Press Association The 20-year-old Millwall frontman struck after 20 minutes and then again three minutes before the break in a remarkable first half at the Showgrounds in Sligo. Samir Carruthers had given Ireland a 17th-minute lead before O’Brien opened his account, and a third from Jack Grealish had the game all but won with just 25 minutes played. Aiden O’Brien claimed a double as Ireland Under-21s staged an early blitz to see off the Faroe Islands 5-2. But Gunnar Zachariasen pulled one back for the visitors within seconds, and the Faroes’ hopes of mounting a fightback improved significantly when defender Ragnar Nattestad was fouled by Republic skipper Shane Duff inside the box and referee Alexandr Aliyev pointed to the spot. Zachariasen duly obliged from 12 yards to make it 3-2 with eight minutes of the opening 45 still to play. However, Noel King’s men regained a measure of control within two minutes when Anthony Forde’s first goal for the Under-21s gave them breathing space once again, and O’Brien’s second sent them in at the break with their three-goal advantage re-established. The second half proved to be something of an anti-climax by comparison as both sides had chances, but respective keepers Sean McDermott and Teitur Gestson escaped without further mishap. Victory completed a double for the Irish over the Faroes and took their Group 6 points tally to seven from five games on a day when runaway leaders Germany needed a late equaliser in Montenegro to snatch a 1-1 draw as they surrendered their 100 per cent record.
Speaking to shareholders following the announcement of United’s second-quarter results, Woodward said the performance of David Moyes’ side in the Premier League so far this season has been “disappointing”. However, he said money would be made available to Moyes to strengthen his squad in the summer, with the likelihood that the club would spend far more than normal to rectify the situation. Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward insists the club should be challenging for major honours. Press Association And, whilst going an extended amount of time without competing at the highest level was not a thought he was considering, Woodward feels it would take some considerable time before United as a club saw a reduction in their huge worldwide following. “It has taken a long time to build our huge fan base,” said Woodward. “That will not go away for a long time. “Some of our competitors have not won league for a long time and they still sell a lot of shirts – one of them is just down the road.” Nevertheless, whilst United – who have £72million in the bank – are pledging to invest significant funds in the squad, some credence to Roy Keane’s accusation of a club “cutting corners” in the last few years is seen by the rise in the sum spent on facilitating the Glazers’ controversial takeover in 2005 to an eye-popping £686million. Fans question whether United would be in their present state – seventh in the Premier League and out of both domestic cup competitions – had a fraction of that sum been spent on players over the past nine years. It is hard to make a case against that, even if, as a stand-alone business, United continue to go from strength to strength. Commercial income alone stands at £42.3million up 18.8% for the quarter to December 31 and 30% for the year so far. Broadcasting revenue for the period was £46.9 million, an increase of 18.7%, due to a rise in revenue from the Premier League domestic and international rights agreements, and increases in share of the Champions League fixed pool distributions given United won the title last term. Staff costs were £51.6 million, an increase of 16.7%, primarily due to the impact of player acquisitions and renegotiated player contracts. As Mata’s arrival did not fall within the accounting period, the main signings over the 12 months concerned were Marouane Fellaini, who joined from Everton on deadline day for £27.5million, and Wilfried Zaha, the winger who was signed from Crystal Palace, immediately loaned back to the Eagles and has just joined Cardiff after failing to impress Moyes. Gross debt has been reduced by 2.7% to 356.6m. A reduction in profit by almost 50% has been put down to a £25million ‘swing’ in tax credits. “We once again achieved a record revenue quarter with strong contributions from our commercial and broadcasting businesses despite the current league position, which everyone from the team manager down has acknowledged is disappointing,” said Woodward. “We continue to see meaningful opportunities to grow our commercial business and the popularity of football on TV is leading to continued broadcasting revenue growth – all of which bodes well for the long-term stability and financial strength of our business. “We are also very pleased to have added a world-class player in Juan Mata to our squad, who has already made a positive impact.” “The long-term strategy is to build a competitive squad that can challenge for trophies,” said Woodward. “We have the ability to do that. We can buy players to compete at the top level, which is what we should be doing.” With that in mind, Woodward has warned that the usual summer recruitment policy, which he estimated to average out at around three players coming in each summer and three other going out, may rise significantly. “We are focused on strengthening the squad,” said Woodward. “We will sell some. We wouldn’t look to churn a huge number but equally, we are not afraid of moving in the market in a way we haven’t seen in previous years. “It has tended to be three sales and three purchases but it is possible we will do more than that.” Woodward said the club record £37.1million arrival of Juan Mata had already had a positive impact, with United’s official Twitter feed gaining an additional 280,000 followers in the week following his arrival from Chelsea last month. Significantly, Woodward said there was currently “no impact on the wider business from current on-pitch performance”.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it will be deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to coordinate the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.The outbreak has so far sickened more than 1,600 people, and nearly 900 have died from the disease.The team, according to a U.S Embassy statement issued yesterday in Monrovia, will comprise staff from Agency’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, who will be overseeing critical areas of the response.The response will include planning, operations, logistics in coordination with other federal agencies, among them the U.S. Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services.Members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also serve on the DART to lead on public health and medical response activities, the statement has confirmed.USAID has also announced an additional US$5 million in assistance to help ramp up the international community’s Ebola response efforts.Specifically, the statement said, the funding will go toward the expansion of Ebola outbreak programs, which the Agency is already supporting in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.Accordingly, these programs help trace people who may be infected with the disease, as well as provide health clinics and households with hygiene kits, soap, bleach, gloves, masks, and other supplies to help prevent the spread of disease.USAID is also supporting outreach campaigns to provide information on Ebola and its symptoms to the general public and health workers in affected countries that may not be familiar with the disease.The statement said that these messages are being conveyed through radio, text messages, and through local media.In addition to the new funding, USAID has provided US$2.1 million to the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) for the deployment of more than 30 technical experts, and other Ebola response efforts.The USAID is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid in response to President Obama’s pledge in his last year’s State of the Union Address to “join with our allies to eradicate extreme poverty, and other diseases in the next two decades.”It has adopted as its mission statement “to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies, while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States.President John F. Kennedy, in whose memory Liberia’s major referral hospital, the JFK Medical Center, is named, created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act. America’s development assistance before 1961 was channeled through the International Cooperation Administration (ICA).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)