READ all about it and find out what other top sport stories are making the headlines in the UK’s national newspapers today - Saturday, September 15, 2012.
DAILY STAR: RON ATKINSON is in line for a sensational return to football. Big Ron is being targeted to become the sporting director at Birmingham, if Gianni Paladini’s consortium succeed in buying the club.
An initial offer worth around £25m has been rejected, though the former QPR chairman remains keen. But Paladini’s plan to draft in the 73-year-old former Manchester United, Aston Villa and West Brom manager is raising eyebrows. Atkinson, whose last managerial job was at Nottingham Forest in 1999, said: “If a deal goes through, then, yes, it would be of interest.”
DAILY MAIL: Roberto Di Matteo has pleaded with Chelsea and QPR players to ‘put history behind them’ and shake hands before today’s match. ALSO: Sir Alex Ferguson last night threw his weight behind calls for English football fans to stop the sick chanting that blights the game.
GUARDIAN: Mark Hughes described the pre-match handshake routine between rival players as “fundamentally flawed” and open to promoting “disrespect” as he expressed his exasperation that the focus before Saturday’s derby between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea at Loftus Road is being placed on whether Anton Ferdinand and John Terry observe the ritual. Also: Carlos Tevez has thanked Manchester City fans for standing by him after his falling out with Roberto Mancini.
DAILY MIRROR: Sir Alex Ferguson has called for a halt to the vile taunts traded between Manchester United and Liverpool fans. ALSO: Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to a trio of stars poised to reach major milestones for Manchester United today.
DAILY EXPRESS: Roberto Di Matteo has pleaded with the players of Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers to set an example to the watching world today. ALSO: Andre Villas-Boas has told France captain Hugo Lloris he will have to wait for his chance to make his Tottenham debut - and he might not even make the bench tomorrow.
THE TIMES: Mark Hughes has called on the Premier League to rethink the handshake after he claimed that it could have the adverse effect of being disrespectful. ALSO: Sir Alex Ferguson has called on Manchester United and Liverpool supporters to put on a show of solidarity at Anfield next weekend and prove why there are “great clubs” by cutting out the sick chanting that has marred their recent meetings.
THE INDEPENDENT: Mark Hughes, the manager of Queen’s Park Rangers, called yesterday for the Premier League to reconsider the ritual pre-match handshake, and questioned the continuing usefulness to the Football Association’s Respect campaign of a procedure he called “fundamentally flawed”. ALSO: 0ix thousand miles from home, the spectre of Kevin Pietersen continues to haunt England even on the most exalted of occasions.
THE SUN: Alex Ferguson is calling on Liverpool and Manchester fans to end all hate-filled chanting. ALSO: Roberto Di Matteo has begged warring QPR and Chelsea stars to shake hands - for our children’s sake.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: The pantomime season reopens in west London shortly before 3pm on Saturday afternoon, with Anton Ferdinand intent on snubbing the proffered handshakes of John Terry and Ashley Cole as all around fans either cheer or jeer. ALSO: Andre Villas-Boas has strongly defended the “easy” decision to retain Brad Friedel as his first-choice goalkeeper but did express regret yesterday over Tottenham’s inability to finalise his squad until the closing minutes of the transfer window.