World Cup - Paper Round: FA ditch 'tax dodger' Gary Barlow's official England song

Gary Barlow's Greatest Day tune featuring Gary Lineker and Michael Owen has been dropped as a World Cup anthem with tax avoidance issues swirling around the Take That singer.

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World Cup - Paper Round: FA ditch 'tax dodger' Gary Barlow's official England song
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Gary Barlow

FA drop Barlow World Cup anthem: The Independent bring us the news that the adverse headlines surrounding Gary Barlow's financial affairs has had an adverse affect on his chances of emulating David Baddiel, Frank Skinner and the Lightning Seeds with a catchy World Cup anthem. "Greatest Day" featured the Take That singer, Gary Lineker and 20 celebrities including Michael Owen, Kimberley Walsh and Katy B. But that was before Barlow was ordered to pay back millions of pounds for investing in a tax avoidance scheme for the super-rich. The FA have distanced themselves from the single that was expected to be endorsed by them and released in June. A spokesman said: “Although we have given our endorsement, it is very much their (Comic Relief) production and any release would be managed by them with all proceeds going to their Sport Relief charity.”

Paper Round's view: This doesn't sound like Gary Barlow's greatest day. Once a national treasure with an OBE, he is now viewed as a tax dodger who has been hoarding his millions. He should have moved to Switzerland with Lewis Hamilton and Phil Collins. Then he could have been content to life as a tax evader. You can't have it both ways. If you live in the UK, you have to pay tax. Besides, no World Cup anthem is ever going to be as catchy as "Three Lions". And who really wants to listen to Owen or Lineker?

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Koeman interested in Southampton job: The Mirror reports that the Dutch icon has thrown his name into the hat to succeed Mauricio Pochettino after he departs Feyenood this summer. Agent Guido Albers is quick to talk up Koeman's ability. "From Ronald’s point of view, it would be amazing. I think it would be a very good success for the club, but also for the Premier League to get a coach like him," said Albers. "He is very technical, and very offensive. His team makes goals. They scored more than any other team in Holland this season. We haven’t been approached by anybody, but he would like to work in the Premier League."

Paper Round's view: Sounds like a candidate, but the last line tells you how far down the road Saints are to considering big Ron. "He would like to work in the Premier League." Fair enough, but so do a thousand other football coaches in the world. We're not saying Koeman isn't a candidate. We're just saying that it probably isn't worth sticking too much money down on it happening. Ronald de Boer sounds as equally plausible coming from Ajax.

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Sterling reveals weird ankle boot during England win: The Daily Mail compares Raheem Sterling's boots to clown's shoes after the Liverpool winger replaced Wayne Rooney during the 3-0 friendly win over Peru at Wembley Stadium on Friday night. "The Liverpool frontman, who replaced Wayne Rooney during the Three Lions' warm-up game on Friday night, was wearing Nike's new Flyknit Mercurial Superfly IV boot - which has a partial sock fitted to it," commented the Mail. The boot has already been touted by Cristiano Ronaldo, and is said to give you extra speed.

Paper Round's view: Fair enough, they are not a pair of classic black Adidas from the 1970s, but technology changes. As do players. Whatever gets you through the night. If Sterling scores a few goals in Brazil with his new clown shoe boots, nobody will be laughing. Not exactly sure why this story is of great interest, but we thought we'd just throw it out there.

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Liverpool increase Lallana bid to £25 million: Looks like Liverpool could be handing over around £30 million to Southampton if the £4 million purchase of Rickie Lambert is concluded today after he completes his medical. Lallana will be the second Saints man on his way to Anfield within 48 hours if you believe the Express. Brendan Rodgers will apparently look at James Milner and/or Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri if they can't land Lallana.

Paper Round's view: We did enjoy the sight of Lallana in an England shirt against Peru on Friday night. Superb ball control and touch is obvious, and he would certainly add something to Liverpool, but is £25 million too much? Will Southampton accept? Looks like Saints could be flogging their family jewels this summer the way things are looking. They are going to be cash-rich with an impoverished squad. Worrying times for Saints fans.

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And finally...There is a boxing match happening this evening. Don't know if you have heard about it. But 80,000 fans will cram into Wembley to watch Carl Froch and George Groves do battle. Former WBO cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson has been busy comparing both fighters' respective strengths and weaknesses in The Telegraph. Nelson concludes that the stamina of Froch could hold sway on the night." This could be the key to the outcome. Froch’s style may be ugly, he does things wrong technically, but he gets the right results, because his stamina gets him through. It breaks the will of opponents."

Paper Round's view: So much has been said about this fight. Time to get the gloves on, and let these boys sort it out. You could make a valid case for either man. Let us hope it is a terrific fight with boxing the winner. Or words to that effect.

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