SPORTS AGENDA: David Moyes may move upstairs when his contract expires

SPORTS AGENDA: David Moyes may move upstairs when his contract expires and has plenty of suitors… while Steven Gerrard calls on an old friend and Burnley abandon plans to improve atmosphere

  • Moyes’ West Ham contract expired this season he call call quits on management
  • UEFA are known to be keen on utilising his experience and may offer a position
  • Burnley, having losing all home games, have now asked how to build atmosphere

David Moyes may already be spoilt for choice when his West Ham contract expires at the end of the season.

After a turbulent summer, the Scot’s future at the club was in doubt — despite him leading the Hammers to Europa Conference League success. 

Issues over signings and direction were resolved to the extent that Moyes has remained in post but sources have disclosed that it is unlikely a deal to extend his existing role will be forthcoming. 

Instead, West Ham execs are considering offering the 60-year-old the opportunity to move upstairs. They may well, however, face competition. 

UEFA are known to be keen on utilising Moyes’s experience and may well offer him some form of technical position aimed at tapping into his 25 years in the dugout.

David Moyes could call it quits regarding management at the end of the season when his West Ham contract expires

He could instead move into a technical position, with UEFA keen to lean on his vast experience

Gerrard calls in the cavalry

Steven Gerrard has enlisted the services of a familiar face. The Liverpool legend has turned to former Rangers sporting director Mark Allen as he seeks to improve the academy at Al Ettifaq, the club that he is managing in Saudi Arabia.

Allen worked closely with Gerrard at Ibrox and had a long stint at Manchester City, where he spent eight years as academy director. He has been named director of football development at Al Ettifaq.

Last year Allen left Swansea City after just eight months in the role as sporting director in his native Wales.

Steven Gerrard (right) has called on Mark Allen (not pictured) to help improve the academy at Al Ettifaq

The sound of no beat 

Burnley have withdrawn plans to bring in an official drummer following a backlash from supporters. 

The club triggered anger when they advertised the position in an attempt to improve the atmosphere at Turf Moor. Instead, they will introduce safe standing areas and a relaxation on flags and banners ‘where appropriate’. 

Officials at the Lancashire outfit, who became the first team in Premier League history to lose their opening six home fixtures on Saturday, had surveyed fans on how to raise noise levels. 

One would imagine the obvious answer was given more than once. 

Vincent Kompany’s Burnley have abandoned plans to bring in an official drummer after backlash from supporters

Hat-fitting for Cantlay

Remember hat-gate? Back in late September, a report surfaced during the Ryder Cup that USA’s Patrick Cantlay was refusing to wear a cap in protest at players not getting paid for their troubles. 

Word quickly spread around the Marco Simone course with the Californian mercilessly taunted by hat-waving Europe fans, before a famous flashpoint on the 18th green between Rory McIlroy and Cantlay’s cap-twirling caddie. 

Cantlay subsequently claimed he was not wearing a cap because it simply did not fit, which raised eyebrows. 

Agenda has recently been told that both sides attended hat-fitting sessions ahead of the tournament, that no complaints were made and that no adjustments are planned for future competitions. 

Patrick Cantlay refused to wear a cap at the Ryder Cup, reporting that it did not fit, despite attending a hat-fitting session

FIFA get one over on agents

Some good news for FIFA in their ongoing battle with agents over new, controversial licensing rules. Strict new laws — including a cap on commissions — won approval from the European Commission ahead of a key hearing at the Court of Justice of the European Union. 

The EU executive have also ruled in favour of a ban on agents representing all parties in transfer deals, the new agents’ exam and stricter guidelines on who can make payments.

Some agents claim the rules, which would no doubt slash earning potential, are unfair and act against EU competition law.

Australians set on Asia Cup

Australia, with FIFA blatantly laying the ground for Saudi Arabia to host the World Cup in 2034, sensibly decided against formalising a rival bid last week.

James Johnson, chief executive of Football Australia, told Agenda he only likes to ‘bet on sure things’, an understated comment that spoke volumes about the scale of the opposition.

In December, Johnson will be in Saudi when the Asian Football Confederation meets in Riyadh to discuss who should host the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup.

Australia are now considered firm favourites to be awarded what is the oldest women’s international football competition, potentially crowning a decade of major tournaments Down Under given the country is also a leading contender to stage the revamped FIFA Club World Cup in 2029.

Football Australia chief executive James Johnson has explained that his country decided against putting in a rival bid to host the 2034 World Cup

New Inside The Games Owners strike 

The news that British-run specialist Olympic news publication Inside The Games has changed ownership may prove a mixed blessing for the International Olympic Committee. 

On one hand they will be pleased to see the back of the former owner, Duncan Mackay, who was a constant critic of IOC president Thomas Bach. However, on the other they may well be deeply concerned by persistent rumours that the new Hungarian owners have strong links to unsavoury Russian characters in the shadows of the Olympic movement. 

Meanwhile, all the UK-based journalists at the publication were immediately made redundant by the new owners. 

IOC president Thomas Bach will be pleased to see the back of Duncan Mackay, former Inside The Games owner

Horsham sold short

Despite seeing their side held at home by non-League opposition, supporters of League One Barnsley may have afforded themselves a wry smile on Friday night. 

What appeared to be a money-spinning, dream FA Cup draw for Horsham, their seventh-tier opponents, rapidly turned sour thanks to South Yorkshire Police, who successfully requested the Oakwell encounter be brought forward from Saturday. 

That meant those hoping to complete the 428-mile round trip from Sussex had to book time off work, take kids out of school or sit out a historic fixture. It triggered a letter of complaint to the FA and SYP from the local MP, anger from both sets of fans and may have impacted on Horsham’s coffers, with a crowd of 4,463 present. 

A dramatic 3-3 draw, however, means a lucrative replay in Horsham on November 14. 

There was frustration for Horsham fans as their game against Barnsley was moved forward to Friday night

They did, however, earn a 3-3 draw and thus a replay against their opponents, who play four tiers higher

City on job

One Manchester City fan had more reasons to be thankful than most during Saturday’s 6-1 demolition of Bournemouth. 

The disabled supporter had a problem with one of the wheels on his wheelchair. A City steward came to his aid and quickly called the club’s maintenance team. 

Moments later, they were on the scene armed with a tool kit to make the necessary repairs. The incident happened midway through the first half and eventually ended with a wheel falling off. The supporter subsequently thanked those who helped them, along with fellow fans who raised the alarm.

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