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Aston Villa appoint King to board of directors

Mervyn King, right, is now on the board. Credit: PA

Aston Villa have appointed former Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King to their board of directors.

The club are currently bottom of the league and made no signings in January, putting manager Remi Garde's future under question but they have added to their board.

I was delighted when Mervyn agreed to join the Board. His dedicated support for the Club is well known.

Mervyn successfully steered the Bank of England through the most turbulent economic headwinds in living memory and his appointment to the Board is a huge boost as we plan our path back to more successful times.

– Chairman Steve Hollis s

King is a life-long Aston Villa supporter and plans to make it one of the best clubs in the world.

It is a privilege to be asked to serve as a director of this great Club. I watched my first match at Villa Park more than 55 years ago, and have experienced the highs and the lows since then.

I shall do my best to help the rebuilding of Aston Villa Football Club as together we return it to its position as one of the top clubs in the world.

– Mervyn King

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Blues sign Fabbrini on permanent deal

Diego Fabbrini playing for Birmingham City in April 2015 Credit: Nigel French / EMPICS Sport

Birmingham City have completed the permanent signing of Italian midfielder Diego Fabbrini.

The 25-year-old joins Blues from Premier League side Watford in a £1.5 million deal on a three-and-a-half year contract.

Fabbrini returns to St.Andrews following a successful loan period with the side last season.

The Italian first joined Blues on an emergency loan in late March 2015 and made five appearances.

Most recently, the midfielder has been on loan at Middlesbrough where he made a total of 26 appearances and scored six goals.

Eric Black announced as Villa first team coach

Eric Black Credit: PA

Aston Villa have officially named former Coventry City manager Eric Black as their new first team coach.

Black is the newest addition to the backroom staff of manager Rémi Garde.

"I'm pleased to welcome Eric to the football club and I'm really looking forward to working with him.

"He will work alongside Reginald Ray, Robert Duverne and Tony Parks as part of my coaching staff.

"Eric brings a wealth of experience and excellent knowledge of English football and he will help me improve the level of the team."

– Rémi Garde, Aston Villa Manager
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Sinclair backs Leicester winger to be a hit with England

Trevor Sinclair believes Damarai Gray could be a good option for England. Credit: PA

Former England winger Trevor Sinclair believes Demarai Gray has what it takes to shine for Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions.

Leicester's 19 year-old January recruit joined the Premier League leaders for £3.7m after impressing at Birmingham City in the Championship.

And speaking about his England prospects with the QPR Podcast, on the 19th anniversary of his remarkable overhead-kick goal at Loftus Road, Sinclair explained:

I know he’s only young, he plays on that left hand side for Leicester. He’s not played much for Leicester but even the games he’s played already, he’s shown me that he’s got good ability and he’s not going to be fazed by it.

He’s got the raw skill set you need. He’s very quick, he’s got good technique and I feel if he was given the opportunity on that left hand side, he could be a good option.

We’ve seen Sterling do well in that position but he can also play in other positions, and I think if Demarai Gray was brought in just to have a look at him amongst the squad, to see how he fared then that could be a good one.

– Former England international Trevor Sinclair
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Summing up due to begin at Hillsborough inquests

96 Liverpool fans died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. Credit: PA

The summing up at the inquests into the deaths of 96 Liverpool fans at the 1989 Hillsborough disaster will begin on Monday.

Lord Justice Goldring is expected to take up to three weeks to sum up the 260 days of evidence in Warrington, Cheshire.

The inquests will then adjourn for the half-term break in mid-February and are due to reconvene on February 22 when the jury is expected to be sent out to consider their conclusions.

The tragedy unfolded on April 15, 1989, during Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest as thousands of fans were crushed on Sheffield Wednesday's Leppings Lane terrace.

During the inquests, which began on March 31, 2014, the jury has heard about stadium safety, match planning, the events of the day, the emergency response and evidence gathering by police, along with accounts of the final moments of each victim.

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