One of the biggest sporting projects to be developed in Sheffield in more than ten years is set to place the city at the heart of the government’s Olympic legacy programme.
Plans are being submitted by Sheffield City Trust (SCT) for a £14million extension and development project incorporating the new National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) at Graves Tennis and Leisure Centre.
The project forms part of the city’s wider £24m investment in new sports facilities which will see under-utilised, ageing or high cost venues replaced with new facilities that are better quality. It's hoped the changes will increase participation and cost less to operate.
The new two storey extension would be built on the centre’s disused five-a-side football pitches at the back of the Centre, in Norton.
In addition to the NCSEM Headquarters, the new facility will have a central atrium, two additional tennis courts, a 25m pool and teaching pool, a regional trampolining and gymnastics facility, gym and fitness studios, 10-lane ten pin bowling and a soft play area.
Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough and forward Jose Baxter have been nominated for monthly awards.
Baxter, who joined the Blades from Oldham in August, scored 4 goals in 5 games in December, including against Cambridge in the FA Cup. He is up for player of the month,
Clough has been nominated for manager of the month after leading the Blades to 3 wins and 2 draws during December. He also led the club to a fine 2-1 win at Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Saturday.
It is being reported that Leeds United are close to signing winger Jimmy Kebe from Crystal Palace. The 29-year-old has made just six appearances this year. It would mean the former Reading man linking up with previous Royals boss Brian McDermott at Leeds.
SUFC Co-owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad said: "Getting Mal in at the Lane is a coup. Mal and Nigel know each other well and worked together successfully at Derby. With Mal heading up our business and Nigel heading up our first team, this club is in great hands."
Nigel Clough said: "We had a good relationship at Derby and he deserves a lot of credit for the work he did in his five years at Pride Park. He has vast experience at executive level... as he understands the balance between finance and football, he will be a great addition for Sheffield United."
Sheffield United have appointed Malachy Brannigan as new Managing Director. Mr Brannigan, 47, who lives in East Yorkshire, resumes a partnership with manager Nigel Clough. The pair were together at Derby County where Mal was Vice President, Finance and Company Secretary for nearly five years.
His role included all transfer negotiations, football administration, finance, HR, IT, press, stadium and training ground operations. He has held senior posts at Coventry City (Finance Director and Interim Chief Executive), Hull City (Finance Director and Company Secretary) and Everton.
Mal said: "The opportunity to work for a club with the stature and history of Sheffield United, along with the prospect of working with Nigel and his team once again was one I could not turn down.
"The ongoing involvement of the McCabe family coupled with the investment made by Prince Abdullah is a firm indication that the Blades have an exciting future."
The new Leeds Arena stages its first big night of boxing on Saturday December 21.
Topping the bill is the battle between Darlington's Stuey Hall and South African Vusi Malinga for the vacant IBF World Bantamweight crown.
The line-up also includes plenty of up-and-coming local talent. Calendar has been talking to promoter Dennis Hobson and Leeds fighters China Clarke and Steve Mennell.
Christmas came early for sick children in hospital in Mansfield today when they were visited by Mansfield Town’s first team squad - who came armed with presents.
Young Stags fans were delighted to come face-to-face with their heroes.
Manager Paul Cox said: “At this time of year, it's nice to spread some Christmas cheer to those less fortunate than ourselves. The lads have dug deep and have put their own money into a collection to buy presents for poorly children."
Supporter Steven Bingham tweeted: ‘Just taken my daughter to children’s ward at KMH [King’s Mill Hospital] and bump into the #mtfcsquad! Great to see that side of the game! #stars’
Sheffield United travel to Aston Villa. Barnsley host either Hartlepool or Coventry. Doncaster play Stevenage. Grimsby take on Huddersfield at Blundell Park. The reward for Mansfield if they overcome Oldham is a trip to Anfield.
Wednesday travel to Macclesfield, Hull face Middlesbrough and Leeds go to Rochdale. Those games will be played on the weekend of the 4th and 5th of January.
Portsmouth spokesman Colin Farmery said: "If these serious allegations are true then we are extremely shocked and saddened by them, as match-fixing of any type goes to the heart of the integrity of the game.
"The player in question no longer plays for the club and we have not been contacted by the authorities, but of course we would cooperate fully with any inquiry."
In more secret filming by the Sun on Sunday, Sam Sodje claimed another player would take a £30,000 payment for deliberately earning a booking during a Championship match.
Explaining the scheme to the newspaper's undercover reporter, Sodje said: “This guy came to meet me at my house and it was sorted. That’s how easy it is — it’s nothing. The booking one is easy. This is the best time because it’s Christmas. I can get you four.”
The Sun said it accompanied Sodje to the fixture in question and the unnamed player did indeed pick up a yellow card for "a sliding tackle on an opponent after the ball had already gone out of play".