Outside the Box: No Becks appeal in Auckland as Galaxy loss is out of this world

They love him in Los Angeles and Milan but Auckland, New Zealand, is less keen on the venerable David Beckham after an LA Galaxy match billed around him lost the Auckland Regional Council NZ$1.7 million (£630,000). The game was played there last December, shortly before Becks began his loan period with Milan, and the hoo-ha about who is to blame for the huge loss is now at full throttle. The local city council say they highlighted the financial risk and decided against underwriting the match, but the regional council recommended going ahead and have now admitted it was "a disaster", with revenue reaching less than half the break-even price after players such as Edgar Davids were hired for exorbitant fees to play for the "Oceania All Stars".

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If your team were a car - what would they be?</a>

Flavio Briatore has compared Manchester City to a Minardi - but what about the other teams?

Blackstock double lifts Sousa's spirits

Queen's Park Rangers 2 Charlton Athletic 0

Mahon rises to the occasion for Rangers

QPR 1 Cardiff City 0

La Dolce Vita: What really drives Flavio Briatore?

The yacht, the women, the football club, the F1 team &ndash; he's got the lot. But what drives Flavio Briatore? Susie Rushton finds out

Norwich City 0 QPR 1: Tireless Rowlands rewards Dowie's faith

Queen's Park Rangers enhanced their promotion credentials as Martin Rowland's first-half free-kick earned Iain Dowie's 10-men all three points against Norwich at Carrow Road.

Pandora: Out of the frying pan and into the future...

The chef Tom Aikens has thrown in the towel in his pitched battle with his disgruntled Chelsea neighbours.

QPR hatch plan to succeed in the rich man's game

Close to extinction last year but now the Championship favourites, Jason Burt sees the new board at Loftus Road change perceptions

QPR denie Dowie reports

QPR have brushed off reports claiming boss Iain Dowie is on the verge of being sacked following a row with the club's hierarchy.

Dowie bounces back as QPR go up in the world

When he introduced the word "bouncebackability" to the English language, Iain Dowie can scarcely have imagined how it would come to define his own managerial career. He coined it when he was the manager of Crystal Palace – specifically as a testament to his side's response in a match against Arsenal – and it was apposite that it should be originated by a man who displays such an admirable contempt for adversity. Which is why, despite his travails on the way, he will start the new Championship season as the managerof QPR, who are the bookmakers' favourites to rejoin the elite after an absence of 12 years.

Dowie charged with taking QPR back to the top flight

Reports last week suggested it might be Zinedine Zidane. Instead, Iain Dowie has been appointed as the new first-team coach of Queen's Park Rangers. The 43-year-old, who spent three years with the club as a player and also had stints as caretaker manager and assistant manager, has signed a two-year contract.

Older fathers have healthier offspring

For a young woman in search of a suitable partner, an older man could be a better bet for producing healthy offspring than a hormone-fuelled teenager, researchers have found.

Health: Control your anger - it's all the rage

Uptight and edgy? You're not alone - especially at Christmas. But help is at hand.
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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada