Football: Tueart climbs on board again at City

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The Independent Online
A boardroom reshuffle at Manchester City yesterday saw a Maine Road hero from the past return in a position of power - promising to "rattle a few cages." Nick Harris reports.

Dennis Tueart's most memorable contribution to Manchester City's success to date was scoring the winning goal at Wembley in the 1976 League Cup final against Newcastle.

Yesterday, as he took his place on the board as the nominee of two senior shareholders, John Wardle and Dave Makin, he promised to help the club retain its former status in the game.

"I know there is immense pressure on directors, particularly at City, but try being an ex-player walking around Manchester," the millionaire promotions company manger said. "You get stopped all the time by people who want to talk about the club and its problems.

"I have always tried to support the club, I don't hide that. I have spoken from the heart, I desperately want to help them get things right."

He added: "I will be delving into the club to try to find out the real guts of the place. I want to know the heart and how it ticks, to make suggestions and, if that means rattling a few cages, so be it."

In yesterday's changes, Colin Barlow and John Dunkerley (both part of the pact that took Francis Lee to power almost four years ago) and David Holt all stepped down as directors, but will be made presidents and will retain their shareholdings. The financial director, David Bernstein, moves up to deputy chairman, and a new financial chief will be appointed soon.

The changes come after weeks of speculation about the control of City, with Sheffield United's chairman Mike McDonald admitting he had been approached to form a consortium to buy out Lee and the chief shareholder, Stephen Boler.

Boler returned to Manchester from his South African home a fortnight ago and it is clear that these changes in the running of the club have been instigated by him to streamline his control of Maine Road.

Meanwhile, as City prepared to travel to Birmingham today, they transfer listed the former Republic of Ireland international Eddie McGoldrick, who cost them pounds 300,000 when he was signed from Arsenal in September 1996.

The First Division leaders Middlesbrough meet Reading without their England Under-18 international Anthony Ormerod, who has a groin injury, but are looking to stretch their one-week tenure at the top.

Dave Bassett's Nottingham Forest, who will have to wait until tomorrow at least to start closing the gap when they travel to Wolverhampton, will be without Chris Bart-Williams and Geoff Thomas. Ian Woan is doubtful, but Forest will be encouraged by the return of Steve Stone and Andy Johnson from injury.

Sheffield United entertain Swindon and may recall Jan-Age Fjortoft against his old club. Swindon, now five points behind the leaders, welcome back their leading scorer, Chris Hay, in attack to partner George Ndah. Mark Walters has recovered from an ankle injury, while the Frenchman Philippe Cuervo could start for the first time in three months after a groin problem.

West Bromwich have a chance to go top if they win at Sunderland, and may start with Lee Hughes, a scorer five times as a substitute this season.