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Joe Mazzulla meets with Pep Guardiola before 2024 NBA Finals

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Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Fellow Press

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla met with a special guest Wednesday before the 2024 NBA Finals — Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.

Mazzulla, a noted soccer fan, visited Guardiola at Manchester City’s football academy in February. He told The Athletic a week later that he studies the English club and Guardiola, calling the City boss “the best coach at any level, in any sport.”

The two were spotted chatting at TD Garden ahead of Game 1 on Thursday.

Guardiola is one of soccer’s most decorated managers, having served as the head man at multiple top clubs, including Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

He’s won six Premier League titles (including four straight), four UEFA Super Cups and three UEFA Champions League titles. In 2009, at 37 years old, he led Barcelona to a Champions League final triumph, becoming the youngest manager to ever win the Champions League.

The former midfielder also won the treble (domestic league, domestic cup and European Cup/Champions League in the same season) twice as a manager — the only one to ever do so.

Mazzulla is looking for his first title as an NBA head coach, with Game 1 tipping off.

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Mourinho picks Messi over Ronaldo as Best of Generation

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Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Fellow Press

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Football manager Jose Mourinho chose FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi over compatriot and Real Madrid icon Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest player of their generation, in comments made to TNT Sports.

Mourinho is currently set to take the reins at Fenerbahce when club football resumes after international tournaments such as the Euros and Copa America have taken place.

Messi and Ronaldo will feature in them for their respective countries Argentina and Portugal, in what could be the last time we get to see them at a major competition considering they are already on the road to 40.

On Tuesday to ESPN, Messi confirmed that Inter Miami will be his last club yet he also stressed that he’s not ready to retire yet.

Mourinho on the other hand could only just be getting started as a head coach. Yet given he has already spent 20 years at the top of the game, which have yielded two Champions Leagues and a number of domestic championships, the 61-year-old has plenty to reflect on.

TNT Sports asked him the one player who he wished he had signed, and for the Portuguese there were no doubts.

“Of course I would have to say the little guy,” Mourinho answered, in reference to eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi. “But the little guy was not coachable. But I have to say, in our generation, he was the best.”

This means that Mourinho picks Messi ahead of his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in an endless debate among football fans, which might not be well received by his ex-Real Madrid forward from 2010 to 2013.

CR7 was however chosen in a shortlist of the best players Mourinho has had the chance to work with.

“You know, it is very hard to say, to speak about [John] Terry, [Frank] Lampard, [Didier] Drogba, Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso, Man United, all the Inter guys, I don’t know,” Mourinho said.

As for the best supporters in the world, Mourinho remarked: “Old Trafford is Old Trafford, Bernabeu is Bernabeu, San Siro is San Siro, Stamford Bridge is Stamford Bridge … But I would say for a team not used to winning, Roma fans are so, so loyal to the team.”

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Manchester City launched unprecedented legal action against Premier League

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Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Fellow Press

Manchester City are taking legal action against the Premier League, The Times has revealed.

The newspaper reports City are attempting to end the Premier League’s Associated Party Transaction (ATP) rules.

Those rules regard commercial and sponsorship deals with companies owned or associated with the same club’s owners.

As things stand, those rules dictate such transactions have to be independently assessed to be of fair market value.

The Times reports that City believe the rules are “unlawful” and they want to seek damages for revenue lost by preventions made by those rules.

The newspaper’s reporter, Matt Lawton, quotes a 165-page legal document in which City argue they are the victims of “discrimination”.

The rule was brought in in December 2021 as Newcastle was bought by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund.

The legal dispute will be settled during a two-week arbitration hearing beginning on Monday June 10.

Sky Sports News has contacted the Premier League and Manchester City for comment.

This could have big ramifications for future competitive balance of Premier League’
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:

“What is being reported is unprecedented. We’ve got a situation where a Premier League club, Manchester City, the champions of the Premier League, are basically suing the Premier League.

“What City are going to argue at this arbitration hearing, which will start on Monday, is that some of the league’s financial rules are unlawful and they are incompatible with UK competition law. The rules they are talking about are the Associated Party Transaction rules.

“These were brought in in 2021 and they are designed to make sure that if a club signs a commercial deal with a company that is linked to its owners that it has to be a fair value, and that is checked to make sure that it is of fair value.

“So, if you are the owner of a Premier League club and you have another company, say an airline or an energy company, and you want to get that company to sponsor your club – because that is a good way of bringing revenue into your club – that deal has to be checked by independent auditors to make sure it is of fair value.

“You cannot just make up a number and say the deal is worth £100m, £200m or £300m as a way of bringing money into your club. It has to be of fair value.

“But City are going to argue that these rules are unlawful and obviously, this could have big, serious ramifications for the future competitive balance of the Premier League.”

How is this linked to Man City’s existing 115 charges from the Premier League?

Manchester City were first charged in February 2023 with breaking financial fair play rules around 100 times over a nine-year period, which starts in 2009 and goes on until 2018.

Allegedly, they did not fully disclose the financial remunerations that were made to one of their managers over a four-year period. The suggestion is that there was a secret contract so one of the managers was getting paid much more than officially stated.

The Premier League also allege Man City didn’t comply with UEFA’s financial fair play rules over a five-year period. They also allege that Man City have not fully co-operated with the Premier League’s investigation.

The Times report claims the hearing into City’s alleged 115 breaches will be heard in November. Read more about the charges in full here.

Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol said: “The charges and this case are two separate things.

“The 115 charges have been brought by the Premier League against Man City for allegations that they have broken the league’s financial rules over 12 or 13 years.

“The hearing into those charges is set for November but obviously, a lot of those charges are also to do with sponsorship deals, deals that were done with companies that are connected to the owners of Manchester City.

“So, if Man City win this case, which starts next week, that would blow a big hole in the Premier League’s case at the hearing in November about the 115 charges because Man City would have argued successfully next week that some of these rules are unlawful and incompatible with UK competition law.”

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