Ajax victory in court fight
Saturday 13 August 2005
After the Dutch federation ordered Ajax to play behind closed doors elsewhere the club went to law and, yesterday, a court rescheduled the game for January. The champions, PSV Eindhoven, open their defence at promoted Heracles Almelo today.
In France, the defending champions, Lyon, play pointless Marseilles tomorrow hoping to extend their winning start to three matches. The Marseilles coach, Jean Fernandez, said: "Lyon are much stronger than we are, and we've played four games in 10 days and need to rest."
Lyon may play Michael Essien, who remains at the club despite weeks of speculation over a move to Chelsea. The early leaders, Nantes, play Ajaccio.
Although La Liga does not open for a fortnight the Spanish domestic season starts tonight with the first leg of the Super Cup between Kings' Cup winners Real Betis and Barcelona. The champions give a debut to Mark van Bommel.
The Italian season is also yet to start, but yesterday Lorenzo Sanz, the former president of Real Madrid, agreed a deal to buy troubled Parma. Sanz was deposed at Madrid by Florentino Perez despite winning two European Cups. Parma have been in administration since the collapse of backers Parmalat.
In Germany, the defending champions, Bayern Munich, travel to Bayer Leverkusen.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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