Everton fail to win Saunders

Everton learned yesterday that Duncan Ferguson will be free to play for the rest of the season, when a court hearing at which he must answer an assault charge was adjourned until 9 May. However, their attempts to sign a new striker to play alongs ide himfoundered again, when AstonVilla rejected a second approach for Dean Saunders.

The Everton manager, Joe Royle, had a £2m offer for the Welsh international turned down last week, and an increased bid also proved insufficient to tempt his Villa counterpart, Brian Little. "I received no encouragement whatsoever," said Royle.

Ferguson appeared at Glasgow Sheriff's Court, accused of head-butting an opponent during last April's game with Raith Rovers, when he was still a Rangers player. Although not cautioned during the game, the disciplinary committee of the Scottish Football Association banned him for 12 matches, a suspension that has been lifted pending the outcome of the trial.

Peter Shilton will face a club disciplinary hearing on Thursday into financial allegations that saw him suspended as the Plymouth Argyle manager on full pay last week. Shilton's solicitors had threatened to sue for breach of contract unless the club had responded to their claim by 5pm last night.

The former England goalkeeper has been invited to give evidence at the hearing which will be conducted by three Argyle directors. They will later make their recommendation to the full board.

Gillingham, the third division club dogged by a series of money problems in recent years, have gone into receivership following the breakdown of a rescue package organised by the chairman, Bernard Baker.

Tom Burton, the receiver, is confident Gillingham will be able to fulfil their fixtures to the end of the season, especially as the players' union, the PFA, has promised financial support.

The decision to seek help was taken by the club director and majority shareholder, Tony Smith, after Saturday's game with Sheffield Wednesday which drew a crowd of 10,425, but ended hopes of a revenue-raising FA Cup run. He put his shares up for sale last autumn for £200,000, with a deadline that expired last week.

"It has always been my prime objective that the club should survive, and I am confident the receiver will be successful in finding a buyer," Smith said. "I would urge all supporters to help ensure its future by attending matches."

Gillingham are the second club after Exeter to go into receivership, and the Football League has expressed concern that it was not consulted first. Burton has said there is no pressure on the manager, Mike Flanagan, to sell players.

Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, faced up to a growing injury list yesterday as his goalkeeper, Andy Goram, was ruled out for another month.

Goram's comeback against Partick Thistle lasted only 29 minutes on Saturday before he suffered a calf strain. He joins eight other international players on the sidelines.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone