AHEAD OF THE GAME: Robin Olsen eyes Everton exit after terrifying attack on his home by machete-wielding thugs… and Dario Gradi is set to be stripped of his place in the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum
- Robin Olsen and his family were subjected to a terrifying robbery at their home
- Goalkeeper’s wife and children were understandably traumatised by the attack
- His family considered returning home to Sweden after the violent robbery
- Dario Gradi’s conduct was criticised in the FA’s review into child sex abuse
- Report concluded Gradi should have done more to investigate Barry Bennell
- Crystal Palace are attracting fresh interest from potential investors
Everton goalkeeper Robin Olsen is unlikely to extend his loan spell from Roma into next season following the terrifying machete attack at his home in Greater Manchester this month.
The 31-year-old’s wife and children were understandably traumatised and considered returning home to Sweden after the violent robbery, but have been found alternative accommodation by the club while security is upgraded at their house in Altrincham.
Olsen’s problems have been compounded by injury, and he is ruled out of Saturday night’s FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester City — along with regular No 1 Jordan Pickford.
The Sweden international was threatened by knife-wielding thugs in the robbery, with the burglars escaping with jewellery and a watch.
Robin Olsen and his family were subjected to a terrifying robbery by machete-wielding thugs
GRADI SET TO LOSE HIS PLACE IN MUSEUM’S HALL OF FAME
Dario Gradi is set to be stripped of his place in the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum in Manchester after the former Crewe manager’s conduct was criticised in the FA’s independent review into child sex abuse.
The NFM have convened a panel to review inductees in their Hall of Fame ahead of a planned reopening after lockdown in May, with Gradi’s presence up for discussion after Clive Sheldon QC’s 710-page report concluded that the 79-year-old should have done more to investigate the behaviour of convicted paedophile Barry Bennell when they worked together at Crewe.
The NFM are also seeking to increase the diversity of their Hall of Fame, which includes only 18 women out of over 200 members.
Dario Gradi (centre) is set to lose his place in the Hall of Fame at the National Football Museum
INTEREST IN PALACE RAMPING UP
Crystal Palace are attracting fresh interest from potential investors, having secured their Premier League status for a ninth successive year.
The fact that manager Roy Hodgson and over a dozen first-team players are out of contract at the end of the season makes Palace an attractive proposition, as a quick deal would give any new owners a clean slate on which to build for the future.
Majority shareholders Josh Harris and David Blitzer value the club at around £220million, but have yet to receive a formal bid.
Crystal Palace have attracted fresh interest from potential investors but no bid has been made
MAN UNITED’S EX-MANAGING DIRECTOR EYEING UP AN EFL CLUB
Former Manchester United managing director Mike Farnan is looking to buy an EFL club with his global sports agency Redstrike.
The international sports rights business, founded by Farnan and based in the North West, own Finnish side Kemi City and run an academy in Vietnam.
Redstrike want to add a club in this country to their portfolio and are targeting teams in League One or Two. Hull, Ipswich, Plymouth and Shrewsbury are among third-tier clubs looking for new buyers or significant investment.
STOCKPORT SPREE SHOCKS RIVALS
Stockport County are flashing the cash in their bid to win promotion to League Two, with the terms of the deal which saw Irish striker Paddy Madden drop down two divisions from Fleetwood this week leaving National League rivals astonished.
In addition to paying Fleetwood a £250,000 fee — remarkable given the impact of the pandemic on non-League clubs — Stockport also gave Madden a significant pay rise with his three-and-a-half-year contract worth around £3,500 a week.
Stockport’s largesse is being funded by local entrepreneur Mark Scott, who has transformed the club and renovated the previously run-down Edgeley Park since last year’s takeover, and Simon Rusk’s side are on course to reach the play-offs.
Paddy Madden (right – playing for Fleetwood) dropped down two divisions to join Stockport
FA TO ‘STRONG ENCOURAGE’ CLUBS TO AIM FOR EQUALITY
The FA will ‘strongly encourage’ football clubs to provide equal access to playing opportunities for all, irrespective of age or gender, when issuing their return-to-play guidelines for the grassroots game next week.
Sportsmail revealed this week that several youth leagues opted to cancel competitive girls’ matches while extending the season for boys’ teams into the summer, which Sport England have condemned as discriminatory.
The FA have no powers of enforcement but their guidance will make clear they expect both sexes to be treated equally.
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