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Row over Merseyside derby kick-off time

Police say the risk of disorder around Goodison Park would be increased by a late kick-off Credit: PA Images

Liverpool City Council has threatened to take legal action if the Premier League refuse a request to change the kick-off time of February's Merseyside derby.

The match at Goodison Park is scheduled to take place at 5.30pm on Saturday February 7 and be televised by Sky Sports.

Merseyside Police have raised their concerns about the timing of the match increasing the risk of disorder in Liverpool.

The police, supported by Liverpool City Council's Licensing Committee, want the match to start no later than 1.30pm on a weekend.

Everton informed the Premier League of the police's objections on December 9.

The issue will be discussed on Tuesday afternoon by the council's licensing committee, which is set to also write to the Premier League with the proviso it "will take legal advice on all appropriate options to enforce the position" in the event of no change of kick-off time being determined.

The police report stressed there was no specific intelligence indicating any organised disorder is planned but stated the wider implications of a late kick-off meant they had to take action now.

PFA representatives visit Clarke Carlisle in hospital

Credit: Jon Buckle/EMPICS Sport

Representatives from the PFA have visited Carlisle in hospital.

In a short statement the organisation said:

"Everyone at the PFA is keeping Clarke Carlisle in their prayers and thoughts.

"We visited Clarke at the hospital yesterday and we are offering our full help and support to him and his family at this difficult time."

Blackpool chairman Oyston apologises for abusive fan text messages

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston Credit: Mark Robinson/PA Wire

Karl Oyston has apologised for branding a Blackpool fan "a retard".

Oyston has come in for strong criticism over the last 36 hours after a series of texts he sent to supporter Stephen Smith were published on the Tangerine Knights' website.

The Blackpool chairman became embroiled in a furious row with Smith, branding him "a retard" and telling him to "enjoy the rest of your special needs day out".

After being criticised by Blackpool fans and a number of organisations, Oyston responded by issuing an apology on the Blackpool website on Monday afternoon.

"I would like to unreservedly apologise for any offence or distress caused by my text responses reported in the media recently," Oyston said in a statement.

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Crolla aiming for strong comeback

World title hopeful Anthony Crolla has vowed to make a comeback next year after a brutal attack left his career in the balance.

The Mancunian was left with a fractured skull and broken ankle after pursuing two men who he saw in his garden after hearing his neighbour's burglar alarm going off last week.

His long-awaited world title shot against Richard Abril on January 23 was scrapped and his trainer Joe Gallagher admitted he was unsure whether the likeable fighter would even be able to box again.

But Crolla announced on Twitter on Sunday night to thank people for their support, and he promised to "be back stronger than ever in 2015".

Police said on Friday that a 17-year-old boy was being questioned in custody on suspicion of burglary, assault and possession with intent to supply drugs in connection with the incident.

Man City - Joe Hart commits long term future to club

Manchester City's Joe Hart and Manchester City's Martin Demichelis Credit: PA

The Manchester City number one has signed a new contract to keep him at the Premier League champions until 2019. The goalkeeper said staying at City was never an issue for him. He's joins other high profile players, the likes of Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko who've also signed new deals this year.

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