The return of the EPL has been a long-time coming, but instead of celebrations, one fixture, in particular, hit the headlines for the very wrong reasons. Burnley travelled to the Etihad Stadium on Monday night for their clash with the top-dogs Manchester City. As soon as the game kicked-off, media outlets took to social media to complain about a loud noise coming from above the stadium. Many believed it to be a drone, but we only discovered what it was when the cameras zoomed in.
An ‘Air Ads’ plane from Blackpool airport was hovering above the stadium pulling a banner with the message “White lives matter Burnley”! Many complaints were submitted to the football teams as well as the police, but they have since come out and said that no crime was committed.
In a statement, the manager of the Blackpool Council-owned airport, Stephen Smith, said: “Blackpool Airport and Blackpool Council are outraged by this incident. We stand against racism of any kind and absolutely do not condone the activity. The message was offensive and the action reprehensible.
The decision to fly the banner was taken entirely by the banner-flying company without the knowledge or approval of the airport or Blackpool Council. Due to the nature of the activity, banners are not checked before take-off and the content is at the operator’s discretion. Blackpool Airport are investigating the banner operator in question and further action will be taken by the board.”
Sporting Headlines from Around Europe
Rumour has it that David Luiz has signed a new contract with Arsenal for one more year at the club. It’s also believed that Arsenal are close to completing a permanent signing of Pablo Mari.
Liam Treadwell, the 34-year old Grand National-winning jockey who rode 100-1 shot to victory has died. It wasn’t the first time he surprised us all with a 100-1 victory, because in 2009, he managed to secure the first position on his first attempt, with Mon Mome.
The world number one in tennis, Novak Djokovic has tested positive for Covid-19, but there is no sympathy coming from Nick Kyrgios (his Aussie tennis rival!), who called him “boneheaded” after he went on to infect three other people. On June 18th, the number one seed travelled to Croatia to play baseball and by doing so, he passed coronavirus on to Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki, three players who took part in his Adria Tour competition.
Neil Warnock takes charge of Champions League side Middlesbrough and revealed the offer “came out of the blue” just an hour or so before the official announcement was made.
The summer transfer window is still in limbo. Top-flight clubs will meet again in July to discuss when the window will be open for Premier League clubs. Richard Masters, Premier League chief executive said last week: “We have to have clarity. Obviously, you have lots of leagues finishing, and curtailing, and finishing at different times. We’re waiting for the various guidance from other bodies. Understanding when we’re going to start and finish, and what other leagues are doing, I think is important.”