Queens Park Rangers were left furious when their plans to interview Sol Campbell for the vacant manager’s job made their way into the media and prompted a negative reaction from many supporters.
While some viewed Campbell — who has a strong relationship with QPR director of football Les Ferdinand — as favourite, others have since leaped ahead.
Wycombe’s Gareth Ainsworth is now in pole position with the bookies.
QPR are furious that their plans to interview Sol Campbell for the manager’s role were leaked
EFL DO THEIR BIT FOR DERBY
The EFL have done their bit to reduce the wage bill at crisis club Derby County — by snatching the club’s head of broadcasting.
Robin Matthews oversaw the highly rated Rams TV and will soon take up a new role as the league’s senior broadcast operations manager, as Derby seek to exit administration under new ownership in League One.
O’NEIL COMES TO THE RESCUE
Brian O’Neil, the former Celtic, Nottingham Forest and Derby County midfielder, has set up a platform aimed at improving player wellbeing and providing help in cases of emergency.
A helpline will connect those who sign up to a wide range of services including lawyers, addiction specialists and mental health experts and the platform aims to provide round-the-clock, independent assistance for a variety of issues.
Preston, another of 49-year-old O’Neil’s former clubs, have been one of the first to sign up.
CLUBS TO MISS OUT ON PRE-SEASON CASH
A number of lower league clubs will miss out on lucrative pre-season friendlies due to the shortened summer break. The EFL season starts again on July 30 and many will face a race against time to ensure their playing surfaces are ready.
As a result the often money-spinning fixtures with Premier League opponents are a non-starter.
The EFL season starts again on July 30 due to the shorter summer break in place this year
LOVE AT FIRST BITE FOR EVERTON ICON REID
There were wild scenes before and after Everton’s comeback victory over Crystal Palace which secured safety on Thursday night.
Ahead of the match, supporters used so many smoke canisters to welcome the side to Goodison Park that smoke detectors in the nearby media lounge had to be turned off.
Post-match, manager Frank Lampard did his best Pat Cash impression to scale hospitality boxes to hug chairman Bill Kenwright and chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale, while Everton legend Peter Reid embraced Sky Sports’ News Alan Myers so hard that the reporter, there as a punter, was left with a mark looking like a love-bite on his neck.
ECB STAFF CONFUSE MOTT FOR POTTS
England’s new white-ball coach Matthew Mott was close to fellow Aussie Andrew Symonds, who died in a car crash last week at the age of 46.
Mott is understood to have asked for a slight delay to his job announcement out of respect to his old pal.
Meanwhile, it hasn’t been a great few days for the ECB website. A story about their annual report featured the headline ‘annual report blurb’ while another asked visitors how well they knew new coach ‘Matty Mott’.
Mott is known as ‘Matthew’, prompting some to wonder if staff had mixed him up with new Test call-up Matty Potts…
Matthew Mott asked for the announcement of his England white-ball role to be delayed
HOUSTON GETS FERGSUON SEAL OF APPROVAL
FIFA will decide on the final list of 2026 World Cup venues next month and Houston — one of 22 hopefuls from across the US, Canada and Mexico — has received backing from an unlikely source.
Manchester United played a friendly at the NRG Stadium in 2010 and it clearly left its mark on Sir Alex Ferguson.
‘Houston was an amazing venue,’ he said. ‘The 70,000 supporters had an electrifying effect, plus it was Javier Hernandez’s first goal and the Mexican contingent went mad.’
The NRG Stadium in Houston impressed Sir Alex Ferguson after a Manchester United friendly
COMMONWEALTH ATHLETES GET PROTECTED
The Commonwealth Games’ commercial department deserve a medal after managing to find an ‘official intimate wellness provider’.
Durex will provide 100,000 condoms and educational materials in the athletes’ villages in Birmingham.
PFA LEGAL BATTLE CONTINUES
The long-running saga of the Charity Commission’s inquiry into the PFA Charity continues. It was December 2019 when the Government watchdog decided to investigate the goings on at the body, which has more than £60million in its coffers.
As Sportsmail revealed in March, four of ex-chief Gordon Taylor’s cronies, including Garth Crooks and Brendon Batson, were taking High Court legal action against the commission.
However, no date for a hearing is yet thought to have been set. Meanwhile, the families of dementia sufferers continue to desperately seek assistance.
MK NAME CHANGE NOT ON THE CARDS
Fans of AFC Wimbledon are set to be disappointed in their desire for MK Dons to change their name to MK City now that Milton Keynes has been awarded city status.
The London club have never recognised the name of the club, which was formed in 2004 following Wimbledon’s relocation, and the new Wimbledon got in trouble with the EFL for refusing to put ‘Dons’ on their scoreboard in 2017.
However, MK Dons supporters would have to trigger a name change — and there is already an MK City in existence.
AFC Wimbledon supporters are hoping that MK Dons will change their name to MK City
A ROYAL THANK YOU
As a reward for doing so much to market and promote the 150th edition of the FA Cup, outgoing FA director of communications Louisa Fyans was invited to watch the game from the Royal Box.
It was also her last final before she leaves her role within the organisation next March.
F1 BOSSES GO INTO REVERSE
The ludicrous decision by Formula One bosses to scrap the usual Thursday media day — and cram activity into three days — will be reversed.
Having press conferences on Friday morning was deemed pointless, given the drivers would be in their cars 90 minutes later.
The decision by Formula One bosses to scrap the usual Thursday media day will be reversed
Some teams, aghast at the original move, continued to schedule interviews on the Thursday regardless.
OPEN GOAL MISS
More than one football club have called St Andrews to ask if they can use their facilities for pre-season, only to be told that a certain golf event — The Open — is being staged on the dates they requested.