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Published : 12 Apr 2010 08:29:29
The threat of a Government-appointed regulator to control football has reached the stage where names are being openly talked about in Whitehall to take the role if such a drastic measure is introduced. Tory sports spokesman Hugh Robertson has gone as far as saying a football tsar will be an option for a Conservative government if the sport's authorities don't sort out their problems quickly. Football governance is also expected to be included in Labour's election manifesto. In the frame: Lord Mawhinney would be a prime candidate for a potential tsar role Tory grandees Lord Mawhinney and former leader Michael Howard are obvious choices. Mawhinney showed during seven years as chairman of the Football League that he has the necessary hardman qualities for the job. And his farewell letter to clubs, advising relegation rather than points deductions for going into administration, had the touch of a regulator about it. Liverpool fan Howard, who is heading for the Lords, has indicated he wants to spend more time involved in his two sporting passions, football and horse racing. Meanwhile, the unlikely third name being touted is former senior civil servant Ian Watmore, who walked out of the FA after only nine months as chief executive because of the opposition to his plans. Steven Gerrard's night out in Southport in 2008 ended in a brawl after a disagreement with a DJ in a club. He was acquitted of affray. But the experience hasn't stopped him investing in the relaunch of the town's Warehouse Kitchen & Bar where he will beco-owner. He said: 'I don't want to just be the celebrity face.' And he can choose the music. Busy former England captain Michael Vaughan, who works for Test Match Special, the ECB, Yorkshire and agency ISM, will find time to appear at a tribute dinner his old county are staging for him in September, more than a year after his retirement. Yorkshire say Vaughan quitting after the start of last season meant members never had the chance to acknowledge his achievements. Praising Vaughan on the night will be 2005 Ashes-winning coach Duncan Fletcher, who normally whinges about England. Twickers' perfect pitchTwicknham have won the bidding to host the 2012 Heineken Cup final, which will add to London being the No 1 sporting destination in Olympic year. The RFU have also ensured the May date for the game doesn't clash with any other Twickenham fixture unlike the FA, who have had to pay £1.7m in compensation after fixing the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley on the Football League play-off weekend. Final destination: Twickenham will host the 2012 Heineken Cup Final Meanwhile, former England rugby coach Brian Ashton, whose sacking was badly mishandled by the RFU, is now making his mark in cricket as a coaching mentor. Ashton, whose speech at an ECB seminar last year impressed counties, has since been employed as a consultant by Essex and Kent. Freelance: Pougatch will present ITV's IPL coverage Rivalries between ITV and BBC have been blurred to the extent the commercial network have hired Beeb stalwart Mark Pougatch to host their IPL coverage while regular presenter Matt Smith is away. Pougatch's freelance status allows him to choose his employers, although, confusingly, BBC talent are not allowed to recreate their on-screen image for advertising. ITV are expected to name Gareth Southgate in their World Cup line-up, including asco-commentator on England matches when the audience is likely to exceed 15million. The terms of Southgate's pay-off from Middlesbrough had raised doubts about his ITV involvement.