Dalglish not tempted by Lee's offer

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Francis Lee, the Manchester City chairman who has seen his rudderless club embarrassingly rejected by George Graham and Dave Bassett, has made an approach to Kenny Dalglish.

Lee asked Dalglish nearly three weeks ago if he would be interested in making a return to football at City, who have been without a manager since Alan Ball's exit in August. However, Dalglish said that he did not want to return to management.

The Football Association yesterday took one look at referee Richard Poulain's report into his treatment at the hands of Gary Poole and suspended the Birmingham City full-back with immediate effect.

The 29-year-old Poole pushed Poulain from behind after he had awarded Manchester City a last-minute penalty at Maine Road on Saturday. Poulain required treatment and indicated that he would be reporting Poole, who was sent off, to the FA.

"Richard Poulain faxed a report to us this morning," Steve Double, the FA spokesman, said. "Gary Poole has been charged with misconduct and has been placed under instant suspension. In the situation where a player is alleged to have assaulted a match official it is within our powers to order the offender not to participate in any footballing activity until a commission of inquiry is heard."

Poole's case will be held at the FA's Lancaster Gate headquarters on 7 October and City's manager, Trevor Francis, has asked for a personal hearing. The defender faces a lengthy suspension in addition to missing Birmingham's Coca-Cola Cup tie at Coventry City today and Saturday's home game with Queen's Park Rangers.

When Chelsea's Frank Sinclair, then on loan at West Bromwich Albion, was found guilty of butting the referee, Paul Alcock, in 1991, he was suspened for nine matches.

Carlton Palmer has escaped being fined by the Leeds United manager, George Graham, for being sent off against Newcastle. Palmer was ordered off for his second bookable offence, with the Leeds crowd blaming Alan Shearer for complaining to the referee, Alcock.

Graham refused to be drawn into the debate over Shearer, but said: "I won't be fining Carlton. I have a club disciplinary system that if a player is booked for dissent or something like that he will be fined. You have to be very careful if you start fining players for cards dished out for other reasons."

Robbie Mustoe's shoulder is not broken as was first feared and the Middlesbrough midfielder, who was injured against Arsenal on Saturday, should be playing again by next week.

Scotland could be without Duncan Ferguson for their World Cup matches against Latvia and Estonia next month. The Everton forward will have an exploratory operation today on a knee injury which has troubled him for some time.

Ferguson is expected to be banned for two games from 12 October following his dismissal against Blackburn on Saturday, which would leave him almost four weeks to recover if surgery is needed.