The Sport Matrix: Friday 9 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Dyke’s B-team idea in FA Commission labelled a ‘joke’

Greg Dyke’s proposal for a fifth-tier B-team league, made up of Premier League reserve and academy players, looked dead in the water last night after a huge backlash from Football League clubs and a lack of support from the elite clubs that the Football Association chairman cited as in favour.

The recommendation formed the key part of his England Commission report into finding ways to increase the number of English footballers in the top two divisions and was supported by the likes of Roy Hodgson, Rio Ferdinand, Glenn Hoddle and Dario Gradi, all Commission members who gave their name to the report.

However, within minutes of his presentation being made at  Wembley, the proposal by Dyke (above) that B teams be introduced into a new fifth division – with scope to be promoted as high as League One – was shot down by Football League clubs.

Portsmouth chief executive Mark Catlin called it “disgraceful and a complete joke”. The  Football League, meanwhile,  said the proposal was not  “acceptable”.

Ratto takes lead in Women’s Tour

Italy’s Rossella Ratto won stage two of the Women’s Tour of Britain to take the overall lead amid heavy rain in Bedford. Ratto broke away early on the 118.5km stage before she was joined by her compatriot Susanna Zorzi, who came second following a sprint finish.

Cook: England must show pride

England captain Alastair Cook says his players must appreciate their place in the team, ahead of today’s one-day international against Scotland. He said: “You have to remember how lucky we are to wear the shirt and play for your country.”

Derby in control of play-off semi-final

Derby took command of the Championship play-off semi-final after coming from behind to beat Brighton 2-1 in the first leg. Jesse Lingard put the hosts 1-0 up but Chris Martin levelled for Derby and then saw his effort come back off the bar and go in off Tomasz Kuszczak.

Lacklustre Murray loses in Madrid

Andy Murray fell to a shock 6-3 6-2 defeat to world No 46 Santiago Giraldo at the Madrid Masters. The Scot produced a below-par display which puts a major dent in his preparations for the French Open, which starts in just 16 days.

Ferdinand laments Vidic’s United exit

Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United may rue allowing  Nemanja Vidic to move to  Internazionale this summer. “Only time will tell if Man United regret allowing him to leave,” Ferdinand said. “He’s a great player and it’s a shame he had to leave.”

Twelvetrees set to miss England tour

Billy Twelvetrees will not  recover from his ankle problems for at least a month and is set to miss England’s three-Test tour to New Zealand. His Gloucester coach, Nigel Davies, says the centre is in need of “a full  summer’s rest”.

The Fury factor

Steve Bunce explains how Tyson Fury’s uncle saved the boxing career of Fast Eddie Chambers, one of the last American heavyweights and an endangered species in the top division.

Zabaleta: City must fight until the end

Pablo Zabaleta is wary of complacency as Manchester City aim to beat West Ham on Sunday to win the title. City left it late to beat QPR 3-2 in the last game of the 2011-12 season to clinch the league and he said: “Every single player knows we have done nothing yet.”

Tomlinson hopes to shine in Doha

The furore over Tyson Gay’s reduced drug ban has been the precursor to the start of the  outdoor season in Doha, Qatar, for the first of 14 Diamond League meetings. Long jumper Chris Tomlinson is among the Britons out for success.