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PSG president says nothing to hide over summer transfers

first_imgParis Saint-Germain carried out its record summer transfers in complete transparency and “has nothing to hide”, the French club’s president said on Wednesday.Europe’s governing soccer body, UEFA, earlier this month placed Paris Saint-Germain under investigation to see if their spending spree had broken financial fair-play rules.”We’re very confident in our position, in our recruitment,” club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi told reporters at a press conference to present Kylian Mbappe after his 180 million euro transfer from Monaco.”We paid everything in a transparent way. We have nothing to hide,” Al-Khelaifi added.last_img

Farewell to the ramshackle Waca, often a graveyard of English Ashes hopes

first_imgEven when empty, a stroll around the Waca is an evocative one. Though the seats are sun-bleached, the paint peels off in many places and the slightly ramshackle facilities are a throwback to the past, this outgoing Ashes venue still feels mighty special. Topics Ashes 2017-18 Remembering the Waca Ground: a Test track that was a highway to hell Ashes lessons so far: from Australia’s fab four to England’s failure to convert Share on Twitter Reuse this content Since you’re here… Australia sport England cricket team Read more Support The Guardian The Observer Swing bowlers such as Terry Alderman and Damien Fleming prospered, too, and while spinners have not always come to the fore – it was the one Australian ground upon which Shane Warne did not claim a five-for – batsmen have still been able to tuck in, with the Waca the scene of Matthew Hayden’s then world record 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003 and David Warner now heading to a ground where he averages 89, including three Test centuries.But this week the Waca plays host to its final Ashes Test. Sitting to the east, across the Swan River and visible from the Lillee-Marsh Stand, is the new Aus$1.5bn Optus Stadium. It is a hulking 60,000-capacity arena that will soon take over hosting the highest-profile cricket matches and, provided funds arrive, the Waca (23,000 at best) will be revamped, but downsized, to become a boutique venue for less marketable opposition.“It’s evolution,” John Inverarity, the former WA captain and Australian selector, whose name sits on that scoreboard, says. “There’s a new stadium and why wouldn’t you play big audience matches there? I feel less concerned than some. The Waca was my life for many years but I think the stadium will be right for the comfort of fans.”Thursday’s third Test will be an Ashes swansong that almost wasn’t, too. Had the snazzy new bowl in Burswood met its deadline, and not seen its curtain-raiser put back to January for the fifth one-day international of this tour, the Waca would have simply drifted out of Ashes cricket without a chance for one last visit from the Fremantle Doctor, the afternoon wind that provides respite for fielding sides or those frazzling in the old stands that offer little shade.Though England Lions will take on Perth Scorchers in two Twenty20 friendlies at the Optus this week, the senior team instead get one final Test at a venue that, with nine defeats and just one win from 13 visits, represents their least productive of those in double figures.Sitting 2-0 down with three to play, it has been already heavily noted that history is not on the side of Joe Root’s tourists. But whatever the result, they can say they were part of it this week as Ashes cricket says farewell to the Waca. Read more Before arriving, the first thing you spot while walking down Hay Street or Adelaide Terrace, perhaps with a detour through the pretty Queens Gardens, are the six imposing floodlights. Each one becomes more and more like a giant Iron Man (Ted Hughes, not Marvel) staring down on the crisp, green outfield as you pitch up and enter through the gates.Up on the rickety old scoreboard, on non-match days, sit the names of Western Australia’s team of the 20th century (plus a 12th man) from down the years: G Marsh, Wood, Langer, Inverarity, K Hughes, Shepherd, Moody, Yardley, McKenzie, Lillee, R Marsh (wk) and Alderman – these are the giants upon whose shoulders modern local players stand.Park up on one of the exposed grassed banks that have roasted many a supporter over the years and past deeds of derring-do come to mind. It is a stage of many highlights, from Adam Gilchrist’s 57-ball hundred to Curtly Ambrose’s spell of seven for one, Doug Walters hooking the final ball from Bob Willis for six to complete a century in a session, Dennis Lillee’s many bravura bowling performances (or his aluminium bat) through to Ryan Harris trimming Alastair Cook’s off bail with a pearler four years ago.Cricket has been played on this reclaimed swamp land since 1890 but Western Australia needed first rail and then air links to truly enter the fold. And thus Perth is in fact relatively young when it comes to hosting men’s Test matches, with its first in 1970 (although the women, as ever, were slightly ahead with Australia and England meeting here in 1958).From there it gained a reputation as the fastest pitch in the world, with the button-down shirt machismo of Lillee and Jeff Thomson terrorising touring batsman – just ask David Lloyd, he of the split box in 1974-75 – and the lineage of Australian quicks to enjoy it continued through to Merv Hughes, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson to name but a few.A relaid square in the late 1980s may have seen some of the pace lost but try telling that to batsmen since, with Justin Langer – one of the Waca greats – recalling the experience of facing Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar on a flyer in 2004. “Ricky Ponting and I were just laughing our heads off, because we could have got a single every ball given how far Moin Khan, the wicketkeeper, was standing back. I was very happy letting the captain take the strike. When you’re batting at the end with the sea breeze behind the bowler, you feel alive.” Australia cricket team features Cricket … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger The Asheslast_img read more