Football: Hartson charged with misconduct for Reed remarks

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The Independent Online
The West Ham striker John Hartson has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association following his verbal attack on the referee Mike Reed after Monday's Premiership defeat by Leicester.

Hartson called Reed "a homer", claiming that his performance was "a disgrace that deserved nought out of 10". On Wednesday, West Ham and Hartson apologised to Reed, saying the remarks were made "in the heat of the moment and were not considered". Although Reed accepted the apology, he said the events were "out of his hands".

The Football League has given Anton Johnson permission to continue his consortium's pounds 2m takeover attempt of the struggling Third Division club Doncaster Rovers.

Johnson, the former owner of Rotherham, was charged with breaching League regulations on being involved in more than one club in 1984, but the League said yesterday he was not banned from the sport, although they would keep an eye on events.

"There were allegations about Mr Johnson's involvement in more than one club and he was due to face charges concerning breaches of regulations, but he went out of football and the charges were not activated," a League spokesman said.

"The charges are still outstanding and on file, and if Mr Johnson becomes involved in football again, the League will look at the situation."

Donald Findlay, the vice- chairman of Rangers, yesterday denied that anyone had been asked to succeed Walter Smith as manager. Findlay dismissed reports that his club are to offer Newcastle a pounds 4m pay-off for the services of Kenny Dalglish.

"I think it is always as well to wait until people are asked and I do not think anybody has as yet been asked to become manager of Rangers, so I do not see how anybody can refuse the job," he said. "There are a number of names and people, and the list will remain confidential."

Findlay stressed that no decisions have yet been made by the Rangers board on Smith's successor and said the nationality of the new manager will not be important, but a proven track record in European competition will.

Asked on Radio 4 whether Dalglish is under consideration, Findlay said that reports had shown he had no interest in returning north of the border. "Clearly Kenny does not want to come here, so no," he said.

Dalglish, however, was furious at the speculation. "It has been suggested that being linked to a big club like Rangers is a compliment. I think it's an insult to the fans of Newcastle. Their intelligence has been insulted because it is total fabrication.

"There is no foundation in it in any way, shape or form. I don't want people to think that because I watched Rangers as a kid, I'm going to go back to work there," he said.

Alan Moore, the Middlesbrough winger, will go into hospital tomorrow for a double calf operation that is likely to keep him out for most of the season.

Bryan Robson, the Boro manager, said: "Moore will be out for three or four months, possibly longer. It is frustrating for the player, but surgery was inevitable to cure his problems."

- Catherine Riley