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Afternoon Updates

 Afternoon Updates

Liverpool and Fulham square off today in their respective Europa League clashes despite the best effort of that Icelandic Valcano. But There are plenty of stories coming out of England today. A major decision on Portsmouth European hopes draws controversy, Manchester retains title as world’s most valuable club and Bobby Zamora gets another endorsement for the World Cup.

Pompey Denied Europa League

Even more bad news was delivered to the south coast this afternoon when the FA and Premier League denied Portsmouth application to be considered for the Europa League. The FA Cup finalists will be relegated to the Championship at the close of the season and are in financial shambles after entering into administration, a first for any EPL club. Despite their poor season Portsmouth would have qualified for the Europa League by reaching the final of the FA Cup against Chelsea.

“We will go to UEFA and explore every avenue before we admit defeat,” said club administrator Andrew Andronikou in a statement to ESPN. “We are still a member of the Premier League for a few more weeks at least and they should be championing us. I think it’s quite a shambles. There are rules and regulations but there is also football protocol and the way they have approached this subject means they must have made a significant U-turn in the last 24 hours.”

Manchester United Named World’s Most Valuable Football Club

For the sixth year in a row Manchester United have been named the most valuable club in the world according to Forbe’s magazine. The Red Devils, who are worth an estimated $1.84 billion,  beat out second-place Real Madrid, estimated value around $1.32 billion. Other English clubs to place in the top 20 were Arsenal (3), Liverpool (6), Chelsea (9), Tottenham (12), Manchester City (19) and surprise inclusion Newcastle (20), who recently achieved Premier League status for next season.

Van Nistelrooy Hopes Zamora Makes England Squad

Hamburg striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has joined the increasing chorus of players and managers recomending Bobby Zamora for the England World Cup squad. Zamora, who’s inclusion in the World Cup squad was fodder for jokes not six months ago, has impressed for Fulham this season with 14 goals in all competitions. ”I think Capello doesn’t look at fashionable things – he just looks at the effectiveness more than anything else,” the Netherlands international said. ”He’s definitely a candidate now. He’s very important for the team. He holds the ball, he’s a team player, works hard and he’s an all-round striker.”