All in the game
Compiled by MARY HANNIGAN
All in the game for LetchkovWhatever happened to: Yordan Letchkov? Remember, the baldy Bulgarian who scored the winner against Germany in the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals?
A rather splendid header it was too.
Now 45, Letchkov retired from football in 2004, after a spell as player-manager with his hometown club OFC Sliven, and turned his hand to business and politics, owning a hotel and being elected mayor of Sliven.
A happy and successful tale, then. Until, that is, he was given a three-year suspended jail sentence in 2011 for abuse of power as mayor. He got over that bump, though, restored to his position soon after a successful appeal, so all ended well.
Until his latest brush with the law, that is.
Letchkov is now appealing a two-year sentence, handed down after he was found guilty – again – of “mismanagement and abuse of power” as mayor. Tax “issues” related to a shady water and sewerage deal led to his downfall this time around.
And there’s more in the pipeline, so to speak, with another batch of fraud, corruption and mismanagement charges lined up.
He insists that his political foes are behind his woes, but whatever happens, he’ll need a good engine to get through it all. He certainly had one as a player, but this, alas, is a whole new ball game.
Old Saints peeved by Adkins' sacking
They were a bit stunned in Southampton way when the club sacked manager Nigel Adkins last week, largely because, after a shaky start to the season, he’d led them out of the bottom three with just two defeats in their last 12 games.
Old-boy Matt Le Tissier was unimpressed, to say the least, accusing chairman Nicola Cortese of turning the club in to “a laughing stock” – a view echoed by former manager Lawrie McMenemy, who was equally peeved about the appointment of Argentine Mauricio Pochettino as Adkins’ successor.
“Does he even speak English,” he asked.
Not a lot, as it proved, Pochettino speaking through an interpreter at his unveiling. McMenemy also smelled a rat.
“The bookmakers as ever were ahead of the game and realised something was off when, according to one I saw on TV, bets for as much as £500 were being laid at odds of 25- 1, not only for Nigel losing his job but giving the name of the person to take over,” he wrote. Someone made a tidy sum, then. Sympathy for Adkins might not have been entirely universal, depending on how you interpret this tweet from Luke Shaw (Football 365)
“Very confused lol”. Adkins isn’t LOLing, you would have to imagine.
Understatement of the week?
“He is a footballer and in that regard he is relatively well paid.”
So said Carlos Tevez’s solicitor in court when the player was banned from driving for six months. The Manchester City player He was ordered to pay £1,540 in fines and costs – but earning, as he allegedly does, in or around £150,000 a week, he should be relatively okay.