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The Week That Was

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and SD merged to become the FSA in 2019.

There’s no doubt what this week’s big news was – Sven is back! The former England manager has joined Notts County as director of football on a reported £2m per season, not bad going in anyone’s book. He’s apparently picked up almost £8m in severance payments from his previous three jobs too – Mexico, Manchester City and England. Which obviously explains his thinking in taking the job at Meadow Lane: “I’m not here for the money, I’m here for the challenge,” said Sven. We believe you, honest!

In more serious news it’s also emerged this week that four former Accrington Stanley players have been banned for up to a year. Jay Harris, Robert Matthews, David Mannix and Andrew Mangan (then of Bury) were handed bans of between five and 12 months by the FA. Mangan received the shortest, although a former Stanley player he was actually on Bury’s books at the time.

The others all received heavier bans and fines after betting against their own team – something which most fans would struggle to ever forgive. The case against a fifth player, Stanley’s Peter Cavanagh, will be heard at a later date.

The FA’s independent commission expressed concerns that the outcome of the match, which Bury won 2-0, may have been fixed although a lack conclusive proof meant none of the players were charged with this. Suspicions were originally raised when bookies reported unusually betting activity forcing the FA to switch officials and launch an investigation.

Over in Bolivia and 12-year-old Mauricio Baldivieso became the youngest ever professional player after making his debut for Aurora – although his dad is the coach. The kid, we can’t even say teenager, gets a warm welcome from La Paz’s Henry Alaca who scythes right through the back of him. Ouch. Baldivieso then shows he can dive and roll with the most experienced old-pro though, see the below clip (49 seconds in). The boy’ll go far.

If that’s not enough to warm the heart, fan’s favourite Mido (we jest), has returned to Middlesbrough’s squad after being fined a fortnight’s wages for failing to show for the first day of pre-season training. So rather than turn up and do 13 days work for free, he just didn’t bother showing up for the rest of the fortnight’s training at all. Whadda guy.

We’ll fly past that whole LA Galaxy/Beckham incident that got everyone in such a tangle early this week because we’re slightly bored of it. Plus, the rumour that Gary Neville introduced Michael Owen to United youngster Danny Wellbeck by saying “this is Danny, he’s 18 and won the league” tickled us more anyway.

Enjoy the weekend!

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