Miller's December Notebook.

Miller's December Notebook.

21st December 2021

December is upon us, and Christmas is fast approaching.
While you take a break from shopping, settle in for a festive Notebook.

 

Hamilton v Verstappen - A Never Ending Finish

Last Sunday, the 2021 Formula One season came to a finish in the most dramatic of fashions.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen snatched his first world title by beating Lewis Hamilton on the last lap of a thrilling season finale in Abu Dhabi, after a nail biting ending that was laced with drama and intrigue.

Hamilton controlled the race from the off, beating out Verstappen - who had started on pole - in the first lap and looked set to be on course for a historic 8th world title, a title that would make him the most decorated driver in history.

That was, however, until Nicholas Latifi crashed with just five laps left to go. 

Enter the safety car. 

After some slowing, Verstappen used the reopening of the race to pounce and passed Hamilton to grab his first ever world title. 

It’s a historic achievement for Verstappen, who became the youngest ever F1 driver on his debut and has finally made good on his unrivaled ability. He’s brought an energy and enthusiasm to the sport that organisers will no doubt adore. 

The world is now very much his oyster. Hamilton will no doubt be back with a vengeance next year, but their rivalry now exists as one of world sports most fascinating, and with Lewis’ passion for the track showing no signs of abating, Formula One fans are in for a treat over the next decade. 

 

 

COVID Worsens

Sport and COVID have not made for happy bedfellows over the last two years but, thankfully, the last six months has seen and Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Premier League and FAWSL, Premiership Rugby, Autumn Nations, Test cricket and the Hundred - among many many others - all take place relatively unhindered.

That looks, however, to be hitting a wall.

Over the last month, COVID has hit sport with as much ferocity as it did back in March 2020, and we’re starting to see matches and tournaments postponed for the first time since the ‘great return’. 

This week alone we’ve seen Manchester United and Brentford forced to postpone their Premier League fixture due to a training ground outbreak, while Spurs were left riddled with positive cases, forcing their UEFA Europa Conference fixtures to be canceled.

The Premier League confirmed on Monday there had been a record 42 positives over the previous seven days, and has now changed regulations to tighten things up.

In addition to the daily tests to get into training grounds, players and staff will now have a PCR test at least twice a week, which was the case last season, before it was changed to lateral flows in the summer.

Previously players who tested positive with a rapid test then took a PCR test for confirmation of the result.

It is anticipated the measures will be implemented quickly, with additional mask wearing, limiting of physical treatment and social distancing also being advised to reduce the risk of further cases.

As with all measures across the country, it feels like we’re regressing to more severe restrictions as seen last winter. But with them all ultimately aimed at keeping us safe, we at Miller are here to provide any and all organisations with the support they need.

 

 

Aubameyang Out

Over at Arsenal, news broke this week that Gambian star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would be stripped of the club captaincy, removed from first team duties for the time being and there is press speculation around his future at the Club.

It’s a strange twist in the career of Aubameyang, who has been the club’s talismanic leader for the past three seasons, and by far their best player. 

But with Arteta claiming his conduct has not been in line with that of the clubs, and that in turn affecting the dressing room, the club have moved fast to address it. 

It’s a peculiar industry - sport - in that off-the-field issues can have such a dramatic effect on the financial risk of an ‘assets’ contractual status.

A developing situation that’ll be worth tracking.

 

 

A Celebration on the Seine

We end the Notebook this week with the news that Paris 2024 - the next Summer Olympic Games - will take the Opening Ceremony to the city centre and conduct the entire event from boats on the River Seine. 

Alongside the press release announcing the idea sat stunning imagery of a floatilla bobbing along the river to hoardes of cheering fans on either bank. 

A beautiful image, but the Notebook has seen too many weather interruption cases to get too excited just yet! 

 

 

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