Napoli-bound Reina sends Reds a goodbye letter

PEPE REINA arrived at Anfield in the summer of 2005 at a time when expectations were high on the back of that famous fifth European Cup success in Istanbul. He won a trophy in his first full season and played in a European Cup final in his second, but by then the club had changed hands and what happened on the field started to become secondary in the club’s priorities. Reina did win another medal for the Reds, in the League Cup, but the fourth manager he’s had in his time at the club has decided it’s time for him to move on and Reina was sent on loan to Napoli to be reunited with Rafa Benitez, the man who brought him to Anfield.

Today Pepe posted an open letter on his personal website saying goodbye to the Liverpool fans and explaining his side of the story.

Thanks for all you’ve done Pepe, you’ll always be loved at this club.

Here’s Pepe’s letter in full:
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Reds' live TV games announced

Four of Liverpool’s opening 13 games of the season will remain as 3pm Saturday kick-offs and will not be shown live on UK TV. The other nine games will all be shown live by either Sky Sports or new boys BT Sport.

The games deemed to not quite be up to scratch for the live TV audience are all at Anfield, the two companies deciding to avoid the visits of Southampton, newly-promoted Crystal Palace, West Brom and Fulham.

One of the most boring fixtures – normally – on the Anfield calendar has been selected though. Stoke City have changed manager, Tony Pulis replaced in the close season by former Everton and Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, and that seems to have given BT Sport the encouragement to give the game a go as their first ever Premier League fixture. The game will now kick off at 12.45pm on opening day, August 17th.

BT haven’t selected any other Anfield games in this first round of picks but there cameras will be at St James Park (or whatever it’s called these days) on October 19th for another 12.45pm kick-off when Liverpool travel up to face Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side. Assuming Alan Pardew is still there.

In what is becoming a bit of a theme, it’s another 12.45pm kick-off for the other BT Sport fixture featuring the Reds – the Goodison derby. It’ll be the first meeting of the two sides since Roberto Martinez took over as boss in the summer.

The man Martinez replaced at Everton never managed to win a game at Anfield in all his years in charge of the blues but he’ll get his first attempt as Manchester United boss in front of Sky’s cameras. The only Anfield game picked by Sky is the game against Manchester United which has now been moved to Sunday September 1st and another lunchtime kick-off, although this one is slightly later at 1.30pm.

All of Liverpool’s first four games of the season are on live, the second game of the season, the visit to Villa Park, moved to 5.30pm on Saturday 24th August.

There’s a gap between the third and fourth games of the season because of one of those well-loved international breaks but at least there’ll be a bit more preparation time for Liverpool after the players come back. Good for the players but maybe not so good for the travelling fan, Sky have moved Liverpool’s trek to Swansea to a Monday night 8pm kick-off.

The trip to Sunderland will now be a day later, Sunday 29 September, for a 4pm Sky kick-off.

Arsenal will still play host to Liverpool on Saturday 2nd November, but the kick-off will be at 5.30pm for Sky.

Finally in this run of changes, Sky have decided the long trek to play newly promoted Hull should take place at 1.30pm on Sunday 1st December. There is a possibility of a slight lie-in though, but you’ve got to rely on Spurs for that. According to LFC’s website, “the game will revert to a 2.05pm kick off should Tottenham Hotspur qualify for the Europa League group stage.” Spurs are due to play Manchester United the day before in a game that will be televised.

How do I get BT Sport?

Free for BT customers on Sky

BT Sports will be available free on Sky’s satellite system for BT Broadband customers.  For the BT Broadband product that doesn’t feature a download limit it would cost £31.45 per month including line rental to become a customer and to qualify for the ‘free’ BT Sport offer.  That’s for a “normal” broadband connection – the cheapest unlimited fibre offering from BT would cost £38.45 per month in total, with a £30 activation fee at the start.

You will need a suitable working satellite system and an active Sky viewing card.

Subscription for non BT customers on Sky

For those who get their broadband and phone from another supplier BT will charge £12 a month (plus £15 activation fee) to set you up Sky’s satellite platform.

You will need a suitable working satellite system and an active Sky viewing card.

BT TV

You can also get a certain amount of BT Sport (and the ESPN outlet they now own) through BT TV. To get this you need to be a BT Broadband or BT Infinity customer.

BT App / online player

You need to be a BT Broadband customer to get this.

Not on Virgin Media – yet

As things stand there is still no word from BT or Virgin about the older telecoms company allowing its younger, rival, telecoms company to show the channel on their Virgin Media platform. Virgin Media say: “We’re talking to BT about how we can make the forthcoming BT Sport package available to you.”

BT just say: “BT Sport is not available on Virgin Media at the moment.”

This is what competition is all about.

BT themselves have recently been complaining to Ofcom about various attempts by Sky to restrict their competition.

Ironically for BT, perhaps, but any further delay in doing a deal with Virgin Media and they may well find they drive Virgin’s customers to turn to Sky not just for TV but also for broadband and phone. Sky are offering 12 months’ free unlimited broadband (6 months free for the fibre version)to Sky Sports subscribers.

Richard Scudamore, Premier League CEO, will probably tell Virgin Media customers, if asked, that they can still watch an occasional game on Sky Sports. Not to mention that ten minutes your club gets on Match of the Day.

There should at least be some healthy competition in terms of the actual programming quality because both channels will want to be the best. BT Sport will bring new ideas and Sky Sports will need to be on their toes. For those who do manage to get hold of the right combinations of subscriptions and products required just to watch a bit of footy, not to mention the money needed to pay for it all, there’ll be plenty to watch.

Especially for Liverpool fans.

Reds’ live TV games announced

Four of Liverpool’s opening 13 games of the season will remain as 3pm Saturday kick-offs and will not be shown live on UK TV. The other nine games will all be shown live by either Sky Sports or new boys BT Sport.

The games deemed to not quite be up to scratch for the live TV audience are all at Anfield, the two companies deciding to avoid the visits of Southampton, newly-promoted Crystal Palace, West Brom and Fulham.

One of the most boring fixtures – normally – on the Anfield calendar has been selected though. Stoke City have changed manager, Tony Pulis replaced in the close season by former Everton and Manchester United striker Mark Hughes, and that seems to have given BT Sport the encouragement to give the game a go as their first ever Premier League fixture. The game will now kick off at 12.45pm on opening day, August 17th.

BT haven’t selected any other Anfield games in this first round of picks but there cameras will be at St James Park (or whatever it’s called these days) on October 19th for another 12.45pm kick-off when Liverpool travel up to face Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side. Assuming Alan Pardew is still there.

In what is becoming a bit of a theme, it’s another 12.45pm kick-off for the other BT Sport fixture featuring the Reds – the Goodison derby. It’ll be the first meeting of the two sides since Roberto Martinez took over as boss in the summer.

The man Martinez replaced at Everton never managed to win a game at Anfield in all his years in charge of the blues but he’ll get his first attempt as Manchester United boss in front of Sky’s cameras. The only Anfield game picked by Sky is the game against Manchester United which has now been moved to Sunday September 1st and another lunchtime kick-off, although this one is slightly later at 1.30pm.

All of Liverpool’s first four games of the season are on live, the second game of the season, the visit to Villa Park, moved to 5.30pm on Saturday 24th August.

There’s a gap between the third and fourth games of the season because of one of those well-loved international breaks but at least there’ll be a bit more preparation time for Liverpool after the players come back. Good for the players but maybe not so good for the travelling fan, Sky have moved Liverpool’s trek to Swansea to a Monday night 8pm kick-off.

The trip to Sunderland will now be a day later, Sunday 29 September, for a 4pm Sky kick-off.

Arsenal will still play host to Liverpool on Saturday 2nd November, but the kick-off will be at 5.30pm for Sky.

Finally in this run of changes, Sky have decided the long trek to play newly promoted Hull should take place at 1.30pm on Sunday 1st December. There is a possibility of a slight lie-in though, but you’ve got to rely on Spurs for that. According to LFC’s website, “the game will revert to a 2.05pm kick off should Tottenham Hotspur qualify for the Europa League group stage.” Spurs are due to play Manchester United the day before in a game that will be televised.

How do I get BT Sport?

Free for BT customers on Sky

BT Sports will be available free on Sky’s satellite system for BT Broadband customers.  For the BT Broadband product that doesn’t feature a download limit it would cost £31.45 per month including line rental to become a customer and to qualify for the ‘free’ BT Sport offer.  That’s for a “normal” broadband connection – the cheapest unlimited fibre offering from BT would cost £38.45 per month in total, with a £30 activation fee at the start.

You will need a suitable working satellite system and an active Sky viewing card.

Subscription for non BT customers on Sky

For those who get their broadband and phone from another supplier BT will charge £12 a month (plus £15 activation fee) to set you up Sky’s satellite platform.

You will need a suitable working satellite system and an active Sky viewing card.

BT TV

You can also get a certain amount of BT Sport (and the ESPN outlet they now own) through BT TV. To get this you need to be a BT Broadband or BT Infinity customer.

BT App / online player

You need to be a BT Broadband customer to get this.

Not on Virgin Media – yet

As things stand there is still no word from BT or Virgin about the older telecoms company allowing its younger, rival, telecoms company to show the channel on their Virgin Media platform. Virgin Media say: “We’re talking to BT about how we can make the forthcoming BT Sport package available to you.”

BT just say: “BT Sport is not available on Virgin Media at the moment.”

This is what competition is all about.

BT themselves have recently been complaining to Ofcom about various attempts by Sky to restrict their competition.

Ironically for BT, perhaps, but any further delay in doing a deal with Virgin Media and they may well find they drive Virgin’s customers to turn to Sky not just for TV but also for broadband and phone. Sky are offering 12 months’ free unlimited broadband (6 months free for the fibre version)to Sky Sports subscribers.

Richard Scudamore, Premier League CEO, will probably tell Virgin Media customers, if asked, that they can still watch an occasional game on Sky Sports. Not to mention that ten minutes your club gets on Match of the Day.

There should at least be some healthy competition in terms of the actual programming quality because both channels will want to be the best. BT Sport will bring new ideas and Sky Sports will need to be on their toes. For those who do manage to get hold of the right combinations of subscriptions and products required just to watch a bit of footy, not to mention the money needed to pay for it all, there’ll be plenty to watch.

Especially for Liverpool fans.

Suarez story continues through his holidays

AFTER sitting out the last four games of Liverpool’s season Luis Suárez spent the beginning of summer on duty with Uruguay preparing for and playing in the Confederations Cup in Brazil. He’s now on holiday and due to return to club duty on July 22. Will he return?

Whilst over in South America Suárez did a few media interviews, the contents of which have been well and truly covered by the media back in England. Some observers have pointed out examples of dodgy translations and quotes taken out of context that indicate he’s maybe not pushing for a move to Real Madrid quite as much as that coverage suggests. However other observers counter with the fact he’s hardly told Real Madrid they can just do one.

The main facts are that Suárez has a contract with Liverpool, one that reputedly contains some kind of clause obliging LFC to let him speak to any club that makes a major offer for him, and that any other club interested in him has to pay whatever the price is that Liverpool find acceptable before they can get him. The clause is reportedly triggered if an offer of £40m is made but does not oblige Liverpool to accept that offer.
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