Chase facing fans' revolt

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The Independent Online
UNHAPPY Norwich City fans will deliver a 10,000-signature petition demanding the resignation of the chairman Robert Chase before today's Endsleigh League visit of Birmingham.

Members of the Norwich Independent Supporters Association will march from the city centre to the ground where the petition will be received by a member of the club's staff.

It is the latest effort in a long-running battle by a section of Norwich fans to remove Chase after a decade in charge at Carrow Road.

The next step could be an extraordinary general meeting at which the former chairman, Jimmy Jones, the current vice-chairman, would seek support for a takeover.

Chase owns about 30 per cent of the Norwich shares with businessman Geoffrey Watling and a trust of former directors representing the other major shareholders with about 10,000 each.

Jones' call for either faction to indicate their preference has gone unheeded. Now he says he will demand the EGM unless they publicly back Chase within seven days.

City's results are not helping Chase survive the barrage of criticism over his reluctance to spend on new players.

Gary Megson, the manager, has registered only one win in nine games since returning from Bradford but he will have assistant Mick Wadsworth from Carlisle in harness for the first time against Birmingham.

Wingers Darren Eadie and Keith O'Neill are both out but Ian Crook could be recalled after a long absence with knee trouble.

Barry Fry, the Birmingham City manager, jumped on the bandwagon by accusing Chase of "cheating the public" after the Coca-Cola Cup fifth round draw between the clubs on 10 January.

Fry has been attracted to the transfer market like a bee to pollen. His latest targets are the Bristol Rovers striker Marcus Stewart, for whom he has made a written pounds 1m offer, and Dzoni Novak, a pounds 1.5m-rated defender with Slovenian club Olimpija Ljubjana.

High-flying Charlton will attempt to seal their sixth successive win against Crystal Palace at The Valley.

Manager Alan Curbishley this week agreed an improved two-and-a-half year deal with the club who began the weekend tucked into second place behind Derby.

He has signed the promising John Robinson, Jamie Stuart and Richard Rufus on long contracts to ward off interested clubs. Defender Rufus is suspended so either Steve Brown or Dean Chandler will come in.

Palace received pounds 200,000 of the pounds 800,000 Derby paid Southend for former defender Chris Powell this week but manager Ray Lewington faces selection problems. David Hopkin and Ian Cox are both injured so Bruce Dyer and Leon Mackenzie are contenders for places at the Valley.