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Day: May 29, 2011

Ryan Giggs and Twitter – what next?

Many people are panicking over the fact that Ryan Giggs may try to obtain the names of all the people who tweeted anything about himself and Imogen Thomas. The news that twitter was disclosing the authors of four accounts in a case in South Tyneside last night brought about a flux of tweets from people worried that this case-precedent will help Giggs and that everyone is for the slammer.

As Lee Corso would say (no-one knows this side of the pond who Lee Corso is – this saddens me) ‘not so fast my friend’

First of all has a crime been committed? Technically yes. If anything put out in a public forum that Ryan Giggs had an injunction against Imogen Thomas before it was revealed in the House of Commons by Lib Dem MP John Hemming last week then they are as I understand it with my layman’s view of law guilty of contempt of court. However in reality the CPS would not see it as in the Public Interest to arrest and charge everyone involved in saying anything that may have broken the injunction of any social networking site. So the likelihood of everyone getting a criminal record from this is shall be say minute and that is being kind to the chance.

Next up is whether multi-millionaire Ryan Giggs would want to individually sue everyone involved. Can you see a footballer deciding to take on what they are reporting as up to 75,000 civil actions against members of the public? No. Neither can I. If Ryan Giggs really wants to go after someone through twitter it will be the first accounts that reported it – namely the anonymous ‘injunctionsuper’ account would be his target as there is a considerable chance that this account user actually knew of the injunction and had seen legal papers therefore directly violating the injunction. Other people who had commented on it afterwards had not and therefore any success in a case by Ryan Giggs would be a long-shot.

Ryan Giggs has played his hand extremely badly and with only a year or two left as a player he has a big choice as to what he wants to do after e finishes playing football. If he wants a job either as a coach, a manager or TV pundit then any suit against multiple members of the public will not be forthcoming. I can not imagine any media outlet taking on such a toxic personality considering what the public would feel towards him at that point and the same goes for any club knowing the backlash they would get from the fans. If he wants a reclusive life counting his pennies then he can sue and become one of the most hated people in the country.

The ball as they say is in his court. The thing is though at the end of the day nobody gives a damn that he cheated on his wife. They just don’t. At some point if he has good advice he will let the injunction slide and take the short-term public hit and apologise publicly to both his wife and to all his fans around the world. People will very quickly forgive and forget and he can enjoy doing whatever he likes for the rest of his career. Pursue a civil case against the public at large and his future will be as private as he wants it to be as nobody will touch him job wise.

If any of the legal stuff is inaccurate then please let me know. I did pass Journalism Law back in 2003 but heck that was a fair while ago…

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Harry Redknapp to Chelsea? Is it all a Harry Redknapp PR stunt?

Ok some might call me embittered over the way Harry Redknapp used and abused my beloved football club but I’m trying to keep an open mind. One thing that can’t be denied is that Harry Redknapp has arguably the best press of any manager in England due to the fact no-one dares criticise the Spurs manager. When a brave hardened (or more likely a young naive) journalist tries to say that harry might have made a mistake or two they get a roasting and promptly are never seen or heard from again in any capacity surrounding Harry Redknapp.

For example a journalist tried to question the end to Spurs’ season after they meandered their way down the stretch and instead of making the Champions League they only managed to make it into the Europa League. They had the squad and the fixtures to claim a top four spot but they failed to do so. When posed with that question Redknapp retorted that the fans had seen the club have its best ever season and they everyone should be extremely proud of what they achieved. Now I’m not sure but considering Spurs have won both domestic championships and silverware both at home and on the continent then isn’t that a better performance than finishing fifth in the top flight and making the last eight of the Champions League where in all honesty they got torn apart by a far superior Real Madrid side?

Of course it is but we can’t be thinking that. Not when Harry Redknapp is the manager. Now the end of the Spurs season was a mess. The club should have done better but these things happen. However there seems to be a bit of an issue with the wage bill at Spurs and the chairman would prefer to move a few out before bringing in any. This isn’t exactly how Harry likes to do things. At Portsmouth he jumped ship the moment the purse strings were drawn shut. The club still hasn’t recovered and whilst I’m not putting the blame solely at our former manager (the likes of Peter Storrie and Sasha Gaydamak deserve just as much, if not more blame for allowing such reckless spending) it should be noted that similar things are happening at Spurs.

Failure to reach the Champion League is a blow both in terms of prestige for the club but far more troublesome is the money aspect. The club will have budgeted for a deep run in the competition and the money they receive from the Europa League is chicken feed in comparison. So Redknapp has a problem with bringing in who he likes so needs something to help make the chairman bend over backwards to accommodate him and what is better than a more lucrative position at a bigger club?

Chelsea need a manager and for all his pitfalls I will not deny that Harry Redknapp is both a good tactician and an extremely good motivator. However his biggest weaknesses are a bargain and believing in his team if he really doesn’t think that they can win. I saw him on umpteen occasions because throw a game by not picking the best team in games he saw as problematic. That wouldn’t be much of an issue at Chelsea and it would actually be extremely interesting to see him go there.

If he did go there then that would surely end the speculation of him landing the England job wen Fabio leaves in 2012 which looks likely so if Chelsea does come calling then it will be a dilemma. Choose the chance to really compete for the title or stick with a Spurs team where the purse strings are tighter than my wallet. The bigger question though is whether or not Chelsea have any interest. They have been extremely quiet on the matter and is Roman really willing to spend £15million on Redknapp (the fee Daniel Levy has apparently put on Redknapp’s head) and give him the open cheque book he would desire?

I am skeptical. This smells of a Redknapp manipulated media storm to me but maybe – just maybe – I am just one bitter Portsmouth fan at the end of the day.

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Lewis Hamilton openly hints at racism in F1

Oh boy Lewis. Honestly when you look at your remarks in the cold light of day you’ll cringe and what’s more your future in the sport might now be in peril. That might seem way over the top for what might be seen in some quarters as a jokey remark but it was clear from his tone that he wasn’t joking. He fully believes that he has been unfairly targeted by the F1 stewards because he isn’t white and not because he’s a thug on the race track who believes he has the right to barge people out of the way.

Speaking to BBC F1’s Lee McKensie after the race the McLaren driver fumed, “It’s an absolute frickin’ joke.”

“I’ve been to see the stewards five times out of six this season.”

When Lee McKensie pressed Hamilton on why he felt the stewards were picking on him, the McLaren driver retorted: “Maybe it’s because I’m black.”

Hamilton then added, as if to make light of his previous remark: “That’s what Ali G says.”

You can watch the interview in full on the BBC Sport website

Now I know it is one remark but what is clear to me is that Hamilton has brought the sport into disrepute. He has openly not just criticised the team (which many drivers do) but has openly questioned whether the sport is played on a level playing field and that if you aren’t part of the in club then you aren’t excepted. This seems unlikely considering how many different drivers have raced in F1 from all matter of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds and no-one to my knowledge has ever hinted at racism in the sport.

On the BBC F1 broadcast both commentators Martin Brundle and David Coulthard believed both incidents in today’s race were worthy of penalties. Once the bar had been set when Paul Di Resta decided that the car in front should be used as a brake at the hairpin then it seemed relatively obvious that his two incidents were worthy of penalties too. Many other drivers have seen penalties this season for causing an avoidable accident.

Lewis Hamilton has always come across as a bit of a baby when things don’t go his way but to drop in a hint of racism is inexcusable even in the heat of the moment. An apology better be swift or Lewis may well find himself not being allowed to race for a weekend and that would seriously piss him off. He has been nurtured at McLaren since pre-teenage years but they don’t seem to have been able to teach him how to deal with the media. He is fast becoming the biggest whiner on the grid and considering some of the other drivers on the said grid then that is quite an achievement.

No doubt nothing major will happen to him but at some point McLaren will think that the talent they are getting is not worth the hassle and the FIA themselves may not tolerate too much more of this kind of behaviour.

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