Biz-y time in world of athletics

LAST week, I was calling for business to be ousted from sport so imagine my dismay when I heard that the new chairman of UK Athletics is ... businessman Ed Warner, writes MARK BERRY. Yes, that s right, the man who will aim to develop athletics and produce

LAST week, I was calling for business to be ousted from sport so imagine my dismay when I heard that the new chairman of UK Athletics is ... businessman Ed Warner, writes MARK BERRY.

Yes, that's right, the man who will aim to develop athletics and produce British gold medal-winners at the 2012 London Olympics is a former funds manager and contributor to radio business programmes.

Following the appointment it was revealed that Warner has no background in the sport other than being an amateur runner and member of Fittleworth Flyers running club, in Sussex.

In fact, Warner admitted to the national press: "None of my achievements in our sport allows me to stand shoulder to shoulder with Britain's leading athletes.


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"But I believe that they give me some insight into their motivations and the commitment necessary for them to achieve excellence in their chosen fields."

Oh dear. That's exactly the kind of sporting passion we need at the top.

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He will be talking about putting javelin "on the back-burner" next or perhaps encouraging our young athletes by "touching base with all players to formulate a focused business plan that will tick all boxes and add value in a synergy that will empower us to hit the ground running."

IT was refreshing to hear Wisbech Town manager Dick Creasey admit to making a mistake with his team selection at the weekend.

It was particularly refreshing as it came in the same week as Rafa Benitez blamed everything but his team selection after Liverpool's 6-3 thrashing at home to Arsenal in the Carling Cup.

It was the first time that Liverpool had conceded six at Anfield since 1930. After the match, Benitez told the press: "We did use a lot of players from the first team but they also changed many players."

Yeah, almost the entire Arsenal side was made up of reserve players, Rafa. You still lost.

But then he did provide a fascinating insight into the defeat by saying: "The problem was conceding four goals in the first half."

I would never have thought of that.

And then later in the week, he was criticising Liverpool's board for their inability to bring new players to the club, saying: "If Arsenal can play nine reserves and score six at Anfield, people should be asking why.

"It's not because of one game, it's because of many reasons"

And finally, he said: "We had seven players with first team experience and still we could not win."

I wish he could just say that his team were not good enough on the night and that he was the one who made a mistake in selecting a team that lost 6-3.

FINALLY, people are always saying that darts players are not athletes. However, thanks to Raymond van Barneveld, that idea is no longer valid - as shown in our photograph.

I knew that Barney had won the PDC World Darts Championships but I didn't know that he had performed a gymnastics routine in celebration.

As you can see in the picture, it clearly shows the magnificent Barney performing a perfect dismount- or perhaps he completed 15 tumbles along the Circus Tavern stage before hitting a spot-on landing.

Whatever he did, it was obviously good. Even the disappointed Phil 'The Power' Taylor is applauding.

Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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