A Different Week – Owls and Hooters in Sheffield, Super Mario Carts in Manchester and Slap and Tackle in Iran

Given that football club owners tend to be slightly flabby old men, the lack of female representation in this area means from a male perspective, the most glamorous chairwoman in British football is probably Delia Smith. However, that all nearly changed this week, after former Playboy cover girl Sybil Danning put in an offer for League One sleeping giants Sheffield Wednesday.

Former ‘Sex Symbol of the Year’ Danning, who appeared in the magazine in the 1980’s and has starred in a number of low budget Hollywood B-movies, expressed an interest in taking over the underperforming Owls who are currently owned by serial-chairman Milan Mandaric. He was understood to be prepared to sell if an offer came in from someone he believed could take the club forward. Danning declared that she and her husband Horst Lasse could do just that and in fairness they do have form. From 2002 to 2003 they were shareholders of the German ice hockey club SC Riessersee, during which time they rescued it from bankruptcy.

“We have been looking into buying an English team with a strong fan base and great potential.” Danning told reporters: “Sheffield Wednesday matches those ideals. It is one of the most famous names in English football and, even though it has suffered in the last few years, we believe we can give it the energy needed to get to the Premier League. We have been studying this for the past month and if negotiations go well we hope to conclude an agreement to buy the club.”

However, Mandaric denied that he had met with the millionaire couple. “I have always been honest and transparent and I can say I have never met or spoken to the people named in this article. I was as surprised as everybody else to see the story but I cannot control what is written or said in the media.” He said in a statement: “Of course, I am flattered, because this is not the first story of its kind and I am sure it will not be the last.”

With all due respect to them, Cambridge United are never really likely to attract such, ahem, ‘high profile’ buyers, so when The U’s wanted to raise money for the club’s supporters group, they chose to sell the Abbey Stadium trophy cabinet. It might sound like the opening line of a mean joke for the cup-shy Conference side, but the gesture is designed to raise proceeds for the Cambridge Fans United (CFU) group and adult skills organisation the Rowan Humberstone Charity. John Bilboa from CFU explained: “The club have been renovating the board room and were thinking of just putting the cabinet in a skip. I offered to put it on eBay with the aim of just getting a few pounds. Hopefully we’ll find a good home for it.” The cabinet was listed on eBay with a reserve of £50, along with the promise that, as well as having a ‘quality piece of furniture which would look great in anyone’s home’ the winning bidder would also be the proud owner of ‘a piece of unique sporting history.’ Cambridge’s handful of trophies, which include old Division Three and Four titles, as well as an award for serving ‘The Best Bacon Sandwich’ in English football, do not come with the cabinet.

Someone who’s obviously not short of a bob or two is A Different Week’s favourite footballer, Mario Balotelli. After part of his Cheshire mansion was burned down following an impromptu firework display from his bathroom window (ADW 28/10/11) Mario’s latest bit of ‘home improvement’ has been to build a racetrack in his back garden. Balotelli was forced to temporarily move out of the property and into a hotel last week, after a section of his house was badly damaged in the rocket-induced blaze, so now the Italian has decided to tone down his at-home antics with a spot of quad bike racing instead. “He’s moved from an apartment block to a country house and has been tearing around now there’s no one to complain about the noise,” said a source, before adding: “He’s like a big kid.”

Balotelli was booked in last weekend’s Manchester derby after celebrating one of his two goals by lifting his shirt to reveal a message underneath, which is nothing really, compared to the bum deal two Iranian players got this week, after they were suspended for what was declared an ‘immoral’ goal celebration. Mohammed Nosrati and Sheis Rezaei, who both play for Persepolis, have both been banned ‘indefinitely’ and fined £25,000 each after Nosrati touched the backside of Rezaei following a goal. Rezaei was also spotted squeezing the bottom of another teammate later on in the game against Damash Gilan.

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