Aberdeen sack Miller

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Willie Miller ended a 24-year association with Aberdeen yesterday when he was sacked as manager. Roy Aitken, the former Celtic captain, will step up from assistant manager to act as caretaker. In charge at Pittodrie since February 1992, Miller was dismissed after a board meeting yesterday afternoon. Aberdeen, runners-up to Rangers last season, are second from bottom in the Scottish Premier Division after just five victories this season.

Miller, 39, made a club record 556 appearances between 1973 and 1990 and was the captain when Aberdeen won the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1983. He also led his country, winning 65 caps. It is understood he offered to resign last November but Aberdeen were unable to pay off the remainder of his contract.

Celtic are heading for a confrontation with the Scottish FA after announcing yesterday they will not accept the findings of the independent tribunal set up to solve the dispute between themselves and Kilmarnock over compensation for their managerial team, Tommy Burns and Billy Stark. If they continue on this course, and the dispute has now simmered for nine months, the club runs the risk of being suspended from Scottish football.

Aston Villa, who face the prospect of being without John Fashanu for the rest of the season, have lined up Niall Quinn, Manchester City's Republic of Ireland international striker, as a replacement in a £1.6m deal.

Fashanu, who suffered a knee injury during Villa's 1-0 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday, had a scan on the knee yesterday, the results of which will be known today. In the meantime Brian Little has moved to bring the 28-year-old Quinn to Villa Park.

A £700,000 signing from Arsenal in 1990, Quinn has started just 15 Premiership games and scored six times this season. His arrival at Villa would take Little's outlay to £5.6m since becoming manager in November - against £2.45m coming in - and he remainskeen to recruit the £3.5m-rated Mark Draper from his previous club, Leicester.

Paul Stewart, the Liverpool midfield player, has joined Burnley on a month's loan. He will not play for Burnley in tonight's FA Cup fourth-round replay at Liverpool, however, and will make his debut at Watford on Saturday.

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