AHEAD OF THE GAME: England to wait over World Cup decision

AHEAD OF THE GAME: England to wait until after March play-offs to decide on their Qatar World Cup training base… though Gareth Southgate has his eyes on a FIVE-STAR beach complex

  • England will select their Qatar World Cup training base after March play-offs  
  • Newcastle will insert relegation release clauses into contracts of new signings 
  • FA facing demands for rebates from overseas TV right holders over FA Cup
  • Rasmus Ankerson will have a different role at Southampton from Brentford 

England will wait until after the World Cup play-offs in March to decide on their training base and hotel for the tournament in Qatar next winter. 

Gareth Southgate has identified the Souq Al Wakra Tivoli, a five-star beach complex 10 miles south of Doha, as his preferred hotel. 

But FIFA have yet to confirm all of the training venues, so the FA have deferred making a decision until all the logistical challenges become clear and the identity of the 32 teams is known, with 19 spaces still up for grabs. 

Gareth Southgate has identified a five-star beach complex as his preferred hotel for Qatar

Souk Al Wakra Tivoli is based next to the beach ten miles south of Doha


Newcastle will insert relegation release clauses into the contracts of all their recruits this month, a process which began with the £12million signing of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid.

Such clauses will give new players the right to leave Newcastle for specific fees if they drop into the Championship, as well as stipulating pay-cuts should they choose to stay at the club if they are relegated, so they effectively protect both parties.

Newcastle’s insistence on relegation clauses represents a significant change of direction from the previous regime under Mike Ashley, who was wary of mandatory pay-cuts for fear of deterring potential signings. 

That proved to be a costly mistake when Newcastle were relegated from the top flight in 2016.

Kieran Trippier and his Newcastle squad will have a relegation clauses inserted into contracts 


The FA are facing demands for rebates from overseas TV rights holders after the disruption to this season’s FA Cup caused by the pandemic.

The FA agreed to scrap replays in the third and fourth rounds at short notice last month to create space for the Premier League to reschedule matches, denying FA Cup broadcasters multiple midweek matches. 

There have also been changes to the competition’s rules, allowing clubs to fill their squads with youth players. Many managers will field academy stars this weekend, leading to more demands for compensation from foreign companies, who are paying a combined £125m a year for live FA Cup rights.

The FA are facing rebates from TV rights holders after scrapping replays in the FA Cup



Former Brentford director of football Rasmus Ankersen will have a different role at Southampton, who he joined this week as part of the £200million takeover by Serbian billionaire Dragan Solak and Sport Republic.

Ankersen will spend most of his time working for Sport Republic rather than Southampton, with his main responsibility being to create a network of clubs similar to the City Football Group and the Red Bull empire in Europe.

Unlike at Brentford, the Dane will not be involved in transfer activities, so his former club did not feel the need to include a non-compete clause in his severance package.

Southampton confirmed they have been taken over by Sport Republic, led by Dragan Solak

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