Inside Lines: Ivor's Bath pull the plug after failing to get a Square deal
Sunday 12 April 2009
The future of trailblazers Team Bath, the first university side to reach the first round proper of the FA Cup for 122 years, is uncertain following their decision to resign from the Blue Square Conference at the end of the season.
According to team manager Ged Roddy, the shock move has been forced on them by the Conference, who ruled that under their present structure they could not win promotion to the Blue Square Premier Division, or ultimately to the Football League, as "not having their own ground does not comply with League regulations".
However, Team Bath, who share a ground with Bath City, dispute any such regulation exists and point out there are several examples of League clubs who have shared grounds. The team, who can boast football's oldest coach, the 92-year-old former Welsh international Ivor Powell MBE include both students and players who have not made the grade with League clubs. Roddy says Team Bath, with five promotions in nine seasons, and currently 10th in the Blue Square South, had no option but to quit after being told they would not be allowed to compete in the play-offs if they reached them. He said: "It seems grossly unfair that we've been denied the opportunity to progress further. Our long-term goal has always been the Football League."
Can he win it? Yes he Khan
Amir Khan (pictured) is spearheading Network Rail's campaign to keep kids off railway lines – he says as a youngster he had several friends who risked getting killed when playing "chicken". Khan's boxing career is back on course after his pulsating defeat of Marco Antonio Barrera and he is now moving up to light-welter for a WBA title challenge against the Ukrainian Andreas Kotelnik in London on 27 June. Another smart move by promoter Frank Warren, as it sees Khan avoiding power-hitting lightweight champs such as Edwin Valero, who has 25 straight KOs, and gives him a winnable fight against a genuine world title holder who is a good technical boxer but not a noted puncher. Khan and Kotelnik have something in common: both are Olympic silver medallists beaten by the Cuban Mario Kindelan in their respective finals.
New ball game for Clegg?
Simon Clegg officially severed his 20-year tenure with the British Olympic Association last week – he has been on the payroll since announcing his resignation as chief executive in December after differences with chairman Lord Moynihan. Clegg, 49, says he has received several approaches but is keeping his options open. One could be a similar role with Ipswich Town, whose own chief executive, Derek Bowden, is leaving at the end of the season. Clegg and Ipswich Town owner Marcus Evans are pals but he says suggestions he will take over are "speculation".
Sir Rodney's no plonker
Snooker's Twenty20-style "Super6", to be launched at next weekend's world champ-ionships, sounds like yet another wheeze dreamed up by Barry Hearn. In fact the man behind it is the equally ubiquitous Sir Rodney Walker, the ex-shot put champ who chaired UK Sport and Wembley and now runs World Snooker. Watch for more innovations, including a revamped rankings system. "The sport has to look at reinventing itself to attract a younger audience," he says.
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