A board member of Hearts of Oak confirms to Joy Sports that the club has signed a two year sponsorship package with sports wear manufacturer, Eureka.Joy Sports can report that the deal demands Hearts of Oak to sell 10,000 replica jerseys to their fans while Eureka kit the club for the duration agreed.Although the source admits the deal was brokered by a company called EA Sports, as reported in the local media, he denies that the Ghanaian marketing consulting agency has any link to the famous video game manufacturer of the same name that produces the Fifa soccer franchise.”It’s not the EA Sports that makes video games, no. This is a local rep for the kitmaker,” the source said Thursday on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been made public.”We are happy about this move and think it is a step in the right direction to the club.””The corporate governance system we are trying to put in place ahead of the traditional way of doing things will not be easy, but over time all our stakeholders will understand that progress is good,” he went on. Joy Sports can report that there is no monetary compensation for the Phobians.Relief and reprieveThe last time Hearts had a kit manufacturer was in the 2008-2009 season when German sportswear maker Jako was their partner. That deal was not renewed because the Mulfingen-based company felt it was not getting mileage.Checks by Joy Sports indicate that since then, the club has had to buy jerseys from the open market and emblazon them with the logo of the prevailing shirt sponsor.”For a club of our age and stature, this has not been the best practice so we can look at this Eureka deal as a good thing,” the source went on. Hearts are currently reeling financially due to the spiralling cedi, as well as lack of patronage of games by fans.In the year-ending financial year last November, Hearts announced a record 73% drop in revenue for the 2013/14 football season.Causes of cash problemsThis drop in revenue is largely due to lack of transfer market activity as well as the inability to attract sponsorship during the year under review.The drop, in numbers, was from GHS 986,623 in the previous year to GHS 262,102 in 2013/14. Hearts of Oak currently has about 70 people on its payroll, also incurred GHS 2,071,548 in general and administrative expenses for the 2013/14 financial year.Shareholders funding however increased by 100% to GHS 3,825,084.–Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith
What he’s thinking about is fulfilling his prediction of dispelling the illusion of “Venom” and beating him so bad that MMA fans and critics alike turn the Page on MVP.“I want to open peoples’ eyes as such,” Daley says inching forward in his seat, his own eyes widening. “I want to make the puzzle seem so easy to solve that people are gonna be like, ‘Wow, we believed this bulls—.’”Easier said than done, but Daley is game for trying and giving his career a much-needed boost in the process. The bad blood between Paul Daley and Michael “Venom” Page has gotten bitter to the point where the former fighter is so hell-bent on punishing his rival that he’s downplaying what a win would do for his own career, let alone advancing to the semifinals of Bellator’s welterweight World Grand Prix.“For me, personally, it doesn’t do anything but dispel this illusion,” Daley told Sporting News inside DAZN’s office in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, taking pleasure in anticipation of solely trying to shatter MVP’s mystique and hand him his first loss Saturday night at Bellator 216 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, live and exclusively on DAZN. “I’m confident that I could beat him. I’m confident that I could do it comfortably.” “He stood in there, fought the guy and beat him — very similar to me,” Daley says, projecting that he comes through this weekend like Barrera did nearly 18 years ago.“[Page] seems to convince everybody that he’s something special and I think that’s mainly due to the few spectacular finishes that he’s had, the fact that he created this ‘Venom’ persona and the fact that he’s very good on social media,” Daley continues about MVP. “My first few fights, maybe if I had a good PR guy, I would have been seen in the same light. But I just grinded, I fought. I’ve been doing this a long time.”He certainly has, his pro fighting career spanning back to 2003, with stints in a who’s who of promotions, including Cage Warriors, the UFC, Strikeforce and the now-defunct British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, before settling in at Bellator.His stop at UFC turned out to be a cup of coffee, as it only lasted three fights over roughly eight months. Daley punching Josh Koscheck after the bell at UFC 113 back in May 2010 earned him a lifetime banishment from the promotion, which is crazy to think about, considering how Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov recently got far less of a punishment for their brawl post-UFC 229 last October.“I understand why the punishments they received were not as harsh as mine,” Daley says. “If you’ve got a guy in Conor McGregor, who’s making you millions and millions of dollars, you’d be stupid to ban him for life. I could see that because I understand business. If you got a guy like Khabib, whose has a genuine rivalry with Conor McGregor and he jumps out the cage on somebody’s head, OK, but he’s going to make your company $30 million.”Plus, the times were different back then.“When I was fighting in the UFC, they were growing, they were still trying to get on network TV,” he adds. “Nothing like what I did had been done before, so maybe Dana [White] felt like he had to make an example. But now, business is changing. Everything is changing.”The journeyed Daley doesn’t have any regrets.“For me, obviously, I could have gone in a different way, but it’s not something I dwell on because I’m here, I’m in New York, I’m still on ESPN (referring to recent appearance on ‘Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,’) I’m still headlining cards,” Daley said. “I’m one of maybe 10 U.K. MMA fighters who could headline a card in the U.S. and draw people and have people’s interest. So, have I done bad? Is my family happy? Do we eat well? Do we lead a good life? So, it’s not something I think about.”Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a year Join DAZN and watch Paul Daley vs. Michael Page at Bellator 216 on Feb. 16There’s no doubt that Daley wants to pummel Page after MVP has repeatedly referred to his fellow British fighter as “Paula,” remixing his nickname of “Semtex” to “Tampax,” even bringing a couple of boxes of the tampon brand to their press conference. It’s well past disrespectful at this point … we get it.But what’s being lost in the beef is just how sorely Daley (40-16-2) needs a victory at this juncture of his career. The MMA veteran enters the cage Saturday night, having gone just 3-3 in his last six fights, with wins over Andy Uhrich, Brennan Ward and Lorenz Larkin alternated with losses to Douglas Lima, Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch, respectively, with that last defeat coming last May. Yes, a dominating win over Page would allow Daley to flex over his rival, earning him U.K. bragging rights in the process, but the 35-year-old needs the win to prove that he’s still a viable threat in the MMA game. And he can do just that with a convincing, perhaps career-defining win.Over the course of the promotion for this fight, Daley has repeatedly referred to Page (13-0) as an “illusion,” a paper Phenom who uses in-cage dancing and antics to disguise holes in his fundamentals. That’s precisely why he’s evoking the April 2001 boxing bout between “Prince” Naseem Hamed and Marco Antonio Barrera as an analogy for their upcoming fight. In Daley’s analogy, MVP is Hamed, the flashy, brash fighter with dazzling dance moves and stellar knockouts to his name, with the fanfare to boot. While he’s Barrera, the hardened, battle-tested warrior. Hamed entered the ring against Barrera undefeated and left the MGM Grand Garden Arena a beaten man. Emphasis on beaten, something Barrera inflicted upon Naz to a pulp that memorable night.
Caleb BlansettCaleb Chad Blansett died Sunday, December 14, 2014 at his home in Wellington at the age of 10.Caleb was born the son of Clint and Nicole (Womack) Blansett on Monday, February 23, 2004 in Fairfield, California.Like most boys his age, Caleb loved spending his days outside. He loved being in sports and being with his friends at school. Caleb was a great kid that did his best to care for those he loved and knew. He will be missed by many.Survivors include his father, Clint Blansett of Winfield, mother, Nicole Blansett of Wellington, sister, Cadence Blansett of Wellington, grandparents: Mary Keating of Diane, Texas, Hatch Womack of Nocona, Texas and Carrie McMahan-Murphy of Wellington, great-grandmother, Carol McMahan of Wellington, uncle, Chad Blansett of Grafwoher, Germany, uncle, Hunter Womack of Thailand. Â Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, December 19, 2014 with the family present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.Funeral services for Caleb will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, December 20, 2014 at First Christian Church, Wellington.Private interment will take place at a later time.A memorial fund has been established in his loving memory to the Caleb Blansett Memorial Fund. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.