Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 20th 2014 Contents A45
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NEW YORK---The NBA
charged Donald Sterling yes-
terday with damaging the
league and its teams by making
racist comments, setting up a
hearing planned for June 3 after
which owners could vote to ter-
minate his ownership of the
Los Angeles Clippers.
The league also said the
banned owner has engaged in
other conduct that has impaired
its relationship with fans and
"All of these acts provide
grounds for termination under
several provisions of the NBA
constitution and related agree-
ments," the league said in a
statement. Sterling was banned
for life and fined $2.5 million by
Commissioner Adam Silver after
the release of a recording in
which he made racist remarks.
He has until May 27 to respond
to the charge, and the right to
appear at the hearing and make
a presentation in front of the
board of governors. If three-
fourths of the owners vote to
sustain the charge, Sterling will
be forced to sell the team he has
owned since 1981. (AP)
NBA charges Sterling, sets up June 3 hearing
MANCHESTER---Manchester United broke
with 136 years of tradition to welcome
Louis van Gaal as its new manager and
saw midfield great Ryan Giggs end his sto-
ried playing career to take up a coaching
role on another tumultuous day at Eng-
land s biggest club.
Exactly a year after waving goodbye to
Alex Ferguson and his 26 seasons of steady
success, the most turbulent 12 months of
United s recent history ended with the club s
hierarchy, new coaching staff and fans
expressing confidence that the good times
are about to return.
In a widely anticipated move, Van Gaal
was handed the sizeable task of restoring
the team s fortunes following the woeful
10-month reign of David Moyes, signing a
three-year deal that will begin once he fin-
ishes his duties with the Netherlands nation-
al team at the upcoming World Cup.
The 62-year-old Dutchman, who will be
United s first manager from outside Britain
or Ireland, has the experience of coaching
---and winning titles---at top European teams
Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich. He will
be viewed as a much safer bet than Moyes,
who proved to be too inexperienced at the
"This club has big ambitions; I too have
big ambitions," Van Gaal said, proclaiming
United as the "biggest club" in football.
"Together I m sure we will make history,"
Assisting Van Gaal will be Giggs, who
brought to a close his 23-year career on the
same day that he became a full-time football
coach at the club he made his name as one
of Britain s greatest ever players.
After 13 league titles, two Champions
Leagues, a club-record 963 appearances
and 168 goals, Giggs is swapping his boots
for a suit at Old Trafford.
"For me, today is new chapter filled with
many emotions---immense pride, sadness,
but most of all, excitement towards the
future," Giggs said in an open letter, in which
he also praised the abilities of Van Gaal.
"United fans I hope will share and echo
my belief that the club, the management
and owners are doing everything they can
to return this great club to where it belongs,
and I hope to be there every step of the
United, with its record 20 English league
titles and three European Cup trophies,
hasn t been in such a state of flux for a gen-
It all started with the retirement of Fer-
guson last May, along with the disappearance
of the final remnants of the "Class of 92"
generation that was so instrumental in those
glory days under the Scot.
David Beckham, the Neville brothers, Paul
Scholes and Nicky Butt have all ended their
playing careers and now Giggs has done the
same. United just won t be the same.
For Van Gaal and Giggs to form any kind
of dream team they need to click immedi-
ately, with United scarcely contemplating
another season like the one just finished.
Under Moyes, United placed seventh for
its lowest finish in the Premier League s 22-
year history, in what proved to be the worst
defense of a league title. To make matters
worse, the team failed to qualify for Europe
---not even the second-tier Europa League
---for the first time in 24 years.
Van Gaal s remit will be to get United
back in the lucrative
Champions League and
back playing the kind
of attacking, dynamic
brand of football expected
at Old Trafford.
United s American owners,
the Glazer family, and vice-
chairman Ed Woodward are sure
Van Gaal is the man to do just that.
"He has achieved many things in
his career to date and Old Trafford pro-
vides him with a fitting stage on which to
write new chapters in the Manchester United
story," Woodward said. "Everyone is very
excited about this new phase in the club s
The romantic notion of United hiring
coaches in a bid to create a dynasty---some-
thing Ferguson uniquely achieved---also
appears to have ended with the appointment
of Van Gaal.
After spending six years at Ajax, where
he guided a talented young team including
Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids and Patrick
Kluivert, to the pinnacle of European football
by winning the Champions League in 1995,
he joined Barcelona in 1997 for the first of
two spells---the first lasting three seasons
and the second barely half a year.
He has since coached AZ Alkmaar in the
Dutch league and Bayern between 2009-
11.Van Gaal is a proven winner, something
Moyes was not.
"His credentials are second to none,"
Giggs said, "and I m positive the club will
thrive under his leadership over the coming
Giggs began his open letter with the
words: "Today is a fantastic day for Man-
chester United." It will also be an emotional
one for fans so used to the sight of Giggs
slaloming past opponents, scoring goals,
and covering every blade of grass on the
Even in his later years, when his hair had
greyed and he had moved from being a
dashing winger to a creative central mid-
fielder, Giggs remained one of United s better
"Remarkable career by a loyal, legendary
(United) entertainer," FIFA President Sepp
Blatter said on Twitter. "963 games. 34 tro-
phies. 1 club."
His career has now entered a new stage.
And United is embarking on a new era, with
two proven winners at the helm.
...as Van Gaal,
Giggs take charge
New era for Man U
Manchester United has hired Netherlands coach
Louis Van Gaal as the club's new manager it was
announced yesterday. Van Gaal, who will leave his
position with the Dutch after the upcoming World
Cup in Brazil, replaces David Moyes following his
firing last month after just 10 months in charge.
Ryan Giggs...ends playing career.
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