Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: West Brom hires Hodgson, La Liga strike looms and more

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By JOHN BOSCHINI

A mere five days after sacking Roberto Di Matteo, West Bromwich Albion hired former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson as manager of the relegation-threatened club.

Hodgson, 63, takes over a West Brom club that has plummeted in the Premier League table after a promising start and now sits 17th, kept out of the relegation zone by goal difference alone. The Baggies have suffered 13 defeats in their previous 18 games after flirting with European places in the fall.

Hodgson will hope to rehabilitate his severely damanged reputation after a disastrous seven months in charge of Liverpool. The former Fulham boss, who was voted Manager of the Year last season, was let go last month and will be installed after West Brom's weekend clash with bottom-dwellers West Ham United. Interim coach Michael Appleton, who voiced his own desire for the job, will lead West Brom on Saturday.

Here are some more stories to get you through to the weekend:

SPANISH CLUBS THREATEN APRIL STRIKE

Spanish clubs are threatening to strike during the first weekend of April over a dispute involving television broadcast rights. The clubs want to abolish a rule that requires at least one La Liga match be broadcast on free television.

If the strike were to go ahead, the matches would not be canceled but instead postponed one week with the end of the season being pushed to June. The head of the Spanish Professional League wants the rule abandoned before the start of the 2012-2013 season.

WEST HAM GETS OLYMPIC STADIUM

After the Olympic Stadium in London serves its purpose for the 2012 Summer Games, it will be inhabited by West Ham United, whose bid has reportedly been chosen over that of Tottenham.

The vote to award the stadium to West Ham, conducted by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, was unanimous.

Tottenham had partnered with entertainment giant AEG in hopes of securing the rights to the stadium.

REDKNAPP TO STAND TRIAL FOR TAX EVASION

Harry Redknapp will stand trial over the summer for charges of tax evasion that date back to the manager's time with Portsmouth. The current Tottenham manager is charged with two counts of evasion totaling around $64,000. Standing trial with Redknapp in July is former Portsmouth chairman Milan Mandaric.

PUYOL DOUBTFUL FOR ARSENAL CLASH

Barcelona will likely be without captain Carles Puyol when the 2009 European champions face off against Arsenal in the Round of 16 of the Champions League this coming week.

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said Puyol, who has not played since Jan. 22, is a near certainty to miss Barcelona's trip the Emirates. The 32-year-old defender has been struggling with fitness since he picked up an injury just after Christmas.

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What do you think of today's developments? Think Hodgson can succeed at West Brom? Can you see the Spanish clubs really striking? Are you happy or disappointed that West Ham got the Olympic Stadium? Could the absence of Puyol set up a potential shock in the Champions League next week?

Share your thoughts below.

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