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Kebe for Leeds United?

Jimmy Kebe celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game Credit: PA Pictures

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.

New MD for the Blades - the Prince and manager's view

Sheffield United's co-owner Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud meets the fans Credit: PA Pictures

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 at the Aston Villa v Sheff Utd game Credit: PA Pictures

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."

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Blades appoint new managing director

Mal Brannigan the new MD at Sheffield United Credit: 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."

Leeds Arena to host world title fight

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.

Mansfield Town spread festive cheer

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.

Mansfield Town players will children at Kings Mill Hospital
Mansfield Town players will children at Kings Mill Hospital

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’

Our region's draw for the 3rd round of the FA Cup

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.

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National

Portsmouth 'shocked and saddened' by allegations

Footballer Sam Sodje was filmed claiming to have taken payment to earn a booking while playing for Portsmouth. Credit: PA

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."

National

Sodje 'arranged £30,000 yellow in Championship game'

Sam Sodje pictured warming up before a Portsmouth match in March 2013. Credit: Empics

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".

National

Three people in custody over match-fixing allegations

Three people are in custody after police opened a second investigation into football match-fixing following fresh allegations as a result of an investigation by The Sun on Sunday newspaper.

A National Crime Agency statement read:

Three people are in custody and are being questioned by NCA officers. We cannot comment further at this stage.

National

Footballer claims he took £70,000 for sending off

This video has been removed for copyright reasons.

In secret footage filmed by the Sun on Sunday, former Portsmouth player Sam Sodje claims he took a £70,000 payment for a sending off during a third-tier League One fixture in February this year.

Sodje, who was born in London but represented Nigeria at international level, played three times in the Premier League for Reading in the 2006/07 season.

The National Crime Agency said in a statement they had launched a new investigation as a result of the footage: "We can confirm that The Sun has supplied us with intelligence and an investigation is ongoing."

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