MONDAY’S BIG STORIES

CEO IN THE PUB

Just a typical Saturday afternoon in your local. The usual, some crisps, and whatever those 12 Manchester United fans who had planned to protest on your driveway want to drink as well.
Premier League
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Richard Arnold, who succeeded Ed Woodward as United’s CEO earlier this year, took a novel approach to soothing some disgruntled supporters on the weekend, meeting them at a pub near his house to discuss a wide range of topics.
It’s safe to predict Arnold may well have had a few frustrated messages from some fellow board members since, although his honesty has gone down well with some United fans.
“What’s happened is we have f***ing burned through cash,” Arnold was filmed saying. “You can’t go to our training ground and say ‘show me where the £1 billion is’ because we haven’t spent money well historically.”
Adding: “Last year was a f***ing nightmare. There was hate at every game.”
In what could well go down as an accidental PR win for Arnold, given the candid manner of his responses - many of which were on the nose - the secretive manner in which he was filmed, with the footage then posted on social media, has divided a fanbase who have so desperately sought conservations with their board and owners down the years.
“We're the first group of fans to sit down with an official at United in 17 years face to face,” Paul ‘Manc Bald and Bred’ said on Twitter, as one of the 12 to sit down with Arnold, although Paul ‘Man Bald and Bred’ has since faced a backlash from some who believe he has done more damage than the Twitter likes were worth.
It certainly reduces the possibility of future pub chats, you would think, and gives Arnold a busier Monday than he’d have otherwise expected in mid-June.
One thing's for sure, it's never a dull time at United, is it.

A STERLING OPTION

The revolving door at Manchester City has welcomed Erling Haaland and Julian Alvaraz, and it would appear that along with Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling is set to depart.
Talk of Chelsea’s interest made plenty of headlines over the weekend, so we can expect those rumours to rumble on this week as more clubs surely enter the fray.

'I'd love to play abroad' - Sterling opens up about future

Somehow, despite playing way back for Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool (the Scot’s 2011-12 stint, not 1985-1991… we hasten to add), Sterling is still only 27 and still has plenty to give. Not to City, it would seem, but certainly he would make for a stellar signing wherever he ends up.
Chelsea want him, that much is clear, but having talked up a move abroad in the past, perhaps a few others will come calling.

BRONZE TO BARCA

When you’re still seething, or at the very least simmering, from your Champions League final defeat, that is some way to calm the waters.
Following Laia Codina and Nuria Rabano through the door at Barcelona this summer is Lucy Bronze, who joins the club on a free after leaving Manchester City.
“After a couple of conversations, as soon as I had an offer, I knew that Barca were interested... Yeah, you can't say no to Barcelona,” the 30-year-old right back said.

Lucy Bronze is unveiled as Barca player after leaving Man City

“The team is already amazing, play amazing football and win a lot of trophies. They were unfortunate in the Champions League final but I know the club's aspirations are to win Champions League titles, and that's the goal I have as well. As a player, I hope to add some energy in attack and defence.”
Add that she will, with the England international only going to make one of Europe’s strongest even stronger.

‘I am really excited’ - Bronze thrilled to sign for Barcelona on a free transfer

IN THE CHANNELS

When Ronaldinho has fun, everyone has fun.

HAT-TIP

Unsurprisingly, Sid Lowe’s sit down with Pedri is as good as you’d expect:
Barcelona is the right place then? I would try to play my game wherever I was, but it’s true that I would suffer more elsewhere, Pedri says. Some clubs are satisfied with winning, however they do it. Barcelona wants to win but to do it playing the ball, creating chances, with this idea. I like this football more.

RETRO CORNER

Happy birthday to the Panenka! 46 today!
Antonin Panenka is 73, in case you were wondering.

COMING UP

All quiet on the football front, but tomorrow – no word of a lie – Champions League qualifying begins.
Transfers
Arsenal face competition to land Jesus and Raphinha - Paper Round
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Football
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20/06/2022 AT 08:30