Saturday 20 January 2018

Saints and Sligo set Euro amnesty

St Patrick's Athletic and Sligo have agreed to cancel this Sunday's Premier Division clash between the title chasers if either of the clubs progress to the next round of the Europa League on Thursday.

The Saints are fancied to advance despite the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser in their first leg 1-1 draw with Bosnian side Siroki Brijeg. However, league leaders Sligo face an uphill task after losing 3-1 to Spartak Trnava in Slovakia.

Both teams will be on the road next week if they get through. Bundesliga side Hannover await the winners of the Saints' tie, while Steaua Bucharest are next up for the victors in the Sligo-Trnava clash.

Transfer figures fall

Football has been hit by the worldwide recession, with transfer spending during the first six months of this year down by more than a third.

Global financial problems and the impact of UEFA's fair play regulations have been cited as causes for a fall in total payments between clubs in transfer and loan fees of around €243m to €475m on the same period last year, a decrease of 34pc.

Of the 4,973 transfers completed during the period, 708 involved Brazilian clubs, with England second on the list on 326. English sides invested €45.77m and recouped €48.57m.

Barton gets fit

JOEY BARTON, currently banned for 12 matches of the new season for violent conduct, is to train with Football League newcomers Fleetwood this week, while QPR continue their preparations for the new season in Asia.

Irish Independent

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