Sinodinos lobbied O’Farrell on AWH deal

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿论坛

Arthur Sinodinos lobbied NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell to support a controversial water deal but didn’t tell him that he stood to make millions from the contract.

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Senator Sinodinos on Thursday admitted to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) that he had met with the then opposition leader in August 2010 to gain his support for a lucrative deal with Australian Water Holdings (AWH).

Senator Sinodinos was a director of AWH, a controversial company linked to the Obeid family, and a senior officebearer of the NSW Liberal Party at the time.

ICAC has heard he stood to make a share and bonus package worth up to $20 million if the government agreed to the deal with AWH.

After the Liberals took power in 2011, Senator Sinodinos called then state Finance Minister Greg Pearce on a weekend to lobby on behalf of AWH.

But the senator, who recently stepped aside as federal assistant treasurer, didn’t feel it was necessary to tell Mr O’Farrell or Mr Pearce that he stood to make millions from the contract.

“They never asked,” Senator Sinodinos told the commission.

“It never occurred to me that that would need to be done.”

He added that government MPs would have understood that officers of the company “would benefit in some way from the contract being awarded”.

The commission heard that AWH chief and Liberal donor Nick Di Girolamo wrote to Senator Sinodinos in 2011 asking him to ring “BOF”, or Mr O’Farrell, to lobby for the company.

Senator Sinodinos said he didn’t think it was appropriate to call Mr O’Farrell and instead decided to contact his minister Mr Pearce.

Counsel assisting the ICAC, Geoffrey Watson SC, presented a handwritten note from Mr Pearce, saying he felt “over-lobbied”.

“AS (Arthur Sinodinos) has called me and MP (lobbyist Michael Photios) has come to see me,” the note read.

Meanwhile, the ICAC was shown a string of emails between Peter McConnell, who was Mr O’Farrell’s chief of staff while he was in opposition, and Senator Sinodinos.

In one email in 2010, Mr McConnell asks Senator Sinodinos for help with the wording of a letter from Mr O’Farrell to Mr Di Girolamo supporting the deal.

“Can you let me know what things you want covered and what form of words,” the email read.

Asked whether Mr McConnell was trying to make sure that the AWH would go through, Sen Sinodinos replied: “He is being positive.”

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Winless Crows make five AFL changes

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Adelaide will take a recast attack into Saturday’s must-win home AFL clash against Sydney, with key forwards Shaun McKernan and Lewis Johnston out of the side.

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The Crows made five changes – three of them unforced – for the match between the two winless teams.

Adelaide’s attack struggled last weekend in the Showdown loss to Port Adelaide.

McKernan was ruled out with concussion and Johnston was dropped.

The Crows also axed Jason Porplyzia and Sam Shaw, while Brad Crouch is recovering from a broken leg.

Crouch’s younger brother Matt will make his AFL debut, while Jared Petrenko, Kyle Hartigan, Rory Laird and Josh Jenkins were recalled.

The Swans also lost Sam Reid to an Achilles tendon injury and Craig Bird has a calf problem.

Lewis Roberts-Thomson and Jeremy Laidler will take their places.

In a busy week for team news:

* Brett Deledio’s ankle injury puts him out of the Richmond team for the first time since 2007.

* The Tigers also have lost top ruckman Shaun Hampson for Saturday’s match against the Western Bulldogs, but reigning club best and fairest winner Daniel Jackson will play his first senior game this year.

* With Ivan Maric also injured, Orren Stephenson will be Richmond’s top ruckman.

* Geelong youngster George Burbury has made a quick comeback from the broken jaw he suffered in the pre-season win over Collingwood. He will return on Saturday night, also against the Magpies.

* Collingwood’s Alex Fasolo is back for his first senior game in nearly a year.

* `Pies backman Lachlan Keeffe will come in for Nathan Brown (shoulder) and Ben Sinclair has a hamstring injury.

* Hawthorn regained Sam Mitchell (calf), but lost captain Luke Hodge (groin) for Friday night’s grand final rematch against Fremantle. The Hawks also brought in Matt Spangher for Tim O’Brien.

* Fremantle brought in Garrick Ibbotson, Lachie Neale and Alex Silvagni for suspended pair Nathan Fyfe and Zac Dawson and Michael Barlow (knee).

* Melbourne have dropped Viv Michie and Jimmy Toumpas for Sunday’s game against Greater Western Sydney.

* Essendon have lost ruckman Patrick Ryder (ankle) for Sunday night’s blockbuster against Carlton and dropped Zach Merrett.

* North Melbourne vice-captain Jack Ziebell (shoulder) did not train on Thursday and is no certainty for Sunday’s game against Port Adelaide.

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Malaysia urged to rescue kidnapped tourist

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China is pressing Malaysia to rescue a Chinese tourist who was abducted along with a Filipina from a diving resort by gunmen, further straining relations already tested by the crisis over missing Flight MH370.

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The two women were abducted in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sabah, which is known for its natural attractions such as world-class scuba diving, but is also notorious for lawlessness and recurring kidnappings blamed on bandits from the Muslim southern Philippines.

Gao Huayuan, 29, a tourist from Shanghai, was taken along with Filipina hotel employee Marcy Dayawan, 40, in a raid by about six gunmen around 10.30pm on Wednesday (0130 AEDT Thursday), Malaysian media reports said.

The raid occurred at the Singamata Reef Resort near the town of Semporna on Borneo island.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said the attack could be an attempt to stir up more trouble between China and Malaysia.

“The government does not rule out the possibility that the kidnappings in Semporna were done by certain parties to muddy Malaysia-China relations,” Najib was quoted saying by a Malaysian news agency.

He spoke while on a visit to the Australian staging base for the massive search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the majority of whose passengers were Chinese.

It was not known who the kidnappers were or where the victims were taken. Bandits have in the past abducted tourists and fisherman in the area and taken them to nearby Philippine islands.

But China urged Malaysian police to rescue its citizen and ensure safety.

“We sent relevant staff to the site and ask the local police to make an all-out rescue effort while ensuring the security of Chinese citizens and taking effective measures to safeguard the security of Chinese tourists,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

It said China would “follow this incident closely”.

Malaysian police have declined comment, and resort staff could not immediately be reached.

The incident is another blow for the image of Sabah, and for Malaysian tourism, already blackened by the MH370 tragedy.

More than 200 armed Islamic guerillas from the Philippines staged a bizarre invasion of eastern Sabah last year, and were crushed by Malaysian armed forces after a month-long siege. Dozens of people were killed.

Malaysia ratcheted up security in the area afterwards and has repeatedly pledged it is safe for visitors. But abductions and other incidents have continued.

Malaysian security forces patrolled nearby seas Thursday in search of the gunmen, reports said, and a military official in the adjacent southern Philippines said his country’s forces were standing by to help.

China’s consulate on Borneo island on Thursday advised its nationals to “pay attention to personal safety” when travelling to eastern Sabah state’s world-renowned dive sites, which include the island of Sipadan, and avoid “remote islands”.

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French student’s Queensland killer could strike again, police warn

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A killer who left a French student’s battered and naked body in a busy Brisbane park could strike again, police fear.

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Almost a week has passed since Sophie Collombet was found bashed in a rotunda at Kurilpa Park in inner-city South Bank.

Detective Inspector Rod Kemp says the public is in danger until the 21-year-old woman’s killer is found.

Listen: Fears for student safety after string of murders

“Anyone who could do this kind of thing is obviously an extreme threat,” he told reporters.

Ms Collombet’s clothing, a murder weapon or any suspects are yet to be identified – six days after her body was found.

Insp Kemp said there was no evidence to suggest Ms Collombet, who spoke good English and dressed like a local, was targeted because she was a foreign student.

She is the fourth international student to be killed in Brisbane since November.

Police have trawled through hundreds of CCTV recordings and retraced Ms Collombet’s steps from the time she left her inner-city apartment in the morning until she began to head home.

Officers will release the footage and attend the crime scene on Thursday night – a week on from the attack – in the hope it will jog someone’s memory.

Police have been liaising with Ms Collombet’s family in France, who want her body returned home as soon as possible.

“There in incredible shock, as you can imagine,” Insp Kemp said.

“They’re trying to absorb this.”

Premier Campbell Newman met with French Ambassador Stephane Romatet on Thursday afternoon and offered his condolences to Ms Collombet’s family.

“This is a dreadful time for them and the small community in which they live,” he said.

“I’ve conveyed to the French ambassador that the Queensland government will do everything it can to assist the family.”

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Former champions Werder eye Schalke salvation

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A lack of consistency has proved costly for the team coached by Robin Dutt, who was tasked with breathing new life into the club after the departure of long-time coach Thomas Schaaf last season.

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However, a crucial 2-1 victory last week against Hanover 96 lifted Werder to 32 points, eight above the relegation zone, and a win over Schalke should see them secure safety with five games remaining but sporting director Thomas Eichin remains wary.

“We have not reached the other side of the river,” Eichin told reporters. “We should not be allowed to believe we are already somewhere.”

Dutt will have to reshuffle his team for the encounter with top scorer Aaron Hunt ruled out with a thigh muscle injury.

Hunt had some more bad news for the club a few days ago when he announced he would be leaving at the end of the season.

“We are only playing against teams above us in the table, including Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen, and against (champions) Bayern Munich,” Werder keeper Raphael Wolf said.

“We should not feel that we are safe. We did not go into the season to get 32 points and then stop playing football.”

Werder have their work cut out against Schalke, who are chasing a Champions League berth having lost just one of their last 13 league games.

Improving Schalke have climbed up to third on 54 points, one behind Borussia Dortmund, who entertain VfL Wolfsburg.

“If we continue playing as we have done then I think we will have that Champions League spot in the end,” said teenage Schalke midfielder Max Meyer, who has had a stellar campaign.

“It would obviously be nice to be standing above Dortmund in the end.”

After losing 3-0 to Real Madrid in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday, Dortmund will be looking to return to form on home soil and retain the edge over Ruhr valley rivals Schalke with a win over the in-form Wolfsburg.

Bayern Munich, who have already secured the title, travel to Augsburg.

(Editing by John O’Brien)

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Numbers man Sinodinos can’t recall: ICAC

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Liberal powerbroker Arthur Sinodinos is a numbers man: a former investment banker, trusted adviser to John Howard, Australia’s assistant treasurer and once touted as the country’s next finance minister.

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But on Thursday the numbers failed to stack up, especially as far as his memory was concerned.

In fact, “I don’t recollect” and “I don’t recall” became the senator’s refrain during his evidence before an inquiry.

Australia’s former assistant treasurer told the NSW corruption watchdog he never investigated ballooning costs at Australian Water Holdings (AWH), which allegedly included million-dollar salaries and a $28,000 limousine bill for which taxpayers picked up the tab.

Nor was he aware the company was once in such dire straits that it could not meet tax and superannuation commitments until corrupt ex-MP Eddie Obeid’s family threw it a $400,000 lifeline.

Senator Sinodinos testified before the Independent Commission Against Corruption that he could no longer recall several details relating to his time on the board of AWH from 2008 until he left for parliament in 2011.

“I don’t recollect” and “I don’t recall” replied the senator during hours of tense questioning over what he knew of the company’s books and when.

It wasn’t easy recalling five-year-old conversations, he told a media scrum outside the commission on Thursday afternoon.

The ICAC is probing allegations AWH corruptly billed the state-owned Sydney Water for lavish salaries and luxury travel as it rolled out water infrastructure around the city’s northwest.

It has also been alleged the Obeids had a secret stake in the company and stood to make $100 million if it secured a public-private partnership (PPP) with the NSW government.

Documents before the commission suggest AWH donated $72,483 to the NSW Liberals between March 2009 and December 2010, during a period when Senator Sinodinos was first a director and then chairman of the company.

Counsel assisting, Geoffrey Watson SC, wanted to know how it was possible Senator Sinodinos missed the payments – despite the fact he was Liberal Party treasurer.

“You did not know that the company of which you were deputy chairman was making donations to the political party of which you were treasurer?” Mr Watson asked.

“No,” a harried-looking Senator Sinodinos replied.

Other alleged payments to Liberal entities that Senator Sinodinos either could not recall or was unable to explain included a $5000 monthly retainer for former state Liberal MP Michael Photios, $183,000 for alleged slush fund EightByFive, and $160,000 for lobbyist Paul Nicolaou’s SolutionsRUs.

Mr Nicolaou introduced Senator Sinodinos to AWH CEO Nick Di Girolamo and the pair met almost weekly.

But the senator could not explain what Mr Nicolau did for the company.

“You never saw anything to indicate anything of any value being provided to Australian Water Holdings by SolutionsRUs, did you?” Mr Watson asked.

“I can’t recall any output, if that’s what you’re asking me,” Senator Sinodinos said.

The Liberal powerbroker earned a $200,000 salary for as little as 25.5 hours work, Mr Watson said.

He admitted to lobbying NSW premier Barry O’Farrell and sacked Liberal minister Greg Pearce to try to win their support for a mooted government-AWH deal.

But he did not tell them he was anticipating a personal payoff worth $10-20 million if the proposal got up, explaining: “They never asked.”

Asked about the future of his political career, Senator Sinodinos was philosophical.

“I’m not speculating on the future,” he told reporters.

“The commission has done its work with me today and I’m keen to go off and have a coffee.”

The inquiry continues.

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Chelsea accused of fixing Dutch league

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English Premier League giants Chelsea, which financially backs Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem, have been accused of trying to fix the Dutch league.

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Former Vitesse owner, Merab Jordania, claimed in the daily De Telegraaf that Chelsea do not want the Dutch club to win the league because both cannot compete in the Champions League as UEFA rules prevents two clubs under the same ownership competing in the same competition.

“In Arnhem, Chelsea is without doubt in control,” former club technical director Ted van Leeuwen was also quoted as saying by the ANP agency.

“Chelsea covers part of the Vitesse payroll and loans a certain number of its players. What counts for Chelsea is the good progress of these players and not that Vitesse are champions,” he said.

This season Vitesse have four players — Lucas Piazon, Bertrand Traore, Patrick van Aanholt and Christian Atsu — on loan from Chelsea while Gael Kakuta and Sam Hutchinson were on loan in January.

Vitesse, who have traditionally battled Ajax Amsterdam at the top of the Dutch league, have won just three of their last 11 matches, with the team coached by Peter Bosz third 12 points behind Ajax and out of contention for the title.

The club’s major shareholder, Russian businessman Alexander Chigrininsky, who is a friend of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovitch, dismissed Jordania’s claims as “lies driven by jealousy”.

A statement from the Dutch Football Federation, KNVB, said they would be looking for “clarification on Mr Jordania’s allegations”.

“The board of directors of the KNVB, section Professional Football, have contacted Vitesse about these claims,” the statement said.

“In the interest of the integrity of the Dutch league, the KNVB is kindly asking Vitesse to give an explanation of their organisational structure and the way it’s working.”

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Asian shares mostly up after US rally

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Asian markets have mostly risen following another record close on Wall Street as US private jobs growth picked up, but Shanghai gave up early gains despite China unveiling a mini stimulus program.

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Global shares have enjoyed a broad rally this week following upbeat manufacturing data in key economies, while investors are keenly awaiting the release of a US non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

Tokyo on Thursday added 0.84 per cent, or 125.56 points, to 15,071.88, Sydney gained 0.12 per cent, or 6.6 points, to close at 5,409.9 and Hong Kong was 0.18 per cent higher, jumping 41.14 points to 22,565.08

But Seoul slipped 0.18 per cent, or 3.55 points, to 1,993.70 and Shanghai shed 0.74 per cent, or 15.29 points, to 2,043.70.

Beijing on Wednesday announced a series of spending measures aimed at kick-starting the Chinese economy, a key driver of global growth, but one which has shown signs of slowing in recent months.

The plan includes extra spending on railways, improving low-income housing and tax relief for small businesses, which have been struggling along with the economy.

Wednesday’s announcement comes after a weak run of Chinese indicators, including on trade, investment and industrial output. The economy grew an annual 7.7 per cent in 2013, the same as in 2012 – which was the slowest since 1999, while leaders have set a target of 7.5 per cent for this year.

“It’s very obvious that the leaders feel the need to stabilise growth,” Mizuho economist Shen Jianguang told Dow Jones Newswires. “Overall, the 7.5 per cent growth target means that the government still cares a lot about economic growth.”

However, the government made no mention of monetary policy, such as a reduction in the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve, or an interest rate cut.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 closed at a second straight record high after payrolls firm ADP said US businesses added 191,000 jobs in March, returning to the level of growth seen in December before severe winter weather struck the country. The February number was also revised up by 39,000 to 178,000 jobs.

The S&P 500 rose 0.29 per cent, the Dow added 0.24 per cent and the Nasdaq finished 0.20 per cent higher.

In addition, US factory orders rose 1.6 per cent in February, better than forecasts of a 1.1 per cent increase.

The results raised hopes for a strong March government jobs reports on Friday following three months of slowing caused by the winter storms.

On currency markets, the US dollar bought Y103.91 in Tokyo, compared with Y103.85 in New York late on Wednesday.

The euro was at $US1.3763 against $US1.3765, while it also fetched Y143.01, up from Y142.96.

The euro will be in focus over the next few days as the European Central Bank holds a policy meeting on Thursday, with investors looking to find out its plans after inflation eased to a four-and-a-half-year low in March.

Oil prices were lower. New York’s West Texas Intermediate for May delivery eased 20 US cents to $US99.42 a barrel in afternoon trade, but Brent North Sea crude for May was down 12 US cents at $US104.67.

Gold fetched $US1,287.50 an ounce at 1920 AEDT compared with $US1,283.33 late on Wednesday.

In other markets:

– Taipei fell 0.19 per cent, or 16.91 points, to 8,888.54.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co slipped 1.25 per cent to $Tw118.5 while smartphone maker HTC added 0.33 per cent to $Tw154.0.

– Wellington rose 0.12 per cent, or 6.06 points, to 5,122.37.

Telecom added 3.26 per cent to $NZ2.53 and Fletcher Building gained 0.63 per cent to $NZ9.52.

– Manila ended flat, dipping 0.64 points to 6,587.08.

Ayala Land rose 1.77 per cent to 31.60 pesos and its parent Ayala Corp fell 0.49 per cent to 610 pesos.

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Kreuzer out of AFL action for 12-14 weeks

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Carlton’s misfiring start to the AFL season has suffered another major setback, with star ruckman Matthew Kreuzer sidelined for at least three months.

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Fierce rivals Essendon have their own drama ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster at the MCG – the Bombers have suspended defender Courtenay Dempsey from the senior side for not upholding team standards.

The Blues decided the only solution to Kreuzer’s ongoing foot injury was to put him in for more surgery.

He will be out of action for 12-14 weeks.

Kreuzer had a screw inserted to fix the original bone fracture at the end of last season and Carlton football director Andrew McKay said there is nothing they would have done differently.

He played in the round-one loss to Port Adelaide, but reported soreness in the foot and was rested for last week’s loss to Richmond.

“It wasn’t until the game against Port Adelaide, where he felt some discomfort,” McKay said.

Rather than let Kreuzer keep playing or rest him for 10 weeks, McKay said they decided to fix the problem through another operation.

Thursday’s training was D-Day for Kreuzer and he reported halfway through the session that the foot was sore.

“He’s a strong-headed young fella,” McKay told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“If he’s saying, on a pain scale of one to 10, it’s a three – others would be saying it’s a seven or eight.

“For him to say it’s a bit sore, it’s alarm bells for us to say well, that’s it.

“He’ll be tested, but he’s been through long-term injuries before and come through the other end.”

Carlton will recall Levi Casboult to boost their ruck options, but McKay said it was now up to Robbie Warnock.

“Rob has an opportunity now, hasn’t he? He knows he’s the man,” McKay said.

“He has to stand up now.”

Along with their 0-2 start, Carlton are also yet to regain star veteran Chris Judd from off-season Achilles tendon surgery.

Essendon are also thin on ruck options, with Tom Bellchambers injured and now Patrick Ryder out because of the rolled ankle he suffered last Friday night against Hawthorn.

The Bombers revealed a fresh problem on Thursday when they announced Dempsey would train with their VFL squad until further notice.

He hurt his hamstring last weekend while playing in the VFL as he returned from a pre-season calf problem.

Coach Mark Thompson said in a statement that Dempsey is an important player and they will support him.

“We felt that Courtenay needed to understand that we can’t accept individuals stepping outside of team protocols and requirements,” Thompson said.

“We sat down with Courtenay and discussed the reasons why his training standards had dropped, and as a result we agreed the best way forward for him was to go back and train with the VFL side.”

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Martino record bears comparison with Barca’s best

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The Spanish champions, a point behind surprise leaders Atletico Madrid with seven games left, will be chasing a 38th win under the Argentine at home to bottom side Real Betis on Saturday to keep alive their chances of a fifth title in six years.

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Martino’s statistics bear comparison with Barca’s greatest names and are remarkably similar to their most successful coach, Pep Guardiola, who won 14 of 19 trophies contested during a glittering four-year reign between 2008 and 2012.

Now at Bayern Munich, Guardiola also won 37 of his first 50 matches in charge of Barca’s first team, with the same number of draws (8) and defeats (5).

Martino’s side has scored 136 goals and conceded 37, while Guardiola’s 2008-09 team, which won a treble of La Liga, King’s Cup and Champions League, netted 133 and leaked 42.

Only Helenio Herrera has a superior record to Martino among former Barca coaches, with 40 wins, five draws and five losses in his first 50 matches in charge in the 1958-59 season.

“There is always room for improvement,” Martino said after his 50th official game, Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Atletico in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg.

“I really liked the way we played and the continuity,” the 51-year-old added. “Whenever they play like that I can do no more than head home feeling content.”

Barca can still match the 2009 treble, the first by a Spanish club, despite a host of off-field woes.

President Sandro Rosell was forced to step down in January amid allegations of misappropriation of funds and tax fraud linked to the signing of Brazil forward Neymar.

The latest blow came on Wednesday when the club were slapped with a transfer ban by FIFA, which they have said they will appeal, for allegedly breaching rules on the international transfer of foreign under-18 players.

While their institutional problems have diverted media attention from the football, Martino and his players have been going about business on the pitch.

They play their final game of the La Liga campaign at home to Atletico and are two points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid, whom they beat 4-3 in last month’s “Clasico” at the Bernabeu.

RONALDO DOUBT

The Champions League return leg is at Atletico’s Calderon stadium next Wednesday before Barca meet Real in the King’s Cup final on April 16.

Atletico, coached by Martino’s compatriot Diego Simeone, host seventh-placed Villarreal in La Liga on Saturday, when Real play at sixth-placed Real Sociedad, who beat Barca 3-1 at their Anoeta stadium in February.

Local media reported Real’s La Liga top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo was a doubt for the match in San Sebastian after he limped off near the end after scoring in Wednesday’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final, first leg win at home to Borussia Dortmund.

The Portugal captain, who has 28 goals in Spain’s domestic league this season and a record-equalling 14 in the Champions League, has been complaining of discomfort in his left knee in recent weeks and has been playing on while receiving treatment from Real medical staff.

Fourth-placed Athletic Bilbao are six points clear of Sevilla, in fifth, and Sociedad, who each have 50 points, and closing in on a place in Champions League qualifying.

The Basque club, 17 points adrift of Real Madrid after last weekend’s 2-1 defeat at home to Atletico, play at mid-table Levante on Monday.

(Editing by John O’Brien)

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Palace boss Pulis hopes Cardiff can avoid relegation

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Both clubs were promoted from the Championship last season and while Palace sit five points above the relegation zone, Cardiff are three points from safety in 18th place.

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Palace gave themselves a real chance of surviving the drop when they stunned Chelsea 1-0 last weekend while Cardiff have struggled for points and consistency since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced Malky Mackay in January.

“It was wonderful to see Cardiff get promoted last year,” Pulis said in Thursday’s news conference ahead of the game.

“It was a really good year for Welsh football (with Swansea winning the League Cup) and I want it to thrive. It’s a great club, a fantastic city and you hope that they stay in the Premier League along with us.”

Pulis has done well at Selhurst Park since he arrived in November following the departure of Ian Holloway.

Palace were languishing in 19th then but seven wins and three draws in the 19 games since has lifted them to 16th in the table and they have a reasonable chance of enjoying a second successive season in the Premier League for the first time.

Palace were relegated from the Premier League in its inaugural season in 1992-93 and on each occasion they have been promoted since – 1994-95, 1997-98 and 2004-05 – they were unable to avoid an immediate drop back down to the division below.

After his side lost to Palace last week, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said Pulis should win the Manager of the Year award if he kept the Londoners up, and the Welshman joked: “He knows what he is talking about.”

Pulis also praised his players for their response to his guidance.

“For Mourinho to take the time out to say well done to our lads shows great esteem from him as a man and a manager,” Pulis added.

“The biggest compliment I can pay to my players is their spirit and togetherness. This group has been exceptional.

“But we have to keep going and going and going until we are mathematically safe.”

He added that talks with goalkeeper Julian Speroni and other out of contract players would begin “once we know what league we are in”.

(Reporting by Mike Collett; Editing by John O’Brien)

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