Week in review: On the doors of destiny

You've got to feel sorry for the guy. Almost everyone saw it coming. The media and the fans had been preparing him for just this one moment for about the whole season, but when it did come, you could still feel his shock.

Poor, poor Avram Grant.

The now former Chelsea manager led his side to the verge of winning three titles this season and was still shown the door by owner Roman Abramovich.

The managerial sacking cycle of the past Premier League season ends where it all began at Stamford Bridge with the then shock dismissal of Jose Mourinho.

Speaking of Mourinho and shock dismissals, the "Special One" is all but confirmed as the new Inter Milan manager after Roberto Mancini was shown the door, or rather had the door closed on him – this after winning the Serie A for a third consecutive year.

Chelsea, you see, did not close the door on Grant, they were still willing to offer him a job as Director of Football [on account of him being best of buddies with the owner], which he turned down, and quite rightly so.

Abramovich seems to employ the well-known line of wisdom which goes: 'keep you friends close, but keep your enemies closer'. This, of course, could account for why the billionaire gave Mourinho a £2 million Ferrari (Dh14.4m) as a gift five months after sacking him and just a few weeks after the Portuguese manager was quoted in the media as saying: "I want to kill Chelsea."

Anyway, back to the Stamford Bridge door, which has still not shut because it now has a pile of roubles wedged in it trying to tempt some big-name managers to walk in. Thus far, according to the English press, both Mancini and former Juventus manager Diddier Deschamps were seen peeking inside.

It is interesting to note that reports released this week state that for the first time, the overall amount spent on wages exceeded £1 billion during the 2007-2008 Premier League season, following a dramatic £115m rise for 2006-2007.

According to Deloitte's annual review of football finance, the nearest competitor on wages is Spain's La Liga, which paid £538m. The Premier League's wage bill is now more than double that of the Italian, German or French leagues.

Which, in English, means: prepare for some monstrous signings by Premier League clubs this summer as big-name players from Europe queue up to get their names added to the wage bill.

Now on to cricket. England beat New Zealand in the second Test and Australia triumphed over the West Indies in the Caribbean.

Surprise, surprise you might say sarcastically [so might I], but what needs mentioning is that both England and Australia were on the verge of losing.

We won't really bother with England because since their 2005 Ashes victory they have always looked on the verge of losing, that is when they are not really losing, but for Australia to lose would have been unbelievable.

Except they didn't. The West Indies, needing 241 runs with nine wickets in hand, crashed to Stuart Clark's 5-32 and fell 95 runs short. Surprise, Surprise...
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