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Portpin want clarity from FL

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Fri, 22 Feb 2013 17:22:00

Napoli are set to wear black armbands in tribute to their former striker Hans Jeppson, who died today at the age of 87.

A statement released on the official website of Jeppson's first club Djurgarden confirmed he had died at his home in Rome of undisclosed causes this morning.

Djurgarden claimed Jeppson, who originally left Sweden for Charlton in 1951, had become the most expensive player in the world when he joined Napoli from Atalanta for 150million lire in 1952.

Jeppson went on to score 52 goals in 112 appearances for Napoli and he remains in 11th place on the club's all-time scoring list.

The Swede was a popular figure in southern Italy and Napoli have therefore asked permission to pay tribute to him when they face Udinese in Serie A on Monday night.

A statement on sscnapoli.it read: "On behalf of SSC Napoli and all its members, president Aurelio De Laurentiis expresses deep grief for the death of Hans Jeppson, one of the best players in the club's history.

"SSC Napoli have asked Lega Calcio for the permission to play Monday's match in Udine wearing black armbands and to observe a minute's silence before the start to commemorate Jeppson."

Jeppson also played 12 times for Sweden, scoring nine goals and helping the Scandinavian nation to a third-place finish at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

A small minority of West Ham's travelling support were criticised in the aftermath of the Hammers' 3-1 defeat at Spurs in November for anti-Semitic chanting.

The club's owners are keen to avoid such incidents on Monday night and issued a statement that read: "We both feel it is hugely important that we are continuing our great work from 2012 that highlights discrimination in society today.

"We supported a number of key initiatives last year which we are continuing to build on throughout 2013.

"We firmly believe that West Ham United is a club that promotes fairness and inclusion and we want the Boleyn Ground to continue to be a place that people from all backgrounds feel welcome."

Co-owner Gold is of Jewish heritage and his joint statement stressed that any fans found guilty of partaking in such chanting would face strict punishments.

"We have made it very clear that we will not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour and one by one we will root out those fans that do not deserve to represent this great club of ours," the statement continued.

"We must be clear that we will pursue the harshest sanctions against any individual who goes against what we stand for as a club.

"It is obvious that the vast, vast majority of Hammers fans support the club in the right way and we are very grateful for the tremendous backing we receive from our supporters. However, in the rare case that supporters do see or hear anything they think is unacceptable, there are a number of ways they can report the matter.

"Everyone at West Ham United is looking forward to Monday's visit of Tottenham Hotspur. It should be a fantastic game of football."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce also remains hopeful the club's fans will behave themselves on Monday.

"I hope there's nothing untoward that happens in terms of chanting," he said.

"Like everybody else we want to try to reduce it to its bare minimum. We'd like to cut it out completely but I don't think that's ever going to be the case when people get involved in emotional situations.

"But if we spot it we've got to deal with it and hopefully there won't be any."

The 24-year-old will be the sponsor's guest of honour for the day and will also watch the game from the Royal Box, as well as being introduced to the squads before the game.

The former England Under-21 international was playing for Bolton in an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham last March when he suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed.

The midfielder's heart stopped beating for 78 minutes but because of the prompt treatment he received on the pitch he defied the odds to survive and make an incredible recovery.

Although he hoped to resume his career, he was advised against it by doctors and retired from the sport in August.

Capital One will also be making a donation to the Hearts and Goals campaign, which is involved with aiming to raise awareness and give communities across the country access to defibrillators, as well as CPR and defibrillator training.

Muamba, who is involved with the charity, said: "It's been such an exciting tournament this year and it will be a great honour to be presenting the trophy to the winners. I know it will be a very special atmosphere on Sunday."

Reports this week suggested a rift between chief executive Charles Green and chairman Malcolm Murray.

But McCoist says dealing with rumours of a spat behind the scenes is tame in comparison to the trauma Rangers have endured over the last 12 months.

He said: "It's not been unsettling at all, to be honest with you. It's part and parcel.

"In comparison to some of the things that have been going on, it's quite mild, believe me.

"I know all the members of the board and they all want Rangers to improve and head in a positive direction.

"Everybody within that boardroom wants the same thing and I'm encouraged by that."

Green's consortium seized control of the club in the summer after liquidation was confirmed.

McCoist added: "Since the takeover, in my opinion, there has been a real positivity. None more so than from the supporters.

"From the people within the club - the staff, players and support-base - I genuinely get a really good feeling about the club and its attempts to get back to where we want to be and should be. Everybody is pulling together.

"There will be steps back, there is no doubt about that, but the main thing is that we all remain united and that will be case."

Stock market rules prevent McCoist from going into detail about events in the boardroom but he is confident everyone involved in the running of the club has the best interests of Rangers at heart.

He said: "Having been to certainly one board meeting, where I've met all the members of the board, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that every member of the board is going in the same direction and has the same wishes and hopes and desires and plans for the football club.

"Within any boardroom and any business, there will be differences of opinion. Of course there is. That would only be healthy in my opinion.

"I can reassure every Rangers fan that everybody within our board is going in the same direction in terms of wanting the club to move forward."

He added: "I have gone on record as saying that I believe an openness and a frankness and an honesty within the club is of paramount importance to everybody - supporters and staff alike.

"There will be issues that must remain in-school but our fans deserve to know what's going on within the club and I don't have a problem with that at all.

"I can reassure them that everybody to a man is behind the club going forward and we are all united in the efforts to move the club forward."

Green this week said that Rangers had settled their outstanding football debts after Hearts accepted a final instalment of ?400,000 for Lee Wallace, while Rapid Vienna also received a fee for former striker Nikica Jelavic.

McCoist said: "It's important because we are a very proud club, with a proud and great history, and we are proud of the fact that we attempt to do things the right way.

"Of course, sometimes we will get it wrong. But it is important to us, as staff and fans of the club, that we do the things that seem to be right.

"We've always had great standards and we want to retain them."

Meanwhile, Lee McCulloch is set to remain on the sidelines in Saturday's Third Division clash at Berwick.

The Gers skipper has consulted a specialist over an ongoing ankle problem and, although no timescale has been given for his return, McCoist hopes he will play again this season.

He said: "It's been really tough for the big fellow.

"He went to see a specialist on Tuesday, who has given his opinion on it and we're hopeful that progress will now be made.

"It's been a lot longer than Lee would have hoped for and we would have hoped for.

"We can't put a specific time on it but I would certainly hope he would play again this season."

The Football League originally claimed they would not consider any offers other than the one on the table from the Portsmouth Supporters' Trust.

The PST's takeover is dependent on them gaining control of Fratton Park, which is owned by Portpin, and the two parties are unable to agree on a fee for the ground. The valuation is set to be determined in a High Court hearing before an April 19 deadline.

A rival bid from football financier Keith Harris was rejected by the Football League, but the club's administrators PKF claimed there was a possible softening of their stance that they would not consider any other bid.

Portpin claim that Harris' bid would see them receive ?6.3million for Fratton Park, as opposed to the ?3m that is currently being offered by the PST.

And Balram Chainrai's company want public clarification on the Football League's position, believing they have a right to listen to every offer that comes in for the club.

A spokesperson from Portpin said: "We have made clear that we are agnostic as to the source of the solution for Portsmouth Football Club and welcome whichever bid offers both the best deal for the creditors of the club and provides the highest degree of certainty for the supporters in bringing Portsmouth out of administration.

"There are now at least two offers for the club, one from the Supporters Trust and one from a consortium which includes Keith Harris, and legally they must both be considered on their merit.

"After more than a year of uncertainty, this process must be brought to a close. We are calling on Greg Clarke, Chairman of the Football League, to commit publicly to the Football League reviewing any bid that is put to it for approval by the administrators.

"If Mr Clarke fails to provide everyone with the certainty that is needed on this issue, the Football League will have no option but to accept its share of the responsibility for the damage that could be caused to Portsmouth Football Club, its creditors and the other members of the Football League which may not end up recouping any of the money owed."

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