Baxter emerges to rival Jefferies for Bradford post

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The Independent Online

The Bradford City chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, is hoping to have the club's new manager installed in time to watch Saturday's Premiership match against Derby from the Pride Park stands.

The Bradford City chairman, Geoffrey Richmond, is hoping to have the club's new manager installed in time to watch Saturday's Premiership match against Derby from the Pride Park stands.

The club's caretaker manager, Stuart McCall, will take charge for what will be his second match, with Richmond almost certain to have appointed a successor to the sacked Chris Hutchings ahead of the game with Jim Smith's side.

Following a stream of applications in the wake of Hutchings' departure, Richmond quickly short-listed the applicants down to three, with the former Hearts manager, Jim Jefferies, the first to have been interviewed yesterday. Stuart Baxter is also understood to have emerged as a contender for the position following his resignation from AIK Solna last Monday.

After a playing career which included stints at Preston, Dundee United, Blackpool and Stockport, the Wolverhampton-born Baxter has enjoyed extensive coaching experience in Norway, Portugal, the United States and Japan. More recently the 47-year-old guided AIK to the Swedish title in 1998, with the club competing in the Champions' League for the first time last year as well as winning the Swedish Cup. Baxter, however, will tomorrow bid a fond farewell to the players with a year still left on his contract.

He said: "Things are happening at the club to give me no real hope that our relationship could progress." Baxter, who has also been linked with the vacancy at Tynecastle after Jefferies' decision to quit, refused to give an answer when asked whether he had been interviewed for the City post.

Richmond attended a Premier League chairmen's dinner with the Prince of Wales at Highgrove last night and will be at the latest chairmen's meeting tonight, so the third and final interview has been put on hold until tomorrow. It is believed the former Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, and the FA's technical director, Howard Wilkinson, are the names in the frame, although Richmond continues to give nothing away.

"I was very pleased with the quality of the applications. I could have made the short-list longer given that quality," he said. "But there were three first-class candidates with contrasting personalities and I'm hopeful, rather than confident, there will be an announcement this side of the weekend. Stuart will be in charge of all team matters at Derby but I am hoping the new team manager will be sat in the stands watching the game and getting a feel for the players and the club."

The Birmingham City co-owner, David Sullivan, has insisted that he has no plans to mount a takeover of Tottenham.

The Spurs chairman, Sir Alan Sugar, threw out a challenge for Sullivan to pump £70m into the club when his interest in increasing his stake in the White Hart Lane club was revealed last weekend. Sullivan has since labelled talk of a possible takeover as "nonsense".

Sullivan says he remains committed to Birmingham, in whom he has a 40 per cent stake. He said: "I own one per cent of Spurs and I may increase that holding to 9.9 per cent.

"Part of my business is to trade in shares in publicly-quoted stock market companies. Spurs are a company who I believe are under-priced and under-valued. I may or may not go up to 9.9 per cent, but I will not go any higher because I have a large shareholding in Birmingham and until I have done a job there I am going nowhere."

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