Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 18th 2013 Contents A57
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SAO PAULO---Brazil's sports tribunal
has fined second-division club ABC
nearly $15,000 after overcrowded
stands forced the delay of a match in
Natal this month.
The tribunal said in its ruling late
Wednesday that ABC failed to provide
adequate conditions to fans in the
match against Palmeiras on October 5.
Children and women cried as they
tried to get away from a crowd packed
near one of the stadium's entrances.
Fans climbed a fence and jumped onto
the field to escape the overflow,
delaying the match for more than 30
minutes. No serious injuries were
reported. The chaotic scene took place
at Frasqueirao Stadium. World Cup
matches in Natal will be played at the
new Arena das Dunas.
Brazilian club fined for overcrowded stadium
LONDON---Jokes replaced jeers
at Arsenal yesterday as the team s
strong start to the season was
reflected while owner Stan
Kroenke faced shareholders.
Heckling was directed at
Kroenke at last year s annual gen-
eral meeting at a time when Arse-
nal looked far from winning its
first trophy since 2005.
Now the team is thriving in the
Champions League and is the early
Premier League leader.
"We are pleased with the
progress of the club and that is
made up of a lot of things, most
importantly on the pitch," Kroenke
said inside the Emirates Stadium.
"None of us up here (on the board),
fans, players, or (manager) Arsene
(Wenger) are happy until we have
won championships and trophies."
Arsenal heads into tomorrow s
match against Norwich above Liv-
erpool on goal difference.
"We are top of the table, we are
in a very strong position, but if
you look the schedule, then by the
end of November you will have a
much clearer situation of where
the strengths of everybody lies in
this Premier League," Wenger said,
sounding a note of caution.
There was no such restraint from
the Arsenal hierarchy when high-
lighting the club s healthy finances.
Cash reserves of almost $200 mil-
lion were held at the end of the
2012-13 financial year.
"We have more (commercial
deals) coming and are confident,"
Kroenke said. "However, nothing
works unless we have success on
The early optimism that success
in trophy form will come by May
has been heightened since the
signing of Mesut Ozil from Real
Madrid last month for a club-
record 50 million euros ($66 mil-
lion). That deal was possible,
according to Wenger, because the
club s "very long, restricted period
financially" is over.
"We have shown to you that we
are not scared to spend money
when we think the players have
the quality and we have the funds
available to do it," Wenger said.
"Nevertheless, I would say our
world is quickly changing. Why?
Because Europe as a continent is
becoming poorer, the rest of the
world is becoming richer---espe-
cially Asia, for example---and these
people invest in football in Europe.
"That means (with) the com-
petition we face financially today,
we have to be really aware of the
number of countries who now have
big investors coming in from dif-
ferent continents other than
Europe. The competition you face
on an international level, finan-
cially, has become bigger than
Such was the calm mood at the
AGM, chief executive Ivan Gazidis
felt confident to joke about
Wenger s inability to zip up his
coat and to quip about Gareth Bale
no longer playing for neighbor Tot-
tenham but "for one of our
Despite the apparent tranquility
on the surface at the AGM, some
fans groups did express displeasure
about Kroenke s limited engage-
ment with them.
"There s no other club at this
level which engages with fans as
much as we do," Gazidis said.
Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick
also resisted calls for the club s
second-biggest shareholder, Russ-
ian billionaire Alisher Usmanov,
to be granted a seat on the board
Red & White Holdings, the
investment vehicle Usmanov joint-
ly owns with Farhad Moshiri,
announced Thursday that its stake
in Arsenal now exceeds 30 per
cent. Kroenke owns almost 67 per
cent of the club.
MANCHESTER---Manchester United s
post-Alex Ferguson dip has opened
the door for a number of challengers
in the Premier League this season,
with Arsenal and Liverpool the first
teams to capitalise.
The Premier League resumes after a
two-week international break with
Arsenal, rejuvenated by the signing of
Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil, top
of the standings on goal difference from
Liverpool after seven matches.
It s early days but United is languish-
ing in mid-table after three losses and
the champions could encounter more
problems on tomorrow when fourth-
place Southampton, one of the surprises
of the season so far, visits Old Trafford.
Here are five things to know about
this weekend s matches in the English
OZIL WORRY FOR ARSENAL
Arsenal will be hoping a knee injury
picked up by Ozil on international duty
on Tuesday doesn t stop him playing
against Norwich on Saturday.
Ozil, who hobbled off late in Germany s
5-3 win over Sweden in a World Cup
qualifier, has been an instant hit at Arsenal
since joining for a club-record US$66
million on transfer deadline day, trans-
forming the mentality of a squad that has
gone eight years without a trophy.
"He came back with a knock on the
knee, but it was just a kick," Arsenal
manager Arsene Wenger said.
Any fears that Luis Suarez would take
time to get back into his stride after serv-
ing a 10-game ban for biting an opponent
have been well and truly cast aside.
The Liverpool striker has scored three
goals in two matches since his return to
the team from suspension and has struck
up a brilliant partnership with Daniel
Sturridge, who also netted in those match-
es against Sunderland and Crystal Palace.
The league s most feared strike com-
bination will fancy their chances of adding
to their haul on Saturday when Liverpool
travels to Newcastle, whose flimsy defense
has been ripped apart by Man City, Hull
and Everton already this season.
"He s a nice guy and we have great
chemistry on the field, and we get on
well off it so it s good," Sturridge said.
By firing Paolo Di Canio after seven
months in charge, Sunderland s gamble
on hiring an outspoken coach with no
top-flight managerial experience back-
So what did the struggling northeast
club do next? Hire another coach with
Gus Poyet s only previous job was at
second-tier English club Brighton, but
he has been tasked with keeping Sun-
derland in the Premier League after its
dreadful start to the season that has
left the team bottom on just one point.
Poyet s first game in charge is at
Swansea on tomorrow.
SAINTS GO MARCHING TO OLD
Save for Man United, all the usual
big teams are already occupying the
top positions in the league after just
two months. And then there s
The acquisition of Italy striker Pablo
Osvaldo from Roma in August was a
sign that the south-coast team meant
business this year, having only survived
relegation by five points last season.
Southampton is in fourth place, has
the best defense in the league --- con-
ceding just two goals so far --- and has
already won at Liverpool to end the
then-leader s unbeaten start. It has
done all this with core of English players
in the squad at a time when home-
grown talent is struggling to get a look-
in more than ever before in England s
top division. Next up for the Saints is
a trip to United, whose last home match
saw the team trip up 2-1 to West
Many pundits title favourite after
bringing in nearly 100 million pounds
($160 million) of talent in the offseason,
Manchester City has shown the wrong
kind of consistency in its opening seven
Sublime at home, where it has won
all four of its games and scored 13 goals
in the process, City is yet to win away
after losing to promoted Cardiff and
Aston Villa and being outplayed in a
0-0 draw at Stoke.
Defensively, Manuel Pellegrini s side
has been suspect on its travels so Vin-
cent Kompany s likely absence with a
knee injury for Saturday s match at
West Ham will be sorely felt.
West Ham is also coming off a shock
3-0 win at Tottenham, where Ravel
Morrison s solo goal from the halfway
line provided another glimpse of the
young winger s talents.
...as Arsenal owner faces investors
Jokes replace jeers
Arsenal's Mesut Ozil,
left, keeps the ball
from West Bromwich
Albion's Billy Jones
during their English
match at The
England, last Sunday.
Problems loom for champs
as Southampton visits
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