EVERTON vs MANCHESTER UNITED Tomorrow MANCHESTER CITY vs CHELSEA Sunday United captain Wayne Rooney will miss the game against his former club because of suspension after collecting his fifth booking of the season in the 4-1 win over West Ham in the League Cup on Wednesday. Paul Pogba returns from suspension for United, however. There could be some spikiness on the touchline, with United manager Jose Mourinho unhappy that his Everton counterpart, Ronald Koeman, has publicly said he would like to sign Rooney and fellow United player Memphis Depay. On This Weekend MANCHESTER, England (AP): It took Swansea’s new American owners less than three months to make their first managerial change, installing Bob Bradley in a bid to steer the club to Premier League safety. The US businessmen in part-control of Crystal Palace have been in situ for nearly a year and now have their own coaching decision to take. Is it time to get rid of Alan Pardew? Pardew’s position as Palace manager looks increasingly fragile, with the team losing its last six league games and conceding goals at an alarming rate. The chaotic 5-4 loss at Bradley’s Swansea last weekend saw Palace at its infuriating worst, unable to defend set pieces or a lead going into injury time. Pardew has reportedly held talks with Palace chairman Steve Parish, who along with American co-owners David Blitzer and Josh Harris will decide on the manager’s future. A home loss to Southampton tomorrow could drop Palace, who are currently fourth-to-last in the standings, into the relegation zone. “They are very patient and loyal,” Pardew said two weeks ago of his American bosses, adding: “They’re not looking for a short-term fix or a quick profit margin.” Yet, the statistics don’t make good reading for Pardew: Palace have the worst points-per-game record of all teams in England’s four leagues in 2016, has the second-worst defensive record in the Premier League (26 goals against in 13 games), and has conceded 13 goals from set pieces this season. Pardew joined Palace in January 2015 after quitting Newcastle, where he made headlines because of his frequent flare-ups in the coaches’ technical area – including head-butting an opposing player as they jostled for a ball at a throw-in. He is calmer on the touchline now, while much of the arrogance some accused Pardew of having appears to have gone. Palace finished in a club-record 10th place in the Premier League in Pardew’s first season in charge, then started last season well before a drastic dip in form saw them narrowly avoiding relegation. A run to the FA Cup final, where Palace lost to Manchester United, spared Pardew from more scrutiny. Palace broke their transfer record twice in the offseason to sign England winger Andros Townsend and then Belgium striker Christian Benteke. Scoring hasn’t been a problem for the team nicknamed “The Eagles,” who are the fifth-highest scorers in the league, but they can’t keep the goals out at the other end. The loss of Pape Souare, who broke his leg in a car crash in September, has deprived Pardew of his starting left back and the coach has been unable to improve Palace’s defending at set pieces even though the team is spending more time on that area on the training ground. Three of Swansea’s goals came via that route last weekend. Southampton, meanwhile, are buoyant after beating Arsenal 2-0 on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the English League Cup. Also, second-place Liverpool begin a five-week spell without playmaker Philippe Coutinho in a match at Bournemouth tomorrow when fourth-place Arsenal visit West Ham and Tottenham host Swansea. Defending champions Leicester are two points above the bottom three going into a match at last-place Sunderland. Manchester City vs Chelsea Time: 7:30 a.m Crystal Palace vs Southampton Time: 10 a.m Stoke City vs Burnley Time: 10 a.m Sunderland vs Leicester Time: 10 a.m Tottenham vs Swansea Time: 10 a.m West Brom vs Watford Time: 10 a.m West Ham vs Arsenal Time: 12:30 a.m: There was no hiding Pep Guardiola’s appreciation of Antonio Conte when the Manchester City manager was asked who his major coaching rivals might be in his first season in English football. “Conte is a master tactician,” Guardiola said at his presentation news conference in July. “A great signing for Chelsea.” Guardiola has been proved correct. Chelsea arrive at Etihad Stadium tomorrow in the standout game of the round in first place, and on a seven-game winning run since switching to a three-man defence. Guardiola cannot seem to settle on his best formation, regularly switching from a four-man defence to three at the back even during games. City are third in the standings. It should be an intriguing battle between two of the most respected tacticians in football. Bournemouth vs Liverpool Time: 8:30 a.m Everton vs Manchester United Time: 11 a.m Monday Middlesbrough vs Hull City Time: 3 p.m
Dear Editor,I wonder if Guyana would wake up and smell the coffee now that two prominent international experts on political risks have joined me and other patriots in warning that Guyana’s oil bonanza could cause corruption in high places to skyrocket and uproot democracy, independence, and all the principles and values we hold dear.This week, news broke that Thiago de Aragao, Director of the Latin American Political Risk Analysis, is urging the Government of Guyana to strengthen systems governing the electoral process, taxation and regulation, because if they are not up to standard, Guyana’s democracy can end up being “choked by oil and gas money”.Referring to petroleum investors’ intentions, Aragao warned: “The business plan is to burn it all”; and to do so, investors will seek to exert influence in every place they can. This echoed my warning early this year that we must guard against this very same thing.In my letter to the media, published in February 2018, I wrote: “ExxonMobil…put their interests first. It is simply good business sense for them to use all their bargaining power to ensure that the interests of their shareholders and directors come first, and their opportunities for expansion and investment are protected”.Aragao also warned: “There must be a clear set of rules for taxation in the oil and gas industry, as well as environmental regulation. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for abuse, and for oil money to rule and lead the way”. I recall that I also warned about ‘hungry-belly’ officials being sucked into corruption by investors.In a letter published in March 2018, I referred to the proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund to manage Guyana’s oil monies, and warned that it “will definitely fatten the eyes of every corrupt politician and official. Even those who are not yet corrupt will be exposed to enormous temptation…many would be unable to resist”.I read in a separate news report that another expert, Executive Director of Agency for Security, Energy and the Environment (ASEA) of Mexico, Carlos De Regules, called for a strong, independent regulatory body to monitor the activities of investors, and guarantee environmental protection of Guyana.He noted that such an environmental body cannot do its job effectively unless it is independent and free from any instance of political interference, and he also commented: “They should also be financially independent, so they can plan for the long term, and have the resources to do so”.This calls to mind a warning in my letter in March about the Sovereign Wealth Fund: “We have to put powerful transparency and accountability mechanisms in place to protect the Sovereign Wealth Fund (to manage oil revenue) from being subject to wrongdoing and poor investments”.Like De Regules, I recognise that political interference would stifle national development. That is why I wrote to the media in March, urging citizens to join me in calling on Government to depoliticize all negotiations involving Guyana’s oil monies, and put negotiation in the hands of an independent, bipartisan body approved by the citizens.I do not point out these similarities to push myself forward for praise and glory, because I seek praise from God, not Man. Instead, I want to show that Guyanese can sit down right here at home and make rational assessments of national development issues that are on par with the views of international experts.Let me make it clear also that when I call for checks and balances to be put in place to restrain investors, it does not mean I am against foreign investment. As a committed patriot, I am all for investment and progress, but I realise that Guyana is outgunned by big companies in key areas, so we have to be cautious.The fact is that developing countries like Guyana simply do not have the background or experience in international financial dealings to negotiate on a level platform with big multinational corporations.In a nutshell: Guyana’s oil revenue must be put under the supervision and scrutiny of a multi-stakeholder board comprising of independent professionals drawn from civic society. It can include accomplished professionals, religious bodies, the Private Sector Commission, the Chamber of Commerce; and officials from CARICOM or elsewhere, provided they are competent and free from political interference.A board such as this would more effectively serve as a watchdog against corruption by those in power. This board must be professionally managed according to transparent policies, and the roles and responsibilities of the board must be clearly defined and made public. There must be clear rules governing the acquisition and use of oil revenues, and the board must apply these scrupulously and fairly.There must also be clear and harsh penalties for wrongdoing, and a suitable time frame for prosecution. I advocate life imprisonment or death for pilfering our oil money, although I know the bleeding hearts among us would disagree.Finally, I have written before, and I write again, that such a board, or any group of persons who are the people’s caretakers of Guyana’s oil revenue, must be fully accountable to Parliament, auditors and the media; and the details of this accountability must be clearly defined and made public.Guyana has a lot of foreign-minded people, so maybe more persons would heed these warnings because they come from foreign experts who have basically used elegant, technical terms to make exactly the same points that I and other local observers have been making for a long time now.Sincerely,Roshan Khan Snr.