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Greyfriars rejected £30 million bid to keep Hall open

first_imgSee also: last term’s video report on Greyfriars’ closure  Alumni and students could take legal action after Friars refuse plans to help religious Hall relocateFriars have rejected a £30 million pound proposal that could have saved Greyfriars Hall from closure, Cherwell can exclusively reveal.According to the Hall’s students and alumni, the Capuchin friars who currently run Greyfriars blocked the deal – which would have required only nominal participation by the Order – because they wanted no further involvement with students.On 25 October last year, the friars announced that the permanent private hall was to close, citing a lack of staff and financial reasons, and arrangements were made to transfer students to Regent’s Park, another PPH.In the month following this announcement, Into, a company which runs courses helping international students gain places at UK universities, made a business proposition to provide £30 million to relocate the Hall and continue teaching for its students. The company has developed partnerships with Newcastle, East Anglia and Exeter universities, and runs courses for international students to study English and improve academic skills before beginning a full degree. Barry Hudd, Communications Officer for the Capuchin Order explained that a representative of Into had spoken to the previous Warden of Greyfriars, Dr Nicholas Richardson, and had made contact with the tutors and fellows of the Hall. However, he added that the company had never made direct contact with the trustees of Greyfriars, who had ultimate control over the future of the Hall.Fellows of the Hall proposed to relocate Greyfriars to another site in Oxford with the money provided by Into, with the friars providing the license for the PPH but with no responsibility for its day to day running. At a meeting of the Order’s trustees from 10-12 December, Hudd said that the friars refused to accept this ‘business plan’ because it “would have given the Capuchin Order full legal responsibility and liability for the Hall without any control, which is why they rejected it.” However, current students and alumni have claimed that many friars did not want to involve themselves with students any further, and blocked attempts to re-establish the Hall with only token links to the Capuchin Order. In an email to students sent last December before the proposal was considered, Rupert Abbott, of the Greyfriars Society alumni association, wrote, “The Order agreed to consider a proposal which is in place to save Greyfriars and secure a wonderful future. This proposal includes significant investment, a relocation to the former site of Greyfriars, and a focus on providing opportunities to the underprivileged.”“However, in hindsight it seems that the Order’s assurances were a stalling tactic. The Order led the Fellows to believe that the alternative proposal to closure would be considered, and then disregarded these assurances to the extent of denying that they had ever been made,” he stated.Abbott threatened legal action if the friars refused to consider the offer. “Students, Fellows and alumni [that] I have spoken to are united in their desire to fight the Order’s decision to close Greyfriars. We have sought the assistance of influential contacts to put pressure on the Order and University. Please note that if the Order fails to reverse its decision, legal action will be brought (in the form of an application for judicial review of the way in which the decision to close was made),” he wrote.Abbott failed to comment on whether legal action was a possibility, but students contacted by Cherwell said that the alumni society, fellows and current undergraduates could all be suing the friary.One former student, who wished to remain anonymous, said that some friars had opposed any links to a relocated PPH during unofficial negotiations with the University and students. “Their attitude was effectively one of ‘we don’t want you here,’” she said.Another student, who also wished to remain unnamed, said he felt that negotiations failed because “the Order does not want the college there.” David Cochrane, a former Greyfriars student, said he felt that some of the friars resented the original decision by the Order in 1981 to begin educating students as a Permanent Private Hall. “There might have been some residual sense that the friars shouldn’t have done this in the first place,” he said.The current Acting Warden of Greyfriars, Reverend Mark Elvins, refused to comment on the allegations, saying that they were “conjecture” and “speculation.”In a statement, Into denied having any formal discussions with Greyfriars about the proposal but added that “it is not the company’s practice to comment in any way on the many conversion that it routinely has with institutions in this country and overseas.”by David Matthews, Deputy Editorlast_img read more

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Mauricio Pochettino demands Spurs find killer instinct as Liverpool await

first_img Pinterest The Liverpool game was supposed to have been the first one at the rebuilt White Hart Lane but that hope faded some time ago. The delays on the new stadium have vexed the club and supporters alike and it feels as though no week is complete without rumours of further problems. Tottenham say that they will not move until November, at the earliest. Nobody would be surprised if it turned into the new year.Pochettino has been beset by issues since the summer, when nine of his most important players reported late for pre-season after their exertions in reaching the final weekend of the World Cup. He maintains that he was relaxed about the club signing nobody during the transfer period (Liverpool, by contrast, spent £156.3m on four new faces), although it is easy to imagine that stance being tested as the schedule intensifies. features Pochettino took steps to address it and he even went public on the eve of the Watford game at his press conference to warn Spurs would “crash” if they bought into the hype that followed Old Trafford.It made no difference. In Pochettino’s words, his team played the first half “as if it were a testimonial”. He added: “It was like we thought: ‘It is a nice afternoon in Watford, Elton John is in the stands.’ It was like going to Hyde Park with my child.”The Liverpool game was always going to be big. But when Pochettino offered further detail on those frustrating days before Watford, shining a light on the issue he is obsessed with tackling – that of his squad’s mentality – he made it even bigger.“After Manchester United, all the signals from the team were that we were going to crash,” Pochettino said. “We cannot talk about winning the Premier League [after Old Trafford] and the job is done. You needed to come in and ask for more training. Of course, I am the guilty one because I saw but I could not change the situation. We weren’t right in the way we prepared and that is why it’s still so painful.“To win now against Liverpool can change the mood and the perception but if we win, we would then have to win against Brighton next Saturday because you need to be consistent. It’s not to be focused and right in one game and then the job is done. Football is about energy over 10 months.” Liverpool must show improvement at so-called big six, says Jürgen Klopp Share on Messenger Mauricio Pochettino Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Facebook Davinson Sánchez reacts at the final whistle as Spurs lost their unbeaten record at Watford. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA Read more Tottenham Hotspur Twitter Share via Email Topics Share on Facebook Reuse this content Pochettino has been without Son Heung-min for the last three matches, after giving him permission to play for South Korea at the Asian Games. The good news was that Son’s team won gold to earn an exemption from military service but the bad is that he has done a lot of travelling and must now battle fatigue. Harry Kane, meanwhile, has also been under the microscope. Has his form dipped? The remorseless questioning is a by-product of his A-list status.In the face of such a buffeting, Tottenham have made a largely positive start to the season but Pochettino has highlighted the difference between perception and reality on more than one occasion of late, offering the impression that there are problems beneath the surface. Chief among them is what goes on between his players’ ears.“It is about attitude and saying: ‘We are aggressive and we try to win,’” Pochettino said. “We need to be focused for 95 minutes. If not, if you are disrespectful, you always pay in football. If it is not today, you pay tomorrow. Pochettino’s preparations for Liverpool have not been ideal. Like every top manager, he has been unable to work fully with many of his players because of their international commitments. But he has lost Dele Alli to an injury sustained on England duty, which has represented a blow, and it has been possible to detect a degree of friction between Tottenham and the Football Association over the matter.Then, there has been the Hugo Lloris drink-driving conviction, a distracting episode that has brought a slew of negative headlines. Now that the gory details of just how drunk the captain was have been revealed in court, he faces a challenge to refocus on his football, although that will have to wait. The club say they expect him to be out for “several weeks” with the thigh injury he sustained against United.“We arrive after two weeks and we didn’t talk too much about Liverpool,” Pochettino told reporters. “You learn today that football is not only what happens on the pitch, it’s many things that happen around and we need to be ready to deal with all these situations that, in the end, affect the result. I am learning a lot.” Read more “To respect the opponent is to score one, two, three, four, five, 10 goals. To not show respect is to think: ‘They are a poor team, we play so slow and 2-0 or 3-0 is enough. Now we wait for the end of the game.’ To show respect for the opponent is to go and kill with every single action. That is how I understand football.” Share on Pinterest Lucky Lloris will refocus on football after life lesson, says Pochettino Share on LinkedIn The Fiver: Sign up for our free daily football email. Tottenham v Liverpool quiz: how well do you know their history? Mauricio Pochettino laughed a touch uneasily and made the symbol for a telephone with his thumb and little finger. “If we play in the same way against Liverpool as we did against Watford, rather than take off players, I will be on the phone to say: ‘Houston, we have a problem,’” he said.The Tottenham manager has had the international break to stew upon the 2-1 loss at Watford and it feels as though it will take more than a redemptive victory over Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime to flush it from his system.Watford hurt him badly, and not only because his team were guilty of switching off twice to concede goals at set pieces and, in the process, throw away a 1-0 lead. Pochettino knew that something was wrong after the breakthrough 3-0 away win over Manchester United in the previous game. He had felt it. The players were a little too self-congratulatory. Read morelast_img read more

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