Bosses’ musical chairs

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I am extremely pleased to take on this new leadership role with the company and to continue to help Sony BMG accelerate its tremendous growth and performance,” Lack said. “Rolf and I are fortunate to have a roster of extraordinary artists and a top-notch team of creative executives around the world.” The company operates several labels, including Columbia, RCA, Jive and LaFace, and its artist roster features Aerosmith, Jessica Simpson and Alicia Keys, among others. “With this management change Rolf and Andy are now aligned in positions that will take advantage of the significant progress the company has already made, as well as their formidable business skills and respective management experiences,” Sony Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer said. Bertelsmann CEO Gunter Thielen said Schmidt-Holtz “has impressively proven his flair for the creative and economic aspects of success in the music business.” FRANKFURT, Germany – The chief executive and chairman of the board are trading hats in a shake-up at Sony BMG Music Entertainment, the powerhouse record company behind such pop stars as Britney Spears, OutKast and Travis Tritt. Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, who had been chairman, is replacing CEO Andrew Lack, who becomes chairman of the board. The swap, announced Friday and effective immediately, follows months of criticism of Lack’s tenure as CEO, including investor discontent over spiraling fees paid to artists and a scandal over copy-protection software in Sony CDs. The unit was formed after Sony Music Entertainment and BMG, the music unit of Guetersloh, Germany-based Bertelsmann, formally combined their businesses. Sony and Bertelsmann each own half of the company. Following the change, Schmidt-Holtz will assume overall management responsibility, while Lack “will lead the company’s public policy and industry initiatives, and assume operating responsibility and oversight for the theatrical film business of Sony BMG,” a joint statement said. last_img read more

Get these deals done! Every Prem club’s priority in the January transfer window

first_img 5. Arsenal have to look at replacements for Santi Cazorla – Few would argue Arsenal have a strong squad, but a spark in their game has been missing without the injured Santi Cazorla. Arsene Wenger recently voiced his regret over allowing Jack Wilshere to join Bournemouth on loan, admitting, “I could use him now”. Bringing the England international back, though, doesn’t seem to be an option right now. Few players in the Gunners’ team possess the quality of Cazorla to dictate play from deep, which could encourage Wenger to assess options in the transfer window. Linked with Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic and West Ham’s Dimitri Payet. 3. Tottenham Hotspur should signal a major message of intent by signing a proven backup to Harry Kane and a new number 10 – Mauricio Pochettino has a solid squad available to him, with Tottenham’s defence and midfield particularly strong. One area in need of obvious reinforcement, however, is up top. During Harry Kane’s spell on the sidelines between September and November, Vincent Janssen simply didn’t produce, and while it would be wrong to write the Dutchman off right now, it looks like it’s going to take some time for him to settle. What’s more, Pochettino’s side are lacking a little creativity in the number 10 role, which won’t have gone unnoticed. Tottenham are very much in the title race and it’s time they signalled a major message of intent in the market. Linked with Real Madrid’s Isco and Hoffenheim’s Mark Uth. 11. Stoke City should consider a new centre back – It has been a tough few months for the Potters and manager Mark Hughes is likely to be chasing a few new additions in January. Goals have been a problem, with midfielder Joe Allen their top scorer with five goals, but defensively they’ve really been suspect. Stoke are no longer the difficult side to beat of previous seasons, and Hughes has to sure up his back line. A new centre-back or two would go down well with the club’s support. 1. Chelsea need an experienced striker to compete with Diego Costa – Diego Costa has been in exceptional form this season, with the Spain international performing consistently at a high standard for the Blues. Antonio Conte, though, will be concerned knowing he doesn’t have a backup striker capable of filling his boots. Michy Batshuayi arrived for £33m in the summer, but he seems some way off being ready for regular Premier League football. Chelsea may be wise to target an experienced striker in January, rather than signing a young player with potential. Linked with Swansea City’s Fernando Llorente. 20 14. Watford need a goalscorer – It’s pretty simple. Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo are not the answer in attack. With just five goals between them (four of those belonging to Deeney), Walter Mazzarri has to target a new striker or watch his side fall further down the Premier League table. Ighalo really needed replacing in the summer, but the Hornets’ major signing came in the form of Isaac Success, whose injury problems has seen him struggle to make an impact on his new club. But while a centre forward is needed, the growing casualty list at Vicarage Road could force Mazzarri into a few panic buys. 18. Sunderland have to keep Jermain Defoe – David Moyes will have only pennies to spend in window, making it unlikely that new faces will be brought in. The club’s priority, therefore, must be to keep Defoe. West Ham had a £6m bid rejected last week and no matter what offer they come back with, the Black Cats must stand firm. He’s the life and soul of the team at the moment – 11 of their 19 goals have been scored by the 34-year-old – so lose him and relegation is almost guaranteed. 20 8. West Bromwich Albion should look at reinforcements in midfield – West Brom’s top brass will be more than pleased with the first half of the season, and manager Tony Pulis isn’t likely to be short of funds this month. They look solid at the back, while Matt Phillips is providing that spark in the final third that was missing last term. But they could do with strengthening in the centre of the park. Darren Fletcher has come in for a little criticism, and Pulis would be wise to consider long-term replacements to the former Manchester United man. 20 20 15. Leicester City need an authoritative figure in midfield – The Foxes have gone from spectacular to completely unspectacular in a matter of months. It’s just not clicking for Claudio Ranieri this season, with his players having simply not turned up after their title win. Cracks are beginning to show at the King Power Stadium and despite spending well in the summer, something has to change. They look vulnerable at the back, while Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez aren’t delivering up top. An experienced, commanding figure in the centre of the park is really needed. 9. Bournemouth could do with a little improvement defensively – Eddie Howe seems content with his current squad, and rightly so. Bournemouth sit comfortably mid-table, having built on the good work of last season. The club don’t need to make any panic buys this month, but if there’s one area to pick out that could do with some work it’s their defence. They look a little shaky at times, often getting themselves into trouble at the back. Nathan Ake’s season-long loan deal being cut short by Chelsea will have been a big blow. 20 13. West Ham United have to address their problems in attack – It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific area that needs addressing for the Hammers; quite simply, Slaven Bilic’s team is a shambles. His summer signings have been almost completely ineffective, while few would be able to say with confidence what his strongest starting line-up actually is. Nonetheless, their form has slowly started to improve and they have been more solid at the back. Andy Carroll has returned following yet another injury, but going forward is an issue. Carroll may be fit now, but in reality, it surely won’t be long until he suffers another setback. Michail Antonio has proved a menace in the final third, though is at his best making his runs into the box from midfield. Dimitri Payet requires better to work with. 20 20 20 12. Burnley could do with some more creativity – Like Boro, Burnley have adapted well to the top flight, but haven’t offered much in the way of entertainment. Manager Sean Dyche may want to strengthen to avoid his side falling into the relegation battle, and knows more is needed in the final third. Andre Gray is back from suspension and after hitting a hat-trick in the 4-1 win against Sunderland on New Year’s Eve, should now kick on. But there is a reliance on Jeff Hendrick and George Boyd to create from midfield. Burnley’s supply line could do with a slight revamp. 20 2. Liverpool need to sign a holding midfielder to ease the pressure off Jordan Henderson – Steven Gerrard recently advised Jurgen Klopp on what his beloved club need in the January transfer window, “Definitely a back-up for Jordan Henderson as a holding midfielder and another choice at centre-half,” he told BT Sport’s Premier League Tonight show. Henderson has covered a tremendous amount of ground this season, but he simply isn’t able to protect their back four alone. It’s been fairly obvious Liverpool are missing a holding midfielder – an N’Golo Kante or Fernandinho – but Klopp is yet to target such a player. If they hope to finally lift the Premier League trophy, though, this is exactly what’s needed. 20 17. Crystal Palace need a centre forward to compete with Christian Benteke – Benteke might have eight goals to his name this season, but he’s been no fun to watch. His form in front of goal has taken a nosedive over the past month and the Eagles are suffering as a result. His place in the starting line-up has been guaranteed all season and it’s time new manager Sam Allardyce livened up the forward with a little competition – of which Connor Wickham simply isn’t. Relegation is looming. 20. Hull City have to fend off interest for Robert Snodgrass – click the arrow above, right, to see the priority for each Premier League club in the January transfer window – The Tigers are in a dreadful situation at the bottom of the table. Even if new manager Marco Silva is given money to spend, attracting players to the club will be hugely difficult. There really isn’t a priority area for Hull; there’s not a single department of their team that doesn’t need strengthening in the market. And, like Sunderland, they have the added problem of their star player being coveted by a Premier League rival. Robert Snodgrass is wanted by West Ham, but he absolutely has to stay. 10. Southampton must sign a replacement to Charlie Austin and sort out Jose Fonte’s future – In December Charlie Austin was ruled out of action for three to four months with a shoulder injury and it’s no surprise the goals have dried up for the Saints since. Shane Long seems distracted at St Mary’s, having scored only one league goal all season and Claude Puel will know his attack needs addressing this month. Another problem facing Puel is the future of Jose Fonte. The Portugal international has handed in a transfer request – a poor example for the club captain to set – with Southampton’s director of football Les Reed confirming the centre back wants to leave. Unless a replacement of similar quality can be signed, though, they simply cannot sell mid-season. 20 4. Manchester City need to sign new full backs – After a busy summer Pep Guardiola isn’t expected to do much business in January, but he will want to address his defence. While in attack there can be few complaints, they’ve been miserable at the back. In particular, the current full-back options (Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Aleskandar Kolarov) at Guardiola’s disposal don’t look capable of playing the type of game the manager wants to. Not to mention they are all over 30 and likely to be sold soon. City need young, fresh talent on either flank in defence such as a player of Hector Bellerin’s calibre. Linked with Bayern Munich’s David Alaba. 20 20 20 20 20 20 It can be a hectic four weeks for managers in the January transfer window.Some refuse to be drawn into activity, content with their current squad, while others hint at their desperation to strengthen or signal a major message of intent to their rivals.And in the Premier League there has been plenty of rumours swirling around over possible incomings and outgoings.So here at talkSPORT, we’ve decided to look at what we believe is a priority for every top flight club in the winter market.Scroll through the gallery above to see more. 7. Everton should complete deals for Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay – Ronald Koeman should be looking to quickly seal a deal for the Manchester United duo Schneiderlin and Depay. The players have been heavily linked with a move to Goodison Park for the past couple of months, but reports seem to have quietened down. A central midfielder and a winger is exactly what the Toffees need in what has been a difficult first half of the season. Schneiderlin and Depay would walk straight into their starting XI – so get it done, Koeman! 19. Swansea City have to go for an experienced centre back – The Swans are a mess right now, and the club’s sudden collapse in the Premier League is sad to see. Bob Bradley has gone, lasting only 10 games as manager, and now Paul Clement is the man tasked with saving the club from the drop. He’ll no doubt be assessing his options in the January transfer window, and his biggest concern will be their defence. Swansea have what has the potential to be an exciting attack with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente, but almost no inspiration at the other end of the field. They didn’t replace defender Ashley Williams in the summer and are being made to pay for it. Even if it’s a six-month loan deal, a centre back with a little experience is needed. 20 20 20 6. Manchester United should begin to look at long-term replacements to Michael Carrick – Jose Mourinho has assembled a squad some managers would dream of having, making their position in sixth all the more frustrating for the Old Trafford faithful. United are strong across the pitch, but concern is growing over who might eventually replace Michael Carrick. The veteran midfielder was used sparingly by Mourinho at the start of the campaign, but has returned to the fold over the past couple of months. It’s time the Red Devils took targeting his replacement seriously. 16. Middlesbrough have to target creativity – Boro have been excellent defensively. Ben Gibson and Calum Chambers have developed an exemplary understanding in the heart of Aitor Karanka’s back line, but, as good as they have been in protecting their goal, they’ve offered very few moments of magic in the final third. In truth, they’ve been a dull addition to the top flight. Alvaro Negredo has been pretty isolated up top in Karanka’s rather restrictive tactics and the striker needs more from those behind him. Goals are an issue and they might begin to fade away if reinforcements aren’t made. last_img read more