Traore on the bench. [Bergwijn] is a team player, he plays for Tottenham."

It was put to Mourinho that he would be pleased by Bergwijn's impact from the bench, prompting his reply: "It is credibility for the players and for the group.

"We need good players and more than 11. We need a good group of players. And if we can do that without breaking FFP, we'll do even better."

Mourinho was cheerier as he discussed the end of his St James' Park hoodoo, halting a run of seven games as a visiting manager in the league without victory.

"It's special for us as we needed these three points," he said. "For me, it's a good feeling.

"I'm very happy for the team and finally I can leave the stadium and look at the statue of [former mentor] Bobby Robson and smile at him."

Jurgen Klopp was delighted Liverpool finally won the Premier League this season, because he fears any relaxing of spending rules may mark the end of honest competition in football.

The Liverpool manager worries that multi-billionaire club owners could overrun the game if restrictions are eased.

And he argued Monday was "not a good day" after Manchester City succeeded in their appeal against a two-year ban from Europe over alleged Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches.

UEFA's FFP policy is facing fresh scrutiny after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in assessing City's challenge to their punishment, determined that "most of the alleged breaches ... were either not established or time-barred".

Former Borussia Dortmund head coach Klopp said: "I'm not worried for Liverpool. I'm really happy we won the championship this year because it will not be easy in future if something changes.

"I like FFP because it gives us a frame. I've no idea how it exactly works but how I understand it, it gives us a frame in which we all have to work and I’m fine with that.

"If that means now we have to change that, then the future will show what it will mean exactly. For the football we know at the moment it was not a good day.

"It was not a day we all should celebrate and say, 'Oh, from now on everyone can spend as much as they want'."

He expressed the worry that any loosening of the limits clubs operate under would mean "there will be people with a lot of money who will be very, very influential".

City strenuously denied wrongdoing throughout as UEFA investigated their finances, while European football's governing body defended the FFP system after the CAS verdict was delivered.

UEFA said FFP had "played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable".

Klopp stressed his opinion was nothing personal against City, the team who will finish second to his Liverpool in the Premier League this season, a reversal on last season's positions.

The CAS ruling may even help Liverpool in their Premier League title defence, because City will not benefit from free midweeks between domestic games.

"I'm happy that City can play Champions League," Klopp said. "I don't want them to lose money or whatever, but if there are rules I think it makes sense that we all stick to it and not only some."

Marseille insist they are cooperating "fully and transparently" with UEFA but will maintain an ambitious approach amid the threat of punishments relating to Financial Fair Play breaches.

The Ligue 1 club last year reached a settlement with UEFA after they were investigated for non-compliance with break-even requirements set out in FFP rules.

However, in a statement released on Thursday, UEFA confirmed Marseille had been referred to the adjudicatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body after being suspected of failing to comply with the agreement.

Marseille responded with their own statement, explaining their project had initially relied on investment to "relaunch the club".

The French side now hope to be treated "fairly" by UEFA as the risk of punishments "in no way alters the will of the club" to become a competitive force again.

"Olympique de Marseille takes note of the decision of the investigatory chamber to forward the club's file to the adjudicatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body," the statement read.

"Since the start of the project, OM have never hidden the need to invest massively with the capital of its shareholder to relaunch the club and once again display high ambitions.

"The club has now launched the second phase of its project, which makes economic sustainability and the return to financial equilibrium an essential objective.

"To this end, it collaborates fully and transparently with UEFA, and hopes to be treated fairly vis-a-vis other French and European clubs.

"This decision in no way alters the will of the club and its shareholder to continue building an OM that is sportingly ambitious and economically sustainable."

Marseille, who are second to Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1, appointed Paul Aldridge as an adviser in January as they reportedly aim to sell players to the Premier League to help restore this "financial equilibrium".

Marseille are at risk of UEFA punishments after European football's governing body said the French club had failed to comply with a settlement agreement relating to Financial Fair Play breaches.

Last June, the Ligue 1 outfit reached a settlement with UEFA after they were investigated for non-compliance with break-even requirements set out in FFP rules.

In the agreement, Marseille said they would report a maximum break-even deficit of €30million in the financial year ending 2020, €0m for the year ending 2021 and reach "full break-even compliance" by the 2022-23 season.

They were also told to pay €6m, withheld from revenues gained from playing in UEFA competitions, €4m of which was conditional based on their compliance with the settlement. Marseille's squad size for European tournaments was also restricted.

The club also agreed to restrictions on the ratio of employee benefit expenses to revenue and the amortisation of player registrations.

In a statement released on Thursday, UEFA confirmed Marseille have been referred to the adjudicatory chamber of the Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) but did not specify with which part of the settlement agreement the club had allegedly not complied.

Lechia Gdansk have also been referred after UEFA said the Polish club "failed to provide the CFCB investigatory chamber with the required break-even information during the 2019-20 season".

Pep Guardiola is expecting Manchester City to face a tough transfer window due to inflated fees and uncertainty over the club's participation in the Champions League.

Last week, City were hit with a two-year ban from European competition by UEFA along with a €30million fine over alleged breaches of its Financial Fair Play regulations.

The club immediately signalled their intention to launch an appeal against the ruling with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, with chief executive Ferran Soriano saying the allegations "are simply not true".

Prior to UEFA's announcement, many had been tipping Guardiola to oversee an overhaul of City's first-team squad.

But when asked by Sky Sports if he expects a busy close season, the City manager admitted it will be tough to act in the market.

"I don't think so. I don't think so because today it is so difficult to change the players because they are so expensive and it is not easy," he said.

"The club must [also] be sustainable, I understand completely, and in the situation that we are in, we have to wait, [not] anticipate. Our idea right now with the situation with Financial Fair Play [is] when we are going to appeal.

"Right now, we have to wait. So, we are going to play these three months, and when the season finishes, we will see what the situation is.

"And with the club, together, we are going to decide what is best - not just for the next year, but for the next two, three, four years for the cub."

The former Barcelona coach insists City are still preparing as though they will play in the Champions League next season, though.

"I think the club is working as though nothing has changed, nothing has happened, and the players have to play like they have done all of these seasons [previously] in the same way," Guardiola added.

"We believe we are going to be there. What we have to do is to do our job and play like we have done these seasons and then, after that, [we will see]."

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi believes it would be "screwed" if Manchester City's players were banned from playing in the Champions League for two years.

Last week City were hit with a two-year ban from European competition by UEFA for "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play regulations following an investigation.

City, who were accused of "overstating sponsorship revenue" between 2012 and 2016, have denied any wrongdoing and intend to appeal the sanctions at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

However, should the ban stick, it would cast doubts over the futures of players such as Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and Messi's close friend Sergio Aguero.

"It is surprising because nobody thought that such a thing could happen, so powerful," Messi told Mundo Deportivo.

"Paris [Saint-Germain] paid a fine or I don't know how it went. If in the end City does not play in the Champions League for what it is, with the players, the club, and the money it spends, it will be weird."

Messi was then asked about the possibility of his compatriot Aguero wanting to join him at Camp Nou should the ban be upheld.

"If City do not enter the Champions League there are many players that may look for an exit, or maybe not," Messi added.

"The Champions League is very attractive so two years without playing it can be screwed."

City face Real Madrid in the last 16 of this season's competition, with their Premier League rivals Liverpool having already lost to another club from the city in their first leg.

Atletico Madrid became just the third team to defeat the Reds this season when they claimed a 1-0 success in Spain on Tuesday, not that Messi was surprised by the LaLiga side's performance.

"The truth is, no," he said.

"On the day of the draw we talked in the dressing room that it would be very close because Atletico competes a lot in this competition. 

"In duels of two matches they are very strong and they showed it again, that they will compete and they will be there."

Pep Guardiola's agent reiterated his client "always fulfills his contracts" amid fresh speculation regarding the Manchester City boss' future following UEFA's Financial Fair Play (FFP) sanctions.

Last week City were hit with a two-season ban from European competition for "serious breaches" of FFP regulations, a suspension meted out after an investigation found the Premier League champions guilty of "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016".

City have denied wrongdoing throughout the process and intend to appeal the punishments, which also include a €30million fine, yet the possibility of not playing in Europe for two seasons has led to questions about the future of their key players and manager.

Prior to the UEFA sanctions, Guardiola had stated his wish to see out his City contract and remain in Manchester until 2021, and his agent Josep Maria Orobitg suggested nothing has changed on that front.

"Guardiola always fulfils all his contracts," he told El Mundo.

"And this [contract with City] concludes in June 2021."

Guardiola left Barcelona at the end of his one-year rolling contract in 2012 after four hugely successful seasons with his boyhood club.

He then spent three seasons with Bayern Munich, again vacating the post when his contract ran out.

Guardiola was appointed City boss in 2016 and he signed fresh terms in May 2018, shortly after his team won the Premier League title with a record-breaking 100 points.

Should he complete his current contract at the Etihad Stadium, the time at City would be Guardiola's longest stint at a club.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.