Gourmet biscuit business Grace’s, has gained a new contract to supply El Corte Inglés, an upmarket Spanish department store.The Northern Irish firm has just delivered a consignment of its Irish shortbread and oatmeal biscuits to the store in Barcelona, in what it describes as its “biggest export order to date”.The deal follows extensive and samplings last year by buyers in Barcelona of the company’s range of biscuits, said the firm.William Bullock, managing director of Grace’s, said: “Signing our biggest export order to date from such an influential department store is a marvellous endorsement of the originality and quality of our biscuits. El Corte Inglés is Europe’s biggest department store and ranked fourth worldwide.”He added that the deal was a further boost to its efforts to establish Grace’s as an international brand.The bakery had support from Invest Northern Ireland, which facilitated meetings with a representative in Spain.
The Latest: Hugo Lloris says health has priority over soccer Associated Press ___The governing body of field hockey says it has extended the international Pro League seasons by one year to run through June 2021.The nine men’s and nine women’s national teams were scheduled to play January-to-June annually.Games in the 2020 season were stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. Germany has yet to play in the women’s competition while leader Argentina has played eight of its 16 games.The International Hockey Federation says the new time frame gives it the best chance “to deliver on broadcast and commercial partner agreements.” Talks are ongoing in leagues around the world as to when the season can restart. South Korea’s K-League will kick off on May 8 in empty stadiums. The Bundesliga in Germany is discussing playing again on May 9.Lloris says “there’s so much at stake financially for clubs … But above all of that there is health.”Lloris plays for Tottenham in the Premier League. The team has nine matches remaining this season.Lloris says in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper that “if we have to finish the league without fans then we will.”But the World Cup champion adds that “soccer remains totally secondary given the current situation.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris says resuming soccer leagues should not come at the expense of people’s health amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ECB says the international season in England will now be played from July to the end of September. The three-test series against the West Indies that was due to start on June 4 has been postponed.ECB chief executive Tom Harrison says his organization is following advice from the government and health experts and that “our plan is to reschedule international matches as late as possible in the season to give the best chance of play.”___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 April 24, 2020 The subsequent season will run from September 2021 to the following June.___England will try to reschedule its test series with the West Indies after announcing there will be no professional cricket played in the country until July 1 at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic.The inaugural season of The Hundred is due to start on July 17 and has not yet been canceled. The England and Wales Cricket Board has arranged a meeting for next week to discuss whether it can go ahead.No domestic competitions have been scrapped for this year.
Lionel Messi has agreed to stay at FC Barcelona until 2021 in a deal that all but commits the star striker to playing out the rest of his top-flight career at the Spanish giants.The megastar who joined Barcelona as a teenager 17 years ago will remain at the club until he is 34 under the new deal, the Catalan club announced yesterday, ending months of speculation about the future of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.“The deal will be signed in the coming weeks, when Messi returns to the team for pre-season training,” the club said in a statement, as the 30-year-old enjoyed his honeymoon just days after he wed his childhood sweetheart in Argentina. Messi has hinted in the past that he would like to return in the future to Argentina to play for his very first club, CA Newell’s Old Boys in his hometown of Rosario, where he wed last week. But he has also said that his priority is to win more honours with Barca, the club he has called his home since he was 13.No financial details of Messi’s new contact were disclosed, but Spain’s Marca sports daily reported on Tuesday that the deal included a â‚¬300-million termination clause.Under his current contract, due to run out in June 2018, Messi earns around â‚¬20 million a year in salary, according to Spanish media — and this didn’t include millions of euros in revenues earned from ads and performance-linked bonuses.Messi joined FC Barcelona in 2000 when he was just 13 years old in the youth training centre.“He made his first team debut at just 16 years of age in a friendly against FC Porto, before making his debut the following season against Espanyol at 17,” the club said in a statement.“Shortly after, he scored his first senior goal with a clever lob against Albacete at the Camp Nou.”The deal announcement is likely to reassure fans and members of FC Barcelona, which has had a disappointing season by the club’s own high standards.The club was eliminated from the Champions League in the quarter finals by Juventus, and came second behind arch-rivals Real Madrid in La Liga, though Barca did win the Copa del Rey.Messi’s contract extension consolidates the much-feared “MSN” striking trio which also includes Brazil’s Neymar and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez.Both have also renewed their contracts until 2021.With 507 goals scored in 583 official matches, Messi is the club’s all-time leading scorer and is widely considered the world’s best player along with Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, his Real Madrid rival.“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen on the pitch,” said Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona’s new coach, of Messi.Now 30, Messi could have been tempted by other horizons — having been courted by clubs like PSG and Manchester City — particularly as he was found guilty last year of tax fraud in Spain.But he has lived in Catalonia since his early teens, and currently resides in Barcelona with his now-wife Antonella Roccuzzo, their son Thiago, four, and Mateo, one — both of whom were born in Spain.And Messi himself said in May that his aim as a footballer was to “try and win the most titles possible” with FC Barcelona.FC Barcelona, on its official twitter handle (@FCBarcelona) announced yesterday:?? BREAKING ?? Leo Messi will remain at @FCBarcelona until 2021.#Messi2021pic.twitter.com/Ee0KZIse59Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram