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Chelsea manager’s job on line following 6-0 loss against Man City | News | Sport

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Maurizio Sarri admitted his job as Chelsea manager is at risk after Manchester City scored four times inside the first 25 minutes to trash his side 6-0 on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero grabbed a hat-trick as City leapfrogged Liverpool again to top spot in the Premier League on goal difference.

Chelsea on the other hand slip to sixth with the scale of the defeat putting Sarri’s future in doubt.

“I don’t know. You have to ask the club,” said the Italian when asked if he feared being fired just eight months into a three-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

“I am worried about my team, worried about the performance but my job is always at risk.”

A 4-0 defeat to Bournemouth in their last away game was Chelsea’s heaviest league defeat since 1996.

And this was their worst loss in any competition since 1991 after failing to recover from Raheem Sterling’s fourth-minute opener.

Eden Hazard went to sleep from Kevin de Bruyne’s quickly taken free-kick and Bernardo Silva had acres of space to cross for the England international to fire home.

“We conceded the goal after four minutes in a stupid way,” added Sarri.

“At that moment we had to only stay in the match and we were not able to stay in the match because we made a lot of mistakes against the wrong opponents.
They played really fantastic football today.”

City boss Pep Guardiola, though, urged the Chelsea hierarchy not to be trigger happy with Sarri.

The Catalan also suffered during his first year in charge, but always retained the faith of the club’s director of football and his former Barcelona colleague Txiki Begiristain before leading City to the title with a record 100 points last season.

“My first year was difficult too.
In some moments we played good but not this consistent. People expect the manager to arrive, buy players and it happens immediately,” said Guardiola.

“It needs time. The main reason I came to Manchester City is because my bosses, chairman, especially Txiki. I don’t have to convince him, he knows me. He doesn’t believe I am good because I win and bad because I lose.”

Liverpool maintain the advantage of a game in hand over City, but given a reprieve by draws for Jurgen Klopp’s men against Leicester and West Ham in recent weeks, the champions look determined to become the first side in a decade to retain the Premier League.

Going to the wire

“My feeling is it is going to finish in the last games. The important thing, after what we have done last season, is being there,” said Guardiola. “Normally people fall down after what we have done last season but we are still there.”

Guardiola fell to the floor in exasperation when Aguero somehow side-footed wide with his easiest chance of the game at 1-0.

But he need not have worried that would prove a costly miss as the Argentine made amends in stunning fashion by blasting into the top corner from 25 yards to double City’s after just 13 minutes.

“I told him don’t do it again,” added Guardiola on the miss. “But his reaction was a little bit better.”

Aguero had a simple task to make it 3-0 six minutes later when he pounced on Ross Barkley’s slack header towards his own goal.

And Ilkay Gundogan’s shot from the edge of the area then had too much power for the world’s most expensive goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to compound Chelsea’s woes.

Aguero completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot to move level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah as the Premier League’s top scorer on 17 for the season.

Even after Aguero went off to a standing ovation, City’s strength in depth shone through as Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez and David Silva came off the bench.

And Silva’s pass opened the visitors up again for the sixth as he picked out Oleksandr Zinchenko who crossed for Sterling to round off the scoring 10 minutes from time.

© Agence France-Presse

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SA business advisory service flourishes

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Business advisory specialist, Ariston Global, reported financial year growth of 91 percent, recording more than 50 percent growth since the previous year.
Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Business advisory specialist, Ariston Global, reported financial year growth of 91 percent, recording more than 50 percent growth since the previous year. 

This exponential growth according to Reginald Pillay, group managing director, finance and operations at Ariston Global, lies in the business advisory services offered and how these are packaged to clients of all sizes, including the small and medium sector. 

The group plans to expand its reach into Africa, and will also leverage growth opportunities within the UK.

“There is a clear gap in the market for an advisory role spanning across all business areas. Having improved our own organisational capability, Ariston deploys strategies that are tried and tested, aligned to the target market, and aimed at making good businesses great,” said Pillay.

The company currently offers services across accounting, tax, human resources, payroll, business optimisation, compliance, recruitment and strategy.

Targeting Africa, Ariston has offices in Botswana and is growing its representation in Zambia, Congo, Nigeria and Kenya. Pillay said that Africa holds much promise and Ariston has targeted the continent’s fastest developing countries: 

Pillay said, “Africa has all the resources, both naturally and intellectually, to become a leading provider of services and solutions across industry sectors. Ariston’s strategy is to provide truly entrepreneurial solutions to businesses at the forefront of this African focused development”. 

Leveraging business growth in other countries, Ariston is pursuing London as its foray into the global sector. With an office set up in this European hub, Pillay said that while it is an established market, strategic advice is almost exclusively targeted at large corporates.

“We have learnt through our network of operations that medium-sized businesses are in need of strategic advice as much as large corporates. Our experience across Africa and now in Europe, makes us an ideal advisory to all businesses. We have managed and dealt with volatility, uncertainty, chaos and ambiguity, making Ariston a perfectly placed advisory service to assist clients to grow their businesses,” concluded Pillay. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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City of CT accused of dragging feet in CTICC probe

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Members of opposition parties say nothing has come of the latest investigation and believe the report will be swept under the carpet.


FILE: The Cape Town International Convention Center. Picture: South African Tourism.

CAPE TOWN – The City of Cape Town (CoCT) has been accused of dragging its feet on the completion of a forensic investigation into the expansion of the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) after several irregularities were detected in previous reports.

In December last year, an investigation was ordered by council following heated deliberations on the matter.

The expansion of the CTICC was at one stage the subject of an investigation by the Public Protector.

A forensic investigation was also initiated by former city manager Achmat Ebrahim, but nothing came of it.

African Christian Democratic Party councillor Grant Haskin now claims nothing has come of the latest investigation.

“It seems to me like there’s no sense of urgency by the city administration in implementing that council decision. The process can’t be ignored because it doesn’t suit some people.”

African National Congress councillor Xolani Sotashe believes the report will be swept under the carpet: “They have been trying hard to hide information in the past, so we have no reason not to believe that. We can count a number of issues that they have tried to sweep under the carpet.”

The city’s spokesperson Luthando Tyhalibongo said the investigation is still underway.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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Moody’s: Mboweni’s Budget shows further erosion in SA’s fiscal strength

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Tito Mboweni, South African Minister of Finance wa

Tito Mboweni, South African Minister of Finance walks with members of the Finance Ministry up Government Avenue to deliver his medium-term budget speech on October 24, 2018. (RODGER BOSCH/AFP/Getty Images) ~ AFP

Moody’s, the only major ratings agency that has not already downgraded SA’s sovereign debt to junk, on Wednesday responded to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden Budget by saying it “highlights the government’s limited fiscal flexibility amid a challenging economic environment”.

Moody’s currently has SA’s debt at Baa3 with a stable outlook, one notch above junk status. Rival agencies Fitch and S&P downgraded SA’s sovereign debt to non-investment grade in 2017.

Were Moody’s to downgrade SA to sub-investment grade, the country would automatically be ejected from the major Citi World Government Bond Index. This would force asset managers to sell billions of rands’ worth of SA bonds. Moody’s is scheduled to issue updated ratings in March.  

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, Lucie Villa, a Moody’s senior credit officer and lead sovereign analyst for South Africa, said the Budget showed a further erosion in fiscal strength after the October mini budget already pointed to wider deficits. 

“Government support for Eskom, which will be only partially compensated by a reduction in other spending, and revenue under-performance lead to a renewed upward revision in fiscal deficits and debt levels, while contingent liability risks persist,” she said. 

Villa’s statement does not constitute a ratings action. 

In his maiden Budget, Mboweni announced that Treasury would allocate R69bn in financial support over the next three years to help cash-strapped power utility Eskom pay its debts, as it undergoes a restructuring to make it profitable.

Speaking to journalists at a pre-Budget briefing, Mboweni said the state was basically placing Eskom “under curatorship”, and warned the R23bn a year lifeline came with conditions attached.

Part of the support package includes the installment of a “chief reorganisation officer” at Eskom who will be jointly appointed by Mboweni and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Earlier Investec Chief Economist Annabel Bishop said the Budget could possibly stave off a credit negative response from Moody’s. 

“Government expenditure is projected to rise only in one year to provide financial support to Eskom. This may be seen as credit negative by Moody’s, but as it is only one year it may be enough to stave off an actual credit rating downgrade or even change to the outlook for the year,” she said.

A negative outlook can indicate a ratings downgrade within 18 months, she said. 

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