From the Back Pages, December 19: Revealed: Premier League clubs charge up to £600 for children to be mascots

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More than half the Premier League clubs have been accused of “excluding families from poorer backgrounds” after a Guardian study found that a few of them are charging as much as £450 for children to be mascots, with West Ham United’s most expensive package coming in at £600. (The Guardian)

The Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has been banned by the Football Association for one match, fined £25,000 and ordered to attend a re-education programme for posting an image on Instagram that was racially offensive, including anti-Semitic. (The Independent)

Liverpool head the race for Aston Villa’s England ace Fabian Delph as they weigh up replacements for Steven Gerrard. (The Mirror)

Chelsea are virtually certain Eden Hazard will sign a new five-year contract worth £200,000 per week in the coming weeks. (Daily Mail)

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger will consider taking a gamble on Theo Walcott for Sunday’s match against Liverpool after the England winger returned to training on Thursday. (The Telegraph)

AMIR KHAN has branded Floyd Mayweather scared for not committing to a future fight with the Bolton boxer. (The Express)

Joe Launchbury is to undergo neck surgery today that will rule him out of England’s RBS Six Nations Championship campaign, while Jonathan Sexton is set to miss at least the start of Ireland’s title defence as he deals with concussion-related symptoms. (The Times)