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Author Archive for Jonathan Liew

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Football is back and all it took was the spectre of financial catastrophe | Jonathan Liew

Project Restart has shrunk the sport to an elite pursuit within a sterile bubble, throwing up questions no one can answerWell done, everyone: we did it. They said it wasn’t possible. They said it wasn’t safe. They said it would be tactless to start up …

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Football is back and all it took was the spectre of financial catastrophe | Jonathan Liew

Project Restart has shrunk the sport to an elite pursuit within a sterile bubble, throwing up questions no one can answerWell done, everyone: we did it. They said it wasn’t possible. They said it wasn’t safe. They said it would be tactless to start up …

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Rafael Nadal the beacon of sport’s old power despite new normal

Lockdown has revealed a lot about athletes but tennis’ king of clay will want to catapult us back in time come SeptemberOne of the most refreshing aspects of sporting lockdown, in the absence of watching athletes do things, has been watching athletes t…

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Barry Hearn: ‘The mental health of a nation is strengthened by sport’

The promoter says the balance sheet feels irrelevant amid a pandemic but hopes snooker will lead live sport’s return“It’s a strange thing about this covid epidemic,” Barry Hearn says, in a contemplative mood. “I find it really stimulating in a bizarre …

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Ghost player for the ghost game: Thomas Müller is perfect for the pandemic | Jonathan Liew

Bayern Munich returned on Sunday and so did the forward for whom spatial distancing is his entire jobThe silence, really, is only a problem if you want it to be a problem. We football fans are an adaptable bunch. What at first feels disconcertingly nov…

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It’s offensive for Premier League clubs to suggest they are the ones at financial risk | Jonathan Liew

Is the Premier League vital when grassroots organisations, lower-league clubs and the women’s game are under threat?Another week, another Zoom. On the morning after the 2019-20 Premier League was supposed to finish, its 20 clubs will once again gather …

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Taylor v Sherrock: a thrilling but bloodless glimpse of the future | Jonathan Liew

Phil Taylor edged out rising star Fallon Sherrock in a wonderful match but darts, like any other sport, needs a crowdEverything was different. The dartboards were electronic. The players were standing in their living rooms. There was no crowd, no rauco…

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The Kyle Walker case: why not all coronavirus offenders are made equal | Jonathan Liew

As foolish as Walker has been, let’s not pretend this is a story motivated solely by a heartfelt concern for public healthYou can’t defend Kyle Walker. A common sentiment, albeit one usually expressed with a comma in the middle. To break coronavirus pr…

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Betrayal and bombast: the surreal story of the Terry v Bridge scandal | Jonathan Liew

More than a decade on, fact and fiction remain entangled in the tale of former teammates turned enemies. The human core of the entire episode, though, is not a footballerOfficially, nothing happened. This is, by the way, no minor detail: to this day Va…

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My favourite game: Middlesex v Kent, 2008 Twenty20 final

A first trophy in 15 years was secured at the Rose Bowl where an unlikely mix of veterans, youngsters and unknowns secured a rare triumphWhen you write about sport for a living, you don’t watch it the way you used to. Subconsciously, you’re documenting…

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Rugby league clubs are the beating heart of their community and must survive | Jonathan Liew

If rugby league clubs suffer their towns can often suffer with them and the coronavirus crisis is hitting the sport hardThis is going to sound like the setup to a surreal joke, but nevertheless: last week, a young man from St Helens called Harry Robert…

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Coronavirus has given cricket chance to rationalise crazy calendar

The pandemic has underlined what we have have long tacitly known: that the schedule is full well beyond breaking pointTom Harrison is the sort of guy you want in a crisis. Mainly due to his masterful refusal to acknowledge the fact that there’s a crisi…

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Broadcast rights trump human rights in Premier League’s Newcastle battleground | Jonathan Liew

That beIN Sports has been the biggest obstacle to the Saudi takeover demonstrates the extent to which toxic geopolitics now infest the English gameFinally. Someone with actual power and clout prepared to stand up to the despotic thugs of Saudi Arabia, …

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Broadcast rights trump human rights in Premier League’s Newcastle battleground | Jonathan Liew

That beIN Sports has been the biggest obstacle to the Saudi takeover demonstrates the extent to which toxic geopolitics now infest the English gameFinally. Someone with actual power and clout prepared to stand up to the despotic thugs of Saudi Arabia, …

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With sport frozen in time we need to find joy in the journey, not the destination | Jonathan Liew

Even now we are finding it impossible to let go of sport, but maybe it is time to stop hoping for conventional endingsI’ve always been vaguely puzzled by the story of the dinosaurs. Not what happened, but why we tell it, and in particular why we tell i…

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Sam and Tom Curran would rather play behind closed doors than not at all

Sam Curran: ‘Every sportsman would love to be playing now’Tom Curran: ‘At least there would be some sport on TV’England’s Sam and Tom Curran have said they would be happy to resume their international careers behind closed doors if necessary. “Every sp…

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Unease resounds across cricket without the comforting hum of county game | Jonathan Liew

County cricket’s defiantly low-key nature has brought joy to millions but may not save it in a looming era of belt-tighteningThe ice cream stand at Worcester. The grass bank at Canterbury. The tree-lined riverside approach to Sophia Gardens in Cardiff,…

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English football’s blame culture makes it unable to come together | Jonathan Liew

Matt Hancock is merely the latest patsy to offend a game that was dysfunctional even when it was awash with moneyI don’t expect to make too many friends saying this, but perhaps it’s time we all gave Matt Hancock a break. Isn’t it typical how, as soon …

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ECB could delay The Hundred until 2021 and unveils £60m aid package

ECB chief Tom Harrison says costs have to be cutFocus will be on ‘core audience’ when cricket resumesThe England and Wales Cricket Board has given its strongest hint yet that the launch of The Hundred may have to be delayed until 2021. Announcing a £60…

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ECB could delay The Hundred until 2021 and unveils £60m aid package

ECB chief Tom Harrison says costs have to be cutFocus will be on ‘core audience’ when cricket resumesThe England and Wales Cricket Board has given its strongest hint yet that the launch of The Hundred may have to be delayed until 2021. Announcing a £60…