Football: About-turn for Clough

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CONTRARY to what you may have heard or read recently, Brian Clough will be retiring at the end of this season, writes Richard Wetherell.

When he (first) announced his retirement he said he might change his mind. Thursday saw him do just that, blaming Phil Wootton, the Nottingham Forest director, for the turnaround, but after yesterday's meeting with the Forest chairman, Fred Reacher, confirmation came that the most enigmatic man in football will leave after next week's reserve game against Stoke.

It never rains but it pours for Aston Villa. First the championship went, now the possiblity of a place in next season's Uefa Cup is in doubt after the Football Association charged them yesterday with misconduct over the signing of their Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich. Notts County have been similarly caught out by their own Antipodean signings, Bob Catlin and Shaun Murphy.

All three deals were arranged by the former Chelsea director, Graham Smith who, it is alleged, was paid money by Villa and County, something that breaches the regulations of Fifa, the governing body of world football. Both clubs have been given 14 days to answer the charges and may have points deducted. In Villa's case that could mean the loss of second place in the Premier League and, therefore, their place in the Uefa Cup.

Despite being relegated Lennie Lawrence has been given a 12-month contract extension at Middlesbrough. Brian Little, of Leicester City, is also staying at his club. His contract extension means he will be at Filbert Street until 1997. - Manchester United and Arsenal are to take part in a South African tournament in Johannesburg and Durban in July.