A Different Week – Plane and simple – Blackburn get round Ewood banner ban

Blackburn fans found a spectacular way to get around restrictions that prohibited them from bringing banners calling for the resignation of Rovers manager Steve Kean into Ewood Park.

Unrest has been steadily growing among the support of the Lancashire club, where Kean has managed just six wins in thirty-one league games with only one win this season. With a fourth successive protest against Kean’s tenure on the cards for last Saturday’s home game against Chelsea, the powers that be must have thought they’d nipped any visual displays of dissent in the bud when they informed supporters that any anti-Kean banners brought into the ground would be “removed and not returned”. But that didn’t stop the disgruntled fans and during the first half of the game, which Blackburn lost 1-0, a small airplane flew over the stadium, trailing a banner displaying the message ‘STEVE KEAN OUT’.

Another manager under increasing pressure is England boss Fabio Capello and if the Italian didn’t have enough problems with his stars underperforming, his captain accused of racism and – let’s face it – a demoralising thrashing at the hands of the world and European champions due to be handed out on Saturday, it has emerged this week that Fabio has been forced to choose between said thrashing and his son’s wedding. The decision to move the friendly match against Spain, originally scheduled for Friday, to Saturday, had put Capello senior in a rather tricky position, but he has now reportedly told his son Pierfilippo that he will not be attending his marriage to long-term partner Tiziana in Milan and will instead fly out to join them following next Tuesday’s game against Sweden. “These things happen,” Pierfilippo told reporters, “we know he is with us with his heart. He is a football manager first – he has been that ever since I was a child and sometimes being a football manager can make strange demands on your time.”

Manchester United manger Sir Alex Ferguson, who missed the 2000 Manchester derby against rivals City at Maine Road to attend his son Mark’s wedding in South Africa, was last weekend honoured for his 25 years in charge of the club, by having the North Stand at Old Trafford renamed the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand in recognition of his achievements. “I felt really honoured and emotional when I saw my name on that stand,” he said. “My assistant didn’t tell me – so he’s sacked!” While Mike Phelan’s position as Fergie’s number two is almost certainly safe, the person in charge of putting up the lettering on the newly-named stand may indeed be getting his P45, after someone pointed out that the ‘S’ in ‘Ferguson’ had been fitted upside down. A red-faced Manchester United spokesperson said the club was aware of the problem and it would be fixed as soon as possible.

One of the Old Trafford icons of Fergie’s reign, David Beckham, set to call time on his spell in America with LA Galaxy, is being courted by a number of clubs desperate for his signature and this week delightfully-named top flight Mexican club Xoloitzcuintles Tijuana tossed their sombrero into the ring, promising him a £6m contract and offering to fly him by private jet to and from games. Tottenham Hotspur and Ligue 1 side PSG are believed to be the front runners in the race to secure Goldenballs’ signature, but the Tijuana side, courtesy of their Qatari backers, are willing to stump up the £1m-a-month wage for just half a year’s work from the former England captain. They do have a chance too, as Beckham is believed to be reticent to uproot his family and move them out of the US. Xolo have the advantage here, as Beckham would be able to stay in America and commute to games. However, he may also wish to consider the fact that Mexico has the world’s 20th highest murder rate from the last decade and Jorge Hank Rhon, father of the club’s president Hank Inzunza, was recently arrested at his house with 40 rifles, 48 handguns, 9,000 rounds of ammunition and a gas grenade.

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