‘I hope Rooney does the business out in South Africa’

IAN COLE sifts through the sayings of world champion divers, a Tiger Woods wannabe, a football club with Olympian ambitions and Wayne Rooney’s new admirer for this week’s sports quotes

“The previous regime took a player who was on 30 Grand a week at Arsenal and gave him 80 Grand a week. Madness. Those days are over” David Sullivan, West Ham’s new co-owner, uses the Freddie Ljungberg transfer to spell out the financial facts of life at Upton Park as he and David Gold (pictured right) take over.

“I’ve just offered 100 Grand a week to a player who has played at the top level and is available without a transfer fee to come and score the goals to keep us in the Premier League” Sullivan on Radio 5Live just three days later, after his club put in a bid for Ruud van Nistelrooy.

“If West Ham are interested in putting in a serious bid, then they should do so” Tessa Jowell, Olympics Minister, reverses five years’ policy over the athletics future of the £540 million London Olympic Stadium, after Sullivan expressed interest in moving his football club there.

“Players are coming in like Exocet missiles without fear for their own safety, never mind that of their opponents. Players at the breakdown are not just hit by opponents but by their own men as well. The lawmakers have to get to grips with it” Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players’ Association

“I used to think of myself as the girl with a liver problem or the girl who had back surgery or the girl was once rated a good prospect. I’m not like that any more” Elena Baltacha beats world No 30 Kateryna Bondarenko to reach the third round of tennis’s Australian Open.

“And there was nobody chasing me either…” Rory McIlroy admits to a minor car prang on his own front drive as European Tour golfers assemble in Abu Dhabi without Tiger Woods.

“He is one of those people who, when they walk in a room, have something about them ” an aura. It is something he has been destined to do” Mark Pettini, the Essex cricket captain, applauds the promotion of his housemate Alastair Cook to captain England on the tour to Bangladesh,

“It was blatant creeping what Gary did when he said I was not worth the money. He said it just to look good to the manager. Why the hell is this idiot talking about me if I never had any problem with him?” Carlos Tevez on Argentine radio, talking about a spat with Manchester United’s Gary Neville which enlivened the first leg of the League Cup semi-final between the clubs.

“There seems to be this thing about Munster and the Munster men…when they pull on that red shirt they grow 10-feet tall and breathe fire out of their noses. I genuinely feel we can turn them over” Dylan Hartley, the Northampton captain, before a 12-9 Heineken Cup defeat in Limerick. Northampton squeezed into the quarter-finals when London Irish lost to Leinster.

“My coach and I sat down and talked about trying to do something which people previously might have thought impossible. It was great to make the diving world and the judges sit up and take notice and to be the first person on the planet to do something” Tom Daley, Britain’s world champion diver, on the arrival of The Twister.

“As an England fan I’m just glad he’s English and I really hope he does the business out in South Africa” Anthony Gardner, the shell-shocked Hull defender, after Wayne Rooney’s four-goal demolition job for Manchester United.

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