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    Man City’s Champions League ban overturn is a total shambles, the end of FFP and opens floodgates for transfer splurge

    A TOTAL shambles. And the end of Financial Fair Play.
    At least, that was the immediate response to the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to wipe out Manchester City’s two-year Uefa ban.

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    Man City’s Champions League ban has been overturned by Uefa
    Understandably, too.
    After all, City have long argued the very concepts that initially underpinned FFP, an attempt to prevent clubs amounting catastrophic debts, had been subverted into something very different.
    Instead, City – and others – have insisted FFP became a tool of the “cartel” – the existing cabal of Europe’s elite clubs who did not want interlopers breaking into, or breaking up, their cosy little club.
    City, with their Abu Dhabi financial backers, and PSG, effectively the sporting arm of the Qatari government, represented both a huge threat and an unwelcome, unwanted challenge.

    Uefa, it was felt, became too protective of the old guard, insufficiently willing to allow the existing order to be threatened.

    In truth, it was more complicated than that.
    We will not know for certain why City won their case until later this week when the full CAS award is published.
    But the outline statement hinted Uefa’s biggest problem was failing to follow its OWN rulebook.

    CAS explained the three Judges in Lausanne had determined “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Club Financial Control Body were either not established or time-barred”.
    In other words, there was not enough evidence to stand up some of the allegations – and the others took place outside the five-year statute of limitations.
    That there will be casualties inside Uefa is evident, no matter what the full CAS ruling says.
    City pointed accusatory fingers in the direction of the head of the investigations unit – former Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme.
    They will now expect his head on a platter. And probably get it.
    After all Uefa have been left humiliated and embarrassed – not to mention significantly out of pocket.
    But Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin, who has sought to build bridges in recent months – he visited the Etihad on a number of occasions – may be able to hide behind the independence of the procedure.

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    Uefa president Alexsander Ceferin had tried to build bridges with City in recent months

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    Uefa’s head of their investigations unit Yves Leterme was heavily criticised by City
    Uefa “contract out” financial and off-field rule prosecutions to the investigations unit. It gives the European governing body enough wriggle room to claim they were not responsible.
    Ceferin had on a number of occasions also suggested there was a “concrete case” but he also insisted: “Look, as a lawyer I respect the system.
    “The system we have is an investigations chamber and an adjudicatory chamber, and then we have CAS in Lausanne.
    “For some administrators it’s a problem if you have an independent body. For me it’s a privilege.”
    Yet even in March, three months before City’s three-day CAS hearing, Ceferin was publicly recognising FFP in its current incarnation was no longer apt and fitting.
    He said: “It’s too early to say how it will look in the future but we are thinking about it and will probably have to adapt it.
    “FFP has been very successful. Now there are no losses or very few, so we will have to adapt it to different times. Our experts are in discussion.”
    Within weeks, European football was shutdown by the Covid-19 crisis, which led to the first stage of the FFP reset.
    Uefa has already announced that clubs will not have to open their 2019-20 books for inspection until after the 2020-21 season, allowing two years’ worth of finances to be measured.

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    Pep Guardiola could be seen grinning ear-to-ear at the news in a now-deleted Instagram postCredit: Instagram
    It means that the next FFP cases are unlikely to be announced for THREE years, by which time the rules will have been rewritten considerably.
    In the meantime, City will feel liberated to spend, spend, spend.
    Those clubs – Chelsea in particular – that have tightened their belts to meet the requirements may feel they have wasted their time and look to follow the City splurge.
    If the proposed Saudi owners are given the go ahead to buy Newcastle the floodgates look open there too.
    Whatever the exact details, things have changed. The only question is by how much.
    But it seems likely Uefa may have to go back to something approaching the original principles of FFP as a protective measure not a punishment regime.

    City’s win may be as much about process as facts. But the repercussions will be immense.
    Pep Guardiola was pictured grinning with his staff in a now deleted Instagram post after the decision was announced.
    And Manchester United and Chelsea fans were fuming with the news as it will affect their ability to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    Premier League to end bonanza of live TV matches next season and ‘revert back to broadcasting select games’

    THE Premier League is to end the bonanza of live televised matches for the 2020-21 season.
    Since the restart, every match has been available to watch on TV to make up for fans being banned from the stadiums.

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    The Premier League will ‘revert back to normal’ next season with only select matches broadcast liveCredit: AP:Associated Press
    All 92 games have been made available for fans, on Sky Sports, BT Sport, Amazon Prime and the BBC.
    But despite there being no set date for allowing fans back into grounds, broadcasters are set to revert back to broadcasting select games, say The Athletic.
    The report states Sky and BT will carry on as they have for years, broadcasting select games.
    Amazon Prime will have their allotment of 20 matches for 2020-21.

    Meanwhile, the BBC will go back to showing only highlights, with no live Premier League games.
    The Beeb recently showed their first live top-flight match in 32 years in Crystal Palace’s win over Bournemouth last month.
    The game fell agonisingly short of becoming the most-watched Premier League match of all time with 3.9million tuning in.

    Losing the chance to watch all matches live on TV will be a huge blow to fans, particularly supporters of club who see fewer of their matches chosen for coverage.

    But fans will be buoyed by the news fans might be allowed back into stadiums in September, redy for the start of the 2020-21 season.
    Last month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I would really hope that by the return of the new season we might be in a position whereby some fans could start to return to stadiums.
    “And I know that would be another important part of restoring the financial position of clubs.”

    Premier League clubs to have options to use five substitutes NEXT season as radical rule change is confirmed More

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    Arsenal’s woeful defensive record laid bare with Gunners conceding highest percentage of goals from set pieces in the PL

    ARSENAL lead the Premier League in goals conceded from set-pieces after Sunday’s North London derby defeat.
    The Gunners have conceded a staggering 46 per cent of their goals this season from corners, free-kicks and penalties.

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    Arsenal lost 2-1 at Tottenham thanks to a late Alderweireld header

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    Arsenal have conceded the highest percentage of goals from set pieces in the Premier League this season
    Their defence has been exposed over and over again, with Mikel Arteta in desperate need of a leader and some aerial presence at the back.
    A defensive howler from Sead Kolasinac and David Luiz – as well as a late set-piece headed home by Toby Alderweireld – saw Arsenal throw away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at Tottenham.
    The late goal from Spurs was the 44th conceded by Arsenal this season – with 20 of those coming from set pieces.
    That’s a staggering 45.5 per cent – more than six per cent ahead of their closest rivals Manchester United (39.5 per cent).

    Leicester (36.1 per cent) and Watford (35.2 per cent) are the only other teams to sit above 35 per cent for the season, in terms of goals conceded from set-pieces.
    At the other end of the spectrum, Sheffield United – who beat Chelsea 3-0 at the weekend – lead the way.
    Chris Wilder’s side are showing how to do it, conceding just FIVE times from set-pieces out of 33 goals in all (15.2 per cent).

    Wolves, Burnley, Tottenham, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Bournemouth are the only other teams to concede fewer than a quarter of their goals from set-pieces.
    After Sunday’s North London derby, Arteta apologised to Arsenal fans for his side’s defensive blunders costing yet more crucial points.
    The Gunners boss said: “I am really proud of our players, to play the way we played.
    “I have never seen them before dominating the opponent and nullify them as much as I’ve seen today.

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    Arteta apologised to fans for his side’s shoddy defensive display at SpursCredit: EPA

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    “But we gave them a goal again and we conceded a set-piece and, at this level, you cannot do it.
    “I’m sorry for the fans because I know how much it means to all of them.
    “We were very willing to give them a big moment of happiness and unfortunately, I am sorry but we could not do it.”

    Mikel Arteta apologises to fans after Arsenal fall victim to more defensive issues in the North London derby More

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    Police investigating after Cristiano Ronaldo’s 10-year-old son was filmed riding a jet ski alone in now-deleted video

    POLICE are investigating after Cristiano Ronaldo’s ten-year-old son was filmed riding a jet ski alone.
    The youngster’s aunt Elma, who is Ronaldo’s sister, loaded the footage on to her social media before removing it.

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    Police are investigating after Cristiano Ronaldo’s ten-year-old son was filmed riding a jet ski aloneCredit: Instagram

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    Fines for riding a jet ski alone without a licence can be over £2000 under Portuguese lawCredit: Instagram

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    Cristiano Ronaldo Jr is holidaying with relatives including his aunt Elma, Ronaldo’s sisterCredit: Instagram
    Portuguese press claimed the video, said to have been taken on Saturday in Paul do Mar off the south of Madeira where Cristiano Ronaldo Jr is holidaying with relatives, was also shared by his famous footballer dad and his doting grannie Dolores Aveiro before its removal.
    Maritime Police chief Guerreiro Cardoso confirmed today that an investigation was underway.
    He told respected Portuguese newspaper Expresso he was aware of what had happened and the incident was now being probed to ascertain exactly what had happened and “whether a fine had to be paid.”
    He was also quoted as saying a skipper’s licence was needed to use a jet ski and only adults could hold one.

    Under Portuguese law, individual fines for using a jet ski without the proper licence are understood to range between £268 and £2688.
    Groups or private firms can be hit with fines of up to £10,750.
    Police are understood to be trying to establish who the jet ski belonged to.

    The adult or adults responsible for Cristianinho, as Cristiano Jr is nicknamed by his family, would be asked to pay the fine if any wrongdoing is established.

    The reaction from social media users after Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister posted the footage on her Instagram on Sunday was immediate.
    One said: “I was left with my heart in my hand when I saw the video.”
    Another said: “Very bad. What a lack of responsibility. So young and riding a jet ski. I thought there was a minimum age to be able to do so.”
    The footage Elma uploaded was taken from a boat packed with adults and children. It showed Cristianinho racing through the water before spinning round in circles as he was egged on from those on the luxury vessel.
    Towards the end of the 1.30 minute video a woman in a life jacket could be seen jumping into the water, although the ten-year-old pilot is thought to have switched on the engine before she approached it. The youngster appeared to have a good command of the waverunner.
    Although the footage was no longer on Elma’s Instagram page on Monday, she kept up photos thought to have been taken on the same trip showing Cristianinho on the boat with her and her mum Dolores.
    One, showing her kissing the tanned youngster as she sat beside him with what appeared to be a glass of bubbly in her right hand, said: “Love of my life. How I love you little one.”
    Dolores posted a photo of her with Cristianinho taken at a different time.Cristianinho only turned ten on June 17.
    Dolores, who cheated death at the start of March after suffering a stroke, brought the youngster back from the States as a new-born baby. She told in an approved 2014 biography how she picked him up from a clinic in Florida because his dad was playing in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
    The identity of the mum is still a closely-guarded secret.

    Cristiano is father to Alana Martina, two, with girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez.
    The identities of the mums of his other three children, said to have been born to surrogates, have never been revealed.
    Ronaldo, 35, stunned the world in July 2010 by announcing on Twitter and Facebook he had become a father.

    Watch Cristiano Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez twerk in skin-tight gym gear More

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    Sky’s the limit for Man City now.. FFP rules will be relaxed, cash will be splashed and Pep will stay after ban overturn

    A HUGE cloud has been lifted over Manchester City – and now the sky is the limit.
    It has been hanging over the Etihad ever since November 2018 when hacked internal emails were published in Der Spiegel.

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    Pep Guardiola and his team celebrated after having their European ban overturned, and with good reasonCredit: Instagram

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    The likes of De Bruyne and Sterling are now almost certain to stay at the EtihadCredit: Tom Jenkins
    And it threatened to overshadow everything City have achieved during an incredible decade in the blue half of town.
    A second conviction for financial wrong-doing would have thrown the whole club into chaos – from the boardroom to the pitch.
    That’s before you start to talk about the £200million financial black hole that two years out of the Champions League would have cost them.
    Now though there is the promise of a glittering future to build on the 11 major domestic trophies they have already won.

    The verdict from the Court of Arbitration for Sport – which dropped at 9.30am on Monday morning and it must have felt like a huge weight had been lifted off their shoulders.
    While the noises were positive – and nobody was more hopeful than Pep Guardiola – there was always a nagging doubt over whether they would be vindicated.
    And club officials only found out for sure a couple of hours before the verdict was announced to the waiting world.

    But their decision to go to war with Uefa – and employ a team of top lawyers to help them – has been vindicated.
    Guardiola was always convinced the ban would be overturned – and he was sticking to that belief after the 5-0 win at Brighton on Saturday.
    He admitted planning for next season and beyond would start in earnest once the ‘sentence’ was delivered.
    How much of that future could Pep be part of now?
    He said all along he would see out the final year of his contract at the Etihad and still be in charge next season.

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    Man City will now also have more chance of attracting top stars, including Kalidou KoulibalyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Now though his great friends on the board – chief exec Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain and chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak – will be looking to persuade him to stay longer.
    Their superstar players will be relieved too.
    Top man Kevin de Bruyne said during lockdown that he would have to consider his future if the two-year ban was upheld.
    There would also have been doubts over whether other big names such as Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Aguero would be happy with no European football.
    You can expect the new contracts which have been mooted for De Bruyne and Sterling among others can now be stepped up.
    And despite the impact of coronavirus on their finances, they can push ahead with plans for a squad rebuild.
    If it does turn up to be Pep’s final season, he will be desperate to win back the Premier League title from rivals Liverpool next season.
    With Financial Fair Play rules due to be relaxed due to Covid, City will find the money to give him the tools that he needs.

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    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go

    Reinforcements at centre back will be the top priority – with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Nathan Ake of Bournemouth both linked.
    But ideally Pep would like to bring in a replacement for Leroy Sane, a new forward and maybe even tweak the full-back positions.
    City could go on to add two more trophies to the Carabao Cup they won in March before the season is out.
    Yet it may turn out that the victory that was confirmed on July 13 turns out to be the biggest result of their season.

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    David McGoldrick subjected to horrific racial abuse just hours after Wilfried Zaha was abused by 12-year-old

    SHEFFIELD UNITED star David McGoldrick was subjected to vile racist abuse on social media, hours after a boy, 12, was arrested over taunts to Wilfried Zaha.
    The Republic of Ireland international was called an “ape” among several other taunts in a shocking rant that he later posted online.

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    David McGoldrick was subjected to vile racist abuse on social mediaCredit: PA:Press Association

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    The footballer captured a screen shot of the abuse received with ”2020 and this is life’
    The sorry episode comes just hours after Crystal Palace star Zaha was sent similar racist abuse, also via Instagram’s direct messaging service.
    West Midlands Police arrested a 12-year-old boy from Solihull after Zaha was called a “black c***” ahead of his side’s game with Aston Villa.
    Sheffield United have vowed to work together with authorities to find the person behind the McGoldrick abuse, which was shown to have come from an Instagram account named ‘mma_notorious_mma’.
    The player captioned the screenshot: “2020 and this is life.”

    A club statement read: “As a club we will support David McGoldrick and will do all we can to find the perpetrator of this disgusting message.
    “We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the person behind this post is brought to justice.

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    McGoldrick (right) revealed the sick abuse he was targeted with after scoring against ChelseaCredit: PA:Press Association

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    “This cannot continue. Something needs to change.”
    McGoldrick scored his first Premier League goals with a brace against Chelsea on Saturday.

    The message he received read: “You f******* dirty n*****! Your n***** life doesnt matter!
    “F*** you ya bold c**n where were you when you played manure you f****** s*** ape.”
    ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’
    On Monday morning, Zaha stated his thanks for police in rapidly responding to his racist abuse.
    He posted online: “I would also like to thank West Midlands Police for their swift action in making an arrest.
    “People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media.
    “It is important social media platforms do as they did yesterday and seek out individuals and remove them.
    “This is not the first time I have received messages like this, nor am I the only player to receive messages like this – it happens every day.
    “I want to thank everyone for the love and support but enough is enough! It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages and move on. It isn’t enough to say #notoracism. We need action, we need education, things need to change.”

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    Zaha (right) also suffered social media abuse, ahead of facing Aston VillaCredit: EPA

    Arsenal and Palace legend Ian Wright has previously called on social media companies to do more to stop the abuse taking place on their platforms.
    An Irish teenager was arrested after the ex-striker received a stream of vile abuse via Instagram earlier in the year.
    Wright wrote about the incident: “Direct message to me on IG. This kid [h]as a direct line into me & is able to send this without any worry.”

    Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson speaks about ‘cowardly and despicable’ racial abuse levelled at Wilfried Zaha before Aston Villa match More

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    Grinning Pep Guardiola and backroom staff celebrate Man City Champions League ban overturn in now-deleted post

    MANCHESTER CITY boss Pep Guardiola grinned ear-to-ear at the news of his side’s successful appeal against a two-year Champions League ban.
    In a now-deleted Instagram post the City boss, 49, appeared jubilant in a selfie alongside members of his technical staff.

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    Pep Guardiola could be seen grinning ear-to-ear at the news in a now-deleted Instagram postCredit: Instagram
    Since the initial verdict in February, it had appeared that the Citizens would not be taking part in European football for two seasons – with the news even throwing Guardiola’s future at the Etihad into doubt.
    But much to the dismay of Chelsea and Manchester United fans, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that City did not disguise equity funding as sponsorship”.
    And Manel Estiarte, Spanish water polo legend-turned-Guardiola-right-hand-man, took to Instagram to post a celebratory snap.
    Captioned: “Yes!!!!!!!!!!”, Guardiola and his staff could be seen grinning gleefully in front of a TV showing Sky Sports News’ coverage of the verdict.

    The post may now have been deleted but City’s joy, however, very much lives on.
    The Sky Blues have already sealed qualification, sitting second on 72 points – 12 clear of next challengers Chelsea with three matches left to play.
    And City could yet stick it to their critics even more, by winning this season’s competition when it gets back underway in Lisbon next month.

    Favourites to get the job done over Real Madrid at the Etihad having secured a 2-1 aggregate lead in Spain – City would face the winners of Lyon’s tie with Juventus in the quarter-finals.

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    Man City hold a 2-1 aggregate lead over Real Madrid in this season’s Round of 16Credit: Reuters

    As for who will join them and Liverpool from the Premier League in next season’s competition – the race is set to go down to the wire.
    Chelsea currently sit in third on 60 points, one above Leicester City in fourth, and two ahead of United in fifth.
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, however, have a crucial game in hand as they host Southampton this evening.

    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go

    Man City’s two-year Champions League ban OVERTURNED by CAS More

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    Will fifth place in the Premier League get a Champions League place following Man City’s CAS appeal verdict?

    MANCHESTER CITY will be playing Champions League football next season after their two-year ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
    City have been ordered to pay a £10m fine for obstructing Uefa’s investigation but are otherwise in the clear.

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    The ruling sees Man City banned from the CL for two yearsCredit: Reuters
    But what does this mean for this year’s Premier League and that all-important fourth qualifying spot?
    Will fifth place Premier League finish secure CL spot?
    FOLLOWING Uefa’s ruling, Man City WILL be playing in the Champions League next season, having gained enough points to guarantee their spot.
    But the fifth placed team in the Premier League will not now qualify for the competition with only the top four to make it, as would be the cae in any other season.
    That team is currently Manchester United, but they have a game in hand on fourth placed Leicester and take on Southampton tonight.

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    How the race for the top four looks with three games to go
    Why were Man City banned from the Champions League?
    CITY had been slapped with the sanction having been found guilty of seriously misleading European football’s governing body.
    Uefa investigated claims that City had hidden millions in funding by the club’s Abu Dhabi owners under the guise of legitimate sponsorship income.
    The probe was launched following the Football Leaks document dump of emails and letters.
    City were initially fined £49m for FFP breaches in 2014, although that was later reduced to £16m.

    The club have always vehemently protest their innocence.

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    The reigning Premier League champions have also been hit with a whopping £25m fine by UefaCredit: Getty Images
    A statement from the club at the time said: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.
    “The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.
    “In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
    “The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.  The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
    “Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgement as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.” More