Brighton supporters step up their campaign against Archer

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The Independent Online
Brighton supporters are to step up pressure on the club's chairman, Bill Archer, by making a 250-mile trip to his Lancashire home to demand his resignation.

Ian Hart, an official of the Brighton Independent Supporters' Association, said that a substantial number of fans will protest outside Archer's home in the village of Mellor, near Blackburn, the night before Saturday's Third Division game at Wigan.

It is the latest part of a campaign to force Archer to quit after demonstrations during Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at home to Lincoln forced play to be halted in the first half for 13 minutes.

Supporters are still angry at the decision of Archer and the Brighton board to sell the Goldstone Ground and also at the breakdown in talks with the consortium, headed by the businessman Dick Knight, which wants to take over the club. Archer was unavailable for comment, but he will be waiting to see how severe the action to be taken by the Football Association will be, after the hold-up when 150 supporters congregated in the centre circle after Lincoln's opening goal.

At the very least, Brighton seem certain to have to play one match behind closed doors and have three points deducted - the product of the suspended sentence given to them by the FA after fans caused the abandonment of the game with York in April.

Birmingham City have agreed to sell Mike Newell following his surprise transfer request after only 70 days at St Andrew's. After a meeting with the player yesterday, the City manager, Trevor Francis, accepted that Newell wanted to leave for personal reasons.

The Nationwide League's First Division clubs have narrowly voted in favour of extending the rule that allows clubs to call off League matches because of international call-ups to include Under-21 players. Until now, only clubs with three or more players in senior international squads could postpone fixtures.

The change will be welcomed by clubs such as Charlton, Norwich and Ipswich, who have a string of talented young players, and by Cardiff and Wrexham, whose players form the backbone of the Wales Under-21 squad.

Charlton's home game with Barnsley on Saturday has been postponed because the London club have Richard Rufus and Shaun Newton in the England Under- 21 squad, as well as John Robinson in the Wales senior squad. Ipswich against Swindon is also off.