Premier League Desperate, lawless and lost – Mourinho showed true colours with Conte ‘match-fixing’ attack Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 17:00 1/11/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(43) Getty Images Premier League Chelsea v Arsenal Chelsea v Leicester City Manchester United v Chelsea Leicester City Manchester United Chelsea Arsenal League Cup Opinion The Man Utd boss’ barb was intended to wound and succeeded, but his Chelsea counterpart should learn discretion is the better part of valour The race was close and [Lyndon B] Johnson was getting worried. Finally, he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows. “Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f*cker,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.” “I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofabitch deny it.” – Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Hunter S Thompson Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Jose Mourinho knew exactly what he was doing last Friday night when he dredged up match-fixing in relation to Antonio Conte .Mourinho is a clever guy. He will know well that the Chelsea manager was, in fact, acquitted of all charges in relation to his alleged involvement in Italian football’s Calcio Scommese crisis.But he wasn’t about to let the facts get in the way of a low blow.He would have been well aware that the finer points of Conte’s alleged involvement in the scandal get lost all too easily. Conte the match-fixer – a crass, inaccurate portrayal – has long since taken hold on social media as a stick with which to beat fans of Juventus and Chelsea alike.Mourinho fed the trolls.There is simply no way that the English football fan in the street has gone through the details of Conte’s case with a fine-tooth comb. The average football fan will have heard something about Conte having served a ban but Mourinho’s contemptuous allusions to the case will only serve to increase the volume and frequency of nonsense spouted about it.Imagine the worst thing that has ever happened to you in your life being mendaciously recounted in full view of the public by a person who really knows the truth. And, worse still, that it was a deliberate attempt to injure and humiliate.“With the search which took place in my home at five o’clock in the morning, began a nightmare which at times I thought I could never finish,” Conte wrote after he was cleared.“Those who I am close to and know me, know how much I’ve suffered at the very idea that we could pull over my name to the shame of Calcio Scommesse. Today finally puts an end to this ugly story.”Until now.We sometimes forget that those involved in football are real people too, with thoughts and feelings and families and integrity and souls. It only takes a quick conversation with someone in the game who’s been sacked or scolded in some way to realise the impact goes much deeper than you might think.Media and fans move on to the next scandal but, for those in the line of fire, whose lives have been affected by unsavoury or upsetting or humiliating instances, can, in a sense, never move on.It was a wretched act from Mourinho, an increasingly hostile and desperate man lost in the slipstream of Pep Guardiola’s genius and foundering to meet expectations that he himself placed upon Manchester United.Now every time a camera and microphone is thrust beneath the nose of either Conte or Mourinho these days more questions are asked about their spat.It began innocuously enough, with Mourinho throwing a barb in a press conference at no one in particular. He referenced other managers behaving like “clowns” on the touchline leaving just enough wiggle room to avoid the accusation he had anyone specific in mind.Was it Jurgen Klopp? Maybe. Pep Guardiola? Could be. Antonio Conte? Was it the man who picked up the pieces of Mourinho’s shattered Chelsea regime and made them champions? Was it the man who Mourinho reprimanded for his touchline behaviour – asking for more noise and more support – after Mourinho’s United were torn asunder in Stamford Bridge? You’re getting warmer.Conte – probably against his better judgement – rose to it and in an undignified moment of his own suggested his rival could be suffering from “demenza senile ”. You don’t need to be an expert in Italian to figure out the translation of that one, with Conte believing that Mourinho would do well to examine his own touchline behaviour in the past.Then came the A-Bomb. Following a humdrum victory against Derby County in the FA Cup, Mourinho alighted on the one issue guaranteed to wound Conte in retaliation.The tribal football public nor a thirsty football media is capable of dealing properly with what Mourinho said. United fans will use it against Chelsea fans online going forward. Papers need to be sold and so more fuel will be added to the furnace.In hindsight, Conte would have been better advised to stay clear of any response at all. Arguably, the best move Guardiola made against Mourinho during their time in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid, respectively, was to tell the assembled media that in the press room Mourinho was “the f*cking boss” and any victory won against him would come out on the field of play.Mourinho is a dirty fighter and whether he wins or loses, he always seems to come out on top in front of the media. That’s what Conte ought to have learned by now.It was inevitable that he was going to defend himself. No doubt he would have preferred to do it with a place in the fourth round assured but his players could not beat Norwich City.But Conte was forced to look those match-fixing allegations dead in the eye once again and deny them. He became the victim in Mourinho’s own version of LBJ’s “pig-f*cker” game. If you’re denying, you’re losing. Instead of spending time telling people what you are, you are denying what you aren’t.It’s the oldest trick in the book. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
zoom Greek dry bulk shipping company Star Bulk Carriers has managed to narrow its full-year net loss to USD 153.8 million from USD 458.2 million recorded in 2015. According to Petros Pappas, CEO of Star Bulk, the recovery has been driven by an improved freight market and zero bank principal repayments.The loss was accumulated from the sale of 15 vessels and from the impairment loss of USD 29.2 million due to the disposal of two ships and the cancellation of two newbuilding contracts.In addition, Star Bulk’s loss included expenses of USD 4.2 million related to stock-based compensation as well as a write-off of unamortized deferred finance charges of USD 2.4 million and an unrealized gain on derivative instruments of USD 2.4 million.In 2016, total net voyage revenues were USD 156.2 million, compared to USD 161.2 million in 2015. This decrease was primarily driven by the lower charter hire rates prevailing in the dry bulk market during 2016, compared to 2015.The time charter equivalent (TCE) rate in 2016 was USD 6,260, lower from the TCE in 2015 which stood at USD 7,052.Additionally, vessels operating expenses amounted to USD 98.8 million in 2016, against USD 112.8 million in 2015.In September 2016, Star Bulk entered into a restructuring agreement with all 15 of its lenders under which some USD 223.9 million in debt principal repayments would be postponed until June 30, 2018.The agreement was expected to help the company “successfully weather current market conditions even if they were to last well into 2019,” and position Star Bulk to take advantage of a subsequent market upturn.Following this, the company completed its underwriting of over 11.9 million of its common shares at a price of USD 4.30 per share, raising up to USD 51.5 million of fresh funds it intended to use for general corporate purposes.Star Bulk’s fleet currently includes 67 operating vessels and 5 newbuilding ships under construction at a shipyard in China. All of the newbuildings are expected to be delivered during 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the company has one chartered-in Supramax vessel, under a time charter expiring in September 2017.