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Shamrock Rovers (Hoops) fans must be very pleased with the announcement of a major sponsorship deal with SEAT Ireland.

Following on from winning back-to-back league titles, never mind being the first Irish club to qualify for group stages of a European competition, the SEAT deal is probably one of the largest sponsorships ever achieved by any League of Ireland club.

Although the news is a tremendous boost for domestic soccer in Ireland, Hoops boss Michael O’Neill feels that to really compete in Europe he needs top class players. And that’s the crunch of it all. These players are all at clubs which have significant financial backing.

As if to emphasise the point O’Neill pointed to Rubin which beat his club 4-1 last week in Russia.

“One player in that Rubin squad takes home in a month more than our entire team earned last year,” he said.

Another example makes the point just as well. Hoops top striker cost the club €25,000! Compare that to one of Rubin’s players, Obafemi Martins which cost them €15 million and it’s easy to see why O’Neill feels the way he does.

There is however another avenue which is open to Hoops and other domestic clubs. Home grown talent! But the problem is keeping them in Ireland, something sadly we have not been able to do in the past. And the reason? Well I think you know the answer.

Copyright © 2011, DPNLIVE – All Rights Reserved

Statistics just released would suggest that anybody who still thinks professional soccer can’t make it in the US may be in for a big surprise. The Major League Soccer (MLS) season has just finished its 16th season with a league-record average attendance of 17,872 per game. These figures have now pushed it past the NBA (National Basketball Association) as the country’s third-best attended professional league although the NFL and Major League Baseball still rank at number 1 and 2 respectively. One of the biggest boosts to the overall average attendance was by the Seattle Sounders who averaged 38,496 per game.

The league has grown from ten teams in 1996 to 19 this up-coming season with the addition of another club, the Montreal Impact.

In percentage terms MLS attendances increased by 7.2 % from 2010 and when you look a bit closer at the figures it’s not hard to see why. Portland had 17 sell-outs; Vancouver sold out seven and has plans to increase its stadium capacity for next season. And Kansas City, which had a usual attendance of 10,000 for years, grew its numbers to 17,810 this year.

However the TV ratings are not so good. Although they have grown, viewing figures still lag far behind the other major US leagues.

Nevertheless, MLS has proved it is a viable product with a growing audience in the US. When it started back in 1996 many argued that it would not be able to survive with all the other sports in this country.

But then we could have told our US friends that soccer is the greatest game in the world. It was only a matter of time and money for them to come to the same conclusion!

Copyright © 2011, DPNLIVE – All Rights Reserved

Sepp BlatterSepp BlatterIt seems FIFA President Sepp Blatter just can’t keep out of the news these days. With his organization embroiled in corruption allegations Blatter’s latest remark that racial abuse on the field could be settled by a handshake has caused outrange in the soccer world.

The UK’s sports minister, Hugh Robertson and Gordon Taylor, the Chief Executive of England's Professional Footballers Association were amongst many who urged him to resign. Even The European Union described his comments as totally unacceptable.

Amongst a host of previous “gaffs” that Blatter has made included suggesting that female players should wear tighter shorts, and that gay fans should refrain from having sex at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Why? Because homosexual acts are illegal there.

His ludicrous comment about racism in that now “infamous” TV interview comes at a time when football authorities in the UK are investigating two allegations of racial abuse involving Liverpool and Chelsea players during Premier League games.

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand also had a go at Blatter on Twitter saying his views were "so condescending, it’s almost laughable."

Not long after Blatter's remarks, the English Football Association charged Liverpool forward Luis Suarez with racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, who is black. Liverpool insisted that Suarez will plead not guilty and said that the club is "fully supportive of Luis in this matter."

So what happens if the unthinkable happened and Blatter did resign? Well FIFA rules require that the Senior Vice President, at present Julio Grondona of Argentina, take over until a new election is held at the next congress, scheduled for May in Budapest, Hungary. Grondona, who is 80, is also no stranger to controversy. In 2003 he said Jewish men could not be top-level referees because they "don't like hard work."

Is it their age or is that these men are just plain STUPID! You tell me.

Copyright © 2011, DPNLIVE – All Rights Reserved

David BeckamDavid BeckamDavid Beckham has been voted Major League Soccer Comeback Player of the Year in the North American league. The prestigious award was as a result of votes by club representatives, media and players.

Beckham, who is thirty six years old, plays for LA Galaxy in the US on a five year contract which expires this month. Achilles tendon problems last year meant that he was only able to play in ten matches for his club. However this year he has had a significant impact for LA Galaxy on the pitch resulting in him receiving this award.

Unlike soccer in other countries, the North American Soccer League counts statistics on players in a slightly different way than in Europe. Apart from goals scored by an individual, it also takes into account two other criteria; Assists and MLS-bests. The former refers to a contribution by a player for passing or crossing the ball to the scorer. The term MLS represents the top tier of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.

This season Beckham registered 15 Assists (second in the league) during 26 games and also personally scored twice. He also surpassed his own personal MLS-bests in games played (previously 25) and Assists (10).

As a result he was named recently on the MLS Best XI this season, joining four other midfielders on this all-star team.

Saturday, 8 October 2011
European Championship Qualifying
Liechtenstein v Scotland, GpI, 18:30
UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Turkey U21 v Hungary U21, G7, 17:00
Wales U21 v Montenegro U21, G3, 18:00
Npower League One
Bournemouth v Rochdale, 15:00
Bury v Exeter, 15:00
Carlisle v Brentford, 15:00
Charlton v Tranmere, 15:00
Colchester v Yeovil, 15:00
Huddersfield v Stevenage, 15:00
Scunthorpe v Leyton Orient, 15:00
Sheffield Wed v Chesterfield, 15:00
Wycombe v Walsall, 15:00
Npower League Two
Northampton v Crawley Town, 12:45
Aldershot v Macclesfield, 15:00
Bradford v Torquay, 15:00
Cheltenham v Dag & Red, 15:00
Crewe v Southend, 15:00
Gillingham v Port Vale, 15:00
Morecambe v AFC Wimbledon, 15:00
Oxford Utd v Bristol Rovers, 15:00
Plymouth v Accrington Stanley, 15:00
Rotherham v Burton Albion, 15:00
Shrewsbury v Barnet, 15:00
Swindon v Hereford, 15:00
Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town v Kettering, 15:00
Barrow v AFC Telford, 15:00
Bath City v Darlington, 15:00
Ebbsfleet United v Gateshead, 15:00
Fleetwood Town v Forest Green, 15:00
Kidderminster v Luton, 15:00
Mansfield v Grimsby, 15:00
Newport County v Southport, 15:00
Tamworth v Lincoln City, 15:00
York v Braintree Town, 15:00
The FA Carlsberg Trophy
AFC Hayes v Cheshunt, PR
AFC Sudbury v Great Wakering, PR
Ashford Town v Maidstone Utd, PR
Ashford Town (Middx) v Maidstone Utd, PR
Barton v Shepshed Dynamo, PR
Bedfont Town v Romford, PR
Bedworth v Market Drayton, PR
Bideford v Beaconsfield, PR
Bishops Cleeve v Paulton, PR
Bognor Regis Town v Mangotsfield, PR
Brentwood Town v Leiston, PR
Bridgwater Town v Tiverton, PR
Brigg Town v Mossley, PR
Burgess Hill Town v Corinthian Casuals, PR
Carlton Town v Belper Town, PR
Chalfont St Peter v Abingdon Utd, PR
Cinderford v Poole Town, PR
Didcot Town v Clevedon Town, PR
Eastbourne Town v Chatham Town, PR
Fleet Town v Burnham, PR
Garforth Town v Lancaster City, PR
Gosport Borough v Slough, PR
Halesowen v Romulus, PR
Ilford v Redbridge, PR
Kidsgrove Ath v Loughborough Dynamo, PR
Newcastle Town v Woodford Utd, PR
New Mills v Radcliffe Borough, PR
Ossett Albion v Lincoln Utd, PR
Ossett Town v Wakefield FC, PR
Potters Bar Town v Heybridge Swifts, PR
Prescot Cables v Durham City, PR
Quorn v Biggleswade Town, PR
Rainworth Miners Welfare v Hucknall, PR
Ramsgate v Needham Market, PR
Rugby Town v Sutton Coldfield Tn, PR
Salford City v Clitheroe, PR
Sheffield v Warrington Town, PR
Sittingbourne v Northwood, PR
Soham Town Rangers v Whitehawk, PR
Stamford v Coalville, PR
Stourport v Daventry Town, PR
Thamesmead Town v Whitstable Town, PR
Thatcham Town v North Leigh, PR
Trafford v AFC Fylde, PR
Waltham Abbey v Grays Athletic, PR
Walton & Hersham v Enfield Town, PR
Walton Casuals v Faversham Town, PR
Ware v Chipstead, PR
Whyteleafe v North Greenford Utd, PR
Wimborne Town v VT FC, PR
Woodley Sports v Skelmersdale Utd, PR
Worthing v Crawley Down, PR
Yate v Hungerford Town, PR
Blue Square Bet North
Altrincham v Boston Utd, 15:00
Bishop's Stortford v Gloucester, 15:00
Blyth Spartans v Worcester, 15:00
Corby v Stalybridge, 15:00
FC Halifax v Eastwood Town, 15:00
Harrogate Town v Gainsborough, 15:00
Hinckley Utd v Colwyn Bay, 15:00
Histon v Vauxhall Motors, 15:00
Hyde v Nuneaton, 15:00
Solihull Moors v Droylsden, 15:00
Workington v Guiseley, 15:00
Blue Square Bet South
Boreham Wood v Dartford, 15:00
Eastbourne Boro v Eastleigh, 15:00
Farnborough v Thurrock, 15:00
Havant and Waterlooville v Bromley, 15:00
Maidenhead Utd v Chelmsford, 15:00
Staines Town v Dorchester, 15:00
Tonbridge Angels v Hampton & Richmond, 15:00
Truro City v Basingstoke, 15:00
Welling v Dover, 15:00
Weston-S-Mare v Sutton Utd, 15:00
Woking v Salisbury, 15:00
International Match
Costa Rica v Brazil, 03:00
USA v Honduras, 23:00
Scot-Ads Highland Football League
Brora v Inverurie Locos, 15:00
Buckie Thistle v Lossiemouth, 15:00
Clachnacuddin v Strathspey Thistle, 15:00
Cove Rangers v Rothes, 15:00
Deveronvale v Nairn County, 15:00
Formartine Utd v Keith, 15:00
Forres Mechanics v Huntly, 15:00
Fort William v Turriff United, 15:00
Wick Academy v Fraserburgh, 15:00
Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League
Bangor City v Port Talbot, 14:30
Llanelli v Aberystwyth, 14:30
The New Saints v Carmarthen, 14:30
Afan Lido v Bala Town, 14:45
Carling Premiership
Ballymena v Portadown, 15:00
Cliftonville v Dungannon Swifts, 15:00
Coleraine v Linfield, 15:00
Crusaders v Glenavon, 15:00
Donegal Celtic v Carrick, 15:00
Lisburn Distillery v Glentoran, 15:00
League of Ireland Premier Division
Dundalk v Derry City, 14:00
Bohemians v UCD, 19:00
St Patricks v Sligo, 19:30
Galway Utd v Drogheda Utd, 19:45
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Npower League One
Notts County v Hartlepool, 16:30
Blue Square Bet Premier
Hayes & Yeading v Wrexham, 15:00
Ramsdens Challenge Cup
Annan Athletic v Falkirk, SF, 15:00
Hamilton v Livingston, SF, 15:00
The FA Carlsberg Trophy
Waltham Forest v Tilbury, PR
Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League
Airbus UK v Newtown, 14:30
Neath v Prestatyn Town, 14:30
League of Ireland Premier Division
Bray v Shamrock Rovers, 15:00
FA Women's Premier League
Aston Villa Ladies v Nottm F Ladies, 14:00
Barnet Ladies v Coventry Ladies, 14:00
Charlton Women v Watford Ladies, 14:00
Leeds Ladies v Sunderland Ladies, 14:00
Reading FC Women v Cardiff Ladies, 14:00
Monday, 10 October 2011
UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Azerbaijan U21 v Belgium U21, G8, 14:00
Estonia U21 v Croatia U21, G5, 14:00
Finland U21 v Sweden U21, G2, 17:00
Norway U21 v England U21, G8, 18:00
San Marino U21 v Germany U21, G1, 19:15
Scotland U21 v Austria U21, G10, 19:30
Npower League One
Oldham v MK Dons, 19:45
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
European Championship Qualifying
Kazakhstan v Austria, GpA, 17:00
Croatia v Latvia, GpF, 18:00
Georgia v Greece, GpF, 18:00
Germany v Belgium, GpA, 18:00
Malta v Israel, GpF, 18:00
Turkey v Azerbaijan, GpA, 18:00
Macedonia v Slovakia, GpB, 18:45
Rep of Ireland v Armenia, GpB, 18:45
Russia v Andorra, GpB, 18:45
Hungary v Finland, GpE, 19:00
Moldova v San Marino, GpE, 19:00
Sweden v Netherlands, GpE, 19:00
Bulgaria v Wales, GpG, 19:05
Denmark v Portugal, GpH, 19:15
Norway v Cyprus, GpH, 19:15
Switzerland v Montenegro, GpG, 19:15
Italy v Northern Ireland, GpC, 19:45
Lithuania v Czech Republic, GpI, 19:45
Slovenia v Serbia, GpC, 19:45
Spain v Scotland, GpI, 19:45
Albania v Romania, GpD, 20:00
France v Bosnia-Hercegovina, GpD, 20:00
UEFA Under-21 Championship Qualifying
Latvia U21 v Slovakia U21, G9, 13:00
Malta U21 v Lithuania U21, G2, 14:00
Serbia U21 v Denmark U21, G4, 14:00
Poland U21 v Albania U21, G6, 14:30
Bosnia-Hercegovina U21 v Cyprus U21, G1, 16:00
Italy U21 v Turkey U21, G7, 16:00
Russia U21 v Portugal U21, G6, 16:00
Belarus U21 v Greece U21, G1, 17:00
Bulgaria U21 v Luxembourg U21, G10, 17:00
Romania U21 v France U21, G9, 17:00
Liechtenstein U21 v Rep of Ireland U21, G7, 18:00
Wales U21 v Czech Rep U21, G3, 19:15
Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town v Lincoln City, 19:45
Bath City v Cambridge Utd, 19:45
Ebbsfleet United v Luton, 19:45
Fleetwood Town v Newport County, 19:45
Grimsby v Barrow, 19:45
Hayes & Yeading v Forest Green, 19:45
Kettering v Braintree Town, 19:45
Kidderminster v AFC Telford, 19:45
Southport v York, 19:45
Stockport v Darlington, 19:45
International Match
Honduras v Jamaica
Estonia v Ukraine, 18:00
Poland v Belarus, 19:15
Ghana v Nigeria, 20:00
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Accrington Stanley v Tranmere, R2N, 19:45
International Match
USA v Ecuador
Mexico v Brazil, 02:30
Thursday, 13 October 2011
League of Ireland Premier Division
Shamrock Rovers v Derry City, 19:00
Friday, 14 October 2011
Npower Championship
Doncaster v Leeds, 19:45
Npower League Two
Bristol Rovers v Rotherham, 19:45
Burton Albion v Cheltenham, 19:45
Port Vale v Northampton, 19:45
Blue Square Bet Premier
Lincoln City v Fleetwood Town, 19:45
Corbett Sports Welsh Premier League
Aberystwyth v Neath, 19:45
Bala Town v The New Saints, 19:45
Carling Premiership
Carrick v Cliftonville, 19:45
League of Ireland Premier Division
Drogheda Utd v Bray, 19:45

Tiger WoodsTiger WoodsThere is concern that Tiger Woods may not make the Masters this year due to a back injury.

The 14-times major champion suffered back spasms last year at The Barclays tournament, and it appears the problem has continued.

Former world number one needs to

control his frustrations on the course.

Rory McIlroyRory McIlroyIt’s been reported in the media that Rory McILroy can’t wait to compete in one of his favourite competitions, the PGA National, to be held in Palm Beach Gardens, from February 27th to March 2nd. The Northern Irish golfer won the tournament here in 2012 by holding off a late charge by Tiger Woods which also made him world number one.

World number one golfer secures more honours on the PGA and European tours.

Rory McIlroyRory McIlroyRory McILroy was named winner of the PGA of America Player of the Year as well as the Vardon Trophy (awarded by the PGA of America to the PGA Tour's leader in scoring average).

The world number one golfer was always going be the favourite after landing his second major title at the PGA Championship in August and reaching a season high four times on the 2012 PGA Tour.

McILroy finished on 100 points while Woods came in with 66. The other contenders, Masters champion Watson and Dufner each had 50, Snedeker ended up with 36 and Kuchar 34.

The Ulsterman won The Vardon trophy with an adjusted scoring average of 68.87 while Jim Furyk was second on 69.30 and Dufner came in third with a score of 69.45.

He clinched the Arnold Palmer Award as the PGA Tour’s top money winner with earnings of $8,047,952. McILroy also secured the European Tour order of Merit on the 11th November.

Copyright © 2012, DPNLIVE – All Rights Reserved

rory mcilroyrory mcilroyEarly to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Well it looks like someone forgot to tell the World number one golfer, Rory McILroy that as he nearly became the laughing stock of the world at the Ryder Cup at Medinah, USA.

On the last day of the tournament, with Europe facing the seemingly impossible task of overturning a 10 – 6 advantage to the Americans, McILroy was paired with Keegan Bradley going into the last days 12 single matches.

The young man from Ulster had checked the tee time on his phone and forgot that they showed Eastern time. Medinah is in Chicago which is Central time, one hour earlier than Eastern time.

A phone call alerted him to the fact that he had 25 minutes to get to the course and pure look in the guise of a state trooper who was outside the hotel saved the day.

The penalty for being late was simple. Two minutes late and he would have forfeited the opening hole to Bradley, five minutes and he faced disqualification.

However as we all know now he went on to deliver a superb performance and defeat Bradley. In so doing he became part of a Europe team that pulled off the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history, defeating the Yanks 8.5 – 3.5 in the singles which was enough to overturn the Americans overall lead and retain the Ryder Cup.

Copyright © 2012, DPNLIVE – All Rights Reserved

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