Rooney dabbles with horses
Wayne Rooney has followed Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson into racehorse ownership. The England striker has bought two horses with his wife, Coleen, that are based in the stables owned by United teammate Michael Owen and trained by Tom Dascombe. Switcharooney, a two-year colt, cost ￡63,000 (US$99,000) — barely a third of Rooney’s weekly salary from the Premier League champions. The Rooneys’ other horse is a three-year-old bay colt, Tomway, which is named after Wayne’s father, Thomas Wayne Rooney.
Charles roots for Burnley
Prince Charles has admitted he is a fan of an English soccer club, but his team are not part of the Premier League’s aristocracy. The heir to the British throne has given royal assent to Burnley, who are currently 10th in the second tier of English soccer. “A consortium of my charities, including the British Asian Trust, has been working in Burnley,” British media reports on Wednesday quoted him as saying. “Some of you asked this evening whether I support a British football club and I said: ‘Yes, Burnley.’” The club have sent the prince a complimentary VIP season ticket. His son, William, is an Aston Villa fan.
United leave Evra behind
Manchester United fullback Patrice Evra was left out of the squad for yesterday’s Europa League match against Ajax Amsterdam following the events of last weekend, manager Alex Ferguson said on Wednesday. Evra was at the center of the incident on Saturday in which Livepool striker Luis Suarez failed to shake his hand before the Premier League match at Old Trafford following the completion of his eight-match ban for racially abusing the Frenchman. Evra was also criticized for wildly celebrating United’s 2-1 victory in front of Suarez. United striker Dimitar Berbatov and midfielder Ryan Giggs did not travel with the squad for the round-of-32 first-leg match in Amsterdam because they are injured.
Rangers’ next game a go
The financiers trying to save Scottish champion Rangers from liquidation assured fans on Wednesday that the next match against Kilmarnock at Ibrox will go ahead. The Glasgow club will start Saturday’s game 14 points behind city rival Celtic after being docked 10 points for entering financial administration on Tuesday. The 54-time Scottish champions were forced to seek bankruptcy protection over tax debts of ￡9 million accrued in the nine months of Craig Whyte’s ownership. “We can report we have made very good progress within the first 24 hours of being appointed administrators over Rangers,” joint administrators Paul Clark and David Whitehouse said. “Supporters can be reassured that Rangers will continue as a football club.”
Messi to battle Switzerland
Barcelona star Lionel Messi will headline Argentina’s squad in an international friendly against Switzerland in Berne on Feb. 29. Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella announced the squad on Wednesday, the same day FIFA’s rankings came out showing his national team had fallen out of the top 10 for the first time since 2004. Argentina dropped to No. 11, one spot behind Denmark. Apart from Messi, the squad features most of Argentina’s top players. They include Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano, Real Madrid forwards Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, as well as Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero.