Sporting Digest: Football

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John Russell yesterday stepped down as chairman of Scarborough after four years in charge.

Ipswich Town have granted free transfers to the 36-year-old Welsh international midfielder, Geraint Williams, and the long-serving Simon Milton.

Barnsley have become the first club in Yorkshire to be granted a licence by the Football Association to operate a football academy. A disused area next to Oakwell has been turned into a modern, floodlit training complex.

Relegated Partick Thistle have parted company with manager John McVeigh and his assistant Peter Hetherston by mutual consent. The Second Division club have also announced that all players over aged 24 and out of contract will be released.

Brighton Midfielder Robbie Reinelt, who scored the equaliser at Hereford to keep them in the league last May, is one of nine players being released by the Seagulls. Just 13 players are now under contract.

Per Pedersen, the Danish striker, has returned to Blackburn after spending seven months on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Martin Allen, the former West Ham midfielder, has been appointed reserve- team manager of Portsmouth.