‘If it wasn’t so serious, I’d find that amusing’

IAN COLE’s selection of the week’s best sports quotes, from Sir Alex Ferguson, to Sol Campbell, to Ronnie O’Sullivan, among others

“When I went to see the match referee he said Daryl Harper hadn’t deemed it necessary to turn up the volume on his stump microphone. If it wasn’t such a serious match for us I’d find that amusing. Instead, I find it very disappointing” Andy Flower, England cricket’s head coach, on the snick everyone thought they heard, but they and Harper (pictured left) obviously didn’t.

“We could have employed a foreign manager or a smash-and-grab Premier League manager ” and they’d be gone if we went down. That would not work at Burnley” Brendan Flood, Burnley’s major investor, explaining the surprise appointment of Brian Laws to the vacant manager’s position.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about playing football and the love of the game. It’s no longer a hunger, it’s a craving” Sol Campbell, 35, on his return from obscurity (well, Notts County) to Arsenal after three-and-a-half years.

“The last time I felt really confident was a couple of years ago when I won the UK, the world championship and made a few 147s. Then it all disappeared” Ronnie O’Sullivan, right, tries to explain why he’s not as good as we think he is, before proving his point by allowing Mark Selby to come from 9-6 down to win the Masters title.

“My first love remains playing for Lancashire in all forms of the game and I want to help them win trophies” Andrew Flintoff remains upbeat about his cricket future despite another knee operation.

“It is nothing short of sacrilege for the Glazers to even consider the sale of Old Trafford and the Carrington training complex. Imagine how Matt Busby would feel about the club he built, to think that one family of chancers could come along and take away this wonderful legacy” Sean Bones, the vice-chairman of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.

“Some of the things Sepp Blatter has said defy belief. Comparing footballers to slaves. Completely crass. Any other organisation would have got rid of him years ago” Brian Moore, rugby international-cum-solicitor-cum-manicurist-cum-journalist, never short of an opinion or three

“At the end of the day a 3-0 scoreline might be a bit unfair on Burnley ” but not unjustly unfair” Sir Alex Ferguson, for whom fairness abounds (well, almost)

“FILA has set up investigations and it appears that there is no evidence of bribery from judges at the Beijing Olympics” Raphaël Martinetti, the head of FILA, the international governing body for amateur wrestling, dismisses evidence given under oath in a Korean court by a former FILA official that £14,000-worth of bribes were paid to referees at the 2008 Olympics

“There shouldn’t have been enough time for us to get an equaliser. The ref’s assistant puts up four minutes and we equalise in the sixth. Then we play a seventh in which they win it. Just because he’s made a mistake in letting us equalise, he doesn’t need to make another to even it up” Chris Coleman after his Coventry side lost 3-2 to a 97th-minute Ipswich winner

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