Outside Edge (28/03/10)

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The Independent Online

More apparent American interest in buying into English football, this time from rapsters P-Diddy and Jay-Z. No clue why the former is interested in Crystal Palace, apart from saying he "likes the name". As for Jay-Z, his target is Arsenal, whom he started supporting in the days of Thierry Henry: "Ever since then I've been a big fan of the club," he claims. The artist formerly known as Shawn Carter is now an eminently respectable businessman, but his, ahem, rap sheet includes shooting his brother at the age of 12 and other incidents involving knives and pistols along the way. So the Gunners seem somehow appropriate. If they're not interested there's always Sheffield United, aka the Blades.


The under-capacity in litres of the fuel tanks in the new Virgin Formula One team's cars, meaning they will struggle to finish races. Given their name, though, it's surely no surprise they won't go all the way.

Anywhere but England fans of the week

Those with slenderer resources than P-Diddy or Jay-Z can share the ownership of a football club for less than the price of a couple of pre-budget pints of strong cider if fivepoundfootballclub.com's plans are realised. The organisers are calling for at least 5,000 fans to contribute at least a fiver to part-purchase a club. Myfootballclub.co.uk tried something similar with Ebbsfleet United, of course, with only partial success, but the new outfit are avoiding England entirely, aiming instead at Scotland, Wales or Ireland (north or south). The most popular choice as voted for by the 2,279 members signed up so far is Barry Town; maybe Gavin and Stacey will chip in.

Good week for

Tommy Bowe, the Ireland winger voted as the Six Nations player of the year by fans... Lionel Messi, the Argentina and Barcelona forward deposed David Beckham as the world's highest-earning footballer, earning £29.6m in 2009... Rhys Davies, the Bridgend golfer claimed his first European Tour title by winning Morocco's Hassan Trophy... and Newton Marshall, became the first Jamaican to complete the 1,112-mile Iditarod dog-sled race in Alaska.

Bad week for

Steven Taylor, the Newcastle centre-half suffered a broken jaw after being punched by a team-mate... Glenn Ikonen, a member of Sweden's Paralympic curling team banned for two years after failing a drugs test... and Phil Pring and Ben Cummings from Cornwall, who crashed out on a reef less than a mile from the finish of the Atlantic Rowing Race after being at sea for 76 days.

Taking a bit of stick of the week

A couple of opportunities to become an international champion today; it's probably a tad late to get yourself to the 15th European Snowball Battle Championships in Finland, but the World Pooh Sticks title is up for grabs at Day's Lock near Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire, and you can sign up on the day (pooh-sticks.com for details). More luck than skill is involved, though Eeyore did claim to Tigger that success lay in letting go of your twig "in a twitchy sort of way". Having dispensed with his mistresses, Tiger Woods has had plenty of recent experience of twitchily dropping wooden objects, but is thought to be too busy practising for the Masters to come and compete.