Carling treble their money

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The Independent Online
Premiership clubs will share a pounds 36m jackpot after Bass yesterday agreed to treble their current sponsorship input over the next four years.

The new agreement for the FA Carling Premiership, replacing the original pounds 12m deal which expires this summer, is another feather in the cap of the Premier League's departing chief executive, Rick Parry.

Now, though, a replacement is needed for the former accountant, who has confirmed his announcement of last week that he is leaving to take up a similar post at Liverpool.

An appointments committee comprising the Tottenham chairman, Alan Sugar, West Ham's Terry Brown, Newcastle's Freddie Fletcher and Everton's Phil Carter has the job of head-hunting a successor.

Northern Ireland, who continue their World Cup campaign on Saturday against Albania, will be without the veteran Stoke defender Nigel Worthington (back injury) and St Johnstone's Danny Griffin (back). Both men yesterday followed Millwall's Anton Rogan in withdrawing from the squad.

Bryan Hamilton, the Northern Ireland manager, called up St Johnstone's George O'Boyle and Southampton's Jim Magilton, only for Magilton to withdraw through injury. Hamilton has now turned to the uncapped 21-year-old Queen's Park Rangers defender, Mark Graham. His side have lined up a friendly against Belgium at Windsor Park on 11 February.

Barry Horne, the 34-year-old Birmingham midfielder, has shrugged off an ankle injury that threatened to rule him out of Wales' World Cup qualifier against Turkey in Cardiff on Saturday. The uncapped Queen's Park Rangers defender Karl Ready has, however, been added to the squad.

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