TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd legend Ferdinand defends Ashley over lack of Newcastle transfer spendingby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has defended Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over the club’s lack of signings.The BT Sports pundit – who courted controversy by defending the owner last year – gave his verdict on Rafa Benitez’s frustrations and Ashley’s approach.Speaking on the matter, Ferdinand said: “I understand Rafa’s frustrations because as a manager you want the ability to go out and spend money, but they’re not in that position.“At the same time I understand Mike Ashley. Why is he going to spend more and more money – millions and millions of pounds – when he’s actually looking to sell the club? He’s got them to a point now where they’re back in the Premier League and they’re consolidating to a certain extent.“He’s not going to go spend his own money. You wouldn’t go spend your own money now knowing you were trying to sell something unless you knew you were going to get that back.“It’s not easy to sell a football club. He’s got a price and he’s going to wait to get it. He’s spent money at that football club, he’s just not going to spend it at this time. “All these fans, they do dream, and they dream big and I understand that. What are Newcastle’s aims? They can’t be aiming at being a Man Utd or a Man City. They’ve got to aim to be a Bournemouth. They’ve only just started spending. I’m not saying everything they’re doing is correct. What I’m saying is, I think Mike Ashley, you can’t hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club. You wouldn’t spend on your house when you want to sell it.”
CS Square LogoWe are expanding!College Spun, founded in September of 2012, is an independent sports blog that brings you the most interesting college athletics stories of the day. The publication, which reaches over three million unique readers per month, focuses on the social media aspect of the industry.We’re looking for one full-time writer to add to our staff for our Hoboken, New Jersey (next to NYC) office. We’re looking for candidates who are obsessed with both entrepreneurship and college sports. Ideal candidates will also have relevant experience in digital media. As an employee of College Spun, you will help dictate the site’s editorial direction.Qualifications:You must be entrepreneurially-minded and OBSESSED with college sports.You must have experience at an online publication.You must be a great writer who can spot an interesting story and have the personality to tell it in an entertaining way.You must be well-versed in social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc).You must be able to edit and manage other writers; team players only.You must not care about a 9-5, Monday-Friday lifestyle. Games are all on nights and weekends.You must be competitive by nature and self-motivated.You must be willing to relocate to the NYC area.Think you’re the perfect candidate? Then we can’t wait to meet you. If that’s not you but you know someone else who is that person, please introduce us.To apply, please email [email protected]m with your resume and two writing samples.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Government’s ongoing strong implementation of Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme (ERP), continues to yield significant dividends. Story Highlights The Board notes that consequent on “commendable” performances under two successive Fund arrangements since May 2013, “Jamaica’s public debt is projected to fall below 100 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since fiscal year 2000/01, to 98.7 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2018/19”. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Government’s ongoing strong implementation of Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme (ERP), continues to yield significant dividends.The Board notes that consequent on “commendable” performances under two successive Fund arrangements since May 2013, “Jamaica’s public debt is projected to fall below 100 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the first time since fiscal year 2000/01, to 98.7 per cent of GDP in fiscal year 2018/19”.This is outlined in an April 22 statement posted on the IMF’s website, following the Board’s completion and approval of Jamaica’s fifth review under the 36-month US$1.66-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (PSBA).It now enables the release of approximately US$223 million, which will bring the total sum available to Jamaica to US$1.4 billion, if necessary.Other notable out-turns and indicators highlighted include record low unemployment; heightened business confidence; 2018 calendar year growth of 1.8 per cent, buoyed by mining, construction and agriculture; and international reserves deemed “comfortable” under a more flexible exchange rate.“All quantitative performance criteria at [the] end [of] December 2018 were met, and the structural benchmark to table, in Parliament, amendments to the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Act, was completed in October 2018,” the statement further indicated.The Board, however, noted that the 2.4 per cent inflation rate out-turn recorded in October 2018, which triggered a staff consultation under the Monetary Policy Consultation Clause, remained unchanged in February 2019.“Further monetary easing is needed to restore inflation to the midpoint of the four to six per cent target range. The BOJ’s reduction in the reserve requirement on Jamaican dollar deposits will help make policy accommodative, but further rate cuts are likely to be needed,” the document further indicated.The Board also suggested that the BOJ continue reducing its foreign exchange footprint, including limiting sales to “disorderly” market conditions, adding that “the need for further reductions in reserve requirements should also be assessed”.Meanwhile, the IMF has emphasised the need for action by the public and private sectors to achieve higher levels of sustainable growth.The Fund says that for its part, the Government’s 2019/20 Budget “is reducing the primary surplus by 0.5 per cent of GDP to 6.5 per cent, without compromising the medium-term public debt anchor.”“The fiscal loosening supports growth and social spending by providing resources for security, infrastructure, school meals and transportation. Further, the cuts to distortionary financial taxes will help support economic activity and job creation,” the IMF statement said.As for the private sector, the Board proposes that members “capitalise on these fiscal measures to increase investments, and create opportunities for advancing financial inclusion”.Meanwhile, the Board underscores that public-sector shortcomings “should be immediately addressed”.This, the Executive Board noted, could be achieved, in part, by empowering the Integrity Commission; passing regulations to solidify a transparent and competency-based process for appointments to the Boards of public bodies; transferring funds from government commercial bank accounts to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and closing the former; and reducing the number of public bodies.Strengthened coordination between the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the BOJ, and increasing both institutions’ capacities have also been identified as paramount to maintaining financial-sector stability.“Risk-based supervision of financial conglomerates requires the methodical collection, sharing, and monitoring of data and lending standards. Joint work among the regulators will be required to draft legislation for the special resolution regime and to address Anti-Money Laundering-Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML-CFT) deficiencies,” the statement said.“Overhauling the public-sector compensation structure by streamlining allowances and making it performance-based, prioritising and reducing government functions and size, and upgrading public bodies’ governance are critical for fiscal sustainability,” it added.In the meantime, the IMF is emphasising the need for ongoing commitment to strengthen domestic institutions as Jamaica prepares to exit financial arrangements with the Fund later this year.The Board maintains that laying the groundwork for the Fiscal Council, amending the BOJ Act for its operational autonomy, and a disaster resilience policy framework “are steps in this direction”. This is outlined in an April 22 statement posted on the IMF’s website, following the Board’s completion and approval of Jamaica’s fifth review under the 36-month US$1.66-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement (PSBA).
T. Hardaway1996MIA2.8+7.5-1.0Lost first round The best trade deadline pickups rarely swing the playoffs R. Allen2003SEA5.5+4.6+1.2Missed playoffs D. Mutombo2001PHI2.2-2.2-2.6Lost NBA Finals C. Drexler1995HOU5.5+2.4-5.9Won NBA Finals G. Wallace2011POR2.6+2.6+0.8Lost first round L. Nance1988CLE3.3+3.8-3.0Lost first round T. Kukoc2000PHI2.2+2.7-0.5Lost conf. semis D. Ainge1989SAC2.6+4.9-0.7Missed playoffs PLAYERYEARNEW TEAMPOST-TRADE WAROFFDEFPLAYOFF OUTCOME S. Marbury1999NJ2.8+11.6-6.6Missed playoffs B. Miller2002IND2.6+2.3+0.6Lost first round J. Mashburn1997MIA2.8+2.2-4.3Lost conf. finals J. Hornacek1994UTA2.2+3.3-1.5Lost conf. finals Historically, productive deadline pickups don’t often go hand in hand with deep playoff runs. They can help their new teams’ bottom lines — since 1987, each additional WAR produced by a newcomer after the deadline has been associated with a 0.9-point improvement to his team’s efficiency differential, compared with the team’s differential before the trade. But oftentimes those players are shipped into situations where no amount of productivity can keep the ship from sinking or drag an average roster to playoff greatness.And even the stars who go to good teams can arrive to mixed results. Drexler, like Jamal Mashburn in 1997 and Dikembe Mutombo in 2001, played well after landing in his new destination, but his team’s net efficiency sank dramatically down the stretch of the regular season before righting itself in the playoffs.Furthermore, because trades involve, uh, trade-offs between teams, sometimes star deals simply re-allocate strengths from one side of the ball to the other. The biggest post-deadline boost in offensive efficiency since 1987 belongs to the 1999 New Jersey Nets, which added offensive dynamo Stephon Marbury and improved their efficiency at that end by 11.6 points per 100 possessions … but also got worse on defense by 6.6 points per 100 possessions. (Marbury didn’t exactly lock opponents down on D.)Likewise, the biggest boost in defensive efficiency belongs to last year’s Jazz, which improved by 10.6 points per 100 possessions on D after jettisoning defensive sieve Enes Kanter and installing Stifle Tower Rudy Gobert as starting center … but also got worse by 2.3 points per 100 possessions on offense. That’s still a clear win for the Jazz, but it shows that blockbuster deadline trades rarely come off perfectly clean, without some downside to go with the benefits.Which brings us back to Frye and the Cavaliers. Frye’s no superstar — his wins added are modest despite his impressive RPM because he logged only 17 minutes a night in Orlando, a number that isn’t likely to increase given Cleveland’s existing frontcourt situation. But he’s in what’s historically been a sweet spot for deadline pickups: He’s coming to an existing title contender at very little cost, where he’ll be asked to fill a specific (yet important) role. There are no guarantees on the NBA trade market, but low-risk/moderate-reward moves like the one the Cavs made to grab Frye are often the deadline deals most associated with solid playoff outcomes. A. Robertson1993DET2.8+2.5-0.9Missed playoffs B. Davis2005GS3.1+11.0-1.9Missed playoffs M. Camby2010POR2.6+0.8+1.8Lost first round B. Sura2004ATL2.2+8.5-6.7Missed playoffs M. Thornton2011SAC2.4+1.2-1.1Missed playoffs Source: Basketball-Reference.com Unlike last year, the 2016 NBA trade deadline was a bit of a snoozer. Nineteen players were dealt on Thursday, deadline day itself — the 12th-most since 1987. In the traditionally busy two weeks leading up to the cutoff, however, only seven others were moved, which means the raw activity around this year’s deadline was basically average. Quality wasn’t exactly bursting out over quantity, either. As a group, the traded players averaged almost exactly zero wins above replacement per 82 games this season, the eighth-lowest rate among trade deadlines since ’87. (Of course, it could be worse — sometimes an entire crop of trade targets can average out well below the replacement level, as happened in 1992.)Most of this year’s trades were made by teams jockeying for playoff position (Charlotte’s Courtney Lee pickup comes to mind), collecting future assets (Detroit snagged Tobias Harris and Donatas Motiejunas in separate deals this week) or dumping disgruntled players (Markieff Morris and Lance Stephenson were sent packing by the Suns and Clippers, respectively). These are the kinds of incremental moves that help a franchise in the long run. But nobody would characterize them as blockbusters, and hardly any involved the handful of teams that have a chance to win the 2015-16 NBA championship.If any contender received consensus praise at the deadline, though, it was Cleveland, which snagged Channing Frye for Anderson Varejao, Jared Cunningham and a couple of draft picks. The advanced analytics have always crushed hard on Frye — he currently ranks eighth among power forwards in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus, ahead of Anthony Davis (!) — with his classic stretch-big mix of long-distance shooting, decent-enough rebounding and surprisingly solid defensive metrics. (To that last point, RPM actually thinks Frye’s defense is a far bigger contributor to his bottom-line impact than his offense.) Let’s face it — nobody will be shocked if Frye ends up hitting a huge shot or two for the Cavs during what’s probably going to be another deep run in the Eastern Conference playoffs.And when it comes to deadline pickups, players like Frye often make a more indelible postseason mark than the types of big-name superstars everyone was hoping to see moved Thursday, anyway.Statistically, the best deadline acquisition of the past 30 years1Including players acquired within two weeks of each season’s deadline. was Clyde Drexler — clearly not a role player, even in his twilight — who produced 5.5 WAR for the Rockets after getting shipped to Houston for Otis Thorpe in 1995. Drexler went on to help Houston capture its second straight NBA title, but that makes him an exception among hyper-productive deadline pickups: T. Kukoc2001ATL2.2+5.0-8.9Missed playoffs P. Gasol2008LAL3.5+4.1-2.3Lost NBA Finals R. Jackson2015DET2.2+2.1-0.4Missed playoffs TEAM EFF. CHANGE J. Salmons2010MIL2.4+2.7+3.2Lost first round V. Radmanovic2006LAC2.2+1.1-0.7Lost conf. semis T. Gugliotta1995MIN3.3+5.1-1.8Missed playoffs T. Ratliff2004POR3.5-0.8+3.6Missed playoffs W. Williams1996MIA2.2+7.5-1.0Lost first round J. Kidd2008DAL3.9+1.4+1.4Lost first round
Ohio State senior guard Joey Lane (14) throws his arms up for the crowd to cheer at the end of the game against Iowa on Feb. 26. Ohio State won 90-70. Credit Cori Wade | Lantern PhotographerEvery pregame ritual is the same for Joey Lane.He leads Ohio State onto the court, bouncing a basketball violently against the court as soon as his feet touch the hardwood.As the lineups are announced, he makes his way to the post area, greeting each starter with a handshake, custom-made for each one.Lane then makes his way to the end of the bench, a familiar home to the senior guard. He knew, when choosing Ohio State, he would forgo an opportunity at significant playing time. But Lane was fine with that.As tip-off nears, “Joker and the Thief” by Wolfmother begins to ring in every corner of the Schottenstein Center. Lane, physically pushing his fellow teammates, begins to jump up and down to the beat of the song, waving the towel that usually lives around his neck.What Lane has coined as the “towel gang” is not unique to Ohio State. The senior guard said he stole is from another school, a school he would not disclose.But what the “towel gang” represents to Lane is unique: It’s his role for Ohio State. A role that has remained for four seasons and survived a coaching change, a losing season, an NCAA Tournament run.And it’s more than just to be a walk-on. It’s more than running the scout team or pumping up his teammates. It’s more than just a name for the student section to chant when the Buckeyes have an insurmountable lead.Lane’s role is to be the best teammate he can be, a teammate he will be for the final time at home Sunday. This was Lane’s job, the role he was given. A role that, when asked about fulfilling for the final time at Value City Arena, made him break down in tears and embrace senior guard C.J. Jackson and redshirt senior guard Keyshawn Woods. It was a role he never thought he would have.Clad in scarlet and gray from an early age, Lane grew up watching Greg Oden, Evan Turner and Aaron Craft, who he took as his favorite player, adopting the Buckeye guard’s No. 4 jersey as his own at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Illinois.Lane wanted to be like Craft, but was also trying to be realistic, viewing this hope as too far-fetched.“The dream was to play here,” Lane said. “I never thought in a million years as a 5-foot-9 guy my junior year of high school that I would ever be able to do that.”But he got his chance.As a senior at Deerfield, Lane was named captain of the basketball team, allowing him the decision to choose where his team could train over the summer. So he chose an Ohio State basketball camp, giving him the chance to play on the court he watched as a fan throughout his childhood.Lane and his team excelled, going 8-0 during the camp and putting the Ohio State coaching staff on notice. At first, the conversation revolved around finding the right school for Joey, looking for a Division-II or Division-III school that gave him the opportunity to play regularly.Ohio State senior guard Joey Lane leads the Buckeyes onto the court prior to the start of the game against Maryland on Jan. 18. Ohio State lost 75-61. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorLane flipped the script, shifting the conversation to finding out if there was any chance to live out his far-fetched dream. Ohio State head coach Thad Matta made that dream a reality, naming Lane as the first preferred walk-on in program history.“I’m forever indebted to the guy because he gave me the chance,” Lane said.After Matta’s departure from the program, that love could have been quickly taken away with a new coaching staff.Lane was granted a scholarship in his first two seasons at Ohio State, what his father Scott referred to as a “one-year deal.” With a new coaching staff, a scholarship for a walk-on was not guaranteed.Chris Holtmann had never met his inherited preferred walk-on. But the former Butler head coach knew what his impact had been.In their first meeting, the newly named Ohio State head coach reassured Lane he had a major role to play moving forward, using a word Matta and his staff had never used when talking about him: leadership.“They said, ‘You know what, the fact that you care so much about the university, that means something,’” Lane said. “That resonated with them.”According to Lane’s mother Nancy, one of Joey’s former coaches told him, “Know your role and be the best at it you can be.” From that moment forward, Lane embraced that role.Morphing into whatever opponent the Buckeyes will next see, he began to lead the scout team — preparing the team for its upcoming opponent in practice and allowing him the opportunity to get out of his shell, shooting really deep shots or even posting up in the paint.“Throughout my four years, I’ve been Denzel Valentine, I’ve been Carsen Edwards, I’ve been anyone that you can imagine,” Lane said.Lane became engrossed in game plans and scouting reports, calling out his teammates when something did not go as planned on the court. The walk-on did have an increased opportunity to use that knowledge on the court during games more than he had in Matta’s tenure. In his junior season, Lane played in seven games for 20 minutes, matching his career total, but made only 1-of-7 attempts from the field. But this was not Lane’s priority. He had accepted the position he was in. “Any playing time I got was gravy. I never in a million years thought I would play significant or meaningful minutes,” Lane said. “I never worked any less hard because I never thought I would be playing.” Instead of making an impact on the court, Lane began his attempt to extend his legacy passed his four seasons of eligibility. Prior to the start of the 2017-18 season, then-redshirt senior guard Andrew Dakich was looking for a school with which to end his collegiate career. As soon as he stepped foot onto Ohio State’s campus, he was introduced to Lane, who showed him around campus, grabbing a meal with him and incoming freshman forward Kyle Young.“I didn’t really know him at all before I got here, and he was really comfortable,” Dakich said. “He’s easy to talk to. That first moment, we kind of started to become teammates.” With his love for the university and with what Dakich calls an enthusiasm and energy unique to the walk-on guard, Lane took an important part in helping build the future for Ohio State, being called to host about every recruit that visited. When he recruits, Lane said he does not try and push Ohio State on the high school players. Instead, he said he talks about how special of a place he thinks Ohio State is. “I love Ohio State. I would sell my soul for Ohio State, and that’s what I try and do to these kids,” Lane said. Holtmann said Lane has been a tremendous recruiter for the Buckeyes, calling him a great advocate for the university, having the ability to successfully convey the message of the program to recruits and their families. But talking to recruits on visits, Lane wants to make one thing perfectly clear. “Their life will be a lot better than mine,” he said. This is the aspect that makes coaches, teammates and those around Lane believe why he has found success at Ohio State: his relatability. “He’s like the Ohio State University poster child,” Nancy Lane said. “It’s his dream school and he’s living out his dream.” Dakich, now a graduate assistant coach for Ohio State, calls Lane the connector with the student section, building the relationship between the men’s basketball team and the fanbase, becoming the face of a team he does not play much for. But that does not mean this fanbase does not want him on the court. If Ohio State holds a seemingly insurmountable lead at the end of the game, Dakich, Holtmann and the rest of the coaching staff know what is coming. Ohio State senior guard Joey Lane (14) sings “Carmen Ohio” with teammates after their game against Cleveland State on Nov. 23. Ohio State won 89-62. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo Editor“We want Joey. We want Joey.” It was a chant Lane thought about on the bench prior to the Northwestern game on Feb. 20. When it began to happen, as thousand of fans began to chant his name with the Buckeyes en route to a 63-49 victory, Lane thought it could be one of the last times he heard it. “It’s a hard feeling to put into words because it’s dumb, but it’s awesome at the same time,” Lane said. “First of all, it means we are winning, which is very important. But it also means they care about me, they like me, they see what I am doing and they appreciate it.” For Lane, the chants have worked more than they ever have before. In his final season, coming into the final regular season game of the season, the senior guard has played in 13 games for 35 minutes, hitting 4-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-4 from 3. But to his parents, those chants are validation. It makes them feel like their son, who could have had way more playing time at a smaller school, made the right decision. “We raised our kids to be good people,” Nancy Lane said. “To do the right thing, to be a good friend, to be a good teammate and to put others first. When you see other people embrace that, it’s powerful.” For Dakich, Lane signifies everything a program wants in a walk-on. For Holtmann, Lane has earned the right to be praised, to have his name chanted to come into the game. “He’s really easy to care about, easy to like, easy to want to see him be successful,” Holtmann said. “He’s easy to root for.” But for Lane, it’s just another aspect of his role. It’s being the same guy he was in high school no matter the playing time he receives. To be the positive reinforcement, the teammate, the friend on the bench. To have the custom handshake with each player, to bounce up and down to “Joker and the Thief” courtside as the ball is tipped. It’s a role that he will have at the Schottenstein Center one final time Sunday, the last time he will lead Ohio State onto the court, bouncing the basketball violently against the court as soon as his feet touch the hardwood. It’s something Lane has not thought about much. But it’s something he said will be surreal. “I’ll definitely have to soak it all in and look at my family, that’s for sure,” Lane said. “It will be pretty darn cool because it’s somewhere I never expected to be.”
Ohio State senior offensive lineman Isaiah Prince (59) looks over to the OSU bench in the fourth quarter of the game against Michigan State on Nov. 10. Ohio State won 26-6. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State players continue to hear their names called in the 2019 NFL draft.Former offensive tackle Isaiah Prince was selected No. 202 by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round Saturday.Prince started three seasons for the Buckeyes in his career and 44 games in total.The former Buckeye followed up a third-team all-Big Ten selection in 2017 with a first-team nod in 2018.Prince helped secure offensive lines that aided Ohio State to back-to-back seasons ranked in the top 10 nationally for offensive yards per game, including the No. 2 offense in 2018 (535.7 yards per game).The Maryland product was named a captain ahead of his final season at Ohio State.
Brisbane Airtrain brings home global awardBrisbane Airtrain brings home global awardBrisbane Airtrain has received global recognition for its work in connecting travellers to the Gold Coast following the highly anticipated launch of the Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 tram in December 2017.Airtrain has taken out the highly regarded 2018 Marketing Campaign of the Year Award at the Global AirRail Awards ceremony in London on November 29, beating strong competition from six others, including Stansted Express, Heathrow Express, Hong Kong Airport Express, and Sydney Airport Link.The Global AirRail Awards recognise excellence in improving rail access to and from airports around the world.Airtrain offers seamless travel from Brisbane Airport’s Domestic and International terminals to Surfers Paradise and all major stops in between, with one simple transfer from Airtrain to the G:link tram at Helensvale station.To promote the connection, Airtrain wrapped a tram in a unique design developed in liaison with feedback received from the local community. Judges recognised the ‘Airtrain and Tram’ campaign’s eye-catching and effective messaging that highlighted Airtrain’s position as the best transport option between Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast.Airtrain CEO, Chris Basche, is proud of the global recognition for the incredible work the Airtrain team put in this year.“We were pleased and proud to play an important role during the Commonwealth Games, and to continue being the preferred and best option for those travelling between Brisbane Airport and the Gold Coast,” said Mr Basche.“There are a lot of people who rely on the accessibility of our service and 12 months on, communities are taking advantage of the connection and we hope to see that number grow for many years to come.“We would not have been able to achieve this award without the support and dedication of our staff, partners and stakeholders. We’ll continue to work towards strengthening our ability to help our current and future passengers recognise the convenience and affordability of the tram connection,” he said.Airtrain is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to reach Brisbane and the Gold Coast from Brisbane Airport. It is the sole rail service connecting Brisbane Airport to Brisbane CBD with more than 21 million passenger trips taken in the company’s 16 years of operation. In 2017 and 2018, TripAdvisor® awarded Airtrain its Certificate of Excellence for consistently delivering great services to travellers in Queensland.For more information on Brisbane Airtrain or the Airtrain and tram connection, visit Airtrain’s website.Source = Brisbane Airtrain